Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Mince Pie anyone?

 When it comes to Mince Pies believe it or not, I only discovered them in my late twenties and now I have a strong fondness for them.

This weekend I hadn't even eaten any let along bought any so it was time to invest, do I opt for the bakery mince pies with the crumbly, pale, sugar coated pastry or pre-packaged Brand Leader for cakes and pies?

Yep, Mr Kipling won as he had the longer shelf life and I knew that I should be able to rely on quality.

The mince pies were a pack of 6 each in a small foil case with a holly decoration to finish - very festive!

Normally we do have a supply of hand-made Mince Pies from my husband's grandmother but she had said this year she hadn't fell well enough to making them and with us hosting I didn't really have time to make some.

As I prepared to take the first bite, I could feel my taste buds tingle, a whole year since my last mince pie this was going to be good!

As I bit into the pastry I noticed it was not overly sweet and buttery but the texture immediately crumbled  when I bit into it - a definite must for me when it comes to a mince pie, the crumblier the better!

The filling didn't spill out when I  bit into the crumbly pastry so there is no need to worry about the filling falling everywhere.
 Mr Kipling as we know does make very tasty cakes and these mince pies did not disappoint and I think someone is going to be asking "Who ate all the Mince Pies?"

The answer will probably be me!

Monday, 22 December 2014

Tiger Tiger Quick Cook Sauce Range

With all the madness that is Christmas Shopping, as I wandered around ticking items off the "fresh" list my thoughts turned to meals for the nights leading up to Christmas Day, working right up until Christmas Eve I wanted something quick and satisfying so I didn't have to spend too much time in the kitchen.

Curry it was.

I took a turn down the World Foods Aisle in my local supermarket and came across the Tiger Tiger Curry Pouches on offer so popped one in to try.

Several flavours are available 
Peshwari Style Tikka Massala
Kashmiri Style Korma
Punjabi Style Butter Chicken
Lahori Style Rogan Josh

I opted for the Jaipur Style Jalfrezi.

The pouch promised to serve 2-3 people.
To the right side of the pouch was an easy pour flap which was easy to tear away from the packet and I poured it onto some chicken I had sealed in the pan.


I decided not to add any additional onion or peppers and I was glad as I poured the sauce onto the chicken and out came chunks of onions and peppers and you could also pick out some spices.

The sauce was fragrant and looked full of flavour.
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I simmered on a low heat to ensure that the chicken was cooked through and that the sauce had been heated through. I then served on a bed of basmati rice.

The flavours were amazing, something I would expect had it been made from scratch earlier in the day. The heat was not too hot from the spices. The peppers tasted fresh and the onion was still in chunks rather than disintegrated into the sauce like other sauces I have tried.

Overall I found this sauce to be tasty and delicious and will definitely be trying some of the other flavours soon. Perfect for a quick midweek meal in a hurry.

Information below is provided from the Tiger Tiger website.

Onions, Tomatoes, Water, Rapeseed Oil, Red and Green Bell Peppers (9%). Sugar, Tomato Puree, Modified Maize Starch, Salt, Dried Onion, Spices (Turmeric, Cumin, Coriander, Chilli Powder, Fenugreek, Coriander Leaf, Paprika, Clove, Cinnamon, Onion Powder, Fennel, Bay Leaves, Garlic Powder, Ginger Powder, Black Pepper, Black Cardamom, Green Cardamom), Garlic Puree (Garlic, Citric Acid), Flavouring, Ginger Puree (Ginger, Citric Acid), Colour: Paprika Extract.

Nutritional information

Typical valuePer 100gPer 300g serving
Energy (Kj) 596Kj 1788Kj
Energy (Kcal) 596Kcal 1788Kcal
Calories 142g 426g
Protein 1.3g 4g
Carbohydrates 12.5g 38g
Carbosugars 7.2g 22g
Fat 9.3g 28g
Saturated Fat 0.6g 2g

Monday, 8 December 2014

The day the Italian came to lunch

As a member of Tesco Orchard it was time to make use of the vouchers that I had used.
Browsing the ready meals there was plenty of choice but I wanted something to really challenge my tastebuds and settled on a cheese based dish as they are always something that I find lacks in flavour and always tastes more processed than other ready meal dishes.

I chose the Tesco Finest Chicken and Beech Smoke Bacon Pasta Bake which boasted on the packaging to use Italian Tortiglioni pasta with tender chicken and beech smoked British Bacon from outdoor bred pork, in a tangy sauce of Sardinian pecorino and lombardy taleggio finished with a crispy rosemary and sea salt foccacia.

Retailing at GBP3.60 in stores at the time of this review it is a high end ready meal so I was expecting big things in terms of taste.

As I do not own a microwave I had to look at the dishes to ensure that they could be oven cooked, this dish came in a foil tin so was only suitable for oven cooking and claimed to be ready within 20-25 minutes from chilled.
Piercing the film, I placed onto the baking tray and cooked for approximately 25 minutes.

One of my pet hates about ready meals is when you cook something in a tray and you cannot remove the foil when it is cooked and it tears into strips or you end up burning your fingers trying to find a piece that is easy to peel away from the container!

This dish was different, a clear piece at the end of the container that was to be used to peel the lid away and that it did with considerable ease.
I then served into a pasta bowl and set about enjoying this dish.

Although I had high expectations for this dish, somehow Tesco still managed to exceed them, the chicken tasted delicious, so tender and tasty not bland and chewy. The bacon, although I would have liked that to have been a little crisper the promise of Beech Smoked Flavour was not too overpowering and offered a subtle hint as you combined with the other flavours in the dish.

The pasta was tender and the sauce, deliciously creamy and cheesy as if it had just been freshly prepared.

Overall this has been one of the most enjoyable ready meals that I have enjoyed in a long time and as a high end product I think that Tesco have got it just right.