Growing up we had the normal suspects as starches: potatoes, noodles and rice. I'd never heard of couscous or any of the other grains. Finally, a few years ago, I tried couscous. Love at first bite. First off, it's very quick and easy to make. Second, you can make it go with almost any meal. Third, it's great with almost anything with a sauce. The first time I made it, I made up a recipe that I make to this day. It's a box of olive oil and garlic couscous with a peeled and chopped and seeded cucumber and a good handful of crumbled feta cheese. Yesterday, when I had all of 15 minutes to make dinner, it was the starch of choice. I tossed a handful of pine nuts in a skillet and let them brown while the water came to a boil. Then, tossed in a handful of raisins and a bit of thyme. There was about a tablespoon of the sauce from the pork specials so that went in too. But, it's not necessary... It's still really good stuff.
1 c boiling water
1 c couscous
1/3 c raisins (I used the mixed bag from Trader Joe's)
1/4 c toasted pine nuts (ok, so toasted is in the oven, sauteed is stovetop...who cares as long as they're nice and toasty brown!)
1/2 t thyme
Once the water is boiling, pour the couscous into it and remove the saucepan from the heat. Add the raisins and stir. Cover and let it sit for 5 minutes. Add the thyme and pine nuts and stir. Serves 2.