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When I first began my maternity leave, I was busy batch cooking meals and freezing portions so that when chaos descended we wouldn't have to think about cooking but instead have a choice of homemade meals to hand. As this involved cooking on a larger scale than I'm used to, with the recipes I've been using feeding 12 people instead of the 2 to 4 I am used to, there has been a lot of peeling and chopping involved. Consequently, I have cut corners where I can, and one of the timesaving ideas I had was using these Very Lazy chopped red chillies instead of using fresh.
A 190g jar of these chillies currently costs £1.45 from Tesco. I thought this was great value considering how much fresh ones cost, and the fact they go off quickly whereas these will keep in the fridge up to 12 weeks after opening. The idea is that you replace one fresh chilli for one teaspoon of the lazy chopped chillies to achieve the same effect in your dishes.
When I first opened the jar, I was surprised by how much liquid there was inside, however after giving it a good stir with a teaspoon, it seemed to mix everything up a bit so the chillies weren't floating quite as much as they were. According to the product description online, the chillies are preserved in white wine vinegar, which is what prevents them from going off, and hence this is what the liquid is. It also states that the vinegar evaporates during the cooking process, so you don't need to worry about adding it to your dish as it won't affect the consistency.
The beauty of using these ready prepared chillies is that it not only saves time but also the hassle of having to chop and de-seed fresh chillies, and then having to wash your hands repeatedly to try and get rid of the smell of chillies from your fingers and avoid transferring the heat to your eyes which always seems to happen. I usually discard the seeds, but from what I could see from the insides of the jar, the seeds have been included in the ready chopped ones. This doesn't bother me in the slightest because you can't see them once the dish has been cooked, and also taste wise I'm impressed with the effectiveness of these chillies. I made chilli con carne last night using these chillies, and the result was really tasty and absolutely perfect in terms of "heat". I also find it useful that I can just use one teaspoon to get the same result each time, whereas with fresh chillies it's always a judgement call depending on the size of the chilli as to how hot it will be.
This was my first experiment with the "Very Lazy" range, and I am now looking forward to experimenting with more products from the range. I find it useful that I now have red chillies ready chopped in the fridge for next time I need to use them, which saves me having to buy fresh and use them before they go off. These are suitable for vegetarians, vegans, and coeliacs, although they do contain sulphites (in the preserving vinegar) so should be avoided if you are allergic.
(Review also appears on Ciao under the username Gingerkitty)
I am a bit of a snob when it comes to cooking and my new hubby is the total opposite! When he lived alone he would buy everything processed. Me, I like to craft my cooking and work from scratch.
I had put on the shopping list 'red chillies' and my love brought back a smart little jar - square with 'English Provender Co' embossed into the sides. "Hmph", grunted I.
He argued that by spending a mere £1.80 for a 190g jar, it would save him having to cut the chillies and then burning his eyes as he ALWAYS forgets and rubs them before washing them. "Hmph" said I again as I remembered seeing the very same jar at £1.49 at Tesco!
Anyway, I took a look at the ingredients and was mildly surprised (and pleased) to see only two ingredients - white wine vinegar and dried chilli flakes. The label assures the reader that the vinegar evaporates during cooking which, to be fair, did. The real downside to this is that the white wine vinegar contains sulphites which are not an ingredient I am generally happy to use as my daughter has allergies.
I do like that the product is a British one. I'm all for exotic and diverse purchases but strongly believe in supporting our local producers and manufacturers.
So, to get back to the chillies! I used some in the curry I did on Saturday night - which was delish! I can honestly say that I did not miss 'fresh' chillies. I do not like chilli powder as you just get the 'heat' but these were great in my curry.
This evening, my boy came home from school with his friend ' can Sam stay for tea Mum? ' as they do! Ok, methings, I'll try something new. Some plain flour (approx 200g), teaspoon of Very Lazy Chillies, teaspoon salt (don't forget 6g per adult PER DAY is the max you should have) tablespoon of paprika, mix well, add enough sparkling spring water to mix to a thick batter, dip chicken legs in the batter mix and place in a hot oiled oven dish, cook for 40 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
Not KFC but a bit healthier and the boys were satisfied!
All in all, I do like fresh chillies but I would certainly keep one of these in the cupboard. Once opened it recommends to be used within 12 weeks ( in the fridge) which is a good shelf life.
We all lead busy lives and sometimes like to cut corners - of this I am certainly guilty! Having pre-planned to make a veggie chilli con carne yesterday, I realised that my pre-planning was not up to scratch. I had all the ingredients but no chilli peppers, not even a jar of chilli powder could be found at the back of the cupboard!
A quick trip to Sainsbury's later and I returned clutching a jar of Very Lazy Red Chillies. I had found it amongst the other jars and sauces next to the oilive oils. I have previously tried Very Lazy Garlic with much success so thought I would give this a go.
The chillies are sold in a small, clear, square glass jar (115g, although the drained weight is 70g). Simply packaged, the chillies are clearly visible behind the black label on the front of the jar. The jar has a black lid which is easily twisted off. The label at on the back of the jar must be peeled of to reveal instructions/nutritional information.
Once opened, a quite unpleasant aroma is released, very sour and vinegary. Sniffing it too closely mad my eyes water!
Inside the jar is what looks like an red and white flaky, oily paste. They don't look too attractive.
The vinegary odour is easily explained as the primary ingredient is white wine vinegar, containing Sulphur Dioxide. The only other ingredient - red dried chilli flakes.
Nutritional Information per 100g:
of which sugars 1.9g
of which saturates 0.7g
The product is suitable for vegetarians, vegans and coeliacs.
So, how is this product used? Lazily! You basically replace one medium chilli with one teaspoon of the jarred product. For my particular dish, I fried my garlic (traditional from a bulb!!) and Lazy Chilli in oil before adding onions.
You can certainly smell the chilli when it is cooking, it smells lovely when mingling with the garlic.
The manufacturers seem to have the instructions spot on. I would normally add lots of chillies and therefore added half a jar of the product. Some of this was added later after a taste test, I didn't want to be over dosing on my first attempt. The finished dish certainly had a fiery kick, no different from using fresh chillies.
The current retail price in Sainsbury's is 97p. It is something I would probably buy again on occasion as it is a very handy product to have in the fridge for an emergency dish.
However it's not too time consuming chopping up chillies, I find garlic chopping much more of a chore so will probably spend the majority of my funds on Very Lazy Garlic!
Very Lazy Red Chillies - Made by the English Provender Company.
This product costs £1.49 for 100g of chopped red chillies. They come in a small glass jar and have a black screw top lid so this product is totally resealable. The packaging can also be washed out when empty and used for storing other items as the screw top lid will work well to keep products fresh.
Forget chopping & deseeding chillies, Very Lazy Red Chillies allows you five more minutes leisure time. Simply replace one chilli with one level teaspoon of Very Lazy Chillies - Very convenient!
Personally I am useless at chopping chillies and I find it much easier to just open this little jar and yes the chillies still taste just as hot and tasty as fresh chopped chillies. This is a fantastic time saver and as most of the recipies I use do not require a fast amount of chillies I just buy one jar and hey presto - you have really saved your self a lot of time and a lot less hassle than chopping hot chillies.
Dried Red Chilli Flakes
The Vinegar evaporates during cooking so no nasty aftertaste!
Suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
Suitable for Coeliacs
Typical values per 100g:
Energy kJ 217
Energy kcal 52
of which sugars 1.9
of which saturates 0.7
All in all not too unhealthy!
I have used other English Provender Company products but this one is my favourite. The only downside is that I have never ever seen this product on special offer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I felt compelled to right this review about EPC Very Lazy Chilli as I am a massive fan of the sister item Very Lazy Garlic and was soooo pleased to find that they made another very annoying to prepair and use product in a jar for people that love to cook, but find that life is way too short to fiddle endlessly in the kitchen with tiny chilli that cuse nothing but grief, I always manage to drop some seeds on the kitchen floor for a toddler to munch on and subseqantly cry endlessly for no reason.
This is a finely chopped red chilli product that it preserved in White eine vinegar. It doesn't taste of vinegar at all, and when cooked vinegar simply evaporates anyway. I always check the strength of chilli by making my brave warrier hubby bite into it and give me the strangthomiter....really scientific I hear you cry! Likewise, I made him taste the chilli on the end of a spoon. He told me to taste it.....reluctantly I did. I was soooo mild, almost like a slightly spicy red pepper....not great.
I made a pasta sauce for the kids which I always add plenty of garlic and 1 chilli too to give it a nice depth of flavor but not make it really spicy. I ended up putting 3 teaspoons in to give it the same amount as 1 medium chilli taste.
I normally get a pack of 3 med chilli's at Tesco for 69p, this jar was £1.99. I thought the product was a really good idea, and brilliant to use, but simply not strong enough making it not very good value for money!!! I promise you that I am not a mad chilli lover that likes things really blow your head off strong......but this is very very mild.
I cannot rave about this product enough!! I love hot and spicy food and Chilli Con Carne is one of my favourite meals as you can make a huge portion of it before freezing lots of meal sized portions for a quick and easy (and healthier than store bought) ready meal.
However, the problem with chillis is that somehow no matter how much i avoid it, I manage to get chilli in my eye, which results in agonising pain!! Cutting up the chillis can be quite a nusiance too as I am certainly no chef and never manage to cut them up that small.
After discovering Very Lazy Chilli this need never be a problem again!!
The chilli comes in a small glass jar which is cube shaped with a black screw lid and is produced by The English Provendor Company. The chillis are kept in white wine vinegar but you don't get any taste or smell of vinegar off them (I personally cannot abide vinegar!) and I was a little worried about this before opening the jar, but fear not!
You simply replace each chilli in your recipe with one level teaspoon of the Chillis. As easy as that. No mess chopping and deseeding, but you still get a wonderful spicy taste!! I do think they are not quite as hot as regular chillis so I would personlly reccommend adding one teaspoon and then tasting it to see if this is hot enough for you, before adding more as you see necessary.
This can be purchased in all major supermarkets or the website http://www.englishprovender.co.uk/
It costs £1.74 for a 115g jar. The jar does last for quite a few dishes and seeing as there is no waste you will undoubtly save money over buying fresh chillis for your dishes.
I would thoroughly reccommend Very Lazy Chillis to anyone wishing to spice up salsas, chillis or stirfrys. If you do like the hassle free cooking this provides I would also reccommend Very Lazy Garlic, another genius solution! On the website you can see they produce other products similar to these although I cannot personally reccommend any of these.