Thursday, September 8, 2011

Herbed Couscous

I'm the worst side dish poster ever, but it's because I enjoy desserts too much. Weird, but I enjoy eating sides but preparing desserts. Anyway, we all need side dish recipes to avoid ruts, so here's a super simple couscous that compliments many meat dishes, especially Moroccan-Spiced Chicken. This is easy to prepare, and the flavors are subtle enough to avoid overpowering the main course. Plus, it's couscous... and couscous is sexy. Big thanks to Cooking Light for this and the other hundreds of recipes I get from you! Best magazine subscription ever!

Herbed Couscous

1 tbsp. olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup uncooked couscous
1 cup plus 2 tbsp. fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme

Heat a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan, swirling to coat.
Add onion; saute 2 minutes or until tender.
Stir in couscous; saute 1 minute.
Add broth and salt; bring to a boil.
Cover, remove from heat, and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
Stir in parsley and thyme.

Yield 4 (3/4-cup) servings

I have to be honest. The original recipe called for shallots, but I needed to use this red onion. Here you see my onion sliced with a 5" Santoku Knife from the Forged Cutlery Collection along with the couscous in a Measuring Cup. These ingredients are on the Cutting Board. Quick note on onions and crying: Did you know a lot of your tears are due to dull knives? Using a sharp knife reduces the release of the stuff that makes you cry. Scientific, I know.

The Herb Keeper is no joke. I was skeptical when I saw it, but this really does keep herbs fresh for a long time. Plus, you don't have to fight a plastic bag to get a tbsp. of parsley. I'm using the 4-Qt. Covered Casserole from the Executive Cookware Collection, but you can use something smaller if you'd like. This is just my favorite pot, so it gets tons of use. Now it's even remodeled with fab silicone handles!

As always, get everything measured ahead of time. This is especially important for a quick-moving recipe like this one. Oil is in the Easy Read Mini Measuring Cup, and broth is in a 1-Cup Easy Read Measuring Cup. Salt and thyme are in Measuring Spoons. Is that fresh thyme? No, but it still worked well in this recipe. Just be sure you look for the dry equivalents when subbing dry herbs for fresh. Otherwise you'll ruin a lot of food.

Ok, so make the easiest couscous ever, and tell me if you like it! If you're really awesome, add a few grape tomatoes and feta. That combination makes everything better. Seriously.

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