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Israeli Couscouspost #1 of 146/22/07 at 4:48amThread Starterpost #2 of 146/22/07 at 5:05amI wondered about that too, Shel, and did some research.
The basic difference is size. Israeli cous cous is larger. About 2 1/2-3 times as large as standard cous cous.
This can have a decided effect on some recipes, and not matter at all in others.
My big question, though, is where to get the stuff. I have yet to find a supplier, and would welcome any inputs.post #3 of 146/22/07 at 5:40amThread StarterHi, after reading your response, I'd suggest checking Whole Foods or Wild Oats if those stores are convenient. Yesterday I saw a bin of Mediterranean couscous in the bulk foods section of our local WF - the couscous was larger than the regular couscous in the next bin. Of course, there are on line sources as well. Here's one: Israeli Couscous 8.8 oz. Note that the package says Israeli couscous and Mediterranean couscous.
Shelpost #4 of 146/22/07 at 5:45amactually israeli cous cous is a processed item that is basically pasta in a micro ball shape - (think orzo looking like rice)
bulgur on the otherhand is not processed as much and is more of a whole wheat product. You don't really boil regular cous cous, you steam it, but with orzo you can boil it like pasta. Personally I am not thrilled with the taste/texture of I.C. but when you cook it risotto style it has more flavor possibilities. and the shape holds well.
When you cook up israeli cous cous the method is similar to pasta but tastes better if you cook it in chicken stock or cook with a risotto type method. It works well for both hot and cold applications and is very trendy at the moment. Check out the post about it recently on catersourceChef Tigerwoman
Stop Tofu Abuse...Eat Foie Gras...Chef Tigerwoman
Stop Tofu Abuse...Eat Foie Gras...post #5 of 146/22/07 at 7:05amWe don't have a Wild Foods anywhere in the area, Shel. And neither Wild Oats nor the Good Foods Coop carry Israeli (or Mediterranean) cous cous. I'll check out that on-line source, though.
It's kind of amusing how things get named, though. I guess they think North Africa--which uses more cous cous than the entire Mid-east--isn't Mediteranean. :confused:
"actually israeli cous cous is a processed item that is basically pasta in a micro ball shape - (think orzo looking like rice)"
As I said, Tigerwoman, size is the only real difference. All cous cous is processed that way, and is, essentially, a fast-cooking pasta. In North Africa, especially Morraco, it's steamed in special vessels above a tagine.
"bulgur on the otherhand is not processed as much and is more of a whole wheat product."
I wasn't aware that bulgur was processed at all. Basically it is cracked wheat, is all. It comes in different grades, (i.e., #1, #2), which refer to how finely they've been ground.
Both cous cous and bulgur can be steamed, or be cooked as part of another dish. A simple method is to pour boiling water over them, cover, and let sit about 15 minutes. They'll puff up just fine. For a real taste treat, try using coffee as the liquid when making cous cous.
Orzo, on the other hand, has to be boiled like any other pasta, as you point out.post #6 of 146/22/07 at 7:57amMy local grocer used to carry Israeli Couscous but stopped. I found it this past weekend though at a middle-eastern grocer. Check for some specialty grocers in your area, or in a bigger city in your area for the next time you visit.
Philpost #7 of 146/22/07 at 9:29ampost #8 of 146/22/07 at 11:40amNan, it depends a lot on what I'm serving with it.
If I'm making a tagine, I just use a little butter and black pepper; fluff up the cous cous, and serve the tagine ladled on top of it.
A couple of nights ago, on the other hand, I intended cous cous as a side dish, so mixed in sliced scallions, ginger, salt & pepper, and used chicken stock as the liquid.
I've even got, in my files, a recipe for cous cous paella.
All in all, cous cous can be very versitile. I have, for instance, subbed it for broad noodles, topped with chicken liver paprikash.
You can use it as the base of grain salads (shrimp and squid work particularly well with it).
In short. let your imagination run.post #9 of 146/22/07 at 4:57pmThanks, I use it a lot, love it, love it! The coffee idea sounds attractive, also thinking about tea?
Both of those ideas above sound nice sound good.
Sysco used to have Israli Couscous, I checked their product list online after reading your query, I see it is not there. Glad I checked, will look for some before I head back to work.
I sometime do the Israeli like a pilaf, with mint, lemon, pine nuts--sort of tabouli flavors. Have also used that method with capers, lemon, olives, garlic and??
I often design things as I go, once I have more or less pointed my self toward the flavors I want.
Gosh, do you do that and then forget to make notes?? Urrggggghhhhh.post #10 of 146/23/07 at 6:46am"Gosh, do you do that and then forget to make notes?? Urrggggghhhhh."
My problem is that I'm always making mental notes---and then losing them.
Thought you were headed for a new job. When do you join that research ship?post #11 of 146/23/07 at 8:04ampost #12 of 146/23/07 at 9:10amStill waiting for my renewed merchant marine documents. Has been way too long and I have missed several good jobs.
But job I am up for now starts around mid July and Coast Guard tells me, everything is in final stage of processing and should be mailed next week. I call every other day.
Am really missing cooking! But all this time off has given me R&D time and have lots of new ideas, from the forums and my many cook books. Luckily I have worked with this bunch before, they love new stuff and will try most anything!
Sorry too long for off-topic!!!!!!!post #13 of 146/23/07 at 11:34ampost #14 of 146/30/12 at 11:59am
I particularly prefer Israeli Cous Cous to the smaller grain Cous Cous, because it has a much better chew and texture than its rival. Cook it with chicken stock, brown some onions, and red capsicum in olive oil toss cous cous in pan, add some tumeric, hungarian paprika, and cardamom and you've got a great spiced dish that goes well with kebab.
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