Versatile plate, suitable for all seasons, the couscous or couscous at the table, adults and children agree. It can be served cold or hot, but what matters most is that any recipe you choose to follow is still easy and quick to prepare. Discover all the secrets for Sale & Pepe cook the perfect couscous!
What is couscous
The cous cous it is a dish based on grains of wheat semolina (but also spelled or barley) cooked in broth or boiling water. There are 3 types: the fine couscous, for more refined or sweet dishes, such as i Tunisian makrouds. what average used for the preparation of the traditional couscous and the cous cous grosso which is prepared by working with the fingers and then dried, it requires a longer cooking and for this reason it is often used in soups.
The couscous was born in the Middle Ages between sub-Saharan Africa and the Maghreb coasts. The cultural contaminations between these territories and the Sardinian and Sicilian coasts brought couscous into the island and then Italian culinary tradition. The first traces of couscous in Italian cuisine date back to 1550, when Giovanni Battista Ramusio published the first geographical treatise of the modern age. In Of navigations and journeys collects the testimonies of various authors. In the chapter on Africa Giovanni Leone dei Medici, an Italian-born Berber, tells the Moroccan food traditions. "It is still common to eat boiled meat, and together with onions and beans, but also with another food, such as Cuscusu".
In a few years after the printing of the Ramusio volume, two other books are printed that speak of cous cous. The first is by Leonardo Fioravanti and is titled "The mirror of universal scientia" (1567). The second was written by Francesco Sansovino in 1578 and is entitled Del governo et admintazione di Different Kingdoms. This last volume describes how to cook couscous. "But the winter eats boiled meat, together with that food which is called cuscusu, which is made of dough like confetti, and cook it in some pots pierced to receive the smoke of other pots, then they mix it in butter, and bathe it in broth ". It's been 500 years but it doesn't look much changed.
In 1777 he arrived in Sicily. An essay by the anthropologist Giuseppe Pitré explains that during a wedding in Trapani "[fu] given to the parish priest a dish called couscousu with pork, living in Sicily from the Saracens left ”. Over time the cuisine of the island made his cous cous his own, bringing it closer to the fish. Even today the Trapani couscous remains one of the symbolic dishes of Sicily.
The original recipe
There original recipe of cous cous involves the use of a first couscoussiera, to cook the steamed grains. In fact, the couscous must not be boiled. This semolina should be placed in the appropriate container or at the limit in a large baking pan with a high edge, and covered flush with broth or boiling salted water. After a few minutes of rest, begin to shell the couscous with the dta and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. You should not use the fork and it is good to remember that the proportions between liquid and semolina grains must be 1 to 1.
Spices for couscous with meat
The couscous has a structure that can absorb the aromas of spices and herbs. Those best suited to prepare a meat couscous they are cinnamon, black pepper, chilli, coriander and paprika. The queen of spices suitable for meat is the cumin. Its warm and pungent taste comes from Africa, where couscous was born. To amplify the taste, the seeds are toasted. Together with turmeric and coriander they create the ideal mix.
And speaking of mixtures, you've never heard of ras el hanout? This is a mix of about 30 different plants (not just spices) found in the North African region. He is the "half brother" of the indian curry. There are three mixtures of ras el hanout: Lamrouzia, L'msagna and Monuza. The classic formula includes: nutmeg, cinnamon, mace, anise, curcuma, pink pepper, white pepper, galanga, ginger, clove, allspice, black cardamom, green cardamom, rosebuds and lavender.
Spices for fish couscous
Spices in the Fish cous cous they are slightly different. For example, in the Trapani one with paprika, coriander and pepper, it is added saffron (which gives the dish its characteristic yellow color), bay leaves and parsley.
Recipes for cold couscous in salads
Couscous is a perfect food to create cold dishes that combine carbohydrates, vitamins, proteins and minerals from vegetables, meats or fish. The cold couscous in salad it can have numerous variants.
Among the recipes to try, prepare the cold flavored couscous. Combine the lightness of the ingredients with the flavors of seasonal herbs. If you don't have much time, use the precooked couscous. Follow the instructions on the package and quickly prepare the grains to season. Then you will need black Greek olives, buffalo mozzarella, spring onions, cherry tomato, wild fennel, parsley, mint, lemon juice, Tabasco, oil and salt. After working the couscous, all you have to do is cut the buffalo mozzarella into cubes and add it to all the other ingredients.
A very tasty variation to try is the couscous with vegetables and sesame sauce. You can also use couscous to prepare sumptuous and very fresh stuffed tomatoes.
Recipes of hot couscous
Let's start by saying that couscous was born as an ingredient to be kept for a long time and used when needed. It is also true that one of its original characteristics, as we have seen, was to be served hot, mostly in meat or vegetable dishes. If you want to prepare a great one hot couscous try the large vegetarian couscous with many vegetables cooked in a pan and flavored with ras el hanout.
The fish couscous with cherry tomatoes it's more than warm: it's gratinated. The preparation in this case involves in fact a passage in the oven at 200 ° C for about 10 minutes in order to create a delicious crust. Halfway between cold and hot, a truly delicious dish is placed: the couscous with citrus pesto, dried fruit and seared prawns. In fact, the seasoning here is cold, but the crustaceans to be added to the cooked grain must be hot. When the couscous becomes a side dish, it can happily marry hot ingredients like the chicken breast.
How to season couscous in winter
Contrary to what one might think, the couscous is a perfect dish also for thewinter. The granules of semolina can in fact replace the polenta or rice next to second courses of stewed meat like it veal stew with vegetables, chicken or rabbit stew.
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