And there are some very simple things you can do with couscous to make it even more delicious. Here I share just a couple quick tips, and then show you a dinner I literally threw together this week - - in 5 minutes!
- For starters, you can use chicken broth instead of water to make the couscous more flavorful. This is the simplest way to make this granular pasta a little bit more robust. (and yes, couscous is a pasta and is a great replacement for rice in most dishes). Chicken broth is one of those “must have ingredients” for your fridge, as you can use it in so many dishes.
- Also, I add olive oil instead of butter to the saucepan when making couscous. Flavored olive oil in particular, like from Old Town Oil or Olive & Well in Oak Park, provides a terrific flavoring. Flavored olive oil is another great ingredient to have in the kitchen – it’s one of those “special ingredients” and makes food taste special.
- Finally, no matter what meal I’m making, I always make the entire box of couscous, even though there are just 2 of us at home. Couscous makes terrific leftovers. It reheats evenly in a microwave so you can have dinner on the table in minutes!
I used Trader Joe’s frozen crab cakes as the protein of this dish. All you have to do to thaw these is take them out of their packaging and set on your counter (in a dish of course!) for about an hour. And they cook in 4 minutes. Can’t beat that.
Heat up some oil (not your flavored oil, as it’s more expensive and you’re just going to discard this oil at the end - you can use olive oil, grapeseed oil, or vegetable oil for this step) in a pan and when hot, add the crab cakes. Tip: Patience is key when heating a pan, you never want to add food to a pan that isn’t properly heated yet. Hold your hand about 2-3 inches from the pan and if you have to take your hand from the heat in 5 seconds or under, your pan is ready. Cook the crab cakes per instructions, about 2 minutes per side.
While the crab cakes are cooking, I reheated some couscous from the night before in the microwave for about 1 minute.
I then needed to figure out some kind of sauce for my crab cakes. I pulled out some chipotle mustard and light mayonnaise and mixed the two in a bowl (about a 2:1 ratio), just enough for the 2 of us.
I placed a bed of lettuce at the bottom of the dish, added the couscous and placed the crab cakes on top. Then topped it all with the chipotle sauce.