The Perfect Food: Cheesy Pearl Couscous with Broccoli and Bacon

The Perfect Food: Cheesy Pearl Couscous with Broccoli and Bacon

I’m sure you’re thinking that today’s post title is hyperbole; really, Emily, the perfect food? This is no exaggeration though!

This is a perfectly decadent and delicious meal: creamy, salty, fresh, filling and satisfying. This amazing marvel of a meal combines roasted broccoli and garlic, bacon hunks, creamy and filling pearl couscous, the decadence of gouda, and fresh pops of corn, resulting in a delicious mishmash meal that I never wanted to stop eating.

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First, fresh garlic and broccoli are combined with butter, then cooked in the oven until that delicious roasted flavor permeates each and every floret. As the broccoli sizzles away, tiny bacon pieces are sautéed until delightfully crispy then set aside so corn and garlic can sizzle in the bacon fat’s flavor. Hearty, lovely pearl couscous is cooked until al dente, then added to the pan with chicken stock so absorb all the flavor. Smoked gouda adds an especially satisfying creaminess to the dish when stirred in with the bacon pieces. Topped with the happily roasted garlicky broccoli, this meal satisfies every savory craving with the amazing mix of flavors and textures.

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Seriously, I think it’s my favorite food now. It may look a bit like porridge, and Bill said, but it tastes like heaven… and bacon : )

Cheesy Pearl Couscous with Broccoli and Bacon

  • 5 Tablespoons butter, divided
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped and divided
  • 1 bunch broccoli, cut into florets
  • 8 ounces bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 6 ounces pearl couscous
  • 1½ cups frozen corn
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 cups smoked gouda, grated
  1. Preheat the oven to 450° F.
  2. In a small bowl, melt 3 Tablespoons butter in the microwave, then stir in 2 chopped cloves of garlic. Spread the broccoli in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with the the garlic butter. Roast until tender, about 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the couscous until just al dente, 5 to 6 minutes; drain.
  4. As the broccoli roasts and couscous cooks,  cook the bacon over medium-high heat in a large straight-sided sauté pan, until crisp. Reserve the skillet, discarding all but 1 Tablespoon of the bacon fat and set bacon pieces aside.
  5. Add the corn and remaining garlic to the reserved skillet and cook over medium-high heat until warmed through, about 2 minutes.
  6. Add the boiled, drained couscous and chicken stock and simmer until the liquid is absorbed, about 2 minutes; season with salt and pepper.
  7. Stir in the remaining 2 Tablespoons butter, the cheese and reserved bacon. Serve topped with the roasted broccoli.

Cheesy-Pearl-Couscous-with-Broccoli-and-Bacon

Based on a recipe from Rachel Ray Magazine

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