I experimented with this Egyptian dish as part of the collection of recipes from countries where Wellington fought Napoleon, and it turned out to be very successful.
It works well as a starter (in which case it will feed double the number of people) but it’s just as good as a main course.
These quantities will serve four as a main course.
- 350g/12 oz cooked and peeled prawns
- 90g/4 oz cooked and peeled brown shrimp (if you can’t find shrimp you can use all prawns of course – about 450g/1 lb altogether – but it isn’t as good)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp celery salt
- 2 or 3 stalks of tarragon, chopped
- 125g/4 oz trimmed spring onions – chopped – use about an inch (2 cm) of the green too
- 3 tbsp pine nuts, dry fried
- 320g/11 oz/1⅓ cups couscous
- 400 ml/1⅔ cups stock made with that amount of just boiled water and 3 chicken stock cubes
- 80 ml/⅓ cup lemon juice (approximately juice of two lemons)
- 60 ml/¼ cup melted butter – four or so knobs
- 160-200g/6-8 oz baby washed spinach
- Slivers of parmesan or pecorino cheese
- Add the prawns and shrimp to the oil, garlic, tarragon and celery salt and marinate for half an hour or so.
- Put the couscous in a bowl, and add the chicken stock and the spring onions. Cover with a cloth, leave to absorb the stock for five minutes, add the pine nuts and then fluff up.
- Add the lemon juice to the melted butter
- Gently heat up the shrimps and prawns in their marinade – once hot enough keep warm – if you cook them they will become tough. Add half the melted butter/lemon and stir
- Divide the spinach between four plates.
- Top with the couscous, and top that with the prawn mix
- Pour over the rest of the melted butter/lemon, and artfully distribute the slivers of cheese.