Recipe and photos contributed to Hispanic Kitchen by Veronica Shine
An enormous region, Andalusia comprises much of the country of Spain. Included in this area are Almeria, Cadiz, Granada, Malaga and Seville. The geography of this territory varies greatly and contains the highest snow covered mountains known as the Sierra Nevada. The seaside is also represented with golden beaches of the Costa del Sol simmering with its temperate weather and perpetual sun. Andalusia is fortunate to enjoy fertile land filled with citrus groves, blossoming almond’s trees and produce flourish year-round among Roman temples, Arabic mosques and Gothic cathedrals.
However, the lushness can disappear suddenly, and you can run into an extreme dry and barren land that possesses a moon-like appearance. It was perfect to use as the backdrop for several flicks filmed here, such as “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly,” “Lawrence of Arabia,” “Cleopatra” and “Dr Zhivago.”
Much of Spain´s cuisines originated from other cultures and countries. Couscous is the staple of Moroccan cuisine but acceptance of its usage in the Andalusia and other regions of Spain began in the 8th Century. The Moors, and now present day Morocco, serve couscous as their main spiced laden dish mixed with meats, fish, chicken and vegetables. After the Moor conquest of the Iberian Peninsula, the popularity of couscous spread quickly in Spain with distribution brought in from the lands of their new officials.
The marrying of fruit with couscous was a natural for the Spaniards. Rather than following the Moors use of couscous as the entrée, creativity set in among the native residents for its use as a side dish or dessert.
“Orange Couscous with Nuts” is a simple dessert to make. You can follow the basic recipe and add your own personal preferences to it. You can add or sub with apples, grapes, pears or peaches for your fruits, and try hazelnuts or pecans as your nut selection. Sweet tooth devotees can add a topping such as whip cream or caramel sauce to elevate the dessert for your guests.
2 cups of couscous
1 cup of sliced almonds
1 cup of sliced walnuts
1/3 cup seedless raisins
1 orange cut in pieces
½ cup pitted cherry cut into half
¼ cup of butter
2 tablespoons sugar
2 oranges squeezed
Zest of two oranges
1 egg white
1. Place the couscous in boiling water, once boiled set aside.
2. Beat egg whites until frothy.
3. Add the almonds, walnuts, raisins, orange juice, sugar and beaten egg whites to the couscous.
4. Place the mixture into greased Pyrex or oven proof glass dish and introduced it to the oven in 350ºF for 20 minutes.
5. Take it out of the oven and serve warm accompanied by cold orange zest.
Not sure how to cook couscous?
1. Simply combine 2 cups of the couscous to 2 cups of water in a pan. No matter how much you use, it will always be one to one.
2. Boil the liquid and the couscous.
3. Turn off the heat immediately once the water boils. Keep the pan covered and let it sit for about 5 minutes.