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From the food editor: Recipe for risotto and ideas for Israeli couscous

Couscous Risotto With Mushrooms uses Israeli couscous.

MICHELLE STARK | Times

Couscous Risotto With Mushrooms uses Israeli couscous.

Seeking out help in the kitchen can be overwhelming. I'm not talking about getting your spouse to empty the dishwasher. I'm talking about finding ways to improve your culinary skills — or, at the very least, get a complete meal on the table every night.

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In this story, we explore some of the best and most popular apps for home cooks. Maybe you'll find one to add to your kitchen toolbox.

Get creative with Israeli couscous

This week's recipe is a take on risotto, which typically uses short-grain arborio rice. We are substituting Israeli couscous, which cooks quite quickly and serves as a lighter spin on the classic dish.

Not familiar with Israeili couscous? Sometimes referred to as pearl couscous, it is a small, round pastalike grain. It's larger than regular couscous, and much more sturdy and starchy. Since you'll likely have some couscous left over if you buy it for the recipe below, here are three other ways to use it.

Make a cold salad: Mix cooked, chilled couscous with fresh herbs and bright ingredients like lemon juice. To 1 cup couscous add 1 cup herbs, like parsley and mint, 3 to 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice and 1/2 cup each cucumbers and tomatoes to a bowl. Drizzle the whole thing with olive oil, then season with salt and pepper and serve.

Toasted topping: Most grains benefit from being toasted slightly before they are boiled, and this couscous is no exception. In a dry skillet set over medium heat, toast 1 cup couscous until it starts to brown slightly and becomes fragrant. Then, add water and cook according to package directions. When it's cooked, cool it a bit then add 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/4 cup slivered almonds, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 1 teaspoon brown sugar. Stir to combine and to coat the couscous. Use it like you would granola.

Side dish: This couscous makes for a hearty side dish, especially when mixed with herbs and fruits. Cook 1 cup Israeli couscous, then mix with 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, 1 tablespoon each chopped fresh rosemary and thyme, 1 diced green apple and 1/2 cup dried cranberries. Add a couple of tablespoons each apple-cider vinegar, maple syrup and olive oil, and stir. Season with salt and pepper. Serve warm.

 

easy

Couscous Risotto With Mushrooms

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 cups shiitake mushrooms (or any mushroom), sliced
  • 2 shallots, chopped finely
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/4 cups uncooked Israeli couscous
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup snap peas, cut into
  • 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 ounces goat cheese
  • 2 ounces Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Combine the broth and water in a saucepan over medium heat, bring it to a simmer. Continue to simmer this broth until you use it all up.
  2. Heat olive oil in a saucepan, then toss in the mushrooms. Allow them to cook for about 5 minutes, or until the moisture evaporates. Add in the shallots and garlic, cook for another 2-3 minutes. Then add the Israeli couscous, stir constantly for about 1 minute.
  3. Pour in the wine, and cook for another minute or until most of the liquid is absorbed, stirring constantly.
  4. Add a ladle (about 1/4 cup) of broth into the couscous mixture. Stir constantly until the broth is absorbed. Then add another ladle of the broth, continue until all of the broth has been used. Add the snap peas to the risotto and stir. Let cook for another 1 to 2 minutes.
  5. Stir in salt and pepper. Finally, add in the goat cheese and keep stirring until it has dissolved into the couscous mixture. Add Parmesan cheese, and stir to combine.
  6. Sprinkle with more Parmesan cheese just before serving. Serves 4.
Source: Adapted from Cooking Light

 

From the food editor: Recipe for risotto and ideas for Israeli couscous 04/25/16 [Last modified: Monday, April 25, 2016 3:20pm]
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