Wiener piglets

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Another guest post by Sander.

(btw, Sander’s opinion on ketchup is not mine!!!)

Wieners – or hot dogs, as they are known in the United States – are nice-tasting fully cooked sausages. You can do about ten thousand foods with them – use as a meat in salads, boil, fry with eggs, make sandwiches… sky is the limit!

But since childhood, my favorite way of making wieners is wiener piglets – incredibly easy to make, great-tasting and great-looking food. I think half of my relatives come to the parties held at my parents just to get cheese’n’mayo sandwiches and wiener piglets…

Wiener piglets are especially popular with kids – they look good (click on the picture to see larger version), have a funny name and taste great. And – kids can actually help to make them.

But how?

You take the sausage, cut a small cross in the end – about an inch deep – and put to hot oven (around 200..250 degrees Celsius). Depending on the type of sausages, they will take 10 to 20 minutes until ready – when the puffy ends start to get brown, they are done.

And that is it, all ready to eat. You can have them separately or as a side dish for salad/rice/potatoes. If you have crappy sausages or dead taste buds, you can use ketchup or mayo on them.

Tabouli

Tabouli is a Middle Eastern dish that I became aware of at a party given by some friends, who had it catered from a Middle Eastern restaurant.  I immediately loved the creamy texture of this salad, with the delicate flavors of the tomatoes and spring onions. 

This salad is great for summer picnics, barbeques – it can be served as a side dish, or as an alternative dip for chips. 

I also like this wrapped up in thin slices of roast beef, or leaves of lettuce for an easy lunch. 

I usually prepare this in the traditional way, with slight variations when I feel the need. I sometimes add in finely chopped red peppers, or hot peppers.  And I’ve made this without mint or parsley – This is great with basil, or with cilantro.  The cilantro version is fantastic with refried beans, or as a topping with tortilla soup.

 

bulgur couscous

Fine Bulgur Wheat

Couscous

quinoa

pastina

Quinoa

Pastina

I tend to use instant couscous, instead of bulgur, because of the ease of prep. I’ve also tasted tabouli made with quinoa, as well as pastina, giving the salad a different flavor and texture.

Enjoy!

Tabouli

2 cups fine bulgur (or use couscous)
2 cups very hot water
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced tabouli
3 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced 
1 Red onion (Or, for traditional, use Scallions)
1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped fine
2 cups fresh parsley, chopped fine
1 clove of garlic, minced fine (you can leave this out 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon of salt (or to taste)
1 teaspoon pepper, freshly ground

If you are going to use the bulgur, soak it in the hot water for about 30 minutes, and then drain.  If it is overly wet, squeeze dry. 

If you are going to use couscous, prepare as directed — usually 1 cup of water to 1 cup of couscous.  Bring the water to boil, add the couscous, and remove from the heat, allowing it to sit for about 5 minutes.

Combine the couscous, cucumber, tomatoes, onion, mint and parsley together.  In another bowl, combine the garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and then mix together with the couscous-vegetable mix. 

Refrigerate, and allow the flavors to meld for about 2 hours.

You can serve this either chilled, or at room temp.  Keeps for 3-5 days, refrigerated.