Fruited Couscous Recipe - adapted from Chef Tamara Murphy's new cookbook TENDER
1/2 cup slivered almonds
Rice Bran Oil
1 red onion
1-3/4 cups fresh orange juice with a generous squeeze of fresh lemon juice*
1 cup dry couscous (North African style)
1 cup dried fruit - chopped if large**
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Grated zest of 1 orange and 1 lemon
sea salt and freshly ground tellicherry pepper to taste
1 cup or more chopped fresh herbs (cilantro, basil, tarragon, or mint)
a pinch or two of crushed red pepper
1. lightly toast the almonds in a small saute pan over low heat on the stovetop or in the oven. Set aside.
2. Put a glug of rice bran oil in a preheated saute pan over low heat. when hot, add the onion and cook, stirring, until soft.
3. Place the juice in a saucepan and bring to a boil
4. Put the couscous in a mixing bowl (remember, the grain will more than double in volume). Add the dried fruit and sauteed onion. Pout the boiling liquid over the couscous mixture, which should be enough to cover by 1/2 inch or so. Stir and then cover tightly with plastic wrap to steam for about 30 minutes.
5. Remove the plastic wrap from the bowl. Add the cutter and the zest, and lightly fluff with a fork. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
6. Now is when you add the crunch. Stir in the toasted almonds and your chopped fresh herbs. I also like a inch or two of red pepper from a zip. be sure to re-taste and then re-season with salt and pepper if needed.
7. Eat this couscous at room temperature, with chicken, lamb or fish. It's also delicious all by itself. if the finished quantity it too much for one meal, it'll still taste great the next day or two.
*You can use vegetable or chicken broth instead of the orange/lemon combination, though citrus juices add a nice twist. Experiment and find your favorite combination.
**Dried apricots, figs, and dates are good; currants, dried cherries, or golden raisins are wonderful additions. Any combination of two or more of the fruits is fine as long as it suits you. You want to use about a cut of dried fruit for about a cup of dried couscous. Remember, the grain will expand two to three times.
Adapted from Tamara Murphy's cookbook, Tender
(Shin Shin Chez, 2010)