Ever since doing our Featured product writeup of Texas Select Seasonings a little while back, we've been raving about their stuff to all our friends, family, and coworkers. Those kudos were mostly about their more spicy products, so we were fortunate enough to receive some stuff that was a little less spicy…but some of their stronger selling products. Needless to say, we're glad that we did.
Now we knew that this spice mix was not going to reach the heat level of the Rattlesnake Dust or the Wild Bill's Blazin' BBQ, but it was obvious (to us, anyway) from the list of ingredients that this wouldn't be a bland ol' mix of stuff either. This product has:
Ingredients: Garlic, fine sea salt, cayenne, paprika, black pepper, onion, jalapeño powder, oregano, basil, thyme and other select spices.
First impression and taste: As with other spice mixes, we don't sample them right out of the jar. Taking a gentle whiff, however, this mix was pretty enticing. Not a noxious blend to your nostril hairs, there is a nice hint of cayenne, garlic, and spice which almost makes you want to taste it on the spot.
We had two basic goals with using this spice mix: grilling/baking with it and using it straight, either as a condiment sprinkled over food (like with salt or pepper) or mixed into food. Straight up, it's a winner. I (Joe) used it in soup, mixed in with creamy salads (tuna and chicken), and just as a tabletop condiment. With each, this mix provided a huge boost of flavor, complete with a smidgeon of cayenne and jalapeno, to each item. The heat is minimal, perhaps 2 or 3/10, but the flavor is positively top-notch. Love the garlic & other spices in th
ey-68″>make real moneye taste, which seems very fresh upon use…not stale like many store-bought spice admixtures.
As with the the other TSS spice mixes, we just had to use this on some grilled food. While we wanted to do fish, we wanted to try something different than we had with our prior review. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts were just the ticket! Providing a medium coating of spice mix on each side, here's our chicken breasts just before they went to fire:
We don't have any picture of these after grilling, but suffice to say they looked even better as a nice golden-brown. Ostensibly, we also used this spice mix to appease other folks at the dinner table (i.e. mother-in-law) who may not be able to handle the spice levels we routinely eat. Not only did she eat this and like it…but she asked for more. A red-letter day & dinner for us and our spicy cooking! The spice level remained mild, but not without hints of what it could be with a little more chile in the mix.
Besides the grill, we also used this to give some added schwerve to some soup and marinara sauce right out of their respective jars. While it was far better in the soup, it was no slouch with the tomato-based stuff as well. It's a bit hit-or-miss depending on what you mix it with and what flavors come out, but it was always good…and that's all that mattered to us.
Overall recommendation: While this spice mix differs from most that we've tried in that it won't set any records for heat level or make ya sweat, consider getting some to have for the flavor alone. Tremendously versatile, this all-purpose blend will likely get lots of use in your kitchen. A little heat for chileheads and a lot of flavor for everyone else pretty much sums it up. You might never want to use plain ol' black pepper ever again. Enjoy!