Pre-Prepared Sauces And Packs
Most of the time I like to cook from scratch with generic ingredients. However there are some products that are worth a second look. These are mostly those products that are specific sauces with many special ingredients for a recipe originating in another country – such as a curry or a sweet and sour sauce. These are particularly useful for a beginner cook or a cook that is not confident enough to just have a go and trust their own instincts
I have certainly discovered that some things I have bought in the past are incredibly easy to make – such as mincemeat or lemon curd but this is not true of all sauces.
I still, of course, use bought tomato sauce, brown sauce and I buy mayonnaise. So when I was asked to try some of the Discovery product, namely their sour cream, garlic and herb sauce and the fajita sauce I knew I would be happy to review them.
Garlic and Herb Soured Cream
The key to anything with garlic and herb in, is that it should be possible to get the delightful flavour of garlic without it being overwhelming and the herb need to enhance it without smothering it. And of course in a sour cream sauce, the good natural taste of the sour cream needs to shine through.
I have to say that fresh sour cream will always win out, but to have a handy bottle of it available to enhance your chillies and Mexican dishes is a great bonus. More economical than fresh sour cream too. The garlic and herb is there and tasty – but not overpowering and would be really good on chilli con carne and on salads as well as traditional fajitas.
Using a Commercial Sauce
So when I had the opportunity out some Discovery Fajita sauce I thought it might be good opportunity to see if it would be useful to use in my cooking, generally.
Something like a Fajita sauce is relatively expensive to make from scratch since it tends to combine small amounts of many ingredients. This is fine if you already have the ingredients in the cupboard, but if you went out and bought them, the combined price would be considerably more than a fajita sauce. So unless you intend to cook fajitas every week it probably isn’t worth it.
The team at Discovery did ask me to come up with a recipe too. Well I could hardly come up with recipe that was on the pack – so here is something a little different – and in keeping with the easy and low cost ethos of my website
Fajita Style Cottage Pie
I decided to use the Fajita sauce with some beef mince as a handy way to make a chilli style cottage pie. I suspect the sauce could be used in a chicken casserole or beef stew either and it would all taste good – It’s good to try out different things and not use it just a fajita
Fajita Style Cottage Pie
- 1 tablespoon sunflower oil
- 1 onion peeled and chopped
- 1 large carrot grated
- 2-3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 500g / 1lb beef mince
- 1 jar Discovery Fajita Sauce
- 400g / 14oz can kidney beans, washed and drained
- 2-3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
- Place the sweet potatoes in a large saucpan of boiling water
- Bring back to the boil on the hob and turn down to a simmer for about 15 minutes or until soft
- Meanwhile, in a large, heavy bottomed frying pan, heat the oil
- Add the onions and fry for a few minutes to soften
- Add the garlic cloves and cook for a couple of minutes
- Add the beef mince
- Stir in the seasoning on the top of the Fajita jar
- Cook for a few minutes until the meat has browned
- Add the grated carrots and stir
- Add the Fajita Sauce and the kidney beans
- Bring to the boil, stiriing
- Turn down the heat to a very gentle simmer for a couple of minutes
- Meanwhile mash the sweet potatoes with a knob of butter
- Place the meat sauce in a baking dish
- Cover with the sweet potato mash
- Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes
- Serve with salad
- Season with sour cream and garlic sauce
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