Guest Author - Jason Hodge
I love a good savory cous cous recipe. It's a fast dish that has so much versatility to it that any fast food cook should appreciate its broad uses and simplicities. When I cook with cous cous I treat it like a savory pot of rice with onions and garlic, sometimes peppers, sometimes vegetarian sausage and definitely always seasonings. This approach takes it from being an also ran to being a headliner.
A little about cous cous. Cous cous is a grain product traditionally made from semolina [coarsely ground durum wheat] that has been coated in finely ground wheat flour, but can also be made from other grains, like millet, barley, other types of wheat, spelt, kamut... you get the picture. The grain is moistened, rolled, in to a spherical shape and coated with finely ground flour. The traditional type takes a while to cook. The end result is well worth the wait though. The new modernized way and type is more like a cross between spaghetti that's been chopped into 3 millimeter segments and cracked wheat. It cooks up very fast, fluffy and does not become gummy like pasta would if cooked the same way.
I love it for its flexibility and of course the ancient culinary backdrop it provides for a myriad of dish styles. It can be fluffy, grainy, moist, dry and can be downright saucy when put in the right dishes. It makes great salads [I had it years ago in a French bistro as a tasty, tangy salad. It had green onions, peas, peppers and carrots and it was enveloped by a vinaigrette that was out of this world. It was the only place I'd tasted it prepared like that. God Bless America- It Was Good!], accompanies stews and soups well, makes for festive stuffings, etc., you're literally only limited by your imagination.
All that said... I love it! Now let me show you how I like to work with it. [Keep in mind that I'm using the store bought fast cooking cous cous for this recipe and alternate suggestions.
Savory Cous Cous Recipe
1 chef knife
1 cutting board
2 covered sauce pans
1 long handled wooden stirring spoon
1 serving platter
2 Tbsp coconut oil
1 medium onion diced
sea salt [to taste]
veggie sausage [Tofurky brand Italian sausage]
1/2 cup chopped scallions
1/2 cup peppers diced
1/2 cup green peas [fresh/frozen]
3 cups cous cous
3 cups vegetable broth
4 blanched kale leaves
Step 1. In the 1st sauce pan heat your vegetable broth to a mild boil and then reduce heat to low and cover.
Step 2. Heat 2nd saucepan, add coconut oil, onions and salt. Caramelize your onions and add your scallions, peppers and green peas. Heat through, fold in your cous cous and add your hot vegetable broth. Cover, bring to a boil and reduce heat to lo.
Step 3. It should be ready in 3-5 minutes. Turn heat off, let rest for 5 minutes, fluff with a fork and plate on your serving platter. Garnish with blanched greens around the outer edges.
This goes well with soups and stews, salads, roasts, greens even grilled fruits. You can add a nice veggie cheese sauce and convert it into a risotto-style cous cous and you could even stuff it into a nice pepper, baked eggplant... sky's the limit!
As always, it's been my pleasure sharing with you. Until next time...