Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Smoky Moroccan Couscous

Don't let the plain Jane color fool you--this is no ordinary couscous. Like Felicity Huffman on Sports Night, this couscous is smoky. Based off an old chicken recipe, I let the broth sit for about an hour with the beans already in it; they absorbed all of the flavors, making for a shot of cumin, paprika, nutmeg, and others every time I bit into one. Honestly, I might just make those alone one day.

Couscous also has the advantages of being quick, easy, healthy, and generally painless. You can't really burn anything unless you try (or forget to turn the burner off). All of these qualities make it great for after a long day, or as a time-cheap side dish for guests.

For this, I would have preferred to use chickpeas, but white beans worked just great. I happen to love Middle Eastern food (going back to my general affection for Mediterranean flavors), and this dish encompasses most of the flavor profile that I love about the region.

In terms of health, this one is great: no dairy, no oil, no sugar, only a tad bit of salt. Just pasta, beans, and seasonings. Also, ridiculously cheap. I am constantly bitter about how most food is either cheap or healthy, so this is a nice change of pace. Yum!

1 cup couscous, dry
1/2 can white beans
1 3/4 cup vegetable broth
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp cinnamon
3 tsp paprika
1 tsp onion powder
2 tsp parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients in saucepan except couscous and let sit for 1-2 hours.

Turn on burner, bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn off the burner, pour in the couscous. Cover; sit for 5 minutes. Serve.

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