Spiced Beef Skillet Dinner (and my first encounter with green olives)

I am beginning to distrust ground beef.  Making this meal, I casually took some ground beef out of the freezer (I never use things when I first buy them, I’m horrible!) and defrosted it in the microwave in preparation for skillet-frying.  This was a smooth process, and it wasn’t until I started to stove fry the beef that I suspected something fishy.  As I fried up this defrosted beef, my nose was unhappily tickled by an unpleasant scent.  Unsure of whether or not this smell was coming from the beef, and being the paranoid/neurotic person that I am, I shut off the stove and sniffed my way around the kitchen in search of this mysterious scent.  Unable to find the source, and being far too hungry to care any longer, I continued to cook the meat, smell and all.  In the future, I promise to use fresh ground beef, and avoid the freezer from here on in.

Another unhappy note: back in June, I announced that I discovered I did not like black olives.  It is with a heavy heart that I admit that green olives too have an absolutely awful flavour, and that their oil-based taste does not do me any favours.  When this meal was done, you could evidently tell I had picked around the green, doughnut shaped vegetable, and left them for the compost in a neat little pile on my plate.

All in all, this dish made fireworks go off in my mouth.  There were such bizarre spices in it, spices that I never thought would be seen together, including paprika, cinnamon, cumin, ginger and coriander.  Surprisingly enough, they all worked out, and the entire meal had a consistently spicy taste.  Perfect supper for someone who is trying to develop their palette!

The recipe was from my“Make it Tonight” cookbook, a book I need to start using more, since it has so many fantastic-looking recipes!  Perhaps I will cook my way through all of the Canadian Living cookbooks, a sort of Julie/Julia challenge, n’est pas?

PS: WHY can I NOT cook couscous?  The recipe in my cookbook was apparently “fail-proof,” however my couscous STILL ended up resembling mashed potatoes.  Couscous: a must conquer in the near-future.