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Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Arabian Spaghetti

Stereotypically, when mothers run out of ideas for dinner, they make spaghetti. It's easy, tasty, filling, the family will usually all eat it and, generally speaking, it is inexpensive. We don't eat a lot of spaghetti around here. Mostly because the little children can't handle the noodles, and it makes a huge mess. When I make pasta, it is generally penne or something like that.

Last night, I was uninspired and needed to come up with something for dinner. Amira has also decided that she wants to help me make dinner every night, so I wanted to make something that would be easy to find jobs for her to do.

So, I made a meat sauce and cous cous. If I had thought about it even about a half an hour earlier, I would have made slow sautéed green beans with olive oil and garlic, but I didn't. I figured the onions and tomatoes counted as vegetables. The thing about this meal is that it made a pound of ground beef, an onion, a few cloves of garlic and a cup and a half of cous cous feed a family of seven. No leftovers, but everyone was satisfied.

Some people do the whole brown the meat, drain it, add oil and cook the veggies in that. I don't. We buy locally raised, pasture fed beef. I use the fat from the beef. So, I started browning the beef, tossed in the chopped onion and garlic and cooked it until the meat was brown and the onions were translucent. I had Amira toss in a can of diced tomatoes, a can of tomato sauce, and I refilled the sauce can with some broth I had hanging out in my fridge. I normally would have put in a stick of cinnamon, but we only had Mexican cinnamon and it was crumbly and would have left splinters all over, so I put about a half a teaspoon of ground cinnamon, a tablespoon each of coriander and cumin, salt and pepper, stirred it all up and let it simmer, covered for about 20 minutes. While it did that, we boiled broth, olive oil and a little salt, and cooked up the cous cous in that.

That was it. Dinner. Everyone liked it, everyone went away full, and Amira got to help. What more can a mother ask for?

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that sounds good to me!

we're having "asian spaghetti" tonight; it's similar, but with a bunch of ginger and garlic and shredded cabbage and carrots added in.
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