View Full Version : June '00 Chicken-Avocado Couscous Salad
06-24-2000, 04:35 PM
I tried the Chicken-Avocado Couscous Salad with Tomatillo Dressing from the June issue (p125) the other night. My partner loved it. He wants me to make it again, and again, and again! The problem: it tastes bitter to me. http://www.cookinglight.com/bbs/confused.gif
It could be a matter of taste buds, but I am willing to try it again. I have a theory that it might be the black beans I used. I rinsed them, as the recipe requires, but they were canned with ginger and lemon.
I've never used tomatillos before, though, and I was wondering if it could have been that I bought tomatillos that weren't quite ripe. Is this a possibility?
Thanks, Kate H.
06-26-2000, 07:31 AM
I also made the salad and it was yummy. The only problem I had was the avocado. It got mushy and sort of blended in with everything. I'm not sure how to tell when tomatillos are ripe, sorry. But, try again with plain black beans. I also made the nectarine and couscous one and it was good.
06-26-2000, 02:39 PM
This is what Wegmans web site says about tomatillos:
Also called a Mexican green tomato, it belongs to the same family as the tomato. It resembles a small green tomato except that it has a thin parchment-like covering. Although they can ripen to yellow, they are generally used while still green and firm. The taste is slightly acidic with a lemony flavor. The flesh is solid and seedy.
Choose firm fruit with dry, tight-fitting husks.
Store in a paper bag in the refrigerator up to two weeks.
Uses & Preparation:
Peel off husks and stems then wash to remove the sticky, resinous material that is exuded.
Chop for Mexican salsas and guacamole.
Use raw in salads.
Cooking enhances its flavor.
Use in sauces.
Low in fat and calories.
Sodium and cholesterol free.
Good source of vitamin A.
High in vitamin C.
06-26-2000, 02:40 PM
Thanks, Steph, I'll try it again this week.
I think I am jinxed when it comes to these couscous recipes. Last night I tried the mozzarella/tomato couscous, which I am sure is very delicious. However, I tried to get all fancy and bought the imported Italian Buffalo Mozzarella that comes in a liquid suspension (which I have never bought before). When I opened the package, it smelled much like a barnyard. Putting my better judgement behind me, I poured out the liquid, rinsed the mozzarella, and hoped that the evil smell was gone. Well, it seemed to be, so I added the mozzarella to the tomatoes.
Mistake! The whole kitchen stank by the time that meal was done. Later, I read that buffalo mozzarella gets more pungent as it ripens. I'll say! http://www.cookinglight.com/bbs/eek.gif
06-26-2000, 03:05 PM
I must have flipped to this recipe in the June magazine a dozen times, but never made it. I guess if a recipe has an unfamiliar ingredient, I am more likely to skip over it. But, it does sound good. So, now I'm confused over the tomatillo instructions above...are we supposed to peel the green skin off before using it? Do you think you can substitute another type of tomato? Thanks for the help. http://www.cookinglight.com/bbs/smile.gif
06-26-2000, 03:09 PM
I've used tomatillos a couple of times. You peel off the paper-like husk. With the husk removed, they look just like green tomatoes, and you use them the same way - slice, chop, whatever. Peeling the green skin off would be like peeling a tomato. Hope this helps.
06-26-2000, 05:31 PM
From CL July 2000, p. 14 (this was a response to a reader letter about tomatillos; the reader could not find them in the store and wanted to find a substitute):
Tomatillos are also known as Mexican green tomatoes. Their flavor, however, is nothing like that of tomatoes and instead has hints of citrus, apple, and herbs. If your store doesn t carry them, ask your grocer to order them for you. Canned tomatillos are a fair substitute, and some people use green tomatoes in their place. Be aware, though, that fresh tomatillos are more spicy-tasting than either substitute.
Thanks for the info - I'm planning to make the avocado couscous salad tonight! I've also made the nectarine one (yummy! - perfect to take to work for lunch), and the shrimp-sesame one (ditto!). I have to make all of these when my husband isn't home though...despite the glowing article about couscous, he won't touch the stuff! http://www.cookinglight.com/bbs/rolleyes.gif
06-27-2000, 08:57 AM
Thanks for the advice...I just thought the tomatillos looked a little strange in the store and I was hesitant to use them. Since it looks like July is lacking entrees, I'll have plenty of time to try recipes from May or June that have "new" ingredients! http://www.cookinglight.com/bbs/smile.gif
06-27-2000, 01:00 PM
That might be it! I rinsed them, but I didn't use any soap.
(Shirley -- thanks for the Wegman's info)
Kate H.: were you careful to wash the tomatillos carefully after you removed the husks? I made this last night, and I thought it was great - but I remembered as soon as I peeled off the husks that that sticky stuff underneath tastes yucky (the first time I used them I didn't wash them enough). I use a bit of dish soap and wash until they feel completely non-sticky. Maybe this was the source of the bitterness you tasted?
Just a thought... http://www.cookinglight.com/bbs/smile.gif
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