Saturday, May 8, 2010

Weekend Cooking...Two For One Couscous

As you may know, tomorrow, here in the USA, we celebrate Mother's Day. Now, many folks may be taking their mothers out to dinner, but we in the Caite Clan are having a BBQ. Well, it is a BBQ in that the grill will be used, if to a small degree. There will be chicken, Roasted Potato Salad, Spinach & Feta Pinwheels  and Bacon, Cheddar & Chive Pinwheels and Super Secret Brownies.
I will be working and miss the festivities, but still I am contributing several items to the feast. Individual Sticky Puddings will be available. A Bacon and Onion Dip. I am supplying Hot Italian and Pepper/Onion sausages that will be grilled and served with peppers and onions on delicious Italian rolls. And my final contribution will be a Couscous Salad.

Why the Two For One title? Well, this recipe, is originally from a Giada recipe for Scampi with Couscous, where, served hot,  it becomes a base for a nice shrimp dish. Delicious...

But I thought, what if I just took the couscous, made with it's very flavorful broth, added some veggies and served it cold or at room temperature. Also, since I was not serving it with the shrimp scampi, I replace the clam juice in Giada's recipe with chicken stock.
So there is the Two. Serve it hot, or add some veggies and make into a salad.

  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 1 (15 ounce) cans chopped tomatoes in their juice
  • 1 (8ounce) bottle clam juice or 8 ounces of stock
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups plain couscous
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper


In a large pot, heat 1/4 cup olive oil. When almost smoking, add onion, carrot and 2 cloves smashed garlic and saute until vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the canned tomatoes and their juice, clam juice, white wine and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer on medium heat for 10 minutes, uncovered. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Carefully pour tomato mixture in the bowl of a food processor or blender and puree.  You want to end up with a broth. Check for seasoning.

Return broth to the pot. Add 1 cup of water and 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and add 2 cups couscous. Cover pot and remove from heat. Let rest for 10 minutes, allowing the couscous to absorb all the
liquid. Fluff with a fork and season with salt and pepper.

While it was still warm, I add some veggies, that I marinated first in a little Roasted Red Pepper and Garlic Vinaigrette (from a bottle, thank you) for an hour or so... 

  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes,
  • 1 peeled and sliced cucumber,
  • 1 bunch sliced scallions
  • 1 very finely diced carrot
  • 1/2 cup diced roasted red peppers
  • some chopped flat leaf parsley
or whatever vegetables you fancy. You are limited only by your imagination and what you like.

This is my contribution this to this week's Weekend Cooking.
"Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend."
Be sure to check out the other entries this week. As always, hosted by Beth Fish Reads.


  1. I love the salad version of this -- I am always looking for things that my husband can pack for lunch. This salad looks tasty, pretty, filling, and healthy!

    Just as soon as the farmer's market opens (2 more weeks!) I'll be checking out the spring veggies for a take on this salad.

  2. I like the look of your salad. With the red bowl and all the bright colors it looks so inviting.

  3. you know what they eat with your eyes first.

  4. Looks delicious! Perfect for a lunchtime salad. I'm working a bit more from home these days (thank goodness) so I might have to try this one. Thanks for the recipe!

  5. I have never tried couscous - but this looks like a great recipe to try this summer!

  6. I am very fond of couscous! per5haps the best thing it that you just cover it with boiling liquid, stir and it is ready in 5-10 minutes of just sitting there.

    You can't beat a 5 minute side dish.

  7. I love couscous in every way, shape and form. That looks delicious! No cooking for me tomorrow...we're going to a brunch. But tonight? Friends are coming over for POLISH NIGHT! I'm a cooking madwoman right now. Stew, pierogies, apple/carrot salad, kielbasa. I shall gain 5 pounds in one evening.

  8. I love couscous but my husband and I both prefer Israeli couscous for texture and taste even. Also I have found that almost anything you can make with couscous, you can also make with quinoa, for a switch.

    But here's the important question: where's the recipe for Super Secret Brownies?!!!!!!!!!!

  9. If I tell, it won't be Super Secret!

    Ok, I actually don't know it...but maybe the niece will share it.

  10. Too bad you have to miss the family festivities. I won't get to be with my mother or my son tomorrow.

  11. Wow...that looks very yummy. I love cous-cous. Have a happy day and hopefully they will save you some leftovers!

  12. If you send some over to me, I'll send you a cupcake. :)

  13. I've been wanting to try a good couscous recipe and this looks delicious! Bookmarking it for future reference. :)

    By the way, I sent you an email...hope it doesn't go to spam!

  14. ohhh! i love couscous! that last picture looks awfully tasty!

  15. I must was quite tasty!


please speak up, I LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU!!