Recipes: Cocktails and canapes from the NZ Polo Open

24 February 2016

WORDS BY Fashion Quarterly New Zealand

Land Rover tent Polo Open

There’s no denying the Land Rover New Zealand Polo Open was the place to be last Sunday.

The ponies and polo players were on fine form and the punters were out in their finery, enjoying the Auckland sunshine and the opportunity to make like Pretty Woman‘s Vivian Ward and stomp the divots, champagne in hand. The Fashion Quarterly team were lucky enough to enjoy the Hamptons and Hunting Lodge decor and delicious treats at the Land Rover tent – a two-storey marquee which boasted the best view of the field and the perfect spot for both people and pony watching.

The upstairs bar was suitably styled ‘Hamptons chic,’ while the lower level was themed with a stylish country lodge aesthetic, with cocktails and canapes to match.

We were so impressed with the hors d’oeuvres and masterfully mixed drinks that we managed to track down the recipes so we could recreate them at home.

Prawns with chipotle mayo, iceberg lettuce and lemon

Prawns with chipotle mayo, iceberg lettuce and lemon


Use cooked deshelled prawns with the tail on. Marinate in some fresh chopped coriander, lemon juice and good olive oil.

Chipotle Mayo

You will need:
2 free-range egg yolks
1 heaped teaspoon Dijon mustard
500 ml canola oil
1-2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
½ lemon
sea salt
chipotle chillies in adobo sauce (to taste)
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Whisk the mustard, eggs, vinegar and lemon juice together then slowly blend in olive oil until it thickens to the right consistency. Season, then blend in Worcestershire sauce and chipotle chillies to taste. The more you like the heat, the more you add.
Chiffonade the lettuce (that’s chef speak for slice finely). Then, in a small bowl, place the lettuce, top with the prawns, drizzle mayo over the top and garnish with a lemon wedge to serve.


Shredded confit duck, with cherry tomatoes, watercress, edamame and crispy noodles

Shredded confit duck, with cherry tomatoes, watercress, edamame and crispy noodles


This recipe is a little complex and will need to be started a couple of days ahead.

Confit Duck leg

You will need:
4 duck legs
approx 15g table salt (you will need 15g/½oz salt per kilo of duck legs)
5 sprigs fresh thyme
300g duck fat
1 onion, finely sliced
4 garlic cloves, finely diced
3 star anise
6 cardamom pods lightly crushed

Weigh the duck legs. You will need 15g/½oz of salt per kilo of duck legs. Place the duck legs into a roasting tray and sprinkle with the salt, cover the tray with cling film and chill in the fridge overnight.
Heat a heavy frying pan over a low to medium heat, then add the duck legs to the pan and cover them completely in the duck fat, add in the star anise, garlic, onions, cardamom and thyme.
Bring the duck fat to a gentle simmer and cook the duck legs gently for 2-2½ hours, or until the meat is very tender. Remove the duck legs from the fat, reserving the fat, and place onto a clean roasting tray, draining off any excess fat.
Shred the meat from the confit duck legs and set aside.

XO Sauce

You will need:
50g dried scallops
100g dried prawns
250ml (1 cup) vegetable oil, or just enough to cover all the ingredients
100g garlic finely chopped
75g red shallots finely chopped
50g Chinese style lup chong (Chinese sausage) finely sliced
25g fresh long red chillies seeded and finely chopped
15g dried long red chillies, seeded, soaked and finely chopped
5g dried bird’s eye chillies, finely chopped
10gm roasted shrimp paste (roast in tin foil for 4 mins until fragrant the day ahead)
15g sugar

Soak dried scallops and dried prawns separately in 125ml hot water each until plump (preferably overnight)
Drain scallops (reserve soaking water), tear them into fine shreds, reserve. Drain prawns (reserve water), chop them finely and set aside. Heat half the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add scallops and deep-fry until very crisp. Drain well, reserve oil. Wipe out pot with absorbent paper, add reserved oil and remaining oil and return to medium heat. Add garlic, shallots and dried prawns and stir continuously until golden brown (4-5 minutes). Add Chinese sausage, fresh chilli and dried chilli, fry for a few seconds without burning then add shrimp paste, fried scallops and reserved scallop and prawn water and stir continuously for a few more seconds. Add remaining ingredients and a pinch of salt and stir occasionally until fragrant and the water has completely evaporated. Remove from heat, strain (reserve oil), transfer solids to a sterile jar, then pour in enough reserved oil to cover. Makes about 2 cups. XO sauce will keep refrigerated in a sealed container for 1 month.


You will need:
100g shelled edamame beans
24ea cherry tomatoes halved
20g picked watercress
40g crispy noodles

Mix some XO sauce into shredded duck (to taste), in a bowl toss together the edamame and cherry tomatoes, adjust seasoning and divide into four serving plates, topping with crispy noodles and watercress.


Shortbread with strawberries and cream

Shortbread with strawberries and cream

You will need:
150g of oat crumble (alternatively take a graham cracker or ginger nut biscuit and crush)
150g of strawberry jam
200g of pastry cream and cream

Pastry cream:
570g milk
125g sugar
60g egg yolk
50g custard powder
36g butter
1 vanilla pod
Fresh strawberries

Take 100g of fresh strawberries, liquidise, and bring to the boil. Whisk in 1g agar and 2g sugar, bring all ingredients to the boil and simmer for 3-4 minutes. Pour into a tray and let it set in the fridge.
When firm place in the liquidiser and make into a jam consistency.
Crush graham crackers and place a layer in the bottom of your cup.
Pipe a layer of your strawberry jam.

Pastry cream method:
Take a half split vanilla pod and milk and bring to the boil. Whisk the boiling milk onto the sugar, egg yolks and custard powder. Pour everything back into the pan and cook until it thickens and the custard powder is cooked out, approx 5 mins. Remove from the heat, whisk in the butter, pour into a tray cover and keep refrigerated until needed.
Take the pastry cream, strip the ½ vanilla pod of seeds mix through the pastry cream.
Fold through whipped cream then pipe onto the layer of biscuit and strawberry jam.
For the final layer, cut sweet, fresh New Zealand strawberries and place on the top of the cream mix.
Options for garnish, crushed meringue.


Rogue x Tonic cocktail

Rogue x Tonic cocktail

30 ml Rogue Society Gin
150ml East Imperial Tonic

Pour shot of gin into a tall glass and fill to the brim with East Imperial Tonic and ice cubes.
Garnish with wheels of fresh blood orange.


Duck Chukka cocktail

Duck Chukka cocktail

30ml Blue Duck Rare Vodka
10ml Monin Kiwi syrup
5ml Fresh lime juice
Pre-cut cucumber slices (7cm)

Fill glass with ice, add lime juice, Monin kiwi syrup, Blue Duck vodka and top with sparkling Perrier & stir with cucumber slice.

Recipes from The Kitchen c/o SKYCITY

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