3/10/09

Product Review: Fabulosa Quick Fajitas


This past weekend I made a trip to the store and on my list was "liquid smoke". It's a flavoring I love to add to our marinades and in particular our chicken marinade to make Santa Fe Salads. I was on a tight budget however and when I saw this Fajita seasoning on the end cap on clearance I had a feeling it was a smokey flavor so I picked it up and sniffed the bottle. The tell-tale scent of hickory smoke told me I was right and the price was half of what the liquid smoke cost.

Because Fajitas sounded perfect for one of our meals this week I put it in the cart with the intention of giving it a try.

I would like to say it was awesome and the flavor was great and it made perfect fajitas... but I really can't. What I can say is that it was 'ok'.


The bottle says it moisturizes, tenderizes, penetrates and prepares meat with the quick acting natural flavoring ingredients that give delicious deep Mexico Char-Broiled flavor and the rich hickory smoke outdoor grill taste in the comfort and convenience of your own kitchen.

The ingredients are water, vinegar, wood smoke flavoring and a few random spices and it smelled really strong and good when I poured half the bottle over 1 1/2 lbs. of chicken. The directions say to marinate for 5 minutes, which I thought was a very short amount of time when most marinades have to be on for at least 2 hours.

I marinated the chicken while I prepared the peppers and onions. I left it marinating about 10-15 minutes because I wanted strong flavor.

I then cooked the chicken and when it was about 3/4 done I added the vegetables. As it cooked down it smelled wonderful and I had high hopes when I tasted it. That's where this product lost me.

Almost no flavor at all.

There was a hint of a smokey flavor far in the background but there was little to no flavor of the marinade. For fajitas, it needed help. This would be one boring, unflavorful dish to serve my family. I doctored it up using spices from my cupboard;

A heavy dose of cumin
A heavy dose of chili powder
A good dose of garlic pepper seasoning mixture
A little onion powder
Some fresh cracked black pepper


And it was saved.

With the addition of the chili powder and cumin the dish came to life. We ended up with delicious fajitas. However; this wasn't due to the Fabulousa marinade. I could have made the same dish with a marinade of water and a 2 teaspoons of hickory smoke flavoring and then the addition of my own spices. What I will gladly give thumbs up to however (and will use this product again for!) is the tenderization. Wow! In the 10-15 minutes this product was marninating the chicken it really did the job!

This chicken, while just beginning to cook, was so easy to slice through into thinner strips and so tender that it was almost like slicing through butter. I'm very impressed at the tenderization it can accomplish in mere minutes and yes, it will be used the next time we grill steaks! While not a top choice for fajitas I think as a basic, minimal flavor tenderizer for meat and chicken it's incredible. I may have to go back to the store to grab another bottle on clearance before they are gone.
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