How to cook Couscous?

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CookLikeMad
CookLikeMad January 10, 2013

Here's a basic recipe for couscous: http://wholefoodsmarketcooking.com/recipes/11154_basic_couscous

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pierino
pierino January 10, 2013

Best way is with a "couscousier", a pot specifically designed for that purpose---specifically the method is steaming and you can cook your protein in the lower half and it steams up to flavor and cook the couscous. Otherwise you can cook it in a steamer basket lined with cheese cloth, but steaming as opposed to boiling is preferred.

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healthierkitchen
healthierkitchen January 10, 2013

I saw a Patricia Wells method many years ago and now only make regular couscous her way, though I don't know how much, if any, I've adapted it over the years - it doesn't work for hand rolled or Israeli couscous. Put 1 cup couscous in a microwave safe bowl, and add a pinch or two of salt. Mix. Add a tablespoon or two of olive oil and mix with a fork. Add 1 1/4 cup water (not boiling!) and let sit for 10 or 20 minutes, stirring occasionally with the fork. Cover and microwave two minutes and fluff with fork.

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Nancy Harmon Jenkins
Nancy Harmon Jenkins January 11, 2013

Steaming is definitely the best way--and the most traditional. But you don't have to have any protein in the lower half of the steamer, or even anything very flavorful. In North Africa, there might be vegetables--especially root vegetables--in the basket, while in Sicily (yes, in Sicily there's a couscous tradition too) it's often just boiling water with lemon quarters and bayleaves adding their flavors to the couscous in the basket above.

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pierino
pierino January 11, 2013

Sicilia, always occupied never conquered. Yes indeed, they have absorbed the methods of North Africa as well as those of the Normans and the Jewish diaspora. Sardegna, kind of the same, with their own version of couscous, fregola.

ellenl
ellenl January 12, 2013

I read the directions on the couscous package.

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twistandsnag
twistandsnag January 13, 2013

I think couscous is one of the quickest things to make. Just boil 1/3 water and add together with some oil. No boiling or work afterwards.

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Nancy Harmon Jenkins
Nancy Harmon Jenkins January 13, 2013

Try the long way, twistandsnag, and you'll see why most good cooks prefer that. Short cut is okay for school lunches, et cetera, but taking the time to steam and toss gives a magnificent texture and brings out the flavor of the grain in a way that exalts whatever is put with it, meat, fish, or vegetable.

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twistandsnag
twistandsnag January 13, 2013

The traditional Syrian arab way that I know is to do it the simple way I described earlier. I don't necessarily see it as a short-cut to be honest. Good quality products will yield an excellent result this way

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