Food Gold: Israeli Couscous with Carmelized Onions + Feta

Posted on Oct 28th, 2010 in Food Gold by Mr. Goldbar

Couscous, what is it? No that’s not an ICP lyric but a real question. Well, without being Timmy Technical I can tell you that couscous is a grain product usually made from wheat. It is almost always cooked by adding hot liquid and letting that liquid soak into the grain, unlike pasta, which is dunked into boiling hot water and then drained. What this means for us home cooks is that couscous is super easy to whip up in a one pot meal and a great vehicle for other, stronger flavors. Here we add delicious sweet onions that have been caramelized over low heat, punchy/salty feta cheese and a generous amount of fresh mint and lemon juice. It’s delightful, really. Recipe after the jump!

Israeli Couscous with Caramelized Onions + Feta + Mint (plus other good stuff if you want)

– 1 cup Israeli couscous

– 1 1/2 cup water or chicken stock

– 2 tablespoons Olive Oil

– 1 large red onion, cut in half and sliced into medium sized slivers. You don’t want to cut these too thin or they will disintegrate during the cooking/caramelizing process.

– Juice of a lemon

– 2 teaspoons or more fresh mint, minced into very fine pieces

– 2 tablespoons or more crumbled feta cheese

– Salt/Pepper to taste

– Splash of red wine vinegar if you want

– Handful of toasted slivered almonds if you want

– Handful or two of dried cranberries if you want

Equipment: 1 medium/large saucepan, 1 medium skillet

1. Over very low heat, heat up 2 or more tablespoons of olive oil for approx 2 minutes. Then add all of the sliced red onion and a few VERY generous pinches of salt. The salt will help to draw the moisture out of the onions and aid in the caramelization process. Cook over low heat for a long time, at least 40 minutes, until onions are soft, sweet and brown. Stir occasionally. ***You should do this step in advance since the couscous only takes about 10 minutes to prepare.

2. In large saucepan, heat up tablespoon or so olive oil over medium heat. Once oil is hot and moves in waves, toast couscous until golden brown, stirring often and making sure the grain does not burn—approx 3 minutes.

3. Once toasted, add approx 1 1/2 cups water/stock and cook until liquid is absorbed and couscous is still al-dente, about 3-5 minutes.

4. Add lemon juice and red wine vinegar if you are using then add caramelized onions.

5. Let mixture cool for approx 10 minutes then add fresh mint and Feta cheese.

6. Garnish with swagged-outttt extras like toasted almonds, cranberries or whatever fruity/nutty things you have in your pantry and enjoy!

That’s it. Delicious, simple, easy!

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