As much as I love cooking good family meals, life can get manic and I do enjoy having some time out to enjoy a meal, just the hubby and I. I am not a huge fan of mass, factory produced ready meals so when I heard that Charlie Bigham's meals were all handmade I was immediately intrigued!
I was asked if I would like to take some time out and let Charlie Bigham do all the hard work in the kitchen for me. Who could refuse?
I was sent a selection of Charlie Bigham's handmade, pre prepared meals. I chose...
- Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni
- Steak and Ale Pies
After a busy and stressful day I looked forward to placing a meal in the oven, getting the kids to bed, hanging my apron up and enjoying a meal that has been cooked for me. The first dish that we decided to try was the spinach and ricotta. The portion is not large enough to have just the spinach and ricotta, a side dish is needed. But the rich Italian flavours meant that you really did not need a large serving. We enjoyed ours with some potato croquettes, but it would be equally delicious with a side salad and a slice of garlic bread!
The next meal that we decided to try was a meal that I knew that the hubby would love, steak and ale pie. Pie is a good warming meal as well as a good old comfort food. Perfect after a busy days work. I decided to pair the pie with a healthy jacket potato and vegetables. We were amazed by how much the puff pastry perfectly raised up. The lovely ramekins that the pies arrive in are lovely. Inside the box there is a little message from Charlie Bigham suggesting that if you do not reuse, then why not donate them to a charity shop! The meat in the pie was lovely and tender and were all good quality cuts of meat.
The final dish that we tried was the paella. I used to live in Gran Canaria and fell in love with the traditional Spanish dish. But I have found it hard to find a paella that lives up to my expectations. That is until now. I will confess that it was so good, I forgot to take pictures of it once it was cooked! I could not wait to get stuck in! This is a meal that I cannot wait to have again! The paella was full of delicious pieces of tender calamari, king prawns, chicken breast, mussels, Spanish chorizo on a bed of paella rice. It was everything that a good paella should be! As the temptation was too much I have used one of Charlie Bigham's photographs to show you how this amazing paella looked once cooked!
Overall we were impressed with the quality and flavours from the Charlie Bigham meals. While they were cooking we were able to get the twins to bed, come downstairs to a cooked meal ready for us to enjoy. The meals for two cost around £7.00 which is more than your regular ready meals, but these meals are handmade and really are worth paying more for.
Disclosure: I was sent the Charlie Bigham meals for the purpose of this post. No cash payment was received. All words, views and opinions are my own and 100% honest.