Marinade for pork or chicken, excellent over any type of seafood, delicious on rocket leaves or mix it into your favorite Thai salad!
Having already loved the Strawberry, lemon and mint flavour I was looking forward to trying this one. As before, I had it with my summer staple lunchtime salad. I tossed it over, greens, spinach, avocado, tomatoes, crasins, goji berries, feta and cucumber.
When I took that first bite, I was not expecting it to pack quite such a punch! I probably should have done the finger dip thing first to see how strong it was! It was a strong chilli taste and I personally couldn't taste the lime or coriander. I found it overwhelmed the rest of the salad, particular the feta cheese and avocado. Perhaps I should have used less but I'm not sure that it would have made much difference. I do normally love spicy food but over a salad I didn't enjoy it much, I much prefer more subtle flavours in a salad dressing. Possibly this would be nicer as a marinade over meat as suggested but I haven't tried that as yet.
I did also find it's quite high in calorie count so if that is something that you are tracking it could be a little off-putting. I also would consider the price too much, I thought I had a sample size bottle not realising it was the full-size bottle. Sorry, but I wouldn't pay $12.00.
It started with a tentative finger dip into the top of the bottle for a wee "taste" before letting loose on our evening salad. WOWZERS. This product presents exceptionally well, and has a good quality feel to it. Clearly NZ made which is fabulous as it is always great to be able to support our local businesses and I love the simple "hand written" element used for the flavor type as its what you remember from your nana's recipe books.
As for the taste this little bottle of Castle Rock Cafe Chilli, Lime and Coriander Dressing packs one heck of a punch right off the mark and certainly brings the taste buds to life as you try and figure out if your head is about to blow clear off your shoulders. In my case I think it may just have. We used this, along with some quality olive oil, to dress a rocket salad. For us the chilli was a little too overpowering and we struggled to find the hints of lime and coriander in the flavor, a more subtle flavor is what we had hoped for as while we enjoy "hot flavours" this was a little too hot for our liking.
Anyone who does love hot and chilli flavoured foods at a higher tolerance I believe will love the hit of heat that this gives you.
So this was a vinegar, where I really wasn't sure whether to use it. While people think my cooking can be adventurous, I tend to use very similar ingredients, just in different ways. But never one to shy away from a challenge, I decided to use it simply as a salad dressing.
Going through the fridge, I combined mesculin, celery, long cherry tomatoes (pomorosso?), and red onion with some sliced fried frankfurters. Without adding any additional oil (I'd cooked the frankfurters in canola oil) I went ahead and added 5-10ml of this chilli, lime, and coriander vinegar. A quick mix, and it was done. the vinegar is very thin, and spreads easily, so very little is actually needed for full coverage, which is good; at $12 per 100ml, you would want to get a lot of uses out of it.
It worked brilliantly together which surprised me. The lime and coriander created a great sweet and savoury mix of flavour, while the chilli added warmth and depth to the flavour. The chilli is the flavour that you immediately taste but it quickly fades, allowing the other flavours to come forward. The lime adds to the sweetness of the onions and tomatoes, and the coriander adds flavour to the otherwise bland lettuce.
It truly surprised me how well this worked out, because I didn't think I was going to like it. If I found it in a store, it would be my last choice (if I even pick it at all), so to have it turn out so well was a pleasant surprise. Vinegars aren't something that I use too often, but I'm starting to realise that they are far superior to many sauces. Usually in a salad, I would use a large amounts of a thick italian or french dressing, which really just covers and masks the flavours in the salad (as well as adding many many calories to the meal). Whereas this vinegar acts as a separate flavour that brings the flavours of the other ingredients to the foreground.
Truly delicious. This is drastically going to change how I work with salads from now on.
I had never heard of the Castle Rock range before becoming a member of KIWIreviews. I have tried two of their other flavours previously and was excited to find another Castle Rock bottle in my most recent review parcel. This time it was the chilli, lime and coriander vinegar. I am certainly becoming more adventurous with flavours I am using when cooking and being able to review these products is certainly opening my eyes to more of what is out there.
Salads are a big go to in my house and I am always on the lookout for new flavours to use on them. I love salads, but I get bored with standard mayo dressings. I decided to give the Castle Rock Chilli Lime Coriander Vinegar on a salad. I mixed up the salad ingredients (standard green salad with a little capsicum added for colour) and drizzled over the vinegar. I tossed the vegetables a couple of times to mix the vinegar over them and plated it up. One of the great things with this vinegar is that it is a light liquid that coats salad vegetables well. I didn't have to add much to the bowl to be able to cover all of the vegetables. As I sat down to at my dinner I was a little surprised with the vinegar - it had a huge flavour and quite a kick of spice! To be completely honest it was a little bit much for me, but I am not one that enjoys a high level of spice. This one certainly burned on my tongue for a little bit. I guess one bonus is that it upped my water intake!
To help tone the flavour down a little so that I could still enjoy my dinner I took a burger bun out of the freezer and defrosted it. I placed some of the salad in the bun along with the chicken that I had served with tea. I put a little bit of plain mayo on it too in the hope that it would bring down the spice just a little. This certainly made it a bit more bearable for me and I was able to finish my dinner.
Next time I would like to try it as a marinade for the chicken. Maybe using it in this manner the spice will be doable for me. Although I wasn't too taken by the spice I was still able to tell just how much flavour this vinegar has. Something that is important when it comes to food products.
How much punch can one 100ml bottle contain? Well when you try this bottle of Castle Rock chilli lime coriander and vinegar, you would answer this question with a lot. Wow the hit of chilli leave your tongue and lips tingling. The vinegar is the right blend between strong and overpower but then also mild from the sugar sweetness and the coriander tops it off. A power bottle of flavours and such a yum experience for the taste buds.
When looking at the price though I am not sure I would pay $12.00 for a 100ml bottle as that is well and truly out of my price range. For a special treat for a scrummy meal would be amazing though. I tried this yummy dressing with a cos lettuce salad with avocado, prawns, tomatoes and cucumber. Wow the punch from the sauce was amazing and worked with the flavours from the salad so well. I added extra coriander into the salad, as I love coriander.
This would be great for a chicken salad dish as well, would go nice with crispy noodles and udon noodles. The Thai flavours are just amazing and the flavours that it leaves in your mouth hang around for ages afterwards. It is worth the smack of heat you get on your lips and tongue from the dressing. Also I love the after taste of vinegar that stays in mouth, prefect combination of flavours in one bottle. if you ever the chance to try this dressing then I recommend you give it a go, add it to your next salad as you will love the flavours. I would say this is more for adults rather than kids, I'm pretty sure my son would not be able to handle the heat from it.
There are some foods that are so perfect on their own that they do not really need anything more than the addition of a little salt, but because I am on a low-salt diet, I am always on the lookout for condiments that enhance food without altering the flavour and can be used to partially replace the salt content. Today, whitebait fritters were on the menu - fresh cooked for me in the market using locally sourced fish which was caught only a few hours earlier. To accompany them, I needed to use a product that would complement them perfectly.
I have already tried other vinegar flavours in the Castle Rock range and found them rather acidic, so I was sparing at first, adding just a couple of drops. I need not have been concerned; this variety is much less sharp that the others, and the predominantly lime flavour overshadows the effect of the vinegar. It is interesting that chilli is listed as the first ingredient as I did not find the product hot at all. Possibly the heat was tempered by the citrus. Either way, the combination worked - and I could just taste the coriander, which added an interesting after-taste. I ended up sprinkling slightly less than a teaspoon measure on to my (admittedly rather large) fritter.
But the best effect of all was that on the whitebait itself. The vinegar did not mask the subtlety of the fish at all; it accentuated it so that it tasted just as this gourmet treat should. I have eaten whitebait all my life so I know a good batch when I taste it - it has got to be one of the best uniquely New Zealand dishes around. So I am delighted to have discovered this vinegar. It is not always possible to get fresh lemons or limes, especially when you are on the road, whereas this bottle is compact enough to be tucked into a chilly bin for travel.
The bottle holds 100 ml so in my reckoning that is enough for another nineteen or so whitebait meals - although I think it would also go well with everyday fish and chips! I will be buying it again once the bottle runs out (which may not be too far in the future!) and in the meantime I plan to test it on other fish dishes. The price is quite high at $12, but then you are paying for a quality product which really does make a difference.
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