For anyone who likes a bit more heat in your hamburger, sizzle on your steak and kick on your chick(en). Mouth-watering manuka smoked salt, chipotle, chillies and peppery horopito are balanced out with tenderisingly sweet kiwifruit powder for that mmmm taste!
Freshly ground and batch-blended in New Zealand from the highest quality local and imported ingredients: Coconut Sugar, Smoked Paprika, Garlic Powder, Chipotle, Organic Kosher Sea Salt, Cayenne Pepper, Cumin, Organic Manuka Smoked Sea Salt, Chilli Flakes, Basil, Kiwifruit Powder, Horopito and Kawakawa.
I've always been quite curious about rubs and marinades, but have also never really had an opportunity to properly try them, thanks to my hatred of long cooking times and my inability to let anything sit for long periods of time. Too unproductive for my liking. I did, however, get an opportunity to try a few rubs and marinades on my birthday, when someone else looked after the food. And, well, to put it lightly, I wasn't impressed. I love the flavour of the meat with just a light seasoning of salt and pepper, but I found while most marinades were tasty enough, nearly every single rub that I tried was far too salty and acidic for my liking.
It was an experience that has flavoured my views on meat rubs quite significantly.
That all being said, I also love hot food, so when a product asks whether I can handle the jandal, you can bet I'm one of the first people to raise their hand, step forward, and try the thing. Even if it's a rub.
So here I am, with a product that I have some kind of love/hate relationship with before I even open the jar. The packaging itself is quite nice. It isn't too large a package, which I like because most spices I used tend to get moisture in somehow and solidify long before I get a chance to use them all. A smaller package means I'll be able to use it all before that happens. The packaging is also a jar. Recyclable glass, recyclable lid, that's two more ticks in the "good job!" column.
The ingredient list has some intriguing flavours in there, with kiwifruit amongst chipotle, chilli and cayenne. I can't quite pick up the added sweetness from smelling the product but will see what happens when I try it in a meal.
Now I'm still quite a lazy cook, but I put a little bit more effort into this one, and went and made some 'handle the jandal' chicken tenders. Flipping some chunky pieces of chicken into some flower, then rolling it around in a beaten egg, before flipping it in a 50/50 mix of cornflour and this 'handle the jandal' rub. Chuck them in a pan with some oil, and hope you cook the inside before the outside burns up. I actually ended up using nearly half of the jar on this single breast of chicken, so my recipe doesn't allow for too many portions with the product.
Flavour is the big kicker though in a rub review, and the chicken was quite tasty. The salty acidic tones that I was expecting were not there in the slightest; perhaps the kiwifruit and coconut sugar created a better balance than other rubs that I have had before. And of course, as I mentioned earlier, I was the overload of saltiness that had put me off of rubs in the first place, so it is refreshing to find a rub that actually has a more subtle flavour.
The heat, however, is also subtle. The chicken tenders, dipped in steak sauce were an absolute treat that I look forward to trying again. But I'd enjoy it for the flavour, rather than as some type of heat challenge; because it was quite mild. Young children may not like it, but for an adult, there were no tingles when the food was being eaten, and only slight tingles when it came out...the other end.
But yeah, tasty.
When I saw Raptor Naturals had released the "Handle the jandal" herb and spice rub I knew I had to give it a try as I'm an avid fan of spicy foods and bold flavours. I am well aware of Raptor naturals seasonings being top-notch and full of high-quality ingredients so my expectations for this rub were set high and boy oh boy does it deliver. I looked at the colour of the seasoning right off the bat and it has a very earthy reddish-brown hue with specks of green of black mixed throughout which gave me the impression this blend was going to pack some heat.
I sprinkled a generous amount of the spice mix on a sirloin steak and allowed it to sit for an hour in the fridge to slightly marinate in the spices. I cooked up the steak with a side of button mushrooms and proceeded to then devour the meal. The flavour was nowhere near the spice level I thought it would have been but this could be due to all the hot sauces I have been having and I may have built up a slight immunity to the spice. I put the spiciness of this seasoning around the same heat level of tabasco sauce to give some sort of comparison you can judge from. The flavour is absolutely divine with its smoky chipotle taste and I highly recommend getting this if you're looking for a new seasoning to try on anything you're going to BBQ.
This rub just solidifies Raptor naturals brand even further as being a top tier go-to name for great quality products and I will be going to expand my range of their products by getting the other new rubs they have put out. Honestly, what are you waiting for go out and get this immediately as you will not regret it.
Ever since I can remember I have always been a spicy food enthusiast, a spicy Chilli Con Carne was one of my favourite dishes that mum used to make for dinner. This passion for spicy food has grown as I have gotten older, and as I have started cooking meals for my family, I have been incorporating various spices to play with the heat of the dish. In the past I have tried several of the Raptor Naturals brand of spice mixes, my personal favourite was the Blazing Tex-Mex Rub. When I saw that Raptor Naturals had released some new flavours which included this one, and another called Lucky Kentucky, I knew instantly I had to try this product, I wanted bragging rights to say that, 'Yes, I can in fact handle the jandal.'
The joy that emanated from my face when I saw I had received some of this product to try was spectacular. The glass jar is 80g and on the side there is a chilli saying this blend is 'Hot.' This product is gluten-free which is perfect for our household, but it is also made from all natural, and vegan ingredients. Some of the main ingredients in this blend are Manuka Salt, Chilli, Kiwifruit, Kawakawa and Horopito. Raptor Naturals is a New Zealand brand which is perfect for those like me that like to support local.
Upon unscrewing the lid I was met with a powerful aroma emerging from the jar, the mix is a beautiful earthy red with flakes of the ingredients through it.
I debated for a long time with what meal I would make using the spice blend, in the end I decided that I would use it in two different dishes. First up was coating 2 small chicken breasts in the blend, leaving to rest for some time, and then cooking, I then chopped them up and served with a salad and fries. In total I used about 4 Tablespoons of the mix to thoroughly coat the chicken pieces, the smell while cooking was strong and it gave me hope for some finger licking, spicy goodness. I popped the first piece in my mouth and gave it a chew, yes, there was a bit of a spicy hint, but I was left feeling underwhelmed, perhaps next time I will need to use more, or maybe it is just that it does not give me a big kick of heat?
The second way that I used the spice blend was in nachos, I fried some onion and garlic, added the mince and a generous amount of the spice mix, cooked that and then added the tomatoes and chilli beans. Once cooked I constructed the nachos on the plate, and was salivating by the time I sat down to eat. As I ate the meal it was delicious, however there was not much of a spice hit from the added spice blend, it seemed to be very mild, still tasty though.
I think it is safe to say that I can in fact handle the jandal, and I look forward to challenging my family and friends to see if they can also. I think this spice blend can be very versatile and I look forward to adding it to my future recipes. I would purchase this again, because even though I found it on the mild side, the ingredients were like none I have ever tasted in a spice blend before. Keen to see what the team at Raptor Naturals can surprise me with next.
I thought that this rub might be quite hot, so I approached with caution - tasting a small amount on the end of a spoon with a glass of water close by just in case. But it was not too hot after all; more in the mild to medium range, and quite suitable for sharing with the younger members of our family. The heat is there but only just; pleasant but certainly not burning hot. With the knowledge that I could serve it up to the youngest family members, I had fun experimenting with different recipes.
The first use was with my own version of cottage pie - a lighter version of the classic recipe which is great for Kiwi summers when you don't want anything too highly spiced. I prepared a base of beef mince and mixed vegetables (onions, garlic, plus anything else to hand) and cooked it gently on the stove top. I added a tablespoon of the rub just before the meat was ready and stirred it through. Once it was cold, I tipped it into an oven dish and put a thin layer of mashed potato across the top so that the filling was completely covered. Then I added several sheets of filo pastry with a spray of cooking oil to separate the layers. The pie was then put into the oven to brown the topping. The whole family enjoyed the result. It was nicely spiced but nobody commented on the heat, not even Mr 11!
I have always liked chilli with macaroni cheese and similar pasta recipes - it cuts the richness of the cheese sauce and adds a dimension of heat. I usually put the chilli into the sauce before it is stirred through the cooked macaroni, and then brown the mixture in a hot oven. I tried the rub this way next in place of plain chilli, adding a little shredded chicken and chopped onion as well. Again, the heat was almost imperceptible. The effect was more that of a mellow peppery aftertaste, very pleasant and completely acceptable to the children's palates.
It is nice to see that local ingredients are included in the mix. Manuka, kawakawa, horopito and kiwifruit are all appearing more and more in home produced spices and mixes. It is good to have a local flavour - a point of interest for our Dutch friends who are based in New Zealand right now and are keen to try as many local products as they can before returning home - but the combinations also add a different perspective to many dishes. It is that unique aftertaste from different spice blends together with the knowledge that all the ingredients are naturally grown that makes them so special.
Together with our Dutch friends, we adapted one of their recipes to include Handle the Jandal. We took grated hard cheese, gouda, cream, and a teaspoon of the rub, mixed everything well, then spread it on hard crackers for a snack. It was an interesting combination and one which went down well with iced drinks for an afternoon snack. One of the children did not like it, but we were happy about that. All the more for the grown-ups! The topping was supposed to be best left for a few minutes to let the herbs and spices permeate the cheese, but I ate one as soon as it was ready because I was keen to try it - and I did not notice any great difference. It was nice either way.
Future plans include adding it to fried rice instead of soy sauce, and sprinkling it on savoury pancakes before adding fillings. I imagine it would be nice with a creamy smoked fish filling. But I will have to wait to try that one because the jar is empty already!
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