Apr 19, 2010

Great minds...

I really thought I had invented this dish. I was at a friend’s for dinner and we realized we didn’t have enough food for the number of people who had showed up. I hit the pantry looking for options and came up with a box of regular couscous, a can of chicken broth and a bag of golden raisins. A plan became to take shape and very soon after we set a beautiful bowl of couscous with raisins & mint out for dinner. It was a big hit that night and I’ve made it a few times since, always adapting the dish to fit what I have on hand.

Imagine my surprise then when I flipped open the March issue of Food Network Magazine (I wasn’t an early fan, but it’s getting much better) and saw a recipe for Israeli Couscous with Raisins. I had a bag of Israeli couscous so I decided to give it a try and ended up blending my recipe with theirs…enjoy!

MAKE THIS: Sweetly Spiced Israeli Couscous

I love sweet and savory dishes and this is an endlessly adaptable one. It makes a great side dish for a summer BBQ, or turn it into the main event by adding cubed, grilled chicken. Serves 4 as a side or 2 as a main salad.

What you need:
2-3 TB olive oil
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
.25 tea ground cinnamon
1 8oz. bag of Israeli couscous
1 cup golden raisins
1 cup water
1 cup chicken broth
1 large handful of fresh mint, chopped
1 handful of pine nuts, toasted

How you make it:
Heat olive oil and saute onion and cinnamon in a small saucepan over medium heat until onions are softened and translucent. Add couscous and stir to coat in oil. Add water and broth, put lid on pan and simmer over low heat for 8-10 minutes until liquid is absorbed. You may need to remove the lid for the last minute of cooking to help the last bit of liquid to absorb or evaporate. Add raisins in last 1-2 minutes of cooking and stir to combine.

Remove couscous from heat, add mint and pine nuts and fluff with a fork. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve warm or at room temperature.

No raisins? Try diced dried apricots.
No mint? Parsley works well.
No pine nuts? I usually use toasted slivered almonds.

No comments: