Monday, April 30, 2012
Have you ever decided you didn't like something and later realized it was because you had prepared it incorrectly?
Yup, that was me recently.
I've seen Israeli couscous prepared by TV chefs many times and I always think it looks great. What's not to like about little balls of pasta? But the one time I tried cooking it, it was a mess. I decided I just wasn't a fan and figured that was OK since there are plenty of other pasta shapes out there. Then I saw Melissa's Mediterranean Couscous and decided I had to try again. As luck would have it, we had exactly 1 1/3 cups of the little balls left in the big container in the pantry. The fates were aligning.
As I was getting ready to cook the couscous I read the directions on the back of the container. And that's when I realized my earlier mistake. Unlike rice and regular couscous, Israeli couscous should be stirred every so often as it cooks. Duh. The last time I made it I just left it alone for the full 8 minutes it took to cook and when I went back to the pot it was a gloopy, sticky mess. No wonder I didn't like it. This time I ended up with individual pearls of pasta, just the way it was meant to be.
While I'm thankful I realized my mistake, I'm also annoyed at myself for figuring it out after we exhausted the entire container of couscous. Now I need to go out and get more so I can make this recipe again. Because I will be making it again, and soon. I'm pretty sure I could eat a bowl of this every. single. day for the next month and not grow tired of it. I love, love, love anything Greek-inspired so this was automatically right up my alley. SP, on the other hand, isn't a big fan yet he still proclaimed this couscous good, which for him is a big deal.
I cut up and mixed together everything but the couscous in the morning and let it hang out in the fridge all day so the flavors could marry, and so I didn't have to get everything chopped in the evening when I had Baby Girl underfoot. That way I was able to cook the couscous while the pork was cooking and serve it warm. Delicious. Just so, so good. I think I had about 5 servings last night. Baby Girl tried the couscous the next night and cleaned her plate. A winner all around.
I don't have enough words to say how good this was so just make it and find out for yourself. A big thank you to Melissa for this wonderful recipe!
I Was Born to Cook
1 box Israeli couscous (1 1/3 cup), cooked according to package instructions
Feta cheese (plain or Mediterranean flavored), crumbled
1/2 cucumber, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1 large tomato, chopped
12 kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
Splash extra virgin olive oil
Freshly squeezed lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Combine everything but the couscous in a bowl and mix. Taste and adjust the seasonings to taste. Refrigerate until ready to cook couscous.
Cook couscous and toss with the other ingredients in the bowl. Serve immediately warm.