Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Paper Chef #15

Magic Tofu over at Slurp & Burp recently announced the ingredients for Paper Chef #15. Those ingredients are beets, pears, lime and aphrodisiacs. After having overdosed on aphrodisiacs for the recent Sugar High Friday, for Paper Chef I'm taking a more simplistic approach, yet doing something a bit out of the box.

Beet and Pears are commonly found matched in salads and it wouldn't be too difficult to incorporate lime and aphrodisiacs galore in this type of dish. Sweet wise, it would be pretty simple to make, say a chocolate beetroot cake or tart.

But all these ideas were thrown out the door as I dined on my Japanese meal. The lightbulb went off and this creation was born...

Beetroot, Pear, Lime and Vanilla:  Nigiri Sushi style© by Haalo

Beetroot, Pear, Lime and Vanilla: Nigiri Sushi style

In this dish I've replaced the rice with an appropriately shaped piece of ripe pear. The "Wasabi" is a blend of lime zest, icing sugar and lime juice. The "Soy" is made using a thin sugar syrup flavoured with vanilla extract (vanilla is the aphrodisiac). Instead of raw fish I've used thin slices of the Beetroot Cured Salmon.

I must admit but I'm totally surprised but this is actually quite tasty. All the elements are pre-existing within the beetroot cure so they work together. Smearing some of the faux wasabi over the pear chunk adds a nice cleansing feeling to the dish while supplying that extra kick. The faux soy also works with the sweetness of the pear and the salmon.

I would probably put this dish under the "Paper Chef Indiana Jones" category and possibly the "Paper Chef Picasso" because I'm quite pleased how the faux elements have worked out.


  1. This is simply beautiful! I really like the beet salmon gravlax idea. And don't get me started on the presentation... B E A U T I F U L!

  2. Wow! A+ for imagination, originality, execution ... anything else?! Very impressive. (PS Your blog seems new. If you want Blogger to archive your posts by month rather than day, just go into settings and switch from 'archive daily' to 'archive monthly' and those little guys in your sidebar should magically switch to January, February, etc and on one page, show every post from the month.)

  3. Thank you both for the comments - it was a crazy idea that actually worked out.

    Paper Chef is such an interesting concept and loving Iron Chef as I do, something I had to have a stab at.

    AK, thanks for the hint on the archive, at the moment i think it's on a weekly archive.

  4. Nicely done. I really love the idea of changing up ingredients like that. Making one thing look like another, "fooling" the palate so to speak ;-)

  5. Hi Dave

    Thanks for the comments!


  6. Congrats on the win and for bringing the Paper Chef crown back downunder! Really love the beautiful presentation :).

  7. Thank you Noodle and congratulations to your good self for winning the Picasso Award - a simply gorgeous dish to behold!

    I hadn't realised the australian connection - seems we've done better than those other aussies in Torino. Yay us!


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