February 20, 2007

Oooh La La, Roulade Noircie

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Giving things a french name makes them sound fancier. It's a well known fact. Why do I have a need for a fancy name? It’s time for Paper Chef #24, hosted by Owen of Tomatilla!. It’s a fun event, kind of like an online Iron Chef… but with more time… and no tasting by the judges… and no Alton Brown… and four secret ingredients instead of one… and a theme… and you have a weekend to complete your dish or dishes… and, um, it’s completely different. Paper Chef has also been divided into Home and Haute categories, as some of us are not quite as talented as we’d like to be… I enter the Home category. For the last Paper Chef, the secret ingredients were: Vermouth (interpreted as any fortified wine or herb-influenced liquor), Cranberries, Sparkling drink (of any kind) and Something Wild, (interpreted however you like, could be wild in nature, could be zany-wild). I went a little nuts with this one and prepared a full 3 course meal plus a drink. But I won, so maybe that was the route to go, (or maybe I had a 50/50 chance because there was only one other competitor in the Home category, whatever). I had more time for that competition though because it was actually extended for an entire week instead of a weekend. This edition was prolonged as well, the ingredients were announced Friday and entries had to be in by noon Wednesday. Theoretically that’s lots of time. But because I thought I had lots of time, I didn’t think about it Friday or Saturday, and then I was away Sunday, Monday and most of today. So much for having lots of time… Multiple courses would not be a factor for me this time around, one dish was all I was up for. It’s a pretty decent one though. The secret ingredients for Paper Chef #24 were announced as rice, prosciutto, coffee and chilis, with a theme of “Peas/Peace in the Middle East.” As usual, the theme can really be interpreted however you’d like.

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I’m choosing to interpret the theme rather broadly. I’m going to say that cooking this meal and eating it with whoever you are feuding with, would bring peace. Food brings peace. This meal brings peace. Mission accomplished. So how do you achieve peace? Start with large piece of steak and pound it flat. Layer black olives, prociutto, tomatoes and fried shiitakes mushrooms on top of your steak. Roll it up neatly, and then coat it thoroughly with a Coffee & Chili dry rub, (approximate recipe to follow), place your roll in a roasting dish and pop it into the oven. Meanwhile, fry up some shiitake, king and oyster mushrooms and put some stock on the stove to heat up, (homemade chicken stock is good), you’re going to be making risotto! I can’t say that I have an exact recipe for this, it’s your standard risotto: heat some butter and oil, throw in some shallots, then some Arborio rice. Make sure the rice gets fully coated in oil and turns a little brown. Pour in some white wine, oooh sizzle! Once the wine is almost all gone, start adding the chicken sauce, a little bit at a time, stirring and making sure the rice soaks it all up before adding more. Once your rice is good and creamy, add in the fried mushrooms and then stir in a large handful of grated parmesan cheese. Of course you’ve timed things correctly so that your roulade is also complete, so remove it from the oven, let it rest a bit, and then slice it into medallions. Scoop some risotto onto a plate, top with a couple medallions and voila! And that’s how you combine coffee, rice, prosciutto and chili in a peaceful dish. The rub was something new for me and that’s why I like Paper Chef so much, it makes me use a random bunch of ingredients in ways that I otherwise might not have, just because the combination wouldn’t have occurred to me. And wouldn’t you know it, they turned out quite nicely together. The coffee flavour wasn’t overpowering at all and it complemented the chili rather well. It also made a nice, dark crust on the steak, very flavourful. I’ll be trying it again, you should too.

Coffee & Chili Dry Rub

¼ cup Kosher salt
¼ cup Brown sugar
2 T Ancho chili powder
2 small birds eye chilis
2 T Finely ground coffee
3 finely chopped garlic cloves
Freshly ground pepper

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MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

I am so impressed, that looks beautiful. And Food brings peace
that sounds about right!

K & S said...

I'm impressed too! looks delish!

aria said...

damn this looks so good! way impressed, i can never roll things up so nicely.

oh and the rub sounds wonderful, bitter, sweet, and heat.....:)

Meeta said...

Oh la la! Brilynn, you are amazingly creative! I think we should make that our motto "Food Brings Peace!"

joey said...

I love the way you put everything together! I am a dedicated coffee-drinker and have alwasy been curious about using it in food...this sounds delicious! :)

ilva said...

I love the dry rub with chili and coffee-what an excellent idea Brilynn!

Laurie said...

Your roulade looks great! I also am intrigued by the coffee & chile rub, I am printing it out now to experiment in future recipes!

Marce said...

that looks utterly delicious... and really should be since the ingredients sound perfect for each other.
I´ve also wanted to start incorporating coffee, and tea, to savory dishes.
Ming Tsai has some great recipes with tea I´ve been meaning to try for quite a while.

Lis said...

Wow you really are good at these paper chef thingies! I was impressed last time and equally as impressed this time.. way to go! The roulade looks fabulous and the risotto looks amazing.

Homesick Texan said...

Look gorgeous! And I have some steaks in the freezer, so I'll definitely try your rub. I have a question, though: I've never used brown sugar in a rub, what does this add/do?

mickey said...

What great philosophy-food brings peace. Good cooks are such generous souls.

gilly said...

Wow, very impressive! The ingredients in your coffee/chili rub are really intriguing!

Mishmash ! said...

Brilynn, Ur pics are sooooo good. I was stuck at that photo for quite sometime before moving on to the post !! :)


Peabody said...

Very creative. I did that contest once but have totally forgotten about it. Yikes.

Bruno said...

Ooh la la, that looks deliceaux!

Melting Wok said...

oh woww..I've to try this. I usually make mine with pork ribs, and a little chinese licorice powder. Yours look really scrumptious, thanks for sharing, cheers !:)