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asleep at mal 9/09
alumiere
Moroccan spiced couscous salad with grilled vegetables and pork 
7/17/14 17:41
asleep at mal 9/09
Losely inspired by various 'summer of salad' recipes on http://www.seriouseats.com and the tons of 'food porn' currently streaming online.

20140715_195717

2 cups of couscous cooked in chicken stock/olive oil (as directed on the package) with added spices - if it's not thoroughly moist, add more stock - you want this moister than usual as it'll be served cool. I used 3 cups of stock for my 2 cups of couscous, when it called for 2 1/2 cups. I would have preferred the pearled couscous, but that wasn't available.
Added spices:
Tumeric - 1 tsp
Cinnamon - 1/4 tsp
Ancho Chili - 1/4 tsp
Cardamom - 1/4 tsp
Cumin - 1/2 tsp
Paprika - 1 tsp
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Grilled vegetables (clean then marinate thoroughly in a mix of olive oil, pesto, salt and pepper). I put an open foil pack of cherrywood wood chips over one burner for added smoky flavor. The vegetable tray went in the center of the grill, with the center two burners off and the outside two on high. Grill until tender and the tomato skins start to split, then chop to smaller size when cool (2-3 pieces per bite).

1 1/2 pounds large crimini mushrooms, cut into sixths or eights to get more surface to grill/smoke
2-3 large red bell peppers, cored, seeded and pushed flat
2 baskets of cherry tomatoes and/or 8-10 smaller regular tomatoes (cut the regular ones in half)
2-3 bunches of asparagus

2 pounds of thick cut boneless pork chops grilled over medium flame (170F) then cut into small pieces when cool. I made a quick marinade of the same spices as the couscous with a bit of oil/balsamic, and let them marinate while the veggies cooked. I pulled the wood chip package before putting the pork on as I wanted a clear flavor difference with the vegetables.

As you get the vegetables chopped, mix in a large bowl, adding the couscous in small batches so it doesn't clump. After they're all in, add a block of feta cheese crumbled, then the pork bites and mix thoroughly. Serve cool, not hot. (I would have also added cucumbers not grilled, but our refrigerator froze them for me).

This is an easy meal to adjust for vegetarians or vegans (replace chicken with vegetable stock, remove cheese/pork, etc) and to swap flavor profiles by changing spices/marinades - this was actually motivated by a thai rice/fish sauce salad which I can't have so... You could sautee or pan roast the vegetables if you don't have a grill or the weather prohibits it's use. And feel free to change up the vegetable choices to whatwever's in season or you like. It would also make a delicious hot side (sans meat) in the colder months, but we're both struggling with eating well in this heat so cool salad sounded good. Leftovers are in a tupperware in the fridge (we'll reheat to room temp as needed), and will be fine for 3-4 days, by which time we'll have finished them.