What I love most about couscous is both its ability to soak up juicy flavors and the ease with which it is cooked. Couscous usually makes its way to my table as an accompaniment to Moroccan stew or as a filling for stuffed peppers. But I recently decided to push my couscous comfort zone and use it as the base for a delicious brunch item: baked eggs. Now, the beauty of baked eggs is both the slightly runny yolk and roasted tomato sauce that you inherently want to lap up with a huge piece of toasted bread. But if you are like myself and cannot eat bread, you are left wanting something substantial to mop up the delicious mess and transport it to your salivating mouth. My solution to this deficiency was to line the dish with a citrus, herb couscous. It is the perfect hearty vehicle that enhances the flavor of the egg/sauce combination while simultaneously ensuring a clean bowl. —Sodium Girl
To prepare the tomatoes and poblano pepper, first wash and then remove the stems. For the tomatillo, remove the outer leaves and rinse quickly under water. For the poblano, slice off the very top and make another slice down the side. This will give you access to the seeds which you can simply remove by hand. Place the tomatoes, tomatillos, and the poblano in an oven pan.
Turn on the oven broiler to low and place ingredients from step one on the top rack directly under the flame. Allow for them to char on one side for 5 minutes. Turn the tomatoes, tomatillos, and poblano two more times until all the sides have had a good amount of heat (a total time of 15 minutes).
Remove the tomatoes, tomatillos, and poblano and allow them to cool in a paper bag if you have one handy. They will do an extra bit of steaming in here, which will make it easy to remove the skin (thanks, foodpickler!). Give it at least 15 minutes.
In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium flame and add the shallot and garlic. Allow the garlic to brown and shallot to become slightly transparent, stirring constantly, 3-5 minutes.
Peel the charred skin from the tomatoes, tomatillos, and the poblano.
Add the tomatoes, tomatillos, poblano, and the roasting juices to the pot. Blend with an immersion blender and puree until mostly smooth allow it to reduce for another 15 minutes over medium heat. Add ground black pepper to taste. (This can all be done in a stand-up blender too. I just love an immersion blender).
In another small pot, heat 1 cup of water and bring to a boil. Add in the couscous and stir for 2 minutes. Remove couscous from the flame and add juice from one small orange, the jalapeños, and the parsley. Mix well.
In two oven safe dishes, layer the couscous and roasted tomato/pepper sauce. Crack one egg in each dish and dust with chipotle powder.
Place the two dishes under the oven broiler on low until the white has hardened, 5-10 minutes. When you crack into the dish, the yolk will hopefully still run a bit for an extra special sauce.
To serve, sprinkle leftover parsley and chipotle powder on top. Dig in.
In January of 2004, I received a diagnosis that changed my life. I was diagnosed with Lupus, an autoimmune disease that in my case attacked my kidneys and brain. Due to the intensity of the initial “flare up” of the disease, I became renal insufficient and eventually faced kidney failure. Amazingly, through great medicine, wonderful family and friends, and an enormous amount of support, I became stronger and healthier and miraculously, my kidneys partially regenerated. I no longer depend on dialysis and by regulating my diet, I depend on fewer medications. Five years later, I work part time and live a full and utterly enjoyable life. My dietary restrictions have transformed into a real passion for food and I hope to be able to pass along my favorite finds to others facing similar dietary challenges. Be creative, be friendly, and be full!