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Saturday, April 19, 2014

New Zealand Cook-Up Contest

Social media is an amazing medium of communication. It brings you closer to people, whom you would never meet personally. Moreover, it brings out the creativity in you.

Last week, Beacon Holidays organized a contest on social network, in association with New Zealand Tourism and Food Bloggers Association, inviting people to write in just 12 words on what they would like to experience in New Zealand cuisine. participants were asked to submit their entries using the tag #TasteNewZealand.

I posted my entry at Beacon Holidays: “I would like to experience ‘tea’ the main meal of the day.

I won the first phase of #TasteNewZealand and was invited to participate in cook-up contest at the beautiful set up at APBCookStudio

I was one of the five participants that won the contest and we were to go to second phase of contest by cooking a dish at the cook studio (owned by Rushina Munshaw Ghildiyal) using any of the three ingredients, lamb mince meat, boneless lamb and/or kiwi.
I was competing with most creative participants who cooked up some of the most amazing dishes

I chose to make Minced-meat pie.

Normally when I make pies, I use the ready-pastry dough that we get at supermarkets. Its easy, you just make the filling, pack it inside pastry dough and bake it.

But here, I took the risk of making the crust from the scratch and baking in the oven, I was not familiar with. The crust refused to bake after the filling and it was a huge flop.
Embarrassing! I lost my chances of winning a free stay of 4nights 3days to Queenstown.
It was Aarti  Basrur who won the handsome prize, holding that expensive envelop in her hand and posing with the hostess.

Aarti's dream of wanting to experience Urban NewZealand cuisine infused with Maori cooking techniques saw the light of the day.
Yes, she was the lucky one, who will enjoy the fruit of success. She was the one who made pomegranate lamb kababs and Kiwi chutney that judges (Rushina Mushaw and Sameer Malkani) were praising profusely; they said there was surprise element at every bite.
I had loved Renita’s Palova and it was so good that I was asking her to pack her bags for the trip. Her melt-in-the-mouth dessert was amazing!
Purabi Neha made Kiwi Lamb Cutlets with Kiwi sauce that were really delicious and her presentation of spreading the Kiwi fruit around the cutlets was a nice visual creation, but there was only one winner of the big prize and she missed it by only one point.
Mohit Choitrani made interesting dishes using Kiwi and meat. He made Sweet Brushetta, Classic Shepard Pie and refreshing Kiwi Smoothie

The atmosphere at the APBCookStudio was very vibrant with audience waiting to taste the dish. It ended with a grand feast cooked by Rushina and her staff

My entry………….that won me a bottle of wine.

 Mince Meat Pie

Mince meat pie is the traditional Kiwana Kiwisine and is still the norm in many homes
Ingredients for the crust
1cup flour
½ cup cold unsalted butter
1/2tsp salt and powder sugar mix
1 egg

Ingredients for filling
1tbsp oil
200gms mince meat
2 medium onions (finely chopped)
1tsp garlic paste
2tbsp tomato sauce
2tbsp cornstarch
1 chicken/meat cube
50gms mushroom
50gms cheese (grated)
1tsp black pepper
chopped black olives for garnishing

Method for crust
1.    Mix flour, salt, sugar, unsalted butter in a bowl
2.    Make a dough using ice cold water if necessary
3.    Wrap it in sling film and refrigerate it for an hour
4.    Remove from fridge and roll it to the size a little large than the tart pan.
5.    Line the tart pan with butter and spread the rolled out dough
6.    Pinch holes in the dough
7.    Bake it for 25minutes, till crusty
8.    Fill it with filling

Method for filling
1.    Fry onions in oil till light brown
2.    Add crushed garlic
3.    Add mince meat
4.    Cook till water dries up
5.    Add tomato sauce, chicken/meat cube, corn starch
6.    Leave it to cool
7.    In another pan sauté chopped mushroom with salt and pepper
8.    Grate cheese

Assembling the pie
1.    In the baked crust lined tart pan, coat the edge with egg.
2.    Add the filling of cooked minced meat
3.    Layer it with sautéed mushrooms
4.    Layer it with grated cheese
5.    Garnish with tomato sauce and black olives
6.    Bake it for 20 minutes at 350 degrees

My special thanks to Tanvi and Rachna who were always willing to help and made thing easy for us.

Lessons that I learnt
Don’t experiment at the cook-up-contest, attempt only those recipes that you specialize in.
Understand the oven, before using it
If things go wrong, try something creative to change the recipe
or else, just accept the fact:
That sometimes things go off tangent, nothing to fret about, it does not reflect on your cooking, its just bad luck.
Then, there’s always next time….

Image courtesy Beacon Holidays


Nisha Jha said...

Interesting contest. The dishes look so yummy.

I can see some familiar faces also. :)

Pushpa Moorjani said...

Yes..all r food was a fun event..enjoyed a lot :)

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