Friday, June 29, 2007

Fish with couscous

800 gram codfish - מרלוזה
350 gram couscous (medium size)
olive oil
3 bay leaves
1 red hot pepper
1 green hot pepper
5 stems of celery
5 carrots
3 green paprikas
1 red bell pepper
2 tea spoons sweet paprika
1 tea spoon ground coriander
1 tea spoon ground caraway
1 tea spoon ground cumin
1/2 tea spoon turmeric
4 cloves garlic
1 tea spoon mustard
1 tea spoon squeezed ginger
2 hands of cilantro leaves
2 servings tomato paste
60 ml cream (15%)
1/2 l water
2 glasses white wine

Heat the oil with salt, bay leaves and whole red hot pepper. Let this scorch a bit then add finely cut celery and carrot. Add sweet paprika. Stir. Add the fish and one glass of wine. Add garlic, ginger, spices (but NOT the turmeric), salt, paprikas, mustard and stir. Close the lid, turn to medium heat. Boil 1/2 liter of water then add together with another glass of wine. After 10 minutes, use a ladle to take out 1/2 liter of the 'soup'.

Add the couscous to a glass bowl. Add one spoon of oil and the turmeric, mix by stirring with a fork. Add the soup and stir again. Put in microwave at high power for 3 minutes. (Check the instructions that come with your couscous, I am not entirely sure EVERY couscous can be made like this)

Add tomato paste to the stew, simmer without the lid on and then take it off the fire and add cream.

Mass extinction - In Our Time

250 million years ago, the largest mass extinction in biological history took place. It is what is known as the the Permian-Triassic boundary. In Our Time discusses the details and angleson this extinction.

What do we know of what was life like during the Permian? What was the earth like? And what caused the extinction. Current theory points at vulcanic eruptions from fissures in the large pangaea continent. This and the consecutive greenhouse effect, made life unbearable for more than 90% of the species. In the Triassic, life slowly recovers and a whole new evolutional string is set off.

What helped, specifically, those species that did survive, doesn't seem to to be much of what would generally be evolutionary helpful. In addition, the occurrance of this particular cataclysm, does not have any cyclic quality. Hence it is one unexpected disaster and the survival is by chance. Nobody will call this the Hand of God, but the metaphor jumped to my mind. Yet another podcast from the BBC that had me gripped, even if the subject at firs hand appeared not so promising.