Last weekend, I took my sister to the new international food market to show her around. She got a few things and I got a bag of frozen pot-stickers and some couscous. The pot-stickers were a success and if I feel like it, I will buy them again. I finally got around to making the couscous this past Thursday. It was oddly difficult to find a recipe that was not too simple and not too fancy. It’s a tricky line in the couscous culinary world but I finally settled on a recipe from Cook’s Illustrated for Couscous with Shallots, Garlic and Almonds.

The photo of their couscous is oddly bereft of shallots, garlic or almonds.

I have always avoided cooking with shallots because a) I’m not really sure what they are and b) most of the recipes I use say that I can also use green onions and those are cheaper. To really go out on a limb, I went all out and bought those shallots this time. The package was even kind enough to inform me what shallots are exactly:

Shallots are members of the onion family and are used to impart a subtle hint of onion and garlic to dishes. The taste goes well with just about anything: meat, poultry, eggs, fish, vegetables, salads and cream sauces. Peel before using.

This recipe was really quick to make and in this case, that was not a good thing. While the shallots were browning, I tried to figure out if couscous should be washed before using like rice. Five minutes is not long enough to try to find the answer to the question, not find the answer, decide to wash it just in case, realize you don’t have a fine enough strainer and awkwardly trying to finagle a straining method using Tupperware. So I burnt the shallots and garlic.

Couscous: Round 1

The rest of the recipe went off without a hitch. Turns out, I like this couscous thing. It’s nice and fluffy and a good base to a lot of things. However, I need to stop assuming that when recipes say how many servings they make, they do not really mean my usual size serving. It made way too much. It’s been two days and I probably have about 3 bowls left.

These are the variations on couscous I have had since:

  • Cold: not bad, not great.
  • With a Fried Egg: can’t go wrong with a fried egg.
  • With Shredded Mozzarella: creamy and delicious.
  • With Scrambled Tuna Patties: really good.

Couscous With Tuna Scramble

I will eat couscous again, but not for a while. I have had too much this round.


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