February 2013

Ok that’s it, I have finally found the BBQ sauce of all BBQ sauces. All the way from Burning Desire Foods in Brighton, we have here, Chipotle Hot Sauce. ‘The Ultimate Mexican Smokey Hot Sauce’. The sauce itself, at first glance does not look the most appealing. If I had to describe it, I would say it kinda resembles what you get if you overdo the chilli if you know what I mean? But DO NOT let that put you off.

The gold label with flaming chilli pod with wings is awesome and directs your attention away from the colour of the product itself.

The sauce has a good group of flavours and the smell is spectacular. Strong aromas of flame roasted peppers and Chipotles. This sauce has a similar fluidity to ketchup so looking good for the dipping option. And as for the taste…………..

Orgasm in a bottle if I’m to be honest. Definitely my favourite BBQ sauce to date. The heat is not overpowering but it does pack a nice punch. But for this sauce it is all about the flavour. Mixture of BBQ and smoke with a slight fruitiness from the chillies which is in perfect balance. Also a slight hint of the onions coming through which puts the cherry on the cake. I have had this sauce for a while but not had the chance to get my spoon out for it.

O how I have neglected you o sweet BBQ sauce’

Ingredients:

Mexican Morita Chipotles, Caramelised Onions, Flame Roasted Red Peppers, Tomatoes, Tomato Puree, Red Habanero Chillies, Celery, Garlic, Malt Vinegar, Water, Black Molasses, Salt and Caraway Seeds.

Instructions for you Chilli Heads out there:

1)  Get over to Burning Desire Foods website

2)  Spend your £5 on a bottle of this amazing sauce.

3)  Bugger off and stop reading this, Ive told you what to do now stop wasting time and grab a bottle before I buy it all.

You may think I a exaggerating the taste but for me this is without a doubt a keeper for me. Yes it looks like something regarding ‘Jonny cash’, but the taste is yum yum and double yum.

I shall leave you all now and go back to my sweet nectar from the gods, or Burning Desire as they like to be called.

So until next time, if it burns going in, it will burn coming out.

Bottle kindly supplied by Burning Desire Foods

Flavour
(11/10)
Heat
(5/10)
Packaging
(8/10)
Value (9/10)
Overall
(10/10)

 

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Cooking a good Chilli is more than a few chopped tomatoes, mince and chilli powder these days, just ask the Americans, they have been doing cook offs for years and the UK is now catching up thanks to a man with a passion called Jon Doody who formed the UK Chilli Cook Off Association (UKCCA). As the Chilli season rapidly approaches, there are various “Cook off’s” being organised the length and breadth of the UK.
Chilli-association-logo-rgb
So here is Jon to explain a little more:
“Can you cook a fantastic Chilli con Carne from scratch or know someone who can? Fancy becoming the UK champion? The UK Chilli Cook-off Association has a number of competitions running throughout the country to discover the best Chilli in the land. Competing is fun and easy and you’ll be helping to raise money for various charities in the UK. 
 
There are several heats already organised that you can join, including events on the Isle of Wight, Bedfordshire, Upton Cheyney, Dorset and Northumberland, with upcoming events in London, Reading, East Sussex and the North West of England. 
 
Heats will comprise of teams cooking a quality Chilli from scratch within 4 hours, using nothing but uncooked ingredients. Our panel of expert judges will decide who wins the £250 1st prize. Winners and runner’s up from each heat qualify for the UK final later in the year!
 
To find out more about Chilli Cook-offs, with details on how to enter any of our competitions, please go to www.ukchillicookoff.co.uk
 
The UKCCA also assists in helping people organise their own Chilli Cook-offs. If you’re part of a community group or pub/club and you’re looking for something different to organise in your area, you can have you very own cook-off that is sanctioned by the UKCCA. We can provide you with a cook-off kit that has everything you need to run your own event. PLUS, the winner of any UKCCA sanctioned event automatically qualifies for the UK final!! To enquire, please go to our contact page here and send us your details.”

So there you have it, if you think your Chilli is any good, have a go, these competitions are really good humoured and good fun.

Here are the current Cook offs :
  • Bedfordshire Chilli Cook-off 08/06/2013 – 12:00pm
    Welcome to the event page for the Bedfordshire Chilli Cook-off at the wonderful Chilli & Food Fiesta at the Mansion House, Old Warden Park, Biggleswade, Bedfordshire On June 8th 2013, up to 20 teams will compete to become the Bedfordshire Chilli Champion
  • The North East Chilli Cook-off 07/07/2013 – 12:00pm
    Welcome to the event page for the North of England’s Chilli Cook-off at the fabulous North East Chilli Festival at Seaton Delaval Hall in Northumberland!…
  • London Chilli Cook-off 20/07/2013 – 12:00am
    Chilli heads of London! The UK Chilli Cook-off train will be thundering your way in the Summer of 2013. We expect that this will be one of our more popular events of the year…
  • The Isle of Wight Chilli Cook-off 27/07/2013 – 11:00am
    Welcome to the event page for the Isle of Wight Chilli Cook-off at the wonderful Isle of Wight Chilli Fiesta…
  • The Great Dorset Chilli Cook-off 04/08/2013 – 12:00pm
    Welcome to the event page for the Dorset Chilli Cook-off at the fabulous Great Dorset Chilli Festival at St Giles House, Wimbourne St Giles, Dorset On Aug 4th 2013, up to 20 teams will compete to become the Dorset Chilli Cook-off Champion
  • The 2nd Upton Cheyney Chilli Cook-off 07/09/2013 – 10:00am
    Welcome to the event page for the 2nd Upton Cheyney Chilli Cook-off at the fabulous Upton Cheyney Chilli Festival at Manor Farm, Upton Cheyney, nr Bath. Yes, we’re back again after the success of the 2012 festival!…

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Adam Marks, the owner and creative mind behind Mr Vikki’s consistently seems to hit the mark with his products, having been the recipient of the Fiery Foods UK Festival ‘ Best Chilli Jam or Sweet Chilli Sauce’ award and numerous ‘Great Taste’ awards over the past 6 years. Needless to say I was looking forward to trying Mr Vikki’s variant on a Harissa sauce when I received it through the post to review.

Harissa is a chilli sauce closley associated with North Africa and commonly found in countries such as Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya, being used as an ingredient in many meat stews or as flavouring for couscous. Recipes from these regions usually favour the Africa Birds Eye chillies (also called Piri Piri) as a base for the sauce, with garlic and other spices such as coriander & cumin combined with some oil to make the final product. In their recipe, Mr Vikki’s have used Cayenne peppers supplemented with Red Savina to help give it an extra kick.

Ingredients:

Chillies (50%), Garlic (20%), Sunflower Oil, preserved Lemon 10%, Spices, Mustard, Celery Salt

Jar kindly supplied by Mr Vikki’s

Opening the jar I can smell a rich aroma of chillies, mustard & garlic with citrus lemon high tones. The scent is somewhat akin to a Indian lime pickle but much less sharp. The sauce is a rich dark red colour and you can clearly see the high percantage off chilli pulp, seeds and all, therein. Indeed it’s more like a paste rather than a sauce.

As I add a few teaspoons of the Harissa to some fish and rice, the warmth from the food accentuates the citrus tones of the Harissa and it’s the lemon flavour that hits me first as I taste it. The peppery taste from the Cayenne chillies then come though supplemented with flavour of garlic. I think the use of preserved lemon has work really well here. It gives the Harissa rich, citrus tones and a lemon flavour that is mildly sweet yet without the bitter, sharp taste that you would get from fresh lemon. The strength and balance of aromas in the Harissa are such that they enhance the natural flavours of the food rather than overpowering them. The heat from the chillies isn’t over powering, so I find it gives a pleasant warmth to the dish, rather than any fiery burn.

Overall this is a great tasting sauce that could be used in a wide variety of dishes: stews, risotto’s, couscous, burgers, lamb  – I’m even inclined to baste it on the chicken next time I’m cooking my Sunday Roast. Well recommended.

Available from Mr Vikki’s for £3.50 for a 110g jar.

Flavour
(8/10)
Heat
(4/10)
Packaging
(6/10)
Value (7.5/10)
Overall
(8.5/10)

 

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So I may have been living under a rock when it comes to large international manufacturers of sauce, but blow me down, Heinz make hot sauce now?! If you’re like me, and you would much rather pick up something local at the farm shop, or at the latest chilli event than consider the possibility that a multi-million pound company that is know for creating beans and ketchup has created something different, you’ll understand my shock! I know they have branched out with some other types of ketchup, and adding chilli to beans, but this is something quite unusual for me to comprehend, Heinz Hot Sauce – Green Jalapeno.

In a 150ml bottle, topped with a dropper lid with that recognizable label shape adorned in green and white text. Apparently ‘two chillies’ hot!  This new range comes in three flavours, this one being medium heat.

Ingredients:

Spirit Vinegar, Jalapeno Chilli (13%), Chilli, Sugar, Peppers, Onion, Garlic, Salt, Herb and Spice Extracts, Spinach Extract, Thickener – Xanthan Gum.

This beautiful mid green sauce has a thin consistency with plenty of pulp and seed bits in it. Sadly I opened the bottle to the acrid plastic ‘new lid’ smell, so I had to pour it out onto a plate to get an accurate sniff.

First impression is pickled onions. Not surprising really as the first ingredient is spirit vinegar. The taste sadly also reflects this. It is very tart, almost too sour (made my eyes water, and reminded me of when I drank a cup of vinegar just to prove I could). I get the occasional hint of garlic, and there is a little heat that is carried with the vinegar all over the mouth to get a little tingle, but unfortunately as far as taste goes, I can’t taste any peppers, any of the fresh Jalapeno tang, or make out any particular herb or spice. Just strong vinegar with a hint of garlic.

I would use this in place of vinegar on chips, in a sweet and sour recipe, maybe on a pizza or pasta dish. If you’re looking for a green, slightly garlic-y vinegar with a slight tickle then this is for you!

I have located it in some Tesco supermarkets priced at £1.49 per 150ml bottle. Perhaps the other larger supermarkets may also stock it.

Flavour
(1/10)
Heat
(2/10)
Packaging
(6/10)
Value (5/10)
Overall
(3/10)

 

 

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