Monday, April 22, 2013

Crispy Bacon & Shallot Fried Couscous

Growing up in an Asian home, we always had a surplus of steamed white rice on hand. What pasta is to Italians, rice is to Asians. At the end of the week, my mom would always take all of the leftover rice and make fried rice. She always said that you could not make good fried rice with newly cooked rice and that it has to sit for several days. Her bacon fried rice is probably the best rice dish I've ever had. That said, I am still not a fan of white rice. Never have been and never will be. 

Last summer I began to experiment with different ways to use couscous. Adding curry, chopped carrots and peas to give it an Indian flavor or, as in the case of this recipe, adding crispy bacon bits and shallots to give it a fried rice flavor. 

The texture of the couscous came out perfectly and I served with with some baked teriyaki chicken. The great thing about couscous is that you can add pretty much whatever you want to it and it will blend perfectly. It pairs well with pork, chicken, beef and even some fish dishes. 

As an adult, what you will find in my refrigerator is not white rice, but a big container of couscous. Like my mom and her rice, I eat it at least five times a week. It's a good thing!

Happy Cooking,
Miranda

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
5 pieces thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
3/4 teaspoon sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons soy sauce
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/4 cup sweet onion, finely chopped
3 large shallots, finely chopped
6 green onions, finely sliced
1/2-3/4 tsp each of salt and pepper(adjust to taste)
5 cups cooked couscous
*2 scrambled eggs, optional
Directions:

Place a large skillet over high heat. Add the vegetable oil and bacon and stir-fry until golden and crisp, about 2 minutes. 

Sprinkle the sugar over the bacon and toss. Add 1/4 teaspoon soy sauce (watch out-the oil will bubble up) and continue to stir-fry until the bacon is glazed, about 30 seconds. 

Transfer the bacon to a bowl with a slotted spoon. Add the garlic, shallots, and sweet onions to the drippings in the pan and stir-fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds. 

Add the couscous, the remaining 2 teaspoons soy sauce, bacon, salt and pepper. Toss to heat through.

* If adding egg, just whisk eggs with a little salt and pepper and quickly cook in a non-stick pan making sure to break up the pieces. Add to cooked couscous and give a final toss before serving.