couscous cakes

couscous cakesDid you ever have one of those Mondays where you get so much done and have tons of energy?  I had that day yesterday and it was an amazing way to start up the week.  I accomplished more in 2 hours then I had the whole weekend.  Whoo hoo!  I even had some extra time to write up this post, so you’re getting 2 posts already this week and it’s only Tuesday.  Bonus!  Who am I?  I don’t know, but I like this new me (don’t get too excited as this is not normal for me).

So I cooked up some salmon last week and whenever I cook up salmon my kids ask for couscous as their side dish.  Basically my kids equate salmon with couscous.  Anyway, I was getting bored of the traditional couscous fare.  Couscous reminds me of white rice, just plain and unassuming, so I was excited when I saw this recipe for couscous cakes in Fine Cooking magazine. These cakes sort of reminded me of my chickpea veggie burgers.  

These patties are so easy to make and require a few simple pantry ingredients, AWESOME!  I even made the patties earlier in the day and then sautéed them up right before dinner, the perfect make-ahead recipe.

couscous cakes:

recipe from Fine Cooking

makes 8-9 patties

  • 3/4 cup couscous – I pack a hefty 3/4 cup of couscous
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 large garlic clove, peeled
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh flat-leaf or italian parsley leaves 
  • 1/2 cup chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten – I found using large eggs not extra large works best here.  
  • finely grated zest of 1 medium lemon (about 1 1/2 teaspoons)
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil – you will use this later to cook the cakes

Put the couscous and 1 teaspoon salt in a small pan.  Add 1 cup boiling water to the couscous, cover with the pan lid and let sit for 4 to 5 minutes.  

Coarsely chop the garlic in a food processor.  Add the parsley and pulse until finely chopped.  Add the chickpeas and 1 teaspoon salt and pulse until coarsely chopped.Here is what your mixture will look like after it’s been chopped.Uncover the couscous and fluff with a fork.  In a large bowl, add the couscous, the chickpea mixture, eggs, and lemon zest and mix until well combined. Press the couscous mixture into a 1/4 measuring cup, smooth the top, and invert the measuring cup to release the cake onto a plate.  Repeat with the remaining couscous mixture to make 8-9 cakes. 

I always throw my mixture in the fridge for a bit before I make the couscous cakes, so the mixture can gel together.   Note:  To make these a make-ahead meal, you can refrigerate the patties ahead of time and sauté them up right before dinner.  You can also refrigerate the mixture as is, and make the patties right before you sauté them.  Either way works.Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering.  

Add 5 of the couscous cakes to the skillet and then use a spatula to lightly flatten the cakes so they’re about 3/4 inch thick.   Just take a spatula and gently press down on the cakes once they’re in the skillet to flatten them. Cook, flipping once, until the patties are crisp and golden brown on both sides. The recipe said 2 to 3 minutes per side, but mine took a bit longer, like 5 minutes per side.  Just make sure to cook them till they are golden brown on each side.  Transfer the cooked patties to a paper-towel lined plate.  Add the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil to the skillet and cook the remaining cakes the same way. You can serve these up with just about anything. I gave the kids a couscous cake and some broccoli along with their salmon.  John and I paired one with a spinach salad and some salmon.  I also love serving these alongside a soup, such as my cauliflower soup.  These would even be great topped with my tzatziki yogurt sauce as a lunch-time entree.  Feel free to jazz these up anyway you choose. I could see adding some red or green onions to them as well as possibly substituting cilantro for the parsley leaves.  This is a great and basic couscous cake recipe.  

Family verdict?    These were rated a 10 in my house and I will definitely be making them again!  Got leftovers?  Just throw them in a 250 degree oven to warm them up.

couscous cakes

couscous cakes

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup couscous - I pack a hefty 3/4 cup of couscous
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 large garlic clove, peeled
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh flat-leaf or italian parsley leaves
  • 1/2 cup chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten - I found using large eggs not extra large works best here.
  • finely grated zest of 1 medium lemon (about 1 1/2 teaspoons)
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil - you will use this later to cook the cakes

Instructions

Put the couscous and 1 teaspoon salt in a small pan. Add 1 cup boiling water to the couscous, cover with the pan lid and let sit for 4 to 5 minutes.

Coarsely chop the garlic in a food processor. Add the parsley and pulse until finely chopped. Add the chickpeas and 1 teaspoon salt and pulse until coarsely chopped.

Uncover the couscous and fluff with a fork.

In a large bowl, add the couscous, the chickpea mixture, eggs, and lemon zest and mix until well combined. Press the couscous mixture into a 1/4 measuring cup, smooth the top, and invert the measuring cup to release the cake onto a plate. Repeat with the remaining couscous mixture to make 8-9 cakes.

I always throw my mixture in the fridge for a bit before I make the couscous cakes, so the mixture can gel together.

Note: To make these a make-ahead meal, you can refrigerate the patties ahead of time and sauté them up right before dinner. You can also refrigerate the mixture as is, and make the patties right before you sauté them. Either way works.

Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering.

Add 5 of the couscous cakes to the skillet and then use a spatula to lightly flatten the cakes so they're about 3/4 inch thick.Just take a spatula and gently press down on the cakes once they're in the skillet to flatten them.

Cook, flipping once, until the patties are crisp and golden brown on both sides. The recipe said 2 to 3 minutes per side, but mine took a bit longer, like 5 minutes per side. Just make sure to cook them till they are golden brown on each side. Transfer the cooked patties to a paper-towel lined plate. Add the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil to the skillet and cook the remaining cakes the same way.

Got leftovers? Just throw them in a 250 degree oven to warm them up.

http://www.marinmamacooks.com/2012/05/couscous-cakes/

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Print Friendly
Share

{ 29 comments… add one }

  • kelsey May 22, 2012, 1:37 pm

    These look divine! Yum!

    Reply
  • Sharyn Dimmick May 22, 2012, 3:20 pm

    So salt, oil and lemon zest don’t count as ingredients? How come? You wouldn’t make them without, would you?

    Reply
    • Jacquelyn Grandy May 22, 2012, 4:20 pm

      Hi Sharon! You are so right. I was looking at the ingredients photo that did not show the lemon zest, olive oil and salt. I made the change in my post! Can I hire you as my editor? :)

      Reply
  • Inside a British Mum's Kitchen May 22, 2012, 3:54 pm

    Wow! where is all this energy coming from and can you send a little my way?? maybe it’s the salmon – these cakes look GORGEOUS!!! so pretty and sound absolutely delicious – I’m going for these!
    Mary x

    Reply
    • Jacquelyn Grandy May 22, 2012, 4:21 pm

      Hi Mary! Yes, I just shot some energy light your way. Did you feel it? I know you love salmon and I think your kids would love these paired with it as well!

      Reply
  • Kitchen Belleicious May 22, 2012, 6:25 pm

    oh i love making these! You are making me feel the need to get out my couscous! Delish!

    Reply
  • Zoe May 23, 2012, 12:01 am

    I love to make these little couscous patties. They are great too for picnics and parties!

    Just in case, you might miss my reply , here are my answers to your recent query:

    …The Aussie KA is actually different from the American KA! To be able to use the US version of KA in Australia or any Asian countries, we will need a transformer to convert the voltage of the appliance. If not, we will fry our appliance with the power surge! I thought of buying the US kind of KA initially because the US KA is more powerful than the Aussie KA but the transformer that I need to get is too BIG and ugly for my kitchen…LOL! So, I have decided to buy the Aussie one with 5 years warranty. Mine is actually an old model which I can’t find it anymore in the current range and it’s KSM 150, Metallic Silver Artisan range (tilt head) and I bought it in Apr last year. And yes…I actually have a beater attachment that has a scraper so that it can reach the bottom of the bowl but even using that, I have to stop occasionally and scrap the bottom of the bowl too.

    For bread making, I would strongly recommend a bread maker because it kneads really well and is temperature control and allow the bread to prove more efficiently even at wintery weather. I do use my KA for bread making but usually during warmer days. For dough that is quite tough to knead, I would prefer not to “fry” my KA and use bread maker at the safer side.

    I love shopping for appliances and can’t buy anything anymore because my kitchen is too “full”…Ops! I hope you will have fun shopping :D

    Reply
    • Jacquelyn Grandy May 23, 2012, 12:58 pm

      Hi Zoe! Thanks for all the great information. I will definitely look into a bread machine. I had thought those were just for pre-mixed breads.

      Reply
  • Em (Wine and Butter) May 23, 2012, 3:29 pm

    Yum yum yum!! Although I always equate salmon with kale and Louis with cous cows (or rice) – perhaps we should swap families!?

    PS – we are def going to Santa Cruz this wknd now :( BUT I’d love to do next Thurs if you’re still free? And the weekend of the 9th with families for sure (again if you’re free!) – Will email tonight! xox

    Reply
    • Jacquelyn Grandy May 25, 2012, 6:03 pm

      Have fun in Santa Cruz girl. I love it there! I am still wavering on next Thursday as that is my last full week where the kids are in school and Monday is a holiday so I will be playing catch up all week. It’s so crazy now and I still haven’t purchased my tickets to visit my mom in June! Ahhhh. I will get back to you on all the above!

      Reply
  • Sue/the view from great island May 23, 2012, 8:25 pm

    Love these, I’m always on the lookout for a new veggie burger concept. The yogurt sauce sounds perfect for them, too. They look so cute all stacked up, I bet the kids loved ‘em!

    Reply
  • L o v e l y t h i n g s May 24, 2012, 1:40 pm

    They look so good and beautiful photos!

    Reply
  • TastefullyJulie June 4, 2012, 4:47 pm

    These look heavenly. I may add a little cilantro ;)

    Reply
  • Anonymous June 7, 2012, 2:15 am

    Made a double batch tonight and served them with Romesco sauce. They were delish! Plan on making your fabulous Tatziki sauce tomorrow to serve with the leftovers. So versatile. Keep the veg recipes coming!
    xoxo Amy A.

    Reply
    • Jacquelyn Grandy June 7, 2012, 1:21 pm

      Hey Amy! Thanks for commenting and letting me know you made and loved these. What’s this Romesco sauce? Please pass it on.

      Did the girls like these? I will totally keep the veggie recipes coming. I have a meat one up there today for my meat loving friends. I am trying to find meatless recipes that the kids will like as well as John and I so I don’t have to make 2 separate meals. Did you see the refried bean tacos? They are easy and kind of plain, but the kids loved them!

      xoxo,
      Jackie

      Reply
  • mykindoftownchicago June 28, 2012, 7:31 pm

    I made these last night and loved them so much, I blogged about them myself! Your site is beautiful, and so far, your recipes are 1 for 1. Keeup up the great work!

    -Nikki Palluzzi

    Reply
    • Jacquelyn Grandy June 29, 2012, 1:31 pm

      Hi Nikki! So glad you loved them enough to blog about them :) I hope you find some other recipes that you love as well. Try the chickpea burgers, I think you might like those as well.

      Reply
  • Jennifer November 15, 2012, 8:36 pm

    Hi, this recipe looks great! Quick question, if I wanted to make this vegan and eliminate the eggs, any suggestions on what to use or have you made sans eggs? Thanks!

    Reply
    • Jacquelyn Grandy November 15, 2012, 9:10 pm

      Hi Jennifer! I’m not vegan so I don’t really know too much about vegan cooking, but I do know that eggs serve as a binding or gluing agent in this recipe. They help to hold the patties together. I know that silken tofu can be used to bind things as well as egg substitutes, such as ener-g. I wish I knew more about vegan substitutes but unfortunately I don’t. Here’s a website that I found that has some helpful info. http://www.wikihow.com/Replace-Eggs-in-Your-Cooking
      I hope that helps :)
      Jackie

      Reply
  • shira November 25, 2013, 5:50 pm

    I have some leftover couscous. How much couscous would I use if it is already cooked?
    Thanks!!

    Reply
    • jackiegrandy November 25, 2013, 6:39 pm

      Hi Shira! 1 cup of couscous make roughly 2 1/2 cups cooked, so I’m thinking 3/4 cup would equal 2 cups cooked? I’ve never measure the exact amount of cooked couscous for this recipe, but I will next time I make it. I hope you have enough! xoxo, Jackie

      Reply
      • Anonymous November 26, 2013, 1:34 am

        Thankyou so much for your speedy reply, which meant I was able to make these for dinner as I had hoped. I had less than 2 cups so I filled the rest of the way with leftover quinoa. I also did not have parsley but did have some dill. I added a little extra dry dill because it didn’t look quite green enough. They were delish!!!!!! I will have to look around at your other recipes. What a fun way to use up my boring couscous.thanks

        Reply
        • jackiegrandy November 26, 2013, 1:49 am

          Awesome Shira! I try and always get back to reader’s questions as fast as I can. I’m so glad that you had almost enough couscous and that you improvised with the dill and quinoa. I’m sure they were beautiful with all the green from the dill. Yes, please check out my other recipes. I have some amazing kale salads and tons of recipes with quinoa! Let me know what you make up next! Have a great night! xoxo, Jackie

          Reply
  • Kim February 18, 2014, 7:01 pm

    I just made these and they are awesome!!! I was wondering if u knew how many calories ate in one cake?

    Reply
    • jackiegrandy February 18, 2014, 7:30 pm

      Hi Kim! Yaay, so glad you loved the cakes! I’m sorry, I totally have no idea how many calories are in the cakes? I wish I knew that kind of stuff, but I dont :) xoxo, Jackie

      Reply
  • Emily3 February 19, 2014, 12:12 am

    I made this tonight (with the cauliflower soup you previously posted) and it was very tasty! My 2 and 4 year olds didn’t like the cakes (despite generally liking all the ingredients), though the 4 year old liked dipping hers into the soup. I’ll definitely make them again as a ‘mom lunch.’ Thanks!

    Reply
    • jackiegrandy February 19, 2014, 10:51 pm

      Hi Sweetie! So glad to hear that you liked the cakes. Your kids are little, so the cakes may not appeal to them. I don’t think my kids would have liked them at ages 2 and 4 either. ;) Happy to hear that they loved the soup though. That’s one winner :) xoxo, Jackie

      Reply

Leave a Comment