Don’t Be Afraid of the Couscous!
Susan is back with a new recipe: Couscous!
I have the instructions listed below but first, let’s talk about couscous. Until a few years ago, I had no idea what couscous was. Then I discovered it and it is now my “go to” dish when I am in too big of a hurry to get dinner on the table and need what I call a “stretcher”. A “stretcher” isn’t always that necessary any more, since my kids are grown, but when they were young, I had to have a “stretcher” at every meal. A “stretcher” is something that fills tummies and allows mommy to buy an economical amount of meat. Rice was one of these….and so was potatoes. I hadn’t found couscous when the kids were little, but if I had, I would have jumped on it. I think today’s moms are still needing stretchers but are choosing whole grains….. or quinoa. Whole grains were often not available out in the middle of nowhere West Texas when my children were young, nor were they affordable. We grew all the vegetables and that included potatoes and corn. White rice was SO cheap that I served it probably 3 times a week, alternating with potatoes and pasta……for the stretcher.
Now, I serve whole grains too but sometimes it is more about easy and there is nothing easier than couscous. It takes about as long as instant mashed potatoes…..unless you soup it up…..which I normally do. But is also less calories than rice and each serving does have 6 grams of protein. I’ll take it in a hurry. According to Wikipedia…..”Couscous is a staple food throughout West Africa, Morocco, the Sahel, France, Spain, the Canary Islands, Portugal, Madeira, Brazil, Sicily, as well as in Turkey, Greece, Malta, Cyprus, and the Middle East.” It is made of durham wheat and water….so it is a very tiny little pasta, in my estimation. Also, in the Western markets (as in America), we generally buy couscous that has been pre-steamed and dried so that it is sort of like “instant” couscous. Adding it to boiling water and turning off the burner gives it plenty of heat to make a nice fluffy little dish. Couscous is generally served with a meat and sauce or gravy. Also, it is great served with stew. But for our family, I always sauté some veggies in olive oil and butter and add it to the already cooked couscous. That is just how we like it. We also like it with Cajun seasoning.
RED PEPPER AND MUSHROOM COUSCOUS
- 4 large button mushrooms
- 1/3 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1/3 onion, chopped
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp Cajun seasoning (Tony Chacheres)
- 2 cloves garlic 1 cup couscous
- 1 1/4 water
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
Sauté the top seven ingredients, withholding the garlic until the last couple of minutes. Saute until the veggies are at your desired tenderness. For added flavor, caramelize the onions before you add the mushrooms and peppers by slowly cooking them for about 20 minutes in the oil and butter until they are a nice caramel color. For me…..too much trouble when I am in a hurry!
After veggies are cooked, pour the water over them along with the salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Add the couscous and turn off the burner (if it is gas) and move off the burner (it it is electric). Let is sit about 5 minutes without opening the lid. This should make it nice and fluffy. This is my recipe for
Hi, my name is Susan and Permanent Posies (Creative Chaos) is my blog and my subject matter is…well, that depends on the day and the mood. But, for the most part, I love cooking, watching the Food Network, reading cookbooks and, of course, eating. I am also an artist and spend time each week in my studio (bedroom) oil painting. I am a mother of four and a grandmother to 5 and that, along with my husband and 2 dogs, take up my most of my time. I am a side-tracked Home Executive and I had the privilege of being a stay –at-home mom so, you might say that my passion is the home and making a haven for those I love.