Tuesday, June 1, 2010

One of Those Nights

Last week kept me pretty busy in the yard, we are in the midst of a huge landscaping project & my job was to dig up all the sod in our yard to prepare it for planting. It was sweaty, tiring work! So, when dinner time rolled around on Friday the last think I felt like doing was working on dinner. It seemed like the perfect night for a quick almost snack-like dinner.
An Odd Dinner
Our meal consisted of a warm baguette with cream cheese, a greek olive assortment, spinach parmesan couscous & guanciale wrapped asparagus.

There were two stars to this meal. The first was the asparagus wrapped in guanciale...
#148 - Grilled Asparagus Wrapped in Guanciale
We were inspired to make this when we had a similar appetizer at Broders' Pasta Bar a few weeks back. Its dead simple to make. I just cleaned the asparagus & wrapped it in the thin slices of guanciale. What is guanciale you ask? Guanciale is an unsmoked Italian bacon made from the from the cheeks or jowls of the pig (or as Matt calls it Face Bacon). It is a tasty, tasty treat but if you can't find it use pancetta instead, it won't be exactly the same but still good. Then the wrapped spears are thrown on a hot grill or grill pan & cooked until the guanciale is cooked & crispy. The saltiness of it with the sweet, fresh asparagus is perfection.

The other high point was the Spinach Parmesan Couscous. Near East* was nice enough to send us a couple boxes of their Parmesan Couscous to try.
Couscous is such a easy side because it cooks in 5 minutes & it's a snap to dress up. For this version I put some sliced spring onions in with the water to boil. Added the couscous & seasoning package then let it sit for 5 minutes. After that, I stirred in about 2 - 3 cups of chopped spinach until the spinach wilted from the heat. I could have eaten just a big bowl of this as my whole meal! It's a little thicker than regular couscous, almost like a polenta, most likely from the cheese. It's called parmesan couscous but it actually has a blend of three cheese in it including blue cheese which I could really taste. I was also happy to see it wasn't full on chemicals & artificial flavorings.

All & all this was exactly the kind of meal I needed after a hard week of work, easy & satisfying!

*Near East sent us samples of couscous to try but didn't pay us in any other way to write about it.

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.© 2007-2010 Kathy Lewinski


Recipe for Delicious said...

That asparagus looks delicious! I can't wait to try it!


Maria said...

I am loving that asparagus:)

vanillasugarblog said...

yes we use that couscous all the time. and we love to have just apps for dinner a lot--moreso in the summertime when its just too warm to cook.
looks perfect to me!

Elle said...

What a perfect summer dinner! Nice and light, and fresh. Just the way it should be!

Heather said...

Just stole a few stalks of asparagus from Jeff before I left this morning... Have plans for a few, but now must try this desperately.

Deborah said...

That is my kind of dinner!

grace said...

those are some pretty darn elegantly-prepared spears of asparagus. lovely!

D. @ Outside Oslo said...

Isn't it wonderful to be able to pull together a meal out of ingredients one already has in the fridge and/or pantry, and that require virtually no effort or time?

As much as I love cooking, there are some times when such quick meals are just as much of a delight as cooking.

Fresh Local and Best said...

Wow! I am going to have to find this guanciale, it look so much fattier than pancetta or prosciutto. Yum! yum!

Lori said...

It looks like a mighty fine meal to me! I know exactly what you mean, after planting our garden and moving some hostas around, the last thing I want to do is fix a meal. Its time for quick creativity. We have eggs a lot during those times.

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