Saturday, 2 April 2011
One for all or all for one...
Not dissimilar to Provençal Ratatouille and Mallorcan Tumbet, this delicious Moroccan tomato and green pepper stew/salad is wonderfully versatile.Taktouka is a cooked salad made from vine-fresh tomatoes and roasted green peppers. If you have both vegetarian and meat eating guests at your table this dish could bail you out of a tight corner and save you lot of time and extra work. One dish serves all here..You'll need to roast and skin your green peppers before you use them in the recipe. If you've never done this, How to Roast and Skin Peppers will show you how.The finished dish is thick enough to spread on bread, so makes a fantastic choice for inclusion in a Mediterranean mezze starter, or as an innovative sandwich filling.It is perfect as part of a collection of small salads to accompany tagines or barbecues.
So here is how you keep everybody sweet.
4 green peppers
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 kilo (2lb) ripe vine tomatoes, skinned seeded and chopped
1tablespoon tomato purée
1 taespoon caster sugar
3 garlic cloves,chopped
1 teaspoon pimenton dulce ( sweet paprika)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
salt, cayenne pepper
fresh parsley sprigs to garnish
Grill the green peppers close under a pre-heated grill, turning frequently until blackened and blistered all over.Put them in a plastic bag and knot it. Leave to cool enough to handle, then peel off the skin. Remove the stem and seeds and cut the peppers into strips.
the strips should be about thirds of each pepper.Reserve.
Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and add the tomatoes, tomato purée, sugar and garlic. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring and mashing the tomatoes down, until they form a sauce. Now add the peppers, paprika, cumin,salt and a touch of cayenne pepper.Continue cooking, stirring frequently to prevent burning, until all the watery juices have evaporated and the mixture is starting to fry again in the oil - about 15 minutes, depending on the heat. taste and adjust the seasoning and then turn the mixture into a bowl or on to a shallow dish and leave to cool.This is the dish in its basic form that can be eaten by everyone and delicious it is too.
For the trick, while it is cooking, roast some chicken breasts in the oven. When ready to serve, remove half the pepper and tomato sauce to another pan and stir through the chicken roughly sliced and chopped up into large pieces.
And there you have it dinner for vegetarians and carnivores alike.If you have any left overs which I very much doubt, fill some foccacia or soft rustic bread and pack them into the kids lunch boxes. Those lunch boxes will be the talk of the school refectory.