I was doing some research for an article about this week, and as I dug in to the internet and some of my cookbooks, I got more interested in all sorts of North African food. I made a soup called lablabi, which is a chickpea soup that is poured over a bowl of sourdough bread chunks, a soft-boiled or poached egg, and capers. I had to skip the capers, because the one I tasted was awful. But I digress….
I also saw hundreds of recipes for couscous. Now, I’ve never once in my life had even a single taste of couscous. Really! It was not anything that was served in my family’s kitchen when I was growing up, nor in the kitchens of any of the friends whose tables I sat around at times. I’ve never given much thought to making it for my family, either, until this week, when looking at all those tempting recipes. It looked exceedingly easy to make, so I picked some up at the grocery store in the name of research. It’s a hard job, but someone’s got to do it, as they say. 😉
I chose an Ina Garten recipe for Moroccan Couscous, as I liked the combination of things she added to it. I thought I’d share the recipe with you guys in case you, like me, have been sheltered and never had these great granules of semolina!
adapted from Ina Garten’s recipe on Foodnetwork.com
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup chopped onion or shallots
- 3 cups homemade chicken or vegetable stock, or canned broth
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups couscous
- 1/2 cup pignoli nuts or slivered almonds, toasted (I didn’t toast my almonds; they were still very crunchy)
- 1/4 cup currants or dried cherries
Melt the butter in a large saute pan, add the onions and cook for 3 minutes over medium heat. Add the stock or broth, salt and pepper, raise the heat to high and bring the stock to a boil. Remove from heat and add the couscous. Cover the pan and let it sit for 10 minutes.
Add the nuts and fruit to the couscous, stir and serve.
I think it turned out great! My kiddos really liked it, especially the cherries. They said they’d prefer it without the crunchy nuts, but I loved the texture they added.
The nutritional value of couscous is outstanding. It has, in one cup of the dry grain, 22 grams of protein, no cholesterol, and nine grams of fiber. It also contains significant amounts of calcium and potassium. Try it in place of white rice sometime for a healthier carb on your plate.
Next, I’d like to try this Rachael Ray recipe (which includes couscous) for Tangy Cherry Chicken. It looks fantastic! (click link to see the recipe) What do you think?
Lots more about couscous HERE.
Do you have a favorite couscous recipe? I’d love you to share it with me!
Happy eating, friends!