In this recipe I'm not after a particularly spicy broth, but an intriguing one. Harissa is the optional ingredient that adds fire. Harissa is a condiment, a spicy chili paste you can find in Middle Eastern groceries and some upscale supermarkets. A small can will be more than enough.
You can use harissa a couple of ways. One way is treat it like a condiment—put a spoonful on the side of your plate and dab it on meat and vegetables as you eat. Another is to mix a couple teaspoons of harissa with a cup of stew broth and stir it into your plate the way you add milk to coffee.
This recipe generously serves 4, with some broth and vegetables left over (good as soup)
This is it, a traditional way to prepare couscous. Steaming is not so much a recipe as a method. While it looks complicated, steaming actually folds nicely into the process of making the stew.
Before you go into the kitchen, there are three things I'd like you to keep in mind. 1) Steam has to do the work—if boiling water touches the pasta, it gets mushy. 2) Don't worry about couscous falling through the holes of the steamer, it won't. And 3) Couscous isn't fragile. You can be pretty aggressive about breaking up clumps.
In my experience, these proportions make ample couscous for 4 people.
You need a fine wire mesh strainer and a pot with a steamer insert (not the collapsible kind that sits on the bottom, but an insert that fits on the pot) and a lid.
Don't worry about the couscous that sticks to the steamer. After a few minutes it dries up and wipes away like sand. For the couscous that inevitably gets stuck in the holes...I let that dry as well, then use a skewer or toothpick to punch it out.
All the couscous you'll find is the same. In spite of labels, there isn't an "instant" as opposed to an "old-fashioned" kind. For the best price, find a store that sells it in bulk.
This Archived Page created between 1994 and 2001. Modified August 2007
The Global Gourmet®
175 Home Recipes
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Cake Mix Doctor
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Quick Family Cookbook
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