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Laura Faire's recipes - 26 November

Chicken, lemon and green olive tajine

Pea and parsley soup with scallops

Preserved Lemons

Makes: 2 large jars
Takes: 1 hour over 2 days
Costs: $13.00 for two lovely big jars
Notes: As only the rind of the preserved lemon is used organic, spray-free and wax free lemons are the best ones for preserving.

1.5 kg lemons
500g sea salt or rock mineral salt (ionised table salt not recommended)
2 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick broken in half
1 tbsp coriander seeds
500g extra lemons

Place the lemons in the sink and pour boiling water over them; wearing rubber gloves give them a good scrub.

Make deep crosses in the lemons from the tips almost to the blossom end (where they were attached to the tree), as though cutting into wedges.

Stuff each lemon with as much salt as possible - at least a tablespoon.

Pack the lemons tightly into a sterile jar with the bay, cinnamon and coriander seeds. Press down and leave overnight.

The next day, much of the juice will have come out of the lemons and the lemons in the jar wont be as tightly packed or covered with lemon juice.  Prepare the remaining lemons as done previously and add to the jars. 

Store in a cool dark place for at least a month before using.

Chicken, Lemon and Green Olive Tajine

Serves: 4
Takes: 1 hour 15 minutes
Cost per person: $7
Vegetarian cost: $3
A tajine (pronounced tar-jean) is a North African cooking dish with a conical lid; the lid creates a unique convection of heat producing lovely succulent dishes.  Of course if you do not have a tajine a casserole dish with a lid will suffice.  I used to improvise by making a tepee with foil over chopsticks before I got mine.

6-8 boned chicken thighs, skin removed
Vegetarian alternative: two large aubergines quartered
10 large fat green olives
1 onion, finely chopped
1 preserved lemon, skin only, sliced
2 stalks of thyme
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp dark thick honey
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup breadcrumbs

Combine the chicken thighs with the olives, onion, preserved lemon, thyme, olive oil and honey, cover and marinade for a minimum of one hour.

Remove the upper racks from the oven and preheat to 180degC.

Place in the base dish of tajine and sprinkle with salt and breadcrumbs.  Cover and cook for 1 hour. If cooking vegetarian option reduce cooking time to 30 minutes.

Spoon the juices over before serving.

Pea and Parsley Soup with Scallops
Serving Suggestion: Serve with scallops that have been pan fried for 2 minutes on each side if desired
Serves: 4
Takes: 15 minutes
Cost per person: $1.70 cost with scallops: $4.50

50g butter
1 small onion, finely sliced
2 stalks of celery, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
2 cups organic vegetable or chicken stock
1 tsp mineral salt
500g peas, freshly picked and shelled (or frozen baby peas)
1/2 cup finely chopped parsley leaves
1/4 cup cream
1/4 tsp white pepper
2 tsp red wine vinegar
Optional Serving Suggestion: 12 Scallops

Melt the butter and slowly cook the onion and celery with the bay leaf for about 10 minutes.
Add the stock (if using bought stock, taste before adding salt) and bring to the boil, when boiling add the peas and cover to back to the boil quickly.
Boil for 3 minutes until the peas are vibrant, stir through the parsley leaves, cream and white pepper.  Blend using a stick blender.  Taste and add the red wine vinegar and more salt if required.