After somewhat traumatic experiences of Christmas dinner, With no vegan options other than peanuts and dried fruit, I decided to prepare, in 2019, a great vegan dinner for the whole family.
The tests started a month before, to make it look good. On one of the many mornings I spent in the kitchen, I tried Christmas couscous. This couscous is not made with corn flour, like São Paulo or Northeastern couscous, nor with wheat semolina, although it resembles Moroccan couscous.
For the base, I chose a gluten-free cereal to make the supper even more inclusive: millet, a tiny, yellow ancestral grain. I added apricots, raisins, toasted chestnuts and finished with a mustard and molasses sauce.
It was delicious, and, after approval, it was time to photograph it, that is, to repeat the recipe and then photograph it.
Result: I had two huge platters of couscous in my fridge.
Without enough intimacy to offer the delicacy to the neighbors, and with a husband who runs away from raisins like a vegan doesn’t shy away from bacon, I took on the task of putting an end to the blessed thing alone. I soon realized that couscous for lunch and dinner would not be enough to complete the mission. You had to eat couscous for breakfast too.
In a culinary delirium, I blended the couscous in a blender with a little vegetable milk. I heated the frying pan and added the gororoba, in the hope that a pancake would form there. As I ate the pancake, I tasted… french toast.
I looked at a dry and old bread, I sliced it, dipped it in crushed couscous porridge with milk, rolled it in oatmeal and placed it in a very hot frying pan, with a good spoonful of coconut oil. The couscous became french toast, and even my husband ate it, not noticing the presence of dried fruit.
(I’ll be back next week with the vegan french toast recipe. For now, let’s stick with the Christmas couscous.)
1 cup of millet
2 cups of water
1 cup of orange juice
½ cup dried apricots
½ cup of raisins
½ cup nuts (walnuts, cashews, almonds, etc.)
½ teaspoon of salt
½ cup olive oil
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon of molasses
1 cup of orange juice (the same used to hydrate dried fruits, see in preparation)
1 lemon + lemon zest
1 teaspoon of salt
Start by cutting the apricots into cubes. Then transfer to a bowl and add the raisins. Cover with the orange juice and set aside for 30 minutes.
While the dried fruits hydrate, cook the millet over medium heat with two cups of water and salt, with the pan half-covered, until the water dries up.
Cut the nuts into smaller pieces and toast them in a skillet over medium heat until they are slightly golden. Turn off the fire. Add half the amount of dried fruit to the cooked millet, mix and reserve the second half for finishing the dish.
Separate the dried fruit from the orange juice using a sieve. Prepare the sauce by mixing the orange juice with the other ingredients, using a fouet or a fork, and set aside.
To model, add the couscous to a bowl and press gently with your fingers to fill the entire interior. Arrange the arugula on a serving plate and turn the couscous bowl in the middle vigorously to unmold. Finish with the mustard sauce and dried fruit toasted just before serving.
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