Category Archives: Starches

Karl’s Israeli Couscous with Toasted Nuts

Adapted from a BBC recipe

I was making a Moroccan goat tagine and couscous is a natural go together with tagines. While regular small grain Moroccan couscous is fine, I prefer the more substantial chew of the larger grained Israeli couscous—which, despite its name, is actually a form of pasta. This dish went well with the goat stew and made a truly memorable dinner.

Karl’s Israeli Couscous with Toasted Nuts

Karl’s Israeli Couscous with Toasted Nuts

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Karl’s Za’atar Orzo with Spinach and Almonds

When wife Jan went off to Burning Man I wanted to give her some quick, easy, and filling camp foods. Two conditions were that it would cook in a short time and not produce any waste water—throwing old pasta water onto the playa was strictly forbidden. I had settled on the idea of making “box” dishes—like RiceARoni®.  A spice packet, pre-measured and mixed ingredients that you just add water to and simmer. My za’atar orzo was very popular with her camp.

Karl’s Za’atar Orzo with Spinach and Almonds

Karl’s Za’atar Orzo with Spinach and Almonds

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Karl’s Lemon Orzo Florentine with Pan Seared Garlic Shrimp

My wife Jan has started on the Noom program, and I am adapting recipes to fit the new restrictions. While there is nothing really restricted on this diet, some foods are better than others—you are meant to fill up on “green foods” with some limited “yellow foods” to keep you happy and satisfied. Finally, there are “red foods”—foods like white flour and sugar that are to be severely limited in this diet. She requested orzo shrimp for dinner and I adapted the recipe to be more Noom friendly. The real goal of Noom is to reduce the amount of “red foods”—like butter and to include more “green foods” like vegetables.

Karl’s Lemon Orzo Florentine with Pan Seared Garlic Shrimp

Karl’s Lemon Orzo Florentine with Pan Seared Garlic Shrimp

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Karl’s Harcourt Verts with Thyme and Chervil

I am making dinner for Daughter Eilene’s friends and I had decided to have green beans as a side dish. Since my main dish was a French flavored meatloaf, I chose to use French Harcourt Verts with French thyme and chervil—French parsley. While Harcourt Vert simply means “green bean” in French, they are usually picked younger, and are thinner—and tenderer—than the Blue Lake variety that is most popular in the US.

Karl’s Harcourt Verts with Thyme and Chervil

Karl’s Harcourt Verts with Thyme and Chervil

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Karl’s Rice Florentine

I am making broiled salmon for a weekday dinner and I usually make some kind of rice dish to go with it. Recently, I learned a new—to me—way of preparing basmati rice. The rice is par-boiled in a lot of water, drained, and then steamed with any additional ingredients. One of the fondly remembered dishes of my mother Claudia was green rice. Today, I decided to expand on my mother’s recipe by adding spinach—al la Florentine.

Karl’s Rice Florentine

Karl’s Rice Florentine

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Karl’s Parsley Potatoes with Slow Roasted Leeks

I was making my birthday dinner and I wanted something to go with my barbecued lamb. I looked on-line for suggested side dishes. I saw some things I liked, but mostly it gave me ideas for what I would make.

Karl’s Parsley Potatoes with Slow Roasted Leeks

Karl’s Parsley Potatoes with Slow Roasted Leeks

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Filed under Potatoes, Side Dishes, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Karl’s Lobster Linguini

This Sunday’s Mercury News food section had a recipe for lobster spaghetti. As my followers may know, I cannot make any recipe as written—I have to add my own twists. Italian food with no onion—“Inconceivable!!!!”

Karl's Lobster Linguini

Karl’s Lobster Linguini

Note: I have not posted any recipes in months. Some have used this time productively—for example my wife who has just written her 11th book. Part of my hiatus was due to the difficulty of shopping these days. The major reason, however, was that my kids—in concern for my mental health during a time of Covid—convinced me to play Dragon Age and Skyrim. It has taken me months to resurface—but their plan did work in the sense that those months just flew by. When I finally tried to post something new, I found that WordPress had taken away my “classic editor” and replaced it with a blank screen where all of the controls were hidden in long drop-down menus. It took me a while to recover from the shock. Continue reading

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Filed under Main Dishes, Pasta, Seafood

Karl’s Patatas Bravas II

I am making CaldeiradaPortuguese fish stew—for wife Jan’s Burner friends. This soup sometimes contains potatoes, but I decided to make a second dish Patatas bravas—roasted potatoes with a spicy tomato sauce—with the potatoes. A pickled cucumber and tomato salad and bread from a Portuguese bakery round out the meal.

Karl’s Patatas Bravas II

Karl’s Patatas Bravas II

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Karl’s Turmeric Rice

I made Kūbide meatloaf for a weeknight dinner, but I had run out of pita bread to go with it. Instead of making another store run I decided to make some Middle Eastern rice as my starchy side dish. I sought inspiration on-line and a found a recipe for garlicy turmeric rice—I then went on to almost completely change it.

Karl’s Turmeric Rice

Karl’s Turmeric Rice

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Karl’s Red Pear Harcourt Verts

I am making Thanksgiving dinner and I had decided to have green beans as a side dish. However, I wanted something I could prep ahead and just pop under the broiler, when the turkey came out. Harcourt Verts are a thin French green beans that would be perfect for this purpose. Since I was using French green beans I thought that using fancy red d’Anjou pears would  be a go together.

Note: I had a bit of a disaster. I was transferring my photos from my phone to my computer and I did not notice that not all of the pictures made it—they did however, delete from my phone when I cleaned it up. Continue reading

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Filed under Beans, Side Dishes, Vegetarian