Friday, February 13, 2015

From the Kitchens of Bunny and Brandy: Raw Spice Bar Review

Towards the end of last year, Brandy's attention was brought to a soon to launch subscription box called Raw Spice Bar that promised to deliver a selection of chef curated spice blends to one's door every month.  "I do like the sound of that," Brandy mused, "But being British, I'm not sure I know how to use exotic spice blends in my cooking."  Luckily for Brandy, each monthly delivery also comes with full recipes and helpful hints on how to use each one of the spices.

Fully intrigued, Brandy agreed to try out the service, and when her January delivery appeared in her mailbox, she couldn't wait to get into the kitchen.  January's theme was Southwestern Spices and had been curated by Chef Freddie Bitsoie from Albuquerque, whose Native American background was on full display in his choices of spice blends.  The inaugural box (which was really a sturdy brown envelope) contained four spice blends: Posole Spice Blend, Ground Chili Blend, Sumac and Herbs, and Juniper Berries and Spices.  Each spice was accompanied by a detailed description of its ingredients, tasting notes, and uses as well as separate recipe cards that could easily be added to one's recipe card catalog.

As she is nearly incapable of following a recipe to the T, Brandy decided to deviate from the suggestions a bit.  She used half the Ground Chili blend as a dry rub on a flank steak, which she cooked under the broiler, and then used the other half of the spices as directed in a hearty posole (a tomato based soup that is very commonly served in the Southwest).  The Posole Spice Blend obviously made a great base for the soup, and as Brandy is a bit of a heat wuss when it comes to food, she liked being able to control the level of hotness by splitting the chilis between the soup and the steak.  The Sumac and Herbs had a suggested use of adorning some Navajo flatbread, but Brandy decided to use that mix to coat some root vegetables (carrots, parsnips, and brussel sprouts), which she roasted with a little olive oil.  She very much liked the subtle sweetness and deep flavor the sumac added to her veggies.  Lastly was the Juniper Berry Mix, which came with a recipe for red wine poached apples, but as the wine portion was a bit more interesting to Brandy, she decided to use this one as mulling spices, simmering a bottle of fruity red wine with the warm spice blend and a few dehydrated apple slices for sweetness.

All in all, Brandy was mightily impressed by her first Raw Spice Bar delivery, not only with the quality of the spice blends and the ease of use, but even the simple, yet effective and professional packaging.  "I do like this idea of having specially curated ingredients delivered to my door," Brandy mused, "Now if only I could hire someone to come over and wash my dishes after all this cooking, I'd be set!"

The February Raw Spice Bar theme is Indian and comes with three brand new spice blends and recipes straight to your door for only $6, including shipping and handling.

The writers of this blog were provided with products from Raw Spice Bar free of charge in exchange for an honest review of the service.

No comments:

Post a Comment