Tamatem Ma’Amrine is a Moroccan dish of roasted tomatoes stuffed with albacore, capers, olives and preserved lemon..
Tamatem Ma’Amrine (click to enlarge)
Adapted from a recipe by Claudia Roden
Carve a lid out of the tomatoes and scoop out the insides as you would a jack-o’-lantern. Don’t let the walls get too thin, or the tomatoes will split while roasting. Turn the tomatoes upside down and let the water drain.
Meanwhile, flake apart US Pacific troll or line-caught albacore and toss gently in extra virgin olive oil with bits of roasted red pepper, coarsely chopped capers and black olives, thinly slivered preserved lemon and chopped flat-leaf parsley.
Season tuna mixture with cracked coriander, fennel and white sesame seeds and stuff into the tomatoes.
Drizzle with a little more olive oil and season with sea salt and cracked pepper. Roast in a 375 degree oven until slightly blackened, perhaps 30 minutes.
Serve warm or refrigerate and serve cold; a crisp salad goes well in either case.
Originally a peasant dish (perhaps of stewing hen or rooster) from the Abruzzo region in Italy, Americans were likely first introduced to this classic in a 1969 article from the New York Times.
My riff on America’s Test Kitchen’s modern adaptation (see video below) uses locally pastured chicken thighs, prosciutto, garlic, fresh herbs, chicken stock and white wine, all served over fennel-scented brown rice with toasted shallots and flat-leaf parsley..
Pollo Canzanese (serves 2-4)
4 large skin-on, bone-in, pastured chicken breasts
2 ounces prosciutto, cut into 1/4-inch dice
2-3 cloves garlic, slivered (not minced)
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 teaspoons sprouted wheat or spelt flour
1-1/4 cups dry white wine
3/4 cup homemade chicken stock
2 bay leaves (fresh preferred)
2 sprigs rosemary, stripped, leaves chopped (reserve the stems)
8 leaves fresh sage
3 whole cloves
juice of 1/2 fresh lemon
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon cultured butter, cold
freshly-cracked black pepper
Rinse chicken and pat dry. Refrigerate, uncovered 4 hours or overnight to help ensure a crispy skin when cooked.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add prosciutto and sauté until lightly brown, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute more. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the prosciutto and garlic to a side dish.
Return the pan to the heat and add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Once the oil is shimmering, season the chicken with pepper and place in the hot oil skin-side down. Allow the chicken to cook without moving until golden brown, about 5-6 minutes. Turn the chicken over cook another 5 minutes, again without moving. Transfer the chicken to a side dish.
Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of olive oil/fat, reserving the remainder for the rice.
Sprinkle the flour into the pan and whisk continuously to form a light roux, about 1 minute.
De-glaze the pan with the wine, taking care to scrape up all the brown bits (the fond) from the bottom.
Add the cooked prosciutto and garlic back into the pan along with the bay leaves, sage, cloves, rosemary stems (without leaves) and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine.
Add the chicken to the pan, making sure that the volume of liquid is sufficient to rise to a point just below the crisp chicken skin. Pour a little liquid off if there’s too much, or add a little stock if there isn’t enough.
Place the uncovered pan into a 325 degree oven and cook until the chicken is fork tender, about 1 hour.
A seasonal, Franco-Italian dish of fresh cauliflower, EVOO, homegrown garlic and thyme and the zest & juice from a Meyer lemon. Topped with sea salt, cracked pepper and local sprouts. Slightly crisp on the outside, with a luxurious, creamy interior. Look for the recipe in the comment section at the bottom of this post..
Cauliflower has a long history. François Pierre La Varenne employed it in Le cuisinier françois after it had been introduced to France from Genoa in the 16th century. Cauliflower is featured in Olivier de Serres’ Théâtre de l’agriculture (1600), as cauli-fiori “as the Italians call it, which are still rather rare in France; they hold an honorable place in the garden because of their delicacy”, but they did not commonly appear on grand tables until the time of Louis XIV.
Cauliflower is low in fat, low in carbs but high in dietary fiber, folate, water, and vitamin C, possessing a high nutritional density.
Cauliflower contains several phytochemicals, common in the cabbage family, that may be beneficial to human health.
Sulforaphane, a compound released when cauliflower is chopped or chewed, may protect against cancer.
Indole-3-carbinol, a chemical that enhances DNA repair and acts as an estrogen antagonist, slowing the growth of cancer cells.
Boiling reduces the levels of these compounds, with losses of 20–30% after five minutes, 40–50% after ten minutes, and 75% after thirty minutes. However, other preparation methods, such as steaming, microwaving, and stir frying, had no significant effect on the compounds.
A high intake of cauliflower has been associated with reduced risk of aggressive prostate cancer.
100g of cauliflower contains the following nutritional information according to the USDA:
A simple, classic Roman preparation of fresh broccoli sautéed in olive oil with loads of garlic and red pepper flakes, finished with Mediterranean sea salt, freshly-ground black pepper and a few shreds of soft Bel Paese.
Highly nutritious and pretty seriously delicious..
Homemade pizza, that is. Roasted fresh red peppers, tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil and heirloom garlic, thinly-sliced Soppressata di Puglia, fresh mozzarella and Texas-grown Albahaca basil, all on a thin, crisp cornmeal crust. Sea salt and cracked black pepper..