I’ve been experimenting with new recipes lately and so far it has been quite successful. The other day I went into the grocery store not knowing anything to buy and ended up planning my entire menu while being in there. I was proud of myself because I remember my first Chef Instructor in culinary school telling my class that the end goal isn’t to follow recipes, but to know what ingredients pair well with what. I guess I’ve reached that goal.
Cous cous is a staple food throughout North African cuisine and even though I have always heard of it and seen it before, I didn’t really know or understand what it was until I was in my Cuisine Across Cultures class in school. It is made of granular semolina (also used when making pasta) which is moistened with water, lightly dusted with flour, and rolled into tiny balls. It is typically served alongside stews in the Middle East and North Africa regions, and served a variety of ways here in the U.S. I love cous cous because it is so versatile in cooking and can be dressed several different ways. Also, it takes no time at all to cook. I served this as a side dish with my baked salmon and mango/jalapeño salsa. Fantastic flavors were hit all across the board!
For this recipe you will need:
Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Once a boil has been reached, add the cous cous, remove from the heat, cover and allow to cook for 10 minutes. Drain the cous cous and toss with the pimento peppers, capers, and lemon juice. Season with salt and white pepper to taste. Easy, peasy, lemon squeezy (literally).
So, the next night I had leftover cous cous in my fridge so I decided to take it a step further and create a new recipe. This is a simple shrimp and cous cous salad. For this recipe you will need:
Leftover cous cous salad
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup cocktail shrimp, cut into bite-size pieces
1 cup arugula
1/4 cup feta cheese crumbles
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, pasted
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/8 tsp salt
In a large bowl, toss the leftover cous cous salad with the cherry tomatoes, shrimp, arugula, and feta cheese. Combine the vinegar, mustard, pasted garlic clove, lemon juice and salt. With a whisk, quickly whisk while slowly pouring the extra virgin olive oil. Pour over the cous cous salad. This is an easy and delicious salad dressing.
I hope you love and enjoy these easy recipes as much as I do. They certainly are perfect for the warmer months and pair well with almost any protein. Bon Appetit!