In a hurry? No time to cook from scratch? Need a quick and tasty dinner cooked straight from the freezer? Yes, sometimes we all do!
Although I’m not normally one to buy ready meals, sometimes we all have to make sure dinner is on the table quickly if we’re in a rush, and the other night was no exception. As I was late in from work, and rushing to get out the door again, it called for me to have a ‘quick on draw’ dinner. Luckily, Patak’s had sent me one of their new range of frozen Chicken Tikka Masala ready meals to review so I could get this out of the freezer, into the microwave and on the table in a matter of only 10 minutes, which was hardly time to get changed and ready to go out again!
The packaging says it’s medium strength, however I personally think it was quite mild. The chicken was lean and stayed succulent in a generous portion of sauce and the pilau rice stayed in individual grains and not a gloopy lump of stodge. The smell was so tantalising that my husband appeared and miraculously managed to have a fork in his hand to dig in and share my dinner; the cheeky boy!
As the mother of a son at Uni, I think this would also make a perfect freezer filler for him during study time when the books are calling and there is less time for him to cook his own curry from scratch.
At 550 Calories per pack, it’s possibly a little higher than I would normally eat, however the saturated fat at 3.4g made it a less of a guilt and more of a pleasure and much more of reasonable calorific intake than a take away curry would. I’d certainly buy a couple of these as quick stand by dinners for my freezer.
Thanks to Patak’s PR company for arranging to send me a sample to review.
One of the recipes I’m sharing with you using the deliciously nutty and seasonal Jersey Royal Potatoes in collaboration with Asda is for a vegetable curry. Inspired from a recipe my husband found online, he’s adapted and cooked this one for me (as I’m currently recovering from having knee surgery a couple of days ago, and therefore not able to stand for periods of time). Thanks Will x
The ingredients aren’t set in stone for this one; add or remove ingredients that you do or don’t like. (I personally don’t like mushrooms, but he does, so they went in and I picked them out of my dinner). The Mange Tout came from our garden, the French beans were reduced in price in our local supermarket as they had to be sold on the day, as was the courgette. All other ingredients we had at home as staples in our cupboards/fridge. It looks like a lot of ingredients, I know!
- 30ml Sunflower oil
- 2.5ml Black Mustard seeds
- 2.5ml Cumin seeds
- 2.5ml Fennel seeds
- 2.5ml Fenugreek seeds
- 3 Cardamon pods
- 1 medium Red onion, chopped
- 1 large White onion, chopped
- 3 sticks Celery, diced
- 2 medium carrots, diced
- 2.5cm fresh Ginger, grated
- 5 cloves Garlic, crushed
- 5ml Salt
- Medium sweet potato, cubed
- 10-12 Jersey Royals, cubed
- 5ml Chilli powder
- 5ml Turmeric
- 5ml Cumin
- 5ml ground Coriander
- 1 whole Chilli, finely chopped
- handful of French Beans, sliced in half horizontally
- 8-10 Mange Tout, sliced in half horizontally
- 1 cup frozen Peas
- 1 medium Courgette, diced
- 50g button Mushrooms, halved
- Can coconut milk
- Fresh coriander, chopped.
- Prepare all your vegetables as above. You can keep the following together in bowls as they’ll be added to the curry together in batches:
- Red and white onions.
- Celery and carrots.
- Sweet potato and Jersey Royals.
- French beans and mange tout.
- Peas and courgettes.
(This is how my husband preps his ingredients to cook – I have to leave the kitchen; it’s all too much organisation for me!)
2. In a large saucepan/frying pan with a lid, heat the oil and add your mustard seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds and cardamon pods. Cook for 2-3 minutes to allow the flavours to infuse the oil. The seeds may start to pop as they cook, don’t worry, this is normal.
3. Add the celery and the carrots, stir to coat evenly in the spiced oil and cook on a medium heat for 2-3 minutes.
4. Add the ginger, garlic and salt and coat evenly. Cook gently for 4-5 minutes.
5. Add the sweet potato and the Jersey Royals, stir thoroughly and cook for 2-3 minutes. If the vegetables start to stick to the pan, add a splash of water to loosen the mixture.
6. Add the chilli powder, turmeric, cumin powder and coriander powder, stir and cook for 2-3 minutes.
7. Add the fresh chilli and stir thoroughly. Cook for 1-2 minutes.
8. Add the French beans, mange tout and stir. Place the lid on the pan and simmer for 5 minutes.
9. Add the frozen peas and diced courgettes. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
10. Stir in the mushrooms. Place the lid on the pan and cook for 5 minutes.
11. Add the coconut milk, bring to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer, put the lid on and simmer for 10-12 minutes until the vegetables are all cooked.
12. Finally stir through the chopped coriander and serve with boiled rice.
He cooked this on his little camping stove in the garden to tease the neighbours I think with the delicious smells, but we didn’t invite them to share the meal with us! HAHA!
This recipe is cooked in collaboration with Asda and Jersey Royals to highlight the versatility and great flavour of Jersey Royal potatoes.
I’m home from another fantastic day at the BBC Good Food Show in Birmingham. Today was day one of the show which runs for four days until Sunday 19th June, so there’s still plenty of time to book your tickets online, or alternatively, you can just turn up and pay your admission fee to gain entry. However, if you pre-book your tickets online and use my code BL20, you can grab yourself a cool 20% off your admission price! That’ll give you even more money to spend on delicious produce.
As it’s the summer show it’s also the BBC Gardner’s World Live show too, so there’s a huge amount to see outdoors in the way of plants, furniture, exhibitions etc. My fave was this lovely girl that I saw beside the path on my way back to the car.
I’ve spent the day walking, eating, drinking, chatting, watching chefs (& friends) on stage, not to mention cuddling these two fantastic Italian Chefs and have brought home a whole cacophony of goodies with me.
I’ve met some really lovely food producers who are all incredibly passionate about their products (and rightly so too!) My haul includes:
The ever delicious gluten free sauces from Debbie & Andrews. You can find them on stand F685. I came home with Sweet Chilli and Chicken & Mango flavours.
I can’t wait to get cooking a delicious tagine with the gluten free Harissa Sauce and a delicious pasta dish with the Pesto sauce from Taste Collectiv. Go and say hello to Mark & Victoria on stand F181, and treat yourself to their range of 5 sauces.
I’ve got delicious and fresh tasting Aloe Vera drinks from Grace Aloe Vera on stand F110, (to which I have to admit I was really pleasantly surprised about; not just on the flavoured versions but on the original flavoured ones too).
Lots of lovely gluten free macaroons, madeleines, savoury crackers and cereal bars from Mrs Crimbles on stand F90.
My mouth was on fire with the Chilli Fudge from Tan Rosie. Who knew you could use scotch bonnet chillies in fudge? Their family recipes are inspired from their heritage in Grenada and Carriacou. Go and find them on stand F632 if you dare…! HAHA!
I wasn’t brave enough to try the Fire Candy from the lovely guys at the Black Liquorice Company – but I dare you to try some yourself! Their flavoured liquorices are delicious though. You’ll find them on F195.
Who knew that you could make a pestle & mortar out of Himalayan Salt, let alone cook on it or build a wall from it? Visit the Salt House on stand F302 to find out more on this one.
I tasted a lovely variety of oils, balsamic vinegars and grape musts from Casa de l’Oli. I think my favourite one was the 5 year old Blanco Balsamic vinegar, teamed up with their lime olive oil.
I bought home some delicious coffee fudge from the Fudge Kitchen (but it’s all gone now as it didn’t last long with my husband and daughter to share it with!). They have lots of different flavours to choose from over on stand F179. (Nice sash by the way!)
For lunch I enjoyed a gluten free Chicken Italia burger from Heck Sausages (stand F97), whilst to follow I bought a deliciously creamy coffee ice cream from the Salome Dairy (stand F916) which just filled the last little space I had left. (Sorry, no photos here – I was hungry!)
I also came home with a bottle of locally (Northamptonshire) produced rhubarb gin from my favourites and the multi award winning Warner Edwards (stand F460)
As well as the most beautiful new apron from my favourite knife manufacturer I.O. Shen Knives who you can find on F682. How beautifully does this go with my blade tattooed knives? I’ve already been told this is a ‘Man Apron’ and therefore has been bagged by my husband for himself! Thanks Nat x.
If you like peanut butter, then you’ll love these guys over at Proper Nutty Butter. Produced in Yorkshire with ‘Nowt but Nuts’ and love! You’ll find them on stand F638
I also have delicious tasting pea flour snacks from Yushoi Snappea Rice Sticks over on F662.
I wish I could go back every day for the next three days of the show, as there is so much more I’d love to share with you, however, I’m having knee surgery tomorrow morning and have to be in hospital at 7am, so sadly only one day at the show for me this year.
If you’re going to the show over the next few days, have a wonderful time. I wish all the exhibitors and organisers a successful show and hope the visitors have an amazing time too. See you all for the Winter show in November.