Thursday, 27 November 2014

Christmas Party Food from Marks and Spencer

Once again this year we have been pleased to see how many of the 'mainstream' party foods products in the Marks and Spencer chiller cabinets are marked as gluten free.  Sous Chef J is a VERY BIG fan of the Mini Chicken Kievs whilst I like the Belly Pork bites.  Here's a selection of the products we've tried so far this 'festive season'...

 ... first off, we were delighted to find a really lovely, decorated Christmas Cake.  When we bought it, there was the additional bonus that it was on offer at a cost of £8.  It can also be ordered online here using Marks and Spencer's food to order service and has a cost of £12.

Sous Chef J is a HUGE fan of the mini Chicken Kievs - these can be found in the chiller cabinets and also the freezers (useful for stocking up) - and will eat almost a whole pack himself!  They are crispy chicken bites, filled with garlic butter which are a firm favourite.

The Mini Toad in the Hole with  caramelised onion chutney are lovely little mouthfuls of Cumberland sausages in a crispy batter. 
The BBQ Pork Belly Squares are delicious - the meat falls apart and the barbecue sauce glaze is a fab last minute addition to the tray when they're being cooked.

When we found the Mini Christmas Dinner Bites, Sous Chef J was not sure he would like them.  They're made of bitesize turkey and stuffing wrapped in streaky bacon with a pomegranate, clementine and cranberry glaze.  The glaze is added 5 minutes before the end of the cooking time.

In the end, Sous Chef J enjoyed trying the bites... and they do look appetising - a nice touch is that the bamboo picks have Magic & Sparkle engraved on them.

The last party food item we found was also something Sous Chef J liked - Sticky Asian Lollipops - as they are "easy to eat" which always something that's likely to make him happy!

Spotted in the freezer cabinet was a dessert called Christmas Candles - no gluten was listed in the ingredients or allergen information... we are still trying to find out if this is gluten free but it looks like a lovely option for an easy pudding.

Marks and Spencer also sell gluten free Christmas Puddings and mince pies although, to date, we've only seen the empty shelves where these are meant to be.  

Online, Marks and Spencer's food to order even has a Gluten Free Party Selection which contains 12 Mini Chicken Kievs, 12 Scottish Lochmuir™ Smoked Salmon and Prawn Appetisers, 18 BBQ Pork Belly Squares, 12 Sticky Asian Style Chicken Lollipops, and 12 Mini Toad in the Hole with caramelised onion chutney at a cost of £30 for 66 pieces in total.

Overall we have been pleasantly surprised by the range of items that are stocked which are clearly marked as gluten free and, although we'd like the supply to be more reliable, we do think it's worth heading to M&S to stock up on easy-to-cook party food.

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