Archive for the ‘Spice Taster Panel’ Category

STEENBERGS SPICE TASTER PANEL

Tuesday, December 8th, 2015

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

lemon-chicken-rubThis 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

Lemon Chicken Rub

STEENBERGS ORGANIC SMOKY PAELLA SPICE MIX

organic-smoky-paella-spice-blend-50g (1)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

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.

 

 

SPICE TASTER PANEL – Nasi Goreng & organic Lemon Extract

Wednesday, September 16th, 2015

Our spice tasters were in for a treat this time and a real test of their ingenuity, with not only the Asian spice blend Nasi Goreng but also our natural organic Lemon Extract which can be used for both sweet & savoury cooking.

NASI GORENG

Steenbergs Nasi Goreng spice mix is Steenbergs’ take on the classic South East Asian blend.

nasi-goreng-spice-mix

Literally meaning ‘fried rice’, you can add any ingredients you like to a nasi goreng, making it a sort of Asian paella but with a spicy kick.  Rating the intensity of the blend between 2 and 5 with an average of 3.7 out of 5, our tasters found it a ‘very good’, ‘spicy’, ‘hot’, ‘strong’, ‘chunky’ mix.  The Steenbergs blend does contain crushed red hot chilli peppers & chilli powder but gets its great flavour from the combination with salt, cane sugar, garlic powder, galangal, ginger powder and the new addition of amchur (mango powder).

Take a look at our word cloud for further descriptions.

Nasi Goreng – Flavour Descriptions

nasi goreng flavour worditout

Traditionally available in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore, nasi goreng can be eaten at any time of day or night but is often eaten for breakfast.  75% of our panel however would eat it in the evening, although 7.5% were keen on breakfast and 7.5% anytime!

Nearly three-quarters of our tasters regularly eat Asian food, with 56% having previously used Asian spice blends, including garam masala and Thai curry pastes. Encouragingly, 81% of them would use our Nasi Goreng spice mix again, with 78% rating it Excellent or Good.

Perfect in rice dishes and a great way to use up leftover rice, our panel had some other brilliant ideas for our spice blend, including: mixed with sunflower oil and used as a rub for chicken or corn-on-the cob; on potato wedges; to give a kick to salad, in the cooking of Scotch Eggs and even on cheese on toast.  One of our panel was particularly ingenious, using both the spice mix and the lemon extract together to make a tasty chicken marinade.

Good food is often about the company you keep and how it makes you feel.  Nearly all of you mentioned friends and family as the people with whom you’d share your meal and it was great to see how ‘happy’, ‘satisfied’ and ‘warm’ this blend made you feel.

Nasi Goreng – How does it make you feel?

nasi goreng how do you feel worditout

LEMON EXTRACT

Steenbergs organic Lemon Extract is a fabulously versatile product made from organic sunflower oil and organic lemon oil.  Often used in baking, it is also fabulous in salad dressings, stir fries and with chicken and Mediterranean herbs.

organic-lemon-extract-100ml

63% of our panel opted for sweet recipes, although 15% tried both sweet and savoury ideas.  As expected our taste testers came up with new and inventive ways of using it too, including on the sweet side: raw lemon truffles; rice pudding with stewed apples; milkshake; fudge; rhubarb, raspberry & lemonade cordial; mixing with double cream and the deliciously sounding lemon & nutmeg shortbread.  On the savoury side there was lemon rice; marinades; aubergine curry; linguine; on tuna steak; smoked mackerel pate; fishcakes and lemon and rosemary potatoes.  It was even used to make a few cocktails!

Having has a good go at many different ways to use the lemon extract, 95% of our panel would use it again, with 88% rating it Excellent or Good.  81% would recommend it to a friend although nearly 10% would choose to keep it as their own secret ingredient!

Steenbergs lemon extract is a hugely evocative product, conjuring up images for our testers of ‘lemon groves in Italy’; ‘big bowls of fresh lemons’; ‘lemon cake’; ‘summer’ and lots of ‘sunshine’.

The flavour and texture are summarised in the word cloud below with sherbet and Opal Fruits making an appearance!

Lemon Extract – Flavour & Texture

lemon extract flavour texture

Our panel were also asked to think of just one word to sum up what they thought about our lemon extract and we’re thrilled to see that ‘fresh’ and ‘versatile’ are among the favourite comments.

lemon extract - one word worditout

We do hope you enjoy trying, tasting and experimenting with our products. We’d love to hear any ideas and tips you’ve gathered so that we can share them with you all.

Steenbergs Spice Taster Panel: organic Garam Masala & Madras Curry

Wednesday, August 26th, 2015

Recently our taster panel had the joy of trying out 2 different spice blends: Madras Curry and Garam Masala.    Curries are very popular in British homes and Steenbergs aims to create authentic yet versatile curry blends to make enjoying Indian cuisine deliciously easy.

madras-curry-powder-organic-curry-blendMadras Curry is a medium hot curry powder, blended to be used as an everyday spice mix. The core elements to Steenbergs Organic Madras Curry Powder are the sweet spices of cinnamon; pungent spices such as cloves, cardamom and cumin to add a depth of character; Indian chilli and organic fenugreek; Keralan organic black pepper and Sri Lankan organic ginger to give it some bite. These almost conflicting flavours are melded together by amalgamating spices – organic fennel seeds, organic coriander seeds and organic turmeric (which also gives it a characteristic yellow colour).  At Steenbergs, we then add a little powdered organic garlic and organic onion to increase the versatility of the curry mix.

Our taster panel excelled themselves in finding different uses for the curry powder, adding it not only to traditional curries, but using it as a meat rub; on roast chicken; in a root soup; in homemade beans; in chilli con carne; in kedgeree; even on popcorn!  We loved the sound of the ‘chicken curry with wild spring garlic’, adding it to ‘fried red onions with kidney beans’ and the delicious list of curries including aubergine, chicken, beef, lamb, prawn, balti style, fish, and cauliflower & potato.

89% of our tasters would use this blend again and the same number would recommend it to a friend.  Many of them think it’s a great ‘store cupboard staple’ and pleasingly one taster commented that ‘it knocks the socks off bog-standard curry powders’.  A few of our tasters will even be using it as their secret curry ingredient going forward!

Interestingly half of our panel don’t normally use spice blends, preferring to make up their own using individual spices.  Here at Steenbergs we have all of the single spices for our customers to experiment and make their own blends but sometimes a quick and easy blend is just what is needed!

Madras curry

Descriptions for Madras Curry colour & aroma

garam-masala-organic-curry-spice-blendGaram Masala is a staple Indian spice blend used widely in Indian cooking. Steenbergs Organic Garam Masala comprises the sweet spice – cinnamon – and the pungent spices – caraway, cloves and cardamom powder.  At Steenbergs we add some wonderful organic black pepper from organic growers in the Palghat region of Kerala in India to give it some bite. Then Axel Steenberg has used organic fennel seeds to bring the flavours together and add some anise tones to the blend.

It is a very versatile blend as shown by the wide variety of uses that our taster panel put it to.  Whether it was sprinkled on beef & fish curry a few minutes before serving; to spice up pea & potato croquettes; in dhal; on scrambled eggs served with Arbroath smokies; to make a salad more interesting; Indian roast vegetables or on Hugh Fearnley Whittingstal’s sausage & parsnips, it shows how popular it was.  We love the sound of the ‘roast butter garam masala chicken’ and the ‘marinated chicken breast with yoghurt & pepper’.

One of our panel adds it to sweet potatoes before baking and enjoys the faces of her guests thinking ‘I can taste some extra flavours but not sure what she’s added!’

A well known spice to many of you, 93% of you would use the Steenbergs Garam Masala again and 89% of you would recommend it to a friend.  Many of our panel are avid curry fans, with some cooking curry at least twice a week but with the popularity of this sweet, warm and spicy blend, we hope to tempt you all to use it more often.

Descriptions for colour & aroma of Garam Masala