PAPER CHEF 33- BEETROOT AND RICOTTA MOUSSE WITH GINGER, THYME AND BALSAMIC VINEGAR SERVED IN RICE BASKETS AND TOPPED WITH APPLE GARNISH
This month I really wanted to participate in the Paper Chef; I took over the event because I enjoyed it so much and I didn’t want it to disappear when Owen felt that the time had come to give it up so when I miss a month of it, I feel even more motivated to do it. Someone might say that it’s not perfectly ethical of me to participate as I am the organizer but to them I just say: 1. It’s a game and we’re supposed to have fun. 2. I do not do the judging and I have nothing to do with it. Apart from that, I trust people to have their own minds and so far I have not won a PC since I took over which just proves my point. 3. Keeping the PC going creates a lot of extra work for me so I think I deserve to participate! In case someone have opinions. Maybe it’s just me, always fiddling with principles and yearnings of coherent living, but I felt I needed to write this despite its extremely high boredom factor.
So over to my actual PC entry: This month it’s Pia of Serendipity, Synchronicity and Saffron who does the judging which also means that she is the one who chose the 4 ingredients, three of them are chosen randomly and one she chose herself: beetroot, ginger, rice and apples. When I saw them I said, no, this is not my type of ingredients but then I gave them a chance and realized that well, maybe they weren’t that bad actually and I could suddenly see several options. I was going to make a rice timbal but somehow this is what I ended up with instead, sometimes it’s as if the cooking part of my brain takes command over my body and just ignores what I want to do. And maybe I should be grateful because I did enjoy these rice baskets filled with beetroot and ricotta mousse flavoured with ginger, thyme and balsamic vinegar with an apple garnish on top. The mousse has only a hint of salt but as the rice baskets are saltier, there is a nice balance between the sweet and the salt here. To tell you the truth, I convinced myself that no one in my family would like them so I could eat them all by myself!
BEETROOT AND RICOTTA MOUSSE WITH GINGER, THYME AND BALSAMIC VINEGAR SERVED IN RICE BASKETS AND TOPPED WITH APPLE GARNISH
100 ml/ 0,42 cup rice of a sticky type, I used Carnaroli.
200 ml/ 0,85 cup water
1 beetroot, cooked
100 g/ 3,5 oz fresh ricotta
1/2 tsp thyme
1 tblsp ginger, finely chopped
2 tblsp balsamic vinegar
1 small pinch of salt
extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 apple, thinly sliced
– Boil the rice until almost ready and still sticky.
– Line four small oven-proof forms (I used my faithful old silicone muffin pan again) with rice so that small baskets are formed. Bake in a pre-heated oven (175°C/350°F) until the rice baskets have dried up and keep together, it takes about 15 minutes.
– Cut the beetroot into small pieces and put them into a small pan with a little olive oil. Add ginger, thyme, salt and balsamic vinegar and braise slowly for 4-5 minutes.
– Run it all in a mixer untilcreamy and smooth.
– Pass the ricotta through a sieve to make it easy to mix and add it to the beetroot cream, stir well.
– Spoon the beetroot and ricotta mousse into the rice baskets and put the apple garnish on top.