As you can tell from the name of this blog, I love spices. I love discovering new flavours and I love to eat food from other countries. When I go abroad, which is not very often these days, one of the main attractions for me is trying the local food. Unfortunately it’s now over 2 years since I’ve managed to leave the UK so I was excited to recently discover that my local supermarket has started to sell a wider range of spices and a range of different types of dried chillies, ones that I had previously thought I could only buy online and hadn’t actually got around to getting. So it was with great delight I bought my first container of dried ancho chillies in order to have a go at making chamoy sauce, which has been spotlighted as one of 2014′s top emerging flavours in the Flavour Forecast® 2014.
The Flavour Forecast® 2014:125th Anniversary Edition is a report developed annually by Schwartz and McCormick experts around the world. It highlights five top food trends and more than a dozen emerging flavours predicted to impact the way we eat in the coming years.
This year’s top 5 trends are: Chillies Obsession, Modern Masala, Clever Compact Cooking, Mexican World Tour and Charmed by Brazil.
The chamoy sauce is Mexican and also contains chillies so what better way to enter into the spirit of this than to have a go at making my own and then using it as both a marinade and as a salad dressing. I slightly adapted the recipe for the chamoy sauce from the McCormick website after doing a little research online, although I found most of the recipes were almost the same anyway. Some contained a lot more salt, which I felt would be too much. I added just enough so that it had a salty taste but not enough to make it unpleasant. I also found that some recipes added extra sugar, but that may depend on how sweet the jam is that you use. The jam I used was quite sweet so I didn’t feel it was necessary.
Overall, the chamoy sauce worked really well as a marinade and would be delicious on the barbecue in summer. It’s sweet, salty and tangy with just a little heat from the chilli pepper. As well as being lovely on the chicken I thought it went really well with the avocado in the salad. It would go well with fish too. Next time I would probably use an extra ancho chilli (I used 1 this time), but as I hadn’t had them before I wasn’t sure how hot it would be and I played safe.
Chamoy Sauce Ingredients – Enough for the salad plus lots left over
130g apricot jam
1-2 dried ancho chilli pepper
1 tsp salt
Juice of 2-3 juicy limes
How to Make the Chamoy Sauce
1. Pour boiling water over the chilli pepper and let it soak for 30 minutes. Then tear it up, discarding the stalk and some of the seeds.
2. Put the apricot jam, lime juice, chilli pepper and salt in a food processor. Blitz until smooth.
Salad Ingredients – Serves 2
2 chicken breasts
Lettuce, roughly chopped
Cherry tomatoes, halved
2 spring onions, sliced
1 avocado, sliced into strips
How to Make the Chicken Salad
1. Butterfly the chicken breasts by slicing a knife almost all the way through and opening them up to make them wider and flatter. Spoon some of the chamoy sauce onto the chicken. Coat it well and put it in the fridge to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
2. Cook the chicken on a hot griddle pan for about 5 minutes on each side, maybe longer depending on the thickness of the chicken. When cooked slice the chicken into thick strips.
3. Arrange the salad on the plate, top with the warm chicken and drizzle with more of the chamoy sauce.
In 2014, global Flavour leader McCormick, parent company of UK leading herbs and spices brand Schwartz, is celebrating its 125th anniversary. The yearlong celebration kicks off with the launch of the 125th Anniversary Edition of the Flavour Forecast and the Flavour of Together programme, with the goal of connecting people around the world as they share 1.25 million stories about the special role food and flavour plays in our lives.
Get involved and share your flavour story at Schwartz Facebook or www.Schwartz.co.uk
Disclosure: I was not paid for this post but developed the recipe myself and was provided with a voucher to cover the cost of the ingredients.