Sunday, 21 July 2013

Veggie Meal Combinations Using Sauces from Sainsbury's

Anyone who has rummaged through my kitchen cupboards will verify my love for, and increasing stock levels, of sauce bottles.  Although I make a lot of things from scratch, it is always nice to have different bottles to hand to enhance a dish or an ingredient, especially if time is of the essence.
So when presented with the opportunity to try some sauces from Sainsbury's I was delighted.  As were my cupboards.

The first sauce I tried was Sainsbury's own Chinese Inspired Marinade.  Its description states that it contains plum jam, soy sauce and star anise plus other spices including ginger, garlic, coriander, cumin, turmeric, fenugreek, cassia, cardamom and clove.  Although not denoted as a vegetarian sauce per se, it is suitable for vegetarians.

Sainsbury's Chinese Inspired Marinade

The knee-jerk reaction would be to use it as a marinade for a Chinese stir-fry, as coating for bbq food or to use in an oven dish as suggested on the bottle.  And although it states it’s Chinese, I didn’t want to limit its use just for Chinese food so I decided to try it out with some other ingredients to see how it worked.

Firstly, my husband and I tried the sauce itself.  It was a fabulous mix of sweetness (from the plum jam) and savoury (from the soy sauce) and just enough spice to give flavour without over powering it or making it too hot (which is perfect for me)!  If more spice is preferred, then you could always add more to the sauce.  Nevertheless, it definitely had a taste of the Orient and the Chinese flavours you’d expect were all coming through.

We first used it when my husband covered a fried tuna steak with the sauce and I used it to marinade Quorn Chicken-style pieces with rocket leaves, serving artichoke risotto with both meals.  We both commented how delicious the sauce was, its extremely pleasant taste and how well it worked with our respective dishes.  The peppery element from the rocket leaves really complemented the sauce’s sweetness and the rice absorbed the remainder of the sauce from the plate which also worked well all round.

Quorn Chicken Style Pieces in Sainsbury's Chinese Inspired Marinade
served with Artichoke Risotto

The second time I used Sainsbury’s Chinese Inspired Marinade was when preparing mushrooms for a pasta bake.  Whilst gently frying them, I added a splash of the marinade in to flavour them up.  This worked beautifully!  The porous nature of the mushrooms meant that they soaked up the sauce during the frying process.  Added to the cooked pasta with the bake’s tomato sauce, gave a new dimension of flavour and a different twist to the pasta bake.  A new method which I will continue to use!

Next I tried Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Oak Aged Balsamic Dressing.  A blend of oak aged balsamic vinegar of Modena, British cold rapeseed oil, black pepper and a touch of sugar.

Sainsbury's Taste the Difference
Oak Aged Balsamic Dressing

This was an extremely gentle dressing where the balsamic vinegar was evident but not over bearing and with a tiny hint of sugar made it very tasty.  Rapeseed oil has become an artisan oil of late and is very en vogue right now, its inclusion here made for a mellow flavour. 

I made a warm salad with lambs lettuce, avocado, Quorn Roast Chicken-Style fillets, potatoes and tomatoes then I drizzled the dressing on top.  It really lifted the salad and worked well with all the components.

Quorn & Lambs Lettuce Salad with
Sainsbury's Taste the Difference Oak Aged Balsamic Dressing

I also made a tray of roast vegetables (potatoes, carrots, parsnips) and I usually coat them in oil and balsamic vinegar anyway before roasting so I was interested to see how the dressing would fare in comparison.  The vegetables once roasted had a gorgeous sweet glaze which was utterly moreish and I drained and saved the excess dressing oil from the tray to use for dipping later on.  I found this was one of my favourite ways to use the oil.

Vegetables Roasted in Sainsbury's Taste the Difference
Oak Aged Balsamic Dressing

Lastly, I decided to make a topping for my pasta which I made from soft goat’s cheese, foraged-cooked nettles and caperberries drizzled in the dressing.  Having washed my nettles thoroughly before use, I then cooked them in salted water for over 10 minutes before removing excess liquid and keeping them to one side.  Once my pasta had cooked, I placed it into a bowl and then positioned the soft goat’s cheese on top.  I then rested the nettles on the cheese with the caperberries on the side before trickling some of the dressing on top.  The tartness of the cheese, coupled with the saltiness of the nettles and caperberries with the sweetness of the dressing worked so well, a real montage of taste.  Although I served this with pasta, you could serve this goat’s cheese mixture with any meal accompaniment – potatoes perhaps?

Goats Cheese, Nettles, Caperberries on Pasta drizzled in
Sainsbury's Taste the Difference Oak Aged Balsamic Dressing

All in all, it was light enough for a dressing a salad or pasta with and equally was wonderful for roasting vegetables.

The last sauce I tried was Sainbury’s Taste the Difference Sherry Vinaigrette.  This particular vinaigrette was oozing Spanish flavour which included Spanish extra virgin olive oil, Jerez sherry vinegar, sherry cream, fennel seeds, rapeseed oil, orange zest, herbs and garlic. 

Sainsbury's Taste the Difference
Sherry Vinaigrette

Before use, it’s important that you give the bottle a good shake to ensure all the ingredients are well mixed.  I naturally gravitated to trying it first on a salad, which again was great -endorsing that vinaigrette is indeed a partner for life with all things salad!  The addition of the fennel seeds made it a little more crunchy which I enjoyed. 

I also decided to use it when cooking my Quorn Chicken-Style fillets to see how it would work with them.  Once defrosted, I scored the fillets, poured over the vinaigrette, scattered green olives on top and then baked them until they were cooked.  They turned out really tender and extremely delicious and it’s given me another variation of how to prepare fillets.  Indeed, if you are preparing meat, I’m sure using the vinaigrette on chicken meat would also work just as well.

Quorn Fillets with Olives cooked in
Sainsbury's Taste the Difference Sherry Vinaigrette

I have really enjoyed using the different sauces and testing them with a mixture of ingredients and meals.  These three will definitely join my army of condiments in my kitchen and will feature in many more mealtimes ahead.

Disclosure:  This post was written following receipt of samples from Sainbury's.  This review was conducted honestly without bias and I was not required to produce a positive review.  For further details of my PR policy, please see the Press, PR & Food Writing page of this website. 

No comments:

Post a Comment