Sunday, 29 March 2009

Native Limes - Part 3

Yes, I'm still experimenting :)
And this time its a Rocket & Lime salad.
As rocket is fairly peppery, and lime is sour, to balance out the flavours meant that the dressing had to be on the sweet side. The pepperiness of the rocket & sweetness of the dressing are nicely complimented by the bursts of sourness from the limes.
So here is a quick, rough & ready dressing recipe for a Rocket & Lime salad.

Ingredients:
1 large handful of wild rocket
1/2 tsp caster sugar
1 tsp rice vinegar
3 tsp olive oil
pinch of salt
1 tbls native lime vesicles

Method:
In a small bowl dissolve the sugar & salt in the vinegar
Add the oil & whisk to emulsify
Place the rocket in a large bowl
To get the vesicles out of the native lime simply cut the lime in half (they have a fairly tough skin) and squeeze the vesicles out. If the lime is ripe they will ooze out easily.
Add the lime to the leaves
Add the dressing & toss. The vesicles may become slippery & fall to the bottom of the bowl.
Place the salad into a serving bowl & drizzle the vesicles that are left in the original bowl over the salad.
Serve & consume immediately.

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Native Limes -Part 2.

I thinking of other ways to use these interesting & tasty limes.
One idea i had was to make a dipping sauce, with the lime vesicles suspended in the sauce.
Well the idea was good, but I failed in the execution of it. I made the sauce to the right consistency, thick enough to coat the deep fried prawns we were having, but not too thick as to overwhelm the prawns. And added the lime vesicles.
So far so good.
But the sauce actually made the vesicles a bit slippery, so they all seemed to sink to the bottom of the sauce, and when I attempted to scoop them up with the prawns, they failed to adhere & slipped straight back off.....

So no recipe this time, and back to the drawing board to see what else I can come up with.

Friday, 20 March 2009

Paper Chef 38 - The Winner is...

I'm late
I'm late
For a very important date...

If you're familiar with the rabbit from "Alice in Wonderland" well, that sums up my week. Hectic. Busy. Tiring.
But I've done it.
As last month's winner of
The Paper Chef, I've had the privilege & daunting task of selecting a winner. And it wasn't easy.
With four very interesting key ingredients, Figs, Mint, Anchovy & Polenta, I thought that there may be a scarcity of participants. But I was proven wrong... there were 9 eager participants with 11 very different recipes. Excluding myself as last months winner didn't make it any easier.
The contenders were:


Decisions.
I'll do the easy one first, The Peoples Choice Award goes to a first time participant:
Harini from
Cleanplatter with with Minty Mediterranean Croquettes
Congratulations on being select most popular.

And now the hard choice.
The winner of Paper Chef 38 as selected by an esteemed committee of one (me) is another first timer:

Adrienne from
Hungry Bruno with her Fig and Mint Meatballs with Anchovy Tomato sauce over Creamy Polenta.

Congratulations Adrienne
As winner Adrienne will be selecting the random ingredients, and her choice for the next challenge, and selecting the next winner.
So start submitting your ideas for ingredients to
paperchef@gmail.com and challenge yourself.

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Paper Chef 38 - Fig Pizza - 2 ways

With this month's Paper Chef ingredients there was a lot of scope for different combinations and recipes.
The ingredients were: figs, polenta, mint & anchovy.
At first glance you wonder what & how these ingredients will combine, but, surprising, they actually combined quite well.
After a glass or 2 of wine, I started thinking of what to do. My first idea was a modified Caesar salad with figs and polenta croutons. Next idea was a pizza with a polenta base, bocconcini figs & anchovy. Then Paul suggested a modified pissaladiere with figs melted in with the caramelised onion, again on a polenta base. Decisions!
In the end it ended up being a double pizza, but I'm still tempted to make the salad some time.

Polenta base:
1 cup prepared polenta
1 1/2 cup plain flour
7g (1 sachet) dried yeast
Salt
1/4 tsp sugar
Water

Sift flour, yeast, sugar & salt into a bowl. Add polenta & just enough water to make a dough. Knead until smooth & elastic. Leave to rise in a covered bowl till doubled. Roll out and use as needed.

Pissaladiere:
3 large onions finely sliced
3 fresh figs skins removed
Olive oil
1 tsp Dried mint
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
Fresh mint
In some olive oil, cook the onions, figs, dried mint & balsamic over a low heat until the onions have caramilised and most of the moisture has evaporated. Let cool.

Topping:
2 fresh figs cut into 1cm slices
anchovy fillets
2 bocconcini, sliced
fresh mint
tomato sauce
Roll out the dough to fit one large rectangular tray. One half was for the pissaladiere, the other was for the fresh fig.
I made a little dam out of some dough so the two different pizzas wouldn't run into each other.
Brush some olive oil on the base of the entire pizza. Spread the onion & fig mix evenly over half the base. Arrange the anchovy fillets in a diagonal crisscross pattern. Stud with the olives in the centre of each diamond.
On the other side spread the tomato sauce. Lay out the sliced bocconcini. Lay some sliced fig on top. I lightly pan fried the fig slices to remove some excess moisture. Lay some anchovy fillet across each fig slice.
Bake in a hot oven until the base is done.
Remove and sprinkle fresh mint over the whole pizza.
And enjoy.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Paper Chef 38 - The Ingredients

As Terry from Taste Adventures selected me as last month's winner of The Paper Chef, I have the privilege of selecting the four ingredients for this month's Paper Chef Challenge.
There were alot of ingredients to choose from, but the rules do state that it has to be three random ingredients & the fourth to be selected by the previous months winner (me!). So after looking at the suggested ingredients, and hoping like crazy that some certain combinations didn't happen, I fired up "the randomiser" and let it do its job.....

video


I think the randomiser got stuck as he selected four, rather than 3, ingredients. So luckily for all participants, we do not have to try & marry anchovy with strawberry!
In case you missed it, here are the three random ingredients:
Figs
Anchovy
Mint
But what to select as my choice for the final fourth ingredient...Well it isn't going to be strawberry, but will be:
Polenta

If you need to refresh yourself of the rule, you can find them
here.
Remember to post your entry on your blog & send an email to: paperchef@gmail.com
If you're not a blogger but want to participate, email your entry to the paper chef.
So good luck & good cooking :)
Oh, & if you REALLY want to be challenged, add the strawberries to the list of ingredients.