Oh - I love this stuff. Giant couscous - or pearl couscous as it's otherwise known.
I searched long and hard for well over a year and could not find it anywhere. Eventually, I found it was made by Merchant Gourmet and is stocked in most branches of Waitrose.
It's much much larger than normal couscous and once cooked, swells to a similar size as tiny pearls. It's a totally different texture and not "gritty". My husband quite likes this and he hates normal couscous.
It is easy to cook, but rather different in preparation to ordinary couscous. Boil for approx 8 minutes until tender in either water or vegetable / chicken stock and then drain. I like to refresh it as you would noodles in cold water to remove excess starch and then drain again.
This picture shows giant couscous (left), normal couscous (centre) and mograbiah (mega giant Lebanese cous cous).
I managed to get hold of some Mograbiah from www.maroque.co.uk and found at the same time that these guys also stock pearl couscous.
So far, I've had little luck cooking the Mograbiah. I found when cooking it that it was either mushy, or soft on the outside and hard on the inside. I'm going to try cooking it on the next attempt by steaming it on the rack in my pressure cooker rather than boiling in a pot like the pearl couscous.
I dressed my couscous simply in a beautiful fresh coriander and chilli oil pesto I also bought in Waitrose made by a company called STARK NAKED FOODS. The name did make me giggle ! But seriously - crunchy pine nuts, a good amount of parmesan, some fresh fragrant coriander and chilli oil. You can't get a much more healthy lunch. It's wonderful to toss a spoonful into some boiled new potatoes too.
Normally, I'd make my own pesto. However, I adore coriander and my husband cannot stand the stuff. Most of it goes to waste when I buy a bunch of the stuff. The little pack from Stark Naked has two dinky pots - individually sealed and perfect for yours truly.
I tossed this through my cooked giant couscous, added some crumbled feta and a few halves cherry tomatoes. I'll admit I added a little extra chilli oil (as I adore the stuff). It packs neatly into one of Oliver's little plastic bowls and is ideal for me to wrap with some cling film and take to work for lunch.
As I was making this on Wednesday; just before going to work; Oliver was sat watching tv (just out the bath).
Oliver : "I REALLY need a Mc'Donalds Mummy."
Oliver : " I REALLY REALLY do ....!"
Me : "How about an apple"
Oliver : "That's a good idea. Make it a big green one with a hole in the middle and the skin off please."
Oliver : "But I'll need you to make a chocolate cake later....."
He later forgot about the chocolate cake. We'll keep that for another day !
He might have the blonde hair and blue eyes of an angel, but a cheeky monkey lies within.... He knows how to make his mummy smile :-)
Sarah-Jane Nash - www.siliconemoulds.com - June 2011