26 Nov 2015

Judge Deep Pie Maker Review

Judge Deep Pie Maker

It's that time of the year again! Cold, windy, rainy, Christmas is on the horizon, so let's stop for a warm comforting pie using the Judge Deep Pie Maker which will make a lovely homely gift.

Here at Kitchen Delights we love pies and it doesn't matter if it's a savoury pie served with gravy or a sweet pie served with hubbies beloved Birds Custard!

Christmas Deep Filled Mincemeat Pie with homemade pastry which cooked brilliantly.....

Mincemeat Pie made in the Judge Deep Pie Maker

The plates are non-stick so no worries here with sticking.

Interior of the pie maker

The pie maker is supplied with a reversible pastry cutter for the base and lids.

Pastry template and pastry for the deep pie maker

The pies are deep and so I used a couple of narrow strips of baking parchment which I overlapped and this makes it far easier and safer to remove them from the pie maker when they are cooked and piping hot. Simply place the discs of pastry into the pie maker then add the filling.

Pies being assembled in the pie maker

Now top with the lids.

Pies with lids on ready to be cooked in the pie maker

No need to preheat simply close the lid and secure with the clip.  Turn on and when the green light comes on, which only takes 2/3 minutes, the pie will be cooked in approximately 15 minutes.

I was cautious with the filling because mincemeat easily escapes out of pastry cases.  With the pie maker though it's best to fill right to the top because the pie lid will struggle to bake if the filling sinks too far down into the pie cavities. It's best to use a cooked filling which is at room temperature otherwise it will take longer to bake the pastry.

Sadly I don't have a photograph of the finished mincemeat pies in the pie maker because somehow in my excitement to try the pies I forgot to take a photograph but you can see the finished pie showing the filling at the top of this page!

Now for testing with ready made shortcrust pastry which proved to be far easier to roll and manipulate, it saves heaps of preparation time too.

Mince beef pies made in a pie maker

The pies are lovely and crisp, they can easily be trimmed to make them look neat but I prefer a savoury pie to have a more rustic homely look.  The filling doesn't leak or dry up and they were delicious.

Easy to clean - when the appliance is cold wipe with a damp cloth.
Judge 2 year Electrical Guarantee
Typical Instore Price £37.50

Disclaimer: I was sent the product for review, all thoughts are my own.

19 Nov 2015

Review: Ella Kitchen and Tableware from Premier Housewares

Ella Textiles and Mugs by Premier Housewares

Here at Kitchen Delights we love 'a bit of retro' and this Ella Collection design, described by Premier Housewares as stylised floral in a retro design, will add fun and colour to your home.

I've been enjoying using the set of four stylish mugs - two have a white background and two with a black background, both colourways are yellow and green.

The pack of four mugs come beautifully presented and will make a fabulous gift.

Set of 4 Ella Mugs by Premier Housewares

The pack of 3 cotton tea towels to match measure w40 x h60cm.

Ella Tea Towels by Premier Housewares

To complete the retro look there are double oven gloves, single oven glove, apron, lap tray, table mats and coasters and they will all make a lovely gift.

Set of 4 porcelain mugs £13.49
Pack of 3 cotton tea towels £9.99
Stockist: Prime Furnishing

Disclaimer: We were sent the products for review, all thoughts are our own.

16 Nov 2015

Review of Percy & Founders, London, Autumn Menu

Percy & Founders Restaurant Sign

The London Reporter @paulfoodie experiences all day dining at the coolest place to be spotted in central London.

It's always exciting to be invited to review a new restaurant with other blogger's. Everyone is always up for a fantastic night out and we all enjoy meeting new people. So if a venue facilitates this well, then it's proof that they've done their job to perfection.

Last week we dined at Percy & Founders which is on the former site of the Middlesex Hospital. We were treated to fizz in the main bar then whizzed through to tables opposite the open kitchen in the dining area. Don't you just love seeing chefs hard at work? I do, and it makes me trust a restaurant seeing the process and appreciating the skill and hard graft involved.

The Kitchen Pass at Percy & Founders

The menu is very British and whilst deciding what to have, we were brought sharing boards with vegetables and dips as well as a selection of hams and bread.

Vegetables and dips

Bread platter

So for starters - we enjoyed potted rabbit with apple jelly served in a glass kilner style jar with a flip back lid and hot toast which was beautifully presented. It was lovely and quite rich as you would expect but other options could have been charred mackerel or salt-based celeriac.

Potted Rabbit with Apple Jelly

We also enjoyed a MAGNUM of Alsace wine - wow! Now the inside of the restaurant and bar are truly impressive. As a fellow foodie, you may have noticed the all day dining trend and how the venues are light, modern and look like they cost a heap of money. They lend themselves to lounging...

Interior view of Percy & Founders

Lamb loin and shoulder was my main choice. It was served with an onion purée and roasted shallots. Again we were treated to a Magnum of wine between the bloggers, but this time a 2009 Bourgogne Pinot Noir, Domaine Bachelet Monnot, Burgundy - wow, talk about an embarrassingly fabulous size! If I were to go again, I think I would go for the shepherd's pie with venison. It screamed comfort and just what we need during these blustery autumn months.

Lamb loin with shoulder of lamb

Everyone looked like they could pop at this point, but when the going gets tough the tough get eating up their desserts. Yup, that's right. So on I went with vanilla pears with rice pudding ice cream which is fine if you need a palette cleanser and something lighter but I found that I had enormous food envy of my dining companion as he smugly ate crepe soufflé with apricots and caramel.  It was all washed down with a beautiful dessert wine - a 2013 Jurancon 'Marie Kattalin', Domaine de Souch, South West.

Vanilla pears with rice pudding ice cream

A special thank you to the staff who were so passionate. The executive chef Diego Cardoso came and said hello which was really cool. He had been the former head chef at Angela Hartnett's Murano. Also, thanks to the Beverage Director Marc-Andrea Levy - again a man who knows all there is to know about wine and made it a great night.

Beverage Director

Percy & Founders
1 Pearson Square

Disclaimer: We were guests of Percy & Founders. All thoughts are our own.

14 Nov 2015

Traybake Chicken Dinner - Steam Combination Oven

Traybake Chicken Dinner

After a visit to Bridgnorth market there's nothing to beat a one tray roast chicken dinner and cooked in the steam combination oven it saves time and a load of washing up, the whole meal took approximately one hour to cook.

The potatoes take the longest and from freshly peeled they are tossed in oil, seasoned and added to the tray.  After 15 minutes I added the chicken legs, and then for the final 15 minutes the onions and carrots.  I cooked the sprouts in a pan before adding to the tray because to date I haven't experimented cooking these on the steam combination setting, these were also added to the tray for the last 15 minutes of cooking at 200ºC.

One Tray Chicken Dinner

The Good Food Show Winter in Birmingham is just around the corner, I don't know if there will be any demo's using these ovens but I wouldn't be without mine.

More steam combination recipes:
Potato Boulangere
Traybake Vegetables

7 Nov 2015

Christmas Gift Guide 2015

Glenrothes Vintage Reserve Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky

The Glenrothes 'Vintage Reserve' Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky
I would like to present the perfect luxury present for the whisky lovers in your life and it comes with it's own unique story too! This malt whisky was apparently first tasted at the Lord Provost of Glasgow's Burns' Night Supper last January. The evening was attended by an astonishing 645 diners, this supper set the Guinness World Record for the largest such event.
This is the most complex whisky yet from The Glenrothes' and is a blend of vintage malts from the last three decades.
The stunning bottle is available in it's very own presentation box RRP £39.00 (70cl). 40% ABV. Waitrose, Ocado, whiskyshop.com and royalmilewhiskies.com.
Twitter: @TheGlenrothes
Echo Falls Red Fruit Fusion Drinks
These two eye catching bottles are part of the fabulous new range from Echo Falls, both are made with natural flavours and fruit extract. They will make a perfect present and are an alternative to wine. We tried the Winter Spice Fruit Fusion flavoured with cinnamon, orange and lemon well chilled and poured over ice, it reminded us of a light port and lemon but with mild bitter back notes. Alternatively there is an easy recipe on the reverse of the label for a mulled version which we preferred.
Alc 10.5% Vol
Stockist: Tesco RRP £5.99

Orange and Cranberry Echo Falls Fruit Fusion is a delightful seasonal combination of cranberries and oranges.  This too can either be served chilled or warm and we're looking forward to trying this over Christmas.
Stockist: Asda RRP £5.99

'Oh I'd Love a Babycham' - will anyone admit to remembering the ad or even remembering the fawn that adorn both the bottle and the glass?  Retro drink Babycham was launched in the UK way back in 1953 and celebrated it's 60th anniversary in 2013. This light and sparkling perry is sure to bring a smile.
Best served well chilled. Popping Cork Bottle 750ml.  Alcohol content 6%.
RRP £3.49
Stockists: Asda, Tesco, B&M

Jacob's Creek Sparkling Chardonnay Pinot Noir

Jacob's Creek Sparkling Chardonnay Pinot Noir - is popular here at Kitchen Delights all year round and for the festive season it makes a wonderful drink.  Fizz is my drink of choice and with it's crisp fruity taste and lots of bubbles it is sure to please.
A premium sparkling white wine from Australia.
Stockists: Tesco, Ocado, Co-op, Asda
RRP £10.39

Brancott Estate Classic Pinot Noir

Brancott Estate Classic Pinot Noir from New Zealand is deep red, fruity and easy to drink, This is a premium drink and will go well with red meats and game.
Stockists: Waitrose, Tesco, Sainsbury's, Co-op, Majestic
RRP £12.39

Concave Wine Cooler by Epicurean

Elegant concave wine cooler by Epicurean - Have you ever bought a present for someone and then kept it for yourself because you couldn't bear to part with it? I believe this wine cooler may well fall into that category......It will look fabulous on the Christmas table and you won't have to keep on running backwards and forwards to the fridge to fetch a new bottle of chilled wine.

Cool barware.
Made from stainless steel with a hammered finish.
Double Wall.
Hand wash only.
The wine cooler measures approximately 12.75cm dia x 19.5cm high.
Stockist: onlinekitchenware
RRP £29.25

CELIA organic gluten free beer

Perfect for the non-wine drinker - CELIA a Czech organic gluten free beer uses Saaz hops which apparently are the only hops to have a protected status. The light beer is batch-brewed in the cellar of a 14th century castle in the Zatec foothills.
Alc. Vol. 4.9%
Stockists: Ocado, Waitrose, Oddbins
330ml - RRP £2.50 each

The delightful iconic Lindt Advent Calendar

Lindt Advent Calendar

The master chocolatiers have been busy making the cutest chocolate reindeers for both children and grownups alike. There is a chocolate behind every window including chocolate mini reindeer, chocolate snowball, Lindor baubles and a 40g santa. Roll on the 1st December........
RRP £5.49
Available: Nationwide

Stocking Filler Ideas......

Ombar Chocolate Bars

Ombar - Made from ground raw cacao nibs these bars are made from organic ingredients, dairy free and with no artificial flavours,  We tried the flavoured chocolate bar Cranberry & Mandarin and the fruity combination was delicious. A great present for foodies.

Stockists: Planet Organic, Wholefoods, Independent Health Stores
35g bar RRP £1.99

The Bay Tree Christmas Pickle and Boxing Day Chutney

The perfect pairing from The Bay Tree Food Company is their gift set of Christmas Pickle and Boxing Day Chutney.
Many of us love our festive buffets and the delicious Christmas Pickle bursting with cranberries, apples and currants will go well with white meats. The Boxing Day Chutney which is a mix of apricot chutney and coriander will go well with meats and cheese or can be added to a curry.
RRP £8.30
Stockists: The Bay Tree

Disclaimer: I was sent the above products for the Gift Guide, thank you to all the brands.

6 Nov 2015

Calabrian Preserves from Artimondo - Review

Spreads on bread from Calabrian Preserves from Artimondo

Christmas is looming and it's easy to get stuck in a rut and buy the same things year after year....many of us fall into this trap. Foodies or those who like recreating a taste of Italian holidays will love these artisan Calabrian preserves from Artimondo which come in a pack of three.

Spiling Nduja sausage spread has a spicy kick. We ate the spread on pieces of bread (made by me!) which I toasted on the griddle pan.

Tropea red onion jam is described as bittersweet and has a soft texture. It is recommended as a perfect match with mature cheeses such as pecorino, parmesan, provolone and any smoked cheese.

Garlic and Chilli Pate made from extra virgin olive oil and fresh Calabrian chilli's, this has a medium heat. The spread will appeal to garlic and chilli fans.

All of the spreads are produced by Sirianni who are a family business, founded by Agostino Sirianni in 1999, and located in in Cittanova, Italy.
Available in 190g jars.
Online Price: £14.96 for a pack of three which includes postage and packing.

Disclaimer: We were provided with samples for the purposes of this review, all thoughts are our own.

3 Nov 2015

Review: Wünderlust @ The Big Red, London

Wonderlust @ The Big Red, London

The London reporter gets all Austrian on a big red London bus......

We love a good pop up restaurant here at Kitchen Delights and London is awash with them. It was with a lot of excitement that we recently checked out London's most exciting pop up of the moment - Wünderlust!

Set under the Docklands Light Railway in Deptford, there is a stationary big red London bus which until recently has been dishing out pizzas.

But as times change, so does the cuisine on the bus! Now the big red bus is showcasing British-Austrian cuisine - and what a combination it is.

As you enter the bus you’ll soon see a large area of undercover seating with heating so you can sit on the bus or under the wooden roof.

Inside @ The Big Red, London

After a really warm welcome, we kicked off with some cocktails and fizz. We enjoyed a lovely gin & honey cocktail which was very sweet and trendy. Our host told us the bar staff are working towards serving frozen style cocktails in which the honey will freeze on top and these will be a great talking point I'm sure.

Opening the menu
The menu is exciting and intriguing. Starters include beetroot and vodka-cured salmon, fennel and apple salad, Mersea Oysters and Mussels with cider and celery. We chose to share a whole baked Camembert, hot buttered toast (wow!) with a good smattering of chutney on the side. Absolutely fantastic.

Whole Baked Camembert

Then came out the wine. You can be really adventurous and choose an Austrian wine at thirty quid but we played it safe with a 2014 Ciello Bianco - an organic white wine at £20 which was okay but nothing to blow you away!

For mains we ordered a 49 day-aged flat iron steak with chard and triple cooked chips. I asked for medium rare and it was cooked to perfection. My vegetarian friend who was a little nervous that Austrian cuisine was equal to big slabs of meat was pleasantly surprised to see a veggie dog from the street food section which hit the spot.

Flat Iron Steak

What was so fantastic about the menu is that you can either choose from the more formal menu or go for street food style dishes in which you can order 3 for £15 which is a nice middle ground if you just fancy drinks and nibbles.

And for those with a sweet tooth
For pudding, they did really well again. A spiced autumn fruit crumble and custard as well as a chocolate brownie with vanilla ice cream.

We wish this place the best of luck and will definitely be recommending them as a destination for those looking to settle their Wünderlust (at least for a while).

Address: @ The Big Red. 30 Deptford Church St, London SE8 4RZ

Disclaimer: We were guests of Wünderlust, all thoughts are our own.

1 Nov 2015

Review: Columbia Bar and Restaurant DoubleTree by Hilton London Docklands

Outside Terrace Columbia Bar and Restaurant, DoubleTree by Hilton

The London Reporter savours a stunning London skyline and reveals a blog foodie first….

When it comes to dining, nothing can beat a good skyline view if you want to feel like a million dollars. We were recently privy to the relaunch of Columbia - Hilton DoubleTree’s bar and restaurant in London’s Docklands right on the river.

It’s a nautically-inspired restaurant so expect plenty of fish, but really, this menu is super extensive as you’d expect for a Hilton.

For starters
We grazed on black pudding scotch eggs, wild mushrooms on toast, peppered squid and olives (as I write this I feel one of those eyes bigger than the belly moments, but really, they just kept on bringing more and more food out!).

Wild Mushrooms on Toast

For mains
My dining companion had an amazing Halloumi salad. It was quite possibly the biggest salad I had ever seen and made me feel slightly jealous even though I was eating a 28 day dry aged beef fillet. I can promise you all this - everything was faultless and presented incredibly well!

Halloumi Salad

28 day dry aged beef fillet

For dessert
Now this is the big reveal people. We enjoyed something we had never tried before and it was a huge jaw-dropping-to-the-floor moment for everyone present. We were sitting communally at a long elegant black table and the chef came out of the kitchen and rolled out what looked like grease proof paper so it sat between everyone. He then started liberally throwing out ingredients over the table like an artist might paint brush strokes onto a painting. Everyone was excited to see what exactly was going to happen. A little cream here, some chocolate drops there and a drizzle of something at the far side of the table. And then the full picture was slowly developing. It was a collection of puddings designed to be eaten communally (so no plates needed and definitely no washing up). Think rich sticky toffee puddings, warm cookie cheesecakes and tangy lemon syllabub to name but a few sweet treats. And what a talking point it was! Welcome to the world of the deconstructed dessert!

Chef making deconstructed dessert

Deconstructed Dessert at Blogger Event

Deconstructed sticky toffee pudding and eton mess

We’ll definitely be back to sink a drink and some supper again soon...

For more details: DoubleTree by Hilton
Address: 265 Rotherhithe Street, London, SE16 5HW (Opposite Canary Wharf but on the other side of the River - free Hilton shuttle service available).

Disclaimer: We were guests of DoubleTree by Hilton. All thoughts are our own.