Monday, August 8, 2011
What is couscous? (pronounced kus'kus)
A staple food of North Africa.
Berber, word. Couscous is also the general name for all prepared dishes made from hard-wheat or other cereals. In fact, it would not be incorrect to call couscous a kind of pasta.Couscous is the husked and crushed, but unground, semolina of hard wheat (Triticum durum), although the preparation of the same name can be made with barley, millet, sorghum, or corn. Semolina is the hard part of the grain of hard-wheat, which resists the grinding of the millstone. The word "couscous" derives from the Arabic word kaskasa, to pound small, but the word is also thought to derive from the Arabic name for the perforated earthenware steamer pot used in steaming the couscous, called a keskes in Arabic (couscousière in French). Another theory is based on onomatopoeia - from the sound of the steam rising in the couscousière. In any case, the Arabic word derives from a non-Arabic, probably Berber, word. Couscous is also the general name for all prepared dishes made from hard-wheat or other cereals. In fact, it would not be incorrect to call couscous a kind of pasta.
2 T. Extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 t. turmeric
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 c. vegetable stock
1 1/4 c. whole wheat couscous ( 7.6 oz. box)
2 c. frozen petite peas, thawed
1/2 c. minced fresh chives
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/2 c. sliced almonds, toasted (for garnish)
1. Heat oil in a large, heavy saucepan over med-high heat.
Add turmeric, onion, and garlic; saute, stirring often, until onion is tender and golden, about 5 minutes.
Stir in stock, bring to a boil.
Add couscous; stir to blend.
2. Remove saucepan from heat; cover and let stand for 10 minutes. Stir in peas, chives, and lemon zest and juice.
Season with salt and pepper.
3. Transfer mixture to a serving bowl, garnish with toasted almonds, and serve.
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