Monday, March 3, 2014

Hormel Compleats Cafe Creations Spicy Ginger Chicken

Distributed By:  Hormel Foods, LLC
Required to Prepare:  Microwave
280 calories per package

 This shelf-stable meal had been lingering in the cabinet for a while, so when I wanted a small lunch yesterday before my shopping trip, I decided it was time to use it.  These shelf-stable "Compleats" meals do have the advantage of being extremely convenient, with their very short microwave time (as they are being heated from room temperature instead of from frozen).  One minute in the microwave plus a one-minute stand time, and my small, quick and convenient lunch is ready to eat!

The flavor is a bit different than I had expected based on the name; the sauce is very rich, almost with a tomato-beef-stock flavor (although I don't think there is actually any tomatoes or beef in it).  The spice was noticeable but not overwhelming, which is to be expected for a mainstream product such as this.  The ginger, which I expected to be the top note in a light and crisp Thai-style flavor, instead becomes the base note in a deep and rich sauce.  Naturally the noodles are quite a bit softer than "al-dente," being in essence a canned pasta product, but I have to say I don't mind soft pasta in this context--I think it all comes together nicely, expecially with the water-chestnuts for a crispy textural aside.

I notice, though, that on the Hormel Compleats web page, this product is not listed anymore.  I think that's kind of a shame, as I rather liked it.  I don't imagine I could have singlehandedly "saved" the flavor from extinction, but if I had eaten it sooner, I might have at least been able to buy a couple more before they went away.
Now, it seems the only thing I can do is give it a posthumous happy-face. :)

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