Today we have an entrant for the first course of the Diced! competition. Contestants were instructed to create or find a recipe for an appetizer, soup or salad containing the following ingredients: Peach Preserves (or jam or jelly), Pita Bread, Regular carrots (baby ones would be acceptable) and Prosciutto. They were instructed to make their dish and create a blog post about it, including pictures. You can help determine who advances to the next round. On Friday, after the last post, I will post a poll where you can vote for up to four of the contestants to move on. Vote for the post you like the best. You can vote because of the inventiveness, the yummyness, the use of ingredients, the quality of the writing and pictures or for any other reason. The poll will be active for one week only. Check back and vote. In the event of a tie, the Ranting Chef will choose who advances. More information about Diced! can be found here.
Today’s contestant, Ellie who blogs over at theeatison is new to the blogging community but not new to cooking. She has competed in a cooking competition in the UK and came in second place nationally. Check out her blog and the post below…
I am very new to the blogging world but I’m loving it, so when I saw the opportunity of entering the ‘Diced’ competition I jumped.
So we were given four ingredients: pita bread, preserved peaches, prosciutto ham & carrots, and with these I have to make a starter…
My mind began to flick through my mental recipe book. The peaches were throwing me… It wasn’t the fruit element throwing me, it was the choice of fruit. Peaches have a lovely sweet flavour, but they also have a very subtle flavour. I didn’t want the peaches to get lost within my dish. After much consideration I had come up with a few different recipes.
I then decided to look at different styles of dining/eating. I wanted to make a dish that was going to appeal to everyone but I also wanted to stay true to what I love to do, which is producing something visually exciting/different, yet comfortable. I like to call it ‘Fine Finger Food.’
So I’ll stop beating around the bush. The dish I have decided to share with you is,
Carrot and Peach Chutney with Pita Bread salted Chips and Prosciutto Ham
500g strong white flour (2.1 cups)
5g dried yeast (1 tsp)
250ml warm water (8.4oz)
20 ml olive oil (4 tsp)
1 good pinch of salt
2 large carrots grated
1 thinly sliced onion
5 peach halves preserved in syrup
80ml preserved peach syrup (1/3 cup)
1 small handful of raisins
1 bay leaf
3 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 packet prosciutto ham
One major part of me taking part in this competition and also blogging in general was to try new things, push myself. So when I saw pita bread I didn’t want to just grab some from the nearest supermarket I wanted to have a go at making them. So here we go…
1) Mix your 5g of dried yeast with the warm water. Mix with the strong white flour and salt until it reaches a dough.
2) Tip the dough on to a hard surface. Make a small well in the dough and poor the olive oil in. Knead the dough for 10 minutes until the oil has been entirely absorbed. Kneading is critical to the structure of the dough as this will encourage the gluten, so don’t skip this part.
4) Place the dough in a warm place for 30 minutes to prove
3) Split the dough into 8 balls of around 90g and roll. Only roll in one direction – this will produce an even rise. Bake in the oven for 10 mins at 220 degrees. The pitas will blister.
4) Now on to the chutney. Place the grated carrots and onions in a saucepan and sweat until soft. Season well.
5) Add the peach syrup, vinegar, raisins and bay leaf. Cook for 1 hour on a slow heat until caramelised. Recipes will tell you to add sugar to a chutney, however I have substituted sugar for the peach syrup. The syrup actually worked incredibly well, creating a nice sticky chutney with the vinegar cutting through the sweetness giving it its fabulous savoury flavour.
6) Take off the heat and add your diced peaches. These have been added last minute so they do not disintegrate, creating lovely pockets of sweetness within the chutney.
7) Take your pita bread and cut into bite size chunks (I did triangles for ease of picking up) and grill. You could also create these chips by frying them, however I’ve opted for the slightly more health conscious approach.
8) I have looked at two different ways to serve this dish. Option 1 is serving each component separately encouraging people to get involved and create their own, which could be great when you are having people around that don’t know each other, as it will get people talking. Option 2 is laying it all out on a plate ready for people to pick up, an option maybe for a more formal diner. Each option is great it just depends entirely on what you prefer and your dinner occasion.
I hope this dish has not only shown you a great way of using the four ingredient we have been given but has also given you a great insight in to my cooking style. I would love to share with you some more of my ideas so please like this and give the girl from the UK a chance
Remember – check back after the last post to vote on who advances in the Diced! competition.