Are you bored with the same old side dishes? Hey, it happens! We all get in a recipe rut, even me, believe it or not. We eat plenty of potatoes in our house. Same goes for pasta and noodles. So, next time you’re struggling with what to serve on the side with that rotisserie chicken or sautéed shrimp, why not shake things up with some couscous? I’m crazy about couscous! I think you will be too when I show you how to cook couscous!
Couscous Is a Cinch to Make!
First of all it’s a cinch to make. Unlike rice, which can turn out mushy or sticky sometimes, you can’t screw up couscous. It’s the easiest side dish ever! And it’s easy on the budget.
Second, and an added bonus, it’s kid friendly. Both my kiddos love it. Couscous is actually super tiny pasta, so like pasta or rice, it doesn’t have a ton of flavor on its own. You can mix in lots of different ingredients to make it exciting. Or, if you can keep it simple and basic to please younger palates.
How to Prepare Couscous?
To make couscous, you need a great medium saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. You’ll want to figure out how many people you need to serve and then you’ll know how much couscous to make. I usually figure about 1/4 to 1/3 cup dry couscous per serving. For my family of 4, I use 1 to 1 1/2 cups dry couscous. A little leftover is a good thing in our house.
There’s a really simple formula to follow. I use 1 part dry couscous to 1 1/2 parts liquid. So, if I’m cooking 1 cup of couscous that means I’ll need 1 1/2 cups liquid. My liquid of choice is usually chicken or vegetable stock. You could use water too, but there’s a lot more flavor with the stock.
So, here we go. Get that stock boiling in your saucepan. If you use the same amount I do, you’ll want a 3 quart saucepan. Add in a tablespoon of butter or olive oil. Next, stir in your dry couscous and a pinch of salt if you like. Now, cover your pan and turn off the heat. Don’t touch it. Let it be for 5 minutes. Uncover, and fluff the couscous with a fork—and that’s it. You’re done. Serve it that way or throw in some fun. Add some flavor if you choose, like fresh chopped herbs, maybe a bit of fresh lemon juice and even dried fruit like cranberries and nuts, like toasted almonds. Whatever direction you take it is up to you. It will be delicious and turns out perfect every time – in just 5 minutes!