Monday, 6 September 2010

56th PaperChef entry

Ahhhhhh. Asa from Miss Meister's mat med mera looks like she loves to set a challenge so this month's Paper Chef had a theme, as well as the 4 random ingredient. Life is fun
So what were the ingredients & theme?
and the theme: Vegetarian
To say it was a diverse range of ingredients is an understatement. What to do...
I thought something a bit different was in order, so a Pumpkin Tagine was born, with Couscous & a Parsley & caper Salad (the salad is based on a Nigella recipe) would work nicely & it did!

1 400g can chickpeas, drained & rinsed
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, sliced
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tblsp finely chopped coriander root
1 cinnamon stick
1/4 tsp dried chilli flakes
400g pumpkin, peeled and cut into large pieces
2 waxy potatoes, peeled and cut in quarters
4 yellow squash, quartered
8 cherry tomatoes
1/2 red capsicum, peeled & sliced
1/2 a preserved lemon, chopped
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup vegetable stock

100g couscous
3 large dried peaches, chopped
20g slivered pistachio
125ml water or vegetable stock
1 stalk leomongrass
20g butter

Parsley Salad
1 bunch curly leaf parsley
2 tbls capers, soaked & well rinsed
1/2 spanish onion
olive oil
lemon juice

1/2 cup yogurt
1/2 cup coriander leaves

In a large pot, heat the oil and butter and cook the onion and garlic until soft and lightly golden.
Add the spices, cook for a couple of minutes, then add the chickpeas, pumpkin, potatoes, tomatoes, stock & just enough water to cover.
Season with salt and simmer gently until the potatoes are almost soft.
Add the squash and preserved lemon and cook for 5 more minutes or until the potatoes and pumpkin are soft (but not mushy).
Place the stock or water into a saucepan over a low heat.
bruise the lemongrass stalk & place into the liquid & bring to a low simmer.
Simmer for 5 min to allow the lemongrass to infuse the liquid.
Remove the lemongrass & add the butter & allow to melt.
Remove from the heat & add the couscous & cover.
Leave for 10min.
Add the diced dried peaches & pistachio, & fluff with a fork.
Finely slice the onion & soak to remove some of the harshness.
Remove any large stalks from the parsley & roughly run a knife though it.
drain the onion & capers & toss with the parsley.
Drizzle with oil & lemon juice
To Serve:
Sprinkle tagine with coriander & serve with yogurt on the side.
The flavours of each individual dish meld together nicely.