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04 February 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Cottage Delight Mexican Hot & Sweet Jalapeño Sauce

"On tasting, the sauce has a fresh, fruity jalapeno flavour with slight bitterness from the chilli pepper."

Cottage Delight Mexican Hot & Sweet Jalapeño Sauce

First up is the Cottage Delight Mexican Hot & Sweet Jalapeño Sauce which is a almost translucent, lime colour sauce with flecks of green jalapeño throughout the sauce.

I was sent a Hot & Spicy Assortment of Cottage Delight sauces and chutneys, each coming in their own 40ml glass jar – a great gift for anyone who likes their condiments and hot sauces.

First up is the Cottage Delight Mexican Hot & Sweet Jalapeño Sauce which is an almost translucent, lime colour sauce with flecks of green jalapeño throughout the sauce.

On tasting, the sauce has a fresh, fruity jalapeno flavour with slight bitterness from the chilli pepper.  A delightful sweet and sour flavour, and a small amount of heat that leaves a warming heat in the mouth.    This is a very sweet sauce (as the name suggests), however the acidic kick prevents it from being sickly.

Cottage Delight Mexican Hot & Sweet Jalapeño Sauce is a nice tasting sauce, but I’m not so keen on the jammy, sticky consistency.  A brilliant sauce for dipping chips or serving on burgers, however when I had it with eggs it was a little too sweet.

Buy the Cottage Delight Hot & Spicy Assortment 

29 November 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Crucials Brazilian BBQ Sauce

"This isn't a bad sauce, I just wish it was a bit more bold with Brazilian flavour and jalapeno heat. "

Crucials Brazilian BBQ Sauce

I purchased Crucials Brazilian BBQ Sauce from my local pound shop and thought It would be worth a try.

I purchased Crucials Brazilian BBQ Sauce from my local pound shop and thought It would be worth a try.

The texture of Crucials Brazilian BBQ Sauce quite gloopy and slightly unnatural looking.  A very smooth sauce with no bits or chunks.

Pretty generic barbecue sauce flavour here: sweet, smoky, strong  tomato. There is a small amount of fruity tang that brightens up the sauce, but this is really only detectable when eating a very small amount and generally gets lost among the other strong barbecue sauce flavours.  I can’t detect any heat here which is quite disappointing considering it’s meant to be spiced with jalapeno peppers.

Calling this sauce Brazilian is questionable, but then again what is a traditional Brazilian barbecue sauce – care to let me know?  Encona recently put out an Encona Brazilian BBQ sauce which I thought was great since it was really quite different to other generic barbecue sauces.

A good sauce to put out for children at a barbecue, or for folks that just like a mild sweet barbecue sauce.  This isn’t a bad sauce, I just wish Crucials would have been a bit more bold with the Brazilian flavour (mangos) and jalapeno heat. There are plenty of barbecue sauces out there, and I’d certainly never reach for this one if I had the choice.

28 November 2014 ~ 0 Comments

The Garlic Farm Beef Biltong with Garlic & Chilli

"This is well seasoned biltong, the salt and black pepper are just right, and there is a great balance between sweet and savoury."

The Garlic Farm Beef Biltong with Garlic & Chilli

If you’ve never tried biltong or jerky then I suggest you amend that right away, it’s usually a very healthy food to eat – full of protein and carb free (it is just sliced meat after all). Some biltongs and jerkies are full of sugar however, and not surprisingly these are always far too sweet tasting. The Garlic Farm on the Isle of Wight produce and sell a wide range of garlic based products, (I recently reviewed the Red Thai Curry paste) and I was eager to see if their product could stand-up against biltong from specialist biltong manufactures.

If you’ve never tried biltong or jerky then I suggest you amend that right away, it’s usually a very healthy food to eat – full of protein and carb free (it is just sliced meat after all).  Some biltongs and jerkies are full of sugar however, and not surprisingly these are always far too sweet tasting and higher in calories.  The Garlic Farm on the Isle of Wight produce and sell a wide range of garlic based products, (I recently reviewed the The Garlic Farm Red Thai Curry paste) and I was eager to see if their product could stand-up against biltong from specialist biltong manufactures.

The Garlic Farm Beef Biltong with Garlic & Chilli has quite a soft texture, and is easy to pull apart with your fingers thanks to a course meat grain.  I found that when chewing the biltong it was surprisingly juicy and wasn’t dry like some other biltongs I’ve had in the past.  There is a good variety of thick and thin biltong slices in the pack which means you get to try some slightly drier thin slices, and juicer thick slices.  This is perfectly made biltong in my opinion.

The garlic really comes through well from the biltong, it’s a fresh garlic taste rather than a dried powder taste which works really well with the sweet flavour of the beef.   The garlic taste lingers in your mouth between bites, and for quite a long time after eating the whole pack – great for keeping vampires back, but bad for speed-dating.

The chilli shines after eating a few pieces of biltong, again a pleasant fresh chilli taste rather than dried, however it’s not a particularly hot product so this biltong won’t blow your head off.    This is well seasoned biltong, the salt and black pepper are just right, and there is a great balance between sweet and savoury.

Overall The Garlic Farm Beef Biltong with Garlic & Chilli is a very satisfying snack in terms of flavour and eating experience; the texture is wonderful, the beef flavour is present, and the seasonings are well balanced and very tasty.    A great snack especially because it’s only 85.5 calories a pack!

27 November 2014 ~ 0 Comments

YesChilli Hot Sauce

"I found it quite difficult to review this sauce since it’s really unique and nothing like I’ve had before in terms of flavour."

YesChilli Hot Sauce

YesChilli Hot Sauce is pan roasted & sun dried dark pepper, and ginger based oil that is made in the UK. The ingredients in YesChilli Hot Sauce are just Sunflower oil, pepper, ginger, and soya extract, which sounds promising since I find that oils are best when just a few strong ingredients are added.

YesChilli Hot Sauce is pan roasted & sun dried dark pepper, and ginger based oil that is made in the UK. The ingredients in YesChilli Hot Sauce are just Sunflower oil, pepper, ginger, and soya extract, which sounds promising since I find that oils are best when just a few strong ingredients are added.

The oil is highly packed with the dark black pepper, you really have to give the bottle a vigorous shake to distribute the pepper and other ingredients from the bottom. YesChilli Hot Sauce is not a smooth pouring oil, this is a highly flecked oil which is quite thick due to the amount of bits in the bottle.

YesChilli Hot Sauce bursts your nostrils open with a deep, earthy aromatic smell of roasted chilli and soy, it’s a very powerful aroma which smells like it could wake up any dish it’s added to. The same goes for the taste, it’s ever so powerful and rich, a mass of roasted peppers and chilli heat fills the mouth on taste, a searing burn that is instant but fades fasts. I’m still in the dark at what chilli pepper is used in this sauce, but it tastes more like a hot black peppercorn than a fresh red chilli for example. The ginger is subtlety there, and the soy pushes through. YesChilli Hot Sauce is a clearly an Asian inspired tasting sauce, you’d really only pair this with Asian style foods due to the strong soy presence – but I could be wrong and will experiment.

YesChilli Hot Sauce is quite unique in that it really produces an instantly burning heat in your mouth, but hides fast leaving you to enjoy the wonderfully deep flavour that is left behind. I found that after eating quite a lot of the sauce in dish almost numbs the tongue a little, in the same way that too much Schezwan pepper can do.

I really enjoy this sauce on stir-fries, rice dishes, sushi, and I’ve roasted peanuts (see photos below) in it a few times now which are delightful. I found it quite difficult to review this sauce since it’s really unique and nothing like I’ve had before in terms of flavour. If you’re into your Asian food and don’t mind that this is an oil-based sauce, I’d say go out and buy this right-away – it’s really excellent – YES!

14 November 2014 ~ 1 Comment

The Garlic Farm Thai Red Curry Paste Review & Recipe

"Once the paste was cooked, and my Thai Red Chicken curry was made, the smells in the kitchen were utterly divine."

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.

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).

 

07 November 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Pain Is Good Jalapeno Harissa

"Wow, this sauce does taste fresh - like it was made yesterday!"

Pain Is Good Jalapeno Harissa

I've had a couple of Pain Is Good sauces in the past and always remember that they tasted really fresh and almost homemade, so I was really looking forward to this Jalapeno Harissa.

I’ve had a couple of Pain Is Good sauces in the past and always remember that they tasted really fresh and almost homemade, so I was really looking forward to this Jalapeno Harissa.

Pain Is Good Jalapeno Harissa comes in a hip-flask shaped bottle, with a pleasingly textured paper label.  The sauce is quite thick, and a deep brown in colour.  All of the harissas I’ve tried in the past have been a bright red colour, so there is obviously something different going on with this sauce.

Wow, this sauce does taste fresh – like it was made yesterday!  A sharp zing of jalapeno hits the taste buds, which is then mellowed with garlic and strong herbs.  An earthy flavour brings depth and body to the sauce, followed by a fresh mint flavour, and then finishes with a lingering heat and coriander flavour.  The heat of the sauce is tame at first, but builds to a tongue-dancing burn as you eat more.  Mild, but interesting heat.  Sounds great eh?!  Hmm I’m not sure.

Pain Is Good Jalapeno Harissa has a very dominating mint flavour, and I think the sauce is a little confused overall.  The acidic jalapeno goes great with the garlic and coriander flavour, but the mint just seems to hold this sauce back and stops it from being something you want to go back to.  Don’t get me wrong, the sauce is nice, but it’s not one that urges you to eat more or add to your food.  I’ve tried this sauce with plenty of foods, and there wasn’t much that it went well with, however if anything it’s best paired with white chicken meat.

What really gets my goat here is that is called ‘Harissa’.  Nope sorry, this is not harissa by any means and I think it’s been badly thought through as a whole.

It’s such as shame that Pain Is Good Jalapeno Harissa is flawed since you can tell it’s a well crafted product, and contains great quality ingredients.  Perhaps if the mint was toned down, some citrus added, and then called something less misleading, this could be a a really great sauce.

06 November 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Spontaneous Combustion Chicken Wing Sauce

"It’s full of instant searing, burning heat that makes my eyes water every time"

Spontaneous Combustion Chicken Wing Sauce

Spontaneous Combustion Chicken Wing Sauce is made by Southwest Specialty Food, Inc (the company sometimes goes under the Ass Kickin’ brand), and this sauce comes all the way from Arizona USA. I picked this up from my local Hot Headz online shop since I love trying different wing sauces, and really liked the packaging this sauce comes in.

Spontaneous Combustion Chicken Wing Sauce is made by Southwest Specialty Food, Inc  (the company sometimes goes under the Ass Kickin’ brand), and this sauce comes all the way from Arizona USA.  I picked this up from my local Hot Headz online shop since I love trying different wing sauces, and really liked the packaging this sauce comes in.

Spontaneous Combustion Chicken Wing Sauce is your typical glossy and runny wing sauce constancy, and is a muted orange colour.  There is vinegar on the aroma, as well as raw chilli extract will clear out any cold.

So as I’ve mentioned in previous posts about Wing Sauce, it’s only fair to review these sauces when cooked with chicken wings rather than trying the sauce in isolation.  That said, when you do try the sauce alone it’s full of instant searing, burning heat that makes my eyes water every time. This sauce has not got a deep or complex flavour, and the heat seems to get in the way of any subtle balance between pepper and vinegar.

Spontaneous Combustion Chicken Wing Sauce is a seriously hot sauce that makes tangy and fresh tasting super-hot wings,  but it doesn’t have the full flavour that I like from sauces such as Louisiana Wing Sauce or Frank’s RedHot Xtra Hot Sauce. The sauce  seems to be heat over taste, and although this is disappointing it does have its uses such as ‘Roulette Wings’, or adding to other wing sauces to beef up the heat.

I haven’t got much to say about Spontaneous Combustion Chicken Wing Sauce since it’s a fairly one-dimensional sauce, but it does make exceptionally very hot and tasty wings. Personally I’d rather a more full flavoured sauce and add extra heat.

30 October 2014 ~ 2 Comments

Dinosaur Bar-B-Que Creole Honey Mustard Sauce

"What this sauce leaves you with after eating is truly delicious."

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. And secondly, I've opened up to mustard in general, and I'm really starting to like it with more and more foods.

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! 🙂

 

29 October 2014 ~ 1 Comment

Louisiana Wing Sauce – The Original

"This is the best wing sauce I've ever had"

Louisiana Wing Sauce – The Original

Buffalo Wings. Man, I love Buffalo Wings. My friend got me this sauce from Texas, saying that it's very popular over there. I know that Frank's hot sauce is the most popular sauce for making Buffalo wings, but I wondered what the next big 'go-to sauce' is for wings, and apparently it is Louisiana Wing Sauce by Bruce Foods Corporation.

Buffalo Wings.  Man, I love Buffalo Wings.  My friend got me this sauce from Texas, saying that it’s very popular over there.  I know that Frank’s hot sauce is the most popular sauce for making Buffalo wings, but I wondered what the next big ‘go-to sauce’ is for wings, and apparently it is Louisiana Wing Sauce by Bruce Foods Corporation.

Well, Louisiana Wing Sauce certainly doesn’t disappoint, this is a wing sauce that is really worth seeking out if you like your Buffalo Wings.

The sauce is slightly thicker than original Frank’s, but very similar to Frank’s Wings sauce (surprisingly!).  A glossy, dark looking sauce, that smells quite acidic and almost punches you up the nose with it’s sharp tang.

I’m actually not so keen on this sauce when tasted by itself, it has a slightly odd flavour which I can’t put my finger on, a slightly artificial flavour, and tastes slightly too acidic. But this is a wing sauce after all, and so far I’ve found that most wing sauces aren’t great by themselves or served directly onto food…. Wing sauces are for WINGS.

I’ve cooked three batches of wings on separate occasions with Louisiana Wing Sauce, and I’ll say now those were the best wings I’ve ever eaten, and this is the best wing sauce I’ve ever had.  The high acidity goes perfect on the crisp, fatty chicken skin, and the full pepper flavour really compliments the white meat.  As the sauce caramelises on the meat, it goes a little ‘Marmitey’, a strong umami hit for the tastebuds.  It’s not  a complex sauce, and it’s made for one objective alone, to make f*cking A.M.A.Z.I.N.G tasting wings.

It would be only fair to compare it to Franks, and I’d say it’s more acidic, has much more heat, and has an overall fuller flavour than Franks.  Plus it came in a decent size bottle (354ml), something I wish Frank’s would.

So if you like making Buffalo wings, get yourself some of this sauce and let me know what think.

What’s your favourite wing sauce?

27 October 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Smack My Ass & Call Me Sally

"If I was going to call this sauce something, it certainly wouldn't be Sally."

Smack My Ass & Call Me Sally

So, Smack My Ass & Call Me Sally is a novelty Habanero hot sauce which comes from Florida, US. As you can see, some poor lad has had his bare bottom smacked hard, and crying

Comedy-named novelty sauces – love them or hate them?  Personally I love them (‘Professor Payne Indeass Sphincter Shrinker’ is one of my favorites), but I’ll rarely buy them since I can’t help but think that a sauce should be sold on its description and ingredients alone, but perhaps I’m just being a bit stuffy?  They are just a load of fun afterall.

So, Smack My Ass & Call Me Sally is a comedy-named Habanero hot sauce which comes from Florida, US.  As you can see, some poor lad has had his bare bottom smacked hard, and crying.  Fine.  What I haven’t figured out is whether he is crying due to a sore derrière or whether he has had the displeasure to try this sauce.

This comedy sauce doesn’t offer much other than the humorous packaging; what we have here is a bland, artificial, watery hot sauce which just burns your tongue and doesn’t offer much else.  Not much aroma to mention, and the colour of the sauce is quite pale and almost anaemic.   The ingredients list (image below) promises so much, but it feels like those ingredients have had the soul slapped out of them, and if I was going to call this sauce something, it certainly wouldn’t be Sally.

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