Wednesday, 28 September 2011

heinz squeeze and stir soups

I read about these on Darren's blog, so when I was next in the supermarket I headed off to the aisle where they have the soups and picked up a couple to try. Heinz Cream of Tomato soup needs no introduction and is the utimate winter comfort food, ideal for the coming season. And just like it's big brother that comes in a can it's gluten free. They weigh 72g and are simple to use, simply tear off the perforated top, squeeze into your mug and stir in the water. And as the soup is a concentrated paste you don't get that after taste like you do with packet soups. Apart from the obvious use as a warming starter there's scope to use the soup as a base for something more substantial by adding pasta, dried veg, etc to it. So it's lightweight, tasty, low bulk and no packet soup after taste, so what's not to like? Well at 59p a satchet, the price is a bit hard to swallow. That said one or two of these are going into my food bag on trips out over the next six months.

grower's cup coffee brewer

The Grower's Cup coffee brewer is an innovative way of getting a cup of fresh brewed coffee on the trail. It's simple to use just open the top, pull a red string (that opens the spout) and pour in 0.5l of hot water. The top is then re-closed and you leave it to brew from 5 to 8 mins depending on how strong you like your coffee.

The coffee, which is from Ethiopia, organically grown and fair trade, has an excellent flavour, and it was a pity that I only got one sample to try. The pouch weighs 45g, and as you can see from the picture it's fairly large although not particularly deep. It's being distributed by Rosker - 023 9252 8711 - and will cost £2.50 per pouch. Despite being very good coffee, in my mind, the cost and the bulk of the product lets it down.

Monday, 12 September 2011

helen browning's speedy sausages

These were suggested to me by a friend who also suffers from coeliac disease. Each packet has two portions of six sausages at 100g per portion, a handy size as part of a meal for one. The nutritional values are as follows; 1176KJ of energy, 17g of protein, 23g of fat, and a minuscule 0.6g of carbohydrate per portion.

The cooking instructions say they can be fried in a little oil in five minutes. As I wanted to simulate a camp cook scenario I set up my Coleman F1 lite on the patio and cooked them on a low gas with no oil in a non stick Primus fry pan. These are not called speedy for nothing and they were ready to eat in no time. I loved the taste of these although the fat content was a little high for my liking.

I've not tried any recipe ideas out yet but I guess they could be served with instant mash, with baked beans, or added to a rice or pasta dish. One of the dishes I've always wanted to re-create on a camp stove is Fabada. I can now envisage pre-diced chorizo being heated in a pan with the sausages until cooked through, chicken stock being added along with garlic granules, dried onion, and dried cooked cannelli beans. Then the seasoning; turmeric, smoked paprika, and ground pepper. The whole thing being brought to the boil and simmered, or put in a cosy, until the beans are reconstituted. I can't wait to give it a try.