Thursday, September 16, 2010

Couscous Experiments

I tried cooking a new grain! COUSCOUS. It is made from semolina wheat and wheat flour. The flour is moistened and rolled into small spherical shapes.

There are different varieties of couscous and the specific one that I used in this recipe was Israeli Couscous, which is a larger, baked wheat couscous-like product similar to the Italian orzo. So it ends up being more like a pasta versus a rice in texture and taste.

Anywhos....on the the recipe!

~Israeli Couscous w/ Dried Fruit~
(adapted from Food Network Magazine)
2 c. Israeli couscous
2 1/2 c. boiling water + 2 tbsp.
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 c. cranberries*
1/2 c. sliced almonds
1 tsp. chopped parsley

In a med stock pan, heat 1 tbsp. olive oil over med. heat. Add couscous and toast, until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Once toasted, add boiling water (I heated mine in the microwave). Stir to combine. Simmer, covered for 5-7 min. or until a majority of the water is absorbed. Turn off heat, cover and let sit for 5 min. Meanwhile, in a med. skillet heat 1 tbsp. olive oil over med-high heat. Sauté onion with cinnamon until golden. Add the cranberries* and 2 tbsp. water and cook for 2 min. Once the sautee and the couscous are both done, combine them together and add the almonds, parsley, and season to taste with salt and pepper. 

*Feel free to use whatever fruit you have on hand. The original recipe called for raisins, but since I did not have them, I used cranberries. I have heard that apricots are also good in this dish.

Something that I really liked about this one was that they used cinnamon when sauteeing the onions! I think I am going to try and incorporate that into some other dishes that I like, just to give them a little bit of flair!!

I served this with some shrimp that I just baked in the oven at 375 F. and seasoned with some classic Old Bay to give them a kick. Of course, some lemon juice was squeezed over the top before eating!


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