Saturday, April 24, 2010
Good morning everybody! I hope it's been a great week. Up on the mountain life is interesting. I got all excited last week with the cold and the rain, but this week it was summer again! Sun shining, warm weather. Very confusing. They say it's colder again next week (if you believe the weatherman), so maybe then we'll be able to light the fire and cook some lamb shanks.
This week I also had the lovely job of chosing the new Paper Chef winner. A few weeks ago, with the help of the Little Girl, I pulled 3 ingredients out of a lovely crystal bowl I found in my husband's cupboard after moving in a few years ago, which impressed me tremendously. The ingredients turned out to be lobster, apricot and orange. Initially I was overcome with panic and considered pretending it never happened, and redraw. But then, in good Paper Chef spirit, I accepted the challenge on all the participants' behalf, and added ginger as the fourth ingredient.
First up was Karen, from Prospect: The Pantry, with a wonderful Orange-roasted Lobster Salad. She wrote beautifully about the joys and liberty of cooking for yourself, and made a wonderful dish consisting of lobster marinated in an orange, ginger and homemade apricot jam sauce, then roasted. She served this on some greens with some extra marinade, sliced apricots and herbs. Beautiful and delicious.
Next came Fiona from Nice Profiteroles who made Ginger-poached Lobster with an Orange/Apricot Salsa. The lobster was poached in a buttery gingery broth, then served with the salsa, and as Fiona said, it turned out so delicious she might even serve it to "people"!
Thirdly, Tricia from Jonski Blogski, with Apricot-ginger rice cakes, with sauteed spinach, and orange-ginger lobster chunks. Or “ginger, ginger, everywhere, and many pans to clean!” She also added "The Λobster was tender and sweet and mild. It was a good mix of textures. The real winner was the orange-ginger sauce – a zingy splash of flavor. Altogether, it was a really nice dinner – very tasty, and very satisfying." Sounds satisfying indeed. The recipe came with a little science lesson about lobster and crab, and what faux lobster, or Λobster if you want to be clever, consists of, and was very interesting.
Now, to the winner. I thought long and hard about each entry, and in the end decided I like Fiona's best. The combination of the ginger and lobster, combined with the lovely zesty salsa looks delicious and fancy, but easy enough to make on a weekday. Congratulations, Fiona! I'm very happy to pass the spatula to you, and I'm looking forward to see which ingredients you come up with for the next round.