Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Seafood Couscous Recipe

For this seafood couscous recipe you will need access to a good fishmongers, a market seafood stall or best of all a harbour where fish and seafood are landed and sold on the quayside.

There are two approaches to cooking seafood with couscous. One type of recipe cooks the fish portion as a whole piece or fillet of fish or as a rich mixture of seafood cooked together in a creamy sauce. The couscous is cooked separately, maybe using some of the fish stock to help flavour the grains.

The other type of seafood couscous recipe is more like a paella or biryani in principle, only using the couscous as a quick cooking substitute for the rice.  That's a bit trickier because you'll need to add each of teh seafood and fish ingredients at just the right time before adding the couscous to soak up the juices and liquid so that everything is cooked just perfectly together.

Whichever type of recipe you go far, the most important thing is choosing and buying the seafood itself. I would suggest that any of the following might be included but you really need to look and see which is freshest and best value on the day when you do the shopping, which should ideally be the same day as the cooking.

Squid - fresh whole squid, not just the tubes because the head and tentacles make a rather attractive addition.

Mussels - live mussels in the shells are best but cooked mussels not in too much vinegar can be very tasty too.  The shells do tend to make a bit of a mess in the couscous, and you definitely don't want any barnacles remaining when you do this.

Undyed Smoked  Haddock - The best type to add a subtle smokey flavour without having too much artificial flavouring or making the whole dish turn a lurid orange colour.

White Fish - Deliberately vague because seasonal. Anything from cod and coley to hake and pollock.

Oily fish - leave out. If you love oily fish as I do then have fried sprats as a starter or serve the barbecued mackerel with a couscous side dish.

Octopus - lovely when simmered in a Tom Yum soup mix then cut up into chunks and served cold in a couscous seafood salad recipe.

Whelks - yes you can chop up boiled whelks and use that to add a nice chewy texture to any mixed seafood dish if you don't have any large squid for example.