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Steve in Mass

Cous Cous

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Toasted Israeli Cous Cous to be exact......

 

Love the stuff with certain things, but always run into the same issue when I make it.

 

From what I know, there are two ways to do this. The first is to boil it in a ton of water like you would any other pasta and the drain it. But I'm not big on that.

 

The second way is to add (for instance) a cup of cous cous to a pot, add about 1 1/2 cups of water (I use chicken stock) and then cook it like you would rice. I.E., bring to a simmer, stir, cover with a tight fitting lid and turn down the heat to a bare simmer until all the liquid is adsorbed.

 

Problem is, no matter how low I turn down the heat, the bottom always "burns"....not burns per se, put sticks, gets gloppy and the very bottom gets crusty brown, even before all the liquid is adsorbed.

 

Keep in mind I cook for two, so am using a one quart pot for the amounts I mentioned above. Only one I have that size with a tight lid is enameled aluminum.

 

Suggestions? Pot type related? Something else I am doing wrong? headscratch.gif

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View PostThere is a third way to cook it and that's to steam it as they do in Northern Africa. It doesn't burn it at all

 

Yeah, I suppose that would help the burn...icon14.gif...problem is, I like to have it adsorb the chicken stock. I guess I could steam it over stock, but somehow, not sure it would pick up the flavor....

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rice cooker might work. Wife switched to using quinoa in place of cous cous because of the endangered issue. Has no problem making it in small batches, just boil & simmer.

 

From Allrecipes:

"Quinoa is the ultimate super food. Cook it like rice in a rice cooker or on the stove with chicken broth, soy sauce, green onions, ginger, and garlic, and you have a delicious and healthy side dish. It goes great with chicken, fish, and seafood."

 

Quinoa is easy to make - it behaves very much like rice. Cooked quinoa is similar in texture and appearance to couscous, but more substantial and nutritious. You can substitute quinoa for couscous or rice in almost any recipe.

 

Probably having some tonight - seared sea scallops (Costco frozen - they're excellent!) with lemon butter sauce over quinoadrool.gif

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Your second metod is flawed. Don't try to boil or even simmer the cous cous. Just boil the stock and add the cous cous.(its a big help to add warm, freshly toasted cous cous) Cover it tightly and just keep it warm. It takes a little longer but the result is way better than when you cook it like rice. You could cook it pilaf style too, it's quicker but not as good as letting the cous cous steep in the hot broth. Any veg (sauteed or sweated) should be added after cooking.

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I usually cook instant because you can just add boiling stock and let them sit. Isreali's need some cooking I think. I don't think your doing anything wrong, necessarily, but maybe just need a heat diffuser.

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you could saute an onion (optional) in a bit of oil

 

add the couscous and stir well, then add the broth and turn up the heat, stir just until mixed

 

when the broth comes to a boil, stir again once around, using a dinner fork

 

turn the heat WAY down- not so critical if you use a heat diffuser, which every kitchen should be stocked with

 

lay a sheet of foil over the top of the pot and add the cover, sealing tightly

 

leave it alone for the appropriate amount of time (rice is 14 minutes)

 

lift off the cover and foil and listen- it will sound wet if it isn't done

 

keep track of the time because is won't vary if you measure things out each time

 

kill the heat, put the cover back on, and let it sit at least 5 minutes

 

fluff if up and serve

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View Postyou should probably be fine if you just bring the stock up to a boil stir in the cous cous cover and remove from the heat.

 

View PostYour second metod is flawed. Don't try to boil or even simmer the cous cous. Just boil the stock and add the cous cous.(its a big help to add warm, freshly toasted cous cous) Cover it tightly and just keep it warm. It takes a little longer but the result is way better than when you cook it like rice. You could cook it pilaf style too, it's quicker but not as good as letting the cous cous steep in the hot broth. Any veg (sauteed or sweated) should be added after cooking.

 

Exactly... I never heard of boiling it or doing it like rice.

I know the traditional way is to steam it.

Love it with the stock too Stevedrool.gif

Have you tried it with fish or crab stock? it's really killer and hit it with some butter at the end, just to keep it from sticking together of course because it's certainly not to enhance the tastebiggrin.gif

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Steve, I cook Israeli couscous exactly like risotto - saute it in a little butter or oil then slowly add warm stock over low heat - never had a problem with the bottom burning or sticking.

 

Guys, a lot of these methods seem to be typical for regular couscous, but the Israeli couscous Steve's using is a very different animal.

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EB I was talking about Israeli cous cous. That tiny stuff is much easier to cook. But the method I posted is what I use EVERY time I cook Israeli cous cous and has never failed me. The ratio of cous cous to stock is the most important piece of the puzzle.

 

Steve try toasting the cous cous on a cookie sheet for 10 min in a 400F oven just before you add it to the stock. The package may say toasted but 9 out 10 times it's not toasted near enough. You want a nice golden brown (like a well cooked french fry).

 

Cooking cous cous like rice or risotto will result in a starchy mess not nice separated pearls of cous cous.

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I never did get back to this.......I made some a few weeks ago by bringing the chicken stock to a boil, then stirring in the cous cous, shut the burner off, covered the pot, and let it sit about 1/2 an hour. About 20 minutes in I stirred it a bit, and then stirred in some thinly sliced green onions, garlic, mushrooms, and sundried tomatoes (those were sauteed a bit before adding), covered, and let it sit another 10 minutes or so.

 

It came out quite good, with no browning/burning and very minimal sticking, but next time I think I will cut back on the amount of stock a bit. I think I used a cup and a half of stock to a cup of cous cous.....a cup and a quarter probably would have been better.

 

There were some leftovers that sat in a bowl in the fridge for a few days......I added a slight splash of white wine and then nuked it for about 2 minutes, and it was also very good.

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