Paper Chef- a three course menu with turkey, Anaheim peppers, winter squash and lentils!


Yesterday I did some serious Paper Chefing, I don’t know if it is because full moon is closing in but I felt quite inspired. (if you wonder where the connection between full moon and inspiration is, I was thinking about the fact that more babies are born when the moon is full and creativity is a bit like giving birth so there you are) So inspired that I managed to create a whole little menu with all the four ingredients our Judge, my compatriot and fellow expat Magnus had chosen Wednesday: turkey, Anaheim peppers, lentils and winter squash. The only difficult ingredient to find was the Anaheim peppers or friggitelli or peperoncini dolce as they are called here because it’s not the season for them right now but I did find some! The rest was easy. To find I mean.
I always enjoy the creative part of the Paper Chef, I love to turn around the ingredients in my brain, trying out various combinations and finding solutions, I love the cooking part too, to see if theory and practice works and to taste the results but I really dislike the writing of the recipes, especially when I like today have three to write down! It is quite difficult to transform the dishes into words when you just are concentrated on the actual ‘creation’ and what is even more difficult to do is to give the measures because I usually make very small portions of my PC creations in case they are disastrous. So I will just give you the ingredients and when possible/necessary I indicate the proportions.

Deep-fried Anaheim Peppers with Turkey, Lentil and Winter Squash Filling

Starter:
DEEP-FRIED ANAHEIM PEPPERS WITH TURKEY, LENTIL AND WINTER SQUASH RAGÚ FILLING TOUCHED UP WITH SECHUAN PEPPER

Anaheim peppers
turkey, I used the breast, minced or finely chopped
brown lentils, I used a small Italian variety that comes from Garfagnana here in northern Tuscany, cooked al dente
leek, finely chopped
Sechuan pepper
salt
extra-virgin olive oil

– Gently fry leek, meat and Sechuan pepper for 3-4 minutes in olive oil before adding winter squash and lentils.
– Go on frying on medium heat for 6-7 minutes.
– Cut the peppers open with one cut lengthwise and carefully take out as much as possible of the seeds.
– Use a small spoon and fill the peppers with the ragú.
– Make a simple frying batter (or use your favourite one) with egg yolks, flour, salt and cold water.
– Heat up the olive oil, dip the peppers in the batter and then fry in the hot oil.

Lentil Salad with Berbere Marinated Turkey, Winter Squash and Anaheim Peppers

Main course:
LENTIL SALAD WITH BERBERE MARINATED TURKEY, WINTER SQUASH AND ANAHEIM PEPPERS

turkey, still breast piece, diced
brown lentils, cooked
winter squash
Anaheim peppers
berbere spice
salt
extra-virgin olive oil

– Put the diced turkey in a bowl, sprinkle it generously with berbere spice, add a little olive oil and mix very well. Cover and let it marinate for 20-30 minutes.
– Fry the turkey until cooked and a bit browned. Add salt.
– Grate the raw winter squash, slice the peppers and add these to the lentils and the meat.
– Drizzle a little olive oil over, if you want you can squeeze a little lemon juice on it if you want.
– Mix well and serve.

Winter Squash and Ricotta Mousse

Dessert:
I just have to say that I unfortunately forgot to stick the turkey toothpicks into the mousse when I shoot the photo…
WINTER SQUASH AND RICOTTA MOUSSE WITH GOLDEN RAISINS, HONEY, LENTIL & CINNAMON BRITTLE TOPPED WITH CANDIED ANAHEIM PEPPER AND TURKEY TOOTHPICKS

winter squash
fresh ricotta
golden raisins, chopped
brown lentils cooked
cinnamon ground
honey
butter,
sugar
Anaheim peppers
turkey, cut into really thin strips

– Cut the winter squash into pieces and steam until soft. Leave to cool down.
– Run squash in a mixer together with the ricotta (60/40-winter squash/ricotta) until creamy and smooth.
-Add the raisins, stir well and then put the mousse in the fridge to get cold.
– Meanwhile you toast the lentils covered in cinnamon in the oven.
– Make a brittle with honey and a little butter, let it simmer until medium brown, add the lentils and then our the mix on a greased surface. When cool, crush it into small pieces.
– Simmer the Anaheim peppers cut in two length wise in sugar and a little water for about 10-15 minutes.
– Sauté the turkey strips in olive oil until brown and stiff.
– Serve the mousse with brittle sprinkled over it and top with a candied Anaheim pepper. Crown it with a turkey toothpick!

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