Organic flaky sea salt enhanced with chocolate and chilli. Perfect to rub into or liberally coat chicken to barbeque, grill or roast. Can be used to make a salad drizzle or a delicious marinade.
When I saw this product become open to try, it seemed like a good idea at the time, chocolate who doesn't love that, and chilli well I do like a little chilli. Chocolate and chilli together seemed a little different but enough for me to try.
Now its a cute little packet with a little clear window where you can see the product, its a lively dark colour which gives you the idea of chocolate. When you read the back of the packet it says you can use it on meals, in a casserole, over a salad or into a marinade. Now when I first thought of this, I was like YES a marinade that would be the best thing to give this a go, no not me it seems.
So I decided to make french toast and I had run out of the spice I normally use and thought hmm this has paprika in it and I like that on eggs and potato so lets add this to my french toast. I opened up the packet which was really easy to open and it has a resealable zip so you can close it up nicely. The flavours that came out of this packet was INTENSE, man it hit me really hard, all the spices at once and it turned me away from using it on my french toast, but not all stopped there.
I needed to use a pumpkin up so thought about a pumpkin soup as this would make a base to my pumpkin and leek potato top pie. Now in my soup I like to add spices and salt so this seemed like a better time to give In-Salt a go. I added a teaspoon into my mix while it was boiling, and the aroma that was coming out of the pot while it was cooking was amazing, the house smelt great I even sent a video to friends saying you NEED to smell this but you cant. Once it was cooked I added a little more into it as cooking can evaporate flavours, I whipped it into a lovely smooth soup and gave it a taste, OMG it blew my mind, it was so good, yummy, I even had my hubby taste it and he gave it a small taste next minute the spoon was taken from my hand he finished it and went for more from the pot. You could taste the cumin and paprika, not so much chilli, that was a little disappointing but still really good.
Because this was amazing in a soup I decided to use it to rub over our roast chicken that we were having tonight, I added some oil to the chicken skin and then rubbed this wonderful Coco Loco over it and around it, adding more to it the smell while it was cooking in the oven again AMAZING, how and why, who knows but it was great. Once cooked it looked lovely the skin was beauitful and crisp and smelt good, the taste was great, not as WOW as the soup but it was still amazing, the best rub on a chicken I have done for a while, still couldn't find the chilli which again was sad, but that is a minor set back I'm okay with.
Overall this product is great, I love it, my family love it, the flavour is lovely and there, the opening of the packet is a HIT but not to put you off so I found out. Its a lovely small packet easy to pop away in the cupboard, the best part is its made and sourced in New Zealand. The price is a on the higher side of what I would normally pay for a spice or salt, but in this case it has so many uses and you don't actually need a lot each time, so the price would weigh out in the end. I would be looking for this product again and will carry on using it.
If you want something different give this a go, you wont be disappointed unless you like chilli.
Living by myself I am always interested in finding new products that I can use to create tasty meals for one that are quick and easy (because who really wants to spend ages in the kitchen when only cooking for themselves right?!). Having tried two of the other products in the In-Salt range I was keen to request this one in my next parcel, but once I received it I started the struggle of deciding what to use it with. I know that chilli and chocolate is a common taste combination that has been very popular, but I haven't made anything with this combination before.
After reading the back of the packet I decided to head to the In-Salt website to look for some ideas other than what is on the back of the packet, as it suggested I would be able to find more recipe ideas there. I clicked on the heading "Recipes & Ideas" and expected to find some different ideas. I was a bit disappointed though, there were about five recipes and none of them use this product. If the packet suggests you can find more recipes there, I would have assumed there would be some. So I was back to square one. I eventually settled on doing one of the suggestions on the back of the packet and using it as a rub on some chicken. I sprinkled some of the artisian salt on either side of the chicken and rubbed it in with my hands. I added the chicken breasts to a hot pan with a little bit of oil in it and cooked until the chicken was completely cooked through.
While the chicken was cooking I could smell the cocoa more than any of the other ingredients within this product. I was quite excited, as I was interested to see what cocoa on chicken would taste like. Once the chicken had finished cooking I sliced it up and left it to sit while I made a salad (a very simple fancy lettuce, baby spinach and dry coleslaw mix - a great simple salad for one!). I served the chicken on top with a little bit of garlic aioli on the side. I sat down and took my first mouthful of chicken, my first thought was that I could have been a bit more heavy handed on the salt, as it was only a very subtle flavour. With the amount I had put on I could really only taste the salt and the chilli, there wasn't a flavour of cocoa or brown sugar at all. Despite this, it was very tasty. I sprinkled a little bit more on top of the chicken and the salad and continued eating. After this I could get the flavour of the cumin, but still not the cocoa or brown sugar. The flavours did work in really well with the chicken, and with the aioli that I served on the side.
Overall, this was an enjoyable product. I will use it again, and will keep checking the website to see if any further ideas of how to use it come up. It did make a plain piece of chicken taste good, and with very little effort and time. I made two extra chicken breasts for my lunches over the next two days and I'm looking forward to them!
When it comes to trying out new flavours in dishes I will admit I am a bit of a wuss, I often like to stick to the products I know and trust rather than venture out of my comfort zone, mostly due to the fact that I don't want my meal to be a flop and a waste of food if no one will end up eating it. I had previously tried another of the salts from the In-Salt range which I absolutely loved and have been using all throughout my dishes so I decided to take a risk and step out of my comfort zone to try out the Coco Loco.
The first thing that I liked about this particular product was the packaging it was very attractive and I loved that the bag it came in was a silver foil, this looked really effective with the black, yellow and white sticker on the front of it, but most of all I loved the clear see-through front, I was most impressed that this little bag was full to the brim and that I was able to see through it a good way to see what you are actually buying, my first initial thought was that it looked just like cocoa, however taking a closer look I could see definite flakes and various different herbs and spices, those which I soon found out were in fact smoked paprika, cumin, chilli as well as brown sugar, flaky sea salt, and cocoa... a very interesting combination indeed and a mix between those salty and those sweet.
The first time using this I decided not to be too adventurous and simply decided to use it as a marinade along with a bit of honey and soy sauce to marinate some chicken pieces, after mixing the marinade up I sat the chicken in the mix for 8 hours while I was at work, when I came home and was ready to cook the chicken the most aromatic smell came from the fridge where the chicken was I could certainly smell the herbs, Miss 5 commented about the nice smell, so I was hoping she would enjoy the taste also, after all, I didn't go overboard in the amount of Coco-Loco I added. I served the chicken up at dinner along with some carrots, broccoli and roast potatoes and I must say I actually quite liked the flavour, the paprika and chilli were the strongest flavors by far but adding the sweeter ingredients it made the heat you'd usually get from such ingredients bearable, the whole family actually enjoyed the chicken.
Next I decided to be a bit more adventurous, I popped up some popcorn kernels and then shook a tablespoon of Coco-Loco over top and gave it a good mix, the flavor this added to the popcorn sure was interesting, there was definitely a high heat level to it and it was all too much for my family that we couldn't eat it. So this isn't a way I'd use the product again.
To be honest I probably wouldn't buy this particular variety of In-Salt again as it is a bit out of my level, however, if you enjoy experimenting with different foods and a bit of spice you should totally try it. I look forward to trying out the rest of the range to find a product that's right for me.
I just love the name of this product - it is the sort of name you can imagine being given to a jingle which then forms the chorus of a Mexican dance. Coco is the Spanish for coconut, but it is also a slang term for your head! Loco, of course, means crazy. Since there is no coconut in this salt, I assume the name refers to someone who is a nut-case. And that entirely sums up the funky nature of this In-Salt variety. It is a product that is open to suggestion, the more innovative the better.
When I first opened the pack, I could smell the cumin so I immediately thought of making a curry. However, on tasting it, I realised that the chocolate after-taste would be completely lost in a curry. The man impression that greeted me was one of salt with a chilli sting that followed. There was also the richness of the paprika and brown sugar which gave it a mildly sweet flavour that kicked in after the initial chilli blast. And last of all the chocolate, hiding in the background but ready to make itself known once the pushy flavours had surfaced.
According to the packet, it is good to use as a rub with chicken. Having tasted a little of the mixture, and realised just how many layers of flavour there were, I decided to serve it with some roast chicken in place of table salt so people could add it direct to their meal. There were four of us for dinner, Mr 15, me, and my friends from the country who are keen nature lovers. I warned them all that there might be a backlash from the chilli and to be sparing with how much they took. Mr 15, who loves spicy food, sprinkled his chicken liberally. The Nature Lovers were a little more cautious. Mrs Nature Lover used only a pinch; Mr Nature Lover was more daring. He tasted, thought about it, and then took a little more.
When they had finished their chicken, I asked for feedback. Everyone liked it! The good thing about using it at the table was that each person could regulate his or her own amount. Mr Nature Lover was intrigued by the rich after-taste that lingered in his mouth. He was amazed to find that the ingredients included cocoa and brown sugar. Mrs Nature Lover was even more surprised. She insisted on reading the label for herself before she would believe me.
But my aim was to test the product in a really "loco" way, so I decided to use it in a dessert. I would make a Spicy Mocha Slice! I started with a caramel slice recipe. This consists of a coconut-and-flour-and-brown-sugar base, a fudgy caramel filling made from butter, condensed milk and brown sugar, and a chocolate icing. I added a teaspoon of Coco Loco to the base and three teaspoons to the chocolate icing. Then I served it to the family to see how they would react.
The adults loved it. It is extremely high in all sorts of undesirables like fats and sugars so is not a food you would have every day, but as a special occasion treat it is perfect. The children enjoyed their plainer version: they got the same base with a small amount of coco loco in it but with a plain chocolate icing. When they tried the full version to compare, it was too much for them - but interestingly, they found it too salty rather than too hot. The adults liked the spicier version as they found it cut the richness of the slice. I liked the spicy version too but could not eat a lot because the slice itself was so rich.
I look forward now to trying it mixed in with whipped cream for a pavlova - I plan to top it with crystallised ginger and tropical fruit in season - and also as a flavour with fresh popcorn instead of regular salt. There are so many possibilities.
I am well aware that cocoa has been used a few times in savoury dishes but I have never been somewhere selling a dish prepared with cocoa nor have I ever sought it out because to me it's just a too outlandish, but considering that a few years ago I would have balked at the idea of salt and caramel and now love that combination, I knew this was a prime opportunity to step outside of my comfort zone. Being able to see into the packet, there is no doubt that cocoa is in this mix at all, there is also sea salt, brown sugar, paprika, cumin and chilli, so it looked and sounded like an interesting mix.
Sniffing it I could easily pick out the chilli and cumin and nothing else, so I tentatively dipped my finger in and gave it a taste as it was... And it was the salt and chilli that greeted me first and then the paprika slapped my in the back of the throat. Trying this, I knew that my kids would NOT be able to handle it, though they were game enough to have a tiny bit to try and promptly down a cup of milk. I ended up buying a slab of firm tofu and rubbed a generous amount of this mix all over it and left it to stew for a few hours (a must if you want the tofu to have some actual flavour) and then sliced it up and cooked it up. The food ended up having a lot of punch to it, for me, and I didn't like the overall flavour this provided. I used it a couple more times and ended with the same feeling each time.
I can see this having many uses for the right person but in this case, that's not me and I won't be buying it.
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New Zealand olives with sundried tomato, Israeli couscous and Alexandra's Moroccan spices make an exotic dish as a meal on its own or as a side dish. Just add water.
Ready in 15 minutes.
Handmade in New Zealand
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