Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Paper Chef 36

For this month's Paper Chef, my entry is pepper crusted London broil with chili-vanilla balsamic cream and chili-avocado barley pilaf. I thought this month's ingredients were really challenging. The randomizer selected barley, dried chili, and vanilla, and this month's judge, Spikey Mikey, was kind and gave us beef as the fourth ingredient. I've been really busy so I thought I'd do something simple with some leftover rare London broil that I made Monday evening. When I made it, I sort of had Paper Chef in mind, and coated it in a dry crushed pepper mix before searing in a grill pan. I love chilled rare beef, so I just sliced it thinly and plated it with a cool chili-vanilla-balsamic sauce with some creme fraiche as the base. Surprisingly, it took quite a bit of vanilla extract to balance the flavors. On the side I added a barley pilaf made by soaking dried guajillo peppers in barley tea to rehydrate them, and then cooking the barley in the liquid. I find barley pretty bland, so I added quite a bit of chopped chili and some pink and green peppercorns, plus a bit of shallot, avocado, and lemon juice, and sprinkled it with additional chopped chili from the barley tea. It was really tasty - the cream had some sweetness to balance the acidity of the pilaf and since the chilis were not hot the peppercorns added just the right amount of bite and a bit of crunch. It was yummy!


  1. I like the idea of the chili-vanilla balsamic cream. sounds great!!!

  2. The cream does sound great - I'd love to see a recipe for it. Barley tea - is that what it sounds like or more like barley stock? Never seen that phrase before. I can't eat avocado (i'm allergic) so I'd have to spice up the barley some other way, but this sounds like a great meal!

  3. I do not care much for barley either, I'm sure it tasted wonderful the way you seasoned it.