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Friday, July 31, 2009

Budget Gourmet: Artichoke Salmon Couscous

Originally posted on LiveJournal.

Artichoke Salmon Couscous
Last night I tried another backcountry camping recipe - Artichoke Salmon Pasta - for on playa dining at Burning Man. In addition to ease of cooking and ingredients that are shelf stable, I also considered:
  • Amount of trash generated
  • Type of trash generated
  • Amount of greywater generated
This recipe generates two cans (1 14 oz can and 1 6 oz can), 1 ziplock bag, and 1 spice packet, for trash. NOTE: If care is taken when salmon and artichoke hearts are poured from the cans, none of the trash generated will emit odors. As this revised recipe uses couscous in place of pasta the only greywater generated will be from cleaning the pot and serving spoon and rinsing the two cans the artichoke hearts and salmon came in.

I initially made this without the Pecorino Romano. After an initial taste I felt it needed another flavor to balance the salmon. This meal wasn't as tasty as the Chicken with Italian Herb Pasta, but consensus from my two taste testers (Ramon and Cubes) said that with the salt content it's a dish that will be tastier on the playa.

UPDATE: I ate a serving for lunch today. I prefer the leftovers cold rather than heated (but that might just be me). Also, I couldn't help thinking that some green olives would balance the taste profile. I'm going to try the last serving with sliced green olives to see if that transforms it into a meal to be savored. (I'm a very picky eater - especially when it comes to leftovers - and if I don't like something, I won't hesitate to toss it. In what's an unusual occurrence for me with leftovers, I actually cleaned my plate today.)

Artichoke Salmon Couscous IngredientsIngredients (Serves 4)
  • 1 can (14 oz) Native Forest Natural Artichoke Hearts (quartered) - do not drain
  • 1 can (6 oz) Trader Joe's Wild Alaskan Pink Salmon Skinless Boneless No Salt Added - do not drain
  • 1/2 c Water
  • 2 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
  • 1 box Near East Roasted Garlic and Olive Oil Couscous Mix
  • 1/4 c Grated Pecorino Romano
NOTE 1: I didn't use shelf-stable Parmesan cheese as I have a milk allergy. The Pecorino Romano requires refrigeration so this meal as prepared should be made and eaten within a day or two of arriving on the playa.
NOTE 2: As made this dish has a high sodium content (61% of total recommended daily alotment for individuals on heart-healthy diets and 51% of total RDA for typical diets). If you can find artichoke hearts with no salt added I'd recommend using that brand instead.

  • Slotted spoon
  • 1.5 qt pot with lid
  • 1 camp burner
Instructions (Takes roughly 20 minutes)
  1. Carefully drain water and juices from the artichoke hearts and salmon into 2.5L pot (approximately 3/4 c of liquid). NOTE: Use a slotted spoon to prevent artichoke hearts and salmon from falling into the pot.
  2. Add water and EVOO to the pot.
  3. Mix in contents of Spice Sack to the liquid and bring to a boil.
  4. Stir in couscous and pecorino romano.
  5. Add artichoke hearts and salmon.
  6. Cover pot and remove from heat.
  7. Let stand 5 minutes (do not remove lid as you want the steam to heat the artichoke hearts and salmon).
  8. Fluff couscous lightly with fork before serving.
Nutritional Information (4 servings): Total calories: 276, Calories from fat: 48. Total fat: 6 g, Saturated fat: 2 g, Trans fat: 0 g. Cholesterol: 23 mg. Sodium: 1,219 mg. Potassium: 0 mg. Total carbs: 36 g; Dietary Fiber: 5 g; Sugars: 3 g. Protein: 19 g. Detailed Ingredient List (from backs of box and cans): Couscous (precooked semolina), autolyzed yeast extract, olive oil, salt, natural flavors, garlic, onions, soy protein, parsley, spices, and tocopherols for freshness. Artichoke hearts, water, salt and citric acid. Alaskan pink salmon. Water. Pecorino romano cheese (pastuerized sheep's milk, cheese cultures, salt, animal rennet).

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