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Poached Quail with Rose Petals

1 qt Chicken stock
8 Garlic cloves, peeled
1 Onion, peeled and quartered
8 Whole quail, cleaned and patted dry
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tb Unsalted butter
1/2 ts Ground anise seed
2 Red cactus tuna, or cactus fruit, peeled and roughly chopped or substitute plums
12 Red or pink organic roses, petals only
1 c Fresh walnut meats
2 tb Honey

In a soup pot combine stock, 5 garlic cloves, onion and bring to a boil. Season the quail liberally with salt and pepper. Add quail to boiling stock, bring back to a boil and reduce heat to low. Simmer quail 12 to 15 minutes, remove from broth to an ovenproof casserole and cover. Reserve broth.

In a saucepan melt butter and add remaining 3 cloves of garlic, minced and salt and freshly ground black pepper. Saute briefly over low heat and add anise cooking a minute more.

In a blender combine cactus fruit or plums, rose petals (reserving a few for the final garnish), and walnuts and add just enough reserved broth to cover, blend until smooth. Add blended mixture to saucepan with garlic and anise and cook 10 minutes gently stirring to mix thoroughly. If sauce is very thick, add more reserved broth. Taste for seasoning and add honey, salt and freshly ground pepper. Pour hot sauce over warm quail in casserole and serve immediately with white rice and sprinkle a few rose petals on each plate.

*Note: Most roses from the florist are treated (rendering them unfit for consumption), but there are organic roses available for cooking from some specialty herb growers. Look for some red which add color and some pink which have more flavor. If you grow your own and don't spray them, they would be fine for this recipe provided you wash the petals briefly.

Yield: 4 servings.

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