Olives Et Al’s Everything But The… boxes are a brilliant idea for a weekend away – or for keeping handy over the weeks of parties before, during and after Christmas. Everything is in one spotty box and ready to go – and after all the parties have been and gone, the ingredients are there to make merry again with the last remnants of the Christmas pantry.
Olives Et Al suggest that their Everything But the Bird box is ideal for Boxing Day. They explain : "The box includes Olives Et Al’s best-selling Putney Sauce (goes great with cold foods – pasta and quiche), Dukkah (to liven up potato wedges), Sticky Onion Marmalade (makes groovy gravy), Chilli Billy Jelly (goes with everything!), Pink Mojo dressing/marinade (great with all festive birds, and salmon too), Tomorosso (sunblushed tomatoes for tarts or pastas) and Very Deli Pepperabica peppers (plonked on top of Ciabatta) – the whole box is £35.00 and the best bit is that you only need to add a bird !"
Also in the range is Everything But The Music, for great party snacks, fiery Jalapeno Olives and Chilli Puffs (rrp £27.50), Everything But the Movie, just the box to curl up with after one too many festive celebrations (rrp £27.50) and Everything but the Tree, gorgeous olive tree products from salad servers to a pestle and mortar, with a bottle of Olives Et Al’s extra virgin olive oil too (rrp £55.00).
We received two products from the Everything But The Bird box to sample here at The Madhouse and I have to agree that they do both go really well with leftover turkey.
First up was a jar of Putney Sauce, which I thought was a bit of a strange name. On the website, they explain (kind of !) : "A sauce of sun-smacked tomatoes, peppers and onions and a relish for anything from cheese to chops and perfect for dipping into. Why Putney? Better than Scunthorpe (Sorry, Scunthorpians)" ! On the jar, they say the same thing except this time, it's better than Cleethorpes ! It's much runnier than other relishes that I've tried in the past but they explain on the label "it's Putney, not chutney" ! It's a bit of a cliche to say that it's a taste of sunshine but it's nevertheless true. It contains recognisable pieces of tomato, onion and red pepper and tastes and looks like homemade relish. It's lovely on sandwiches, but also on the side of the plate with grilled meat, sausages, omelette or for livening up bland dishes like mashed potato or rice. At 127 calories for 100g (which is almost half of the 270g jar), you'll be adding a whole lot of flavour for just a few calories. If you prefer more of a kick, there's also a Hot Putney Sauce available.
The second product was the Chilli Billy Jelly, which is a name that rolls nicely off the tongue ! Described as a chilli, ginger and garlic jelly, it contains a reassuringly short list of ingredients : Sugar, water, red chilli puree (10%), garlic puree (6%), ginger puree (1%), concentrated lemon juice, gelling agent (fruit pectin). It's a surprisingly sweet, runny jelly with a real kick which is great for adding flavour and chilli heat to ... well, I wasn't really sure what I could use it with ! Luckily the label is a great source of inspiration, claiming : "Billy likes to spread himself about so marinade him, skewer him, dress him up in noodles or let him give your salad a good kicking. He's pretty easy and terribly versatile." The website also says : "With chilli, ginger and garlic, a perfect accompaniment for cheese, meat or fish, or add a big dollop to soups and stews."
I tried it on the side of a ploughman's (a turkey ploughman's, obviously, given the time of year!) and drizzled it over salad as a dressing, and it worked really well flavour wise for both, although it's a bit runny to be used as a side garnish. I'd love to use this as a glaze on chicken or as a dip with naan bread and curry. I'll be enjoying adding a spoonful in various dishes to see what works though, as it could go with pretty much anything.
Olives Et Al’s products are available in good food retailers, delis, farm shops, food halls and on line at http://www.olivesetal.co.uk/
star rating : 4.5/5
RRP : £4 for Putney Sauce (270g), £3.50 for Chilli Billy Jelly (210g)
for more information : http://www.olivesetal.co.uk/
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