Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Mrs Muambas Sauces, Review and Recipe.

I'm sure you are aware by now that I love Caribbean food and this cuisine is featured heavily throughout my blog, Twitter, Instragram and Facebook page. I love to eat Caribbean food throughout the week, but realistically when time is seriously pressing on I can't always make authentic Caribbean dishes in a quick amount of time, so many traditional dishes I make are over the weekend. 
I'm a fan of using quick fixes (but not to often, I must add) and have used jars of sauces in other cuisines (and I'm sure many of you have also done this) to make Italian, Chinese and Mexican dishes. 
For some reason I never really thought of sourcing Caribbean sauces to make a quick and easy Caribbean meal, until now. I first discovered Mrs Muambas premium Caribbean sauces at The BBC Good Food Show Winter whilst looking through the show guide at home when unfortunately it was too late to purchase these sauces. I was therefore incredibly excited when I was sent a selection of Mrs Muambas sauces: Jerk sauce, Curry Sauce and BBQ sauce to sample and review. Each jar serves 3-4 people and contains authentic Caribbean flavours, is beneficial when you want a taste of the Caribbean whilst not in the Caribbean. Through theses sauces you can taste the Caribbean with each meal made. I'm pleased to share that you can now purchase these sauces online, so you do not have to wait to attend food shows to sample a little bit of sunshine on your plate. Each jar costs £3 from the website or £12.50 for a sample of 5 sauces.

Mrs Muambas sauces. 

Mrs Muambas Sauces.
I made a couple of dishes using these fabulous sauces. The first, the classic jerk chicken I lightly seasoned chicken legs with all purpose seasoning and poured a whole jar of luxurious jerk sauce and left to marinade overnight. The following day after I arrived after work,  I placed the marinaded jerk chicken in the oven for 1 hour on gas mark 6, turning over once. My initial impressions of my jerk chicken using this sauce was that the jerk chicken tasted delicious, heavenly and scrumptious. I savoured every bit of this chicken and ensured that the curried bananas that I served this with, was used to soak up all these glorious juices. I must say that jerk sauce was very spicy, just like traditional jerk chicken that is served in Jamaica.
Jerk Chicken.

Jerk Chicken.

I also used Mrs Muambas curry sauce to make a classic Caribbean chicken curry, which I served with rice and broccoli. I followed the same principle of seasoning as I did when using the jerk sauce; lightly seasoned chicken and allowed the curry sauce to do all the hard work. I found that using Mrs Muambas sauces, I did not require to heavily season the meat as the flavours in the jar are positively intense. 

Caribbean curry chicken. 

Caribbean curry chicken. 

Caribbean curry chicken. 
Would I recommend these premium Caribbean sauces? Of course! I hope that you are able to sample these delicious sauces, I for one will be stocking up at the next food show I visit where these sauces are selling so I can sample a sunshine sauce which is made with love.

The recipe for my jerk chicken was adapted on the link to Mrs Muamba's website .

Recipe for Calypso Rice and Curried Bananas, from Caribbean Cooking by Camilla de la Bedoyere.
Serves 4
2 tbsp vegetable oil.
1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped.
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed.
1 habanero chili, deseeded and finely chopped.
1 red pepper, deseeded and finely chopped.
225g basmati rice.
juice of 1 lime.
350 ml vegetable stock.
200g black-eyed beans, drained and rinsed.
2tbsp freshly chopped parsley.
salt and freshly ground pepper.

For the curried bananas
4 green bananas
2tbsp vegetable oil
2tsp mild curry paste
200ml coconut milk

Heat the oil in a large frying pan and gently cook the onion for 10 minutes until soft. Add the garlic, chili and red pepper, and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Rinse the rice under cold running water, then add to the pan and stir. Pour in the lime juice and stock, bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 12-15 minutes, or until the rice is tender and the stock is absorbed.
Stir in the black-eyed beans and parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper. Leave to stand covered for 5 minutes before serving, to allow the beans to warm through.
While the rice is cooking, make the curried green bananas. Remove the skins from bananas. Slice the flesh thickly. Heat the oil in a frying pan and cook the bananas in 2 batches, for 2-3 minutes, or until lightly browned.
Pour the coconut milk into the pan and stir in the curry paste. As the banana slices to the coconut milk and simmer, uncovered, over a low heat for 8-10 minutes, or until the bananas are very soft and the coconut mil slightly reduces.
Spoon the rice onto warmed serving plates and serve immediately with the curried bananas.

Disclaimer: I received a selection of Mrs Muambas sauces to sample, I was not required to write a positive review, as always all opinions are my own. 

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Turtle Bay Caribbean restaurant

I love Caribbean food, it's the food that I grew up on as a child and often with foods of our childhoods, they bring back fond memories. Caribbean food has recently seen a revival in the UK with Levi Roots putting the cuisine on the map, alongside featuring Caribbean flavours on talk shows. Turtle Bay is the first (to my understanding) chain of Caribbean restaurants in the UK, what a welcome this has been throughout cities in the UK. I have visited two of their restaurants in Leicester and also in Birmingham and I hope there is a restaurant soon opening in my local city, Wolverhampton. 
Vibrant scenery with Caribbean art work, tasteful Caribbean music. The restaurant in Leicester is somehow superior to the restaurant in Birmingham as there are two floors. The deco is bright, which is perfect for not only not having to squint but also to share beautiful pictures from the restaurant. 
Staff are attentive, able to offer choices, friendly a real Caribbean atmosphere.
It was only right that I share the foodie delights from my two visits, and will share more dishes during my next. I definitely feel that if you have not tried authentic Caribbean food, Turtle Bay is the place to go for authentic food and drinks and you will soon fell you are in Jamrock (or Jamaica if you have never heard of the Damian Marley song Welcome to Jamrock).

Let's start with drinks; there is a fabulous deal at present, 241 (£6.85) cocktails during happy hour, first up rum punch, a Caribbean classic, perfect for those who like their cocktails heavily dosed with rum. Another cocktail I tried was a koka colada , a cocktail that must be related to pina calada, creamy and rich this is perfect drink to go with the spicy meals.
Rum punch
Pina Colada
The first visit at Turtle Bay was lunchtime and I went the whole hog, ordering a Caribbean platter (£12.95) for my friend and I. This scrumptious platter includes: jerk chicken wings, pepper roti, sweetcorn fritters and garlic and herb flat breads.
Caribbean Platter
Caribbean platter
All lunchtime menus are a barginous £6.95 and I chose the Jamaican classic, jerk chicken with rice and peas, spicy succulent and tender wings paired with the mellow rice n peas and crunchy slaw. My friend chose pulled pork brioche bun which was served with fries. I'm not sure how authentic this dish was, but it certainly looked appetising.

On my second visit, I ordered the curry, shrimp and mango curry (£9.65) which was a flavour explosion. Th tenderness of the shrimp paired beautifully with the sweetness of the mango and the fiery flavour of the curry. The accompaniment of the rice and peas ensured this was a true Caribbean delight.

As I love food, I mean really love food and vast quantities of it, I love to order side dishes and I'm a fan of sweet plantain (£2.35).

On to desserts or puddings or sweet treats as we may call them: all are a reasonable £4.85. I've tried two puddings from their menu, the rum and raisin pudding and banana and toffee cheesecake. The rum and raisin pudding won,hands down I absolutely adore the rum and raisin pairing, rich, decadent, fruity and sweet this was a pudding that should be crowned as a must try dish.

Pros: Delicious authentic Caribbean food, good value for money, attentive staff and hearty portions.
Cons: There was a slight delay in receiving our main course at Birmingham restaurant.
Overall: I'm due to visit in September, I loved it so much.

Turtle Bay on Urbanspoon Turtle Bay on Urbanspoon

Disclaimer: I chose to review this restaurant as this restaurant is the real deal.

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