After an exhausting day, don't be ashamed to get help from the supermarket. Especially on a Friday night. By then, the last thing you feel like doing is mixing and frying a batch of 36 meatballs. However, if you purchase a pack of frozen or premade ones, you can have a delicious dinner in twenty minutes. Get the fragrant sauce going quickly by chopping the onions and garlic in a food processor. Serve with a cold beer, a glass of Zinfandel or a full bodied Chardonnay. Drooling over the picture at left? Well get the recipe and make it now! -
3 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 2/3 cups (10 ounces) plain couscous
36 already-cooked meatballs, fresh or frozen
2 large onions (for about 2 cups chopped)
1 large can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced, or 2 teaspoons bottled minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 fresh jalapeno pepper (for 2 tablespoons minced)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground (dried) ginger
- Bring 2 cups water and 1 teaspoon of the vegetable oil to a boil in a medium-size saucepan. When the water boils, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the couscous. Cover the pan and let it stand until the meatballs are ready to serve. Just before serving, fluff the couscous lightly with a fork.
- If the meatballs are frozen, run them under hot water so you can remove the packaging. Place the meatballs on a microwave-safe plate and microwave, uncovered, on high power for 2 minutes to partially defrost.
- Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat (or use a 4 1/2-quart soup pot). Peel and coarsely chop the onions, adding them to the skillet as you chop. Cook, stirring, until the onions begin to soften, about 3 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes and their juice. Add the garlic and the sugar to the skillet. Seed and finely chop the jalapeno. Add it to the sauce.
- Cook, stirring occasionally, while you rinse and chop the cilantro and parsley (if using). Add them to the skillet. Then add the cumin, cinnamon, ginger, and meatballs (fresh or partially defrosted).
- Cover the skillet and cook until the meatballs are heated through and are beginning to absorb the sauce, about 10 minutes. Serve immediately over the hot couscous.