Saturday, January 29, 2011

Bacon Couscous

No pictures, because I didn't think I'd be blogging this.  Those of you who haven't tried couscous have been missing out.

Couscous is the great staple dinner of North Africa.  Couscous itself is basically a specially processed wheat that is used like rice is used in Asian cuisine.  It's the base that you build dinner on.  And the beauty of Couscous is that you can toss all your refrigerator leftovers into the pan and have a super fast, yummy, and low-cal dinner.

Ingredients:

2 cups broth (chicken is more traditional; French onion is extra yummy)
1 cup dry couscous
1 1/2 cups diced leftover meat (chicken is traditional, but hamburger, steak, or whatever is in your fridge will work)
2 cups frozen peas (snap peas are even better)
1/2 cup dried fruit (cherries, cranberries, raisins, golden raisins, dates, whatever; Trader Joe's has a good selection at good prices)
1/2 cup chopped nuts (pecans are my favorite)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp curry powder
2 tsp cumin
1/2 cup chopped parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

Bring the broth to a boil in a saucepan.  Add the couscous, cook for 30 seconds, then cover and remove from the heat.  It will be ready in around 5 minutes.  Fluff with a fork and dump onto a serving platter.  The "base" for your dinner is now ready.

In a skillet, heat some oil on medium/high heat, and toss on the meat.  This phase is sort of like stir frying.  When warmed, toss on the nuts and dried fruit to warm.  Toss on the cooked peas (3 minutes in the microwave), spices, olive oil, and lemon juice.

Serve over the couscous, covered with the parsley.  Bacon bits are optional, and non-traditional.  The trick to Bacon couscous, of course, is finding halal bacon.

So you have a quick, tasty, healthy, thrifty, and slightly exotic dinner in 20 minutes.

1 comment:

Brigid said...

OK yum. I toss couscous with lemon and onion and spring vegetables, chill it and eat it as a salad in the summer. Everyone should try it, it's vastly underrated.