Monday, February 13, 2006

Paper Chef #15 - Beets, Limes, Pears and Aprhodisiacs

I did it! This is my first Paper Chef event!

This 15th edition is hosted by Magic Tofu, at Slurp & Burp, and I cannot wait to see what exciting dishes other food bloggers have created.

M. and I enjoy going to The Big Carrot's Thursday night (free) lectures, and the one that was given last Thursday was appropriately named Beat the winter blues and boost your libido. Humm... interesting.

At that lecture, we learned that, really, sexual energy is "residual" energy your body is left with after moving you through the day, running around, digesting the (not always good-for-you and easy to digest) food you eat, etc. Jeanne Marie Martin, who gave the lecture, focussed on foods that fuel your body with a lot of energy (so that you have some "leftover energy" at the end of the day, which you can use in lusty ways if you so decide). At the top of her list were whole grains, dried beans - especially the darker coloured ones, garlic, ginger, "green foods", and bee products.

So, when the ingredients for the Paper Chef came out, I knew I must use black beans in my dishes. Then I thought... mmm... black bean salsa and chips. Beet chips. Okay. Now I had the beets and aphrodisiacs covered. I still needed to include the pears and the limes. I decided to include them in the salsa recipe (which then became a black bean, pear and lime salad).

My Paper Chef entry fits two of the categories proposed by Magic Tofu: Paper Chef Super Saver (my recipe cost a lot less than $10 and there was enough for 4 people), and Paper Chef Indiana Jones (I had never deep fried anything, much less beets).

As for the results, I would say they were satisfying. The salad was very nice (but lacked a bit of pear flavour). Due to my inexperience, the chips were a bit disappointing (the oil was not hot enough, so the beets and potatoes soaked up a lot of oil and were not very crunchy). I am not sure I will make chips again at home, but I'll definitely work at improving the salad.

Black bean, pear and lime salad with beet and potato chips

For the chips

1 large beet
2 medium-sized potatoes
Oil for deep-frying
Sea salt

Bring oil to 350 F. While the oil is warming up, thinly slice the beet and potatoes, using a mandoline. Add the chips a few at a time and fry until they are crispy and the potatoes are brown. I noticed that they were ready when the oil stopped bubbling. Strain and place on absorbing paper and sprinkle with salt.

For the salad

1 cup of dried black beans, soaked for 12 hours and cooked until tender.
2 Bosc pears
2 limes
1 large clove of garlic
1 tbsp of ginger juice (made from a 2-in piece of fresh ginger, grated and then squeezed)
A splash of cider vinegar
A good pinch of cayenne
A few tablespoons of olive oil
A few thin slices of red onion
A handful of chopped cilantro
Salt and pepper to taste

Place the beans, red onion, cilantro and 1 pear, chopped, in a large bowl. Add half a lime in thin, quartered slices.
Purée together: one chopped pear (peeled and cored), the flesh of half a lime, the juice of one lime, the garlic, cider vinegar, cayenne and olive oil. Adjust taste and consistency by adding more lime juice, vinegar or oil. You will get a very creamy looking dressing.
Pour the dressing over the beans, toss, and adjust seasoning.
Serve with the chips.

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!!!


Blogger MagicTofu said...

Congrats for your first deep frying experiment! I love the idea of making beet chips... the color is perfect!

Black beans and cilantro? You are playing with my emotions there... hummm!

February 15, 2006 7:32 a.m.  
Blogger Tricia said...

A pureed pear for salad dressing? Interesting idea! I'll have to try that some time. And I agree with MagicTofu, the beet chips are a great color and an interesting idea to consider...

February 18, 2006 9:14 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bonjour Louise,

Je trouve très appétissante la phopto : For the chips; aussi j,aimerais bien avoir quelques détalis en français sur cette recette.
Je crois que ce sont des chips de betteraves?

Merci beaucoup et à la prochaine


March 01, 2006 11:01 a.m.  

Post a Comment

<< Home