I am constantly looking for ways to change up our regular side dishes. Or even better, to change up what we serve things over.
Pasta and rice are gimmes when it comes to layering, but they get a bit redundant after a while, so I wanted to give a little plug for another option: couscous.
Couscous is a small pearl-shaped pasta that is treated more like a grain and it makes a great side dish or base for gravies, sauces, stroganoffs, meatballs, curries, you get the picture.
It cooks up in about the same time as white rice and has fantastic texture and flavor.
I first started using couscous more often when this Green Curry dish was such a hit.
What follows is a basic, delicious method for making couscous – producing a toothsome, fluffy, flavorful dish that is wonderful eaten alone or with a yummy topper (stay tuned to see what delectable topping I chose to pair with this latest batch of couscous).
Yield: 4-6 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
4 tablespoons butter
2 cups couscous
1 small onion, minced
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups water
1 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
Melt two tablespoons of the butter in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the couscous and cook, stirring often, until some of the grains are just beginning to brown, about 3 minutes. Transfer the couscous to a large bowl.
Melt the remaining two tablespoons butter in the skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and salt and cook, stirring occasionally until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the water and broth and bring to a boil.
Pour the boiling liquid over the toasted couscous and cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Let it sit until the couscous is tender, about 12 minutes. Remove the plastic wrap and fluff the couscous with a fork. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.
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