I love the Foodbuzz Tastemakers program as it gives me a chance to sample new products that I might not normally try. I signed up a few weeks ago to try a "sampler pack" from celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse and it arrived last week. The pack contained four full-sized products; a carton of Emeril's All-Natural Organic Vegetable Stock, a squeeze bottle of Emeril's Kicked Up Horseradish Mustard, a bottle of Emeril's Steak Rub and a bottle of Emeril's Original Essence Seasoning. Nothing for me to do but BAM! start cooking and kicking it up with Emeril.
My box was delivered in the afternoon and I wanted a quick low-effort dinner that night so I pulled some easy peel shrimp in their shells out of the freezer. Using Emeril's Original Essence and a little Organic Vegetable Stock, I made a quick and easy Kicked Up Peel & Eat Shrimp. Put a tablespoon of olive oil and a tablespoon of the Original Essence (a mix of salt, paprika, black pepper, granulated garlic, onion powder and spices) in a saute pan, add some minced garlic and 1/3 cup of the stock, then bring to a boil. Add your shrimp and cook until pink on one side, turn over and cook another minute or two (depending on the size of your shrimp). Serve with bread for the yummy juices, a bowl for the shells and plenty of napkins because it is a bowl of messy fun. The Original Essence added a nice little kick of spice and flavored the shrimp well.
Next I had to try that steak rub so I bought a flank / London broil style steak, rubbed it with a bit of olive oil and seasoned it with Emeril's Steak Rub, wrapped it and put it in the fridge for a couple of hours. Then I just grilled it for about 5 minutes per side in my grill pan and let it sit before slicing it. To go with my steak, I sauteed some halved fingerling potatoes in a tablespoon of olive oil and some more of my Emeril's Original Essence. Then once I had a little crust going, I poured in about 1/4 cup of the Emeril's Organic Vegetable Stock, covered the pan and let them steam for about 5-6 minutes until they were tender. Finally, I brought Emeril's Kicked Up Horseradish Mustard into play by making it into a simple vinaigrette with a little olive oil and white wine vinegar. I used the dressing on a basic salad of local leaf lettuce and tomatoes.
A whole dinner by Emeril! It was delicious, although I may have kicked up my sodium levels a bit too much by using all the products at once. (BTW, I am waiting for some low-sodium stock Emeril!). The stock (made with filtered water, cooked vegetables--carrot, onion, celery, tomato; cane juice, yeast extract, sea salt, molasses, carrot powder, onion powder, potato flour, flavoring, canola oil), has good flavor but I would be inclined buy it more if it had less salt in it. Emeril's Steak Rub, (salt, black pepper, minced garlic, minced onion, crushed red pepper, spices, chopped red bell pepper, granulated onion and granulated garlic), is tasty with a nice little hit of spices.
Finally my masterpiece, my "pièce de résistance", the recipe I feel captures the true essence of Emeril, my "Kicked Up Steak & Potato Hash". I used my leftover skirt steak, (marinated in the Steak Rub), and cut it in chunks, along with some fingerling potatoes, onions, red & yellow bell pepper and Emerils Original Essence to make a hearty and flavorful hash for dinner, topping it with a sauce of non-fat Greek yogurt and Emeril's Kicked Up Horseradish Mustard.
It was very simple; cut fingerling potatoes into small chunks and saute in a little olive oil with chopped onion and Original Essence for about 7-8 minutes. Add 2 cloves of minced garlic and red and yellow bell pepper and cook another 4-5 minutes or until the pepper is softened and the potatoes are tender. Add the chopped cooked steak and some chopped green onions and warm through. Meanwhile, mix 1/2 cup of yogurt with 2 tablespoons Kicked Up Horseradish Mustard. Plate the hash and top with the sauce and some more green onions. Perfect! You could also poach an egg and put it on top. The Kicked Up Horseradish Mustard (vinegar, water, mustard seed, salt, horseradish powder, red pepper), has a nice kick that works really well as a dressing or sauce. This was hearty and delicious, perfect for dinner or breakfast.
I liked all four of these products, they are good quality with natural ingredients and did indeed kick up the flavor in everything I used them in.
The one I will use the most and will probably purchase after my bottle is gone...Emeril's Original Essence. It is the most versatile and I liked the flavor and balance it added to the different dishes. Thanks to Foodbuzz and Emeril for the opportunity to try these products. (If you want to try Emeril's Original Essence for yourself, visit Emeril's website here to fill out a request form to receive 2 free sample packets).