Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Pizza Express Cook at Home Margherita Pizza

We were very excited when we learnt that Pizza Express were finally bringing out a Gluten Free pizza to be sold alongside their other chiller cabinet offering... admittedly, only being stocked in Sainsbury's at the moment. 
The pizzas were launched in certain stores last week and our Saturday supermarket shop revealed a disappointingly empty 'slot' for the product.  Not to be dissuaded, we went to another store on Monday and were successful in locating stock... trying to be reasonable,  and leave some for others, we bought three pizzas (selling at £4 each).

Sous Chef J was delighted when he was shown the packs... and requested a 'speedy taste test'... which was easy to deliver!

We checked the cooking instructions, pre-heated the oven to 200ºC, unpackaged the pizzas and cooked them for 7 minutes.  Checking them we decided they needed a little longer to brown and set the timer for a further 2 minutes.

Removing them from the oven there was the 'classic' Pizza Express aroma and it wasn't long before SCJ was happily diving in and getting his hands dirty....

The pizza is about 10" in diameter.
VERDICT: Just like in the restaurant, the topping is tasty, the base is thin and crispy and the pizza didn't last long!  Perfect for a quick and easy teatime.

We sincerely hope Sainsbury's are able to keep the pizzas in stock in the chillers... and that we aren't disappointed by poor reliability of availability.  We'll definitely buy again and will stock our freezer next time.

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Marks and Spencer's Made Without Wheat 2016

Marks and Spencer have a much larger range of "Made Without" products... and many of them are Made Without Wheat (MWW).  The aim of this blogpose is to provide details about a few that have made Sous Chef J ask for "more, please!", as well as others.
There are NEW chiller cabinet items - including pasta ready meals - supplementing the range. We have now tried the Macaroni Cheese, Spaghetti Bolgnese and Lasagne.   They are all tasty and we choose to oven cook our ready meals (SCJ asked what a ready meal was - which indicates how rare such an item is in this household)

Sous Chef J particularly "LOVED" the Rhubarb Crumble and also the Strawberry Trifle (which he will devour at one sitting, given the chance).

Servings of crumble and trifle tend not to last long... 

Also in the MWW range, there is a lovely Apple Pie and a New York Cheesecake... don't be fooled by the size of the cheesecake - each morsel is packed with calories and we struggled to eat the (small sized) cake between three of us.

Picnic items are also in evidence - with a Quiche Lorraine and a Cheese and Onion Quiche.  Sous Chef J doesn't like the Scotch Eggs but we do... and we've tried the Sausage Rolls too.

Always a favourite are the Salmon Fishcakes and the Chicken (and mushroom - don't tell SCJ) crispbakes.  These are often on offer at two packs (of 2) for £3.
In the ambient section, there's a good offering of cakes and bread (mostly).  Crumpets and cake mixes, plus pasta are also stocked.

SCJ favours the MWW White Boule and will eat the lot... we had to try the MWW Brown Bloomer (£3 for 6 slices - eye watering!) but he wasn't keen... even dressed up with cheese and chutney as sarnies.

Overall, we appreciate the increased range very much but still make a plea for "RELIABILITY OF AVAILABILITY"... without this it's difficult to rely on being able to buy products (in ALL M&S food halls)... after all, we can't spend our money on items if the goods aren't on the shelves!

PS In addition to the MWW range, there are still plenty of 'mainstream' products marked with a glutenfree symbol - the grill range and tortilla chips are go-to items for us too.  We love M&S for this!

Friday, 13 May 2016


This is such a simple recipe... do give it a go, the ingredients you'll need are -

90g Plain Flour (we used Dove's Farm gluten free)
50g caster sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder (we used Dr Oetker gluten free)
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
40g pistachio nuts
25g dark chocolate chips/chunks

We mixed the first three ingredients together in a bowl. 

Next, the egg was lightly beaten and the vanilla extract was added to it.  This egg mix was then poured into the dry ingredients and thoroughly combined by hand. (just use one hand to 'squish' it together, it will form a dough after a while - if it's over dry, just add a little water a couple of drops at a time)

Once it was formed into a dough, it was time to add the nuts and chocolate chips.

Finally the dough was placed on a silicone sheet on a baking tray and placed in a pre-heated (160ºC fan oven) for 10 minutes.  We checked it at this point and, as it was still soft in the thickest part, returned it to the oven for a few more minutes before checking and removing to cool.

Having allowed the biscotti dough to cool for about 15 minutes, it was moved to a chopping board and sliced (using a sharp knife) into 1cm thick slices.

The slices we returned to the baking sheet and cooked for a second time in the oven... after about 5 minutes, we turned the oven off and allowed the biscotti to dry using the oven's residual heat.  (take care not to burn your biscotti - set a timer to remind you!)

Beware - the Biscotti are very more-ish and are great with a coffee or a cuppa.  Enjoy.