Jeweled Couscous

Jeweled Couscous

We are a little behind the power curve here at Chez Parker (because, let’s just be honest, it’s his house. Don’t try to tell him otherwise). That’s why, I’m sharing with you what Casey ate for Valentines day dinner. In March. Because, it’s not that day that matters, it’s the sentiment…er, right?

We’re not the most celebratory of couples, and I love to focus our celebrations around special meals, such as personalized cakes for birthdays and cooking a meal we wouldn’t normally make for events like Valentine’s Day and anniversaries.  I don’t remember when I learned about Casey’s affection for lamb, but whenever I’ve wanted to make a special dinner, I always start with a lamb dish.

For Valentine’s Day, I found six lovely lamb loin chops at Trader Joe’s, which I purchased without looking at the price tag, because it was for Valentine’s day and I was at Trader Joe’s on an empty stomach (oops). They were delicious, and while I don’t recall the marinade I used, it went something like this: four garlic cloves, big handfuls of parsley and mint, pine nuts (maybe a 1/4 cup), salt, dash of red pepper flake, juice from one lemon, and olive oil all blitzed together in the food processor. I covered the lamb in the herb marinade, let it sit in the fridge for at least 2 hours. Casey then took over the process on the grill.

I think the real jewel of dinner was the jeweled couscous. Inspired by a sweet saffron rice I ate in Philadelphia with N., I cooked Isreali Couscous in saffron broth and sweetened it with sugar, pomegranate seeds, dried cranberries, pistachios, and green onions. The finished dish was a warmly hued, mildly sweet side dish that complemented the lamb. Plus, it looked pretty to boot. See the recipe below the picture.

Jeweled Couscous and Lamb

Jeweled Couscous

  • 1 3/4 cup water with a pinch of saffron threads
  • 1 cup pearl couscous
  • 1/4 cup shelled pistachios
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 3 Tbs sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Bring the water to a boil, then add the couscous. Cover with a lid and remove from heat for ten minutes. Fluff with a fork and stir in sugar, salt, and remaining ingredients. Taste and adjust salt or sweetness level to your desired flavor. Served with grilled lamb or chicken.

couscous 2.0

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