Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Deluxe Chicken and Chorizo Pies

Price: £2.49

Score (out of 5): 4

Review: well, this blog became the talking point of Christmas parties and at most of these I discovered I am not alone in being a middle class lover of Lidl. The Deluxe frozen range came widely recommended, so I've invested in all the meals that were mentioned by various friends. First up, the chicken and chorizo pie.

When I looked at the box for this and noticed that the chicken was from either Brazil or Thailand I was not hopeful. However, I was pleasantly surprised. The chicken did not have a bizarre texture or taste, but the least I know about its journey from a farm to my plate, the better, I suspect. The chorizo was a bit of a lurid red colour. But the creamy sauce that blended them all together was very tasty indeed.

The pastry was an absolute revelation - very crispy and short, not a soggy bottom in sight, and very easy to slip the pies out of their foil trays for nice presentation. My only comment on how they could be made better would be if they just had a bit more chicken in them. Otherwise, definitely get these in your freezer. With mash and veg, you've a very good meal on your plate in 40 minutes. 

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Deluxe Three Fish Roast

Apologies folks, this blog's been a little dormant in the New Year. Let's just say the return to work has been a bit of a shock to the system. But, everyone wants a treat for a dark, cold January, especially with all the storms and snow we've been having. So for the next few weeks we'll be reviewing the Lidl Deluxe range.

First off, we have my old friend from school and uni, Joelle McNichol reviewing the Three Fish Roast. I'm very impressed it has it's own Facebook page!

Price: £5.99

Score (out of 5): 4.5

Review: I've been on the look out for completely effort free meals, so this frozen ready meal seemed worth a punt. Stick it in the oven and forget about it for an hour or so, steam a bit of frozen veg, et voila, dinner.

I was not optimistic as ready made fish pies are often just fishy slop. But the packet reassured me with a list of ingredients I might actually find in my kitchen, and three types of MSC certified fish giving details of where each was caught. In googling to check the price for the review, I find this pie has its very own Facebook community, sharing information about when and where it is available and urging Lidl to keep it in stock. Apparently some people feel very strongly about it.

Could this be as good as my home made and frozen fish pie?

The USP is that the fish comes in a rectangular block made of layers of cod, salmon and smoked haddock, like a fishy neopolitan ice cream. This is surrounded by a creamy cheesy sauce, and topped with a crunchy breadcrumb, cheese and fried onion topping. It doesn't claim to be a pie, but it so is.

On serving, it did lose some points for presentation, especially as I hadn't anticipated the central fishy block so my first serving was a confusingly fish free sauce slop. But in fact the layered up fish has a real advantage over the more usual chunks of fish in sauce as it gives structure and substance to the dish. Instead of a pie slop, you have a nice fish fillet with a crispy top and a cheesy sauce on the side.

Taste wise I thought it was very tasty. Creamy and comforting as fish pie should be, but with the distinct flavours of the different fish coming through, and the crunchy topping was really good.

Would I buy this again? Yes indeed, but not with people round.

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Fragrance Free Baby Wipes

A New Year and a new set of Lidl reviews. And what a better way to start the New Year than with a rather fantastically well-written review of baby wipes by Emma Bolger - thanks Emma! These baby wipes sound like the perfect thing for your spring clean, even if you don't have a baby. Guest reviews always welcome here on A Lidl Bit of Middle Class Pleasure just get in touch.

Price: £0.79 for 80 wipes

Score (out of five): 4.5

Review: The problem with baby wipes is that there is no consistency between retailers and because you buy the things every time you go shopping they all merge into one ineffectual wipe. At entry level there is the barely-resealable, barely-damp wipe. Mid-range offers a few more square inches but no guarantee of packet-long moistness and the most expensive are something akin to a Chanel-doused Egyptian cotton flannel and likely take 2,000,000 years to biodegrade in landfill. You pay extra for a bit of plastic around the opening and it invariably falls off after three wipes have been removed. But a good baby wipe can clean anything: babies, wellies, cars, soft furnishings, doorknobs–the list is endless.

A critical nappy incident when our home was inexplicably wipe-less led to a desperate scramble to the nearest open shop. It was then that a discovery was made: Lidl baby wipes do what they are supposed to do!

Not only do they cope with a poop explosion, one–just one!–wipe is enough to clean a baby’s face, hands and the remnants of dinner off a highchair tray. The surface area is generous. The wipes are damp to start with and stay sufficiently damp for the duration of the job. The sticky seal is large enough to cover the opening thus resealing the packet adequately. They feel nice.

Also, given my son’s fondness for pulling out as many as he can from the packet when my back is turned and chewing on them, these seem to be one of the tastier varieties of baby wipe on the market.

Guest post by @bolger_emma -

/edit by Peter - I can also recommend these baby wipes for wiping down your bike after a ride.