Hello everyone, I hope you had a lovely break and happy new year! Although the festive period has passed I thought it would be a good idea to celebrate the food I’ve discovered over the time period.
Supermarkets and the like tend to up their game and ingenious displays get erected to catch the consumers eye. I do laugh when you see ‘festive’ put in front of absolutely everything, carrots are no longer carrots – they are festive carrots – for example. Anyway, I thought it would be interesting to document some of the food I had over the festive period, especially those that involved kits and new recipes so you know what to get for the next Christmas and what to avoid (or for any other upcoming celebration).
Personally this is one of my favourite things about Christmas, I love to see how inventive the supermarkets get and if you’re lucky you can find a real gem of an item. We raided Tesco for our canapé haul and although the selection was good, some of the items were not as impressive as I thought they would be.
Pigs ‘n’ blanket stuffed Yorkshire Pudding/Toad in the Hole – these bite sized Yorkshire puddings with sage and onion pigs ‘n’ blankets were a hit with my sister but they were a bit of a let down for me. A few years ago Tesco used to do roast beef and horseradish stuffed Yorkshire puddings which were divine (if you ever see them pick up a pack because they are like gold dust – and let me know they are back in stock|). It is not that there was anything wrong with these particular canapés, they were just more on the bland side. I’d say pick up one pack (don’t pick up two like we did) and they’ll make a good addition to your table, especially if you have kids.
Sweet and Sour Chicken Skewers – Now my favourite is the teriyaki chicken skewers they stock in the freezer section so if you’re looking for some any time of the year, I would go with them. That’s not to say these weren’t nice but they were lacking in flavour and were quite dry. Not bad but not great either, if you get me?
Melted Gouda pot and cured meats – the cheese pot and meats are from lidl and coming from someone who isn’t the biggest fan of cheese, this was delicious. It was rich and creamy while not being overpowering. We warmed up a baguette and dipped it into the pot (which by the way lasted us two days) and had cured meats on the side. The perfect finger food!
Steamed Buns – these hoisin duck and chicken steamed buns are one of my favourites. Unlike the previous two mentioned items, these do not lack in flavour. They are a part of Tesco’s Finest Range and are very easy to heat up. Simply cling film them and stick them in the microwave and you are all set to go. I highly recommend trying them if you see them in your local supermarket.
Spring Rolls, Prawn toast and Chicken wonton’s – I mean I don’t really think I have much to say on these, anything that’s got some sort of Asian influence, particularly the fried goods in supermarkets, never live up to what you should get. Yes when paired with sweet chilli sauce they are fine, but nothing special. Good finger food, just not the most authentic.
Yorkshire Pudding Wraps
What better way to use up leftovers than to make a Yorkshire pudding wrap on Boxing Day. This was my first time making them and I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was.
Filling – cranberry sauce, leftover turkey and stuffing, roasted carrots and Brussel sprouts and red cabbage.
Yorkshire pudding – Now I am the designated Yorkshire pudding maker in the family and have used Mary Berry’s recipe for the past 2 years so I promise this works! Here is the recipe. For the wrap make sure you are using a baking sheet that has a decent side to it, so the oil doesn’t slip out and the Yorkshire pudding can rise (this doesn’t have to be a tall tin – I still used a baking sheet – it just needs to be enough that its supported at the bottom). You’ll need 3 tablespoons of oil in the tin and it’ll need to be cooked for 30-35 mins. The trick is to not open the oven when its cooking and to have a non stick tray.
Next you take the Yorkshire pudding out the tray, cover it with all your leftovers and toppings, then roll it up as tightly as you can and cut it in half. One half was definitely enough for one person.
The one thing that I felt was missing was some sort of gravy or sauce. I’ve had one before where they put this in the wrap (avoid that at all costs, its impossible to eat unless like I did, you put cranberry sauce etc. in it). So if you want a thinner sauce or a more traditional gravy, I would have this as a dipping sauce. It needs something to break up the dryness of the wrap, especially as there is so much of it.
Altogether I would say this was a big success and it was nice experimenting with something new. I’d definitely give this a go, even with your leftovers from a Sunday roast.
Taco night is courtesy of this glorious Wahaca kit. For the necessity of full transparency, I have had this before. But it was involved in our festive food plans and it is also one of our favourites so it would be rude not to include it.
The Sweet and Smoky Chipotle taco kit comes with 8 small tortilla wraps, the insane smokey tamarind and chipotle salsa and the spice blend for seasoning your chicken. Is it over priced? Quite possibly. It’s £3.70 a box for not much. But I promise it is super tasty!
Paired with pickled red onions, shredded lettuce, smashed avocado and mint, this is full of flavour and is super easy to make!
The pickling mix for the red onions doesn’t come with the pack so if you want a really quick and easy recipe, I highly recommend using this. Pickled onions will keep for a while so they are great to have sitting in your fridge if you want to top fajitas, stir-fry’s or more tacos!
The kit is great if you don’t have a lot of time but want to have something super tasty or if you’re holding a last minute gathering, tacos are one of the most sociable foods!
I always keep an eye out to see if they are reduced so be sure to pick up a pack when they are! I’m planning on trying to recreate this at some point so I’ll keep you updated if we do.
Chocolate Dipping Set
Now although I do not have a photo of the chocolate dip set in action (the one you see here is from a few days after when we used the leftover chocolate with our own accompaniments) which probably says a lot about how much chocolate you get in this Hotel Chocolat set (see below), I can confirm it was very good even if there isn’t much to show for it.
This set for two technically fed 4 so it is not a bad price! It would make a lovely gift and the chocolate is excellent quality. It has depth, a lovely creamy texture without being too rich and is very smooth. The accompaniments don’t over power the chocolate (or vice versa) and, as I mentioned, you get enough to last a few days. On the second round we paired it with Pantone, strawberries and banana (healthy, right!?). There is also the larger version which my mum originally wanted but couldn’t get her hands on it if you want to feed more! So if you are looking for a sociable dessert option, check this out!
As you can see we were very lucky to have a great selection of food over the festive period and that is mostly down to my mum (thank you!). I hope this has given you some inspiration for your own festive plans for next year or for any upcoming celebrations you might have. To me, any celebration is so much better with some good food and good company. It’s a sociable affair that brings people together, and there’s no better way to do that, than at Christmas!
What was one of your favourite things to eat over the festive period? Let me know below.
Sending lots of love,