Silver Bell made me gourmet chef for the night!

famous chefs food made easy

This blog is all about the things that I love and, as anyone who knows me well knows, I absolutely adore food!  I love watching Jamie, Nigella, Nigel and the rest!  I love watching Masterchef.  I love planning my menus, shopping for food, preparing it, cooking and of course eating it!

One problem. Well, three actually. Child one, child two and my freelance work as a social media & communications manager!  I seem to be so busy juggling parenthood and freelancing these days that I just don’t have the time to devote to my food passion. It’s just a quick soup here and an omelette there. And nowadays it’s not as easy as it used to be to make a spur of the moment dash to Muswell Hill Broadway for a spot of supper.

But Silver Bell has come to my rescue! Working with chef, Chris Honor (of ChrisKitch fame), Silver Bell has devised a whole new way to cook at home.

How it works

  1. YOU PLAN YOUR MENU
    You choose from a selection of dishes and menus created and pre-prepared by top chefs. There are starters, mains, side dishes and desserts to choose from.
  2. SILVER BELL SOURCES, PREPARES & DELIVERS
    Silver Bell’s chefs use top-quality ingredients, and get the dishes 80% prepared. Silver Bell then delivers dishes to your home.
  3. YOU COOK WITHOUT THE HASSLE
    You then cook gourmet dishes in 20 minutes or less and enjoy an exceptional meal.

Sounds brilliant, doesn’t it?  But is it really that easy? Silver Bell gave me the opportunity to test them out!

I started by planning my menu.  There were three of us – me, my husband and my mum who was visiting from the West Country. My husband loves meat, my mum fish and I’ve been a vegetarian for nearly 30 years.  But no problem – Silver Bell offers a range of dishes to suit all preferences and I was impressed with the range of vegetarian dishes offered (and not only goat’s cheese, which you’ll see I went for. Vegetarians reading this will know what I’m talking about!)

silverbell salmon

For starters we chose the cured salmon with dill, red onion and mustard cress.  jenny cooks butternut squash winter salad silver bellI’m told it was deliciously fresh. I selected the roasted butternut squash, quinoa, rocket, goat’s cheese and onion. The goat’s cheese was soft, creamy and flavoursome and the butternut squash was cooked to perfection. For his main my husband went for the beef fillet Rossini a la Silver Bell, with square of duck pate, garlic confit, wilted spinach, pomme fondant and a sweet beetroot jam. He wasn’t disappointed!

jenny cooks beef fillet silver bell(My husband and I did however have a heated exchange when said husband added a tap-full of water to the beetroot jam – explaining the pool of liquid you can see on the plate below. He still maintains it was just a splash of water. Grrr. I have got my own back by presenting only a very small picture here!). This is what the beef fillet should look like:

beef a la silver bell

My mum went with the fennel sea bass and said it was the best fish dish she’d ever tasted. And, dare I blow my own trumpet? I think I did quite a good job on the presentation here! jenny cooks sea bass silver bell

I couldn’t decide  which vegetarian main to go for so opted for a starter-sized portion each of the garden pea and brussels sprout risotto with parmesan, and then the red pepper, aubergine and cream cheese roulade.

Risotto is my favourite dish ever but I never order it in restaurants because I’m usually disappointed (it’s usually under- or over-cooked). But the Silver Bell offering was perfect in terms of flavour, texture and I even managed to present the dish well. It was also extremely quick to cook because the rice had been pre-cooked.

jenny cooks red pepper roulade silver bellThe red pepper dish was even easier – arrange the green beans, place the roulade (which were huge – I could only eat one) on the plate and drizzle over the sauce. The rind of lemon added colour and complemented the dish beautifully. I was pleased I’d ordered two dishes to try; however, Silver Bell‘s instructions were to cook each as a starter (because that’s what they were) and so it took me a little while to work out how to rearrange the cooking sequence. Perhaps there could be a box to tick on the website if you would like it as a main, and then the instructions could be amended accordingly?

Another note on the instructions: it was a nice touch to suggest wines that would complement the dishes, but by the time we read them it was too late to get to the shops. Perhaps Silver Bell could include this information in the order confirmation email?

We ended our veritable feast with the cinnamon poached pear, salted caramel, pralines and vanilla Chantilly. So easy to assemble – you spoon some Chantilly into the base of the pear (which has a pre-cut cavity), place it on a sea of salted caramel sauce, pop on the biscuit ‘hat’, pretend you’re on Masterchef and make some quenelles, and use the cute icing sugar shaker for the finishing touch!

We were all so eager to dive into dessert that we ate it all up before taking a photograph, so here is a picture from the Silver Bell website!

silver bell pear

Our verdict?

We all agreed that if we were to eat food of this quality in a restaurant we’d have to take a rather hefty wallet. As it was we were able to eat amazing gourmet food at home at a very reasonable price (check Silver Bell’s website for prices), didn’t have the hassle of organising babysitters and had the satisfaction of being able to say ‘we did that’ – because we did (for the most part)!

If you’d like to experience Silver Bell‘s dishes for yourself I’m offering an exclusive 20% discount offer on my Mumsnet Barnet and Mumsnet Enfield websites right now. Offer is valid until 31 January 2016 – but I bet you won’t be able to wait to order!

 

 

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