Saffron Cous Cous with Peas and Potatoes by AJ


1 tablespoon olive oil 1 medium shallot, finely chopped 1 clove garlic, smashed 2 medium, waxy potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes (about 8 ounces) 1 cup vegetable broth 1 cup water 1 teaspoon saffron threads 1 bay leaf 2 sprigs of fresh thyme 1 teaspoon kosher salt A few grinds of black pepper 1 cup pearl cous cous 1 cup frozen peas Juice of 1/2 a lemon 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley


1. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large, heavy, deep sauté or sauce pan with a tightly fitting lid. Add the shallots and smashed garlic and sauté briefly, moving them around the pan with a wooden spoon. Season with a pinch of salt and add the potatoes to the pan, coating them with the oil; sauté the potatoes for a minute, moving them around the pan often.

2. Add the broth and water to the pan, followed by the saffron threads, bay leaf, thyme sprigs, chili flakes, salt and pepper. Allow the mixture to come to a simmer, then lower the heat slightly and cover the pan.

3. After five to seven minutes, test the potatoes with the tip of a paring knife. They should begin to turn tender, cooked about halfway. Add the cous cous to the pan and stir, bringing the liquid back to a simmer. Cover the pan and continue to cook the cous cous, stirring frequently as the liquid evaporates, for 10 to 12 minutes.

4. Uncover the pan and test the cous cous for doneness, remove and discard the bay leaf and thyme, and adjust the seasoning. If necessary, you can add more water to pan as the cous cous continues to cook, a few tablespoons at a time. When the cous cous is almost completely tender, add the frozen peas and lemon juice to the pan and simmer for three more minutes, stirring until the peas are tender, the cous cous cooked and the liquid almost completely evaporated.

5. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the parsley. Serve immediately.