Monday, October 3, 2011

Tabbouleh and Friends

Rachel here.

This past weekend, John and I hosted a get together with two of our dearest friends, Em and Phoebe. The idea was to throw a party for our co-workers so we could all enjoy good food and each other's company. It's so easy to get caught up in the daily grind at work and lose sight of the good fortune we all share in working with people that we really, truly like and love.

We all handled the staples (and Em and Phoebe put together an absolutely outstanding bar and beverages table). Phoebe grilled pineapple, mushrooms, tomatoes and onions and served up fantastically flavorful chicken (she brined it and it was so tender and tasty). Our friends and coworkers brought a bounty of food as well, including a lovely salad with pecans and blue cheese, fruit salad brimming with raspberries and blueberries, one of the best bundt cakes I've ever had the pleasure of eating (I mean, was moist and fluffy and lemony and virtually disappeared from the table as soon as it was cut into), pork buns and little cakes, potato salad with deviled eggs on top (oh my!)...I'm sure I'm forgetting at least a few items.

Needless to say, we ate really well. Really, really, really well. And with Em and Phoebe's bar nearly filling an entire table, we drank really, really well, too. You'd be hard-pressed to think of a drink you wanted and NOT be able to make it with the fixings they assembled.

I baked chocolate chip cookies and whipped up tabbouleh for like, I don't know, a million people. I'm going to halve the recipe to share with you all today so that you'll only end up with tabbouleh for 8-10 instead of 16-20 (but double it if you need to--it worked perfectly; you could probably cut it in half, too, for 4-5 eaters). After making it, I have to say that I'm never cooking couscous in water again. From here on out, I'm making it with lemon juice and chicken stock. Delicious!


1 c. chicken stock
1 c. water
1/2 c. fresh lemon juice
1/3 c.+2 T. olive oil
1 1/2 c. couscous
1 cucumber, diced
8 plum tomatoes, deseeded and diced
3/4 c. scallions, chopped fine
2 c. flat-leaf parsley, minced
1 c. mint, minced

Combine the water, chicken stock, 1/4 cup of the lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of the oil in a pan and bring to a boil. Stir in the couscous, cover and remove from heat. Let the couscous stand for a few minutes before fluffing it with a fork (or, you know, whatever's handy for fluffing). In a very large bowl (no, really...get your biggest bowl), combine the cucumber, tomatoes and scallions. Add the remaining 1/3 cup of oil, the remaining 1/4 cup of lemon juice and salt to taste. Let this mixture rest of 15 minutes so it can get all good and flavorful. Add the couscous, parsley and mint. Stir well, cover and refrigerate for one hour before serving. Enjoy!

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