Couscous (originally called seksu or kesksu) is now becoming a favourite at home because it is a light and wonderful substitute for rice when I don't feel like cooking rice at all. It is popular in North Africa, Egypt and the Middle East and is made from millet, barley, or cornmeal. This is also a great choice because it has a low fat-calorie ratio. Each 1 cup serving (100 grams) contains about 112 calories, 3.8 grams of protein, 1.4 grams of dietary fiber, and 58 mg of potassium.
Recently, I have grown to love cooking couscous, especially using it as a substitute in some of my dishes. Although couscous is not considered gluten-free because of the semolina, depending on the grain it is derived from it can be gluten free as well. Its versatility and texture calls for much creativity in the dishes and now inspires me with ideas to incorporate into a number of traditional recipes.
Yeah ah know yuh does get bored with rice all de time ent? 🙂
This is good news, especially for those who follow a healthy diet and would like to try something a little different than the traditional foods for a change. The best way to think of couscous is like little grains of pasta then move on from there. Because of its grainy look and feel it also substitutes well for rice too. If you keep that in mind the ideas for dishes where you can use it will come to mind. I must say that couscous can be a welcomed addition to your repertoire of cooking, once mastered, especially if you are searching for variety and versatility in your meals.
Now, a pack of couscous is not cheap, but it yields very well. One cup soaked couscous would yield a little more than 2 cups; and cooked would yield as much as 2 ½ cups. I got the idea of making a couscous pie from Mrs. Trevene Hope, a fan of the blog, and just thought I should roll with it. Actually, she made a quinoa pie, but I didn't have much of that grain at the time so I opted to experiment with couscous instead. Maybe a quinoa pie will be in the pipeline soon now that I've mastered this wonderful ingredient lol!
Recipe for Couscous Pie
2 cups couscous
3 medium-sized onions, finely chopped
2 ½ large sweet peppers, finely chopped
1 egg, beaten
4 pimento peppers, finely chopped
2 cups grated cheese
2 tbsp salted butter
1 cup evaporated milk (we used the Carnation brand)
1 tsp. black pepper or white pepper
1 tin (425 g/15 oz) cream style corn
Add water (enough to cover it) at room temperature,
and leave to soak for 10 - 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork and set aside.
Stir in the rest of vegetables and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Place the two cups of couscous in a deep bowl.
- Add water (enough to cover the couscous) at room temperature,
- and leave to soak for 10 – 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork and set aside.
- In a deep pot, saute the onion in butter until translucent.
- Stir in the rest of vegetables and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Add the milk and heat for 2 more minutes. Remove.
- Mix together the couscous, cream style corn egg, sauteed vegetables and black pepper.
- Add 1 cup of cheese. Mix well.
- Pour into a baking dish, 12″ x 8″ x2″.
- Top with the remaining cup of cheese.
- Bake in an oven at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes or until golden and the cheese bubbles.
I can only describe this pie with one word; Delicious.
Ah gone 🙂