Cuscusu Di Pistachi

Cuscusu Di Pistachi Category Cheese 
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Ingredients And Procedures

----------------------------FOR SEALING THE PAN---------------------------- 1 c All-purpose flour

1/2 c Water

----------------------------------COUSCOUS---------------------------------- 1 c Couscous, not instant

3 c Water

--------------------------FLAVORING & 2ND STEAMING-------------------------- 1 tb Water

1/2 ts Salt

1 1/2 c Shelled green pistachios

- unsalted and very green 1 ts Almond extract

1 ts Cinnamon

1/4 c Almond oil

-=OR=- Mild vegetable oil ---------------------------------FINISHING--------------------------------- 1/2 c Sugar

2 tb Water

1/4 c Confectioners' sugar

1 oz Semisweet chocolate

- finely grated Candied cherries -=OR=- Other Candied Fruit - (to garnish) Couscous is normally a savory dish found in Morocco. This unusual dessert version is the specialty of a small convent in Sicily. FIRST PREPARE THE PAN for steaming the couscous: For the sealing dough, mix the flour and water together in a bowl and scrape onto a floured work surface. Knead briefly to form a rough, sticky dough, adding a tablespoon or 2 of flour if necessary. Roll into a rope as long as the circumference of the bottom pan and apply the dough to the rim of the pan. Add water to the pan so that the water is below the bottom of the couscousiere or colander and press the couscousiere into place. Bring the water to a boil on high heat, until steam is escaping freely through the perforations, then lower to a simmer, so that the steam escapes very gently. While the water is coming to a boil, prepare the couscous to be cooked: Place the grain in a bowl and add the water. Swish the water through the grain with the fingers of one hand splayed apart, "raking" through it. Tilt the bowl and drain away excess water. Set aside for 5 minutes. Line the couscousiere with a dampened napkin or cheesecloth and add the grain. Cover and steam 15 minutes. While the grain is cooking, prepare the flavoring. Half fill a saucepan with water and add the pistachios. Bring to a boil; drain in a strainer. Pour the pistachios onto a towel, fold the towel over them and rub to loosen skins. Separate pistachios from skins, going over them carefully. Combine the freshly blanched pistachios, extract and cinnamon in a food processor bowl and process for 2-3 minutes, until very finely ground and starting to become pasty. Add the oil, 1 tablespoon at a time, and continue processing mixture to a smooth paste, stopping the machine and scraping the inside of the bowl 3-or-4 times. Reserve pistachio paste. After the couscous has steamed 15 minutes, remove it from the couscousiere in the cheesecloth and put it in a large, non-reactive roasting pan. Spread it out with a fork and let cool. Combine the salt and water and work it into the cooled couscous, raking it through with 1 hand. Add the pistachio paste in 3-or-4 additions, working it in by rubbing it and the couscous together with the fingertips. Return the water in the bottom pan to a simmer, and line the couscousiere again with the dampened cheesecloth. Add the seasoned couscous to the couscousiere, cover and steam 15 minutes. Remove the couscous to the roasting pan, spread out with a fork, without compressing the mixture, and leave uncovered until cool. To finish the couscous, bring the sugar and water to a boil, stirring to dissolve all sugar granules, and cool the syrup. Work the cooled couscous between the palms of the hands again to separate the grains and toss in the syrup in 5-or-6 additions, fluffing the couscous with a fork. Allow the couscous to

dry uncovered, several hours, in a cool place, fluffing it with a fork occasionally, until all the grains are separate. For advance preparation, cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate up to several days. To serve, fluff up with a fork so the grains separate well and mound the couscous on a platter. Sprinkle the couscous evenly with the grated chocolate, then the confectioners' sugar. Decorate with no more than 5-or-6 pieces of the candied fruit.

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