JEWELLED COUSCOUS (Serves 4)
Couscous is so quick and easy to prepare and is delicious served with hot or cold meats. By adding some cubes of Feta or grilled Halloumi cheese it becomes a vegetarian meal in itself.
325g / 13oz couscous
450ml ¾ pint hot vegetable stock
2 tblsps olive oil
2 spring onions, finely sliced
25g / 1oz pistachios, roughly chopped
25g / 1oz dried cranberries
25g / 1oz dried apricots, chopped
25g / 1oz pine nuts, lightly toasted
2 tblsps roughly chopped coriander, mint or parsley
grated zest of ½ orange (optional)
Place the couscous in a heat-proof bowl and pour over the hot stock. Stir in the olive oil, loosely cover and leave to stand for about 15 minutes. When all the liquid has been absorbed gently break up any lumps using a fork, then mix in all the remaining ingredients. Serve warm or cold.
These can be made into any seasonal shape depending on what cutters you have. They make a nice change from 'cheesy footballs'!
125g / 4½oz strong cheddar or red Leicester, grated
50g / 2oz soft butter
100g / 4oz plain flour
½ tsp baking powder
pinch dry mustard (optional)
Put all the ingredients into a food processor and process until a dough is formed. Chill for about 30 minutes then roll out on a floured surface and cut into shapes, fingers (or feet) and bake in a hot oven (200ºC, Gas 6) for about 12 minutes. Caroline Taylor.