Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Jerusalem Artichoke crisps

I still have so many Jerusalem artichokes coming from my allotment plot. I have been flicking though my various cookbooks looking for inspiration and different ways to cook this knobbly tuber. However the idea of turning some of these Jerusalem artichokes into crisps did not come from a cookbook. It just occurred to me, if its possible to make crisps from parsnips, beetroot and sweet potatoes, then why not Jerusalem artichokes. So I tried it. I was so glad I did. I think this is my favourite way to eat them. But do fry and eat them on the day, they lose their freshness if kept longer.

This is one of the easiest and tastiest soup ever. Instead of topping with croutons, I decided to top the soup off with Jerusalem artichoke crisps seasoned with rosemary salt. Here's the recipes, if you want to use some of those Jerusalem artichokes. If you don't make the soup, at least try the crisps!

Rosemary and Jerusalem Artichoke crisps with soup
1 pint of vegetable stock made with 2 teaspoons of bouillon
1 onion, finely sliced
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 rosemary stalk
500g Jerusalem artichokes, chopped into even size chunks
Salt and pepper to taste

Soften the onion slices in the olive oil, till soft, then add the artichokes with the rosemary stalk, cook for five minutes, then add the stock, bring to the boil.
Then turn heat low and allow to simmer for 30 – 35 minutes, till artichokes are soft.
When cool enough to handle, remove stalk and blend to puree and return to pot. Add seasoning to taste.

For the Rosemary salt flavoured Jerusalem artichoke crisps
For the salt
In a pestle and mortar or in a grinder add 1 table spoon of sea salt and a couple of stalks of rosemary, then pound or grind to a powder.

For the crisps
Vegetable oil for frying Jerusalem artichoke crisps
200g Jerusalem artichokes, peeled and then sliced into crisps, using either a mandolin or a potato peeler.

In a wide pot, put in enough oil so that it is about ¼ way up the pot.
Then heat oil and fry slices in batches until the artichoke crisps float to the top and are slightly brown. Drain off excess oil then sprinkle over the rosemary salt powder. Be careful, its powerful stuff
Pour soup into bowls and top with crisps.

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