Sun-dried Tomato Couscous
Sun Dried Tomato Couscous
* Hoss’s Market Recipes originally appeared in a local Missouri News column in the 2000’s
International influences have an increasingly larger impact on the American culinary scene. While in years past one could find ethnic restaurants in enclaves of immigrants in larger, metropolitan areas, today they are more common in smaller cities and out of the way places. While in the early eighties, the offerings of gyros and souvlakia at the Greek steakhouses seemed exotic, today one can find all of the necessary ingredients at the supermarket. Olive oils, once only available in a couple of varieties, and in small bottles, now takes up as much shelf space as the Mazola offerings. Pesto, once unheard of, is now available in shelf-stable jars, fresh and frozen, and in numerous mutations with different ingredients.
Many other foods that were once unheard of are popping up on menus across the country. Tapenades, originally from the Provence region of France, are fine relishes or pastes made of olives and a variety of other ingredients, are used as a spread or a condiment, and are cousins of the olive relish used on the New Orleans Muffaletta. Hummus, a middle Eastern staple of pureed chick-peas, tahini (sesame seed paste), olive oil and flavorings, is now relatively common. Baba ghanoush, a distant cousin substituting grilled or roasted eggplant for the chick-peas, is making an appearance on some more adventurous menus, plus, it’s kind of fun to say! Polenta, a cousin of the South’s famed grits, can be creamy or fried.
Twenty years ago, noodles had finally become pasta, but the selection of types was still pretty basic. One could choose from spaghetti, linguine, fettuccine, macaroni, etc. Today, you can choose from a myriad of types- campanelle, acini di peppi, tagliatelle, buccatini, strozapretti, cavatappi and on and on. Sauce selection has also increased from the Ragu, with or without meat, to puttanesca, arrabiata, pomodoro, or any other imaginable permutation.
One item that I was a little dubious of for some time is couscous. Couscous, which originated in northern Africa, is a pasta of sorts, generally made of semolina, and rolled into tiny spherical pellets, about the size of number 4 shot. They are coated with flour, then, traditionally, steamed. Most couscous sold in the western world has been pre-steamed and dried, and is known as instant couscous. This makes preparation supremely easy, as one need only boil some water or stock with flavorings, add the couscous, remove from the heat, cover and, in 5 minutes, voila! The dish is ready to eat.
Sun-dried Tomato Couscous Recipe
3/4 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes
3 cups rich chicken stock
2 teaspoons Hoss’s Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 cups couscous
1/2 cup chopped scallions
Add the tomatoes and Italian seasoning to the chicken stock, salt and pepper, and bring to a boil.
Remove from heat and add the couscous.
Cover the pan and let it sit for 10 minutes.
Add the scallions, drizzle with olive oil and fluff.
Sun-dried Tomato Couscous Wine Pairing:
SILENI SAUVIGNON BLANC
This Marlborough of New Zealand is fresh, with intense fruit flavors of gooseberry and passion fruit. Pairs well with Seafood, Asian cuisine or drink as an aperitif lightly chilled
Price: $14.99 per bottle
Hoss’s Market offers over 300 different exceptional wines. Our wine experts will help select the prefect pairings for your menu selection. Starting at $9.95 per bottle. Visit our “Dozen and Down” rack for over 40 wines all under $12.99 per bottle.