Wishart And Descent
My climbing buddy Becky and her husband Greg came over to watch
to see if it would put them off caving forever. (No).
I made us a couple of recipes from
with couscous and a rocket salad.
Becky had thirds of the tagine and had to loosen at least one button - so it must have been good!
Jerusalem Artichoke Soup
1 kg Jerusalem artichokes
Juice ½ lemon
100g unsalted butter
1 medium onion, peeled and sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
100g piece lightly smoked streaky bacon
1½ litres fresh chicken stock
150 ml champagne
Small handful chervil or chives, chopped
Hazelnut oil (optional)
Peel the artichokes and place them in a bowl of cold water with the
juice from half a lemon to prevent them from turning brown.
Melt the butter in a large pot, add the onion and garlic and cook without colouring for 3-4 minutes.
Thinly slice the artichokes and add them to the onions.
Continue to cook for a further 5 minutes, being careful not to colour them.
Add the chicken stock and the piece of bacon, season with a couple of pinches of salt
and boil the soup for 10 minutes until the artichokes become tender.
Remove the bacon ,
and transfer the soup to a liquidiser.
Add the champagne and blend for 3 minutes until the soup becomes smooth and creamy.
You can add a further 100g butter if you want to make the soup richer and creamier
Pour the soup into large bowls with some freshly chopped chervil or chives.
You could also chop the bacon into small dice
and serve in the soup.
The addition of a few drops of hazelnut oil spooned on top
also works very well.
A tasty but delicate soup - I used chives and walnut oil since I couldn't find chervil and hazelnut oil.
Truffle oil is excellent also.
Make sure you use a light chicken stock so as not to overwhelm the artichoke flavour.
Tagine Of Chicken With Confit Lemon and Black Olives
100g root ginger, peeled
1 small white onion, peeled
3 sticks celery
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
2 ripe plum tomatoes
1 medium sized organic or free-rang chicken
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 pinch saffron thread
1 teaspoon ground cumin
120g pitted kalamata olives
1 green pepper
Ground white pepper
220ml dry white wine
1 small jar preserved / confit lemons
Finely chop the ginger, onion and celery.
Crush the coriander seeds.
Drop the tomatoes into boiling water for 30 seconds and then into iced water and remove the skin.
Cut them into dice.
Joint the chicken into eight pieces.
Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy casserole pan.
Brown the chicken well on all sides in the pan.
Add the onions to the pan and cook gently for 5 minutes.
Add the garlic, ginger, saffron, celery, cumin, coriander, olives, tomatoes and green pepper.
Season with a pinch of salt and pepper and stir well.
Add the wine and bring to the boil.
Transfer all into a tagine dish and cook with the lid on, in the oven at 200°C (Gas Mark 6) for 45 minutes.
Add the lemons and replace the lid .
Turn the oven off and put the tagine back in, with the door open, for 10 minutes.
Just cover the surface of the tagine with a layer of the thinly sliced preserved lemon (or lime) to get the flavour balance right
Return the tagine to the oven while preparing the couscous.
Pour couscous into a shallow dish, add a knob of salted butter, submerge by around ¼"
with boiling water (1 - 1¼ times the volume of water).
Cover and leave to stand for 5 minutes
Make a salad dressing from shaking 3:1 olive oil and balsamic vinegar with salt and pepper.
Fluff the couscous with a fork and serve with the tagine and dressed Rocket salad.