This appetizer was served at Le Cordon Bleu’s President’s List Student Honorees’ luncheon. I enjoyed it so much, I talked the cooks into giving me the recipe! I didn’t get exact measurements or even the exact ingredients, but it is close enough that I can pull it off. What is fun about this recipe is it looks wonderful in the glass or plastic container, it is simple, light and healthy, and contains no dairy, nuts, or gluten. So you can serve it to anyone. Plus, a little goes a long way, so you can feed a lot of people.
Another thing I like about this dish is it is flexible. You can add as many shrimp you think you will need for the number of servings you think you will have as you only need one per serving. You can follow the guide on the box of couscous for directions for how much you want to make. I like the Far East brand of Couscous.
1 Box of Far East CousCous
Large peeled, deveined shrimp (as many as you think you need)
Chicken stock (Get as much as you think you will need)
1 red bell pepper, roasted, deseeded, membrane removed, diced (as much as needed)
1 cucumber, deseeded,diced (as much as needed)
1 yellow onion, diced (as much as you think you need)
***as much as needed– I use best judgement as to how the consistency looks. You should have mostly couscous with specs of red peppers, green cucumbers, and yellow onions for flavor. Just eyeball it. You will know when it is enough or when you can add more. You want to add color, interest, texture, and more flavor but not so much that you distract or overcrowd.
What the cooks did was the following:
Seasoned large peeled, deveined shrimp with salt, pepper, and cayenne, and refrigerated overnight. Then poached them in chicken broth until pink. Reserve this poaching broth and use it as the stock or part of the stock to cook the couscous so it gets shrimp flavor.
They roasted a red pepper before poaching the shrimp. When the red pepper was brown all over, they wrapped it in plastic wrap, let it sweat, then peeled the skin, deseeded, and cut out the membrane. Then minced the rest of it into 1/4″ diced pieces. Set aside.
Then they sliced the deseeded cucumber into 1/4″ slices then diced the slices. Set aside.
Then in a medium sauce pan, heat 1 tbsp. of vegetable oil or olive oil (depending on desired taste), over medium heat and add the minced yellow onions and let simmer until translucent and not brown. Then add the reserved poaching broth and any additional broth needed, if necessary, to make desired amount per instructions on the box. Bring to boil. Once broth and sautéed onions come to a boil, then add couscous, roasted peppers, stir and turn down to low simmer or off, or as the box directions specify. Cover tightly. And let couscous cook and absorb liquid and flavors from the sautéed vegetables.
Once couscous is soft and done, gently flake with a fork and add the minced cucumber. Take the number of serving cups you plan to serve and spoon couscous into the glasses part of the way. Top each with one large shrimp as you see in the photo. It can be served warm or cold.
Hope this helps you make a wonderful appetizer for your next dinner party or social event!!!! Let me know how it goes!
Good luck and bon appetit!