After a month's hiatus Paper Chef is back - many thanks go to Kevin from Seriously Good for taking over the running of this event. The ingredients chosen are chickpeas, lavender, miso and "something local"
For the local component I decided on something that couldn't be anymore local to Australia then Kangaroo - in particular a lovely Kangaroo Fillet.
Though not strictly within the 100 mile limit, the lavender is, as are many of the other ingredients used.
With miso as an ingredient, a Japanese influenced dish was the way to go. Kangaroo is a very lean meat so it is perfectly suited to the quick grilling of marinated meats that we see in Japanese cuisine.
Having just made carrot falafel, I decided to take them on a Japanese adventure as well. I used Sansho Pepper, Spring Onions, Miso and Japanese breadcrumbs as well adding just a hint of lavender.
So without further ado here is my dish
Miso marinated Kangaroo with Japanese Falafel served with lavender infused dipping sauce
The Miso marinade
1/3 cup Soy Sauce
1/3 cup Mirin
2 tablespoon Brown Sugar
2 tablespoons White Miso
Add the ingredients to a saucepan and cook until sugar is melted and the sauce thickens - use a whisk to help break up the miso.
Set aside to cool.
Milo-Marinated Kangaroo fillet
Place the fillet into a small bowl and pour over three-quarters of the marinade. Turn the fillet around a few times to ensure it's evenly coated. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge. After half an hour, turn the fillet over in the marinade and return to the fridge.
Remove fillet from marinade, drizzle with a little oil and set aside.
Heat a cast-iron ridge pan over a low flame until hot, then place the fillet on. Cooking for only 30 seconds each side, turn the fillet around - you want to see those dark ridge marks appearing on the flesh. You can also flip it to get a criss cross look. When cooked, place it on a dish to rest.
You can now cook the falafel as the meat rests.
Lavender-infused Dipping Sauce
With the remaining marinade, return to saucepan and add a quarter teaspoon of lavender, crushed slightly. Slowly re-heat the sauce to help release the lavender flavour. When warmed through, remove from heat and pour into dipping bowl and let it cool.
180g grated carrot
4 spring onions, sliced finely
1 can Chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tablespoon White Miso
½ teaspoon Sansho
¼ teaspoon ground lavender
½ teaspoon Ground Cumin
½ teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons Potato Flour
oil, for frying
Add all the ingredients to a food processor and process until a rough paste forms - you want texture to remain in the final mix.
Place in a bowl and add breadcrumbs if mixture feels a little loose. Using a rectangle mould, fill with mixture, pressing down to ensure a tight finish.
Unmould and toss through Japanese breadcrumbs - slightly pressing them into the mixture to ensure they hold.
Heat oil in a small saucepan and when hot, add the crumbed falafel, spooning some of the hot oil over the top to ensure even frying. When golden and heated through, remove and drain on paper towels.
Slice the fillet, very finely, at the diagonal. Arrange on the plate and then sprinkle with Sansho pepper. Serve with a Falafel cube and the lavender-infused sauce.
The major difficulty came in the use of lavender. It can be such an intense flavour so the key was to use it in moderation - there's a floral sweetness to the sauce and it works well with the rare slices of kangaroo, they also work because they use the same base, so this acts as the bridge to connect the two. The sansho pepper sprinkled over the fanned fillets adds another aromatic point.
The falafel can be dipped in the sauce or eaten alone - the sauce adding another level of lavender flavour.
And with that, this brings me to the end of this month's Paper Chef. Once again, it's been a lot of fun. It certainly gets you thinking and experimenting and creating something a little different from the norm. So if you haven't taken part in it before, think about it and join in the fun next month!
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