Couscous is a lifesaver when you need a side or main dish in a few minutes.
Start with these short and easy couscous recipes:
Cheesy couscous croquettes
Combine 500ml grated mozzarella, 375ml grated Cheddar, 4 cups cooked couscous, 45ml chopped peppadews, zest and juice of 1 lemon, 1 fried onion, 30ml Cajun spice and handful thyme. Season. Heat in microwave for 1-2 minutes or until cheese starts to melt. Shape into 60ml rolls. Dip one at a time into 1 beaten egg and then into seasoned panko breadcrumbs. Deep-fry in sunflower oil on medium-high for about 2 minutes or until golden. Serve with sweet chilli sauce.
Olive oil couscous cake
Combine 250ml cake flour, 15ml baking powder, 3ml salt and 125ml uncooked couscous. Whisk together 210ml olive oil and 60ml sweet wine (like sherry). Beat together 6 egg yolks, 3 eggs and 250ml sugar until pale. Alternate folding the flour and oil mixtures into the egg mixture. Stir in zest of 1 orange and 12 pitted, chopped dates. Spoon into a 23cm springform cake tin lined with baking paper. Bake at 180°C for about 45 minutes or until cooked and starting to pull away from sides of pan. Cool in pan. Serve with crème fraîche and maple-flavoured
Combine 125ml uncooked couscous and a pinch salt and pour over just enough boiling water to cover with a thin layer. Cover and set aside for 5 minutes. Fluff couscous with a fork and mix through 2 grated carrots, 2 chopped spring onions, 2 grated baby marrows, 60ml corn kernels, 5ml dried oregano, 125ml grated Cheddar and 2 eggs. Season. Spoon into a standard muffin tin lined with 12 paper cases. Bake at 200°C for about 20 minutes
or until cooked. Cool slightly. Combine 230g tub cream cheese and a handful chopped mixed herbs
and serve with the muffins.
Curried mushroom pilaf
Heat olive oil on high and sauté 250g sliced mushrooms. Add 45ml soy sauce. Set aside. Sauté 1 chopped onion, 2 crushed garlic cloves, 2 sliced celery stalks and 1 chopped carrot. Stir in 30ml curry powder. Add 250ml uncooked couscous, 500ml veg stock and 180ml frozen peas. Season. Cook for about 8 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Stir in mushrooms and handful chopped coriander.
Fruity stuffed squash
Cut 4 gem squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Microwave, cut side down, for about 7 minutes or until soft. Bring 375ml apple juice, 180ml cranberries, 15ml butter, pinch salt and a grated green apple to a boil. Add 180ml uncooked couscous, cover and set aside for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork, mix in 125ml flaked almonds and spoon into the gems. Combine 45ml honey, 45ml Dijon mustard and a pinch salt and serve with the gems.
Couscous and feta patties
Combine 750ml cooked couscous, 250ml crumbled feta, 2 eggs, 60ml cake flour, 2 sliced spring onions, a handful chopped coriander and 1 finely chopped chilli. Season. Shape into 80ml patties and fry in a splash of sunflower oil on medium-high for about 3 minutes on each side or until golden. Serve with garlic sauce.
FEATURE: MARGIE ELS-BURGER ASSISTED BY NOMVUSELELO MNCUBE PHOTO: DYLAN SWART