“ Brand: Birds Eye / Type: Fish „
I am a huge fan of sea food, I didn't realise I was a fan until quite recently, but now I love to taste the different fish. I've started to learn what I like and what I dont like. You will find me weekly at Asda's fish counter (we dont have a fishmonger and I have to say Asda is very good indeed.) I like to try a different type every time I visit.
I did my shopping at another supermarket this week and my local one does not have a fish counter. I was having a craving for sea food so as I passed the freezers, Birdseye "Simply" fish caught my eye. I'd seen the adverts on TV and the fish there looked delicious. So I lifted a couple of boxes and read them I settled on North Atlantic Haddock with Lemon and Chive Butter.
The USP of the Simply range is that you just pop the bag in the oven for the stated amount of time, then boom, fish ready to eat with the minimal of effort. But if you use the Asda fish counter, they too will seal your fish in a bag with a knob of your chosen butter, and it works out much cheaper from what I can see. I paid £4.69 for 2 of these pieces of Haddock. I have previously got bigger pieces for less than this in Asda.
The cooking instructions were really simple. Pop on an oven tray at 170 degrees for 25 minutes. I followed them to the letter. After 15 minutes I could smell a faint fishy smell that was making me so hungry and eventually the time elapsed and I took my foil bag out of the oven.
I snipped it open with scissors, to find myself faced with a rather tiny fillet of fish and an ocean of watery butter. I was a bit disappointed, but scooped it on to my plate to give it a try.
Taste-wise I was even more disappointed. It had the texture of rubber and it tasted like a bouncy ball that had been washed in lemon. It didn't melt in the mouth like the advertisements would have you believe. I tried a few mouthfuls. Then I gave up and gave it to the dog. Really very annoyed that I had paid so much for it.
The ingredients are as follows:
Haddock Fillet (85%), Lemon & Chive Butter Sauce (15%), Lemon & Chive Butter Sauce, Butter (52%), Water, Chives (4%), Vegetable Oil, Salt, Rice Starch, Natural Emulsifier (Sunflower Lecithin), Fish Gelatine, Lemon Extract.
But my own advice would be to call at your local fishmonger. You will get much more for your money and it will taste better too. I won't be buying these again. And with the small portion size, I am definitely glad that I wasn't planning to serve this for my husband's dinner. He would have been starving!
I'm not very knowledgable about fish, but I am learning. and this is certainly not the way forward for me!
I recently tried the Birds Eye Simply baked to perfection range which is a selection of finest fish fillets and seafood, complemented with a herb infused butter sauce and wrapped in a bake perfect bag. According to the side of the box they say that, "Only the most succulent cuts of fish are selected for the bake to perfection range to ensure you get the freshest, chunkiest and flakiest fillets or the juiciest king prawns for mouth watering meals."
I tried the succulent king prawns with a sweet chilli sauce and really liked them so I decided to try some of their other fish on offer. I went for the North Atlantic Haddock fillets with a lemon and chive butter sauce. I thought the haddock would be something different than the usual salmon or cod that I usually go for and I was excited to try something new.
There were two bits of the haddock in the box and each was wrapped in its own foil sealed bag. The foil is there to lock in the flavour so that when you cook it I guess all the flavour stays in the bag and infuses into the fish. There are also micro perforations in the bags with Birds Eye say create a perfect cooking environment for the fish. The fish is really easy to cook and this is what I like about this range from Birds Eye. You basically just put the foil bags in the oven, cook for twenty minutes and then the fish is done. I would recommend putting the foil bags in a baking pan as even though they have a heat seal around them which is meant to prevent leaking when I cooked the prawns previously one of the bags leaked and all the juices came out so I didn't want that happening and going all over my oven. Having said that with this haddock non of it spilt out so the heat seal obviously works. One side of the foil bag is also see-through so it allows you to see the fish when it is cooking which I think is a really good idea so you can make sure you are not over cooking them.
Once the fish was done you remove the foil bags from the oven. They cooled down quickly so I wasn't worried about burning myself but I did find it a bit tricky trying to cut the bag open, transfer the fish to the plates and make sure I didn't loose any of the juices. I think though if you just hold the bag and cut over the plate it comes out ok.
On top of the haddock there is a layer of butter which cooks through to infuse the flavour. I definitely found this to be true as the fish really was full of flaovur however I felt that the lemon was way too overpowering and made the fish way too tangy and sour. The juice was quite watery too and soaked the fish more than I would have liked. I also think I did overcook them a little bit as the fish was a bit overdone so perhaps I would not leave them in for 20 minutes next time. Per 100g there are 129 calories which is actually not too bad at all and fish is good for you so I think this is quite a healthy choice.
In conclusion I would say that although cooking this fish offers you a lot of convenience I did not like the taste of this particular offering and would stick with the prawns from their range which I did like.
I love fish and often try out new brands in the supermarket; one that caught my eye was a product from the Birds Eye Simply range, namely the Chunky North Atlantic Haddock Fillets with a Lemon & Chive Butter.
The idea of this fish is that the fillets come in individual plastic bags, you cook them in the bags from frozen for 25 minutes which will result in haddock fillets (to use the words of Birds Eye themselves) 'Baked to Perfection'.
The cooking instructions are accurate and I was impressed at the fresh appearance and flakiness of the fish. Removing the fish from the bag posed a bit of a problem as obviously the butter marinade melts during cooking and I really didn't want a puddle of it on my plate so I had to gingerly pick up the very hot bag and try to pull the fish fillet out without displacing too much of the butter!
The fish looks succulent and the fillets are indeed chunky, there is a rich lemony aroma rising in the steam that really had my mouth watering straight away. Considering this is in essence frozen fish I'm surprised at how fresh and appetising each fillet looks, there are two in a box so I had one and gave my sister the other when she came to lunch.
The fish has the delicious delicate flavour that haddock is known for, for some reason I had been expecting the haddock to be smoked but this is not the case and I thought the flavours in the butter sauce complimented this excellent fish beautifully. The whole meal is rather subtly flavoured actually, if you like spicy toppings and sauces on your fish then you may find this a little bland for your tastes but personally I think there is nothing better for fish than it's natural accompaniment, lemon.
The chives lend a very subtle herby flavour to the sauce, I was expecting a rather stronger chive taste as the snippets are quite large but thankfully the flavours are subdued somewhat by the butter and lemon. Yes, the sauce itself does taste buttery but it's in a nice way rather than having the flavour of melted fat poured all over your meal as happens with cheaper butter sauces. This does mean that the sauce is rather greasy, but if you've chosen a meal that comes with a butter sauce then I am guessing that you are adverse to neither the taste of butter nor an oilier sauce.
I found this meal to be very filling with home made fat-free potato wedges and was pleased to find that each fillet with sauce contains just 190 calories and 6.5g saturated fat, although obviously the fat content can be cut drastically by not pouring all of the sauce onto your plate. I estimate I had roughly a third of the sauce that was liquefied in the bag and as haddock itself contains very little fat I think I saved myself in the region of 4g.
As you can probably tell, I'm impressed and will continue to buy these to keep in the freezer for a quick and easy meal. I adore fresh fish but time is sometimes against me if I have to defrost and cook a piece so to be able to eat fresh tasting haddock with a delicious unfussy sauce is fantastic in my opinion.
Now for the bad news. These fish fillets are rather more expensive than similar products available, I paid £1.99 for my box of two which was on a special introductory offer - I'm not sure of the normal price but I'd imagine it to be around the £3 mark, which isn't bad considering the price of fish nowadays but still dearer than buying from the standard Birds Eye range.