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MEDITERRANEAN COUSCOUS

MEDITERRANEAN COUSCOUS

Our town of Toulon is not so far from the Maghreb and part of our cooking is greatly influenced by this part of the world.
My Nan and my Mum had never heard about tabouleh, tajine, bricks or couscous before Algerian-born French people came to Toulon after the Algerian independence war and share with the locals their cooking habits.
All of these dishes are part of our cooking now, and, above all, couscous semolina is one of our usual tasty and quick side-dish option.
Tabouleh is another of our favorites during summer:
tomatoes, green, red and yellow peppers, black olives, onions cut into tiny very small chunks combined with olive oil, lemon juice and couscous semolina, this cold dish really delights each of us.
Chickpeas salad with raw onions and much vinegar is my Dad’s favorite.
So, what about Mum’s mediterranean couscous?
She doesn’t use to cook fish couscous. Meat couscous and vegetables couscous are her favorites and today, she cooks a meat couscous for lunch. She often says that, may be, people from Maghreb would be shocked by her meat couscous because she cooks it her own way:
It’s rich in vegetables but poor in meat. I don’t pretend my Mum cooks couscous as well as people from Maghreb but her mediterranean couscous is really tasty and we enjoy it!
Here are the broad outlines of her mediterranean couscous recipe and proportions are as follow:
For 600 gr couscous semolina, she uses 2 kilos vegetables! Vegetables she uses for couscous depend on what she has in stock and it can be any of these: tomatoes, zucchini, carrots, leeks, red, green or yellow peppers, turnips, cauliflower, pumpkin, celery etc. Then, she also adds 400 gr ready cooked chickpeas, some spicy North African sausages, chunks of leg of lamb, a bit olive oil, some spices and it’s done!
prep-time-med-couscous

Ingredients 6 servings

  • 600 gr Leg of lamb
  • 6 Spicy North African sausages (merguez)
  • 10 Carrots
  • 4 Peppers
  • 3 Turnips
  • 5 Tomatoes
  • 2 Leeks
  • 4 Zucchini
  • 10 ml Olive oil
  • 1 Can 500 gr chickpeas
  • Thyme, salt, spices

Instructions

  1. Peel carrots, turnips and tomatoes and cut them into chunks.
  2. Wash leeks and slice them thinly
  3. Wash peppers, remove seeds and cut into small chunks.
  4. Pour 10 ml olive oil in couscous pan and brown lamb chunks lightly over low heat.
  5. A few minutes later, meat is browned. Add vegetables, 4 pinches powdered thyme, 1 teaspoon couscous spices and salt as taste. Stir regularly and cook over low heat for 30/40 minutes.In another pan, bring 1L water to a boil.
  6. Add hot water, cover and let simmer for 60 minutes.
  7. Cook spicy North African sausages: Place them in a frypan, prick them with a fork, cook for 15 minutes. Turn them regularly and remove grease from frypan once they are cooked.
  8. Place 600 gr couscous semolina in a conical strainer and water it with cold water. Mix well with hands until it’s totally wet.
  9. Put wet couscous semolina in couscous steamer and place the steamer on top of the base, so that it absorbs the flavors from the stew. Cover. Break it after 3 minutes cooking with a fork, add a dash olive oil and cook for 30 minutes more.
  10. Bon appétit!
  11. couscous-1

    1. Peel tomatoes, carrots and turnips. Cut them into dices. Wash leeks and slice them thinly. Wash peppers, remove seeds and cut them into small chunks.
    2. Brown meat in a bit olive oil.

    3. Pour a bit olive oil in a couscous pan and brown lightly lamb over low heat for a few minutes.
    4.  meat is browned. Add vegetables, 4 pinches powdered thyme, 1 teaspoon couscous spices and salt as taste. Stir regularly and cook over low heat for 30/40 minutes.In another pan, bring 1L water to a boil.

    5. Once meat is browned, add vegetables, 4 pinches powdered thyme, 1 teaspoon couscous spices and salt as taste. Stir regularly and cook over low heat for 30/40 minutes.In another pan, bring 1L water to a boil. Add hot water, cover and let simmer for 60 minutes.
    6. Cook spicy North African sausages.

    7. Cook spicy North African sausages: Place them in a frypan, prick them with a fork, cook for 15 minutes. Turn them regularly and remove grease from frypan once they are cooked.
    8. Place 600 gr couscous semolina in a conical strainer and water it with cold water. Mix well with hands until it's totally wet. Then, place it on top of base in couscous strainer. Cover, add olive oil and cook for 30 min.

    9. Place 600 gr couscous semolina in a conical strainer and water it with cold water. Mix well with hands until it’s totally wet. Put wet couscous semolina in couscous steamer and place the steamer on top of the base, so that it absorbs the flavors from the stew. Cover. Break it after 3 minutes cooking with a fork, add a dash olive oil and cook for 30 minutes more.
    10. Bon appétit!

    11. Bon appétit!

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