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I like cooking from scratch, but I'm the first to admit that making my own stock is a waste of time and energy.
I want something quick and easy, but it still has to taste good. I find stock cubes fussy and messy, because quite often I don't want to use a whole one when I'm just cooking for two people.
I usually use Marigold Swiss Vegetable Bouillon Powder, which I find pretty convenient as the powder is loose in a pot, so you can use as much or as little as you want. But when I went to the supermarket to replenish my low stock levels (in both senses of the word) I saw Knorr Touch of Taste on special offer so I thought I'd give it a try.
It is a concentrated liquid stock that can be used to give any kind of sauce, soup or casserole a boost of flavour and it comes in four different varieties:
I chose the Vegetable one as I thought it would be the most versatile and would suit a wider variety of dishes. It comes in a 180ml glass bottle with a screw on lid and 1 bottle will make 4 litres of diluted stock. The stock is a good consistency as you pour it out of the bottle, not too runny and not too thick. The colour is a nice golden colour, which is very appealing and makes me think that what I'm adding to my food will be packed full of flavour. It has a pleasant smell in the bottle and once you add it to your food the room fills with a lovely aroma.
For risottos, soups and casseroles it recommends using 1½ tablespoons of the stock to ½ litre of boiling water. I find this amount gives a dish like a risotto a good flavour, without being too overpowering or salty. I particularly like adding a few drops to stir fries and it's great because it's liquid so you don't have to wait for it to dissolve like granules/powder. I like to use it as a marinade when roasting chicken thighs - I just mix a generous tablespoon with an equal amount of Cajun seasoning so it becomes a paste and then smear it over the meat - it's so simple and yet really tasty!
I don't normally like giving lists of ingredients, but I think for this stock it's quite relevant and gives a good indication of how this tastes, as there is a real depth of flavour:
* Vegetable stock (water, mushroom, cabbage, cauliflower, onion, celeriac, asparagus),
* Yeast extract,
* Glucose syrup,
* White wine,
* Herb and spice extracts (bay, parsley, dill, chervil, mint, rosemary, pepper)
* Modified potato starch
* Flavour enhancers (MsG, sodium 5-ribonucleotides)
* Preservative (potassium sorbate)
* Garlic extract
Once opened you should keep it refrigerated and use it by the Best Before End date on the lid (in my case that's a good 6 months away).
I actually prefer the flavour of the Knorr Vegetable Stock to the Marigold Swiss, as I find the blend of herbs and other ingredients in it more satisfying and it is so versatile and easy to use, therefore I will definitely be buying it again.
It costs £1.98 from most supermarkets, which I think is very reasonable compared to the other liquid stocks and stock cubes available.