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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Herbed Couscous - Perfect for a Lamb Tagine

I promised that I would post my Easter sides for you this week, so here's the first: Herbed Couscous.  My husband will make fun of me because this isn't really a recipe like he thinks of recipes, but I realize that not everyone cooks with couscous, so I thought I'd share my basic method.  I also heard from a friend the other day that he disliked couscous because it was flavorless, so I wanted to prove him wrong.  ;-)

Couscous is basically a pasta, believe it or not, so if you cook it in just plain water, it will be flavorless.  But just like other pastas, you can be creative and add flavors.  I generally use chicken stock (homemade is best, but if I have to use store-bought, I use a low sodium so I can control the salt) to cook it in.  You can then add whatever you'd like, like when I added mushrooms and garlic to my Couscous aux Champignons.

For my lamb tagine, I decided to go simple.  I cooked it in chicken stock with a little salt and added the herbs used in the tagine.  When a stew is served over it, the little couscous bits soak up all of those lovely juices.  Yum!
Herbed Couscous
Serves 6-8

2 cups chicken stock
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups couscous
1/4 cup mixed chopped herbs (I used cilantro and fennel fronds.)

Bring the stock and the salt to a boil in a saucepan.  Add the couscous and stir.  Cover tightly with a lid and remove from the heat.  Let sit for about 5 minutes.  Fluff the couscous with a fork, either in the pan or in a serving bowl.  Add the herbs and mix.  Serve hot.
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