Although the tunrout was a little low – thanks undoubtedly to my recent lack of attention – the quality was as usual really, really high.
Before I go any further, I really, really need to thank Kevin who not only kept Paper Chef going but did it with panache and flair. Everyone who reads this needs to go visit his site and prefereably encourage everyone you know in his area to check out his personal chef services.
The ingredients this time around were:
Cherries, peaches, any herb that is new to you and finally something spicy hot in honor (or to laugh in the face of) global warming.
This is actually one of our tamest set of ingredients and at least one person I know passed on taking part because they were bored by the ingredients. Oh well.
Also, this is the first of the newly revamped Paper Chef, which means that we have two categories – Paper Chef Haute and Paper Chef Home. Plus Stephen, our esteemed judge, is welcome to add categories to those two.
On to the entries.
First one in was Ilva of Lucullian Delights, who entered a whole menu. The first course was called “Crostini With Pecorino Sardo, Nepitella And ‘Chutney’ Made With Peaches And Cherries.” Next was a delicious and slightly architectural “Rice Timbale With Prawns In Hot Peach And Cherry Salsa.” And finally, to round out the meal, “Semolina Mousse With Ginger And Chili Marinated Peaches And Cherries.” Somehow she had time to do this before heading off on a trip.
The second entry was Emma at the Laughing Gastronome, who made us a Peach Salsa. In common with several entrants from Australia and New Zealand, some of the summer fruit ingredients were a bit of a challenge. She noticed the new categories and chose to enter it in the ‘Home’ category, but don’t let that fool you. There are some pretty amazing ingredients and a great twist on the use of cherries.
The third entrant is a new one to me. Bookman OldStyle, clearly something of a typography nerd, of the aptly named Veggie Friendly, made a chutney, a cherry and dried peach chutney. I was impressed in part because he explains right up front that he’s not a big fan of chutneys. Check the site out by the way – I love the vegitarian friendliness rating for restaurant reviews.
Then Kymm of ‘But my kids won’t eat it‘ made us baked lavender peaches with dried cherry and ginger biscotti and in the process discovered a love for biscotti that she didn’t know she had – or is it just that hers were so very very good?
Chopper Dave and Mrs D over at Belly Timber are just about to move (back?) to Portland. We’ll miss the pictures of the islands and anticipate the breakout cooking that will be done with easier access to more ingredients. They too came up with a whole menu. “Spicy Braised Short Ribs with Dueling Gastriques,” “Chile Rellenos with Stone Fruit Salsa,” and “Tandoori Style Chicken Wings with Stone Fruit Chutney.”
Last, but absolutely not least is the 2-minute Noodle Cook of My Home Kitchen. Noodle Cook always wows us with presentation and also really loves to showcase native Australian ingredients which gives all the rest of us a little taste of the exotic. And he also makes us a full dinner using some low temperature cooking techniques all to make “Moroccan Spiced Beef with Fruit Sauce and Polenta.“
Of course there are some more…
Thog, at the cleverly named PhooD (go see why!) made a delicious sounding Tea-smoked peach and lamb on potato pancakes. I think he (or she) is also from Australia, making this a majority Southern Hemisphere event for the first time. My evidence for this wild guess is that Tasmanian mountain pepper was just lying around in the kitchen…
Jennifer at Weekly Dish made a fantastic and beautiful tart – a Stone Fruit Tart with Lemon Verbena Cream and Chipotle-Basalmic Glaze. And she has an excuse – a real one – that she contacted me and warned me she would turn an entry in late. And then I didn’t follow up and check – so shame on me…
OK, it is over to Stephen of ‘Stephen Cooks‘ to do the judging.