As a busy working mum of two, trying to come up with quick weekday meal ideas isn’t always the easiest and we usually end up having the same old stuff week in week out. Plus because, as I’m sure you well know, kids can be fussy little blighters, for want of an easy life myself and the husband usually end up eating what they eat, which basically equates to spag bol, meatballs, tuna pasta bake, roast chicken or good old dependable pesto pasta. Yummy, but boring.
I was recently sent a selection of quick cook sauces from Capsicana, which I’m hoping will make me up my weekday cooking game and mean us adults can start eating like adults again!
The Latin inspired sauces are available in four different flavours with varying heat factors:
- Peruvian Chilli & Lemon (mild)
- Mexican Chilli & Honey (medium)
- Brazilian Chilli & Coconut (hot)
- Cuban Chilli & Lime (hot)
Each one comes in a distinctive brightly coloured and beautifully designed cardboard sleeve and the sauce is contained within a clear plastic pouch. They serve 2 and come with a recipe on the back, just in case you’re not sure what to do with them.
Here’s what myself and the family thought of them:
Peruvian Chilli & Lemon
The mildest of the lot, but don’t for one minute think you’re missing out in the spice stakes, because this chilli and lemon sauce still packs a bit of a punch. It’s made from Aji Amarillo chillies and the sauce is based on the traditional Peruvian sauce ‘Aji Verde’ (meaning ‘Green Salsa’). It has a really lovely sweet and tangy lemony taste, which lends itself to chicken, fish and vegetable dishes. I used it as a sauce for a chicken and vegetable stir fry and served with rice, coriander and a slice of lemon and it went down an absolute treat, especially with the husband who was glad it wasn’t bolognaise again!
Mexican Chilli & Honey
This one’s made from Ancho Poblano and Chipotle chillies and is based on the Mexican dish ‘Puerco al Horno con Salsa de Chile Ancho y Miel’ (meaning ‘Baked Pork with Honey and Ancho Chilli Sauce’). I chose to use it as a marinade for some chicken drumsticks and because my 9-year-old son had been eyeing up the previous dinner, and because he can handle a bit of spiciness in his food, I made some for him as well. A delicious ooey, gooey, sticky jamminess of a sauce with some pep at the end from the chilli, I served alongside some home made oven baked chips, pea shoots and a dollop of natural yogurt topped with some smoked paprika. And boy did it go down well…empty plates says it all really.
Brazilian Chilli & Coconut
Moving onto one of ‘hotties’, now that my son had had a taste of these sauces, he wanted more, claiming he could handle any kinda heat. This Brazilian sauce made from Frutescens Chillies is based on the dish ‘Moqueca’ (meaning quite simply ‘stew’) which is a type of seafood stew. Hence my decision to pair it with some delicious prawns and serve it up prawn veggie curry stylee. I must admit I thought this would beat the boy, but nope an empty plate yet again and a very satisfied mum and dad, who loved having a curry midweek, especially as it had only taken 15 minutes to make! Slightly creamy, not as spicy as I thought it would be, and kind of like a red Thai curry type taste, I absolutely loved this one.
Cuban Chilli & Lime
And finally onto the second hot sauce, the Habanero chilli sauce based on the Cuban ‘Mojo’ sauce (meaning….sauce). I love anything that has a bit of lime in it and this did not disappoint. I used this zesty little number as a marinade and cooking sauce for a delicious yellow fin tuna and vegetable kebab, which I served with smoky beans and an avocado salsa. Heaven on a plate! Now that’s an adult midweek dinner. The boy ate it, the husband ate it, mine barely touched the sides I loved it so much and the girl….well she really does love her pesto pasta 😉
For me personally, I love the fact that these sauces are so quick and easy to use and help to create a dish that tastes better than the average weekday dinner. Plus if you have got a fusspot or two lurking in your house, it’s easy enough to adapt the meal to suit everybody. My prawn curry was easily made without the sauce for my daughter; I dished hers up, then a quick snip of the scissors to open the pouch, pour in the sauce and hey presto prawn curry for the rest of us. Likewise the chicken drumsticks, I kept hers plain and it works for pretty much most dishes.
My only ask, and it’s a very minor thing, is that they add a small notch to the top of the pouch to make it tearable, rather than having to use scissors to get into it. It’s purely to save time and make it even more easy, ‘cos we all need lifehacks when and wherever we can, right!?!
The sauces have now launched in Sainsburys stores across the UK and you can also find out more about the brand, as well as getting your mitts on some fab recipe inspo by heading on over to the Capsicana website.
*Products gifted for review