Yo! more takeaway

Salmon and Tuna Box

I do like sushi and if possible I prefer to eat at Yo! Sushi, but sometimes needs must and I get a takeaway. Yes you can buy sushi from Marks and Spencers or Tesco, but this isn’t the same. For one they use smoked or cooked fish over raw fish, secondly the sushi from Yo! Sushi is much fresher and as a result much tastier.

I bought three boxes (for the two of us) and it came to £20. Obviously this is more expensive than buying takeaway from a fish and chips shop, but about the same if I was going to a Chinese takeaway.

The Mixed Box contains 3 sashimi: salmon, tuna, coriander seared tuna.3 nigiri: salmon, prawn, tamago. 2 iso: crunchy prawn & avocado, YO! roll. 2 cucumber maki

This is a nice selection and if I was eating on my own, say I wanted sushi for lunch then I probably would go for a mixed box. I enjoyed the sashimi.

The Maki box 3 salmon maki, 3 cucumber maki, 3 tuna maki,
3 avocado maki, 3 prawn & chive maki. This is simple sushi in many respects, but the simplicity is what makes it really nice.

The Meaty Box doesn’t contain fish, but has 2 crispy duck futomaki. 2 spicy chicken katsu iso. 2 seared beef nigiri. 1 spicy chicken salad. I actually was quite looking forward to it, but was a little disappointed. The spicy chicken salad was good, but in a takeaway box though there was a fair bit of chicken, but lacked enough salad for me. I thought the seared beef nigiri would be tasty, but the beef lacked flavour and was a lot tougher than I thought it was going to be. The futomaki and iso were nice, but the duck and the chicken was a little dry. Overall this box was a disappointment and I don’t think I will get it again. Maybe I should read my own blog now and again, I actually thought this was the first time I had a Meaty Box, but according to my own blog I had one in March 2012 and back then I said:

I don’t usually have meat when I have sushi, favouring the fish, so this was a first for me. I though the seared beef nigiri was interesting, but lacked the depth of flavour I was expecting. Whereas the spicy chicken katsu iso was a wonderful combination of tastes and textures. There was also a lot of flavour in the crispy duck futomaki. Though I enjoyed the spicy chicken salad I do think we needed more of it.

A very similar experience…

So how was it then?

As you may be aware I decided to try another four bird roast for our Christmas dinner.

So how was it then?

Firstly it was very easy to cook, as instructed I cooked it in a deep roasting dish. I would certainly use a deep roasting dish as the stuffed goose does lose a fair amount of liquid. In addition the instructions recommend adding 500ml of water to the roasting dish, which I did.

I then covered the roast in foil and placed in a hot oven 220°C for 30 minutes, then turn the oven down to 180°C for a further two and half hours. At this point I removed the foil, removed some of the excess liquid and basted the roast. It was then cooked for a further 30 minutes. It was then removed from the oven and allowed to rest for 40 minutes. During the resting period I finished off the other stuff that needed to cook in the oven.

Four Bird Roast, Goose, Turkey, Duck and Guinea Fowl

It was rather good, and a lot better than the Marks and Spencer one I had a few years ago. It seemed to work much better with the core of the dish been a goose over a turkey.

I was pleased with the roast potatoes, for which I used my regular recipe. Taking King Edward potatoes I cut them into smaller pieces than I normally would, so they would cook quicker. They were parboiled for eight minutes, drained and then roughened up. They were then placed in a pre-heated roasting tray with sunflower and olive oil. As I wanted them to cook quite quickly and there was a fair bit of other stuff in the oven, I dusted them with some plain flour. This helps to crispen them up when there is a lot in the oven or a lot of steam.

I also made my own stuffing. In the build up to Christmas I had tried a couple of fresh shop stuffings and wasn’t too impressed. What I found was that they were too meaty. I much prefer a more bread based stuffing and if it contains fruit or nuts, you can taste them. For our Christmas lunch I made two stuffings, one was pork and apple, the other was a fruit and nut. Using fresh breadcrumbs, fresh herbs, some decent pork sausagemeat, freshly chopped onion, egg to bind; and for one chopped apple, the other a handful of a festive fruit and nut assortment. These were then placed into a foil trays and baked in the oven.

We also had a nice mix of vegetables, parsnips, brussel sprouts, carrots and squash.

Overall I was very pleased with the meal, which was enjoyed by all.

…basically a stuffed turkey!

Three years ago I managed to get in time and order a four bird roast from Marks and Spencer.

It went down well, but I did reflect afterwards:

Not sure if I would get it again, there was too much turkey in comparison to the other meats stuffed in there, but still very nice to have a mix of meats. Stuffings were nice as well.

When you look at the ingredients you get an idea why I thought that.

Turkey (66%)  • Pork, Brandied Apricot & Cranberry Stuffing (8%)  • Goose Breast (7%)  • Chicken Breast (5%)  • Smoked Streaky Bacon (5%)  • Duck Breast (5%)  • Poultry Stock • Water • Orange Slice • Dried Apricots • Rosemary • Salt • Ground Black Pepper.

It’s basically a stuffed turkey, the chicken, duck and goose only comprise 17%, but with 66% turkey it’s way too much turkey and at £120 is a little expensive for what is a stuffed turkey.

So what am I doing this year then?

Well, another four bird roast, but this time from Sainsburys. I did consider going to my local butcher, but their’s were too similar to Marks and Spencer’s, basically a stuffed turkey!

Sainsbury's Four Bird Roast

The Sainsbury’s version is different in that it is a goose stuffed with turkey, duck and guinea fowl. I will say that this is basically a stuffed goose; it’s 62% goose, 9% turkey and there is 8% duck and 8% guinea fowl. However as I have been meaning to have goose for a few years now, for me this is an ideal choice. It’s only 3.7kg, smaller than the 4.5Kg of the M&S version. It was also a lot cheaper at £80. I thought this was good value for money when you consider how more expensive goose is than turkey.

I am looking forward to cooking and eating it. As is now traditional in our house we will be cooking and eating our main festive meal on Christmas Eve.

Duck Gyoza

You don’t really have starters at Wagamama there are side dishes that arrive when they are ready. Out with friends we ordered a few alongside our main dishes.

Though generally I enjoy most items I have eaten at Wagamama I was less impressed with the deep-fried duck dumplings served with a spicy cherry hoi sin sauce.

Not that they were bad, more for me the dumplings in themselves lacked flavour and the hoi sin sauce was very overpowering. The texture was good and they were crunchy.

Stuffed Duck Legs

Sainsburys have recently released a new range, called Easy To Cook Autumn Meals.

We have tried a few and as you might expect some are better than others.

We did try the Stuffed Duck Legs, which were part-boned duck legs with a fruity pork stuffing.

Easy to cook, the instructions did seem to indicate to cook them for an extraordinarily long time

They were quite tasty, though a little dry, I think that was even though I cooked them for a shorter time than in the instructions.

I do like duck and this concept sounded good, however the end result was not as good as I hoped.

Duck

I recently had duck at a hotel restaurant.

Slightly overcooked and slice, it was served on a bed or oriental vegetables in a overpowering and salty oyster sauce. Bizarrely it was served with deep fried potato balls rather than rice, which would have been my preference.

I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would.

Roasting Duck Breasts

One of the problems with roasting duck breasts and duck is the amount of fat that comes off it. This is a good thing in one way, but can spoil the roasting process.

You can of course roast the duck breasts on a rack of some kind, so that the fat collects in the bottom of the pan but the duck is kept above it.

The process I use combines pan frying and roasting.

I score the skin of the duck breast and heat a frying pan on a high heat.

Do not add any oil to the pan and place the duck breasts in the pan skin side down.

Once the skin is crisp, transfer the duck breasts to a heated roasting tray and place in the oven and cook until the duck is cooked to your liking.

Some prefer their duck rare, I personally like it a little more done myself.

Four Bird Roast

Well the Four Bird Roast was a great success.

Three and half hours in the oven and resting for forty minutes did the trick. Beautifully moist and very tasty.

Not sure if I would get it again, there was too much turkey in comparison to the other meats stuffed in there, but still very nice to have a mix of meats. Stuffings were nice as well.

Christmas is coming…

As the big day approaches, I am starting to make the final preparations for the festive meal.

We are going to have the four bird roast from Marks and Spencers with Parmentier Potatoes and a spread of vegetables.

Hopefully it should all go to plan.

Christmas Four Bird Roast


Well my plan for a Christmas Four Bird Roast was scuppered last year. I had intended to order one from Marks and Spencers which consisted of Turkey, Goose, Duck, Chicken.

Marks and Spencers Four Bird Roast

However when I went to order it was apparent that many others had had the same idea and it had sold out! I am guessing that a) a lot of people were like me and liked the concept b) the Marks and Spencers version was good value for money at £100. There was no way you could even do it yourself for £100. Waitrose’s version was £120 and only consisted of a three bird roast.

So this year I got in early and managed to order one.

Now from the description I believe that this isn’t in fact four birds one stuffed within another, but a large turkey stuffed with goose, duck, chicken and stuffing. Still it sounds nice, and according to the person at Marks and Spencers who I ordered it from, it went down well at their Christmas last year.