Tag Archives: spices az

Frontier Organic Lemon Pepper – Amazon Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is Frontier Organic Lemon Pepper.  As always I recommend buying herbs/spices by the pound, buying by the ounce is a suckers game.  Also while I don’t eat 100% organic, I feel in this case you really should. 

Lemon pepper is made with lemon zest (the yellow part of the peel).  The citrus industry is one of the most heavy users of pesticides in the world.  When you think about these things being sprayed and the out side of the peel being removed and eaten, well, if you want a conventional product go for it.

Okay so as you might imagine this one is going to come with a recipe, but not just any recipe, the best lemon pepper herb chicken you will ever and I mean ever eat.  If you are making a lot just double the recipe, and it will work with any chicken but I formulated this for either boneless skinless thy or breast.  If you are doing breast cut it into thinner and smaller slices before starting.

Jack’s Lemon Pepper Herbed Chicken

  • 1/3rd cup of olive oil
  • Juice of 1/2 of a lemon and the zest
  • 2 oz of white wine
  • 2 tsp of rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp of lemon pepper
  • 1 tsp of sugar
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp rosemary (if it is large needles crush it with your fingers a bit)
  • 1/2 tsp of basil
  • About 1 teaspoon of dry mustard – or as much as you need to emulsify.
  • Skinless boneless chicken (as much as you want to make, the above will do about 4 breast halves or about 8-10 thy cutlets.

Wait?  What the heck is emulsify?  Okay this marinade is made of oil, lemon juice, wine and rice vinegar.  Do you know what happens when they are put together, well in short they don’t get together.

The wine, vinegar and lemon juice all blend and the oil floats on top.  How can we get a good uniform marinade like that?  Well we can’t!  So we need an emulsifier, this lets us blend an oil and a water based liquid and keep them together.  For instance mayonnaise is an emulsification.  Made mostly of eggs and oil.  This emulsification is much easier though.  The dry mustard will allow us to mix oil and the other liquids and suspend them while keeping the mustard flavor very low compared to “prepared mustard”.

So take a ball jar and put all the ingredients except the chicken into it.  Put the lid on and shake the hell out of it.  Like for a good 45 seconds to a minute.  Stop shaking and let it sit for about a minute, take a look and see if the liquids stay mixed.  It is normal for the herbs to settle some but the liquids should not separate.  If all is well continue, if it is separating give it another bit of dry mustard and repeat.

Put all your chicken into a large zip lock bag, shake the marinade one more time to get the herbs all suspended again and dump it into the bag.  Push most of the air out of the bag, massage the bag and work the marinade all over everything.  Put in a bowl (in case it leaks, which would suck without the bowl) and put it in the fridge.  Leave it over night, a few times during this period massage up the bag and flip it over.

The next day remove the chicken and put it on a few paper towels for about 30 minutes at room temp.  This is important or you will be frying in a pool of oil and it will be hard to get  good brown.  Then fry in a pan of your choice or grill until done.  Don’t over cook it!  Cook to 145 if you use an instant read thermometer, but I can just tell when it is done by feel.

You can make this with any lemon pepper and it will be very good, you may find yourself addicted to it.  But if you want a superior organic product consider adding Frontier Organic Lemon Pepper to your pantry today.

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com

Chef Paul’s Blackened Redfish Magic Seasoning – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Item of the day is Chef Paul’s Blackened Redfish Magic Seasoning.  Seldom do I get this excited about a seasoning blend, but this one is amazing.  I remember Chef Paul on PBS as a kid, when PBS was one of only 4-6 channels that came in on our TV.  If everything was right you could get two more on the UHF dial you know.

I had forgotten all about him, but recently on a fishing trip with my guide buddy Omar Cotter and two good friends we really got into the striped bass, as the photo at the end shows.  I was talking to Patrick and Thad about how to make the striped bass fillets and Omar popped up with use Chef Paul’s Blackened Redfish Magic Seasoning.  Now I have like 50 great ways to do fish but when a man that catches fish for a living says to try something, I have learned friken try it.

So I ordered up some of this stuff, when it came and I realized how big the 24 ounce can really was, I was like, “man I hope this as good as Omar says”.  I popped it open and was instantly impressed.  Most mass produced seasonings are powdered crap and lots of salt.  The second I opened this I knew it was different.  Two keys were appearance and smell.  It reminded me of something I would mix up myself.

Then I tasted it, look, seriously I could eat this stuff by the pinch out of the container.  No I ain’t kidding!  Omar had suggested grilling the fillets skin side down and just putting some butter or oil on top and coating with this, cook till almost done all the way though and flip to finish.  We do this with sand bass all the time with just say salt, pepper and garlic.  We call it “sand bass on the half shell”.

But I could not get out of my head that the creator of this spice mix, Paul Prudhomme had almost single handily taken Redfish from being considered a “trash fish” to damn near extinction by making “Blackened Redfish” so popular.  I realized for all my bad ass cooking I had literally never “blackened” anything, on purpose anyway.  So I looked up how to do it, stupid simple!  And you know that is almost always a recipe for awesome food.

The basics are coat the fish in butter, cover one side with seasoning and let it sit a bit.  Now heat up butter in a pan till it is just starting to smoke.  Lay the fish seasoning side down in the pan, coat the other side with butter and seasoning and cook until about 2/3rds done.  Flip it and spoon some of the butter over the top and cook until finished.

Being my first time I wanted to try two different fish.  So I took out one striper fillet and some snapper I had as well.   I cut the damn near steak sized striper fillet in half, one for Dorothy and one for me.  The snapper fillets were much smaller and thinner so I had one of those for each of us.  I followed the procedure for both.  Of course the snapper cooked much faster.

You know what, when we sat down to eat my world view of cooking fish changed just a little bit.  How much did we like it?  The next morning I took out some catfish fillets and blacked them that night.  Here is the verdict on all three species….

  1.  In the words of Dorothy, they are “effing delicious”!  And yes she used the real “f word”.
    ~
  2. It is best to cook this outside you get a lot of smoke but I did it both inside and outside and it wasn’t that bad, but it did smoke up the kitchen.  If you were cooking for a big group, I would not even consider doing it inside.  My Ranger II Blind Stove did a great job on it outside.
    ~
  3. I think this works for any fish but the  more “meaty” the better.  The striper and snapper were both perfection.  Amazing flavor but also perfectly moist, perfectly done and perfect texture.  The catfish was good but being a little more delicate it lost a bit of texture.

While I have not done it yet, I think the perfect fish for this stuff isn’t Redfish (which we all know is amazing).  No, I think Mahi Mahi is the perfect fish for this, and luckily it is available at most stores.  I am also going to give catfish another go, I am thinking whole skinned with cuts in the sides will do best.  I am definitely going to try supposedly “boring” tilapia”, skin on and scored with this.

Some other fish I know would do well with this method are cobia, as it is so steak like, swordfish and salmon.  I am sure ahi tuna would be amazing too, but I have a very hard time cooking tuna, knowing that its highest purpose involves simply proper slicing and some wasabi, soy and ginger.

I am hard pressed to say what this stuff would not season well!  The day it showed up all the fish was frozen and I made steak.  While I used some of my own seasoning for the steaks, I roasted baby carrots in the oven.  I hit them simply with olive oil and sprinkled this on them to give it a shot, amazing flavor.  I also can’t wait to try this on seared scallops and shrimp, both should be fantastic.

Yes this technique will be coming to Biltong for Breakfast soon, but again the technique is so simple.  Tune in today and I will give the low down on doing it right in audio in our closing segment.  But man if you love fish, give Chef Paul’s Blackened Redfish Magic Seasoning a shot.  You can get the big 24 ounce can for the best value or get two 2 ounce bottles if you want to try a smaller amount first.

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com

P.S. – If you are in the DFW Region give Luck O’ The Irish Fishing Guide Service a try.  Below is me with Captain Omar Cotter.  As you guys know fishing is a passion of mine, I have fished all over the country alone and with dozens of guides.  Omar is one of the best and I am grateful to have him in my own backyard.

Check out the results below, Omar took myself, Patrick of MT Knives and my buddy Thad out for a day.  We managed 12 stripers, 2 hybrid stripers, 48 white bass, a blue cat and a crappie.  We did this all before 10 AM.

P.S.S. – Thanks to an Amazon reviewer I do have the base recipe for Chef Paul’s redfish seasoning.  He apparently published it in a book from 1984.  I think it must be Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Louisiana Kitchen because it is the only book by Chef Paul from that year.  I am going to pick up a copy because this guy was honestly way ahead of his time.

He was teaching young deer hunting red necks like myself how to cook in the days of rabbit ear television.  Long before all these non reality TV shows with competitions and fake drama built into them.  Anyway here is that recipe if you want to try rolling your own, thanks to Amazon reviewer  Kabol, Johnathan N. for posting it.

  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 2 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • 3/4 tsp white pepper
  • 3/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp fennel — or seeds crushed

Tasting the current mix I think this is a good base to work from and work up your own version, though I am about 100% sure changes have been made since 84.  I may give it a try but honestly it will be hard to beat the pre packaged mix and I don’t think you can do it for less money.  Again 24 ounces is a LOT of this stuff.  Now what do I blacken next?  Perhaps chicken?

Sadly Chef Paul left us in 2015, but somewhere I think his spirit is smiling knowing that still today people are discovering or in my case rediscovering this awesome guy.  A man that made southern cooking into simply American cooking over many awesome decades of his life.  May we all leave such a legacy.

Sushi Sonic 100% Real Powdered Wasabi – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is Sushi Sonic 100% Real Powdered Wasabi.  I love sushi and sashimi but to be honest on some levels the raw fish is really a “conveyance system for soy sauce and wasabi”.  While not totally true, I have spoken to many a fellow connoisseur of sashimi that shares the basic sentiment.  We love the fish, the pickled ginger, the saki, the seaweed salad, etc. but in the end, wasabi makes it sing.

Thing is most people, even those that frequent good sushi bars have either never had real wasabi.  Instead what they thought was wasabi was a mix of horseradish and mustard dyed green.  Or if they are lucky they may have had some real wasabi cut with horseradish.  Generally at 51% wasabi to 49% horseradish.

However those little tubes of “premixed wasabi” and most powders that you mix with water actually contain zero wasabi.  Yea really, read a few labels and check.

Here area few examples…

  • Premium Wasabi Powder – Even has cool Japaneses letters but ingredients are horseradish, mustard and fillers and artificial colors.
    ~
  • Kikkoman, Wasabi Sauce – Kikkoman a name you can trust right? Well the second ingredient is soybean oil, the third is a “root blend” of wasabi and horse radish.  Please note they don’t say how much wasabi and it could be as little as 1%.  Also has high frutose corn syrup and yellow #5 and blue #1.  Well yellow and blue do make green right?
    ~
  • S&B Wasabi Powder – Contains horseradish, mustard, corn starch along with our new friends yellow #5 and blue #1 but zero actual wasabi.

So what is the deal, why is it so hard to find real wasabi?  Well wasabi is related to horse radish, but unlike horse radish which is simple to grow, wasabi is complicated to grow and needs a perfect semi aquatic environment to grow right. Because of this, it is mostly only grown in Japan or China, and this makes it quite expensive.

One of my projects next year will actually be trying to grow some wasabi in one of my aquatic systems.  But until then I will be happy to use Sushi Sonic 100% Real Powdered Wasabi.

There is a lot to like about this stuff, I recently did sashimi for three friends and they all loved it.  Let’s start with the ingredients, pretty simple, 100% wasabi.  So if we have 100% wasabi we have 0% everything else.  Next up it is freeze dried, so it will last for damn near ever and still taste wonderfully fresh when rehydrated.  I also consider it well priced, a 1.5 ounce jar is about 9 bucks and trust me a little goes a long way.

I was concerned a bit as this product is from China but it gets an A grade on Fakespot as does the company as a whole, so there is no deception going on with the review game.  The product does have some negative reviews, of course some China bashing as always.  One lady says it has no flavor and smells like green tea.  I think that woman needs to see a neurologist!

This is quite simply the best product I have found and it is easy as all get out to use.  Mix with about an equal amount of water and let it sit for about 4-5 minutes and you have a perfect paste.  There are a lot of ways to use wasabi but sushi and sashimi are the pinnacle as far as I am concerned.  If you’d like to give real wasabi a try, order up some Sushi Sonic 100% Real Powdered Wasabi today, and trust me it will make your taste buds dance.

Remember you can always find the TSP Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop online you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

P.S. – You will notice some complaining about a “root blend” with this brand including a misprint in the expanded description that seems to make it worse.  The explanation is abundantly simple.  The same company makes an “economy version” that is in fact a 49-51% blend.  You can see it here.  In any event the product that says 100% wasabi on the label is the one you want not the one that says 51% genuine wasabi.

 

 

 

Maldon Sea Salt – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Item of the day is Maladon Sea Salt.  I when I first discovered this stuff I simply said, “where the hell has this stuff been all my life”!

So, what does it taste like, it tastes like salt, nothing more.

It is pure sea salt which many of us consider more healthy that typical table salt but that is not the magic either.  No it is all about the texture!  I am not sure how they do it but these salt flakes are in like little flaky pyramid like shapes.

I like them so much I am adding a second salt box to our counter top!  Why, this stuff is expensive compared to say typical sea salt or kosher salt which I use for most cooking.  Again the magic is the texture not the taste.

So I use this as a finishing salt which so happens to be the way most chefs use it.  On the top of a steak is pretty great and it is really good on something like sauteed vegetables or on a salad.  In addition to great salty flavor it adds an amazing crunch in such a cool way.

My links go to a twin pack, as I see it as the best value at 9.32 with free shipping on prime.  If you want you can order a single box for only 4.95 but that is considered an “add on order” by Amazon because it is such a small order, but if you are going to be ordering at least 25 dollars that is also and option.

They also have a smoked version of this salt and I am totally in love with it.  It is like sprinkling magic on about any meat, specifcally grilled pork, beef or fish.   Since I first posted this article I now have three salt boxes in my home.  One for plain old Kosher, one for regular Maldon and one for Smoked Maldon.

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com

Ras El Hanout Seasoning from Pinch Spice Market – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is Ras El Hanout seasoning from Pinch Spice Market.  Pinch has a variety of interesting stuff I will be trying soon.  I used the Raas El Hanout (pronounced like – ross el ha newt) in my first ever attempt at tagine cooking to do a tagine quail.  While I still need to dial in cook time and temp settings a bit to master the tagine, the flavor was off the hook.

I am a big fan of making up your own mixes but this is one I am happy to let someone else do.  Ras El Hanout seasoning is sort of like the Moroccan answer to curry.  It is curry like in flavor (similar to a yellow Indian curry) but not as strong in that “curry way”.  I’ll put it this way, my wife doesn’t like Indian yellow curries at all, but she loved this stuff.  And yet I find them quite similar.

The way it is like curry though is there is no one way to make a Ras El Hanout, every cook in Morocco is likely to have their own, and of course theirs is “the best”.  This mix uses a lot of spices, you will see recipes for it with anywhere from 15-30 different ingredients.  This brand was the best I could find, the company says they worked on it for over six months and the effort shows.  It is made up of a whopping 26 spices, they are,

  • cumin
  • black pepper
  • paprika
  • grains of paradise
  • coriander
  • turmeric
  • cayenne
  • lemon peel
  • cinnamon
  • cardamom
  • allspice
  • juniper
  • nutmeg
  • glangal
  • ginger
  • mace
  • fenugreek
  • mustard
  • clove
  • anise seed
  • licorice
  • rose
  • lavender
  • ajwain
  • hibiscus

Yea with a list that long of so many exotic spices I am content to let someone else mix it.  It is a bit pricey at 12 bucks for 4 ounces but a little goes a long way.  For the quail I put four quail in an unglazed tagine, it is important to properly season a tagine before using it.  I added colored baby carrots, fingerling potatoes, shallots, olive oil, water, garlic, lime zest and bay.  I also used about two teaspoons of the Ras El Hanout.

The quail leg quarters were perfect but I slightly over cooked the breast, I think I need to cook at a lower temp and sear the birds before putting them in the tagine.  Also a bit more liquid to more braise the quails.  They would be best cut into quarters too, so they braise better.  These were older cull birds and since they free range in the aviary they do get a bit tough.  Next up will be tagine venison!

The liquid in the tagine was a wonderful clear yellow broth, it screams out to go on rice or couscous.  We really try to keep carbs as low as we can but I am going to have to make up a bit of either at some point try with this.  I would also say saffron would be a good addition to the basic recipe of a tagine dish.

This seasoning though need not be confined to tagine cooking, it will add huge flavor to almost anything.  Fried potatoes would be exotic as hell seasoned with this.  I can only imagine what slow cooked lamb in this stuff will be like.   Based on the taste of the quail it seems like this stuff will have a love affair with chicken, slow cooked, grilled, saute’d, it doesn’t matter.  In fact here are a bunch of ideas for using Ras El Hanout.

This is one of those things that is like a cooking cheat code, sort of like a curry paste or a stock paste is.  You want to take something in a certain direction, add this to taste and you are a kitchen rock star that night.

Oh and did you see the one thing not in this stuff?  Salt!  This is good in a lot of ways.  First I hate paying for high end organic spices when 10-20 percent by weight is fricken salt!  That is not good economics.  Second I like to control my own salt levels.  But I realized that some people have to omit or severely limit salt, wow, this is a product for you, massive flavor, no salt.

So give Ras El Hanout seasoning from Pinch Spice Market and I think you are really going to enjoy it.  Spices and seasonings are a great thing for preppers to store on hand.  If you are inclined to store some extra of this stuff, I would go with a well sealed ball jar.  Don’t use vac seal bags with anything like this, you end up with bad clumping, trust me I know.

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop on online you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

P.S. – Here is some solid food porn from the quail dish described.

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Thai Whole Dried Chiles by Asia-Trendy – Item of the Day

chilipeps

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day one of my favorite cooking ingredients, Thai Whole Dried Chiles by Asia-Trendy.  First let me say I don’t even understand how they are able to provide these we free shipping at this price.  These things ship right from Thailand, it is on the fricken package when you get it.  This means you know you are getting the real thing.

Next they do bring some heat to the party but they are not a blow your brains out of your ears type of heat, just a nice warming heat that makes you know yea, that is a chile pepper in there!  Lost of people use them re-hydrated in stir fry and the like, that way if you actually eat them whole they pack a big punch but if you just use them to flavor the dish again we are back to a nice warming heat.

You can also take them for a spin in your coffee grinder to make a pretty impressive chili powder, or cut it with some dehydrated garlic for a bit more mellow heat and a nice addition in flavor from the garlic.

Yet my favorite use and the entire reason I tracked these down years ago is my famous chile, garlic, pepper oil.  My god this stuff makes the best chicken wings you will ever eat.  Here is what you need and how you make it.

Jack’s Famous Chile Garlic Pepper Oil

  • About 1-2 dozen dried chile peppers
  • About a half a hand full (about 3 TBS) black pepper corns (Tellicherry is best)
  • One whole garlic bulb or about 10 cloves
  • 2 cups of peanut oil

Crumble the peppers into a sauce pan, add in the black pepper corns, peal the garlic cloves and throw them in whole.  Add the 2 cups of oil and put on the stove, heat over low heat stirring often until you see the first signs of the peppers and garlic starting to fry.  DO NOT FRY THEM, what I mean is when  you see the first signs of bubbles forming, kill the heat.  It is best to use a thermometer and heat to at least 275 degrees. 

Set a towel on the counter and put the pot on it, cover it with a lid.  Fold the towel around the pot to hold the heat in, let it sit for at least 2 hours until oil is cool.  Now put everything into a blender, VitaMix, Nutri Ninja, what ever you have.  Blend the crap out of it until everything is pulverized.

Now strain into a ball jar, it should make right about one pint of oil.  This is great oil for cooking anything you want garlic and heat added to and again the heat really is not that intense, it is mostly incredible flavor.  Trust me you can’t buy anything like this, most chile oil in stores and restaurants is crap, you have to make it yourself if you want something this good and fresh.

My favorite use is on chicken wings.  Put your wings in a bowl and add enough to coat them all, toss them well to evenly coat.  You can roast or gill them strait away or add on a dry rub of your choice, if you want my dry rub for this tune in to today’s episode of TSP which will be Episode 1908.

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com

P.S. – This stuff is one of those things that makes a great gift for people who like to cook.  Put it in a nice bottle or jar, with nice label or what have you.

P.P.S. For best results while it can be left out for a time, store it in the fridge.  There is no real risk of botulism if not refrigerated because even though we use moist garlic, by heating to 275 degrees we are 25 degrees above the temps needed to kill all botulism spores. Additionally almost anything you cook with it will have a surface temp above 250.  But it will simply keep fresh longer in the fridge, so you know what to do!

Mr. Coffee Electric Coffee Grinder – Spice Grinder – Item of the Day

coffeeEvery day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the Mr. Coffee Electric Coffee Grinder.  And yes it does a bang up job grinding coffee and occasionally I grind up some Mai Thai Coffee and drop it in my french press, but that is not my primary use for this tool.

To me this is the greatest ever dried vegetables and spice/herb grinder you can get your hands on for under 20 bucks.  In fact for Prime members this awesome tool is just 18.56 with free shipping.

I use this grinder to make hot pepper powders.  Garlic and onion powder from a store?  Never I buy dried onions and dried minced garlic in large quantities, I then make up powders as I need them in small quantities.  Just smell fresh made garlic or onion powder and you will see why.

I whip up my own spice mixes like this one which is a great go to rub for almost any meat but especially chicken on the grill.

  • About a table spoon of each
    • Thyme
    • Dried garlic
    • Dried onion
    • Mustard Seed
    • Fennel Seed
    • Chili Powder
    • Dehydrated Celery (yea that is a secret)
    • Cumin
    • Tellicherry Black Pepper Corns (another secret)
    • Kosher or Sea Salt
  • Then about 3 table spoons of paprika
  • About 2 table spoons of parsley

This is all done by estimate by the way, not with spoons but you can do that if you want to.  This is a go to rub for poultry and fast grilled pork.  I just whipped up some for my buddy David to go on quail.  You can see that here.  The best thing with small pieces like quail, cut up chicken etc, is to put it in a large bowl and toss till well coated then grill.

Anyway it is unlimited what you can do, did you see the celery above, we always have it on hand, grinding it gives you the same type of punch as celery seed but it sure costs less and it is more versatile.  You guys that grow 15 different hot peppers can go mad scientist with pepper blends.

The Mr. Coffee Electric Coffee Grinder is also equipped with what they call a “Chamber Maid Cleaning System”.  This little device you spin with your finger and it helps get out all the stuff hiding on the edges.  For actual cleaning though, the bowl is water tight!  Fill it just below the max fill line with water (don’t get the base wet), put the lid on, pulse for a few moments, dump it out, set it upside down to dry, DONE!

Lastly I bought my first one of these before I even started TSP, it lasted until this year, when I stupidly tried to grind oyster shell with it!  So I got a new one, and I have found its limits, no rocks or shells, LOL.  Trust me no kitchen specifically no prepper kitchen should be without this tool.

This item has 1900 plus reviews and 76% are 4 or 5 star.  If you read the negative reviews they seem to be either coffee snobs that want a 18 dollar grinder to grind with the precision of a 500 dollar tool, or people to dim to get the cord out of the storage space on the bottom.  Friends you can’t fix stupid but you can fix up some amazing rubs and powders with this fool proof tool

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com

 

Fletchers’ Federal Pepper Mill – Item of the Day

mill

Special Note – The hand finished walnut version of this item I review here is what I paid 50 bucks for 11 years ago, when I first did this posting it was selling still for almost that much on Amazon.  I brought it back around because it is currently on sale for 35.48, which is now less then the painted one mentioned in the PS below.  This is a fantastic price, again I have owned mine now for 11 years, it is still just as good as they day I bought it.

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is Fletchers’ Federal Pepper Mill. Now I know there are some that might ask why in the world anyone would pay about 50 dollars for a pepper mill?  The answer is because 9 years ago at a store, I found this mill, there was a promotional tag on it that said, “the last pepper mill you will ever buy”.

I snorted with condescension, but I also didn’t put it down.  Just that day I had thrown away yet another piece of junk pepper mill that crapped out.  My philosophy is always get the best value to performance ratio you can.  Another way of saying this is “always be frugal never be cheap”.

Frugal looks at total cost, cheap looks at cost today only.  Throwing out 5 or more 15 – 20 dollar pepper grinders over 5 years, costs 75-100 dollars and you get shitty performance during those years.

With skepticism I took the mill to the counter, mumbling under my breath “for this price it had better be” once again reading the propaganda saying, “the last pepper mill you will ever buy”.  Did it live up to the hype.

Well “last ever” is a bold claim!  I can’t say yet if that is true, even making allowances for buying a second one, or one as a gift.  Will this thing ever die?  I don’t know, I do know I have had it for 11 years, a year longer than I have been doing TSP.  With that in mind, last night, I made a Foraged Bloody Mary and when I did I grabbed this very mill, and it worked as good as the day I bought it.

The one bit of maintenance I do is every time I empty it, before refilling it I take the top off, turn it upside down, depress the bottom a few times and clean out the dust, then refill and rock on.  Is there anything better than the Fletchers’ Federal Pepper Mill I don’t really know, but if it costs more, I would not see the need to pay more.

A final note, when you cook with pepper or use it on food, please use it fresh ground.  Pepper has a lot of oils in it, that is where all the aroma and flavor come from.  This is why preground smells like, well nothing and fresh cracked smells, amazing.

As to the best deal on premium quality pepper corns, check out my write up on Tellicherry Peppercorns, or just get them at amazon, they are, Spicy World Tellicherry Peppercorns.  In any event no matter what pepper you prefer you should pick up the Fletchers’ Federal Pepper Mill to grind it in.  If not now, perhaps the next time you bang a cheap mill on the counter, curse under your breath and hold it up and look at the underside as though as it is an old Chevy in need of suspension work.

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com

PS – I have linked to the “Walnut” finished model.  Please note there are other finishes, some painted, some of smaller size.  The internals of all the PEPPER MILLS are the same, and there is some pricing variation.  For instance if you want one painted a sort of cinnamon color, you can get it for half the price.   This makes sense as hand finishing wood is more labor intensive than a simple lacquered paint finish.

And that is great, do use some care in your selection as some of the models you can select on the page are actually salt mills, like this one.  I am sure they work just fine, but the grinders are different as they are designed for a different purpose.

 

Hoosier Hill Farms Gourmet Paprika – Item of the Day

paprikaEvery day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is Hoosier Hill Farms Gourmet Paprika.  Eventually I will be posting all my favorite spices, seasoning and herbs.  Why?  First they are consumables, meaning you use them over and over and in this case often.  Two they are expensive in small quantities, the way most people buy them.  Three, they are incredibly easy to store in bulk.

In this case much like my favorite peppercorns, when you buy in bulk you get top quality and pay a lot less.  Try this next time you are at a grocery, find a good quality paprika in a 2-4 ounce bottle and work out the price per pound.

So how do I store bulk herbs, usually I put them in half pint jars then put them in my Vaccucanner.  I keep a jar in the cabinet and when it is empty I just refill it and order new stuff when I am down to say two jars left.  In this case though, I just put the big bottle up in the less accessed part of my kitchen pantry and keep a jar in my spice cabinet.

Why, first it stores for a long time with no real effort and no loss in quality.  Easily over a year.  Leading to the second reason, we use this stuff in almost every spice we mix up using our coffee grinder method, we use it as garnish, we use a LOT of it, hence a pound will never make it a year here.  So no need for longer term measures.

I find it interesting that many preppers have tons of food stored and often go to heroic measures to make it storable.  Yet herbs and spices can pretty much just be put in something airtight and store for years and yet they don’t buy in bulk or keep any storage of them.  I always say eat what you store and store what  you eat, well herbs and spices fit that perfectly.

And the best part, this is great paprika, it has 195 reviews at the time of this posting, and is 4.5 stars over all.  And yet it is only 13.99 on Amazon Prime.    I highly suggest every prepper build up a good spice and seasoning storage rotation.  I have worked out that buying high quality in bulk vs. high or even low quality in small amounts saves us about 10 dollars on average per pound in most spices and herbs, etc.  With even 10 herbs or spices you use a lot and go though on an annual basis that is 100 dollars back in your pocket.

So give Hoosier Hill Farms Gourmet Paprika a try next time you place an order on Amazon and really consider getting my highly recommend Tillicherry Black Pepper Corns too.

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com

 

 

 

Spicy World Black Tellicherry Peppercorns Item of the Day

pepperEvery day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is Spicy World Black Tellicherry Peppercorns and I recommend it based on a philosophy I have about all things.

“Whenever possible pay less and get better quality”

In this case you may wonder how that applies to something like pepper.  Well lets look at it this way, pepper is a go to spice, if you cook likely you use salt and pepper daily.  Any good cook knows that fresh ground pepper is the only way to go.  Why?  Well black pepper’s real magic is in the oils, if you buy preground most of that wonderful taste and aroma is gone by the time you use it.

If you have ever wondered why pepper smells so amazing when you grind it, it is those oils being released.  And aroma and taste are incredibly linked.  This is why food tastes so bland when you are sick and congested and can’t smell.

So what most people buy is a small jar of peppercorns at the market, usually malabar, which is fine but about as base model as you can get.  They will end up with 2-4 ounces of pepper and pay 4-5 bucks for it.  If we do the math you are now paying 20-40 dollars a pound for a low quality product.

Conversely this one pound bag of Tellicherry peppercorns is 13.49 on Amazon with free shipping on prime.  What is a Tellicherry Peppercorn?

Tellicherry peppercorns are like San Marzano tomatoes: they need to come from Tellicherry, a city on the Malabar coast of Kerala in India. They’re considered some of the finest peppercorns in the world, and one of the few “names” in pepper that people are familiar with.

As black pepper goes it is especially sweet, and has aromas from fruity to grassy to citrus and pine—but most of all, a certain bright freshness. The sweet, balanced flavor and complex aroma and really hard hitting spiciness makes it my go to pepper.

And that one pound bag will fill about 4 jelly canning jars, the 4th will be about 3/4th full.  I just pop them into my vaccucanner and seal them up, you can do the same with a Foodsaver and the jar attachment.  When I get down to 2 jars I order more, I never run out, hey we are preppers right.  Key is if you use pepper daily and most of us do, you don’t really need to vac seal them, just put them in a jar.  Don’t ask me to explain why, but the price per ounce goes up if you order a two pack, so if you want more than one, get the one pack and change the quantity in your cart.

This is a small savings I admit but if you do this with many of the spices, herbs and seasonings you use regularly it adds up over a year and you build up a storage, and you cook with top vs. mediocre quality.  As to quality this item has had 988 reviews on Amazon, it averages 5 stars and only 2% of reviewers rated it two stars or lower.  That is stellar performance, give them a try and you will see why.

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com