Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Cookbook Challenge: Sweet Couscous with Apricot Compote and Honey Pistachios [Week 1, Stonefruits]

I've decided to do the Cookbook Challenge this year to try out some recipes I probably won't consider normally. And also to cook more. So pretty much the cookbook challenge is to cook something every fortnight from a cookbook that relates to the theme of the fortnight and post it. Check out for more details.
I do have one problem with doing this challenge which is I don't have many cookbooks. My cookbook collection consists of:
1. Momofuku (18th present from my friends) 
2. Masterchef Cookbook Vol. 2 (gift from family friend)
3. The free version of Jamie Does from the Herald Sun a few months ago
4. Whatever cookbooks/magazines I have borrowed from the library at the time. (right now it is Kylie Kwong's My China)

However, I have cut out about 80% of the recipes in the Herald Sun and The Age in the past year or two and I am in the process of sorting them all into manageable catergories. The includes:
- HS Mon-Fri Daily Recipes after the comics+puzzle section
- HS Taste Liftout
- TA Epicure
- HS Weekend food section by Jamie Oliver
- TA Good Weekend food section by various chefs
- HS Sunday Donna Hay section
- HS Sunday Food section at the back near the baby+pets+wedding photos
- TA Life Karen Martini section  
I know you probably think I'm insane but that's what happens when you can't afford cookbooks.

I know this is a few days late =S Not a good start

I chose this recipe because the idea of sweet couscous was new to me, however I have never liked couscous and even after trying this I still don't like it. Also I found the combination of couscous, apricot and pistachios very weird, it really needed something else but I can't seem to think of what. But do try it, it is an interesting texture. The amount of compote made is more than enough for the couscous, now I have a takeaway container full sitting in the fridge. What to do with it?
Sweet Couscous from Jamie Does (serves 4)
Ingredients: 200g dried apricots, roughly chopped. 1 orange. 200g couscous. 550ml full fat milk. 3 tbsp runny honey. Handful of pistachios, shelled. Pinch of cinnamon (which I forgot)

1. Put apricots in a bowl with the zest from the orange and pour just enough boiling water to cover, put to one side. Once softened pour it all into a blender, add the juice of the orange and blend away. I added some honey as my apricot compote was really sour. 
2. Heat milk and 2 tbsp of honey in a saucepan.(I found that it needed more honey as the couscous didn't even turn out to be sweet). Once simmering put in couscous and stir. Let it cook for 5-7 mins. Stir occasionally and add more milk or water if it looks dry. You want to take the couscous off the heat when it still looks extremely runny as it will continue to soak up the liquid as you assemble the dish.
3. Whilst you are making the couscous toast the pistachios and don't burn them. Then add a tbsp of honey  at the end and mix. 
Serve with a sprinkle of cinnamon =]


  1. have never tried cous cous before in my life ever, but i like the name of the pronunciation XD sounds kinda cool. with the compote, you can mix it into vanilla yogurt and freeze if you want, eat it with muesli and milk or serve it with pancakes/waffles/ etc. breafast foods kinda thing :)

    btw, thanks for the comment on my blog. i did get into melb uni arts haha. sorry to hear you didn't get into physio, but i'm sure you will do well in your double degree. wishing you luck on second round offers (have you considered applying for an irregular offer?). all the best for uni life :D

  2. oooo, i believe we do have a tub of yoghurt in the fridge.

    yeah, i'm hoping for second round. actually i haven't really looked into irregular offers, i shall tomorrow.
    u too!! too bad we won't be at the same uni

  3. Wow - I've never heard of a sweet cous cous - looks kind of like rice pudding. Shame you didn't enjoy it as it looks rather yummy.

  4. sounds like a fascinating dish! despite your reservations I would still love to try it - and I do love couscous

    re your small cookbook collection - I almost envy you that you can concentrate on a few! you could also borrow coobkooks form the library or even from friends or family. It would give you a taster of if the cookbook is one you want to buy later