Sunday, March 30, 2014

"Mystery Bag" Food Challenge

I am a big fan of Masterchef but I never watched Masterchef New Zealand before. When I was invited to attend a culinary demonstration by Nadia Lim, I replied "Yes" straightaway. Hihihi. Nadia Lim is the Masterchef New Zealand 2011 Winner and it is an honor to meet her live in person. She is so pretty and humble!

I will talk about the culinary demo on next entry, ok? Right now I'm going to share with you about "Mystery Bag" Food Challenge. Sounds familiar? Of course, if you're Masterchef fan like me :)

They called it "Mystery Box" challenge where the contestant will receive a box containing one mystery ingredient and they have to use it in the dish they are making. They make it looks easy on TV, right? Believe me, it's not easy. Or maybe it is just me because when I open my "mystery bag", I was puzzled and had to think very hard for a few days. Hahaha..

These are the ingredients in the "mystery bag".

Rutherford and Meyer Waferbites (Double Cheese)
Mill Orchid Classic Apple Juice
Regal Manuka Smoked Salmon
Fogdog Premium Panko Breadcrumb

The Rules:
You must use at least TWO items from the New Zealand "mystery bag" as "hero ingredients" in EACH dish you choose to present. You can also use any ingredient from your own pantry to bring your cuisine to life.

I came out not one but two dishes for this challenge. I decided to prepare Smoked Salmon Creamy Spaghetti for dinner. There will be leftover for the smoked salmon and I don't want to keep it chilled. So I make Smoked Salmon Garden Salad as a starter. It is so easy because all you have to do is toss all the ingredients with your favourite dressing but make sure you prepare the salad last because you don't want it to become soggy.



Baby Butterhead
Cherry Tomatoes
Regal Smoked Salmon
Rutherford and Meyer Waferbites (Double Cheese)
Fresh Thousand Island Dressing

I choosed baby butterhead, radicchio and cherry tomatoes.

Add a little extra crunchiness with croutons and waferbites.
You can use avocado if you can find a ripe avocado in the market.

Don't forget to add the salmon as well. 
Pour the dressing onto the salad and toss evenly.

Ready to eat. Make sure you eat it immediately before it becomes soggy.



Spaghetti or any other pasta you prefer
2 tbsp olive oil
1/3 cup chopped shallots
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup Mill Orchid Classic Apple Juice
1/4 cup cooking cream
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp lemon zest ( divided into 1 tbsp and 1 tbsp)
2 tbsp chopped dill
70g Regal Smoked Salmon, cut into bite sized pieces
Fresh ground black pepper


1. Heat to boiling a large pot with salted water in it. Once the water is boiling, add the pasta to the pot. Cook according to the package. You are supposed to cook for al dente (cooked but still a little firm).

While the pasta is cooking, prepare the sauce.

I can just stare at this orange color salmon... beautiful!

2. In a large skillet, heat olive oil on medium heat. Add the shallot and garlic, cook for 2 minutes. Then add apple juice, lemon juice and 1 tbsp lemon zest. Let it boil down by half.

3. Add the cream and let boil for one minute. Stirring occasionally.

The sauce should be done about the same time the pasta is done. But if it get done earlier, just remove the skillet off the heat.

4. Before draining the pasta, scoop out one cup of the pasta liquid and reserve. Drain the pasta and add it to the skillet with the sauce. Add some of the pasta liquid to the pasta if it is a little dry. Add the smoked salmon, dill and remaining lemon zest. Season with fresh ground black pepper.

I just serve straightaway for the skillet because that is how we like it

Close up

The smoked salmon is the hero ingredient for these two dishes. It gave a nice flavour to the pasta too. Without the salmon, the pasta will have a bland taste.

Let's eat!

4 scribble(s):

*∽ IZAN ∽* said...

wow woW and WOW!!! you're so talented! nampak sedap2 sangat2. I scroll 2-3 kali tengok eh its really from your own kitchen, dah macam kat kedai plak. Plus salmon is my favourite nyummmmm!
Well done!!!

Liz said...

kak izan> thanks kak. tapi biasa je la. tengok gambar orang lain, lagi mengancam kot. silap saya juga sebab malam baru nak masak. tak dapat nak buat gambar cantik2. alhamdulillah, licin! memang sebab bila guna smoked salmon.

N.A.T said...

Macam nak pastikan ... Liz masuk contest ke .. just cerita2 ni .. confius sekarang ni ...

Liz said...

NAT> erk, kenapa boleh confuse pulak nie? rasanya takde yang misleading. the contest is a part of the advertorial :)


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