Rachel Allen has been the Creative Food Consultant for O’Brien’s Sandwich cafes since 2010 and since then, she has given the humble sandwich a new lease of life with her Signature sandwich range. For her latest range she has teamed up with Tabasco sauce to show off her hot and saucy side and to help spice up your lunchtimes, but don’t worry, it’s not all too hot to handle as those of you who like a mild kick to your food are catered for too.
So, what’s on the menu? Well, lets start with the milder option; a sweet chicken wrap with chickpea and mint with a touch of heat from some Tabasco sauce, however, smooth creamy hummus and slices of cooling cucumber balance with the heat perfectly so that the heat becomes just a faint after taste. This wrap had a soft texture but the cucumber provided a nice crunch and it had, what I thought, was quite a Moroccan flavour profile – very satisfying indeed.
My favourite sandwich in the range is the Cajun chicken and rocket with spicy Tabasco mayonnaise served on toasted sourdough bread. This had a powerful kick of heat and spice to it that stayed with you for a while. The bread is just the right side of crusty and holds together really well. The Cajun seasoning on the chicken packs this sandwich full of flavour. It was a real treat to taste something with such strong flavours. Defiantly one I’ll be trying again.
To accompany the sandwiches there are two new warming soups, perfect for those blustery autumnal days. The new chorizo and tomato soup with, you got it, Tabasco sauce and smoked paprika, is wonderfully warming, has a lovely bright colour and is a nice light lunch option. The second soup on the menu is hearty spiced lentil and beef flavoured with a mixture of cumin, nutmeg, cinnamon and Tabasco pepper sauce. I thought it had a lovely Eastern European flavour profile, like goulash but not so heavy yet still quite filling – perfect to get you through the afternoon, although it may make you want to take a nap afterwards.
It is a great idea spicing food up for the winter months. Not only is it warming, like an edible hug, but it also speeds up the metabolism so you are effectively burning calories as you eat, so why not indulge in a sambo or two and a soup chaser? It’s practically calorie free. * (*may not actually be calorie free).
Rachel’s Hot and Spicy signature soup and sandwich range with Tabasco sauce is available in all 80 O’Brien’s outlets from the second week in September.
What’s more, to mark the introduction of the new Rachel Allen Signature Range, Tabasco sauce is giving everyone who purchases a sandwich or soup from the range a chance to win a trip to New Orleans and Avery Island to see the production of their ‘world’s favourite pepper sauce’ and a change to win a cookery class with Rachel Allen. Entry forms are in stores.
Written by Melanie May