Thursday, August 28, 2014

Guest Post-Jo's Quick Moroccan Couscous

Well I just picked up my weekly CSA basket and noticed that serendipitously, in it, were ALL the fixings for one of my all time favourite dishes.  And I just realized I hadn't shared it.

It's a quick and dirty way of making a Moroccan couscous using the instant kind, but people swear it tastes as good as the real thing.
The secret lies in using the broth that you used to cook all your veggies in as the base for the instant couscous too.  You have to strain out all the cooked veggies, but it's spectacular and nothing goes to waste.
I have historically used potatoes, carrots, onions and tomatoes in this dish, but you really can put any vegetables you like in it.  I'm swimming in green beans at the moment, so I put those in there, too, today.  Cauliflower, broccoli, peas, kale, chard, spinach... whatever you like.  The originally recipe called to use leftover meats such as turkey, but I am vegetarian, so I skipped that part.  Again, this is a Nye Armstrong special... the goofy American woman I found online last year who'd converted to Islam, put her hijab in Princess Leia buns and makes a mean Moroccan Harira soup.  Her YouTube tutorial can be found at the bottom.  It's worth a watch.  She actually uses a spice called harisa, but I'm allergic to peppers, so you'll note none of my recipes ever have hot spices.  Alas.

Here's how I make it
Jo's Quick Couscous
butter or oil
tomato wedges
carrots cut into bite sized pieces
potatoes cut into bite sized pieces
chopped onion, garlic
(other veggies or meats)
1 can of chick peas
lots of parsley and cilantro to taste (I sometimes use a store-bought bunch each)
broth to cover
2-3 cups of instant couscous (I use pearl aka Israeli couscous, you can get it at the Bulk Barn)

1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ginger powder (or fresh grated)
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cinnamon (optional... this is very strong and changes the taste IMHO)
saffron (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
In a deep pan, coat bottom with oil or butter and brown the garlic and onions.
Add all spices an stir
Put in root/hard vegetables (carrots, potatoes) and coat with pan contents
Add several cups of broth to cover veggies and cook on medium-high until they are softened (usually about 15 minutes)
Add softer vegetables (tomatoes, beans, spinach) as well as chick peas and cook on low for another ten minutes or so. 
When done, lower heat to a simmer (or even turn off), and strain out all veggies.  Taste the broth that remains in the pan and season to taste if it's not to your liking.
Add all the parsely/cilantro, and enough couscous (I use pearl) to soak up the broth.  
Once it's absorbed all the liquid (about 5-10 minutes or longer), fluff with a fork
Mix veggies back into dish, or serve on a platter on a bed of flavoured couscous

When all the vegetables are cooked through, strain them out and set aside in a large bowl, leaving behind the seasoned broth, infused with all the veggie goodness.

And the final product.  I cannot say enough about this dish.  The taste is out of this world!!

1 comment:

Alibaba Events said...

Thanks! It is delicious, you should make it. Also it’s great because no prep required during the party (just making the cous cous). Marbella can be prepped the day before, which is key at a party. Get more info Moroccan Theme Party Decoration Service