march round-up

There was a whole lot of stuff going on this month behind the scenes at BigSpud: a redesign, a couple of big projects which will bubble up soon, plus other goodies, recipes and events, so here’s a quick round up of some of the most interesting nuggets…

Sous-vide It’s been sous-vide crackers all month. With entering the Gourmet Blogger Cook-Off I’ve been scratching my chin coming up with all sorts of recipes. I came up with gammon with honey, osso buco and ox cheek kebabs but the winner of the competition was Franglais Kitchen with her sous vide lamb shank. I’m not in the least surprised, as soon as I saw the recipe I hung up my apron and knew I’d read the winner.

Thinking more generally about sous-vide, I was kinda relieved to read In Search of Heston’s appraisal of the technique. I’ve been having similar thoughts. Far from being the “silver bullet” in the kitchen, the gadget takes up room and doesn’t always produce the best results. The fatty layers are kept intact of slow cuts, which make for a weird, chewy experience, chicken breast is gelatinous and not pleasant, and it’s a poor technique for swapping flavours. I’d rather defer to casseroling in many instances. That said, it does produce excellent red meat steaks.

What To Eat Next I got my hands on Valentine Warner’s latest book, What to Eat Next. A thumbing shows it to be really tasty, if a little lacking in the pud department. Proper review to follow in the next few posts.

Ben & Jerry’s Frozen Yoghurt I tried Ben & Jerry’s new Chocolate and Raspeberry frozen yoghurt dessert. I’m an absolute sucker for Ben & Jerry’s *checks wasitline* and I think their Peanut Butter Cup ice cream is about the best thing ever. This raspeberry and chocolate number is very tasty, but crikey it is expensive. £5.50 for a regular tub! I won’t be buying it unless it’s heavily discounted.

McCain’s Oven Chips In self-promotey style, I turned 35 in March. Happily, so did McCain’s Oven Chips. I always keep various McCain’s potato products in the freezer on standby, but I can’t recall eating the original Oven chips. So I tried some which were perfectly pleasant. I still prefer their Home Fries, a chunkier, fluffier chip.

Noodle I’ve been blogging for over six years, and one of the key things that caused me to keep this going is to find like-minded foodie peeps on Twitter. Noodle! is a new book from one of my most favourite people on Twitter, Mimi. It’s on pre-order now, I haven’t read it but I’m sure it’s going to be incredible. Go buy her book now and keep her in kawaii knick-knacks.

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3 thoughts on “march round-up”

  1. Happy birthday Gary!!!!!!! :) And huge thanks for the mention as always.

    I love having the option of sous vide, but I find I have to go out of my way to think of uses for it sometimes. Plus, if I’m honest, everyone was underwhelmed by my sous vide brisket. Even me.

    As you say though, great pork chops and awesome steaks. We’ve been doing 8 hour steaks with cheap skirt from Morrisons and the results are unbelievable for the price.

    However, you’re a wise man and I agree with you on many, many things, but for me the finest frozen chip has to be the Aunt Bessie’s Homestyle. (of which I am unashamedly a fan).

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