Crazy about Couscous!
Are you bored with the same old side dishes? Hey, it happens! We all get in a recipe rut, even me, believe it or not. We eat plenty of potatoes in our house. Same goes for pasta and noodles. So, next time you’re struggling with what to serve on the side with that rotisserie chicken or sautéed shrimp, why not shake things up and cook up some couscous. We're crazy about it! We think you will be too!
First of all it’s a cinch to make. Unlike rice, which can turn out mushy or sticky sometimes, you can’t screw up couscous. It’s the easiest side dish ever! And it’s easy on the budget.
Second, and an added bonus, it’s kid friendly. Couscous is actually super tiny pasta, so like pasta or rice, it doesn’t have a ton of flavor on its own. You can mix in lots of different ingredients to make it exciting. Or, if you can keep it simple and basic to please younger palates.
How to Do It
To make couscous, you need a great medium saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, like the stainless steel saucepan from American Kitchen cookware. It’s our favorite pan for making rice or couscous because the tri ply steel heats evenly around the whole pan so there’s less chance of hotspots.
You’ll want to figure out how many people you need to serve and then you’ll know how much couscous to make. You can usually figure about 1/4 to 1/3 cup dry couscous per serving. For a family of four, you would use 1 to 1 1/2 cups dry couscous. A little leftover is a good thing! There’s a really simple formula to follow. Use 1 part dry couscous to 1 1/2 parts liquid. So, if you're cooking 1 cup of couscous that means you'll need 1 1/2 cups liquid. Our liquid of choice is usually chicken or vegetable stock. You could use water too, but there’s a lot more flavor with the stock.
So, here we go. Get that stock boiling in your saucepan. You’ll want the 3-quart Premium Stainless Steel Saucepan from American Kitchen. Add in a tablespoon of butter or olive oil. Next, stir in your dry couscous and a pinch of salt if you like. Now, cover your pan and turn off the heat. Don’t touch it. Let it be for 5 minutes. Uncover, and fluff the couscous with a fork—and that’s it. You’re done. Serve it that way or throw in some fun. Add some flavor if you choose, like fresh chopped herbs, maybe a bit of fresh lemon juice and even dried fruit like cranberries and nuts like toasted almonds. Whatever direction you take it is up to you. It will be delicious and turns out perfect every time – in just 5 minutes!
Cranberry Almond Couscous
Total Time: Less than 10 minutes, Serves 4.
2 1/4 cups chicken stock
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon butter
1-1/2 cups uncooked couscous
1/2 cup dried cranberries
3 tablespoons chopped scallions
1/4 cup toasted almonds (optional)
1. Bring stock, salt and butter to a boil in a 3-quart Premium Stainless Steel Saucepan.
2. Stir in the couscous and cranberries. Remove from the heat. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes or until broth is absorbed.
3. Fluff with a fork. Stir in scallions and nuts.
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