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CousCous from scratch

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Have been trying to narrow down couscous not the many precooked versions that r available.I would like to prepare it the old fashion way.Researching this has been tough  to say the least I am still not sure what to start off with I believe it is 100 % Semolina flour.

 

If some of you could recommend  the correct grain and what to purchase it would be very helpful ??

2Nd confusing step is what type of equipment is necessary from what I have seen a couscoussier is the right choice. the ones I see on line look as if u put semolina flour into it it fall threw the holes into the boiling water bellow.If any one has something 10 quart that is good for this purpose It would be appreciated.,

 

Even the process of steaming it is not that clear any info links videos cook books would be great.

 

Thanks In advance for any replies

post #2 of 8

Have you looked at Paula Wolfert's book Couscous and Other Good Food from Morocco? I haven't read it but she is known for her authoritative approach to food traditions. It is sort of the go-to book on the subject of couscous.

post #3 of 8

I don't think you will find couscous that is not pre-cooked. But it doesn't matter! You can still prepare it the old way. I'm assuming that by prepare you mean cook it, not actually MAKE the couscous, which is a really, really labor intensive work. 

 

There are various methods... depending on the desired result. Here's how I cook my couscous: 

1) Oil my hands and rub the couscous (that's optional but really helps to avoid overcooking the couscous). 

2) Pour cold water and steer a bit, then immediately drain. 

3) Let the couscous swell for 5-10mn. At that point it will look like a "cake". The grains won't separate easily. Thats normal. 

4) Add salt and pepper to the grain (be quite generous, couscous is a pasta, think of salting that amount of pasta). 

5) Rub again with oil. 

6) Steam the grain in the top compartment of your couscoussier. This lasts about... 20-30mn?

7) Pour the hot grain back in a dish and add a glass of cold water. Let clump again. 

8) Repeat #4 (taste to determine additional seasoning)

9) Repeat #5

10) Repeat #6

 

A few months ago I posted a thread you may want to look at:  http://www.cheftalk.com/t/74861/couscous-step-by-step-with-pictures

 

     

post #4 of 8
Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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post #5 of 8

surfcast, I re-read your post and realize you do want to MAKE your own couscous after all. Well... that, I've never tried myself, however you'll need semolina, which I have never seen available in U.S. stores: 

 

http://www.cheftalk.com/t/67837/making-makrouds-why-is-it-impossible-to-find-semolina-in-us-markets

post #6 of 8

Try a Middle Eastern market, if you can find one in your area. I buy semolina at one near me that sells a lot of grains and beans in 1 and 2 lb bags they package up themselves from bulk.  

post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChicagoTerry View Post

Try a Middle Eastern market, if you can find one in your area. I buy semolina at one near me that sells a lot of grains and beans in 1 and 2 lb bags they package up themselves from bulk.  

Are you sure it's true, coarse semolina? Or is it fine "semolina flour" (which is not semolina)? I have a middle eastern market here (Jons) and they have TONS of different grains, different bulghur, farina (a.k.a. semolina flour) etc... but no coarse semolina. 

post #8 of 8

It just says semolina on the label and it is kind of gritty, like farina or Cream of Wheat. I eat it mixed with oatmeal for a breakfast cereal and use it to dust my baking sheets when I make pizza or bread.

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