Couscous – Jenny

My ingredient is half a packet of couscous, my series of photographs is called “The Couscous Makes a Stealthy Move to the Front”

The story of the cous cous

I’ve been stranded on an upper shelf for some time. Most of the pack is gone, decanted into a jar and moved to another cupboard. I’m what remains – there was too much for the jar. I was told I’d get used first but someone forgot and I’m left here. But I’m still good to go. Cous cous is used a lot in this kitchen, at least once a week. As I’m rather tasteless I get tarted up with garlic, cumin, coriander and lots of turmeric which I understand to be very good for people. I look good with chickpeas and I love it when I get smothered in aubergine, butternut squash and green vegetables. Just once in a while some broad beans get into the mixture and that is definitely a special day. I’m normally served with “We’re saving the planet! Here’s a plant-based meal!” I’m always happy to do my bit.

Chef’s Suggestion

Bran Muffins – makes 6-9 muffins depending on the size of your tins/cases
Wet ingredients
1 large egg
50g oil or 60g butter, melted and cooled
75g grated vegetables or apples/pears
150g yoghurt or 90g milk

Dry ingredients
75g white self-raising flour
50g couscous
50g sugar (if you are making sweet muffins)
1 tsp spice if using
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp bicarb
50g – 75g inclusions such as nuts, dried fruit, cheese

Preheat your fan oven to 190C (210C without the fan, Gas Mark 6-7).

Sift the flour and mix well with the other dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg and then whisk in the other wet ingredients. Add the wet mix to the dry mix and combine using a spatula until they are only just combined. It’s crucial not to over-mix, even the odd streak of uncombined flour is fine.

Line your muffin tin with muffin cases, spoon the mix into the cases (no higher than the top of the case) and bake for 20 – 25 minutes at 190C. The muffins should brown a little on top and you can check they are cooked by inserting a skewer into the middle, which should come out clean rather than being coated in wet, uncooked mix.

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