The Green & Black’s 15.15 challenge

Last Monday, Green & Black’s invited me to the swankorama Miele showrooms to take part in the 15.15 challenge, a competition to see who could create the best dish in fifteen minutes, with a budget of £15.

The reason? Beyond the shits, giggles and brand awareness motivations that justify most blogger events, the purpose of this particular challenge was to test out what would become the final stage of interview for the Taste Assistant job for which G&B are currently recruiting. Imagine having to cook under that kind of pressure!

When I flippantly responded, sure, why not, a week earlier I hadn’t quite considered just how challenging it would be to come up with an impressive recipe that could be cooked from scratch in such a short time, but still be big on flavour. With no time to marinate, steep, infuse and what-not, I concluded the best approach was to just hit them with things that are already big on flavour and went straight to chillies, lime and fish sauce, which could be instantly whisked into a dressing with garlic and coriander for fragrance and a touch of sugar for balance.

I’d originally toyed with drizzling it over a seared tuna steak (quick to cook, like), but then remembered a similar dressing being used in a beef recipe by David Thompson that I’d recently cooked and switched the tuna for a piece of beef fillet. Just as quick to sear, another flavour box ticked.

Because that alone didn’t feel like a full dish, I needed an accompaniment and added a creamy coconut rice which would balance the salty spiciness of everything else yet remain in the spectrum of Asian flavours and not seem weird. Seemed a bit of a gamble to try and do coconut rice in 15mins, but I managed it. Just about.

And here it is! Swanky eh? Seared slices of meat and a few herbs can never fail to look fancy in my eyes. AND, after Micah, head of taste at Green & Blacks and the man responsible for the flavours in that tasty chocolate, deemed it delicious enough to be crowned 2nd in the competition! Ooh yeah, Silver by name, Silver medal by nature (there was no actual medal. Sad face).

But what of the other contestants? Mimi swiped the first prize of a beautiful red Kitchen Aid for her inspired Japanese pasta, with mirin, salmon roe and enoki mushroms. I have to admit to not being the biggest fan of those fishy pink nuggets, but this really was good. Unusual, but perfectly balanced so it tasted completely right.

Luiz pulled out the big guns presentation-wise with his chocolate grilled quails drizzled with honey, pistachios and rose petals. Those birds were stripped of every morsel of their juicy flesh in minutes, which says it all.

When I realised I was competing with Simon, of my favourite supper club, Fernandez and Leluu fame, I thought it was pretty much over. Check out this feast that he knocked up in 15mins! The duck was moist and the cassoulet rich. God it was good.

Becci’s chili and crab linguine was another favourite of mine. Like in my dish, naturally powerful flavours did all the talking and created a fresh, delicious dish.

Recipe for my WINNING creation to follow. Massive thanks to Gail for organising the night!

In case anyone’s wondering how I suddenly got good at photography, these images are courtesy of Green and Black’s. More of the night here.

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8 Responses to “The Green & Black’s 15.15 challenge”

  1. Dream Job in Chocolate @GREEN & BLACK | HungryinLondon Says:

    […] Feast on Scraps […]

  2. Helen Says:

    Ooooh well done, that’s very impressive; hope to eat that beef one day!

  3. Kavey Says:

    It was terrifying but fun and I was happy just to take part and not make an arse of myself!
    Thought yours tasted lovely, especially the rice!

  4. meemalee Says:

    Your beef was beautiful and I still cannot get over how perfect the coconut rice was!

    Have you chosen your knife yet? 🙂

  5. The Grubworm Says:

    That is a very impressive dish to knock up in 15 mins, wow. The others look pretty damn good to. It sounds like this was a packed and fun evening.

  6. Gail H Says:

    Note to self: get medals for next event. Well done, so glad you decided to enter!

  7. ferdie Says:

    Hey was nice to meet you again! I don’t think I got to yours in time gutted! It looked sooo tasty!! I wish it had been pretty much over then the kitchen aid (and next the world) would have been mine! Whar har haaaaa!!! ; ) There was soo much food passion in the room it was palpable such good fun!

  8. Silas Says:

    That looked good, well done, did you photograph it? David Thompson is the shit, this: http://tinyurl.com/3x2szxc is by far the best cookery book I have ever come across.

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