Monthly Archives: August 2005

The results are in!

Jennifer was completely on top of everything and had already visited most of the entrants for the Paper Chef before I got to them! And before the ink was dry on my roundup she had the final results in! Thank you for being such a great judge!

Paper Chef The Local Edition Roundup

Here it is at last!

Wow! I think we had a record 19 entries this time (I say I think because I have a sneaking feeling I missed someone out in the following roundup). I absolutely do NOT envy Jennifer her task of picking a winner/winners. I DO very much appreciate how she has already gone around commenting on all the entries she could find. Thank you and I hope EVERYONE had fun!

Without further ado, here are 19 amazing peach, chile, edible flower and very very local entries for the Paper Chef.

Ellen Ferlazzo at Chronicles of a Curious Cook, finally getting out from under the rigors of a long swim season (I know EXACTLY what she means) made Barbecued pork chops with fresh herb rub, Peach-tomato salsa with chipotle peppers and minted peas. Ellen grows a lot of her own produce and I’ve tasted it, so I know it’s excellent!

Stephen at Stephencooks.com aka What’s For Dinner? made a stupendous-sounding Pumpkin Blossoms Stuffed with Lobster and Corn, with Chile-Peach Glaze and in the process giving us a wonderful new twist on his local ingredient – lobster. The photos are amazing, too.

Sylvie of ‘Food, Got To Love It’ made a lovely mixed greens salad with sliced sweet saturn peaches accompanied by a series of photos and a discussion about edible flowers and dianthus in particular.

Alice of Epicurean Debauchery made a wonderful old-school-new-school Korean Kalbi-Gone-Local that makes you wish that you could get your local Korean restaurant to try making the recipe.

Perennial entrant, Kevin of Seriously Good, gave us a Stuffed Pork Loin subtitled ‘Pigging Out On Peaches’ that absolutely matches his blog name and introduced me to the name and technique for a gastrique.

Honore Mendoza submitted an entry for a Fruit & Flower Salad directly to me and it is posted here. We are going to all have to encourage Honore to get his own blog since he has now entered Paper CHef twice even though he doesn’t have a blog of his own!

Brenda at Culinary Fool presented us with scrumptious-looking Mini-Lamb Burgers with Peach Salsa. Her large scale photographs really highlight how good these must be.

Carolyn of 18th Century Cuisine made an absolutely amazing Lavender, Chili and Peach Iced Milk. Since she remains true to the title of her blog and uses 18th Century techniques as much as possible, this is an amazing achievement.

Lady X of Experiment In Writing brought us Peppered Zucchini Scones with Peach Butter, Crème Fraîche and Chrysanthemum & Jasmine Tea and wondered if it was cheating to have the flowers be part of the tea. Not at all! The tea actually sounds divine.

Meanwhile, Sam at Becks and Posh, who hasn’t entered in a while, managed to whip an wonderful entry into shape in what sounds like moments! Stone Fruit Salsa, Herbed Yoghurt & Chilli Chips are thoroughly illustrated a wonderful example of making do with what is at hand.

Becky at Two Foot Kitchen (or MMMmm Food…) made us an innovative Peach-Pluot Strudel With Chile Gelato and managed local ingredients despite being in the desert state of Nevada and having to rely on her answering machine and husband for preparation!

Debby of I’m Mad and I Eat made a wild pluot salad from all local ingredients and included the distances every ingredient had travelled!

Jeanne of World on a Plate made Sweet Summer Heat from local Indian Red Peaches , raspberries and local Pt. Reyes Blue Cheese – yummy!

Martin of Serial Griller made us another twist on Pork and Peaches with his Lavender and Chilli Pork with Peach Salsa. He also gave us great photos and a nice discourse on locally sourced ingredients including wonderful pork. Many people outside the US don’t realise that there has been a renaissance in locally grown heritage varieties of pork (and other meats) in Britain.

Stef of stefoodie.net went all out with a Peachy Barbecue Party. Get a load of this menu! (and how come we all didn’t get invited?)

Peach Chutney with Calendula and marigold flowers with cream cheese on crackers
Pulled Pork sandwiches with Peach Barbecue Sauce
Green Bean, Scarlet Runner Bean Flowers and Walnut Saute, with Peach Dressing
Peach-Strawberry-Ancho Marble Ice Cream with crystallized rose petals and pansies.

Mrs Deedop and (or maybe not?) Chopper Dave of Belly Timber made us the Summer of Prawns, in their own inimitable style with gorgeous flowers from their garden and even the prawns sourced locally. Another splendid dish and presentation.

Rachael of Fresh Approach Cooking (with the help of Charlie) made us drinks – all at once and severally – Peach Nectar (with rum) Hibiscus Tea (with vodka) and Chile-Tequila Shooters.

The 2-minute noodle cook of an Electric Restaurant made us a very, very Australian (and red-themed) dessert plate of sparkling Australian native hibiscus shooter, honey poached pear in a quandong inspired reduction, chilli chocolate, and glazed wattleseed figs.

And finally (and hopefully not missing anyone – give us a shout if we missed you) Sara at A Delicious Life brought us some insanity and inspiration with Fig, Peach and Ricotta Eggrolls with Honey Ancho Dipping Sauce!

A mention must go to Janis at The Farmette Report who clearly *would* have made grilled peaches and ricotta with a spicy chipotle-cinnamon honey glaze if she hadn’t had real issues in her life to deal with. We hope all went well and will look forward to highlighting her culinary talents and skills another time…

My own (unofficial) Paper Chef Entry

Spicey, Peachy Grilled Pork

Peach-Lavender Chutney copyright Owen Linderholm 2005

Get a pork roast of about three pounds – I used a tightly wrapped pork shoulder roast. marinate it (overnight if possible) in a ziploc bag containinga cup of peach juice and half a cup of lemon juice. Once marinated, crush (or grind up the following together into a rub: a tablespoon of fennel seeds, a tablespoon of corinader seeds, half a tablespoon of dried chilli flakes, a tablespoon of kosher salt. Rub this mixture carefully into all the surface of the pork. Now very finely chop the following: A tablespoon of lavender flowers (dried or fresh – mine were about halfway between the two – straight of the lavender in the garden, but dried out rather after two weeks of over 100 degree temperatures), a tablespoon of oregano (I used flowers since there were some on the oregano in the garden, but leaves or dried would be OK) and half a tablespoon of sage (fresh or dried). Roll the pork in this finely chopped mixture until thoroughly coated, adding a little olive oil to the meat if necessary to help the herbs hold on. Slow roast over a charcoal or wood fire (or in an oven) for five hours – if in an oven do this at 250 degrees. If using a fire, add things to make aromatic smoke – I used a branch of our California Pepperwood tree ( an extremely strong variety of Bay Laurel).

Serve with rice and Peach-Lavender Chutney.

Peach-Lavender Chutney

For the chutney, peel and slice up five fresh peaches – as local and fresh as you can get. In my case from Brentwood about 30 miles away. Meanwhile heat a little olive oil in a small pot on the stove and add a teaspoon of chilli flakes, a teaspoon of coriander seeds, a two-inch piece of fresh ginger finely dicedand cook until the seeds begin to brown. Then add a small red onion coarsely chopped and keep cooking until the onion starts to soften. At this point add a tablspoon of lavender flowers and take off the heat for a minute. Then add half a cup of peach juice and return to medium-low heat to simmer for fifteen minutes. Add about a teaspoon of salt to taste. Now take off the heat and stir in the peach slices and let sit in the stove in the pot to cool. Then transfer to a jar or bowl and refrigerate overnight or better, for three days, to let the flavors develop.

Everything in these dishes was local except the ginger, chilli flakes and possibly the fennel seeds.

Honore Mendoza’s Entry

Honore is a previous entrant to the Paper Chef with his White Chocolate – Fruit and Nut Cheese Blintzes from May. Honore doesn’t have his own blog on which to post, so I am putting his recipe up here. At this rate we’ll soon have Honore setting up his own blog! Honore is a co-worker of Lyle‘s who is also a previous entrant to the Paper Chef.

This time around he is entering a Fruit and Flower Salad

Fruit & Flower Salad

Vinaigrette
1/2 C Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 C Lemon Infused Olive Oil
T or + Dried Chilies
2 cloves Garlic
3 T Chive Blossoms (flowers & leaves)

Layer salad as follows:

Bed of Baby Spinach
Sliced Peaches & figs
Slivered Almonds

Drizzle with Vinaigrette

Chives are from my herb garden

Paper Chef Reminder

Just a quick reminder. You have until tomorrow afternoon to get you entries in for the current Paper Chef. Jennifer is champing at the bit to judge. I know because she has already visited every entrant do far and left comments! Way to go!

I made something this time and if I get the chance I’ll put up a description this morning. I can take photos but not until later. Plus since I can’t enter officially it is just for fun. Here’s what I made: Pork roast marinated in peach and lemon juice, rubbed with ground red chili flakes, ground coriander (from the garden), ground fennel seeds and kosher salt, then crusted with lavender and oregano flowers and fresh sage and smoked/roasted for five hours with the help of green California Pepperwood branches. I also made a peach, lavender, ginger, coriander and red onion chutney to go with it. Only non-local items used were the chili flakes, ginger and maybe the fennel seeds.

Paper Chef #9 – The Local Edition

It’s time! I’m off on a work trip tomorrow, so the event starts early. It also gets to finish in a haphazard fashion since I will also be gone Monday evening and Tuesday so I think we’ll have to say that entries can come in at any time up to Tuesday late afternoon Pacific Standard Time and I’ll post a roundup on Wednesday.

To recap for newbies, visitors, etc. Here are the current rules…

[[NOTE – In honor of the local food challenge from Locavores (also see Life Begins At Thirty)I am going to decree that bonus points go to those who make an effort to get all their ingredients locally. ]]

For absolutely only the fun of it and for no other reason whatsoever, the Paper Chef challenges each and every one of you reading this to let loose your culinary imagination and make up a dish of your own. Loosely based on the ideas of the Iron Chef, fond TV favorite in the US and Japan, and on the British show Ready, Steady, Cook! (fond favorite in the UK), the Paper Chef is all about creativity and constraint, challenge and cooking.

Ingredients have been nominated by readers and three are randomly selected. A fourth gets picked by the host with a topical theme of some kind. Then you get a weekend (Friday Noon to Monday Noon) to make up a recipe, cook it and post the recipe to your blog. Then post a comment here or send an email to owenl1998 at yahoo dot com to be included in a roundup. The previous month’s winner gets to be judge (and is ineligble that month) and gives out whatever kinds of awards they like.

I’ve had lots of questions about things like photographs. Photographs are NOT necessary to take part. Nor is having you own blog – I’ll be happy to post a recipe for you if you want. However, it is clear that having a nice photograph will help influence the judges – if they see it looking good it is a lot easier to imagine it tasting looking good…

It is also absolutely OK to substitute if you just cannot find an ingredient or if you or someone who will eat the dish has an allergy – just try to substitute with something close to the original to remain in the spirit of the occasion.

The times are always the first Friday of the month, Noon PST until the following Monday Noon PST. However we aren’t sticklers for timekeeping here – a little late and any excuse will do. A LOT late and you’ll have to have a really good and creative one to do with cats pushing bowls off counters or the like.

So, the event is now open.

Our ingredients are:

1) Dried Chillies – oh the heat! Matches our current 100 degree weather (where I live, anyway).

2) Peaches – here in California we are still in the tail end of fresh peach season, but canned are fine too.

3) Edible flowers – any kind, but per Mrs. D’s suggestion, lavender is considered an extra-special edible flower here.

4) The topical ingredient? Anything at all that really is local – the more local the better – and giving us all the source and distance from your house would be fun, too.

Have fun!

Final list of nominated ingredients for Paper Chef Number 9

Butter, asparagus, cured, aged ham (country not city), lemongrass, vinegar, sweet potatoes, marshmallows, dried chillies, sausage, dried fruit, berries, eggplant, summer squash, edible flowers, star anise, shrimp, scallops, cherries, peaches, wasabi, tomatoes, pears, fresh coconut, something you get from a neighbour’s garden, walnuts and lavender.

The event itself will open very shortly…

Last Day For Paper Chef Ingredient Nominations!

I have to travel for work so everything will happen a little early this week. Nominations close at midnight tonight and the final ingredients will be up shortly thereafter. So better get your skates on if you want to nominate an ingredient! Just post it in comments here!

The current ingredient list is:
Butter, asparagus, cured, aged ham (country not city), lemongrass, vinegar, sweet potatoes, marshmallows, dried chillies, sausage, dried fruit, berries, eggplant, summer squash, edible flowers, star anise, shrimp, scallops, cherries, peaches, wasabi, tomatoes, pears, fresh coconut, something you get from a neighbour’s garden.

Eating Locally

August. A local food group interested in promoting truly local food consumption for reasons of sustainability, practicality, the environment and, of course, freshness, has issued a challenge to one and all to eat locally – within 100 miles of where you live for the month of August.

That means, eat food grown or produced within that radius. Since this is a very difficult challenge, each participant is expected to set their own personal limits and exceptions. Of course, lots of food bloggers are taking part.

Here are my personal rules – rather lenient I’m afraid, but we have in-laws visiting for ten days and my capabilities will be stretched.

1 – I can use anything already in the house regardless of where it came from, BUT if there is a local potion I’ll use it.

2 – Produce will all be local – apart from item 1 above. This’ll be easy thanks to our CSA from Terra Firma Farms and thanks to farmers markets.

3 – spices and special seasonings will be local if possible (ie bay leaves from the tree behind the house, sorrel and thyme and oregano and lavender and tarragon and sage and mint and chives and basil from the yard, etc.) but don’t have to be.

4 – Meat will be tough – I would avoid it if we didn’t have visitors. I will promise to get local meat if that option is available to me. If not I will get the most sustainably produced meat I can.

5 – luxury items will be left out of the equation

6 – eating out doesn’t count – fortunately for us, we eat out far far less than most families – at most once every two weeks. That’ll go up while we have visitors – can’t help that.

So those are my fast and loose rules. I should point out that these deviate very little from the rules we have lived and eaten by for the past seven years. On the whole we are pretty supportive of local food production. We have been CSA members for ten years. We buy local meat if we can. We grow a fair amount of our herbs and vegetables and fruit (peaches, lemons, apricots, strawberries, blackberries, arugula, sorrel, tomatoes so far this year). We walk and bike around town a lot. We make many of our sauces etc ourselves. We get honey from a local beekeeper. Etc.

Local is good. Local is fresh. Local is also high-quality since we live in California (that part isn’t fair for people elsewhere).

In order to make up a little for not being as local as I should be, the Paper Chef is going to have a new wrinkle this month – bonus points for sourcing the ingredients for your recipe locally.

Nominations Open For Paper Chef Number 9!

[[NOTE – In honor of the local food challenge from Locavores (also see Life Begins At Thirty)I am going to decree that bonus points go to those who make an effort to get all their ingredients locally. ]]

It’s time once again for the Paper Chef to ramp up into the wild culinary adventure that it is!

Since it has been some time since we formally revisited the rules and procedures of the Paper Chef, here they are.

For absolutely only the fun of it and for no other reason whatsoever, the Paper Chef challenges each and every one of you reading this to let loose your culinary imagination and make up a dish of your own. Loosely based on the ideas of the Iron Chef, fond TV favorite in the US and Japan, and on the British show Ready, Steady, Cook! (fond favorite in the UK), the Paper Chef is all about creativity and constraint, challenge and cooking.

About a week before the event opens, I post an ingredient list from previous events here at Tomatilla! Older ingredients fall off the list, as does anything that actually got used in an event. Those ingredients are ‘banned’ for a month just to prevent the choices being cream and chocolate and cream and chocolate and cream and chocolate and…you get the idea. Any reader of the blog here or at the IMBB forum can nominate a new ingredient (one only please) and it can be anything within the bounds of good taste (both kinds). Three ingredients are chosen at random from the final list and the host (usually me but not always) picks one more ingredient that is topical or seasonal or that suits our whimsy. Then you get a weekend (Friday Noon to Monday Noon) to make up a recipe, cook it and post the recipe to your blog. Then post a comment here or send an email to owenl1998 at yahoo dot com to be included in a roundup. The previous month’s winner gets to be judge (and is ineligble that month) and gives out whatever kinds of awards they like.

I’ve had lots of questions about things like photographs. Photographs are NOT necessary to take part. Nor is having you own blog – I’ll be happy to post a recipe for you if you want. However, it is clear that having a nice photograph will help influence the judges – if they see it looking good it is a lot easier to imagine it tasting looking good…

It is also absolutely OK to substitute if you just cannot find an ingredient or if you or someone who will eat the dish has an allergy – just try to substitute with something close to the original to remain in the spirit of the occasion.

The times are always the first Friday of the month, Noon PST until the following Monday Noon PST. However we aren’t sticklers for timekeeping here – a little late and any excuse will do. A LOT late and you’ll have to have a really good and creative one to do with cats pushing bowls off counters or the like.

Past event roundups and winners are here:

Paper Chef #1: Cilantro, Ginger, Almonds and Winter Squash

The winner was Curried Chicken and Squash Soup with Meyer Lemon.

Paper Chef #2: Potatoes, Savoy Cabbage, Chicken and Lemon

The winner was Lemon Chicken Egg Rolls with Citrus Dipping Sauce.

Paper Chef #3: Wheat Flour, Cinnamon, Creme Fraiche and Oranges

The winner was Very Posh Cheese and Biscuits.

Paper Chef #4: Eggplant, chocolate, stale bread and pomegranate.

The winner was Cocoa-Pomegranate Roast Chicken with Eggplant Stuffing.

Paper Chef #5: Prosciutto, sherry vinegar, green garlic and goat cheese.

The winner was Garlic chive and Goat’s Cheese Ravioli with Sherry Vinegar Reduction and Prosciutto Shards.

Paper Chef #6: Ricotta, strawberries, almond paste and white chocolate.
The winner was Strawberry-Rhubarb Compote with Ricotta-White Chocolate Gelato and Scented Madeleines.

Paper Chef #7: Buttermilk, Dates, Honey and Eggs.

The winner was Feta Souffle with Walnuts, Dates and Feisty Greens.

Paper Chef#8: Cheddar cheese, olives, spinach and either potatoes OR cream, not both.

The winner was Warm Spinach, Cremini, and Kalamata Salad with Creamy White Cheddar Dressing.

The current ingredient list is:
Butter, asparagus, cured, aged ham (country not city), lemongrass, vinegar, sweet potatoes, marshmallows, dried chillies, sausage, dried fruit, berries, eggplant, summer squash, edible flowers, star anise and shrimp.

So what are you waiting for? Nominate away!