Kicked up Couscous

Every now and then it’s nice to have a side dish that’s a bit different, and this couscous is just that. We especially like it with a saucy chicken dish, but it goes so well with so many items – the flavorings are lovely, but not oriented to any particular style of cooking. Kind of a little black dress of side dishes.

Kicked up Couscous
Kicked up Couscous

This little couscous recipe can be quite impressive at a dinner party – double the recipe, place on a large platter, then make a good-sized well in the center. When your saucy entrée is ready, carefully place in the center and spoon the sauce over…

The tiny bit of red pepper flakes don’t make this hot at all, but just add a bit of interest to the dish. I modify this somewhat, now and then, throwing other items into the mix…a few halved cherry tomatoes, perhaps, or something else that might be lurking in my fridge might find themselves added after the couscous is done.

Couscous is fairly inexpensive, especially if bought in bulk rather than by the box, but is almost always more than the more common pastas. This side, with careful shopping will run about $1.10.

Kicked Up Couscous

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 2 to 3 green onions, sliced thinly
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 10 3/4 ounces canned chicken broth plus 2 tablespoons water, or about 11 ounces home-made
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup of couscous

In a medium sauce pan, beat egg yolks, add the green onions, stock (or canned stock plus water) and red pepper flakes. Bring to just a boil, whisking now and then. Turn off heat, add couscous, stir once gently and cover with a lid. Let sit for five minutes, or until liquid is absorbed and fluff with a fork.

Let’s talk about how to save money/time on this recipe:

  • Use a coupon matching site! One of my favorites in my area is Pocket Your Dollars, but every store has a group of enthusiastic Coupon Matchers. Do not discount the savings! I check their site every week, even if I don’t “need” to go to the store and often find bargains I can’t pass up.
  • Follow my 12 Strategies – You’ll see them on the upper drop down menu of every page and how I apply them, below.
  • Don’t get discouraged if your prices don’t match mine! Keep shopping at the best prices and your fridge/freezer and pantry will be stocked with sales priced ingredients.
  • Read below for additional tips as well as throughout the recipe, for saving time and managing food.

Strategies Applied:

  • Couscous: is almost always less expensive in bulk than in packets or boxes – look for it where your grocery sells the bulk items, or possibly at the health food store. If not readily available for a decent price, Amazon sells sells couscous. A cup of fine couscous is about 6 ounces, 95 cents or so.
  • Eggs: Stock up on eggs when they’re inexpensive, normally during Holiday weeks. Low prices in my area range from free (often with other purchases) to anywhere from 50 to 88 cents. They last for weeks in the fridge – The date on the container is a ‘buy’ date, and you can expect them to last a good six weeks past that date. If you pick up two or three packages when they’re at their low,  you’ll rarely need to pay full price.
  • Refrigerate right away and never store in the door; eggs keep best in a colder part of the refrigerator, in their own box. (Then put your partially used vegetables in the door where you’ll see them and remember they need to be used ASAP – the half a bell pepper or onion, etc.)  In doubt about an egg? If it floats in water, discard, just to be on the safe side. Cost for 2 at 88 cents a dozen? about 14 cents.
  • Chicken Stock:  If you read me regularly, I make my own with scraps of vegetables and bones – here’s the basic recipe I use for Best Turkey or Chicken Stock – it’s not particular and though it simmers for a long time, the burner is barely on – I just count it as free.
  • Green Onion: I try to buy on sale for about 50 cents a bunch (usually during Holidays) then put the white tips in a jar of water in a sunny window to regrow. Kids love taking ownership of the project. I only need to replenish every few weeks. Cost is so minimal that I don’t even count it.

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Put Your Own Spin on It:

Vary this recipe with many seasonings or add ins!

Comments and discussion always welcome - tell me what you think.

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