Friday, February 25, 2011

Couscous a la Cece Baker Cook

A colorful bowl of couscous with currants, curry, and cinnamon
(Photo by Cece Baker Cook) 
K, kids...I'm starving for some Mediterranean food (and a trip out that way too), so I figured this was an opportune time to present you with an incredibly creative and tantalizing recipe for Couscous, enhanced with exotic spices and both sweet and savory ingredients. Inventive and simple, this fluffy, healthy, hearty side dish can be paired with any protein--from salmon to chicken--so get your spices out, chop up some veggies, and away we go!

Thanks to Cece Baker Cook, my new cooking instructor and longtime friend--who took me and many other young professionals under her wing last weekend during one of her classes--my recipe book has grown and blossomed into a mature bible of lunch and dinner staples. She makes the kitchen seem so welcoming and suggests some ingenious tools*, to boot, that Food & Wine (bless its little gourmet heart) neglected to share with me. It was tool time in there, as Cece pulled out everything from a lettuce dryer bag to a pink pair of onion goggles!

Thanks, Cece! You make the kitchen a better, less intimidating place. Follow her on Facebook in the link above to learn more.

One of Cece Baker Cook's centerpiece creations of green and orange, a  lovely year-round color combo
(Photo by Cece Baker Cook) 
Couscous with Curry, Currants, and Cinnamon 
Serves 8 
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup warm water (for currants)
2/3 cup dried currants
2 cups couscous
1 1/2 cup diced celery
1/2 cup minced parsley
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup diced green onions
1/3 cup slivered red onions
1/2 cup grated carrots
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1 tsp. course salt
1 tsp. curry powder

1. Place the currants in warm water to plump; about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

2. Bring chicken broth to a boil and stir in couscous. Cover and remove from heat; let stand for five minutes or until all the liquid has been soaked up. Transfer to a large bowl, adding all vegetables; toss gently.

3. In a small bowl, whisk oil, salt, pepper, cinnamon, and curry powder. Then drizzle over couscous until incorporated.

4. May be refrigerated before serving.

 *Cece Baker Cook's Recommended Kitchen Tools

Pretty Pink Onion Goggles
(Photo via Google Products) 

Granulated Honey: Because it stays better longer and doesn't get all gooey. $7.95 at Williams-Sonoma.

Shooter Glasses: Because they're just so darn cute, and perfect for cocktail tastings and soup hors d'oeuvres. $2.95 per glass at Crate & Barrel

Stainless Steel Condiment Cups: Because they make setting aside ingredients easier and cleaner. $.95–$2.95 per cup at Crate & Barrel.

Onion Goggles: No, explanation needed. $20 for a really cute pair of pink goggles as seen above (Cece Baker Cook wore the same ones!) at Google Products

Lettuce Dryer Bag: Because salad spinners break and get everything wet. Plus, they take up too much room in the fridge and don't keep greens fresh. $14.95 at the Digital Kitchen Store

Indian Spice Cooking Kit: Because you never know when you'll need them or what you'll be in the mood for. $17.94 at Cost Plus World Market®


  1. love all of the photos :)looks yummy :)
    nice blog! I'm gonna visit again :)

    follow me on:


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