As soon as I saw this recipe, I knew James would love it. The rustic, hearty flavors have a slightly southern flair, given the recipe came from Southern Living magazine. Of course, I made a few alterations to the recipe (the original version had dried plums, which just did not sound good!) and the results were a big hit. The biggest substitution was using kielbasa instead of Italian sausage, which worked out really well in the dish.
The main issue I had with the original recipe was that it used pre-packaged measurements in the ingredient list (ex: 1/2 of a 20 oz package of bite-sized dried plums), which means you have to actually buy the package or put forth your best guess on the amounts. Given the economy, many people are buying in bulk and using simple measurements such as “1 cup” or “1/2 cup” would lend itself better to the recipes usability.
Kielbasa & Peppers w/ Couscous
adapted from Southern Living
1 cup couscous
1 cup golden or regular raisins
1 lb kielbasa, sliced 1/2 inch thick
2 tbsp olive oil
2 sweet bell peppers (red, orange, or yellow) thinly sliced
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 Granny Smith apple, diced
1 1/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 tbsp orange juice
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch
Cracked black pepper
Bring 1 cup of water to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in couscous and 1/4 tsp sea salt. Cover and let set for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and stir in raisins.
In a large skillet, heat olive oil. Over medium-high heat, saute bell peppers, onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes with 1/4 tsp sea salt for 3-5 minutes, until tender. Add kielbasa to pan and saute until warmed through, about 5 minutes. Add additional olive oil to pan if needed. Add diced apples and an additional 1/4 tsp of sea salt and saute 2-3 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk together chicken broth with orange juice, brown sugar, cornstarch, and 1/2 tsp sea salt. Add to skillet and bring liquid to a boil. Reduce heat and cover, simmering for 2 minutes or until liquid has thickened slightly. Remove from heat and toss all ingredients. Season to taste with cracked black pepper.
Serve kielbasa and peppers over a bed of couscous. Spoon additional sauce from the pan over top.