Tesco meal deal No. 1

Given that I have not done a post since Sept 11, I’ve had to fall back on my ’emergency post’ already. It’s not like I haven’t been out but we’ve mostly been to places I’ve already written about (especially Rev’s) or been in social situations where taking lots of photos of food would have been a bit awkward. So here’s some insights into a meal deal we have had a couple of times from Tesco.

For ten British pounds we got a focaccia bread with dips, a flatbread pizza, a funky pair of cream cakes and a couple of bottles of lemonade. For a Friday night meal at the end of a busy week’s work it’s a total no-brainer. Lemonade? Yeah that’s right but only because they’d run out of the very fruity sparkling rose wine they normally have in the meal deal section and I figured I could add some vanilla vodka or amaretto and turn it into a bit of a cocktail.

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The lemonade is indeed sweet and tangy, and with the addition of raspberries to one of the bottles very nice mixed with alcohol. It is however very acidic and not recommended on an empty stomach – which is where the bread comes in.

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Maybe a before and after photo regime will help next time. The focaccia was covered in rosemary which when cooked was largely inedible and needed picking off and disappointingly added little to the flavour of the bread. The dips – balsamic vinegar and olive oil – were excellent mixed together in the traditional way. The bread itself cooked a little dry and wasn’t as moist as freshly made restaurant focaccia can be.

Having had this meal a few times, sometimes broken into its constituent parts or with a beef casserole substituted for the pizza, I experimented a little with the focaccia. I sliced it in half like a Victoria sponge and dribbled the olive oil on the cut pieces laid side by side on the oven tray before cooking. The vinegar went into the bin. The bread when cooked came out moist on the inside and crisp on the outside – I then laid cooked chicken and pesto on top and ate it like an indulgent open sandwich Nigella would be proud of.

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The main act of the show was the carbonara pizza. The pizza base was a flatbread style base which wouldn’t be out of place at Prezzo or Pizza Express. There was a generous helping of pulled ham hock and plenty of mozarella cheese. The mushrooms went well with the meat and a smattering of sweet onion rounded off the flavours. It’s great with a bottle of rose and something similar would probably set you back around a tenner at the aforementioned restaurants.

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If the main act was the pizza then the stars of the show were the passionfruit and coconut eclairs with sticky icing and circles of white chocolate. The coconut is overpowered by the passionfruit filling but that’s fine by me as I’m not a huge fan of coconut in desserts. It’s a wacky idea for a cream cake but works well. At 370kcal a pop there’s no point doing anything but stuffing your face with them and smiling widely – the health info is in the red, but really who cares?

All told this is a winning selection of items in Tesco’s £10 meal deal, perhaps as I say only made better by a bottle of rose rather than the rather tart lemonade.

I’ll do some more posts about supermarket deals as the blog progresses and yes I’ll try and remember to take some product photos without the packaging!

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