13 February 2012

Super Bowl - Citrus Couscous

Let's start by saying I've made several changes to this recipe by blending it with another couscous recipe I have some where in the back of my head.

Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis
Yield: 24

Pastry Cups
Vegetable oil cooking spray
Flour, for dusting
Two 9" unroll and bake store-bought pie crusts
Special equipment: 24-count nonstick mini-muffin pan; 2 1/2-inch round
cookie cutter

1/3 cup low-sodium chicken broth
Zest of 1/4 large orange
Juice of 1/2 large orange (about 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice)
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/3 cup couscous
One 11-ounce can mandarin oranges in light syrup, drained and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Cook's Note: To toast the almonds, arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F oven for 6 to 8 minutes until lightly toasted. Cool completely before using. 
For the pastry cups: Place an oven rack in the center of the oven.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a 24-count nonstick mini-muffin pan with vegetable oil cooking spray. Unroll the pie crusts on a lightly floured work surface. Using a 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter, cut 12 circles of dough from each crust. Press the dough into the prepared muffin cups. Bake until light golden, 10 minutes. Cool completely before filling, 15 minutes.
For the salad: Bring the broth, orange zest, orange juice and cumin to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in the couscous and remove the pan from the heat. Cover the pan until the liquid had been absorbed and the couscous is tender, 5 to 6  minutes. Fluff the couscous and break up any lumps, using a fork. Toss together the couscous, mandarin oranges, almonds and parsley in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
For the dressing: Whisk together the oil, orange juice, vinegar, salt and pepper in a small bowl until smooth. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss until coated.

Bench Notes: As mentioned, I made changes, but was pleased w/the results - first, no cups, just couscous. I left the cumin out of the broth and used veggie broth instead of chicken broth (which I do quiet often). I substituted sultanas soaked in slightly heated orange juice
for the mandarin oranges. I added 1/3 of a diced red onion that I had slightly pickled in red wine vinegar and continued with the rest of the recipe. It was great room temperature and quite pretty with a nice mix of flavors.

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