Able and Cole – Summer range

This month I have a selection of food including dips and spreads from the new Able and Cole summer range to tell you about. I will start off completely up front and say I received these free of charge in return for a blog post review of them.

I received the following items:

Black Olive Houmous, Abel & Cole (200g)

White Cornish Crab, Seafood and Eat it (100g)
Riserva Prosciutto (55g)
Taleggio (250g)
Roast Pepper and Feta Quiche (340g)

First off we had a quick Sunday night meal of quiche with the black olive houmous spread on homemade bread. Both were delicious! Black olives were a nice addition to an otherwise very tasty houmous and something I would eat again and perhaps even have a go at making myself.

The houmous had just the right balance of flavours and worked really well with my seeded, wholemeal loaf. The quiche its self was also really tasty. I love feta in quiches but would not normally choose anything with peppers in but I actually quiet enjoyed this combination and the sweetness due to the pepper being roasted first.I had never eaten crab before I received this so I can’t compare the quality of this product to anything I have previously bought but it was absolutely delicious! I did a bit of searching on the Internet and found a recipe for crab linguine. The resulting dish was delicious. The chilli, lemon and garlic really enhanced the crabs flavours. The crab didn’t go in to the dish until near the end but I decided to try some without the additional flavours and loved it so it was lucky there was any left by the time it was needed!

That just leaves the prosciutto and the taleggio. Taleggio was completely new to me, never heard of it, let alone tried it. After some research on the Internet I discovered it was a good melting cheese as well as being delicious spread on bread. I tried it both spread on bread (tasty but a little too strong in flavour for me) and I tested out its melting properties in two dishes. The first also used the prosciutto (which had a very nice flavour and seemed very good quality to me) and was my version of stuffed courgettes. I started by scooping out the flesh of two courgettes. I then gently sauteed a small onion, a clove of garlic and the courgette flesh in a little oil. I tore up the Prosciutto and layered it with the onion/courgette mixture in the courgette skin ‘boats’ and topped it off with the taleggio before baking in the oven. Boy does this cheese melt well!! There was almost more on the baking tray than left on the courgettes! I did prefer the taste when it was melted and it combined well with the Prosciutto.
The final dish was more of an accident than planned. One evening I decided to make pizza certain I had a ball of mozzarella sat in the fridge just waiting to be used. However after rolling out the pizza dough and covering it with tomato sauce I went to the fridge and couldn’t find any mozzarella. I was faced with the choice of cheddar, taleggio or feta. As much as I love cheddar I’m not a big fan of it on pizzas and I wanted something that melted more than feta so I decided to try the taleggio. I first put tinned tuna on the pizza followed by grated courgette and finally topped off with the taleggio. The end result was delicious.
All in all I was very pleased with the quality of the items Able and Cole sent me and with the delivery and packaging of the items.

Roast chicken

A few weeks back Able and Cole sent me one of their free range, organic chickens to try for free in exchange for a review on my blog. For anyone that doesn’t know Able and Cole are an organic food deli every company. They are best known for their veg boxes that are delivered to your door each week. They also offer a wide range of other organic food that can also be delivered to you. I was initially concerned about having fresh food delivered (that needs refrigeration) in case no one was in when it was delivered. Veg boxes may be fine left outside for several hours but this is not appropriate for fresh chickens. I needn’t of worried though, not only was the delivery before 8am (meaning the chicken was in the fridge before work) but it was delivered in a polystyrene box with plenty of ice packs on top of it to keep it cool. The chicken also comes with the giblets which doesn’t often happen in the supermarket. Mine are sat in the freezer waiting for me to find time to make stock.

I thought about cooking it in a different way to the normal simple roast I usually do but then decided it would be best to keep it simple and see if I could taste the difference. I usually buy a supermarket free range chicken (not usually organic though) which costs around £4 per kg. Able and Cole’s comes in at £6.76 per kg. I served the chicken with some baby new potatoes and asparagus.

So the big question could we notice the difference? Yes, we both thought the chicken had a stronger taste.

Will I be switching to organic chickens? not at the moment. The cost is the big issue for me. I strongly believe in only buying free range chickens but at the moment my budget won’t stretch to organic as well.

Next month I will be reviewing a selection of items from their new summer range. Suggestions on ideas for using taleggio cheese appreciated! (Its not a cheese I know anything about)

Able and cole

A few weeks back I contacted Able and Cole asking if I could feature a recipe of theirs (no longer on their website though) on my blog. I have tried a few recipes from their site and enjoyed them all. If you haven’t seen their recipe page you should definitely take a look. It is easy to navigate and incredibly useful when you are looking for recipes using a particular item (fruit, veg, meat or fish). For example click on courgettes and you are transported to a list of tasty ideas all using courgettes. They were more than happy for me to feature one of their recipes and I was also offered a veg box to try. I of course accept happy to review one of their veg boxes on my blog for them. It also feels like a bit of a challenge deciding what to do with all the fruit and veg in the box.

Due to living in a mid-terraced house with no where for them to leave my box whilst we’re out at work we had to ask if my boyfriends parents would accept it at their house for us. Luckily they deliver in their town on a Friday meaning we could pick it up from them at the weekend (they live an hour away from us). I like the idea of getting a box with different fruit/veg each week, forcing you to eat a wide variety of different types, getting creative with what to do with it and possibly increasing how much veg I eat. However in other ways I like sitting down planning my meals for the week ahead and then choosing what veg I need to buy. As much as I like the concept of having a box of fruit and veg delivered to my door weekly, currently it just isn’t practical for us. The box arrived in good condition early Friday morning.

This weeks box contained:

  • Apples
  • oranges
  • Bananas
  • Spring greens
  • White onions
  • Potatoes
  • Beetroots
  • Cauliflower
  • 3 Courgettes
  • Aubergine

The fruit is being munched through already. The rest I’m not sure what I will do with yet. 2 courgettes could be used for balsamic courgettes but not sure what to do with the third. The aubergine may be used in a Parmigiana di melanzane (possibly with the final courgette as the aubergine is quiet small). The cauliflower was left with my boyfriends parents as neither of us like it. That just leaves spring greens (never eaten or cooked so no idea what to do with them) and the beetroots (again never cooked or eaten beetroot that hasn’t been bought cooked, usually in vinegar). I have in the past seen recipes I’ve wanted to try using raw beetroot but I can’t find any now. I might bake them in foil but that’s as far as my ideas have got. I have Monday to Friday this week to use them for after work meals so has anyone any ideas? I could just cook the potatoes, spring greens and beetroot and serve them with some meat or fish but I tend to like to cook things that are more of a complete dish.

Update: just separated the beets from the potatoes (which look quiet similar when coated in mud!) and there are a lot more than I thought. Maybe I need two meals out of them.

Update: What I did with all this veg!

  • Rosemary and garlic potato wedges
  • Balsamic courgettes
  • Parmigiana di melanzane (but I added in 1 courgette and the aubergine was a little small, not traditional but still delicious)
  • Beetroot and spring greens risotto
  • Used some bits in my first daring cooks challenge (but you’ll have to wait until June 14th to find out what and how)

It was a bit of a challenge but I enjoyed all the dishs I made and we certainly ate more vegetables than some weeks.