Great fall recipe: Moroccan Stew with Couscous

Fall is my favorite time to cook and experiment with new (and old) recipes!
When I was 5 years old, my mother married a Moroccan man who played professional soccer in France, and came from a Muslim family in Casablanca.  He spoke Arabic and French, but barely knew simple phrases in English at the time; he learned a lot from us and we learned a lot from him.  One thing was this delicious meal!  We used to eat mountains of this couscous stew- the recipe of my stepfather’s mother…
Moroccan stew with Couscous
Serves 10-12 people
Use a Couscous pot or large stew pot with a smaller steamer pot (with bottom holes) that fits on top:
· Couscous – approx 5 cups from a bulk supplier or 4-5 boxes (Near East or other brand)
· Meat – approx 6 cups of stew meat cut into cubes (meat can be substituted: lamb, chicken or beef preferred)
· 4-5 large carrots, peeled and cut in large chunks
· 2 turnips peeled and chopped into large chunks
· 1 bunch parsley chopped
· 4 zucchini cut in large chunks
· 1 Large yellow squash -cut into cubes
· 4 large tomatoes, sliced in large chunks
· 1 cup garbanzo beans
· 1 can tomato paste
· Salt 1/4 cup to be used in 3 cups water solution for couscous
· Marjoram 1 tsp
` Oregano 1tsp
· Olive oil – approx ½ cup
Boil water with meat and 1tsp salt, with carrot chunks, spices, chopped parsley and turnips.
In a large bowl mix couscous and sprinkle salt water into couscous with hands to moisten, add couscous mix to top steamer pan.
Every 15 minutes remove couscous back to bowl and mix couscous with more salt water and return to steamer pan.
Chop tomatoes, zucchini and yellow squash and add garbanzo beans in a separate strainer and hold to add to stew.
After 30 minutes add large tomatoes, zucchini, squash and garbanzo beans. Mix in tomato paste
Every 15 minutes continue to remove couscous back to bowl and mix couscous with more salt water and return to steamer pan. After second 30 minutes remove couscous to large bowl, (couscous should be fluffy and will lump together) – add olive oil to separate grains by mixing with fork or hands until well separated.
Serve as stew over couscous, – spoon large amount of couscous in the middle of the plate, clear a small depression in the middle, and spoon stew mixture in depression with the liquid poured over the couscous. The juices will soak into the couscous. YUM!