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Author Topic: cous cous ....  (Read 3228 times)

Offline spryte

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cous cous ....
« on: 07 April, 2009, 02:58:57 PM »
what is it, how is it made and what can you find it in? personal answers please, i could wiki it if i REALLY wanted to but i likes the human touch too :)
of all the things i've lost, i miss my chocolate the most...

Offline Duffield1

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Re: cous cous ....
« Reply #1 on: 07 April, 2009, 03:05:38 PM »
Imagine that you'd bought a bag of pasta (made without any salt in it), smashed it into teeny tiny pieces and then cooked it - that's pretty much what cous cous is!  It is an African pasta that takes the form of tiny dots.  Pretty tasteless on its own, but with a stock and some veggies, it is a tasty alternative to rice or Italian pasta.

You can find it in many African dishes, especially Tunisian, and Ainsley Harriott does a half-decent range of quick-cook Couscous, which is quite nice with sausages.

Offline siasl

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Re: cous cous ....
« Reply #2 on: 07 April, 2009, 03:13:28 PM »
Ainsley's stuff is quite tasty. Cous-cous is made from semolina wheat, too.

Minor additions: usually spiced up in the regional fashion, rather than the italian pasta fashion. Lemon wedges also abound.

Different way of cooking it, too, as you just chuck some carefully measured amount of boiling water on it and let it absorb it. Scrummy stuff, indeed. Can be jazzed up to be a posher pot noodle, if you will, although am not sure if it beats the concept of a DKPN

Offline Hiheels

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Re: cous cous ....
« Reply #3 on: 07 April, 2009, 03:17:51 PM »
Just for the record...nothing much beats the concept of DKPNs - the Chuck Norris of the snack world.

Offline P-Kasso2

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Re: cous cous ....
« Reply #4 on: 07 April, 2009, 06:49:57 PM »
Cous cous tastes as bland as plain pasta if you just eat it on its own...the secret is jazzing up...I usually fry thin sliced onions (spring onions if I am feeling arty), add garlic, herbs, sometimes sliced dried apricot or sultanas etc...then it is a really brilliant addition to a meal such as chicken or chops. Makes a change from spuds again!

Here is one of my favourite recipes for cous cous...this I cooked to go with roasted spatchcocked guinea fowl for lunch for a friend who was laid up in bed...cheered him up no end! It is quick and easy - just remember you need a litre of boiling water per half kilo (500 gms) of cous cous.

P-Ks Couscous Recipe
 
Finish the cous cous by steaming it above boiling water in an ordinary vegetable steamer.

Serves 6

Ingredients

500g couscous
2 tsps salt
4 cardamom pods
approx 25g unsalted butter in two slices
25g flaked almonds
50g pinenuts
25g pistachios

How to cook couscous

Fill the kettle and put it on, then empty the couscous into a glass bowl, add the salt, crush in the cardamom and mix it in with your fingers, then pour over a litre of boiling water from the kettle and place a plate on top of the bowl. Leave to stand for 5 minutes to absorb the water.

Drain and empty into the steamer top with boiling water beneath. Add the slices of butter on top of the couscous then clamp on the lid and steam for 7-10 minutes, until tenderly cooked and the butter melting.

Meanwhile, toast the almonds by frying in a dry pan till fragrant and golden, remove to a plate then do the same to the pinenuts. Chop the pistachios.

Once the couscous is cooked, tip into a bowl, fork it through (a spoon will only crush it and turn it stodgy), sprinkle in the almonds and pine nuts as you do so (and taste for seasoning at the same time, too). Now fork in most of the pistachios, and sprinkle those that remain lightly on top.

Note: Into this you can also add pre-fried onion, garlic, sultanas etc.




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Offline tecspec

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Re: cous cous ....
« Reply #5 on: 07 April, 2009, 07:12:54 PM »
m PK's sounds lovely.. if it's got pine nuts then i'm there..

I have a recipe that I cobbled together from when I asked about Tagines on IQ! I usually serve Cous Cous with that.
Tecs CousCous.

1 chopped onion
half tsp turmeric / corriander / cinamon
couple of chillis - one red / one green, deseeded and chopped.
chopped dried apricots. (i use about 10 for 4 people)
about 8ozs Cous COus
chopped fresh coriander

Cook the Cous Cous according to the packet (Or put the dried Cous COus in saucepan and pour in hot water until only just covered. Put a lid on and leave to stand for about 4 mins, fluff up with a fork. If water is not absorbed leave for another minute.)
Fry onion until soft, add spices and chillies and fry about a minute.
Add to the cooked CousCous with the apricots and fresh coriander.

You are basically tring to reflect the flavours of the Tagine.
;-)

Offline Arellia

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Re: cous cous ....
« Reply #6 on: 08 April, 2009, 06:46:00 AM »
What I love about it is that its pretty easy to cook with the whole leave it to stand in hot water thing. My versions tend to be without fruits (as I cant stand sweet and salty stuff mixing most of the time)
The cous cous is made the same for all (single servings) and its generally the only dish for me. Add hot water and salt to cous cous, cover and let stand for 5 mins (nothing really happens even if you leave it longer as the water all fully absorbed by then)
The mixes:
Version 1
2 medium red onions, 3 sprigs of spring onions, 2 medium cloves of garlic(chopped)
Version 2
2 medium onions, 4 - 5 shitake mushrooms (finely sliced), 2 medium cloves of garlic(chopped)
version 3
2 medium onions, 1 medium carrot and 1 medium potato (both grated through a large grater - or could be thinly sliced)

for all 3:
heat oil, fry some mustard seeds till they pop, then the onions(thinly sliced) and garlic till slightly golden, then the rest of the ingredients, salt and red chillie powder (or pepper if you want it less spicy) and fry till cooked (since they are are thin this should take less than minute - and left slightly on the crunchy side). Add cous cous to this and mix around in the pan, and thats it.

Offline spryte

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Re: cous cous ....
« Reply #7 on: 08 April, 2009, 09:15:08 AM »
guys, you're all brilliant :) thanks!
of all the things i've lost, i miss my chocolate the most...

Offline siasl

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Re: cous cous ....
« Reply #8 on: 08 April, 2009, 10:27:44 AM »
Next time I'm ill I wanna be near P-K and all his comfort foods  ;D

Offline P-Kasso2

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Re: cous cous ....
« Reply #9 on: 08 April, 2009, 12:01:57 PM »
-
Adding toasted sesame seeds on top is also pretty drooly! Siasl - eat your heart out!
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