Thursday, June 11, 2009

Curried Couscous

The dramas of 09 continue with the discovery last week that a small part of our house has structural problems and basically needs re-building. How much work (and cost) is not clear until the builders start pulling off our walls next week. It makes me feel ill even writing that. Just my luck that the room in question is basically the repository for every piece of paper / book / file in the house. The next week will be spent boxing and clearing. Keep your fingers crossed for me - I am hoping that if things come in threes, this is the end of the three that began with chicken pox and followed with whooping cough. Then, just maybe, the second half of the year will be smooth sailing.

Luckily for me then, this week's Barefoot Challenge of curried couscous was a cinch. It was tasty, easy and I had nearly all the ingredients on hand. Couscous is always a winner with me because it is so fast and virtually impossible to stuff up. It also allows for any number of tweaks. My only changes to the recipe were to halve it, and I used stock instead of water for making the couscous, and left out the butter. The curry flavour was not overstated either, just a warm note in the salad. It worked well as a side when I served it with a lamb tagine, but I could also see it as a salad at a BBQ or maybe even as a girl's lunch with prawns or chicken breast tossed through it as well.

This month's first Barefoot Challenge is a recipe that I can see myself making again and again, so thank you to Ellyn from Recipe Collector and Tester for your choice. The Barefoot Bloggers are a cooking group that every month cooks something from the Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten. Click here to see what others thought of the recipe.

Curried Couscous
from "The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook" by Ina Garten

1 1/2 cups couscous
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup good olive oil
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup small-diced carrots
1/2 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup dried currants or raisins
1/4 cup blanched, sliced almonds
2 scallions, thinly sliced (white and green parts)
1/4 cup small-diced red onion

Place the couscous in a medium bowl. Melt the butter in the boiling water and pour over the couscous. Cover tightly and allow the couscous to soak for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
Whisk together the yogurt, olive oil, vinegar, curry, turmeric, salt, and pepper. Pour over the fluffed couscous, and mix well with a fork. Add the carrots, parsley, currants, almonds, scallions, and red onions, mix well, and season to taste. Serve at room temperature.


girlichef said...

Yours turned out beautifully...getting ready to make mine right now! Glad it's a quick one :D

karen said...

i made this tonight, i was really surprised by how much i liked it. you're right about the curry. i loved the raisins in this too.

Me! said...

yours looks really good! mine came out horribly but I guess that's more a function of me not following directions. maybe i'll try it again sometime and actually follow the recipe

spike. said...

Your couscous looks great. Good luck with the house issues-always so stressful!

Meryl said...

Oh, I hope your house stuff turns out OK! The couscous looks great!

Leslie said...

Oh no! I hope your house project goes smoothly! It sounds like your beautiful couscous will be the perfect meal for the busy days ahead!

Michele said...

Hi! Thank you for commenting on my blog. Your couscous looks delicious and I'm glad that you enjoyed it.

I'm sorry about your house. We have an older home and have had to do so many upgrades in the last few years, so I feel your pain.

I would be happy to give you a vegan mousse recipe for your friend. Or, any other vegan recipe they're looking for.

Andrea said...

Oh no, I'm so sorry about your house and the structural troubles, yikes!

Glad the couscous was a winner for you, we loved it too, and I agree the curry was subtle but gave a nice warmth.

Best of luck with the house! Our house is over 100 years old and we are constantly fixings problems that come up out of the blue so I know what you are going through.

Summer said...

I'm so sorry about the house. I hope everything works out. Your couscous looks great. I normally don't like curry but I really liked this.

Penny said...

Hope all goes well with the house. I know what it is like. Your couscous looks great.

Tammy said...

Goodness! What a crazy tough year you've had. Well at least your couscous turned out well. :) I enjoyed the recipe, too.