Knorr Flavour Pots – Garlic, herb with Chicken Ras El Hanout

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I’m really loving how easy these Knorr Flavour Pots are to use; a perfect blend of flavour combined with absolute ease of use makes meal preparation so much easier.

Tonight I combined two of the Flavour Pots; the garlic and the mixed herbs with 2tsp of Ras El Hanout seasoning and 1tbs of rapeseed oil into a large bowl and mixing them thoroughly. I then cut 4 chicken breasts into bite sized pieces and coated them all in the garlic, herb & spice mixture before covering the bowl with cling film and placing in the fridge for 4-6 hours to marinade and infuse the chicken with these amazing flavours.

The chicken pieces were placed onto a baking tray and cooked at 200°C for 25-30 minutes until the chicken was cooked through.  Served simply with a stuffed bell pepper and some home made roast potato wedges was the perfect, simple tea time treat.  

 There were some of the chicken pieces leftover after serving dinner, so I’ve allowed them to cool ready to go with a salad for my lunch on Monday.
 
The Knorr pots were given to me by the Unilever Kitchen and Knorr UK.  I was under no obligation to create this recipe or to post a positive review on the product.  My review above is a true reflection of how simple, convenient & delicious I have found these Flavour Pots.

Seize the Flavour with Knorr Flavour Pots

Knorr have a new addition to their range of Stock Pots and Gravy Pots.  They now have Flavour Pots too.  I was lucky enough to have been invited to a Chef’s Tasting Table at the Ice Tank in Covent Garden, London where we were introduced to one of the development chefs, Cameron Healy, as well as Professor Barry C Smith, an expert in flavour perception from the Centre for the Study of Senses, who worked alongside Knorr and Cameron to develop the right balance of flavours that these little pots manage to pack inside.

We were informed on how we taste our food; using the smell, taste and touch that our nose and mouth experience to pass on the enjoyment (or dislike) of flavours and textures that we consume.  There are five senses in regard to the flavours that we experience; sweet, sour, salt, bitter and umami (or savoury as it is often referred to).
We were give a simple little test to prove that our noses help us to taste the flavours of our food.  Just try pinching your nose and eating.  What do you sense? Creaminess, texture, ‘mouth feel’? Can you taste what you’re eating? Probably not. Now, release your nose and allow the flavours of your food to come through and understand how both of these senses worth together in perfect harmony to allow us to enjoy what we eat.
Amongst the human population are approximately 25% of people who are deemed to be ‘super tasters’.  Those who have more tightly packed receptors on the tongue which allow them to have a more intense experience of the food that they eat.  This can be detected in a couple of ways; visually using a food colouring on the tongue and the number of pink receptors physically counted in a set area, or chemically with an impregnated piece of paper that is placed on the tongue.  To some people, this paper has absolutely no taste. To others it can taste mildly to moderately bitter and to some it can taste absolutely vile.  Unfortunately, to my dislike, I was in the absolutely vile camp within seconds of it being placed on my tongue.  This Professor Smith informs me, places me firmly in the realms of being a ‘super taster’; something which I hope to be able to explore further in the future.
So, now we know why and how we taste our food, it was over to Chef Cameron to excite our taste buds with a menu created using the Knorr Flavour Pots. The five Knorr Flavour Pots were used by Cameron to produce a 6 course Chef’s Tasting menu that we all enjoyed;

First on the menu was Garlic Prawns, created using a few simple ingredients with the Garlic Flavour Pot.  Each pot is the equivalent of 2 garlic cloves which are transformed into a ready to use, perfectly balanced paste.

Our second course was a warming Curried Parsnip Soup.  Parsnips were combined with the Curry Flavour Pot to produce a warm and richly flavoured soup.  The Curry Flavour Pot is a blend of 13 perfectly balanced spices which didn’t overpower the parsnips, but allowed the flavour of them to come through.

Third to be served to us from the menu used the Mixed Herb Flavour Pot and came to us in the form of a Pasta Napolitana; a perfect blend of Mediterranean herbs, such as Thyme, Oregano, Rosemary and Basil which have been expertly blended to produce a paste which complemented the Umami in the tomatoes used in the sauce.

Our next course was a Chilli Chicken Stir Fry using the Mixed Chilli Pot.  Now this was (to me personally) a hot dish, but nevertheless, perfectly balanced in respect of aroma & flavours.

A perfectly cooked fillet Steak was served with a Peppercorn & cream Sauce, made using the 4th pot in the collection; 3 Peppercorn Flavour Pot.  A incredibly simple to produce dish, that packs a huge flavour.  All the hard work really has already been done for you in these little pots.

In our final course of the evening, a Strawberry Shortcake, came the surprise.  The simple & light shortcake was made using the 3 Peppercorn Flavour Pot which was stirred into the mixture prior to piping & baking.  You initially get the sweet and crumbly taste of the biscuit with the added but subtle warmth of the black, green and pink peppercorns following.  Team this with the cream and fresh strawberries & you’ve got a perfect dessert to round off a perfect evening.

All of the Flavour Pots in the range are Gluten Free are suitable for Vegetarians and they come in a pack of 4 pots.
My thanks go to the Unilever Kitchen, Knorr, Chef Cameron Healy, Professor Barry C Smith, Clarion Communications and Ice Tank for a fantastic, informative and interesting evening.  I certainly look forward to being able to explore and develop my tastes and perception of food further.

Unilever Picnic Challenge Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake

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Using a more of the ingredients that arrived in my gorgeous picnic hamper from the Unilever Kitchen, is time I made dessert to take on the picnic with you.

This cheesecake is not dense, but more like a light chocolate mousse. By using 85% dark chocolate too, it also makes it not overly sweet, which I like.

400g Digestive biscuits
2tsp Ground ginger
200g Flora Buttery
300ml Elmlea double cream
300g Philadelephia cream cheese
200ml Evaporated milk
1tbs Jif Lemon juice
2tbs Icing sugar
1tsp Vanilla Powder
100g Lindt 85% Dark chocolate
350g Frozen raspberries, thawed
75g Icing sugar

1. Blitz together the digestive biscuits and the ginger until finely crumbed.
2. Melt the Flora Buttery.
3. Mix the Flora Buttery with the digestive crumbs until thoroughly combined.
4. Tip into a large rectangular Pyrex lidded dish and press down firmly, then chill until required.
5. Whisk together the Elmlea double cream, Philadelphia cream cheese, evaporated milk, Jif lemon juice, icing sugar and vanilla powder until thickened.
6. Melt the chocolate and the whisk in to the cream, milk & cheese mixture.
7. Pour over he crumb base and smooth the surface. Chill for 2 hours, or until required.
8. Mix the raspberries and icing sugar, gently crushing the raspberries a little.
9. Serve the chocolate mousse cheesecake with a generous spoonful of the raspberries drizzled over the top.

Unilever Picnic Challenge Honey Mustard Crispy Chicken

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I was invited to take part in the Unilever Kitchen Picnic Challenge and was sent the most amazing hamper

 Which came complete with some fabulous ingredients with which to create my picnic recipe.
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 I came up with this chicken recipe that can either be enjoyed hot or left to cool, sliced and enjoyed cold with a salad on your picnic.
1 Egg
1tsp Maille au Miele (honey mustard)
1 Knorr chicken stock cube
2 slices of bread, toasted and left to cool
4 Chicken breasts
Bertolli spread
2 tbs Hellmans Mayonnaise
2 tbs Colemans sweet chilli & mango sauce
1. Beat the egg and the mustard together and place onto a dinner plate.
2. Blitz together the toast and the stock cube to become crumbs, then tip onto a separate dinner plate.
3. Place a chicken breast between two layers of cling film and beat until about 1cm thick all over.
4. Repeat with the other 3 chicken breasts.
5. Dip both sides of the flattened chicken breasts in the egg & mustard mixture and then coat on both sides with the toast crumb and stock cube.
6. Heat the Bertolli spread in a frying pan and cook each side of the chicken breasts until golden brown and cooked through.
7. Mix the mayonnaise with the sweet chilli & mango sauce.
8. Serve the chicken hot, or allow to cool and then slice into strips about 2cm wide to serve with your picnic salad.
I served mine hot with fried sweet potato, a fresh leafy salad and a chunk of warm ciabatta.
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Perfect and enjoyable served either way!