First time joining PAPER CHEF and I just had to make it difficult. I've been participating in a similar competition to this one, Cyberkocken with one of my dishes, erlier, but, since I'm a Swede, writing my blog in Swedish, I haven't really felt the drive or motivation to join Paper Chef earlier. This is not only a challange for me in the kitchen but also, it's the first time I write a post in English. I've lived for some time in the States, and, I do speak english a lot, but, I'm not used to write in English at all.
For all of you who will actually read this post and have no clue, what so ever about the rest of me and my blog, I'll tell you that I'm a vegetarian. I do once in awhile eat butter, goat chees and eggs. And I do have cow milk in my coffee. I mostly write about what I eat, but also, I have a deep interest in human rights and peoples access, or rather lack of access, to clean water and enough food for a healthy and prosperous life, witch I take some time to read, learn and write about too. And finally, I'm NOT a photographer!This is the Paper Chef and here are the Rules and regulations for the "creative cooking competition". The four ingredients in the #55th round is candid orange peel, cranberries, dried dates and flour. Here at Recipe Taster you'll found more about this month competition. The ingredients are likely used for desserts, pastry or any kind of sweet stuff. I tried to cook some lunch and/or dinner instead. Although I do eat some dairy products, this dish is actually a vegan one. Here is my contribution to Paper Chef August 2010:
Beluga lenitls with smoky bell pepper sauce. (Belugalinser med rökig paprikasås)
100 g beluga lentils (boild)
1 red onion, finely chopped
flaky sea salt
SMOKY BELL PEPPER SAUCE
2 red bell peppers
2 black cardamom
1 tsp cummin
1 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp black cummin (kind of smoky like the black cardamom, optional)
1/2 dl olive oil
3-4 tbsp coconut milk
1/2 orange, only the juice of (optional; some orange zest)
1-2 tbsp candid orange peel
flaky sea salt
Roast the bell peppers in the oven in 200-225 degrees (Celsius) until they have got black skin. Put the peppers in a bowl and cover with plastic film and let them cool down a bit.
Open the black cardamom pods and take out the small, little sticky, black seeds, before roasting them in a dry cooking pan with the other spices. I recently found black cummin in a store I haven't been in before and just wanted to try it out. I've done a variant of this smoky sauce earlier, and it will work just fine without though. Black cummin also has the smoky smell and taste like the black cardamom, but is more similar to the smell of tobacco rather than the tarish smell that black cardamom has (have? - Oh my! Please, bear with me. It is so much harder to write in English than speaking English).
Ground the spices in a mortar. Strip and clear the peppers from the skin and the seeds. I like to save the liquid that comes from the roasted peppers when they break. I use it in the sauce. If not, just add some more orange juice from the other half that's left over. Finely chop approxemately 2 tablespoons of candide orange peel. Mix all the ingredients with a stick hand blender. Use flake salt and optional black pepper to taste. If you like it less thick then add some more orange juice. Also, you can add some finely grated orange zest if you like.
The left over sauce will go perfect to any pasta with garlic and baby spinach too.
Fry the finely shredded red onion on medium heat in olive oil. Make sure not to burn any of the onion. Maby one or two tablespoon of water will be needed in order to not burn the onion. You might use some vegetable stock but just salt and/or herbal salt will do just fine. When the onions are soft and almost transparent, blend in the precooked beluga lentils and heat it all up. Serve the warm lentils with the smoky sauce and a couple of zucchini patties with fresh cranberries.
Zucchini and date vegetter with fresh cranberries
16 small veggie patties
250 g zucchini
6 dried dates
2 small shalottes
1 tsp herbal salt
1/2 dl coconut flour
1/2 dl soy flour (possible more needed)
oil for frying (not deep-frying though)
100 g fresh cranberries to serve
Combine the coarse graded zucchini and finely chopped dates in a bowl. Add the shalottes, finely chopped, and then seasoning. Finally, add the flour. Put aside for about 30 min. If it still is kind of wet you can add more soy flour. Taste and perhaps you'll need to add some more salt and black peppar.
Heat up a skillet or a cooking pan and pour some oil in it. Make small balls of the "batter", like the size of a tablespoon, and press them gently, right after you've put them in the pan. The patties kind of stick a little to easy in the pan (my guess is the flour), and, if flour wasn't one of the 4 ingredients, I would probably have used precooked millet? (hirs in Swedish and don't know if it's the right English word for it) or even an egg or two instead. Fry on medium heat a couple of minutes on each side.
It is hard to find fresh cranberries here, but nowdays, at least we will find them in the frozen departements in some larger grocery stores. So, if you do too, have some frozen ones, make sure to take them out early and let them thaw while you are cooking the other stuff. Right before serving, you just mach them slightly with a fork. It doesn't have to be all mushy and squashed. Serve on top of the warm veggie patties together with the warm lentils and smokey red bell pepper sauce.
The rain was pouring when I was done with my dish.
With flash, without flash. Either way, it didn't work very well.