08 December 2015
STEENBERGS SPICE TASTER PANEL
Steenbergs Lemon Chicken Rub & Steenbergs organic Smoky Paella Spice Blend
This time around our spice taster panel was in for a treat, sampling two different, delicious spice blends, created by Axel and hand-blended in the Steenbergs factory near Ripon, North Yorkshire. Both of them have Mediterranean influences and can be used for specific dishes, but it has been interesting and encouraging to see how diverse and varied the uses have been for these products.
STEENBERGS LEMON CHICKEN RUB
This new lemon chicken rub from Steenbergs is one of the few non organic mixes. It has been developed over a number of years to combine all our favourite flavours in a chunky, easy to use rub, packed with flavour. Although the title suggests a meaty blend, it is, like all other Steenbergs blends, fully vegetarian, just using the term ‘lemon chicken’ for the complementary Mediterranean herbs that make up this flavoursome spice mix.
Ingredients include: black pepper, salt, lemon peel, garlic, fennel seeds, parsley, coriander seed, lemon myrtle, paprika and lemon oil.
Our panel was really pleased with this product, with 77% describing it as ‘fabulous’ or ‘great’. 73% also thought it a very versatile product with possibilities including stirring into hummus, rubbing on fish or meat, sprinkling on roasted vegetables & potatoes, adding to rice or mixing into a salad dressing.
Our tasters were ingenious in their creations: rubbing, stirring, seasoning and savouring as this blend was designed to inspire. Creations included red lentil dhal, many different chicken dishes including casserole, stew, Kievs and roast; chick peas burgers; roasted vegetables; homemade hummus; rubbed onto whole fish, flavouring savoury rice and in potato salad. One of our panel commented that there are ‘a million and one uses for this product’.
When asked to describe their perfect accompaniment to Lemon Chicken, our panel were definitely thinking healthily with 25% going for green vegetables, 25% for roasted veg (incl. potatoes) and 19% for salad, closely followed by rice (13%).
Do you ‘eat to live’ or ‘live to eat’ though, that is the question. The majority of our taste testers definitely ‘live to eat’!
As far as the flavour was concerned, many of our team enjoyed the variety of ingredients and intensity of the blend, adding that it is ‘convenient to use for quick meals to add flavour’. The black pepper was the predominant flavour, with some looking for a bit more lemon, but overall it was seen as a very flavoursome, versatile product. These are the words that our taster panel used to describe the Lemon Chicken Rub.
Lemon Chicken Rub
STEENBERGS ORGANIC SMOKY PAELLA SPICE MIX
Steenbergs organic Smoky Paella Spice Mix includes the smoky flavour of smoked paprika as well as saffron. The core blend is paprika with a hint of rosemary and loads of luxuriant saffron and garlic. The flavour of the smoked paprika is Axel Steenberg's way of hinting at the smokiness that you get from making a traditional paella over an open fire.
Steenbergs Smoky Paella Spice seasoning is perfect with a glass of sangria to reminisce about long Spanish, balmy nights. Simply add 1-2 tsp of Steenbergs organic smoky paella spice mix to the stock when cooking paella for 4 people.
The ingredients in the spice mix, which are all organic, include: paprika (pimenton), smoked paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, ground black pepper, rosemary herb, saffron.
Our taster panel really enjoyed this blend with 92% rating it ‘Fabulous’ or ‘Great’, and 92% also saying that they would use it again – many commenting that ‘it means that making paella is so much easier as all the flavours are in one pot’.
Many of our panel used the spice blend to make traditional paella but in different ways: from flavouring the stock to marinating the chicken or prawns, or just adding in at the end. With 76% having made paella before, lots of people had their own recipe but it is always great to see the wide variety of uses.
Our taste testers definitely demonstrated the versatility of this blend with recipes including all of the following: roasted pepper veggie lasagne sauce; pan-cooked chicken; fideua; infusing oil before adding stock; roasted butternut squash risotto; instead of turmeric; to flavour water in which to cook rice; substituting the sweet smoked paprika in Jamie Oliver’s chicken chorizo paella, as a rub on chicken which was then stir fried with peppers & mushrooms; stuffed peppers with rice & veg; used sprinkled on chicken and grilled; with seafood; shakshuka/pipperade style dish - fried onions, peppers & tinned tomatoes with poached egg on top; used in fajitas/enchiladas and on griddled chicken strips with roasted veg; fish stew and slow cooked pork ribs. Other interesting ideas included: adding to mashed sweet potato; with spinach and feta; sprinkled on chips and on tomato salad.
We loved one of our taste tester’s descriptions of the spice blend: “a 'flavour' of Spain with the smoky paprika oozing through - the intensity of flavours of garlic and paprika knocking on the door.” When asked to give just one word to sum it up, here’s what everyone came up with…
Smoky Paella Spice Mix
All in all a truly versatile product!
Do let us know what you think…we’re always keen to hear and will share any top tips on social media.