Nando’s extra extra hot peri peri sauce

23 02 2011

I was doing the rounds in the shops the other day and was pleasantly surprised to find that my local Spar has started to stock a selection of hot sauces from Nando’s.

For those of you who don’t know Nando’s are a South African chain of restaurants serving up Portuguese inspired cuisine; in particular they serve a lot of chicken dishes –  so much so that in the US they call themselves “Nando’s Chickenland”.

The other distinguishing thing about Nando’s is their use of Peri – Peri / Piri – Piri sauce which takes its name from the key ingredient Peri-Peri Chillies – which translates quite literally as hot hot chillies….mmm chicken and hot sauce.

A number of years back Nando’s decided to cash in on the following they have amassed and started producing their various sauces for retail sale; historically the main range consisted of regular, hot and extra hot versions all with one thing in common: they taste great.

The heat in Nando’s sauces isn’t going to melt your face off but the flavour is to die for – (click here to read Scott Roberts review of the other sauces in the range) and even if you are a hardcore chilli head you will find yourself coming back for more as a result.

So enough waffling let’s get onto the sauce itself….

Ingredients:

Water, Vinegar, salt, lemon, African Bird’s eye Chilli (Peri Peri chilli), Onion, Cayenne Pepper, Vegetable Oil, Dehydrated Green Pepper, Paprika, Garlic, Thickner (Modified food starch), Stabilisers (Xanthan Gum, Propylene Glycol Alginate).

On checking out the ingredients list I was pleased to see that Nando’s took the effort of actually listing the type of chillies used – African Bird’s Eye to be precise.

I say this because Peri-Peri isn’t always used as an exact name and can often be used to cover a whole different range of chillies of varying different levels of heat. In this case the African Bird’s Eye should be somewhere in the region of 50 – 70, 000  SHU although there have been instances of some African Bird’s Eyes hitting as high as 175k  – Just a little bit of difference there…

Appearance:

The sauce is a nice vibrant red/orange colour with a good smattering of seeds and small flecks of chillies running throughout. I think that the consistency of this sauce is pretty much spot on, it is just thin enough to pour without issue but is thick enough to really coat food well.

Aroma:

The aroma is ok but there are certainly more enticing sauces out there; you can pick out the smell of the chillies and some of the spices but mostly you get the smell of the lemons and vinegar making it a little on the tart side.

Taste:

I tried this straight up and had slightly mixed feelings about it to be honest. The core Nando’s taste was there and came through quite clearly which was obviously a plus and you could clear pick out the flavour of the chillies as well which was also good.

Unfortunately though the first flavour that you really get is the lemon and the vinegar and whilst a little bit of citrus is really quite nice this was just way too much to take by itself.

Now I realise that very few people eat hot sauce straight out the bottle and as such most mainstream manufacturers haven’t really got their sights set on pleasing us few weirdos that do, as such it was time to add this bad boy to some food and see how things went together.

Seeing as this is a sauce from Nando’s it would be lunacy not to try this with some chicken and so when I was cooking dinner that evening I kept back a little plain grilled chicken and gave it a good smothering of sauce.

Instant redemption.

The flavours worked perfectly to compliment the food without taking over and that citrus and acidity that had seemed so raw and full on previously now seemed fresh and zingy and really just helped give a nice lift.

Next up I had a little salsa from the local supermarket and decided to try to pep it up with a couple of tablespoons of the extra-extra hot sauce.

Again the sauce handled the job admirably, it added a good bit of zip to what was otherwise a lacklustre mass-produced salsa and imparted just enough heat to give you a bit of warmth without having anyone reaching for the milk.

The level of heat here is pretty good actually; granted it didn’t set my mouth aflame with scorching fury but there was enough of a kick from the chillies to give a bit of warmth that lingered well.

All in all I would recommend Nando’s extra extra hot sauce as being a great choice with chicken and can really see it going well with prawns or maybe some  good meaty fish but there is just a slight lack of balance that stops it from really standing out in my eyes.

Heat – 2.5 /5

Taste – 2/5 straight up

4/5 on food

Advertisements




Westboro Baptist reply to Anonymous…good luck with that!

21 02 2011

 





Mum blames Microsoft for son’s spending spree

9 02 2011

An  U.K. mother is blaming Microsoft for the fact that her 11-year-old son rang up a £1000 bill on her debit card over a six-month stretch on Xbox Live.


Would you entrust an online account to your young child, probably not?

When 11-year-old Brendan Jordan was let loose on Xbox Live, the youngster went on a spending spree that ultimately landed a bill of £1082 ($1739) on his mother’s debit card. But his mother, Dawn, doesn’t blame her son for the hefty charges. She blames Microsoft.

“When I put my card details in 18 months ago I thought it was just for his membership to play online with his friends,” she said. “I work two jobs just to look after my family and pay the bills so I cannot afford all these extortionate charges. A thousand pounds isn’t that much to people like Bill Gates, but for a single mum it is a lot of money that I don’t have.”

“I haven’t punished him because he feels bad enough and I know he won’t do it again,” she added. “It is ridiculous to allow someone of his age to make payments without any checks being done.”

She states that the youngster started to cry when she explained to him how much money he’d blown through, after which he unplugged his Xbox and said he didn’t want it anymore. She also said she wants her experience to serve as a warning to other parents.

“When he is in gaming mode he can’t be thinking about the money. You can’t put all that responsibility on a young boy,” she added. “It is impossible to monitor everything your children do. These companies should take some responsibility. They take advantage of vulnerable people.”

Now let me just stop things here and possibly call shenanigans on this tale of online woe. Most banks send out these useless papery things called statements, typically once a month or so.

Would you not notice the recurring charges going through to Microsoft and start to put two and two together, especially if you were a struggling single mother who needs every penny she can get.

In a statement to the Daily Mail a company rep made the following statement “Microsoft’s goal is to provide parents and caregivers with tools and resources to manage their children’s gaming and entertainment experiences so that they can play in ways that are safer, healthy and more balanced. ”

“To accomplish this, we’ve built-in parental controls in every Xbox 360, work closely with retailers and recently launched the Play Smart, Play Safe website as an online resource for families. It should also be noted that LIVE accounts registered for children’s use have online activity automatically defaulted to off, these can be enabled by the parent should they wish in the Family Settings section.”

So what we really seem to have is a Mum who couldn’t be bothered to pay attention to what her young soon was doing online, with her card details no less. Neither could she be bothered to keep an eye on her finances until he had managed to spend over a grand.

Seems to me like someone is on the look out for a nice cash payment to settle little Brendan’s gaming bill and to keep paying that wonderful virtual nanny that has been raising him on her behalf.





Cheesy Megadeath Wings

3 02 2011

 With my love of all things hot and spicy chicken wings are the perfect vehicle for trying out sauces and just generally making a mess of myself.

 I found a recipe a while back for garlic and cheese wings and really liked the flavour that the parmesan gave, as such next time I was knocking up a batch of hot wings I decided to drop some in…. Let me just say I am never going back to regular hot wings.

It might sound like a  weird combination but try them I guarantee you wont be let down.

If you find Blair’s Megadeath to be a bit hot for your tastes then you can always go with something a little milder, I would stay away from anything with extract though, unless you like your wings to have that odd chemical taste to them.

Ingredients:

4 lbs chicken wings, halved

1 bottle of Blair’s Megadeath

1/4 lb melted butter

250g parmesan cheese

Method:

Deep fry the chicken wings until they are golden and slightly crisp, set aside on a piece of kitchen paper to absorb any excess oil.

Melt the butter and mix in the parmesan cheese and the bottle of Megadeath sauce ensuring that everything is well combined.

Coat all of the wings liberally with the cheesy Megadeath sauce and serve on a bed of crisp lettuce with soem blue cheese dressing and a good beer.





World’s Largest Burger

1 02 2011

A few months back I wrote a post listing what I deemed to be the 12 most disgusting foods in the World.

Well of course it is sod’s law that as soon as you commit anything like this to paper, or type as it is in this case, you suddenly come across a whole raft of other goodies that would easily have earnt themselves a place.

This is one of those contenders…

This humongous burger was cooked up by the owners of the Ambrosia on the Spot Cafe in Sydney, Australia.

The patty alone weighs in at an Earth shattering 178lb and took 12 hours to cook through. If  the meat alone wasn’t enough to induce a heart attack in 50 of your nearest and dearest friends the burger also contained 120 eggs, 150 slices of cheese, 1.5 kg of beetroot, 16 tomatoes, 2kg of lettuce and half a kilo of BBQ sauce…oh and 21kg of bread to make the giant buns.

The total weight of the burger once cooked – 95 kg!! That’s the same amount that I weigh, in fact it’s actually 1 kilo more than I weigh and I’m not a small guy.

The Guinness book of records have confirmed that this is indeed the World’s largest burger and that it has soundly smashed the previous holder which weighed in at a positively wimpy 84kg.

The owners of the cafe had to create special equipment to hold the burger during the marathon 12 hours that it took for it to cook through and it took four men in order to flip it over.

The burger was created solely to break the world record and to act as a publicity stunt however in order to meet the requirements laid down by Guinnes this monstrosity has to be on the menu at the cafe for at least a year.

Anyone wishing to tackle this mountain of meat will need to give at least 24 hours notice and will have to stump up a mighty A$1,500 (€1,100) for the pleasure.

Oh and they should probably have their affairs in order





ABC Sambal Extra Pedas

1 02 2011

A friend from work came back from Holland this week and knowing that I am a sucker for all things hot and spicy grabbed a bottle of hot sauce for me on her way back.

The sauce in question is from ABC, an Indonesian company who manufacture a range of different sauces;  this particular offering is their Sambal Extra Pedas which simply means extra hot.

Sambal being a Southern Asian sauce is often lumped in alongside Thai sauces such as Sriracha, now I cannot stand Sriracha and not just because of all the hype surrounding it at the moment, there is just a flavour to most store bought varieties that doesn’t appeal to me. Luckily for me though I have always quite enjoyed Sambal and I am keen to see how this particular brand measures up.

Ingredients: chile, sugar, water, salt, garlic, starch, acetic acid, sodium benzoate

Smell:

Upon opening the bottle I was hit straight away with a good big hit of chillies and garlic with just the slightest hint of sugary sweetness and vinegar coming through in the background.

Appearance:

This sambal looks an awful look like an orange slightly translucent tomato ketchup, it is completely smooth with not the slightest shred of seed or skin and has a medium viscosity that means you might have to give the bottle a bit of a whack to get things moving initially.

Taste:

I had a sneaking suspicion that I might like this sauce; it looked good it smelt good and I am known to enjoy sambal, even so I was really really pleasantly surprised by just how good this sauce was.

The main flavours that come through straight away are the chillies and the garlic, the vinegar is there but you really have to be looking for it to find it and the sweetness seems just right. There is enough to offset the chillies and the garlic but not so much that it seems overly sweet or cloying.

Since opening the bottle I have tried this sauce on a whole bunch of different foods; sausages, prawns, cod, egg fried rice, wanton rolls…. the list is really quite exhaustive.

The foods have all been really quite different but one thing has been static across the board – the sambal has worked well with pretty much all of them!

Obviously it has faired best with the more Asian items like the fried rice and the wanton rolls but that delicious mix of chillies, garlic and sweetness also worked brillantly with the seafood. The prawns were lifted to another dimension and it really worked well with the big meaty cod steaks.

Heat:

There is a decent bit of heat to this sauce, whilst it wont be breaking any records it is certainly hotter than a lot of other “sweet chilli sauces” that you would typically find in a supermarket which often are just sickly sweet concoctions with just enough chilli for you to notice it.

The burn, such as it is, stays very forward in your mouth and builds nicely whilst never really threatening to overwhelm.  If you think that tap water has a kick to it then I would steer clear but otherwise you shouldn’t be in for any shocks.

Heat 2/5

Overall 3.5/5








%d bloggers like this: