Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Couscous Pie

This is the ultimate flexible leftover-user recipe. I adapted this from a polenta pie I made several weeks ago, substituting whatever I had in my fridge or my pantry.

Begin by cooking your couscous so it will have a chance to cool, approx a 1:1 ratio of couscous to water or flavorful liquid (I used chicken broth). Let cool and then dish into a pie pan. Form it up as best you can into something like a pie crust. I didn't get too fussy with this step, but I did try to compress it as much as I could so it would stay together. I put the crust into a 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes before I put in the ingredients, but I don't think it's absolutely necessary.

Saute your ingredients before they go into the pie, to mix their flavors and soften them up. I went with Onions and Kale, and after they had softened up I added a can of tomatoes (Better than fresh this time of year), black beans, garlic, green beans, and some assorted seasoning. Feel free to use whatever you want, just try to keep it relatively dry or it will saturate the bottom layer of couscous.

Take your crust out of the oven and fill with ingredients.. but not too full. At this point you can either bake it as is, or cobble together some sort of pseudo couscous crust. I chose the latter, and I'm really glad I did.

Bake at 400, for about 30 minutes, or until the couscous on top starts to brown.
It's not going to hold together very well, but that doesn't matter.. just scrape it out as best you can and top it preferably with some decent parmigiano reggiano, but any sort of strong cheese would do.. it really brings the flavors together. The couscous on top should be crispy and delicious, and the "crust" should hold together fairly well.

This recipe works even better with cornmeal or polenta, so use it if you have it.

Cooking time start to finish. About an hour, with 30 minutes of that being in the oven.


Your Matt Ryan said...

I hope that was WHOLE wheat couscous. You wouldn't want to upset your b/f Michael Pollan.

Godlesscook said...

Nope. Where might I acquire said whole wheat couscous? Possibly a co-op? Possibly bought in bulk?
I eat everything else whole wheat, but I like my couscous pasty and white.

Your Matt Ryan said...

Yup, coop and bulk. They make white whole wheat now, so you could make your own pasty, white and whole wheat couscous.