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Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Product Review - Philadelphia Simply Stir Cooking Sauce

Philadelphia Simply Stir
As many of you will know, I'm always looking for quick solutions to make for dinner. I'm not a fan of microwave ready meals as I'm a firm believer that you can put a taste meal on the table in less than half an hour using fresh ingredients and a little skill and imagination. That's not to say that I'm not on the lookout for things that might save me a little time in the kitchen so when I spotted that Philadelphia had launched some new Simply Stir sauce pouches, I had to pick one up to try. There are two flavours to choose from just now, Garlic & Herb, and the Mushroom sauce that I tried tonight.

Ingredients (serves 2)
  • 1 pouch Philadelphia Simply Stir mushroom sauce
  • 200g chicken breast
  • 6 chestnut mushrooms, diced
  • 50g broccoli florets
  • 6 stalks asparagus, cut into 1" pieces
  • 150g fusilli, I always use De Cecco pasta
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
Method
  1. Season the chicken then add to a heated pan and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side. Once the chicken is cooked through, remove from the pan, leaving to rest for a minute before chopping into bite size chunks then set aside until needed.
  2. While the chicken is cooking, prepare the fusilli using the packet instructions. When the pasta has just a few minutes of cooking time left, add the asparagus and broccoli to the same pot. The vegetables will cook enough in the pasta liquor in the final few minutes. Drain the pasta and veg and set aside.
  3. Heat a little olive oil in a pan then add the chopped mushrooms. Flash fry the mushrooms for a few minutes before adding the Philadelphia Simply stir sauce to the pan. Cook the sauce for a couple of minutes until heated through before squeezing some lemon juice into the sauce then adding the pasta, broccoli, asparagus and chicken to the sauce.
  4. Stir everything together, making sure that everything is heated through and that all of the pasta is coated with the mushroomy sauce.
To serve, divide the contents of the pan between two bowl, scatter with some finely chopped flat leaf parsley and grate generous amounts of Parmigiano Regianno or Grana Padano over the top.
Fusilli, broccoli, asparagus with mushroom Philadelphia Simply Stir sauce
As you would expect from the Philadelphia brand, the sauce was glossy, creamy, well seasoned and packed a rich mushroom flavour, this is no doubt down to the combination of Champignon and Slippery Jack mushroom varieties used.
I always have tubs of Philadelphia in the fridge and have used it as an ingredient in pasta dishes before the launch of the new Simply Stir sauce range, and whilst we both enjoyed the flavours in the Simply Stir sauce, there are a couple of reason why I am unlikely to buy the pouches in the future. Firstly, the RRP is likely to be £1.99 per pouch which I think is expensive, I bought the sauce from Morrisons (on offer) for £1 which I think is a more realistic price. Secondly, the pouch claims to serve 3-4 people - this is very optimistic as our own pasta dinner was hardly swimming in sauce.
If I were expecting to serve four hungry adults then I would definitely need two pouches, meaning that regardless of what I'm preparing, the cost for sauce alone would be almost £4. With a little imagination and a 150g tub of Philadelphia, I could easily prepare something just as tasty at a fraction of the cost.
To sum up, I actually enjoyed the sauce both for the taste and the convenience factor - we had dinner served up in less than twenty minutes. However I feel that the price point is too high for the size of the serving in the pouch so I'll be sticking to my regular Philadelphia tubs as the basis of any of my future pasta sauces.
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