Sunday, 6 April 2014

Schwartz Flavour Shots

You can always rely on Schwartz spices and herbs, and I have at least a dozen of different bottles of Schwartz spices in my kitchen. This brand is well known and popular, but it never rests on its laurels and keeps adding new flavours to their wide range. Recently Schwartz has extended its innovative Flavour Shots range with three new varieties, suitable for quick and easy midweek family meals. Three new flavours include an Italian Creamy Herb Tagliatelle, Spanish Paella and Indian Spicy Jalfrezy Curry.
If you have bought Flavour Shots, you know that they are little pots with a blend of herbs and spices in sunflower oil. These pots come with a list of products to buy to recreate the recipe printed inside the sleeve. They are very easy to use and are a great little helper in the kitchen for the evenings when all you want is to prepare a quick easy and tasty meal for your family, without much fuss and not too many ingredients.

Schwartz Flavour Shots

Italian Creamy herb Tagliatelle Flavour Shot is a blend of herbs, spices and seasonings infused in sunflower oil. Among its ingredients you will find basil, pepper, oregano, basil, parsley and rosemary. The pasta dish was colourful and aromatic, if a bit too salty to my palate.

To prepare Italian creamy herb tagliatelle you will need
1 Schwartz Italian Creamy Tagliatelle Flavour Shot
125g mushrooms, sliced
200g cherry tomatoes
200g bacon or pancetta, cubed
300ml half fat creme fraiche (I used about a half of this amount)
50g rocket
tagliatelle, cooked and drained

Stir the contents of the flavour shot very well, then spoon into a frying pan with the sliced mushrooms, fry them for about 4 minutes until softened. Add the tomatoes and fry for another minute. The recipe suggests adding the bacon at this stage (I have started with the pancetta, and cooked the mushrooms with it together). Add the cooked and drained tagliatelle, rocket, creme fraiche, stir through. Serve immediately. Lovely with the grated parmesan on top (but that's optional).

While basil and oregano are common Italian herbs used for cooking pasta, rosemary is less so. Rosemary is one of the herbs that I don't like dried, there is something too rough and almost compost-like in the dried rosemary. It is OK for sprinkling over the roast potatoes if you don't have any fresh rosemary, but there is no comparison. If I were to advise the Schwartz panel, I would remove the dried rosemary from this recipe altogether.

Indian Spicy Jalfrezi Curry Flavour shot is a blend of spices (cumin, dried garlic, fenugreek, coriander, ginger, cinnamon, black onion seed, chillies, cloves and more) and seasonings infused in sunflower oil. It was a tasty aromatic curry, a bit on the spicy side for me, but then I usually prefer mild curries. I will look for their Indian Mild Masala Curry next time I do my grocery shopping.
Yet if you like your tastebuds tingling, this might be the right flavour shot for you.

You will need
1 Schwartz Spicy Jalfrezi Flavour Shot
2 onions, finely chopped
2tsp tomato puree
400g tin chopped tomatoes
450g chicken breasts, sliced (I used the chicken thighs)
1 red pepper, sliced
1 green onion, sliced
Stir the contents of the shot very well, then spoon into a large frying pan over a medium heat. Gently fry the onions for about 10 minutes until golden brown. Stir in the tomato puree, tinned tomatoes, chicken, peppers and water. Bring to boil then simmer for ten minutes until the chicken is cooked through. As I cooked the chicken thighs, I first browned them in the olive oil, then removed after 10 minutes and started with the onions in the same an with the chicken juices. Then simmered them in the tomato sauce until cooked well.
Serve with basmati rice.

Indian Spicy Jalfrezi Curry with Schwartz Flavour Shots

Spanish Paella Flavour Shot was my favourite dish of the three flavour shots that I have tried. It's a blend of sunflower oil, dried onion, smoked paprika, garlic, turmeric, parsley, pepper and more. It was packed with flavour and had just the right amount of spices for me. A lovely combination of rice, meat and vegetables, it was very tasty and I will be definitely buying this flavour shot for a quick and easy dinner. Top marks for convenience and authentic taste.

I have slightly adapted the Schwartz recipe on the carton and reduced the quantities of meat, chorizo and paella rice, and that was well enough for 4 big portions. I also used the diced turkey rather than chicken, and added some rose wine.

1 Schwartz Spanish Paella Flavour Shot
1 onion, finely chopped
2tbsp olive oil
80g chorizo, cubed
250g turkey, diced
200g paella rice
750ml water
200ml rose wine (optional)
1 red pepper, chopped
75g tinned peas, drained

Stir the contents of the Flavour shot really well, as it tends to separate. Pour it over the finely chopped onion in the frying pan with the olive oil. Fry gently for about 5 minutes, add the chicken or turkey and chorizo, fry for further 2-3 minutes. Add the paella rice, stir well and fry for a minute. Add the water, wine, pepper and half of the water. Stir well. Keep adding wine and water, a bit at a time, simmer the paella for about 20-25 minutes until the chicken and rice are cooked, stirring occasionally. Add the tinned peas at the last minute.

Typically I would cook the paella with chicken and prawns (this recipe didn't include the prawns).

Schwartz also suggests cooking a seafood paella and replacing the chicken with prawns.

All of the recipes contain no hydrogenated fat, artificial colours, added preservatives or MSG. The range is priced at £1.39 and is available in all major supermarkets. The existing range also includes Thai Red Curry, Indian Mild Masala Curry, Mexican Fajitas, Chinese Sweet & Sour and Spanish Smoked Paprika Chicken.

For more information on Flavour Shots (there are more products in the range), please visit their Facebook Page Schwartz Cooking Club or/and follow on Twitter at @SchwartzCooking (they regularly run giveaways on twitter).

Disclosure: I received a selection of three Flavour Shots for the purposes of testing and reviewing. All opinions are mine.


  1. I've been trying these out too - we loved the pasta one and the jalfrezi was nice with some rice to tone down the heat. I should be trying the paella one this week but I think I might add prawns to mine - paella without prawns just somehow doesn't seem right ! lol

    1. I was surprised there were no prawns in the recipe, as I also imagined they should have been there. But otherwise all the flavours were spot on. Very handy to have in the kitchen.

  2. I love the look of these, must have a look for them

    1. I want to try some other flavours too, a pity our local Waitrose which is the nearest supermarket, only sells their own brand of spices and Bart.

  3. These look so easy - must hunt them down!

  4. The paella does look delicious - must try that one next time.

  5. this looks fab and sounds easy i am going to give it ago :D

  6. I tested out the creamy tagliatelle and I LOVE it! I did cook the bacon and mushrooms on a low heat for about an hour before I proceeded with the rest of the recipe, to really crisp them up. I then drained off any fat. I loved the taste, but I do agree that they could have improved by removing the rosemary as it was a bit tough to chew through. Can't wait to try out the rest of the range now. I love it when I discover a blend that makes a delicious meal relatively simply.

  7. Italian creamy herb tagliatelle sounds lovely, I need to give it a go

  8. Indian spicy, may cover up my rubbish cooking

  9. looks very tasty will have to try this

  10. This sounds and looks absolutely delicious

  11. Italian tagatelle fabulous. please dont take it off the shelves. Quick and easy to make and very tastey. I do make mine with chicken, or bacon but its great with prawns garlic bread and you have a great meal.