I learnt how to speed read when I was really young, and most times it has stood me in good stead when looking for a particular term or phrase in a sheaf of papers. But last week, my speed reading did not work out as planned. We got back from overseas on the 6th and I only came into the office on the 8th as the Wednesday was a public holiday for us so we could go and vote. I glanced at this month’s Daring Cooks’ challenge and saw we were tasked to make Maftoul, which I know as Israeli cous cous. I saw the words “Otam Ottolenghi” and “Jerusalem” and made the assumption that the recipe was in this book. I have only read brilliant things about the recipe book and I decided I would get myself a copy and use his recipe for the challenge. When I got to the book shop the following day, a young gentleman came to assist me and found the book for me. I gulped a bit at the price (R549) and as it was sealed I could not even look at the book. The shop assistant opened the book for me – they can do this and reseal the books! And lo and behold, the book only mentions maftoul and does not have a recipe for it. I decided to not buy the book, or even try and make the maftoul as by now I had run out of time. I will add this on to my list of challenges to complete, but despite not having done the first part of the challenge, I did do the second, which was to create a recipe. I made a cous cous salad with ingredients inspired by the tastes of the Middle East, and to go with it I made a lime and coriander dressing which is sublime!
- 95g cous cous
- 250mls boiling vegetable stock
- pinch of salt
- 80g pomegranate arils
- 1 medium Mediterranean cucumber, quartered, seeds removed and sliced
- 1 ear of corn, corn removed
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to season
- Place the cous cous into a bowl. add the stock and a pinch of salt and stir with a fork
- Cover with cling film and set aside until cool
- Add the rest of the ingredients and season to taste
- Place all of the ingredients into a blender and mix until smooth
- Pour over the cous cous and mix in well
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Blog-checking lines: The May Daring Cooks’ Challenge was hosted by the incomparable Sawsan from chef in disguise. Sawsan challenged us to try our hands (literally!) at making maftoul – hand-rolled Palestinian couscous that is as versatile as it is tasty!
What I blogged: