Today’s post is about some special products we received at We The Food Snobs HQ a week or so ago. The amazing Bim’s Kitchen got in touch with us after reading our piece on The Artisan Kitchen and wondered if we’d be interested in sampling some of their delicious pots of African-inspired delights.
Bim’s Kitchen is the creation of husband and wife team James “Bim” and Nicola Adedeji. They are a small family business that has started producing a unique range of own-recipe African-inspired products using a variety of African spices and other ingredients. They have recently won Great Taste Gold Awards for 2011 and 2012 so we were eagerly awaiting the arrival of their package. They had kindly sent us a box of three jars, one of Baobab Pepper Jam, one of African Tomato & Cashew Nut Curry Sauce and finally one of African Chilli Coconut Relish.
Immediately our minds got to work on just what we could cook up with the different sauces that James had provided us with. We wanted to do things properly so James also sorted us out with some special recipes and we researched a few ourselves!
After a little deliberation we settled on the three courses we were going to create. So I present to you the “We The Food Snobs – Bim’s Kitchen Taster Session Menu” (bit of a mouthful, needs some work maybe haha)
The first dish was created using a 6 spice mix that was originally intended for a Moroccan Kofta recipe. We mixed cumin, chilli powder, turmeric, ground coriander, paprika and cinnamon into a bowl and then rolled the meatballs around inside to get a heavy coating. These were then put aside ready for the pan!
Then we created a delicious African-inspired salsa using pineapple, mango, red onion, bell peppers, cucumber and chilli. The ingredients were all finely chopped and left in the fridge to allow the flavours to mull over for a few hours.
The prawn dish was extremely simple to prepare, wash the prawns and finely chop some spring onion. We also decided to grab a bit of garlic and ginger to add to the dish too.
The monkfish curry was again, pretty straight forward and the only preparation that was needed was to cut the meat away from the bone that is found in the monkfish tail. This fish is really meaty and has a slight resemblance to chicken in its consistency. The great thing about cooking with it is that it doesn’t flake or break up, it holds it’s shape and provides you with glorious full chunks of fish in your dish!
Chef hat on! Wok hot! Begin!
First in were the Moroccan meatballs. The important factor here was to get the pan hot enough to seal the meal straight away and lock in those spices. The great thing about all these dishes was that they could all be cooked in super quick times.
Whilst they cooked we got the salsa from the fridge and drizzled over some Baobab Pepper Jam dressing, which in true Blue Peter style, we had prepared earlier! The salsa was the perfect accompaniment to the 6 spices of the meatballs. The sweetness of the mango and pineapple and spice from the chilli really complimented the flavour of the meatballs. We also used a big dollop of Baobab Pepper Jam to dunk our meatballs into too! It was delicious!
Next was the stir fried prawns with coconut relish. Now this relish was marketed as one of the hotter in the range and definitely the hottest of the three we received. Slightly cautious about whether our tongues were about to be cremated, we ventured on and to our surprise, not only was the heat manageable but it was enjoyable and born out of the most incredible rich coconut flavour. This dish was an absolute corker!
We had actually intended to serve the prawns with the monkfish curry and rice but we lost our heads slightly and the menu went out the window. The monkfish was tossed into the wok on a high heat. The fish quickly cooked and the curry sauce was added. We also added the spring onion and in the end completely forgot about the spinach! Finally we added a pinch of turmeric and chopped fresh chilli to the rice, to give it a unique flavour that would add to the African Tomato & Cashew Nut Curry sauce.
The monkfish played it’s role perfectly. It stayed in big meaty chunks and had a strong enough flavour to be tasted amongst the sauce. This was a milder dish compared to the stir fried shrimp and we were delighted to see that our idea for the chilli infused rice really did work. This sauce was rich and flavoursome and would be perfect for anyone who is slightly scared of too much heat on the palate.
All in all, the products were a complete success and the meal was a hit with our guests too. If anything we could have done with some more monkfish but sadly our pennies couldn’t stretch any further! We spent the rest of the evening gorging on ice cream and fresh pineapple and mango. Two fruits that can be slightly irritating to prepare but once you’ve got it in your mouth the effort is definitely worth it! We did want coconut ice cream as we felt that was more in keeping with the theme but sadly we couldn’t find any in the local supermarkets and being true blokes, we had left it to the last minute as usual!
We’d like to say a big thank you to James for allowing us to sample his products, it was a genuine treat to be cooking with such unique ingredients that we don’t normally use in our kitchens. Even our guests agreed that these were rather special and would definitely be interested in future purchases! All three products can stand proudly on their own, but we all agreed our favourite was the African Chilli Coconut Relish. This really did “Wow!” the tastebuds! Definitely check Bim’s Kitchen Products out as there are a whole host of them and they are so versatile. Also we loved that they provided recipes so novices like ourselves could really enjoy the sauces the way James intended.
We The Food Snobs x