Rice is a staple in a Korean's diet so I used to eat it with breakfast, lunch, and dinner. As I started to eat dishes besides Korean ones, rice was becoming less of a main character and pretty soon it was out of the picture. Not every meal required it as a side dish and maybe it's because I've eaten it my whole life but sometimes I prefer to eat something more interesting, such as barley, couscous, and bulgur (my favorite!). But I fall into the old habit of eating grains as a side dish. That leads to monotony for me and I end up turning to bread. Fortunately, I recently got my hands on this cookbook, Grains by Good Housekeeping (which is currently unavailable on Amazon). Grains in casseroles, soups, burgers, and dessert! I decided Couscous Paella should be next on my must-make list.
The original recipe calls for chicken and kielbasa. But I thought I would go the seafood route. My mom buys a bag of a frozen mix, which contains squid, mussels, and octopus, so I used that. I love seafood, so this recipe is already off to a good start. Second thing I love about this recipe is the couscous. Couscous is awesome. Boil some water or broth, pour in the couscous, cover with a lid, wait 10 minutes or so and you're done! So easy to make. So while you're cooking the veggies and the seafood, the couscous is cooking and by the time you're done, so is the couscous! Nothing but the veggies to worry about. No boiling or simmering to watch.
Lastly, the result is beautiful. So many different colors of vegetables that it pleases my eyes. And then my stomach :)
Couscous Paella [Makes 2 really generous servings, or 3]
Adapted from Grains! by Good Housekeeping
- about 1 cup broth
- 2/3 cup dry couscous
- 1 cup frozen peas and carrots mix
- 1/2 bell pepper
- 1 cup frozen seafood mix (could always use more, I just decided for less this time)
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp dried thyme
- 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
- 3/4 cup diced tomatoes
1. In a saucepan, bring the broth to a boil. Pour in the couscous and peas and carrots mix, remove pan from heat, cover and let stand until ready to use.
2. In a skillet, cook bell pepper until tender. Add seafood mix, garlic, salt, thyme and black pepper. Cook until the seafood is heated through about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and cook for a few minutes. If there is liquid, cook until most of it evaporated.
3. In a large bowl, combine the prepared couscous and seafood mixture and toss gently.