Monday, March 11, 2013

North African Couscous

So, where have I been hibernating? Right here....reading Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn and please, please, please don't give me any spoilers if you have read it! I have been studiously avoiding any reviews, discussions and posts with the title Gone Girl because it just has so many twists.

If you are a voracious reader then you know you've come across the occasional book where you don't have it figured out. One you don't have the whodunnit pegged. This is that book. It's also a total mindf@#k and divided into three parts which deftly shifts you to differing perspectives. So...I have been absorbed with reading, tired from work and have also watched a few very good movies.

That's where I've been. How have you been? I owe just about everyone an email or visit :-) Let me move on to food and weather now.

We have crazy weather patterns here. One day it's cold and frost is on the field. Then you get a lovely warm 70 degree day which slips into the 30s by evening...Yes, I am in Florida...but it does still get cold.

To clarify, it was cold in north Florida when I made this dish. When it’s bitterly cold I like to make stews or a cassoulet. Something to warm the tummy and give you fuel to get out and walk the dog. A bowl meal. Even as I dream of summer dishes and know it wouldn’t be comforting to tuck into grilled shrimp and mojitos…I am still wanting the shrimp. Still wanting a bowl meal that isn’t pasta and Bolognese.

I present the compromise called North African Couscous

This is another super easy, super quick recipes for nights when you are tired or just need to get dinner on the table in under a ½ hour. This takes less than a half hour to cook, but you do have the prep so…plan for about a half hour total. If you can get someone to peel the shrimp, great…saves you time. I cannot peel raw shrimp at all, cannot handle it raw or a rash will start up on my neck and hands. It’s something about the uncooked juices (I am guessing) that causes an allergic reaction. Once cooked, I can eat shrimp like it’s my job.

Coming up I hope to have my book reviews done which I will post over at Novel Meals. Storm of Swords, Clash of Kings, Gone Girl and Paris in Love. I have been busy reading but not at the computer...such is life.

Also, I am crocheting a very crooked something. Maybe it will be a blanket. I only grab the crochet needle when I have had wine or something's interesting.

Ok, here is the recipe below which I rambled about above.

North African Couscous

2 T. vegetable oil
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
4 scallions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 t. ground coriander
1/2 t. turmeric
pinch of cayenne
2 cups hot vegetable stock or hot water
3/4 lb. shelled shrimp
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
1 cup couscous
1 T. butter
salt and pepper to taste
chopped fresh parsley
lemon wedges


Heat oil in a 2 qt. saucepan. Add the peppers, scallions, garlic, coriander, turmeric and cayenne. Sauté over medium heat for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in the stock. Add the shrimp and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes, until the shrimp is pink. Stir in the peas and cook for another minute.

Mix in the couscous and butter. Cover, remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes.

Uncover the pan, and using a fork, fluff up the couscous, breaking up any lumps. Add salt and pepper to tasted. Serve with parsley and lemon wedges.

Bon appetit!!


Debbie said...

Loved that book!! So much fun to read. The Couscous looks good too.

Janel Gradowski said...

I would love to try that couscous. Nice combo of flavors. My in-laws went to Florida a few weeks ago. We were expecting them to stay for at least a few weeks, but they only lasted one because it was too cold. I'm sure it was still warmer than what we have here in MI, but yeah, whatever. :)

Couscous & Consciousness said...

We are still experiencing beautiful summer days here, but autumn is definitely making its presence felt in the mornings now, and today we've had our first rain in 36 days.

I love this kind of dish - warming, flavourful and exotic. We must be on the same wave length this week - I went North African too with a post for harissa. The harissa ended up in a fabulous Moroccan fish tagine which was gobbled up before I got a chance to photo it for a post, so will have to blog about that another time.

Pierce said...

Debbie - it was a trip reading that book. I think part two of it was when my jaw dropped.

Janel, Sadly it does get cold here in Florida and I understand, depending on what area your in laws visited, they departed early :-)

Sue, that sounds wonderful. Both the tagine and the weather!

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