I love to have a little variety in my side dishes. For the most part, in our house, dinner is a meat, a veggie and a starchy side. The regular players in the side-dish role are rice, potatoes and pasta, prepared in any number of ways. But tonight I wasn't in the mood for any of those. I was roasting a chicken and wanted something else... something different.
Enter couscous. Not quite pasta, it makes a great side for almost any meat.
Couscous is prepared similarly to rice - it is added to hot water, the pot is covered, the couscous absorbs the liquid and, well, there you have it.
But I don't do it quite that way. I mean, I do, but I like my couscous a little more complex, with a little more flavor.
Step one? Veggies. Usually I use onion and carrot. Sometimes I add celery. Today I used leek, because I happened to have it. The veggies are chopped pretty small, since the grains of couscous are pretty small. I like a pretty uniform dish. So the veggies are chopped as finely as I can manage by hand. They are then sauteed in a pot until the onions are translucent and the carrots are a bit tender. Considering that this was only the second time I had ever used leeks, I wasn't sure what I was looking for the leeks to do during the sautee process, but that's okay.
Next the couscous is added to the pot and stirred around to be coated with the oil in the pan and mixed in with the veggies. At this point, it is time to add the liquid. The first time I made this, I used water. Then I realized that if I used broth, my finished result would have that much more flavor, so that is was I have used ever since. I use a 2-to-1 ratio of liquid to couscous, just like rice. I have read so many different recipes calling for different ratios, different cook times... it is sometimes hard to figure out what the "right" way is. I just figured out what worked for me and that is what I do. Anyway, broth in, pot covered, heat lowered to low... and 20 minutes later, I had a delicious, fluffy side dish.
Every time I make this, little miss tells me that she doesn't like it and won't eat it. At which point I remind her that she actually likes it a lot and eats it up really well. Then she proceeds to take a bite, look at me and say something along the lines of "Yummy! I like couscous!" and then eat it all up. So it gets the thumbs up all around.
Oh, and for the veggie tonight I made asparagus, which little miss loves. I love that. Aside from asparagus being yummy and healthy, I also kind of think it looks like it could be dragon tails. Or the tail of some silly monster or something. Don't it? Maybe that's just me.
Anyway, dinner tonight was delicious.
4 days ago