One-Pot Meal: Shrimp with Couscous and Asparagus
Sometimes you just need to do a pantry purge. That actually doesn't sound too appetizing - but you know what I mean. I opened my pantry door to see a huge canister of couscous staring back at me. I bought it a while ago, and I've used some of it, but it was just sitting there, mocking me, reminding me of all the great meals I intended to use it for. I came across this shrimp with couscous recipe from Martha Stewart and realized I had almost everything I needed for the dish in my fridge or pantry. Score! This recipe is so adaptable to what you have on hand - I added asparagus and hot red pepper, but broccoli would be good, snap peas, chicken, whatever. As I was cooking it I had a "Duh" moment - why didn't I ever think of this myself? It's quick, easy, and inexpensive - a great weeknight dinner.
I've made a few little changes here - I added asparagus and made it a little spicy. But like I said, go crazy and use whatever you have on hand in your pantry/fridge/freezer - this is a forgiving dish.
Shrimp with Couscous and Asparagus
adapted from Martha Stewart
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb shrimp, shelled and deveined, tails removed (I used 31-40 sized frozen shrimp, but any protein works here)
- Kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1/4 tsp hot red pepper flakes
- 2 leeks, sliced into 1/2 inch half-moons
- 2 carrots, shredded
- 5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced (or minced)
- 1 cup dry uncooked couscous (whole wheat would be great)
- 1 cup frozen (or fresh) peas, thawed
- 1 bunch asparagus, woody ends removed and sliced into 1 or 2 inch pieces
- 2 cups boiling water (check the recipe so you'll know when to boil it) or low-sodium veggie or chicken broth
- Heat 2 tsp oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Toss the raw shrimp with a pinch of salt and some freshly ground pepper, then toss them into the pan and cook them until they're opaque, about 3 minutes. Remove shrimp from pan and set aside.
- Add 1 tsp oil to the pan, and saute the asparagus until they're just tender - bite one and you'll see what I mean. This shouldn't take more than a few minutes - but I like my asparagus crisp. Cook longer if you like it softer. When the asparagus is cooked to your liking, remove from pan and set aside with the shrimp.
- Add remaining 1 Tbsp oil to the saute pan and stir in the mustard seeds and red pepper flakes. Cook for about 30 seconds - the seeds will start to pop. Add leeks, carrots, and garlic, and cook, stirring often, until leeks are tender, about 5 minutes. On another burner, boil a few cups of water in a kettle.
- Stir in dry couscous, peas, and 2 cups boiling water. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and cover the pan with a well-fitting lid, and let sit for about 5 minutes, or until the couscous has soaked up all of the liquid. Add the shrimp and asparagus back to the pan and gently stir.