Last night saw the first episode of Recipe to Riches air on Chanel 10 in Australia. I will admit I have been looking forward to this series. Just to watch what gets picked, who presents what recipes and of course the failures. What I think is market worthy compared to what the producers deem to be fit to make it as the winning recipe/end product.
For those that haven’t heard of Recipe to Riches, it is a 12 episode TV series which shows potential food entrepreneurs battling it out for their product to be chosen to grace the aisles of Woolworths. Each week there will be a category winner and their product available for a week. In the end, as with Highlander, there can only be one. One ultimate winner collecting $100,000 and a business partnership to get their product up and rolling.
The beauty (or clever bums in aisles strategy by Woolworths) is that the weekly winning product is available for the viewer to purchase the next day at their local Woolworths store. The viewer gets to try, critique and vote with their mouths.
As a viewer I will be doing just that, just a little more public. I will be road testing the weekly winning product here on Belly Rumbles. My thoughts will be aired the same day the product is available for purchase. That is if I can get my hands on it. I seemed to nab the last box from my local Woolworths at 11.30am today. It was wedged between non related frozen goods and I couldn’t find any of its friends . With hands on the product these road tests will be a little bit of fun for me, and hopefully for you as well.
Last night’s category was ‘Snack Attack’. From a sea of hopefuls three were given a golden ticket to proceed through to see if their recipe was suitable to become a best-selling brand.
The three hopefuls were;
Matt or ‘baby bear’, a cuddly, rainbow coloured mohawk wearing, beauty student. His recipe, Boneless Red Wings were inspired by his travels to Texas. Not being able to buy something to satisfy his cravings back in Aus he decided to create his own version. I will admit I liked the look and sound of these. I thought he had a good chance of winning the episode. Sadly they were a little too hot for the judges to handle and apparently the public. Personally I say, bring them on Matt, they sounded awesome.
Casey, a vegetarian who doesn’t like many vegetables and survives on her main four food groups of pasta, pizza, pastry and potato. Yup, healthy diet there Casey. Her dish was potato bake, with the secret ingredient of a can of potato soup. For real? Sadly yes. Firstly I would class it as a side not a snack, it’s potato bake for God’s sake. I will admit I shook my head when she got a golden ticket, but I am sure that was the effect the producers were after. Or did the canned pumpkin soup have magical brainwashing powers? In any case, I will be giving Casey’s recipe a go at home, I am intrigued as to the amazing affect of canned pumpkin soup on slices of potato.
Connie, a nanny from NSW and has been making her Southern Italian grandmother’s croquette recipe since she was a teenager. The rice and potato croquette recipe is a family one and has been passed down through the generations. From the title of this post, you are right in assuming she won the episode last night.
I will admit that out of the many people that would have submitted dishes, I really didn’t think that rice and potato croquettes were something outstanding. As they say, don’t knock it until you have tried it, and after trying them here is what I thought.
Ingredients: rice, potato, bacon, water, salt, dextrose, sucrose, mineral salts, antioxidant, sodium nitrite, parmesan cheese, egg, vegetable oil, parsley, flour, salt & pepper (plus various numbers).
Allergen advice: contains gluten, egg & milk
General: They come in a 350g pack, containing 10 croqs. Each croq is 296kJ (71 cal) and contains 3.8g of fat (12% of your recommended daily intake). Frozen product made in Australia. Price $5.99
Considering they are extruded and pre-cooked, once heated up they are a little on the fragile side. They tend to fall apart once broken in half or bitten in to. Obviously they don’t look like Connies hand formed little torpedoes we saw last night, but that is to be expected in mass production.
I will be honest, I didn’t expect to like them, but I did. Due to frying on manufacture, the outside grains of rice develop a nice nutty chew and crunch The flavour isn’t as artificial as a lot of these products tend to be. It actually tastes a little homemade.
Nice amount of flavour, not bland and I don’t feel you need to have a sauce with them, quite nice on their own. Parsley adds a spike of freshness though the creamy croquette. Rice grains are quite visible, as are the bacon chunks and parsley. You get a little stringy cheese action happening when you pull a piece of the croquette off. No real smell to them once they are cooked, very oily to touch.
What is interesting to note that there isn’t any difference in visual appearance between the frozen and heated up product.
I heated up four croquettes to photograph, thinking I would eat one and give the rest to Sally. Before I knew it I had scoffed all four, poor Sally missed out. Except for the fact that the four I had eaten was equal to nearly 50% of my daily recommended fat intake, I would of put another four on to heat up and scoff.
Would I buy them again? Yes, but not as an everyday food as they are pretty high in fat. Congratulations Connie on winning this week and good luck.
Do tell dear Belly Rumbles’ reader, if you saw these in the frozen section would you buy them to try?
Belly Rumbles is in no way connected to Recipe to Riches or any of the contestants.