"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication" LdV

Friday, 8 January 2016



I have eaten once at a Moroccan friend's house, an amazing couscous. The flavor, the spices, the meat and the couscous itself (we said couscous, but couscous is the name of the semolina in fact...) was a poem in my mouth (if it's possible to have a poem in your mouth of course, but....why not!!!). It was so light, so tasty that I asked for the recipe....Ah la la, ok. Heu. It takes 2 days : for the semolina first. It has to be soaked many times, etc, etc... Ok. So, I came with this recipe. In France, it is easier to do it because of a famous Mr Picard (a kind of delicatessen selling only fresh and frozen products and delicacies). But it does not exist anymore here in London (I was so sad when Mr Picard left London, you have no idea....). So I had to improvise with what I have and I was very happy with the results, my children and my friends as well (especially my friends actually). And lucky you, you can find Harissa anywhere (careful though, it is terribly hot!!!). Elle est pas belle la vie ?Enjoy!
Ras-el-hanout is a special blend of spices from North African cuisine which might contains around 30 spices !!! You can find ras-el-hanout easily now. 

Wine pairing : Saint-Chinian (Red) from Languedoc-Roussillon.

A quick glance in your kitchen...

In your fridge
Tomato puree

In your cupboard
Semolina couscous

Serves 3-4

300g 10,5 oz of courgettes (diced)
400g 14 oz of carrots (diced)
500ml 16,6 oz of water
150g 5 oz of chickpeas from a tin
A few stigma of saffron
2 tbsp of ras-el-hanout
2 tbsp of concentrated tomatoes puree 
400g 14 oz of chicken (diced)
4 merguez
1 vegetable stock
350g 11 oz of semolina couscous
20cl 6,75 oz of water
A piece of butter 
50g 1,7 oz of sultanas
1 crushed garlic
1 diced onion 
A little bit of Harissa

In a large saucepan, soften the onion and garlic in a little bit of olive oil.
Add the 500cl of water, the vegetable stock, the carrots, the chickpeas, the courgettes, the tomato puree, the ras-el-hanout and the saffron. Combine well.
Cover and cook for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile in a pan, cook the chicken and the merguez.
Bring to the boil the 20cl of water for the semolina couscous.
Put the semolina couscous in a bowl, then cover with the boiling water.
Wait for 1 minute or 2, add a piece of butter, the sultanas and combine well.
Set aside and keep warm.
Once the vegetables cooked,transfer the sauce from the saucepan in a nice bowl.
Add a little bit of harissa in this sauce. Combine well.
Serve the couscous semolina with the meat, the vegetables and drizzle with the sauce on top !
Enjoy !!

Couscous marocain express 

Pour 3-4 personnes
300g de courgettes coupées en morceaux
400g de carottes coupées en morceaux
500ml d’eau
150g de pois-chiches
Quelques stigmates de safran
2 c-à-soupe de ras-el-hanout
2 c-à-soupe de concentré de tomate
400g de morceaux de poulet
4 merguez
1 bouillon cube
350g de semoule de couscous
20 cl d’eau
Un morceau de beurre
50g de raisins secs
1 gousse d’ail écrasée
1 oignon coupé
Un petit peu de Harissa

Dans une grande casserole, faites dorer l’oignon et l’ail dans un petit peu d’huile d’olive.
Versez 500cl d’eau, le cube, le concentré, le ras-el-hanout, les pois-chiches et le safran. 
Bien mélanger.
Couvrir et cuire pendant 20 minutes.
Pendant ce temps dans une poêle, faites revenir les merguez avec le poulet pendant une dizaine de minutes.
Préparer la semoule en portant à ébullition les 20cl d'eau salée. 
Recouvrir la semoule avec cette eau. Attendre 1 minute ou 2, ajoutez du beurre et les raisins secs. Mélangez. Réservez au chaud.
Après la cuisson, transférez la sauce des légumes dans un joli récipient. 
Ajoutez la harissa et mélangez bien.
Servez la semoule avec les viandes, les légumes et la sauce par-dessus !

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