Jun 23, 2010

Cous Cous Paradise

Remember when I spazed out about crab jambalaya?  I mean, whoever heard of such a thing?  Then I tried it and now it's one of my favorite jambalaya recipes.

About a year or so ago, I came across a recipe for 
jambalaya using cous cous instead of rice.  (What?!)  This time I kept an open mind.  And we liked it too. 

Cous cous is one of The Boy's favorites.  He's eaten it since he was a toddler.  It was a great food for both of us because he loved it and I could pull all sorts of sneaky tricks with it.  Diced carrots up my sleeve...mwwwahahaha.  Peas out of a top hat...hee hee hee.  A flick of a wand and...squash!  Into the cous cous they all went.   And the magic only took minutes to make.

But the trouble with feeding cous cous to toddlers is that they are messy, messy little boogers.

And cous cous succumbs to gravity.

Cous cous is not easy to sweep up.  It must sit on the floor to dry so it can be easily swept up at a later time. 

And 9 out of 10 times while you're sitting on your duff watching TV, waiting for the cous cous to dry, someone's gonna ring the doorbell.  You'll open the door, forgetting all about the cous cous.  You'll invite the visitor in and offer iced tea.  As you hand off the glass, you'll meet eyes wide and focused in horror.

There are two paths here.

1.  You could stammer...try to explain.  But we all know it sounds like a worn out and lame excuse.  The TV's blaring in the background and here you are hobbling around...because your leg fell asleep since you were parked in one spot all afternoon.

2.  Yep.  9 out of 10 times, someone will end up seeing your floor.  The floor that currently looks like a beach (hopefully an oil free one).  Your own little cous cous paradise.  Put down some towels, mix some margaritas, and invite your visitor to join you.


This recipe is from Family Circle Homestyle Healthy Cooking.  I tweaked it a bit to make it more jambalaya-like (to us).

We really liked this since we're fans of cous cous.  It had the flavors we'd expect from jambalaya.  And serious bonus points for cooking much faster than a traditional rice-based jambalaya.

Off to let the cous cous dry...

Mise en place: the usual suspects--oil, celery, onion, bell pepper, garlic, smoked sausage (andouille pictured below) and Tony's Creole seasoning, also dried oregano, salt, black pepper, hot sauce, shrimp, chicken broth, cous cous, tomatoes, green onions

Saute the celery, onion, & bell pepper in oil until they start to soften.  Add the sausage and garlic and continue cooking until the vegetables are very soft.

Add the seasonings and shrimp and cook until the shrimp start to turn the slightest pink.  Add the chicken broth and bring just to a boil.  Note; if using small shrimp, add the seasonings, shrimp and broth at the same time and bring just to a boil.

Turn off the heat and add the chopped tomato and cous cous.  Cover and allow to stand for about 5 minutes, until the cous cous has absorbed the liquid.

Gently fold in the green onion.

Serve with more hot sauce at the table.

I'm submitting this to What's on the Menu Wednesday @ Dining With Debbie

Shrimp and Cous Cous Jambalaya
adapted from Family Circle Healthy Homestyle Cooking

1 T olive oil
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 link smoked sausage, cut into bite-size pieces
1 tsp Creole/Cajun seasoning (or to taste)
½ tsp dried oregano
salt and black pepper to taste
a few dashes of hot sauce
14-16 oz raw shrimp, peeled
1 (14 oz) can low sodium chicken broth
1 cup cous cous
1 tomato, chopped
2-3 green onions, chopped

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Cook celery, bell pepper, and onion until they start to get tender, then add the garlic and sausage. Continue cooking until all vegetables are soft or to your liking (I like them very soft). Stir occasionally. Add the Cajun Seasoning, oregano, salt, pepper and hot sauce. Add in the shrimp and combine. Cook until shrimp just start to turn pink.

Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and stir in the tomato and cous cous. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Gently fold in the green onions and fluff up with a fork. About 6 servings

Note: if using small shrimp, add the seasonings, shrimp, and broth at the same time and bring just to a boil.


  1. I love cous cous too and was laughing my head off when you mentioned how messy it is. (Grits are just as messy, aren't they?)

    I've never thought about putting all these ingredients together but I know it would be delicious and better yet...quick.

    Are you all still able to get shrimp or is it coming from someplace else now? I quit watching the news because it is so depressing.

  2. Anonymous6/28/2010

    Oh what a lovely read! Murphy's Law, and cous cous! And I love the cous cous jambalaya! Can't wait to see what you bring to the Joust!


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