Why does the Meat Pie taste so good?

Why does the Meat Pie taste so good?

What is I with junk food that makes it so appealing? I’m not just talking about those international fast food chains which the term junk food is most associated with, I mean low quality products that you cook at home…like the meat pie. Let’s take the humble meat pie. Pies and pasties have been enjoyed by all throughout the ages, but they do end to have more of an association with the ‘working classes’, pie and mash shops, the miners Cornish pasty, meet pie and chips from the local chippy, pie on the stands at a football match, etc. This means they were never meant to be a luxury food more a way to make something delicious from cheap cuts of meat. Strange that now we would rather seek out a ‘better’ version of the classic pie, free range, organic, high meat content, gluten free, lower fat or snappier brand. The thing about the pie is that it is comfort food. A hot and tasty convenience food which contains something you can’t simply make better…memories. That’s right it’s the taste of those old low quality pies that you hold dear to your heart. Like an old friend, reliable and always there. I popped down to my local supermarket and picked up the cheapest mince beef and onion pie I could find. For just 60p (on offer) I had my prize! I must admit I haven’t eaten a pie like this in quite some time, but I was surprised at my air of excitement as the aroma wafted from the oven…a bit like finding an old childhood toy…great memories. It... read more
Duerr’s Marmalade Review

Duerr’s Marmalade Review

When it comes to breakfast sometimes I like to shun the coffee and go for something a little more British…a nice cup of tea. To go with my cuppa I love to pair it with toast slathered with the king of breakfast preserves – Marmalade. When I was asked to write a Duerr’s marmalade review I put a brew on and fired up the toaster… Ah the smell of toast so indicative of morning time, combined with the anticipation of the kettle completing its water boiling duties, they conspire to tease you into the day with the promise of good things to come. My toast popped out as I like it, well done thick white bread, then heavily buttered transforming the dry surface into something much more luxurious and ready for a heavy coating of Duerr’s classic thick cut Seville marmalade. Breakfast can be a metaphor for life, the tea a once exotic beverage which has become the mundane and every day, the marmalade reminiscent of melancholic bitter sweet memories… OK enough already! YES I love marmalade and unlike a certain bear I DO much prefer it on toast rather than sandwiches. I have tried many, many brands over the years and now it’s time to see how Duerr’s stacks up against the best of them. Duerr’s Marmalade So what to look for in a good marmalade? Sweetness, orangey bitterness, a good firm texture from the cut peel (especially true of thick cut of course!) and finally how the combination of these work in harmony to become more than the sum of their parts. Well the marmalade has a good... read more
Bhindi Curry Recipe

Bhindi Curry Recipe

Here I have my bhindi curry recipe for you and yes it’s vegetarian. I don’t think we use enough okra in the UK and this oh so tasty curry is one of my personal favourites. Okra, or Bhindi as it’s called in India, is a delicious vegetable blessed with a great texture which can handle the strong flavours of chilli and spices (just ask our Cajun friends!), so I implore you to try this wonderful bhindi curry recipe. If you are a curry lover then prepare to have a new crush in your life. A bit of prep is needed to get the okra ready but after that this is a simple and quick stir fry style curry which is great as either a main or a side dish. So let’s get cooking! Bhindi Curry Recipe Serves 2 as a main 4 as a side Ingredients 500g x Okra 3 x Tbsp Vegetable Oil 5-6 x Curry Leaves (Optional) 1 x Green Hot Chilli Pepper 1 ½ x Tsp Black Mustard Seed 1 ½ x Tsp Ground Cumin 2 Tsp x Turmeric 5 x Tsp Curry Powder 2 x Large tomatoes Salt to taste Method First soak your whole okra for around 10 minutes. Now completely drain and thoroughly dry. Use a paper kitchen towel to pat dry, just remember water is not your friend at this stage. The reason being that when you cut up the okra any water will make them leak the gooey, sticky insides. Don’t let that put you off though! So now your okra is nice and dry top and tail them then cut... read more
Baxter’s Hearty Soup Review

Baxter’s Hearty Soup Review

Although like the rest of the UK I’m very familiar with the brand, I hadn’t tried any of Baxter’s Hearty Soup before. So when Baxter’s got in touch with me to sample a selection from the range, and taking into consideration the weather, I jumped at the chance. Yes at this time of year as the dark, cold and damp take over, I think I’m right in saying we all like to have a stock of tinned soups in the store cupboard for a quick warming lunch or even as a snack. With a long shelf life and super convenience it’s no wonder canned products have been with us for over a century and it doesn’t look like they are going to leave us anytime soon. Baxter’s Hearty Soup range has been around for a while, sold as a little more chunky and substantial than the regular kind, they sort of fill a gap between soup and stew. Containing 2 to 3 portions of your 5-a-day it’s more of a meal in a can. So what did I think of the flavours I got to try? Read on! Chicken & Country Vegetable It was a pleasant surprise to find the chunky vegetables that had good bite and texture, not like a lot of soups which have hunks of  veggies that instantly turn to mush in your mouth. It was pleasant tasting but the chicken flavour seemed to be lost somewhere. Even though the ingredients don’t mention tomato I could swear I got that flavour coming through. Whatever it was something was knocking the balance out of kilter. Tuscan Style... read more
Empanada – The Spanish for Pasty

Empanada – The Spanish for Pasty

As you know I have been living in Spain for the last couple of years and one thing I realised I was missing was the fish empanada (Empanada de Atún), a flavoursome pasty like creation available at every good bakery. It’s a lunchtime favourite for me when in Spain, quick and easy when on the hop. Being back in Blighty and having a lunchtime hankering for one I decided to create one that could stand up to any of the traditional versions I had tried before. Looking online at recipes it appeared they have the basic ingredients right, but none of the recipes I found were technically correct based on my extensive experience. You see just throwing the ingredients in to a pastry envelope just won’t cut it for me. Also I wanted to put my twist on this classic bringing a British touch to this Spanish classic. I have options for the old school style but try it my way…trust me it’s good 🙂 This delicious snack is best prepared with a little time, so get your aprons on, prepare to get a little messy and let’s get on with my recipe. You’re gonna love it! Empanada de ‘addock Serves 3 Ingredients 180g x Fresh Smoked Haddock* 1 x Medium Onion 1 x Medium Green Bell Pepper** 3 x Regular Fresh Tomatoes 1 x Teaspoon Smoked Paprika 2 x Tablespoons Good Olive Oil 1 x Good Pinch of Sea Salt 1 x Good Pinch of Black Pepper 1 x Pack of Shortcrust Pastry 1 x Egg * You can use any white fish or tuna fresh or canned (the... read more
belVita breakfast biscuits – Time to get up!

belVita breakfast biscuits – Time to get up!

Get up, get ready and get out. You know what it’s like in the morning it’s rare to get a decent breakfast inside you before hitting the rush hour. That’s where belVita breakfast biscuits come in. Designed as a replacement to your breakfast cereal they can be eaten on the hop, with or without that essential cup of morning coffee. I’m sure you have seen these around as they have been advertised on TV and are available in all major supermarkets, but have you tried them? As belVita sent me a few samples I’m here to tell you what I think. Firstly let’s check out the packet, more specifically the nutritional information. I won’t go into detail (I’m not a scientist!), but what I can immediately see is the amount of energy packed into these little biscuits. Bulking up on carbs and sugars is not usually condoned, but in the morning these things are essential to launch you into the day. We can see they have the ingredients needed to get your day off to a good start… But what about the taste? The Milk & Cereals biscuit is sweet with a satisfying crunch and just like a bowl of cereal it has a milky aftertaste! These may be the ‘plainest’ of the ones I got to try, but I enjoyed them as they are kind of reminiscent of bowls of cereal I used to have as a kid. Next I tried the Honey & Nuts biscuits, they have the same crispy crunch but you get an instant deep taste of nuts (you can see the little pieces in the biscuit).... read more

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