The Fuenf Schilling (Five Shillings) is a delightful farmhouse restaurant in southern Germany. A few months back I ate lunch there with my good friend, Mary, from Basel, Switzerland. We both ordered Couscous Patties–and loved them! (Ordering the exact same thing at a restaurant is a risk–but I must say I prefer that to ordering something different and drooling on my friends’ food!) When I got home, I tried (unsuccessfully) to make them several times and finally wrote to the restaurant to ask for the recipe. One of the cooks, Stephanie, was kind enough to send me it to me, written for restaurant quantities with two kilos (4 lbs.!) of couscous! I cut the recipe down significantly, made a few adjustments, and have fed them to my good husband three times this week while I perfected the recipe! A small price to pay for your enjoyment. At least I hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

Here’s what you need to make them…

I start by sauteing a medium onion, diced, and a clove of garlic, minced, in a little olive oil.

When the onion is soft, I added 2 cups of couscous…

…and 3 cups of broth…

I stirred it to make sure it was well-mixed and then covered it for about five minutes. It doesn’t need to cook, just steep. This gives time for the couscous to soak up the broth.

In a separate bowl, I combined beaten eggs, and three kinds of cheese: cream cheese, goat cheese (or feta) and Parmesan…

I creamed them all together and squeezed in a bit of lemon juice…always adds a bit of freshness.

I’ve made the couscous patties plain several times–and like them that way–but when we took the photos, I decided to give them a Mediterranean “twist” and added some local flavors…fresh basil and parsley, black olives and sun-dried tomatoes...

Now I combine the two mixtures…

Once everything is combined, I form them into patties, as I would hamburger patties.

I used a one-third cup measuring cup to give me consistency in size. Of course you can make them larger, or smaller. Maybe they’d even be good in an appetizer size?

I browned the patties in a little oil…

And then they’re done! A whole batch makes about 16-18 patties. You can easily make a half a recipe if you’d like.

If you’re not accustomed to goat cheese, you’ll find it gives a bit of a tanginess. Nice to know that it is lower in fat than other cheeses–though it is usually a bit more expensive.Try it once.

The more I’ve made these couscous patties, the more versatile I realize they are! As I mentioned, I added some optional ingredient to give them a Mediterranean twist. Why not make them Mexican by adding different ingredients?Or add some crumbled bacon or ham.

I’m thinking of packing some for a picnic this Saturday…no reason they can’t be eaten at room temperature. I’ve also found they reheat easily, making them a great choice to make when inviting friends over.

At the Fuenf Schilling my patties were served with a little goat cheese thinned with olive oil. At home, I made some pesto sauce by processing some fresh basil with a little garlic and olive oil and then added some leftover goat cheese I had. I think they’d also be good with a simple marinara sauce.

Since they contain whole grain (couscous) and cheese (dairy), they are a complete protein. Serve with a side salad for a light supper or on a hot day, serve with cold Cream of Vegetable Soup.

Ciao!

Debbie

Couscous Patties

Yield: Makes 16-18 patties

Couscous Patties

Ingredients

  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 T. olive oil (plus additional for frying patties)
  • 2 C. (400 g/12 oz.) dry couscous
  • 3 C. (750 ml) vegetable or chicken broth
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 8-9 oz./250 g cream cheese
  • 4-5 oz./125 g goat cheese or feta cheese
  • 1/2 C. (60 g) Parmesan cheese
  • Optional herbs, depending on your choice: parsley, basil, thyme, cilantro

Instructions

  1. Saute onions and garlic in olive oil.
  2. Add dry couscous and hot broth; stir and cover. Let set for at least 5 minutes until the broth is completely absorbed.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the eggs, lemon juice, and three cheeses. Stir until well blended and creamy.
  4. Combine the two mixtures and stir to combine. Shape into patties (about 1/3 cup each) and fry in a few tablespoons of hot oil until well browned.
http://ciaofromdebbie.com/blog/step-by-step-cooking/couscous-patties/

Variations:

Mediterranean ““ add chopped sun-dried tomatoes, black olives, and fresh basil before forming patties.

Mexican ““ use Cotija cheese instead of goat or feta cheese; add cilantro and black olives before forming patties.

American ““ add crumbled bacon and finely chopped hard-boiled egg before forming patties.

Be creative! Try adding your favorite ingredients! Roasted red pepper. Green olives. Mushrooms.

Optional sauces:

“¢ Goat cheese, thinned with a bit of olive oil

“¢ Marinara sauce

“¢ Salsa

“¢ Process some sun-dried tomatoes, a little garlic and olive oil; add some goat cheese or cream cheese; thin with a little milk

“¢ Process some fresh basil, a little garlic and olive oil; add some goat cheese or cream cheese; thin with a little milk

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