Thursday, March 3, 2011

Cooking with Couscous

Couscous (pronounced "koos-koos") is a staple grain that comes from North Africa. It is made of granules of semolina (the by-product of milled flour) from durum wheat. Often used as an alternative to rice it is more closely related to pasta made from semolina. Couscous is simple to prepare, can be seasoned or left plain, and can be used in a variety of dishes. The word couscous can refer to the grain as stated above, but it can also refer to a prepared dish made from hard wheat or other grains such as barley, millet, sorghum, rice, or maize.

Minted Couscous Salad (President’s Choice Whole Wheat Couscous)

1 1/4 c (300 mL) chicken stock
1 c (250 mL) PC Whole Wheat Couscous
1 sweet red pepper, chopped
1/2 English cucumber, diced (skin on)
1 can (19 oz/540 mL) red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 c (125 mL) PC Fat Free California Light Dressing
1/4 c (50 mL) coarsely chopped fresh mint
salt and freshly ground black pepper
In saucepan, bring chicken stock to a boil. Remove from heat. Stir in couscous. Cover and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Transfer to large bowl. Cool to room temperature (about 10 minutes).
Stir in red pepper, cucumber, beans, and green onions until combined. Add dressing and mint; toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve garnished with mint sprig, if desired.
Makes 6 servings.

Steph Wheler