I’ve always managed to balance my life to include cooking. This is because I love it and I’m not a massive fan of the ready meals on the market. Every time I have one, I’m left feeling disappointed and dissatisfied. However, as many of you know, my life is pretty hectic and taken up with work, seeing family and friends and, of course, the blog. So when I heard about COOK, I was impressed by their offering and ethos.
At COOK, they make remarkable food for your freezer, prepared by hand at their kitchen in Kent, using the same ingredients and techniques we would use at home – and have been doing this for nearly 20 years!
It was my turn to host New Year celebrations and I thought what a perfect opportunity to have a stress free night of entertaining with COOK. With shops nationwide and the option to deliver to your door, COOK really do make it easy to shop. I went to visit Mike, the store manager from the COOK shop in Harrogate. He explained more about COOK and advised me on what to pick. His enthusiasm for the produce and love for what he did was clear. The shop was lovely; very brows-able and styled in a welcoming kitchen farmhouse style.
Mike suggested having canapés to start, which we picked Little Salmon Wellingtons (£7.50 for 12) and Cherubs on Horseback (£7.50 for 12). For main course, we chose Moroccan Spiced Lamb Tagine (£8.99 for two people) with Minted Couscous (£2.50 for two people) and you’re just going to have to read on to find out what delicious pudding we chose for dessert.
As I mentioned all the dishes are homemade, once made they are quickly frozen at -35 degrees, so here’s no need to include preservatives or other nasties. They can then be put in your own freezer at home and cooked from frozen. Plus for people on the go – some meals are microwave-able. One really nice touch is the packaging lets you know which chef has made the dish.
Easy peasy COOK canapés
COOK has an array of canapés to suit all food groups. I’ve never tried Cherubs on Horseback but they were gorgeous. The creamy goat’s cheese, paired well with the sticky sweet dates and toasted almonds wrapped neatly in sweet-cured, streaky bacon.
The Little Salmon Wellingtons were light and had the perfect crisp when you bit into the parcel. COOK use Kiln-roasted Scottish salmon with a spinach, dill and horseradish cream wrapped in that crisp puff pastry. Both canapés were delicious and went down a storm with my guests.
Moroccan Spiced Lamb Tagine with Minted Couscous
This scrumptious dish contained mighty chunks of slow-cooked leg of lamb, with chickpeas and a warming blend of Moroccan spices, garnished with almond flakes.
The dish had a great balance of sweet and savoury flavours and I especially liked the contrast of the flaked almonds, chickpeas and melt-in-your-mouth lamb. This went perfectly with the lightly minted couscous, so vibrant with curls of grated carrot, sun-dried tomato and green pepper.
It tasted so good, no wonder it’s won multiple Great Taste Awards – and we certainly had squeaky clean dishes all round!
Find out more about the dish and how cheap it is compared you cooking it from scratch here:
Quick and easy cooking
Cooking the dish was easy, simply remove outer packaging and place in the oven. Mine was for four people which took 55 minutes but for two people you’re looking at 35-40 minutes from frozen. This dish was also one you can microwave and for two people this would simply take 8 minutes.
It was super easy to pop everything in the oven and know that it will be done on time. It allowed me to relax and be with my friends instead of in the kitchen.
All COOK’s Cardboard is recyclable so get it in the recycling bin as quick as you can so your friends think you’ve cooked the meal from scratch – cheat!
Frozen desserts to make your mouth water
What a way to see in the New Year than a Chocolate & Salted Caramel Pavlova (serves 8-10 £12.75). No kidding, this was the most incredible dessert ever. The balance of salted caramel cream with the sweet meringue and surprise of chocolate chips was so indulgent. Even my friends Em and Steve are still going on about how good it was.
Overall thoughts on COOK’s Freezer Food
For all those long distance commuters, those who work shifts, those sleep deprived parents and those that simply can’t cook, won’t cook. Then COOK is for you; they offer pots for one all under 400 calories, romantic meals for two and full blown entertaining. I for one will be stocking my freeze with all of these and know that I’m always be prepared for any night in.
If you want to pop in to COOK in Harrogate, there address is 14 West Park, Harrogate, HG1 1BL or call them on 01423 705263.
Because you now have tonnes of extra time on your hands thanks to COOK, you might like to make a terrarium. Read my step by step guide here.