I've sung the praises of couscous before, especially back when my son refused to eat rice and this was the only grain I could get him to eat. I buy the whole wheat kind from my grocery store, and have always cooked it in the microwave according to the package instructions. But I'm newly obsessed with Mark Bittman's book, How to Cook Everything, and tried out his recipe for basic couscous last week. I kid you not, it made such a difference in this humble little side dish.
I still hate cleaning up the dining floor after my 3 year old has eaten it, but it's worth the effort. :)
from How to Cook Everything
3 tbs butter
1 1/2 cups couscous
2 1/4 cups chicken, beef, or vegetable stock, warmed
1/2 tsp salt, plus more if necessary
freshly ground black pepper to taste
minced fresh parsley leaves for garnish
Place 2 tbs butter in a medium saucepan and turn the heat to medium-low. When it melts, add the couscous and cook, stirring, until it is coated with butter, about 1 minute.
Add the stock all at once, along with 1/2 tsp salt. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to its minimum. Cover and cook until all the liquid is absorbed, 5-8 minutes.
Pour the couscous into a large serving bowl and stir in the remaining tbs butter with a fork, fluffing the couscous and breaking up any lumps. Add pepper and more salt, if necessary. Garnish and serve.