“ Brand: Tesco / Type: Fish „
We recently invited some friends round for dinner and as we were looking around our local Tesco's for something tasty to dish up, we came across Tesco's Finest Salmon en Croute.
Tesco's Finest Salmon en Croute comes in a cardboard box which is decorated in the same sort of style as other Tesco's Finest products. The box is black and grey in colour with Tesco's Finest written across the front. Salmon en Croute is also written across the front and there is a large picture of the product when it is cooked splashed across the front also. There is also a product description on the packaging which states 'Prime salmon fillet. Butter enriched puff pastry. Spinach and lemon sauce.'
Once you open the box, there are two Salmon en Croute's inside which sit on a plastic tray.
Each packet contains two Salmon en Croutes and costs £4.29 so each Salmon en Croute costs £2.14 which is a little on the expensive side compared to some other products on the market.
To cook the Salmon en Croute, you simply take them out of the packaging; place them on a baking tray for 25 minutes on Gas Mark 7. The Salmon en Croute cooked perfectly in this time and smelt delicious about 10 minutes into the cooking time.
The Salmon en Croute
The Salmon en Croute itself is fairly large, around 4 and a half inches long by 3 inches wide and about an inch in depth. Before this product was cooked, the pastry looked nice and fresh and had small indents along the top of it for decoration. After the Salmon en Croute has been cooked, the pastry had risen on it, meaning that it was now about 2 inches deep. As I began to eat the Crute, I noticed just how light and crunchy the pastry was, it really was delicious. The salmon inside was cooked to perfection and was really nice and tender; it literally melted in my mouth. The spinach and lemon sauce was scrumptious and really complimented the salmon. I wasn't sure how well spinach would work in the product but I am pleased to say that all the ingredients worked really well together.
I don't usually tend to buy Tesco's Finest products as generally I find them to be quite overpriced but this is certainly a product that I would buy again. Although they are more expensive than many of the other Salmon en Croutes on the market, I really felt that they were worth paying a little bit more for.
This small meal is quite nourishing, depending on your appetite and if you are prepared to wait 30 minutes to cut into a succulent piece of wild Alaskan pink salmon, it is worth it.
The packet contains 2-en croutes and I find one quite sufficient with added salad and new potatoes boiled with mint with a slither of butter. This is well complemented with a nice cool glass of medium dry wine.
To get the best out of these portions, I find they need a bit more flavour to the sauce to give it that extra bite to the flavour as I find it a little bland. However, there is a nice portion of fish inside with adequate sauce to give it a creamy and mouth watering texture. The pastry is nice and light and blends well with the sauce.
There are things that annoy me; one is the added ingredients, obviously to give it that extra fishy taste, which takes the flavour of the salmon. The other is the statement on the allergies, declaring in the recipe that there are not nuts on one line, then the very next with the ingredients they declare they cannot guarantee that there aren't any traces of nuts, again on following line after that, the Factory; no nuts. (See the ingredients etc)
Why they just cannot play safe and save on the printing and say there might be traces of nuts and have done with it.
Otherwise I quite enjoyed this little meal.
Oven Cooking time 30 minutes from frozen
Skinless and boneless
400 Calories 20%
2.2g Sugar 2%
19.1g fat 27%
8.6g saturates 43%
1.1g salt 18%
Ingredients: pastry 48%, pink salmon 30%, water, full fat soft cheese, double cream, modified maize starch, herbs (chive and dill),onion, salt, wheat flour, fish bouillon, garlic puree, white pepper.
Pastry contains: wheat flour, vegetable oil, water and salt.
Fish Bouillon contains: Cod, salt, mussels, shallot, white wine concentrate, olive oil, modified maize starch, onion powder and black pepper
Contains,; milk, wheat, gluten, fish, shellfish.
Recipe; no nuts
Ingredients; cannot guarantee no nuts.
Factory; no nuts
Caution; although every care has been taken to remove bones some may remain.
After spending much of the day yesterday preparing party food for my granddaughter's 13th birthday I decided that I really could not be bothered to cook anything spectacular for my dinner so delved into the freezer to see what I could find.
How lucky I felt to come across a packet of my favourite ready meal, Tesco Finest Salmon en Croute. They are boxes in portions of two, but as I only wanted one I separated them and popped the other one back in the freezer for next time.
One of the things I love about this Salmon en Croute is that it takes around half an hour to cook and this is ideal timing for me to boil some potatoes and vegetables to make a complete and filling meal. The cooking instructions given on the packaging are surprisingly accurate (Tesco Finest have notoriously inaccurate cooking times as a rule) and after 30 minutes you'll be left with a golden brown en Croute which smells absolutely divine.
Don't be put off by the apparent smallness of the Salmon en Croute as this is actually a very rich dish and I doubt I could manage a larger one, in spite of how wonderfully tasty it is.
The en Croute is absolutely delicious. The salmon fillet is moist and has the typical earthy flavour of good quality salmon, it ends up with a wonderfully flaky finish and is beautifully pink with all the flavour of fresh salmon.
I remember the very first time I had this Salmon en Croute, I was surprised by how much sauce is inside the parcel. The pastry surrounding the fish is wonderfully delicate and has risen beautifully to make the portions appear so much bigger than before cooking. I love the way the sauce has seeped slightly into the underside of the pastry which gives it a lovely soggy texture (in a good way, of course) that gives me a great change of textures between the crisp, flaky topside and this almost sodden bottom.
The sauce is what really brings this dish to life for me. It is a thick and very creamy lemon and spinach sauce, looking at the ingredients list I can see that single cream and full fat cream cheese have been used to create the delicious texture of the sauce while the flavour comes from the spinach, mustard and lemon juice. The flavours all work beautifully together and compliment the salmon to perfection, my only complaint is that the flavour of the mustard isn't really apparent and I believe the kick of a good quality mustard would certainly liven this dish up nicely.
Altogether though I would say this is a fabulous dinner for one or two. The slightly crisp pastry, soft salmon and creamy sauce all make for a very posh seeming meal indeed and personally I believe that if you were to serve this up to guests they would not suspect this was in fact a supermarket bought ready meal.
The nutritional information tells me that each Salmon en Croute contains 530 calories and 31.4g of fat, although in my opinion this isn't actually too bad as salmon is a notoriously high fat fish and combining it with pastry and such a smooth and creamy sauce then you could hardly expect it to be a low fat meal. A pack of two Finest Salmon en Croute's will cost you £4.99, which is relatively expensive although with the price of fresh salmon shooting up it will probably be just as cost effective to buy it this way than to buy your fish and meal ingredients and put them altogether yourself.
As with most busy lifestyles, I'm always looking for a quick nutritious meal. Fish is a favourite of mine and I came across Tesco's Salmon en Croute some time ago whilst looking for something different.
As I perused the frozen cabinets, my eye was drawn to the tempting plateful of Salmon en Croute with a creamy sauce, carrots and broccoli pictured on a dark brown to salmon coloured back ground. The picture alone made my mouth water and purchased it straight away.
Salmon en Croute has been carefully selected using Alaskan pink salmon farmed from certified sustainable fishies, so you are helping the envoironment as well. In the box you will have two skinless and boneless generous portions of Alaskan salmon fillets with a very creamy sauce all wrapped in a light crispy puff pastry parcel. It takes around 25 - 30 minutes to cook from frozen, therefore giving you time to prepare and cook new potatoes, broccoli and fresh carrots; what more could you want for an easy to prepare meal. Upon eating this succulent parcel you will find the fish does not fall apart, the sauce keeps the moisture within the salmon and enhances the flavour. The sauce is not over powering and compliments the fish, whilst the delicious crispy puff pastry holds all the filling in reasonably well.
The only down side to salmon en croute is that the sauce does contain shell fish which could be dangerous to people with an allergy.
Salmon en croute is a must on my shopping list and although I've tried other own brand versions of this delicious product, Tesco's is by far the best I've found.
I noticed yesterday that this product had been set up on Dooyoo so I thought I would give you my opinion of this delicious meal.
Whilst I do enjoy cooking and admit to being a reasonably competent cook ready meals were very useful to me when I was a full time carer to my late mother who had Vascular Dementia.
Sometimes I coped fairly well with the demands that this put on me but occasionally I got so fed up and I just could not be bothered with anything and that included cooking!
This is where the Tesco's Finest range came in.
Although, at the time, I needed the convenience of ready meals to help my stress levels what I did not want was a pile of things added to the meals that are not really needed. I don't want or need my food to be strangely bright in colour or full of additives. The Tesco's Finest range is made using the best ingredients and no preservatives, colours or flavourings so that suits me just fine!
Anyway this review is about the Salmon en Croute.
** The size and cost **
When I last bought one it cost me £4.29 for 430g, although to be fair the Tesco's Finest meals are often on special offer so it would make sense to stock up and freeze them.
** The packaging **
The salmon en croute is packed in a sealed cardboard box. I assumed that this would contain one long portion of the product meaning that I would have to cut it in half after cooking and get crumbs everywhere! When I took it out of the cardboard box (at home after I had paid for it of course!) there was a plastic tray containing two individual portions. The packaging is fine for me as I do try and recycle as much as possible and as we can recycle both plastic and cardboard nothing will be thrown in the dustbin!
The cardboard box has the Tesco Finest logo on the top left and the main colours are grey and black apart from the colour picture of the salmon en croute which stands out against the plainer background making the whole thing look classy and inviting.
As I mentioned earlier one of the most important things about this product and others in the same range as far as I am concerned is the promise that it contains 'no artificial preservatives, flavours or colours'.
The other information on the front of the sleeve consists of the description of the product as follows: 'Prime salmon fillet. Butter enriched puff pastry. Spinach and lemon sauce.'
As with other Tesco foods there is also information about the calorie, sugar, salt, fat and saturates content in grams per pack and as a percentage of an average adult daily allowance.
On the reverse of the sleeve is all the usual information about how to cook the meal by conventional oven. As this is a meal encased in a pastry case it is not suitable for microwave cooking. Most of this range has an instruction to defrost the item thoroughly for 12 hours before cooking but this one has separate instructions on how to cook from frozen.
There is also a list of ingredients (as it says on the front of the pack nothing artificial), nutrition, allergy advice and the Tesco promise of satisfaction or a full refund.
Each portion contains 730 calories so it is a high calorie alternative but it is nice for a change!
As I said earlier this product was found in the chiller section at Tesco's but it suitable for home freezing which is what I did.
** How does it look? **
When I took the individual portions out of the packaging they looked quite small but that wasn't a problem as I intended to serve vegetables with the salmon en croute. The pastry looked nice enough and obviously that was the only part of the product that I could see at that point.
So all this information is great - the packaging is all recycleable, there are no artificial ingredients in the salmon en croute and the portion size looks just right BUT what does it taste like?
** The cooking **
As I said before the salmon en croute must be cooked in a conventional oven.
In order to prepare it for conventional cooking I just had to remove them from the packaging and place on a baking tray.
It would normally take 25 minutes in the oven on 220 degrees but, as I said earlier, I had frozen ours so it took 35 minutes to cook. Obviously you need to check that it is hot all the way through before serving.
By the time it was cooked the smell coming from the kitchen was lovely.
** The meal **
To serve the salmon en croute I just put each of the individual portions on a separate plate and served it with some mixed vegetables.
The salmon en croute looked lovely. The pastry had risen well and the portions then looked more than adequate.
The taste was great as well! The salmon was beautiful and there was plenty of it and the spinach and lemon sauce complimented it perfectly! The pastry was delicious - light and flaky.
As usual there was enough to make a filling meal for one when accompanied by vegetables, which isn't always the case when you buy ready meals!
All in all I would recommend this product to anyone, although as I said earlier the high calorie value would mean that this one wouldn't get used quite so often for us! Even at the full price of £4.29 per double portion it is still excellent value considering how good the product tastes, how easy it is to cook and the fact that it contains no artificial stuff.
As I said I used to cook this for mom and me but I would be more than happy to cook it for hubby and me although I would probably do a few new potatoes for him as our version of the meal might not be enough!
This review has also been posted on Ciao.