This is one of my absolute favorite recipes for just about any occasion. When entertaining, it is the perfect option because it takes little time to prepare and tastes far too impressive given the minimal skills required to make it. Another advantage is that it is easy to alter and personalize. Experiment with different spices, add capers, carrots, celery, tomato or other veggies, use chicken instead of tuna, wine instead of water, or a different grating cheese…make it your own. This is mine:
1 small, sweet onion, diced
8-12oz of Tuna, the higher quality the better. Your preference of amount.
1 cup Moulins Mahjoub Cous Cous
White Pepper (about 30 peppercorns)
Smoked Paprika (a heavy dash)
Crushed Red Pepper Flakes (a heavy dash)
1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar
1/2lb of Pantaleo, or other grated cheese such as Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino Romano
1) Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a Dutch Oven, or a heavy bottomed pan with high sides, and add the onion.
2) After the onion has softened, add the tuna and stir until it is spread evenly across the bottom of the pan.
3) While the tuna begins to cook, grind the white pepper in a pepper mill or mortar and pestle:
4) Add the white pepper, smoked paprika and hot pepper flakes to the pan and stir to incorporate. When your tuna looks like this, you are ready for step 5:
5) Add a cup and a half of water and the vinegar to the pot and turn the heat to high. Bring to a boil, add the cous cous, and bring back to a boil, which should take just a matter of seconds. Cover the pot, turn off the heat, and set a timer for 7 minutes. Wait, anxiously, as the aromas tempt you:
6) Meanwhile, grate your cheese…as much as you see fit:
7) After 7 minutes are up, remove the pot and inspect. The cous cous will have completely absorbed the liquid, and with it all that flavor. Plate it, top with cheese, and serve immediately, and enjoy!
If you make this with any alterations, please post your ideas. Thank you!