This couscous pilaf recipe, though doctored and switched up quite a bit by me, comes chiefly from Still Eatin' It by Dana Crumb. The former Mrs. Robert Crumb has written two of the most amazing, most hilarious, most inspirational and indispensible cookbooks I've ever come across. She understands, and communicates, a genuine love for food as it exists. She must've been a big woman if Crumb was in love with her, but the way she cooks, she was still doing all right.
Couscous Pilaf a là Dana & Dot
- 2 cups chicken broth (or vegetable, if you prefer)
- 1 cup uncooked couscous
- About 2 tbsp. butter
- 1/2 small onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves (or more, or less, whatev), minced
- 1/2 cup pine nuts
- 1/4 cup red flame raisins
- 1 tsp lemon or orange zest
- salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste
Steps to deliciousness:
1. Start the broth boiling in a saucepan.
2. In a pan with a tight-fitting lid, melt the butter over medium heat and sauté the onion and garlic in it.
3. After the pan contents get fragrant, toss in the couscous, citrus zest and raisins, and season to taste -- careful with the nutmeg! Stir frequently.
4. When the broth is bubbly and hot, turn the heat down to very low on the pan, dump the hot broth into the pan, stir briskly, and put the lid on it. This allows the couscous to soak up the broth and flavors. Fluff it every few minutes with a fork.
5. Serve topped with pine nuts. *
*Tip: I like to toss the pine nuts in just a little bit of light olive oil, spread them on a piece of foil and pop them in the toaster oven for maybe a minute.
Tasty, light, is great alone or as a side dish to, say, chicken tikka masala or some other Eastern chicken dish. The recipe is very flex -- you can use less broth or more couscous if you prefer it drier, or vice versa if you prefer wetter. You can have it saltier, less salty, with meat, without, with raisins, without. Add vegetables if you like. Maybe try the three Cs for something more ethnic (curry, cumin, and cardamom).