Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Couscous- The perfect side dish and my In-Laws love it

I love couscous! First, it tastes good!  And second, it always seems to impress people when I make it! For some strange reason, these little balls of pasta are something most people have not tried.  So, when people see it on my dinner table they are curious and excited to try something new (I once got a 8 year old to eat this).  The couscous acts as a great conversation starter and something for people to brag about afterwords. Don't judge that i put this much thought into what I make.

Any who couscous is super easy.  You can find it at most stores Winni Dixie, Publix and Kroger.  I personally prefer the Israeli couscous which is larger.  Most recently I bought a 5lb bag at Costco super cheap!

I like to make a cup for every 2 people eating.  Couscous make great leftovers so if there is too much, you don't have to make yourself lunch the next day!  I used this exact recipe as a side for 6 people to go along with roast.  the perk of this recipe is there is at least 1 serving of veggies in each helping.  So, you are sneaking in a little extra vitamins into the meal for your guests!
Now here is what you will need
3 cups of Couscous
3 1/4 cups of chicken stock/ or vegetable stock
1 large onion chopped
3 cloves of garlic diced
1 zucchini diced into cubes
3 small yellow squash diced into cubes
cooking oil (doesn't matter the type)
3 tbsps of butter
shredded Parmesan cheese to top

First add the onion to a large pan with a little bit of oil. Stir occasionally as needed Cook until the onions are clear, then add the garlic, zucchini and squash along with a little more oil .  Stir the vegetables occasion. When everything is nice and cooked through remove the pan from the heat and set to the side.

Place the 3 tbsp of butter and couscous into a pot on medium.  As the butter melts stir the couscous.  The goal here is to toast the couscous bringing out the nuttiness but not burn it!  Once all the butter is melted and you can smell the couscous, add the chicken stock.  When the liquid comes to a boil place a lid on it and leave it alone for 7-15 minutes depending on the type of couscous (see the couscous container for exact timing!)  Remove the lid from the couscous and stir, if the pasta is ready (taste it like any other pasta) and all the liquid is gone, mix in the onion zucchini and squash mixture.  Pour into a pretty bowl and top with shredded Parmesan cheese.  Serve immediately!  I also like to put some extra Parmesan cheese on the table for people (mainly me) to add more if they like!

My dinner guest LOVED the zucchini couscous including my mother-in-law , the queen of picky eating, who was a little hesitant at first.  She even requested I make it again! Score one for the easy Mediterranean pasta!
Sidenote- I never had Israeli couscous while in Israel, I was only served the small couscous. Weird!!!

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