How not to cook – More More More – A Gourmet delivery
Do you like cooking for other people? If you are the sort of home cook who really dreads having to entertain, More More More could be made for you. It makes the perfect dinner party in a box – a gourmet delivery that means you can avoid all that slaving over a hot stove. It’s the sort of thing my mum would have loved. She unsuspectingly married a trainee doctor who ended up working as a country GP. In rural England 40 years or so ago for a woman that meant being ‘the doctor’s wife’, a role which my mother hated. She’d had a career of her own as a successful nurse – but my father’s practise some 20 miles from the nearest town with a hospital meant the only nursing roles open to her and manageable with three young children, involved working for him and at the time that was not something the NHS accepted. Instead, she worked part-time as a sports teacher and swimming coach (she’d been a national level swimmer) and settled rather uncomfortably into her other role as ‘The Doctor’s Wife’.
I should explain she was also something of a rebel. Her fashion sense was extreme, even for the 60s and 70s, and was like nothing the sleepy seaside town where we lived had seen before. I remember her collecting me from school wearing a tweed mini dress with matching cape and Sherlock Holmes style hat, sparkly lurex tights and high brown suede boots. We stole her floral trouser suit with John Lennon collar, ostensibly for dressing up but actually in premeditated damage limitation. And one of my brothers sent her home to change before she was allowed to go to his school sports day.
Mum hated cooking. She relied heavily on a set of blue and white ‘cordon bleu’ cookbooks and a copy of Mrs Beeton. And she succeeded admirably, despite her protestations that she couldn’t cook – and regular kitchen crises which usually resulted in my Dad taking us out for the afternoon. Her guests feasted on homemade beef stroganoff, pavlova, chicken liver pate and vol au vents. Everything was made from scratch and most of the vegetables came from our own garden. The results were actually rather better than she ever wanted to admit because to claim success would simply have meant more entertaining.
Had More More More been around then, my mum might never have cooked and instead would have relied on this dinner party in a box. There’s a delectable selection of dinner party classics to order online and what arrives can be cooked with very little human intervention (think ‘open packet and put on a baking tray with sauce’). I was offered the chance to try a selection of dishes and thought it would be the perfect solution for a ‘Girls Night’.
My £75 budget was quickly eaten up despite choosing relatively modest dishes. It’s partly because the food comes to serve 4 – to me a bit of an oversight as for instance a dinner party for 6 is not unusual and obviously, you then have leftovers, as you would if you managed to find yourself someone for a date night dinner a deux. It’s also because the food carries a delivery charge of over £9.
We ordered Red Onion and Goats Cheese Tartlets to start, Wild Mushroom stuffed Chicken wrapped in Parma Ham for our main course and Individual Apple Tarts for dessert.
Everything did arrive beautifully packed. More More More uses vacuum sealed bags which are labelled with the cooking instructions you need.
The red onion and goats cheese tartlets were delicious with that slow-cooked caramelised red onion mixture that I’m never quite patient enough to make myself. It does take a lot of long, gentle cooking to get the right soft and sweet texture. The pastry was nicely crisp and we liked the neat wooden baking dishes. I’m a big fan of goats cheese recipes and this was a lovely, classic flavour combination.
The wild mushroom stuffed chicken was less successful for us. It came with a small pot of jus to be used when it was heated up which we all found a little salty. And, somehow the end result was a bit dry. Maybe being lulled into a false sense of security, I overcooked it.
The next day, left with one spare, I tried cooking it with the addition of half a glass of white wine and it was a lot more successful.
Apple tarts were very pretty but could have done with a stickier caramel. If there was an issue at all with the packaging it was that some of the caramel topping somehow slid off into the vacuum bag and it was impossible to put back.
We did all enjoy the lack of fuss with the More More More gourmet delivery. I suspect for a less confident cook it could be something of a godsend as all the dishes really do seem to be very easy to get from packet to plate. And they taste genuinely home cooked so there would be no reason to admit to having a little help if you chose to entertain using this dinner party in the box. And, of course, the food options also have the benefit of being a little more exclusive than something you can find in M&S or Waitrose – so it’s highly unlikely that anyone would catch on to the secret chef in the kitchen.
Check out your own dinner party in a box on the More More More website