Showing posts with label Product Review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Product Review. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Got Mussels?

Since everyone loved my (non-compensated) review of Phillips Maryland-Style Crab Cakes so much, I thought I would bring you another new-found seafood favorite of mine - straight from your grocer's freezer.

I would like to introduce you to Pier 33 Gourmet Mussels in Butter Garlic Sauce.

Not all frozen seafood is created equal, and not all of it is good. I've eaten mussels from many restaurants and there were some winners and losers there, too. 

Why, you ask, would I suddenly buy frozen mussels? Well, I'm a frugal shopper and avid seafood lover, so when I saw them on a buy-one-get-one-free sale, I said, why not, and grabbed a package.

Within a day or so, those little fellows were in a pot getting ready for a prime-time performance as an appetizer. To prepare you simply cut open the package and empty the contents into a large lidded pot and heat on high for 8-10 minutes and presto, you have a bowl of steaming mussels in a yummy sauce. 

We complimented them on their performance by quickly reducing them to a pile of empty shells.  They had good flavor and texture, and were tender and grit-free. 

Pier 33 Gourmet Mussels are pre-cooked and pasteurized and contain no unpronounceable ingredients. Mussels are also high in protein, Omega 3, Vitamin C, and Iron.

We gave them two thumbs up, and I went back and got two more packages while they were still on sale. They retail for around $4.99, and you get about two dozen per package.

Mussel Trivia: Did you know that the orange mussel meats are females and the white mussel meats are males?

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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Got Mice?

No?  We did, well "mouse singular", we hope.  We'd just gotten back from a walk after dinner, and I was sitting at my desk doing bloggy stuff when out of the corner of my eye I glimpsed movement.  Rosie was in fast forward behind something small, round and brown, that was, fortunately moving faster than he was.  Out of my mouth spewed “oh my Lord”, and instantly I was up, scrambling for a flashlight to squint behind the refrigerator.  Ah, there he is.  One beady little eye looking back at me.  He's so cute!  Yeah, I know this is a disease-ridden rodent just waiting for the chance to nibble his way through my cereal.  Yikes, that stuff’s expensive.  Gotta get rid of the mouse!

By the time hubby emerged from the reading room (you guys know what that is, right?), our furry guest had come out, and having caught the attention of yet another cat, was now cowering under the stove.  Do you see something wrong with this story, or more specifically, with this mouse?  We live with three cats, one of whom lived outside for years, supplementing his daily helping of cat chow with critter parts.  This poor lil' mouse wouldn't stand a chance.

After exhausting our available options, including trying to entice him into a bucket with some cat food, we gave up and went to bed, leaving the mouse ensconced in his hidey place under the stove.  He was apparently settling in for a life of leisure and all the kibble he could eat, assuming he could survive the 3-foot journey to the cats' food.

So who won this little cat and mouse game?  We did!  We went out and got a Tomcat Live Catch Mouse Trap.  For less than $5 and a dab of peanut butter, we were able to trap and release our furry friend back to the wilds of our back yard.  So if you have uninvited mouse guests, I recommend this product for their safe eviction.

This recommendation is made solely from our own purchase and use of this product.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Product Review: Phillips Maryland-Style Crab Cakes

Are you a fan of the humble crab cake, that golden brown, slightly crunchy parcel of delectable deliciousness?  

What makes a good crab cake?  In my opinion, and probably most crab lovers, high quality lump crab meat, minimal ingredients and and gentle handling.  I've eaten crab cakes at many places, some good, some OK and some just plain awful.  Even places that I liked on the first visit, the next time they seemed to have changed their recipe.  So what made the good ones good and the bad ones bad.  Given quality crab in all instances (any anything less than nice lump meat doesn't get counted) some offending ingredients are bell peppers (red and/or green), celery and onions.  Not only are the peppers still crisp tender and "crunch", the flavor overwhelms the delicate crab.  That version seems to be very popular around here.  However, good crab is good all on its own and does not need to be stuffed full of crunchy vegetables and fillers.  Any seasonings should just enhance the flavor, not cover it up.  Want more spiciness, serve with a tartar or remoulade sauce on the side.

Having figured out what I didn't like, I set out to find a recipe that would produce the results I craved.  I searched for crab cake recipes, and scanned through a number of recipes onlineI only found a couple that used the offending bell peppers, and barring those, they all used similarly simple ingredients.  Wow, this is it.  This is what I've been looking for.  I actually found the recipe I used here.  So when lump crab meat went on sale, I snatched up a pound and proceeded to makes crab cakes using my new-found recipe.  The recipe was wonderful, but we had an issue with the crab meat itself.  It smelled funny.  Not spoiled, but not like I thought crab was supposed to smell.  It didn't make us sick, and it right.  After that, I was leary of trying it again.  I could tell, though, that it was a GOOD recipe, so next time I got a different brand, and it was much better.  I don't remember either brand right now, but that's not important.

Now for the product review part of this post.  When we were in Costco the other day picking up  coupon items and some wine, we saw the Phillips brand frozen Maryland-style crab cakes.  They were $12.99 for six 3-oz. crab cakes.  You pay more than that for a pound of the good stuff at the grocery store, and most recipes make 6 cakes per pound of crab meat.  Considering that you can pay that much for a sub par crab cake dinner in restaurants, it seemed like a good deal.  I mean they're already made; you just pop them into the oven for about 16 minutes or so, and poof, you've got crab cakes.  I don't buy a lot of pre-packaged, already made up stuff, preferring to make my own, but we didn't have anything planned for dinner, so I said, "this is dinner tonight", and into the cart they went.  The directions were to bake them on a buttered baking sheet (I used olive oil) at 400 degrees for 12 minutes, turn them and bake an additional 4 minutes.  I think I let them go a couple minutes longer while getting the rest of the dinner together.  They were nicely seasoned, with nothing overpowering the crab.  They had decent size pieces of crab meat, and held together well without being tough or packed with fillers.  Just good taste, good texture, and I think, a good value for the money.  The flavor was equally as good as my recipe, and at just $2.16 per serving, this is definitely a repurchase.  If you like crab cakes, these are worth checking out.  Of course I will keep making them from scratch, too!

For the record, I had heard of different styles of crab cakes.  I mean every area has one, Carolina style, Charleston style, Chesapeake style, Maryland style.  Since I live here in North Carolina and have a hard time finding good crab cakes, I assumed that it was the Carolina style that I didn't care for.  I was mistaken in that assumption.  My continued research shows that most styles have pretty much the same basic recipe, and that the propensity for adding veggies seems to be more the exception than the rule (except around here).