Reading about Mark Bittman's savory oatmeal inspired me to try a similar flavor reversal with couscous. I love the texture of couscous, especially the whole-wheat variety, which is nuttier and more filling. After some online research and small-batch experimentation, I settled on a semi-healthful recipe for a sweet whole wheat couscous pudding.
Whole What Couscous Pudding with Honey
- 2/3 cup water
- 1/2 cup uncooked couscous
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups skim milk
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 3 to 5 teaspoons honey
Bring 2/3 cup water to a boil. Stir in whole wheat couscous and salt. Remove from heat and let stand for five minutes. Add milk and sugar. Bring entire mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Stir until mixture is slightly thick. Transfer mixture to cool bowl and whisk in egg. Return to saucepan; cook for about seven minutes, stirring frequently, until mixture is thick and creamy. Transfer mixture to a clean serving bowl. Stir in vanilla. Cool pudding to room temperature. Chill covered in the refrigerator for at least one hour. Drizzle with honey before serving.
If you follow my directions and chill the pudding, a hearty, gelatinous concoction with strong vanilla notes will emerge. Cold pudding makes a fine dessert but an even better early-morning breakfast.
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If say, "Screw you, O'Leary" and eat the pudding straight off the stove (or reheat it), the tastes of egg and milk dominate. The dried cranberries also have a more robust flavor and are mushier in texture.
Conclusion: Couscous pudding hot / Couscous pudding cold / Just no Couscous pudding nine days old.