Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Taste A Legend Review
With folks out putting critters in the freezer and all of the talk about hitting the grill I got lucky to be asked to try some marinades made for game. Melissa at Taste A Legend got in touch with me an asked if I would like to review what she makes which I was glad to do.
When it arrived I found several different bottles of marinade each formulated for a different type of meat along with a package of wild rice and a dry rub/seasoning mix. The first thing you notice is the packaging looks good, better than a lot of what you find at the store. I checked the ingredients list along with the cooking instructions to see how they suggested I use each type. The only problem I ran into, this was just before I took a deer so I didn’t have any venison for the first test. I did have some squirrels so decided to start with that using the marinade for chicken, pork, beef and lamb.
I marinated the meat for several hours only to realize I couldn’t grill that night. Great, since it says to grill. I baked it instead which is not the way I would do it again. My fault not theirs’. When I tasted it for the first time I will say it is not subtle, this is made for game which tends to be stronger than squirrel. The seasoning is so different from what we have here it took a couple of bites to be able to really taste what was going on. To me it has a strong influence of the Southwest, spices with lime and lemon, not spicy just bold. This blend has two of my favorites, basil and rosemary, which I grow to use on game. Despite my cooking it in the oven rather than on the grill it had a good taste. The smoke and texture from grilling would have made a huge difference which I found out later.
I managed to get a deer so next up was some Tennessee surf and turf. I had a channel catfish fillet ready to go along with a cut from the deer. The fillet was from a larger cat which tends to have a strong flavor which I am not a fan of. I normally spice these heavily to kill the fishy taste this time I put it into the fish marinade for 4 hours. For the venison I used the dry spices which I put on about 45 minutes before going on the grill.
I have to say it sure smelled good while cooking. The fish came off with a nice crust, the venison like a good steak. I didn’t add anything, no salt, oil, anything to change the taste. The fish marinade reminded me of one of my favorite things I use to cook fish, a friend from Japan introduced me to a Japanese BBQ sauce which is soy sauce based. Taste A Legend has a nice mild flavor but managed to tame the strong taste of the channel cat. Now this is saying a lot for a southern boy. While I love food from all over the world we have two ways to cook here, fried and on special occasions deep fried. Grilled fish has to be good for me to enjoy it and this was. I will use a higher heat next time to get a bit more crunch but the taste was good just as it was.
For the venison using the dry mix I grilled it to medium rare. I used a cut that wasn’t the best to see how the spices held up, I really liked this. Not salty or too strong and with smoke from the grill it sure made that venison taste good. I am a fan of using dry rubs, over the years I have used many commercial and custom blends, this one worked right out of the bottle. Again to me it tends to the Southwest tastes which I don’t get much here and was a nice change from what we use. Nothing hot or too spicy for the folks that can’t take the heat but a good well rounded flavor when grilled. I want to try it again with some vegetables on the grill to see how that works.
The first three flavors I tried from Taste A Legend were good and I can’t wait to try them again since now I know what to expect and how to use them. The first that I put on squirrel had a bold intense flavor and next time I will use it on meat that can take the strength. I can see on something like lamb or goat it would be the thing to use, I bet chicken grilled with it then used for tacos would be great. The dry rub was just plain good, I think I will stick to using it for when I have something to grill, it just seems to get better with the smoke added. The fish marinade is going to go fast here. I need to grill more fish but don’t like most of it no matter what is on it but this makes it into something I enjoyed. I have a lot of strong catfish that will be visiting the grill in the near future thanks to this sauce plus keep me from frying it.
I still have more marinades and their rice blend to try, I will get some cooking done so I can let you know how they do. Taste A Legend is a company that has the hunter and fisherman in mind with their flavors. They understand that wild game can take and at times needs flavors that can stand up to the strength of the meat. If you want some new bold tastes for your cooking I think you will enjoy what Taste A Legend has done.
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