I always watched Ainsley Harriott on Ready Steady Cook and think of him as a very smiley person who likes to have fun. I have seen his food range in supermarkets and it all looks very exotic, but previously I have only tried the soups that you make in a mug. I was very happy to be contacted and asked if I wanted to try some other products in Ainsley Harriott’s World Kitchen Range. I was sent four products from the range to try and the first one I have tested is the Roasted Vegetable Couscous.
Couscous is a North African staple food that is made from semolina, normally a big part of Algeria, Morocco and Tunisian cooking. I have bad memories of semolina puddling from school dinners, but luckily couscous bears no relation at all to this. It is normally served with a fish or meat based stew, but it can be used as a side accompaniment to main meals, a bit like rice. The best part about it is that it is ready in ten minutes, all you do is add some boiling water and just leave it. It absorbs the water and expands and is then ready to eat. Ideal if you want a quick meal.
The couscous comes in a black packet with a smiley picture of Ainsley Harriott on it. Each 100g packet contains enough couscous to serve two people reasonably sized helpings. The couscous is suitable for vegetarians and contains less than 2% fat. One serving (half a pack) contains under 200 calories.
I poured it into the pan ready to add the water and was pleased to see a nice mix of different vegetables. The packet says that it contains tomatoes, peppers and a hint of garlic and that it makes an ideal accompaniment for chicken. I decided to serve the couscous with jerk chicken to see what it would be like. To make it up all you do is add 160ml of boiling water , give it a quick stir and leave it to stand for five minutes.
When ready the couscous has a slight red colour and the grains and the dried vegetables have fattened out nicely. The couscous is lovely and moist and has a slight tomato and herb flavour. The flavour is not overpowering and it makes a really nice accompaniment to the jerk chicken. There were plenty of vegetables in the couscous and these were not tough.
The whole family liked the couscous, even my husband who is normally wary of new products. It is definitely a good one to keep in the store cupboard for serving with meals when you are in a bit of a rush. There are seven flavours in the range as well including wild mushroom and Moroccan medley.
RRP 0.75p per 100g
You can find more information and recipes on the website : www.ainsley-harriott.com
Disclosure: I was sent the products to try out but the opinion is my own.
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