Monday, December 21, 2009

Israeli Couscous with Pork Loin

I have mentioned some time ago that I have been to Whole Foods to buy some quinces, since that was the only place that seemed to be selling them back in late September or early October.
Well, I went again a couple more times to get some other stuff, among which I got Filbert hazelnuts and Israeli couscous.
Not having been there too many times and not having bought anything that is being sold in bulk, I had no idea that you have to get a code and stick it on your bag before you proceed to the register.
So there I was, holding the couscous bag in my hand

and telling the salesperson that I did not know about any code, and because I only had like 1 cup of couscous in total and because they could not find the code in their system to charge me for it, I hear him saying "I'm going to sample this one out to you".
Thanks !
If you look close, you will notice that some of the pasta pearls are actually toasted.
Some people toast them even further to enhance the nutty taste.

So I got home and after a while I decided I need to tackle the mistery that lies behind this kind of couscous.
For those of you who might not know, this is a PASTA variety and it is very different from the other varieties of couscous which are just being let to sit in liquid and then being fluffed up and served.
This cooks and tastes like pasta because it is pasta.
I decided to pair it with some pecans and it was oh so good !

2 pieces of boneless pork loin,lightly greased, salted and peppered

1 TBSP butter
3/4 to 1 cup Israeli couscous

80-100 ml wine

200-225 ml water or broth/stock
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/3 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup grated cheese
1 handful pecans or other nuts

Examine, then measure your couscous.
Pick your wine and measure it- I used this variety because that what my husband had bought for us to try out and it worked really well, but use any kind you like.

Then toast the whole nuts, chopping them when cool.
At 350 F for 5 to 10 minutes will do just fine.

Melt the butter over medium heat,

then add the couscous

and toast for 3 minutes, stirring often.

Add all the liquids (you can heat them prior to adding them if you wish) and the nuts

and bring to a boil.
Now reduce the heat to a soft boil or a simmer, cover and let cook for 12 to 15 minutes, until almost all the liquid is gone.
Remove from heat and add the salt, pepper and cheese,

stirring for the cheese to melt.

For the pork loin, heat a cast iron skillet and cook the meat 2 to 3 minutes on each side, on medium-high heat.

Let it rest for 3 to 6 minutes before eating, covered in aluminum foil, so the juices can redistribute.

Plate and enjoy !


  1. this all looks wonderful great photo details

    and what a deal to be sampled out!!!

  2. It probably would have been under $1.00, but it was still a nice surprise to just have it given away like that.

  3. We don't have a Whole Foods close but we have a "Sprouts" and they might have this kind of Couscous... I have tried the other kind and it was ok... Not really my cuppa tea... anyway, this variety sounds good... Kind of like orzo perhaps? I'm going to look for it. I'm always looking for a different side dish away from the norm: rice or potatoes...

  4. Yes, it cooks just like orzo, only the name and shape are different. I will buy it again and will try a different recipe.
    You will like it, i'm sure !

  5. Cat, i-ti doresc Craciun Fericit si un An Nou plin de bucurii!

  6. What a nice international meal. Thanks for sharing directions and photos!