A wonderland of spice and gluten free products that you’d never guess were gluten free? Winner winner chicken dinner…
A.J. Dalton, who owns Conjurup food, just happens to be able to taste something and then can usually reproduce it. That’s talent. And when she auditioned for Master Chef, Matt asked for her recipe three times. That’s big!
AJ, as she prefers to be called, (Anna Jane), had a passion for spice, perhaps originating in a life long association with Fiji, and was always disappointed at the stale, filler dominated spice mixes that sit on grocery shelves. She wanted the real deal. So being the entrepreneurial person she is, she created her own. It was a big journey.
With spices, freshness is all – and she wanted a tin with a foil lining to protect the product. And she wanted to do a 150gram pack. The industry standard is 50-80grams. Well, that was an expensive lesson. People loved her spice mixes, but they lasted for ever! So sales were excruciatingly slow!
Without fillers & chemical free flowing agents they are fresh and very concentrated, so you only need a tiny bit, which goes a long way. And AJ kept playing with products, and so came up with prepared paddock to plate meals she sells at markets, pasta, crumb mixes, a bolognaise mix where all you do is add meat and voila! And lots more besides.
And they just happen to be gluten free and additive free. The lot of them. And AJ’s mantra? “If they taste gluten free, I don’t want it. It has to have the authentic taste of the dish, without the gluten. That’s simple, really, but took me a while and a lot of testing to deliver.”
So now she does small (50gr.) spice mix packets, and large crumb mixes which are the best crumb mixes I’ve ever worked with. They hands down beat even Panko. They are big and crunchy, and when I tested one on my family, it was thumbs up, big time. And there’s a whole range of pastas, meals and desserts for anyone who is time poor, or just doesn’t want to cook.
AJ supplies to butchers, chefs, and anyone who loves a good product. She sources her ingredients from all over the world – the tomatoes come from Spain, the pink pepper from France, but the products are proudly Australian made, and yes, innovative.
She has recipes on her website, and I’m having fun with the spice mixes, and will post some more recipes as I play.
But today? A really simple one that let the product stand out. And stand out it did! With 4 ingredients. I love easy these days.
1 whole chicken, cut into 4 pieces, skin on
1 – 2 eggs, whisked in a bowl
1 cup Conjurup Herb crumb mix
Salt and pepper
Lemon for garnish
Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees.
Pat the chicken dry with paper towels, dip in the egg mix, then the crumb mix, and place on a baking dish.
Season with salt and pepper, drizzle with oil and bake in the oven for 50 – 60 minutes. Test with a skewer to see if the juices run clear.
And there you have it! Dinner. Gluten free dinner.
The crumb mix is chunky, so just pat it on and it will stay. And the flavour was incredible. I served it with vegetables and mashed potato, which I use a tiny bit of almond milk and a spoonful of yoghurt with butter and salt and pepper when I mash it. The result? Delicious, and if you make too much, it will freeze and reheat without a problem or tasting powdery.
You don’t have to be coeliac or even gluten sensitive to love these products. They are simply the best spice mixes, crumb mixes, pre-prepared meals and pastas I’ve tried. Have a go.
If you want to see what else AJ has, just go to www.conjurup.com – it’s a wonderland of gluten free products that don’t remotely taste gluten free. Winner!