Ingredient of the Week: Jerusalem artichokes
Tom admits to struggling with Jerusalem artichokes – small, brown, nubby vegetables that look nothing like a green globe artichoke – so Thierry has some cooking tips for the odd food.
“First of all, if you’ve never had them,” Thierry says, “take a green pad and brush them around to take the skin off of them.” Their nubs and bumps make them hard to peel, and brushing the skin off makes them easier to work with.
He also recommends frying them. “If you make a whole basket of fried, sliced Jerusalem artichokes, it makes a great chips basket,” he says. “They get crispy and sweet. From there, you can put a seasoning on top or use a dip. Everyone loves fried food, anyway.”
Tom, however, doubts that a chip basket would make a centerpiece to a meal, and asks Thierry how you would make them the “star of the show.”
“They make a great soup,” Thierry says. Sweat the onions with butter, and put thinly-sliced (about one-eighth of an inch) Jerusalem artichokes on top of the onions for a few minutes. Then add a good chicken stock and reduce. “Then add a dollop of cream (or butter, since it’s always better with butter), then blend the whole thing together, or run it through a food processor.”
He then suggests straining the soup for any skins left in, and garnishing with leeks, spring onions, or a grated, mild cheese.
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