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Old 08-28-2009, 07:54 PM   #1
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Master Chef Competition Food Ideas

Hi Everyone, this is my first post here. A group of friends have organised a Master Chef style comp . There are 4 teams of 4 chefs. Each team is given $120 and has to feed themselves and 12 guests two courses each.

There will be one of each course presented to a judges table to be marked on taste and presentation. Our team has decided to do a main and dessert.

One of us has a great recipe for Coffee mud pie for the dessert but we need ideas for the main course. Problem is we have 2 hours to shop and prepare the food then transport it to a local hall where all the guests will be. The cooking has to be done at one of our homes about 5 mins from the hall.

I was thinking a meat dish like maybe rack of lamb that could be resting while transported and plating up. We have good lamb here in New Zealand. We need something with a bit of wow factor as we will be judged on presentation. Anyone got an impressive recipe for something that would look great and be tasty and fairly easy for us average home cook types?



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Old 08-28-2009, 10:06 PM   #2
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kia ora, Steve, welcome to DC!

Just 2 hours for lamb makes me sweat a bit. Also, 2 courses, I think, needs a hook to tie them together.

Maybe try encrust your lamb rack in finely ground coffee... it tastes better than it sounds.

One New Zealand dining fad is tableside grilling on hot rocks. Slice lamb meat paper-thin. Prepare a Mexican mole dipping sauce. Heat granite slabs in oven at high heat for as long as you can. Self-serve tableside, warning guests that the super-hot rock can seriously injure you. Big time wow-factor, but I would worry about the 5-minute transit to your competition hall cooling down the rock to the point where it won't sizzle the meat...

Best of luck. What's the prize?

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Old 08-28-2009, 10:44 PM   #3
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Prize is a trophy.... still fun though. last year we had a cocktail comp which was a blast.

Like the idea of coffee crust, i had a similar dish in Rarotonga with seared tuna rolled in instant coffee, sounds gross but tasted great. Hot plates will be hard as no kitchen in the hall.
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Old 08-29-2009, 12:30 PM   #4
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If I recall, lamb is great cooked medium rare. With that in mind, turn your rack of lamb into a crown roast by trimming all silverskin and extra muscle and bones from the tenderloin, while leaving the rib bones still attached. Make small slits on the side of the tenderloin that the ribs are attached to. Insert halved cloves of garlic, onion, and sage leaves into the slits. Place the tederloin so that the ribs stand straight up. Curl the roast into a circle so that the ends touch and the bones curve to the outside. Tie it with butcher's string to hold its shape. French the bones using dental floss (This is to bare the bones and remove all meat from around them). Use the trimmed meat and the meat from the frenched bones to make a stock for gravy or sauce. Place aluminum foil "hats" on the bone ends to keep them from scorching.

Roast the lamb at 450' F. with a meat thermometer left in the thckest part of the roast. It should cook at about 10 minutes per pound at that temperature.

While the rack is roasting, make a flavored rice pilaf mixed with colorful and flavorfull veggies that you like with lamb. When the roast has reached an internal temp of 135' F. Spoon you rice filling onto the inside top layer of meat and again place in the oven for 15 additional minutes. Final temperature o fthe meat should be 145 degrees F.

Serve with the gravy or sauce by slicing downward between the bones, with each person obaining one lamb chop.

When served properly, on a nice platter, and surrounded by something colorful like flowering kale, this makes a dramatic dish that has a lot of "wos factor".

Good luck to you with whatever you make.

Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
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Old 08-29-2009, 01:32 PM   #5
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First off let me just say that I love New Zealand. I have been to both islands spending most of my time in Christchurch on the south island.
If you going to use lamb I would stick with using lamb chops that have been frenched. It sounds like the competition is a plated one and if thats the case each plate needs to be identical (or should be at least). If you are going to practice the cooking and presentation of the dish cooking a whole rack each time seems excessive. Also if you only have two hours to shop, prepare the meal and get it to the hall to plate, time sounds to be your biggest issue. You can lightly encrust one side of the chop with so many different things. Warm your plates at home in an oven,then wrap them in a clean bath towel and transport them in an empty ice cooler. Just a suggestion...
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