Jamaican Jerk BBQ Sauce – Encona

A dark and peppery barbecue sauce with a Jerk twist, this sauce is packed with Jamaican flavour and fairly mild heat. Strong tomato ketchup flavour at first, but then the smokey Jerk taste comes through well and provides a nice balance to the sweetness. Nice lip stinging heat from the Habanero, but nothing serious and this heat is dulled when added to food. The strong black pepper and allspice really stays with you and provides good depth to what could have been an average bbq sauce. Goes great on a hot sizzling sausage, and fantastic on chicken and rice. Reggae Reggae sauce is still the King of Jerk BBQ sauces in my opinion, but this effort by Encona fairs well and only cost me £1! Rating: 4⃣/5⃣

Buffalo Sauce – Meatlust

Buffalo Sauce by @meatlust. A thick, sticky, glossy sauce that has a fantastic bright neon-orange colour. A nice acidic heat from the cayenne, followed by a very sweet, caramel buttery flavour. It’s certainly something different, but I’m just not liking the combination of the butter flavour (comes from added butter powder) and the high sweetness. Sorry guys, I really don’t like this one, it’s far too sickly for me, and I’ve not found a use for it that I like. If the butter flavour was toned down I think it would be much nicer, it just tastes a bit artificial to me. However I think some people may really like this sauce, so I would say it’s worth a try if you like something sweeter. 4/10.

The Garlic Farm Thai Red Curry Paste Review & Recipe

The Garlic Farm have been growing garlic on the Isle of Wight for over 50 years and currently are the UK’s largest specialist garlic grower.   The Garlic Farm on the Isle of Wight not only sell wonderful garlic, but they also have a broad range of snacks, sauces, chutneys, and cooking ingredients.  

Here we have a jar of  Thai Red Curry Paste which I will review, and then follow up with my own basic recipe for Thai Red Chicken Curry.

Tasted by itself before cooking, The Garlic Farm Thai Red Curry Paste certainly packs a fresh, vibrant punch which hints you could be in for a real treat once cooked.  You can immediately taste the fresh red chilli and Lemongrass, loads of body from garlic and spices, and then you are left with a salty and tangy coconut finish.

Once the paste was cooked, and my Thai Red Chicken curry was made, the smells in the kitchen were utterly divine.  The pungent lemongrass fills the air, but the coconut and lime also shine through.

The heat of The Garlic Farm Thai Red Curry Paste is medium,  I didn’t find it particularly hot but I could really taste the fresh red chilli in the paste.  Personally I don’t ever think cooking pastes should be too hot since you have more control of the heat if so, and you can comfortably cook for others without worrying about blowing their heads off.  Plus, you can always add more chilli to either the dish before or after cooking.

The final curry sauce was a thing of beauty – you could taste every ingredient that went into the paste individually and everything flavour was well balanced.  High notes of citrus and lemon grass, middle notes of garlic, ginger and coconut, and low notes of deep red chilli and red peppers.  It’s an amazing paste that my other half described as ‘lush’ and thought the heat was just right, and demanded I make this curry again in a few weeks.

The Garlic Farm Thai Red Curry Paste is so far the best Thai curry paste I’ve ever cooked with, and I can fully recommend this if you want to make a incredibly tasty Thai curry!

 

Recipe for Thai Red Chicken Curry using The Garlic Farm Thai Red Curry Paste

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons of The Garlic Farm Thai Red Curry Paste
  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into 2-inch slices or cubes
  • A tin of coconut milk or coconut cream
  • A splash of Fish sauce
  • 1 onion, chopped finely
  • 2 chopped peppers or any other vegetables you fancy
  • Fresh coriander, stalks included.
  • Tablespoon of oil

Method:

  1. Fry the onion in the oil until slightly browned.  Add the peppers and fry until softened.
  2. Chop the stalks of the fresh coriander, and add to the pot. Fry for 1 minute.
  3. Add a splash of fish sauce and stir until the fishy smell has gone (30 seconds or so).
  4. Add your chicken pieces and fry until they’ve all got some colour.  Add you paste and continue to stir.
  5. Add you coconut milk or cream – I used just over half a tin but this is up to how much sauce you want, and how much chicken and vegetables you have in your pan.
  6. Simmer without a lid for 5-10 minutes until the sauce has thickened a little and the chicken is thoroughly cooked.
  7. Serve with fresh coriander, lime edges, and plain rice.  I made a quick cucumber, spring-onion, lime, & coriander salad to go with (pictured).

 

Dinosaur Bar-B-Que Creole Honey Mustard Sauce

I wouldn’t normally buy mustard based sauces since I’m not a fan of the hot yellow seed, but this one caught my eye and I’m ever so pleased I did a couple of reasons. First of all, this sauce is bloody delicious. Secondly, I’ve opened up to mustard in general, and I’m really starting to like it with more and more foods.

Dinosaur Bar-B-Que Creole Honey Mustard Sauce has a glossy, thick consistency with lots of small bits which give the sauce a natural appearance.  The aroma is sharp mustard, not far away from ‘French’s’, and gives off a good hit of black pepper.  It smells divine, and this aroma from this sauce intensifies when the sauce is cooked.

Dinosaur Bar-B-Que Creole Honey Mustard Sauce has such a great balance when it comes to taste, this is one of my favourite sauces since four flavour sensations gets delivered separately when tasted.  First you get sweet mellow mustard, which then gets kicked out by a super-tangy mustard-vinegar tang, which is then calmed by a very earthy and warming black pepper spread of heat, finishing off with a tiny bit of chilli heat that rounds the sauce off.

The bits in the sauce seem to be black pepper which gives a prolonged warm pepper flavour in the mouth as you eat more of the sauce, and the sharp, vinegary mustard tang stays present also.

What makes this sauce exceptional is that it’s different with every bite – sometimes you get more black pepper, sometimes you get more chilli heat, but it’s always balanced well with the acidity from the mustard.  It leaves a moreish, slightly acidic after-taste, and a cool chilli and black pepper burn that makes you want to down the entire bottle.

I’ve mainly eaten this sauce with pork and beef steaks, it goes so well with a little charred fat on the edge of steak, the acidity of the sauce is perfect.  Also, this sauce goes great with veggies, it’s excellent on broccoli and cabbage.

This is not a hot sauce, the heat is barley noticeable but it’s so well delivered it doesn’t need to be any hotter.  What this sauce leaves you with after eating is truly delicious.

Certainly a runner for my favourite sauce of 2014, even though it’s not hot! 🙂

 

Tabasco Sweet Chipotle and Cola Sauce & Marinade

Tabasco have got to be one of the biggest hot sauce brands out there right?  I’ve always been surprised by how little they’ve expanded their product range, so I was not surprised to see this Tabasco Sweet Chipotle and Cola Sauce & Marinade in my local Sainsbury’s.

Say the words Tabasco, Chipotle, and Cola in the same sentence to me and I’ll always get very excited, until now.  Yep I’m not impressed with this effort from Tabasco and it’s been hanging out in my cupboard for months now, I keep trying with it different foods either as a sauce or marinade but I just can’t get on with it.

The sauce is very thick and comes out of the bottle quite clumpy, great for a marinade but not great for a table sauce.  The taste is very sweet with a tame cola-ish flavour, which then gets backed up by a slightly smoky heat which is actually quite pokey if you eat enough of it.  Strangely the heat doesn’t hang around when applied to food which is then later cooked (ribs, chicken thighs etc), which is disappointing.

Overall this sauce is overly sweet, quite bland, and doesn’t have any depth.  It could do with some more acidity and perhaps more seasoning.  When you look at the long ingredients list (see image below), it’s not surprising that this sauce just tastes a bit generic and sugary.  It’s such a shame since Tabasco’s core product has only THREE ingredients, all natural, which is a world away from Tabasco Sweet Chipotle and Cola Sauce & Marinade.

Not impressed Tabasco, you need to try much harder than this.