I love texture, especially in my food. Mashed potatoes are ok... pudding is ok, too. But sometimes I like to bite into things and say, "Whoa, what's going on in here"?! I like flavor contrast, too. Just when you think something is going to be sweet, you get a tad bit of savory thrown in. Next thing you know, you're hanging onto your cheeks, wondering where you're headed next... Oh, I love to play with my food.
Years ago I tried Couscous, and loved it. I'm sure many of you, too, have seen the super easy Near East Brand out there. It's texture is very small, and it cooks in all of 5 minutes. Can't beat that for a quick and easy side dish! But as time went on, I became a little bored with the same old "quickie". That is, until I found this awesome variation. It's like eating pasta pearls!
So over time, and trial and error, I came up with an easy, low fat, recipe that is super on it's own for lunch, or paired with chicken or pork for dinner. Play with it a bit and adjust to suit your taste... you may find you like more of one ingredient than another. This recipe will serve between 4 to 6 people.
Let's see who gets to play together in the mixing bowl:
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup Israeli couscous
1 Tbs butter
3/4 cup chopped Italian Flat Leaf Parsley
7 dried apricots, diced
3/4 cup Craisins (soaked in 1 cup hot water)
1 Gala apple, diced
1 Tbs minced Shallot
In a 2 quart sauce pan, bring the chicken broth to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, then add couscous, butter, and cover. Let simmer 8 to 10 minutes, until broth is absorbed, and the couscous has a creamy consistency. Remove from heat and transfer to a mixing bowl to cool.
Meanwhile, drain the water soaked Craisin's, and prepare remaining ingredients. Add to cooled couscous. At this point you can taste and decide if you want to add anything else. Yum-O-lish!!
Oh yeah, if you're making this for a special someone... don't forget to check your teeth before flashing that "I want you smile"... gotta love that Italian parsley!
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
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