Was invited to a cook off event by Sumangala from Chef’s Basket. The event was organized in the state of the art kitchen of Something’s Cooking in Koramangala.
Since we were a bit early, I another foodie slunk off for a pre event bite at a Bombay sandwich cart. We were in food heaven when we joined the group again. But lets not digress…
After an informational round of the product we were divided into teams of thrmeee. Chef’s Basket has been around for quite sometime and have been redefining the concept of instant food on demand with their variety of gourmet food in a pack. We also unveiled a new product which will be revealed at the end of this post. We got to try their range of Italian and Oriental offerings
My team had Sangeetha Das another blogger. Our third partner mysteriously never materialized so it was upto the two of us to face the challenge. After we were firmly told the ground rules of using the kitchen, we were also told the cook-off conditions. In 1 hour we were to prepare two dishes and also return the kitchen in the same spotless condition it was given to us.
The first dish was to simple follow the instructions in the chef basket box and the second dish was basically go wonkers and create a dish that is out of the box (pun intended)
With the words of the proprietor clearly ringing in our ears and signing a hazard form (ones that we sign before any dangerous activity !!), we entered the spotless state of the art kitchen. It was sooo goood and well maintained. For the first challenge it was chits with the product written in it. We picked up chunky Arrabiata.
We had a lot of materials at our disposal such as basil leaves, vegetables, olives and all of the required Italian spices and the utensils from saucepan to boilers to colanders neatly arranged in every workstation. While reading through the instructions I was already thinking about how to be different from the word go even though the challenge was to follow instructions. I hate following instructions you see. But to not deviate completely from the challenge I only opted for subtle ones such as putting the basil and herbs in the water that would boil the pasta to infuse the flavor in the water itself and thus imparting it to the pasta. While the water was boiling I started dicing the vegetables. We had peppers, onions, carrots, spring onion shoots that I chopped finely for sprinkling over the pasta when ready. We then put the pasta in for boiling (takes about 8-10 mins for al-dente).I started stir frying the diced veggies. After they were done (just enough as the pasta will cook them further when put. Also no fun in eating soft overcooked veggies right?) we put in the arrabiata pasta sauce that came with the box and cooked it till the rawness of the ingredients disappeared. By then the pasta was done just perfect for our requirement. We added the pasta to the sauce at end and topped it with finely cut leeks and black olives to give a textural look and taste. It every nice though it could have used a smattering of tomato which wasn’t available.
For our second dish we used the Kung Pao box from their oriental offerings. For giving it a twist we again infused the water with italian herbs and spices. This time we added cabbage to the veggie collection and decided to plate it by offering it in a half capsicum boat. I finely julienned the vegggies and stir fried them then added the tofu after which the kung pao sauce was added. Once the noodles was boiled in the aromatic water we added it to the sauce and tossed it up. The half capsicum was also added to the boiling water. This was then sauteed till the rawness was gone. The noodles was then served in this boat topped with finely cut spring onion and black olives
The marination needs a little more time when cooking so it would be a good idea to do it nice and slow to make the flavors come through.
Here are a few glimpses of the dishes that was made by the other teams. The rest in the slideshow at the top
One of the blogger’s parents were also present and they unveiled the new Dinner box combo which comes with soup that is good for 2-3 people.
The topping or the end of the great evening was the DIY tiramisu which was prepared in the kitchen This is also available in the market for you to try. SO get cooking and bring your culinary beast out in the open !!
Oh they also are having auditions for Masterchef India :D…..Leaving you with our group picture