Here's an easy dinner for one of those evenings when you want a little calm, a respite from the seasonal bustle. But time saved is not the only virtue of this pleasing dish — its fine flavor would coax any cook into giving it a place on the menu.
The 25-minute shrimp special is from the November issue of Real Simple magazine, from the regular feature offering easy dinners, recipes and strategies for ideal weeknight meals.
A tip for this recipe: Add flavor and color by stirring about 3 tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley, cilantro or scallions into the couscous just before serving. Then watch the plates empty . . . fast.
(Start to finish 25 minutes)
10-ounce box couscous
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 red bell pepper, diced
3/4 cup golden raisins
28-ounce can whole tomatoes, drained and roughly chopped
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 lemon, halved
Prepare the couscous according to the package directions; set aside. In a large skillet, over medium-low heat, heat the oil. Add the onion, salt, and 1/8 teaspoon of the black pepper. Cover and cook until the onion is softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the bell pepper and raisins and cook for 4 minutes more. Add the tomatoes and heat for 3 minutes. Meanwhile, place the shrimp in a medium bowl and sprinkle with the cumin, cinnamon and the remaining black pepper. Squeeze the lemon over the shrimp and toss to combine. Add the shrimp (but not the liquid) to the tomato mixture in the skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp are pink and cooked through, about 3 minutes. Fluff the couscous with a fork, divide it among individual plates, and spoon the shrimp over the top.
Makes 4 servings.