One of the questions that we have been asked recently is why are you making everything clear. My first response is because we can, though looking closer at what we are doing we have a certain number of bases on hand free of impurities and taint which we can then build upon. While the canvas may not be blank, it is already prepared to start painting upon.
I started with our horseradish-buttermilk consomme. I have tired of the robotic approach to cooking artichokes. We have cooked artichokes for years starting with vegetables in an herbal and spiced aromatic oil and then adding white wine, lemon and water. The herbs may change, the wine may differ, though at days end the artichokes always tasted the same. They tasted like braised artichokes. And that is good, because if the artichokes tasted like tuna we would have a problem. Or would we? We often pair tuna, good canned tuna, with artichokes. Why not make a canned tuna broth to marry the flavors from the beginning? No, we have yet to make the tuna consomme, though as I write, the flavors of tuna salad would be a great cooking medium. Hmmm.
Alright, I have gone off track again. Horseradish and artichokes. Why not? The earthy flavors blend, the tang and heat work well, the buttermilk adds more tang and mouthfeel to the consomme. (Also, we have used whipped horseradish as a condiment for artichoke soup, why not bring the two closer together?) I cleaned the baby artichokes and put them into a pot with the horseradish consomme. I placed a cartouche on top and turned the flame to low. I let the artichokes and horseradish cook and in doing so find a balance between them. When the artichokes were cooked, we let them cool naturally and then let them marinate for a few more days in their cuisson.
We now have a great staple addition to our pantry. And what becomes of the resulting artichoke-horseradish broth? Time and inspiration will tell.