Family Food Tasters

Recently I received an email from Carlen at The Spice Depot, asking if I would be willing to try out their new Grind Fresh spices and do a review on my blog. I'd never been asked this before, but was thrilled with the idea of getting to try a new spice blend and see what I could come up with.

What a wonderful surprise to find that not only did I get two full sized jars of spices to try, but I also received from Carlen a great reusable fabric bag! I love reusable bags, as my husband could probably tell you from the size of the pile of them that has quickly outgrown the small basket I keep them in.

My two spices for testing were the Spicy Chicken and the Salad blends. I admit I had no idea what to do with the Salad. Spicy chicken is fairly simple, even if I only sprinkle it all over a roaster before putting it in the oven. But dried spices on salad? I don't think I've ever seen that.

But if I can be creative coming up with kids crafts for preschool, surely I could figure out a way to use the Salad spice. First though, the Spicy Chicken.....

I decided not to go the route of simply roasting a chicken seasoned with the blend. Yes, that would have been the simple solution, but who needs simple? Instead I decided to make some crispy, spicy, breaded chicken wings. Deciding upon that also gave me the idea of how to use the Salad blend, generously sprinkled over sauted green beans and served with the chicken.

Dinner that night was amusing. My children took their job of taste testing and rating the seasonings very seriously. My oldest even decided there had to be a scale, between 1 and 10, by which we all needed to use to properly give our opinions. Which was even cutter in that his brother didn't quite get the concept so was rating the beans at 1 million and the chicken at zero. Then he changed it to 4 and 1 - the number of each that he had eaten.

I very much enjoyed the green beans, as did my children. I had sauted the fresh beans in a hot pan with some olive oil and butter, then added a splash of water to steam them a bit, before adding 12-15 grinds of the seasonings on it before serving. The grind came out nicely, not too coarse, but also not too fine. If you look closely at the picture, you can see bits of the spices on the beans, which I liked. The flavor was very mild, with no one spice standing out, but giving it a bit more ooomph than a traditional salt and pepper seasoning. My oldest son gave them a rating of 10 out of 10, having decided that while he couldn't quite figure out what the seasonings were, he liked them much better than "plain" beans.

We will be using this blend again - perhaps I can even liven up cauliflower enough to get them both to eat it!

The chicken was a bit more difficult to judge. Yes, it was a bit spicy, but other than spice, again there was no seasoning that jumped out at any of us. My oldest did ask if there was Paprika in it but I think it was more from the picture on the bottle than from flavor. The flavor also tasted a bit better after a few bites - his initial rating was 5/6 out of 10, but by the time he was done his one wing, he had increased his rating and asked if I was going to make these again.

Again the spice was easy to dispense, though it took alot more turns of the grinder to get a good amount of seasonings in the marinade and in the breadcrumbs. Being able to see the coarseness of the grind as I added them into things was handy, but I could not even tell you how much I put in terms of measuring.

I'm going to use the Chicken Spice again, but next time I'm going to try it in hamburgers and see how it fairs.

From the looks of the Spice Depot website, these blends aren't readily available yet, but if you happen to come across one, they aren't a bad thing to add to your spice cupboard, and you might find having a blend very handy at dinner time!

Thanks, Carlen, for letting me try these out!

Crispy, Spicy Breaded Chicken Wings

1 1/2 pounds chicken wings and/or drumettes
1 cup plain yogurt
30-40 grinds of Always Grind Fresh Spicy Chicken seasonings, divided
2 1/2 cups Panko bread crumbs
cooking spray

Place wings in large non-reactive bowl. Add yogurt and about 10 grinds of the seasoning, mixing well so that every wing is coated. Set aside in the fridge for 30 minutes. (Put on some music, dance!)
Preheat oven to 425F. Spray baking sheet well. Mix together bread crumbs and 30 or so grinds of the spicy seasoning. If you like things very spicy, add more.
One at a time, remove wing from yogurt, give a shake to remove any extra yogurt, then dredge in seasoned panko crumbs. Place breaded wing on baking sheet. Repeat until all the wings are covered, being sure they do not touch each other on the pan. Spray the tops of each wing with some cooking spray.
Bake for 20 minutes, then turn the wings over and bake for another 5-10 minutes.
No sauce required - Enjoy!


Canadian Baker said...

Hi Jenny - I recently got some SD spices as well and used them to make savoury muffins. They're really quite useful!

Unknown said...

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I write a food blog and a truth blog, do drop in and visit anytime you can!


Anonymous said...

It's lovely that you had the opportunity to test new spices. And better that you have a panel of judges! That whole plate looks delicious!

Sara said...

I received the salad one too. I made salad dressing from the spice depot website, and also used it on potatos. I really like them, and luckily for me, they are available in the city we just moved to.