Thursday 27 November 2008

Cook's Alphabet 'J'

Cook's Alphabet 'J'

This is the tenth in my series of 28 postings going through the entire alphabet, as it relates to cooks and cooking. As you can see, today I'm dealing with the letter 'J'.

The letter 'J' is, of course the tenth letter in the alphabet, and today's recipe is for a classic soup that uses a common and invasive weed, Japanese Knotweed:

Japanese Knotweed Soup

1l vegetable stock
600g young Japanese knotweed shoots (or substitute rhubarb) sliced
250ml cream cheese

This is one of the simplest possible soups to prepare, just add the knotweed to the vegetable stock, simmer for 5 minutes then stir-in the cream cheese and serve.

(This recipe reproduced, with permission, from the Celtnet Japanes Knotweed Soup Recipe page. )

Today's cooking term is Julienne: Julienne is a French term that describes a classic way of cutting vegetables into thin matchsticks or very fine shreds, each about 4cm long. They're often cooked in butter in a covered pan until quite soft and then used as a garnish, especially for soups and consomm├ęs.

Today's spice is the Juniper Berry: Juniper Berries are actually the seed cones of the common juniper, Juniperus communis, a member of the cypress family. The cones, known commonly as 'juniper berries' are usually sold dried and used to flavour meats, sauces, and stuffings; most especially gam. They are generally crushed before use to release their flavour. These cones are also an essential ingredient in the flavouring of gin.

For more information on cookery-associated terms and information beginning with the letter 'I' here are various links that may well be of interest:

Recipes beginning with 'J'
Spices beginning with 'J'
Herbs beginning with 'J'
Wild foods beginning with 'J'
Cook's glossary 'J'

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