Saturday, August 18, 2007

Couscous recipe - who needs one?

Who needs a couscous recipe anyway?

After a successful dinner party it's quite likely that one of the guests will ask me for the couscous recipe or something like that. It's a tricky situation because when I tell them there isn't a recipe, they often don't believe me. They think I'm holding back a secret, keeping the special knowledge to myself. Let me tell you the secret now. There is no couscous recipe! Couscous, like many of the world's favourites is a peasant dish. Irish stew. Cottage pie. Minestrone. Cornish Pasty. Lancashire Hotpot. All absolutely delicious in their own right but do you know what? Thay are all basically great ways of using up leftover ingredients. Whatever you happen to have handy can usually be included, within reason. There are some basic necessities, like beef for the Irish stew, swede for the pasties, vermicelli for the minestrone, but most of the other ingredients can be substituted for something else. As for measuring out quantities, well that's just a waste of time. It's something people think they need to do when they are just learning how to cook.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't say couscous is a "peasant dish"....rather than a dish, is a staple like rice. Couscous is never eaten on its own, usually with some kind of stew.