foodie 1

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Cheesy Couscous with Roasted Brussel Sprouts

I found this recipe while cutting out recipes from my ever-growing collection of magazines. I know I've discussed my obsession with Cook's Illustrated magazines before, but I also subscribe to 6 other food magazines! Every month when the new ones roll in, I take the last month's edition and go through it tearing out pages/recipes that I want to save. I cut the recipes out and then file them by type of recipe to await their time to be made. This recipe didn't even make it into the file, it jumped right from 'cut-out' pile to this week's menu.

This recipe is from EveryDay with Rachael Ray, which is the first food magazine I ever subscribed to.  I've been a subscriber since it started, over 6 years ago.  I used to love her 30 Minute Meals on Food Network, and have three or four of her cookbooks, so getting her magazine when it started was a natural extension   I've enjoyed it over the years, and made many, many recipes from it with great results.  My favorite burger recipe is hers, as is our favorite mac and cheese and it's the first place I turn when looking for quick and easy weeknight dinners.  But, after awhile I found the recipes to be getting repetitive and not fresh or new.  I toyed with the idea of stopping the subscription, and have considered just letting it run out the past few years; but, I always end up finding some great deal online to get it at 5 dollars a year, which I just can't pass up.  

I do like the magazine, since it has her signature 30 minute recipes, plus lots of longer ones as well.  Also, while I loved her show at the beginning, as it went on I found her more and more annoying with abbreviations (EVOO!) and non-adult talk (Yum-O!).  At the same time, she was getting more and more popular, and I tend to lose interest in things as soon as everyone else gets turned on to them, perhaps it's my inner hipster.  So, the benefit of the magazine is that you get her recipes without the annoying phrases and voice!  Yay!

This recipe jumped out at me mostly because of the use of Israeli or pearl couscous.  We recently found a giant bag at Costco and, of course, purchased on the spot.  We love couscous, both the traditional smaller size and the larger Israeli version.  This recipe was perfect for a weeknight -- quick and easy -- and really, really good.  It will definitely be finding a frequent spot on our weekly menus, served up as a main dish like this, and a simplified version as a side dish as well.  I made some changed -- used roasted brussel sprouts, since we had those on hand, instead of broccoli.  I switched in olive oil instead of the butter, since I thought it would hold up better to the high heat of roasting the veggies.  I also decreased the bacon (yes!  I actually decreased the amount of bacon in a recipe!), cheese and overall amount of butter/oil to help with the overall calorie content.  I think it is immensely customizable to your tastes, which is how I feel about most of Rachael's recipes, and one of the reasons I keep taking advantage of the great deals to continue to be a subscriber!

Cheesy Couscous with Roasted Brussel Sprouts
adapted from EveryDay with Rachael Ray, January 2012
4 servings, 30 minutes

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound brussel sprouts

Salt and pepper
6 strips bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 1/3 cups Israeli (or pearl) couscous
1 cup frozen corn
4 scallions, chopped
2 cups chicken stock
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 cups (about 4 oz.) grated gouda

1 tablespoon butter

  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Trim brussel sprouts and  halve or quarter, depending on size.  Place sprouts on a sheet pan, and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Spread on a single layer and place in the oven to roast.  Stir after 10-15 minutes.  
  • Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium-high heat until crisp, about 10 minutes; transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate. Keep using the skillet, discarding all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat.
  • In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the couscous until just al dente, 5 to 6 minutes; drain.
  • Add the corn and scallions to the reserved skillet and cook over medium-high heat until warmed through, about 2 minutes.  Add the couscous and chicken stock and simmer until the liquid is absorbed, about 2 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Stir in the butter, cheese and reserved bacon. Serve with the roasted sprouts.

1 comment: said...

This looks delicious! I like pearl cous cous much better than other cous cous and love bacon and cheese so this looks like a winner to me!