Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Fancy Merguez Hot Dogs with Couscous.

So this week for my lunches I decided to make some couscous. I have this huge bag full and I need to get rid of it. I never did couscous before. My ex, who's from the Middle-East used to to make it and it was really good, what with black olives and cucumbers and parsley, etc. I prefer mine with nuts and raisins because it's sweeter and crunchier.

The problem is though, I don't find couscous to be that filling. Plus, a meal just ain't a meal if it ain't got any meat. Know what I'm sayin'? I asked a colleague at work for ideas and he suggested sausages. I thought Yeah! Some merguez with that would be excellent! So I went with that, but decided to add a twist. I thought I'd do some kind of Maghreb hot dog with those President's Choice Blue Menu flat bread hot dog buns and fancy it up with maple onion confit and honey mustard. I'm sure you're thinking well la-di-da Mr. Fancy Pants. Yeah, I'm a fancy son of a bitch when it comes to food. Deal with it. Besides, this recipe is super easy and I'm super lazy. It's also a great meal for the summer time.

Some of the stuff required to do what I want to do.

First of all, I took care of the Merguez. I covered a baking sheet in foil and greased it up with a bit of olive oil. I heated the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, laid the Merguez on the baking sheet and let them cook in the oven for 25 minutes, making sure I flip them over after 15 minutes.

Ready to go

Boom! Done and looking mighty delicious.

While the Merguez were cooking I gathered my ingredients and started preparing the couscous. I found the recipe here: Couscous with cashews and raisins. I thought the recipe wasn't too clear so I decided to add my modifications to it to improve it.

What you're going to need:

- Butter (2 tbs)
- Unsalted cashews (1 cup)
- Olive oil (1 1/2 tbs)
- Small onion (1) chopped finely
- Parsley (1 cup) chopped finely
- Whole cumin seeds (1 1/2 tsp)
- Dried couscous (1 1/2 cups)
- Water (2 cups)
- Salt
- Raisins (1 cup)
- Cashews (1 cup)

And your tools:

- 1 large saucepan (big enough to hold the couscous an the water)
- 1 wooden spoon
- Measuring cup
- Measuring spoons
- Chopping board
- Chopping knife

So first of all, finely chop up the onion and the parsley. Then, heat up your sauce pan on low heat and melt 2 tbs of butter. Then add 1 cup of cashews and cook them up until they become roasted all nice and brown. The butter will turn brown during the process, but that's normal. When the cashews are toasted, take them out of the saucepan and put them aside, keeping the butter in the saucepan.

Add the 1 1/2 tbs of olive oil to the saucepan, 1 1/2 tsp of cumin seeds and the chopped onion. Let them cook on low heat until the onions start turning brown. It should take around 10 minutes.

When the onion is cooked, add 1 1/2 cups of dried couscous and stir to mix in the onion and cumin. Then add 2 cups of water and mix so the couscous absorbs all the water. Make sure you stir constantly so it doesn't stick to the bottom. Add the raisins and some salt to taste and mix.

Turn off the heat and cover for 15 minutes to let the couscous absorb the water and cook with the steam.

When it's all cooked, add the cashews and the parsley and mix it all in.

Add salt to taste and boom! Your delicious couscous is ready.

Paired with the fancy Merguez-dogs with onion confit, this is going to be one freakin' amazing lunch tomorrow. I can't wait!


UPDATE: Here's the resulting lunch at work. I brought the onion-mustard mix in a separate container and I nuked the sausages in the microwave oven before eating my lunch. The couscous was such a success, a co-worker tried to steal it from me. But she knows never to get between a hungry man and his meal and decided to leave it alone. Grrr.... Seriously though, I love to share my food with my coworkers so they can taste it and tell me what they think.

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