Houston’s Couscous Salad

Couscous – do you know what it is?  It sounds cute, doesn’t it?  It sounds like it is a name for some furry little thing with pointy snout, two big round eyes and a fuzzy tail.  But it is not.  It has no fuzzy tail nor pointy snout nor eyes.  It is yellow in color, and its diameter perhaps is about one millimeter wide.  So, just by its size, it can be categorized as cute, don’t you agree with me?

Couscous is a grain product made out of durum wheat.  According to Wikipedia, the ungrounded part of durum wheat is made into couscous by adding water.  Then, it is made into little tiny pellets, in which they were dried under the sun and then are ready to be used.

The couscous I got at the grocery store is instant couscous, where it will be ready to be eaten within 5 minutes of steaming (sort of…  the couscous got soaked in boiling water for 5 minutes.  Is that steaming?).

One day I discussed couscous with my coworker.  Kim said that Houston’s serves this couscous that he really likes, and that he finally developed his own recipe, which is supposed to be better than Houston’s.  I coaxed Kim into sharing his recipe and I waited and waited…  (there…  I threw him under the bus…  ha ha…).  Then finally I looked for the recipe online and found this link.

So, let’s sum it all up.  Couscous, green onion, radish, carrots, peanuts, raisins, parsley, garlic, lemon, olive oil, salt, honey, pepper, and plain yogurt.  The list is quite extensive…  Especially when I read “chopped very fine…” – I decided then that I would have used the food processor.  I wasn’t quite sure if I was up to making it without my food processor…



First I made the dressing.  I scooped out of some plain yoghurt…



Added the garlic…



Olive oil…






Lemon juice…



Mixed them all up…



Until smooth…



Oh…  I forgot the black pepper….  After mixing it again, I tasted the dressing and it was quite sweet and lemony – I was a bit worried that it would be too sweet for Hubby’s liking…  but don’t worry…  once it was mixed with the couscous and veggies, the sweetness was toned down considerably.



Then I got the shredding blade for the food processor and shredded the carrots and radishes….



Then I chopped up the peanuts…



Dropped in the carrots and radish since I wanted them chopped really fine.  At this point, I added the raisins and green onion as well.



Pulsed the food processor until I got this!



Oh darn!  I forgot the parsley!!!






Meanwhile, to cook the couscous, I used chicken stock instead of water to give it more flavor.  This block of chicken stock was a leftover either from a box or homemade stock.  The other day, when I was at the grocery store, an elderly lady was looking for a smaller can of chicken stock – she commented that she never used it all up and then had to throw it away.  I told her that I used to throw it away too, until I read somewhere on the blogoshpere that leftover chicken stock can be frozen and used later.  So, no more wasted chicken stock – they’re all in the freezer now.



BobRedMill’s direction in how to cook couscous….



While my block of stock was melting inside the pot, I added olive oil…



Sprinkled a few grains of sea salt…



And finally my stock was starting to boil….



I dumped the couscous into the pot….




Stirred it so that every single pellet was under the stock, closed it, and set the timer for 5 minutes.  How easy was that?



And in five minutes, it was done!



Now, as a word of advice – don’t do like what I did.  I dumped the couscous into the dressing bowl…  Well, don’t do this.  Pour the dressing into the mix, so you can control how much dressing goes into the couscous mix.  Mine ended up just a tad too much dressing, and it almost became too clumpy.



Added the veggies mix next…



Mixed them all up – you see, the mix has a tad too much dressing – the couscous should be able to separate and not clumpy.  I chilled the salad according to the recipe…



And in about an hour or so, it was ready.



I served it alongside a Morrocon Spiced Grilled Chicken, which will be my next post.  The couscous was refreshing.  There was the nutty flavor from the peanuts, the fresh crunch of radishes, the sweetness of the carrots, the tanginess of lemon, all of the flavors burst in the spoonful of this couscous salad.  I will definitely make this again – and probably will make it the day before too.  So, until next time!



Print recipe here.

Houston’s Couscous Salad
Recipe courtesy: The Recipe Link

1 box plain couscous make according to package
parsley-chopped very fine
radishes-chopped very fine
carrots-chopped very fine
RAW peanuts-remove skin & chop very fine
raisins-chopped very fine
green onions(optional)chopped very fine
plum tomatoes


1 individual serving size PLAIN yogurt
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic-minced (can use garlic powder)
1 Tablespoon honey
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
Mix all & chill!

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4 Responses to Houston’s Couscous Salad

  1. love your action shots!!! TX is a mess…we’re not far from there and it’s a mess here!


  2. nun-ya says:

    Houston’s couscous has neither yogurt nor peanuts. It does have coarsley chopped almonds.

    Couscous is a coarsely ground pasta made from semolina, a type of wheat.
    Like macaroni and spaghetti, couscous is made from semolina flour, but rather than mixing the semolina with a prescribed amount of water and/or egg into a dough, couscous is made by rubbing the semolina between moistened hands until the flour combines with just enough water to form hundreds of tiny grains. Obviously the process takes a light touch, lest the grains combine into a gooey mass, but once learned it is one of the simplest forms of making pasta and one that is practiced in villages all around the Mediterranean basin.


    • Anny says:

      Thanks! I never have Houston’s couscous before, so I only went by the copycat recipe I found. Thank you for sharing the knowledge of couscous.


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