Tuesday, May 24, 2016

A perfectly spiced meal

 I have a bit of a spice obsession.  Not the kind of obsession that I have to have the hottest spice but more that I like to use spices to flavour plain foods like chicken and potatoes so that I can change it up to any flavour from the Globe.   Recently I was sent some of Qualifirst's incredible spices and my favourite Sherry Vinegar.  Sherry vinegar is super hard to find and it's a great vinegar for salad dressings and even marinades.  I use it when I do quick pickles because it's milder than white vinegar and is the right balance of flavour and sourness.

Qualfirst has all kinds of gourmet products like oils and vinegars, spices, coffee and teas, ingredients for desserts and cocktails and a whole lot more.

I told them I love spices so they put together a box of some of their products for me to try.
I made a few different but simple things with them.

I live within walking distance of a Whole Foods so I took a walk over and picked up some freshly shucked East coast oysters and made a minionette sauce using the Sherry Vinegar and finely diced shallots and hit it with a squirt of lemon and some tabasco sauce.

Then I used the Sherry Vinegar Again for a Mediterranean salad of cucumbers, tomatoes, chopped Kalamata olives, feta cheese and topped with pea shoots and a drizzle of oil. Super easy and fresh.

Then I went crazy with the spices, well not so much as crazy but I used 3 of the spices in one dish.
I had a piece of chicken breast and coated it in the Ras El Hanout (Middle Eastern) spice and also used the Espellette pepper spice and then on a sheet tray I drizzled a bit of oil and seasoned with salt and added some crushed garlic.  On the side of the baking sheet I had a mix of roughly chopped onions and some mixed grape tomatoes and on the other side I added some par boiled fingerling potatoes that I coated in oil and added some of the Smoked Paprika, yes this is my favourite spice. I use it all the time on chicken and potatoes but I added some of the Espellette pepper too and seasoned it all with just added salt and baked the whole thing together.   The tomatoes and onions caramelize and develop some amazing sweetness and the potatoes get crispy on the outside and the chicken stays tender inside and the skin gets crispy while it makes a bit of a sauce that can be poured over the chicken.  I actually mopped up the sauce with bread because it was so good.

Although I made this for myself I think this would be a perfect first date meal because it is really easy to make or an Anniversary or Birthday meal for someone you love because it's healthy, and flavourful and leaves you time for other things.

For more info on Qualfirst products check out their website: https://www.qualifirst.com/
Follow them on Twitter at https://twitter.com/Qualifirst

*Disclaimer - I was provided products but was not compensated for this post and all of the opinions are my own and so are the images.

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