I was offered a free sample from a company called Raw Spice Bar via email to try. This blog is the results of using these spice blends and recipes.
I love the concept. Deliver fresh herb and spice blends to your mailbox along with yummy recipes. I received the October blend.
Day 1: So far, I have made one of the recipes: German Chicken Schnitzel.
I loved that this recipe called for items I usually have in my kitchen; chicken breast, butter, breadcrumbs, egg, flour, salt and pepper.
I love beating on meat...wait, that didn't come out right. Pounding doesn't sound much better but you get the idea. It's just plain fun! A good way to keep you, counter tops and everything in the kitchen from being sprayed with raw chicken juice is to cover the meat with clear plastic wrap and then pound away. Ahhh, such a stress reliever.
The seasoning packet smelled wonderfully potent with fresh ground spices. This recipe had me adding the spices provided to flour and salt for battering the chicken.
This was enough flour mix for more than 3 full breasts (I ended up with 8 pieces, pounded or filleted)
Then I dipped in egg. The recipe called for 1 egg. I had to crack another half way through. I am always happy to have a reason to use my mini whisk (it's a little things that make me happy...)
Finally drudged the dipped chicken through bread crumbs. A large amount of bread crumbs. Again, I certainly had enough for a recipe triple in size.
I started out pounding the breasts but realized they were kind of falling apart. I started filleting them instead and pounded down any thicker parts.
I'm sure now (hind-site is 20/20) that my meat was still too thick for this cooking technique.
The directions had me frying these bad boys in butter. It's sounds yummy but frying in butter takes a certain amount of skill that I simply do not posses. The reason for this is two-fold. It takes practice and more practice. Both of which I don't have. I generally don't deep fat fry foods or eat fried foods. It's just not my favorite technique. I like me some fat (at times) and butter flavored foods are something I would knock small children over to get my hands on (ask my kids!) but, I usually pan fry in nonstick pans or oven fry. Then, getting the right temperature without smoking your butter on an electric glass top stove is no small talent! I miss gas cooking!! If I do fry, I use an oil with a higher smoke point like canola, corn or peanut - not butter! It burns like the Dickens and at lower temps soaks right into that battered food. It tastes lovely when done correctly. Unfortunately, like I mentioned, I suck at this technique so...
Yup, there it is - barely recognizable Chicken Schnitzel.
If you can get past the obvious problem I had, the chicken actually tasted pretty darn good!
Believe it or not, the flavor came through but I will warn you there was a bit of a pepper kick that didn't hit right away. I took a bite, commenting to my husband that it didn't actually taste burnt and I liked the seasoning. By the time I finished my comment, there was a heat rising on my taste buds. Not so much that I had to run for a glass of milk but just a little after-kick to make sure you fully tasted the seasonings. I thoroughly enjoyed it but I would not dare give it my 6 year old (she complains about the slightest strong flavor...so sad). The twins, hubby and even our neighbor's child all gave their nod of approval.
My lessons from Day 1:
I think I should have done 1 of 3 things to prevent the burnt look:
1. pre-boiled the chicken,
2. just fried briefly and finished it off in the oven
3. follow the directions closer and properly pounded my chicken to 1/4 inch thin.
What do think I should have done?
Also, I'm curious if this service would be something my readers would subscribe to. Would you pay a monthly subscription to receive very fresh ground herbs and spices on a regular basis?
I look forward to making the other recipes. One is pretzels (I love baking better!) and there's a pork recipe that I'm sure my family will be glad to have me cook up as long as it's not fried!!