PAPER CHEF 20

peperoncino med pensel

I just can’t resist, I have to participate in this months
Paper Chef before I leave, it’s the 20th edition and Owen of Tomatilla is holding the reins again! The ingredients are cherries, peaches, a new herb and the forth is something hot and for once I actually had them all at home or at least close to home. The new herb caused me a bit of thinking but as we are lucky enough to live in the countryside where a lot of herbs are actually growing wild in the fields and sometimes even in my garden. I went out to take a look and I decided to go for a herb called Nepitella in Italian and Lesser Calamint or Catmint in English because I have strangely enough cooked so little with it that it can definitely be called new in my kitchen. I started out making one dish but then I thought that it was far too easy so I went for a small menu with all of the ingredients in each and every dish and it was surprisingly easy to come up with them, it was bit like when you do a crossword, sometimes you just need one word and everything follows!

I started with the making of a hot syrup that was going to be used in two of the dishes. I made two portions of everything .


Hot syrup

200 ml / 0,85 cup water
6 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp chopped fresh ginger
1- 1 ½ tsp freshly chopped hot chili pepper

- Mix the ingredients and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes.


Then I proceed with the preparations.

Marinated peaches and cherries

1 large peach
10 cherries

- Cut the fruit in pieces and put them in the syrup.
- Divide the fruit and the syrup, 1/3 you put in a small pan and 2/3 you leave to marinate for at least two hour.

Peach and cherry ‘chutney’

1/3 of the fruit in hot syrup

- Simmer the fruit in the syrup until it has got the consistency of chutney or jam. Mash the fruit while it simmers.

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CROSTINI WITH PECORINO SARDO, NEPITELLA AND ‘CHUTNEY’ MADE WITH PEACHES AND CHERRIES

Small slices of bread
Thickish slices of Sardinian pecorino
Chopped nepitella
Peach and cherry ‘chutney’

- Put slices of cheese on each crostino and sprinkle the chopped nepitella over.
- Grill the crostini under the grill until the cheese begins to melt and the bread begins to be golden.
- Take them out and spoon some chutney on top of each crostino before serving.

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On to the small main course:

RICE TIMBALE WITH PRAWNS IN HOT PEACH AND CHERRY SALSA

8-10 biggish shrimps or prawns
200 ml / 0,85 cup rice
1 large peach
10 cherries
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
1 1 ½ tsp freshly chopped hot chili
1 tsp chopped nepitella
10 tbsp fresh tomato sauce
Salt
Olive oil

- Cook the rice.
- Chop the fruit finely and braise it in olive oil together with the chili and the garlic for 1 minute before you add the tomato sauce and the nepitella. Let it cook for maximum 5 minutes and add some water if it dries up.
- Press the rice into small form that you have greased beforehand and turn them upside-down on the plates they are being served on and take off the form.
- Add the prawns to the salsa 1 minute before it’s ready.
- Dress the rice timbale with the salsa and then the prawns and serve it.

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And to finish a smooth semolina mousse topped with the spicy fruit:

SEMOLINA MOUSSE WITH GINGER AND CHILI MARINATED PEACHES AND CHERRIES

3 ½ tbsp semolina
400 ml / 1,7 cup milk
2 tbsp sugar
100 ml / 0,42 cup fresh cream
Chopped nepitella

- Put milk, semolina and sugar in a pan and bring to boil. Let it simmer until it has become a cream. Leave it to cool down, preferably in the fridge.
- Whip the cream and mix it carefully with the semolina cream when it has cooled down.
- Fill small bowls with the semolina mousse and top them up with the marinated fruit, the chopped nepitella and some of the syrup.

Thanks Owen, I had a lot of fun in the kitchen because of your Paper Chef!

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