Friday, December 21, 2007

Carolina Sauce Company Holiday Schedule Reminder

The Carolina Sauce Company will be closed from Saturday, December 22 through Sunday, January 6. You can still place orders online during that time, but they will be shipped after we re-open for business on January 7th. Although no one will be available to answer the phone or reply to email, you can leave voicemail or email and we will reply after January 6th.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year, and a safe and joyful Holiday Season!

Zestfully yours,

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Ring of Fire XX Hot Habanero Sauce

The newest -- and hottest -- member of the Ring of Fire Hot Sauce family has arrived: Ring of Fire XX-Hot Habanero Hot Sauce. The label warns that this sauce is so hot, "it'll burn ya twice", and it's a fair warning: Packed with plenty of habanero and serrano chiles, the sharp, fiery heat of this sauce is for serious chileheads! But unlike other intensely hot sauces, Ring of Fire XX Hot Habanero Sauce is all-natural and is not "spiked' with capsaicin extract. Fresh chiles are blended with red ripe tomatoes, minced onions and garlic to produce a rich, fresh-flavored sauce with a thick, mouthpleasing texture reminiscent of homestyle salsa. Yes, this sauce is hearty enough to eat with chips, if you have a teflon tongue and cast-iron innards! A safer way to use it is in or on Mexican, Tex-Mex, Southwestern, and Fresh-Mex/Cali dishes. It's also a surefire way to ratchet up the heat in chili, stews, and bland store-bought salsa, without adding any strange flavor overtones or harsh vinegar edge. You really get your money's worth with this sauce, too, because it comes in a generous 12.5 fl. oz. bottle instead of the typical 5 oz size hot sauce bottle. So go ahead and indulge in the painful pleasure of a seriously hot, full-flavored hot sauce and order yourself a bottle of Ring of Fire XX-Hot Habanero Hot Sauce, available now from the Carolina Sauce Company!

Zestfully yours,

Peculiar Peppers and Chile Facts

Here are some fascinating (or at least interesting) facts about chile peppers:

*Peppercorns such as black pepper (piper nigrum) or pink peppercorns are not at all related to chile peppers (capsicum). Columbus is credited--or blamed--for the confusion: Apparently when he reached the New World and "discovered" the capsicum, which the natives had been enjoying long before Columbus arrived, he mistakenly thought he had discovered the plant that produced black pepper, and hence christened the plant "pepper".

*The Datil Pepper, native to St. Augustine, FL (the oldest city in the US), is generally considered the rarest North American chile pepper. It is featured in the Florida-made Dat'l Do It Sauces.

*Chile (also spelled chili and chilli) peppers are found throughout the world, and the different varieties cross-breed freely, which makes it nearly impossible to generate a comprehensive list of all the different chile peppers in the world. Perhaps more importantly, it means you should plant your hot peppers far from your mild bell peppers when planting a garden, or by the end of the summer you'll end up with very spicy "mild" peppers (this happened to us once when we planted habaneros next to bell peppers).

*The Peri Peri, or Piri Piri or birds-eye pepper, is native to South Africa and is considered the hottest of the African chiles. It is featured in the US-made African Rhino Peri Peri Hot Sauces.

Pure Capsaicin crystals (kit)
*Most commercial chile powders are actually blends of black pepper, salt, sugar, cumin, garlic, paprika and just a bit of true dried chile pepper. To get true pure chile powder made from a single variety of chile pepper, your best bet is a Latin American grocery store or a specialty foods/gourmet store - and read the label carefully!

*Capsaicin is the chemical in chile peppers that's responsible for their heat. Especially when consumed in quantity, capsaicin triggers the brain to release endorphins, which create a feeling of well-being, stimulation ("buzz"), relief from pain and sometimes even rapid heart rate. Hence the name "Endorphin Rush" for a popular capsaicin-enhanced ultra-hot sauce. Nowadays you can even purchase pepper extracts that are mostly or even 100% pure capsaicin extract, which is 16 million SHUs (scoville heat units) hot. These should only be used in cooking (never directly on ready-to-eat food) and added carefully one drop at a time.

*Fresh chiles are high in Vitamins A and C, and also provide potassium, vitamin E and folic acid. They taste good AND are good for you!

Dried de arbol peppers
*Dried chiles often have a completely different name than their fresh counterparts. For example, chipotles are dried and smoked jalapenos, and ancho and mulato are types of dried poblano peppers. The flavors of dried chiles are far more intense and complex: just compare the fresh vegetal flavor of a green jalapeno sauce such as El Yucateco Jalapeno Hot Sauce with the smoky, earthy, rounder and hotter flavor of El Yucateco Chipotle Hot Sauce.

Zestfully yours,

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Hot & Spicy Cheddar Popcorn

Make a batch of this zesty popcorn before settling in to watch your favorite team on TV - but make sure you have an icy cold beverage handy, too!

6 cups freshly popped popcorn
3 Tbs butter or margarine
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cayenne or ground red pepper
1/4 cup finely grated extra sharp cheddar cheese

Melt the butter or margarine in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the garlic powder and pepper, and remove from heat. Pour the butter mixture over the popcorn and toss to mix well (use a large bowl, or a very large plastic bag you can shake). Add the cheese and toss again to evenly distribute.

Zestfully yours,

PS: If super-extra-hot popcorn is what you crave, then try Dave's Gourmet Insanity Popcorn. But be careful: it truly is insanely hot!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Spicy Orange Broccoli

You control the heat level of this recipe by selecting which variety of hot pepper to use, and how many. Cooking time is very short when you use your microwave, and there's minimal prep time, too, making this spicy recipe an easy side dish for the busy holiday season (serves 4 to 6).

1 to 1 1/2 lb fresh broccoli
1 medium sweet bell pepper (red, yellow or orange)
1 to 2 hot peppers of your choice (jalapeno, habanero, serrano or other variety)
2 Tbs butter or margarine
2 Tbs orange juice (fresh-squeezed works best, or not-from-concentrate with pulp)
1 tsp orange zest
2 Tbs water
1 Orange, sliced into thin half-circles
Optional Garnishes
Choose one of the following:
2 tsp toasted sesame seeds
2 Tbs crumbled bacon
2 Tbs slivered toasted almonds

Trim and peel the broccoli stalk ends and cut the broccoli lengthwise into uniform spears. Cut the sweet bell pepper into julienne strips. Using gloves to protect your skin, de-seed the hot pepper(s) and mince. Place the broccoli, peppers, and water in a microwave-safe 8x8x2 inch baking dish, cover with clear plastic wrap leaving 1 corner open to vent, and microwave for 6 to 8 minutes or until the broccoli is crisp-tender, stirring once during the cooking time. Remove from microwave, seal tight with the plastic wrap and let stand while you prepare the orange butter.

For the orange butter, place the butter or margarine, orange juice and orange zest in a microwave-safe small bowl or measuring cup and cook, uncovered, in the microwave for about 1 minute or until the butter is melted. Stir to blend. Carefully drain the broccoli-pepper mixture (be careful not to lose too much of the minced hot pepper!), place the orange slices in a single layer on a serving platter and arrange the broccoli mixture on top, leaving a "border" of orange slices. Drizzle the orange butter over the broccoli mixture and sprinkle with the garnish of your choice.

Zestfully yours,

PS: No time to cook? Here's a no-brainer and no-effort way to get your veggies and make them taste good as well: Simply microwave your favorite frozen veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, peas, medleys, California or stirfry blends, you name it) and then top with a little butter or margarine and a few twists of a Nando's Peri-Peri Grinder. That's it!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

New Look for Carolina Sauce Company!

Check out the new and improved, easier to use home page for Carolina Sauce Company! We've replaced the old (and incomplete) menu tabs at the top of the page with simple text links to every section of our website and our store, including all the product categories. Now you're just one click away from our "About" page, Privacy Policy, SiteMap, Best-Sellers, Hot Sauces, and every other section of the Carolina Sauce company website. We've even included a quick link back to my blog! You'll find the same handy text menu at the top of every Carolina Sauce web page - but you'll see the familiar left side menu buttons on all the Carolina Sauce Store page.

Leave a comment and let us know what you think of the new Carolina Sauce home page and web page format!

Zestfully yours,

Saturday, December 15, 2007

The Twelve Days of Hot Sauce

Here's the final verse, to be sung to the tune of "The 12 Days of Christmas" -- and it also makes for a convenient shopping list if you need gifts for one or more chileheads or fiery foods fanatics, or if you haven't yet written your own list to send to Santa!

On the twelfth day of hot sauce, my true love gave to me:
12 Dave's Gourmet Sauce,
11 Crabanero,
10 Melinda's Hot Sauce,
9 Blair's Death Hot Sauce,
8 Marie Sharp's Sauce,
7 Susie's Hot Sauce,
6 El Yucateco,
5 Ring of Fire --
4 Blair Q Heat,
3 Da Bomb,
2 Satan's Blood --
And a Blue's Habanero Reserve!

Zestfully yours,

Friday, December 14, 2007

Reminder: Free Gifts for December Blog Readers

'Tis the season for giving, and Carolina Sauce Company would like to give you up to THREE free gifts to thank you for subscribing to our RSS feed and reading my blog. Here's how to claim your free gifts:

(1) Place an order by Dec. 31 for one or more products from the Carolina Sauce Company to be delivered to you, and enter the word "Blog" in the COMMENTS line on the online order form, and we will add a free item of our choice in addition to your purchase! You can also claim your free gift when you order by phone - just mention this blog when placing your order.

(2) Place an order by Dec. 31 for one or more products OR for a Gift Certificate from the Carolina Sauce Company to be delivered to someone else, and enter the word "Blog" in the COMMENTS line on the online order form, and we will email you a coupon for 10% off your next order of products from the Carolina Sauce Company, good through June 30th, 2008! You can also claim your coupon when you order by phone - just mention this blog when placing your order.

(3) Make a donation to Operation Sauce Drop in any amount between now and December 31st, and enter the word "Blog" in the COMMENTS line on the online order form (or if you donate through PayPal, send us an email at "sales AT carolinasauce DOT com" and mention this Blog). We will then email you a coupon for 10% off your next order of products from the Carolina Sauce Company, good through June 30, 2008! (And yes, even if you've already donated to Operation Sauce Drop in the past, you can still get your discount coupon if you make another donation between now and December 31st!)

You can do one, two or all three of the above and receive 1, 2 or all 3 of the gifts! Just remember to enter the word "Blog" when ordering online, or mention the Blog if you order by phone.

Zestfully yours,

Gourmet Gift Certificates

Stressing over what to get that special someone this holiday season? Running out of time to find the perfect gift? Dreading the last-minute shopping crowds at the mall? Carolina Sauce Company has what you're looking for, delivered in time for Christmas and without leaving the comfort of your home or office: electronic Gift Certificates! Available in denominations from $15 to $100, Carolina Sauce Company Gift Certificates never expire and can be redeemed online for anything in our store. So save yourself the hassle, frustration and lost time involved in driving to and shopping at the mall, and avoid the worry over whether a package will arrive in time for Christmas - simply send electronic Gift Certificates from the Carolina Sauce Company and your holiday shopping is done painlessly and quickly!

Zestfully yours,

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Greg's Mom's Sweet Potato Souffle

This holiday season why not try a rich, fluffy sweet potato souffle instead of tired old candied yams with marshmallows. Sure, it's a bit more challenging since it is a souffle, but even if it falls or doesn't rise evenly the flavor and silky texture will more than make up for any flaws in appearance! No, this isn't diet food (unless you're on a weight-gain diet), so there are no low-fat substitutions. If you're watching your fat or calorie intake, make sure you don't eat too much of this - or do what I do and have a small portion as my dessert.

2 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled, cooked and mashed
6 eggs
1/2 lb butter, softened
1/2 cup (heaping) sugar
1 small can evaporated milk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Using an electric hand mixer, mix together the eggs, butter, sugar and evaporated milk in a large bowl until well blended. Add the mashed sweet potatoes and continue to mix until smooth and completely combined. Pour into a large souffle pan (or individual souffle cups) and bake for 45 minutes or until the souffle rises and the top begins to brown and crack. Remove from oven and serve hot. Note: You can refrigerate leftovers, which I then like to have cold for breakfast with a cup of coffee for an energizing and filling breakfast.

Zestfully yours,

PS: If you'll be serving a holiday feast for friends and family members that are chileheads or fiery foods fanatics, they'll thank you if you include a bottle of Toad Sweat Cranberry Dessert Hot Sauce on the table in addition to traditional cranberry sauce!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Easy Pork Loin with Mushrooms

This recipe is painfully easy - time to dust off that crockpot and put it to work! Nothing to measure - add as much as you need for however many people you plan to feed. Start it in the morning or at least a few hours before serving to make sure the pork is cooked thoroughly. This recipe is hearty and satisfying, with minimal effort!

Pork tenderloin
Sliced baby portobello mushrooms
Greg's Happy Sauce (on sale now!)

Place the pork and mushrooms in the crockpot and add enough Greg's Happy Sauce (shake well first) to cover well. Stir to combine, put the lid on the crockpot, turn it on and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pork is cooked through. About 40 mins to 1 hr before serving, make a pot of rice and a salad or green veggie dish of your choice. Serve the pork and mushrooms over the rice, adding more of the cooked sauce from the crockpot over the pork and rice if desired.

Zestfully yours,

Monday, December 10, 2007

My Favorite Hot Sauces

People are always asking me what my favorite hot sauce is, and sometimes they're disappointed when I reply that I don't have one single favorite. But most people start to understand when I explain that some hot sauces are better for certain types of food, while others work much better with different dishes. Additionally, some are best used in cooking while others shine when splashed on served food (what I like to call a "table sauce"). So with all that in mind, here's my list of favorite hot sauces, in alphabetical order:

*Blue's Habanero Reserve Hot Sauce: Red Savina Habanero peppers provide a hefty amount of heat, but in a full-bodied tomato-lemon-vinegar base that helps control the fire without a harsh vinegary edge. This is my favorite hot sauce for scrambled eggs, quiche, and other breakfast/brunch fare.

*Conquering Lion Hickory-Smoked Mango Hot Sauce: Hotter than the Blues Habanero Reserve, this all-natural mostly-organic XXX hot sauce packs serious firepower in a thick, smoky base that's mellowed with just a touch of mango. I love this sauce in baked beans and on grilled foods.

*Mile High Hot Sauce: Made with red ripe jalapeno peppers, this hearty hot sauce has a rounder, less "vegetal" flavor than more astringent green jalapeno sauces. The texture reminds me of homemade hot sauce, with lots of pieces of peppers and seeds. I adore this sauce on nachos, in chili, and for cooking Mexican and Tex-Mex foods.

*Not Cool Garden Fresh Habanero Sauce: This one's my favorite on pizza, spaghetti and other Italian food, because of its rich garlicky notes, mild-medium heat and spices that nicely complement tomatoes and pasta dishes. It's organic, too!

*Ole Time Hot Sauce: OK, admittedly this sauce is considered a hot BBQ sauce in North Carolina (eastern style vinegar-based BBQ sauce), but anywhere else in the US it would be used as a hot sauce - and that's also how I tend to use it, too. The vinegar tang and straightforward red pepper/black pepper spiciness makes it my favorite for splashing onto collards, turnip greens, green beans and other homestyle vegetables, and I also splash it on french fries, too. And of course it's superb on pulled pork barbeque!

*Robert Rothschild Hot Raspberry Thunder: This is one of the few capsaicin-extract hot sauces that I actually enjoy, especially on chicken, turkey and other poultry. It also makes a great hot & spicy dip when blended with cream cheese.

*Toad Sweat Dessert Hot Sauces: Yes, sometimes I feel the need to spice up my ice cream or cheesecake! These unique, fruit-based sweet hot sauces really rock, and also work on savory foods - the key lime and lemon flavors are nice with seafood, while the cranberry flavor pairs well with turkey (of course!) and pork. The chocolate orange flavor works with all sorts of chocolate desserts. And you can stir any of them into your morning oatmeal to help wake you up!

*Capsicana Zing Gourmet Sauce: With its mildly spicy heat level, I love this zippy sauce on salads (I use it instead of a salad dressing), as a sandwich condiment and as a dip (either on its own or blended with cream cheese) for raw vegetables.

So what's YOUR favorite hot sauce? Leave a comment and let us know!

Zestfully yours,

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Gourmet Stocking Stuffers

Here are some full-flavored sauces, spices and other treats that make great holiday stocking-stuffers and are sure to please:

*Jim's Own Homestyle BBQ Sauce Mini-Bottle, a best-selling Piedmont style NC BBQ sauce (and the mini jar now features the new 10th Anniversary label with the nattily-dressed pig)

*George's Original BBQ Sauce Mini-Bottle, a favorite of fans of tangy eastern NC style BBQ sauce

*Toad Sweat Dessert Hot Sauces mini-bottles, sweet and spicy, with 4 flavors (Cranberry, Key Lime, Lemon Vanilla and Chocolate Orange) per pack which you can give as a set or break up to use as 4 individual stocking stuffers

*Knox's Gourmet Dry Rubs, in 3 fabulous flavors (Cracked Pepper, Chipotle BBQ, and Jamaican Jerk) - each little cube is packed with the finest gourmet blend of herbs and spices

*Pluto's Caribbean Bliss Spice Blends, each little bottle is packed with aromatic Jamaican herbs and spices for authentic Caribbean cooking - comes in 4 varieties (Original Hot, Fiery, Mild and Salt-Free)

*Dave's Gourmet Insanity Popcorn, with its insanely fiery heat level, this microwave popcorn is definitely not for kids but will be greatly appreciated by serious chileheads

*Chile Pepper Soaps, hand-crafted in New Mexico using all-natural skin-soothing ingredients (no peppers used in the soap!) and molded into the shape of chile peppers, in Santa Fe Cinnamon and Santa Fe Lime scents

Zestfully yours,

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Greg's Mom's Sausage & Oyster Stuffing

Greg's Mom is an excellent cook who makes mouthwatering old-fashioned homestyle meals. She makes this turkey stuffing for Thanksgiving and Christmas, but she leaves out the oysters due to a fairly recently developed shellfish allergy. Greg includes the oysters, and they really do add a special richness to this dresing. He also cooks the stuffing (dressing) in a pan instead of inside the turkey. I appologize for the less-than-exact measurements, but this is one of those recipes where "feel" (or perhaps I should say "taste") is more important than precise amounts. Amazingly, neither Greg nor his mom measure ANYTHING when they make this delicious stuffing - but then again, they've both made it countless times. Go ahead and give it a try the next time you make turkey or otherwise need stuffing. The flavors are simply spectacular!
2 to 2 1/2 loaves white bread (you can also use whole wheat bread)
1 lb (approx.) ground turkey sausage (you can use regular sausage)
1 pint raw oysters, shucked & drained (optional)
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery (Greg hates celery so he uses 1 cup chopped bell pepper)
1 can water chestnuts, chopped
1 can mushrooms, chopped
2 apples, cored and diced
2 cans chicken broth (or 2 1/2 cups water)
Celery seed
Rubbed sage
Poultry seasoning
Seasoned pepper

The day before you plan on cooking the stuffing, break the bread into bite sized pieces and place in 1 or two bowls to dry out, "churning" it up from the bottom several times until you're ready to assemble the stuffing.

One hour before stuffing the turkey (or cooking the stuffing, if cooked separately): Sautee the sausage until cooked through and browned, then drain off the grease. Add the onions, celery, water chestnuts, mushrooms and apples, and sautee until the onions and celery soften. Add the Seasonings to taste, and stir well. In a saucepan, bring the chicken broth or water to a bowl. Place the dried-out bread in a very large bowl (a soup pot also works) and pour in enough broth or water to moisten the bread (this should take the 2 cans of broth). Add the sausage mixture and oysters, and stir to combine. Stuff into the turkey and bake your turkey as planned. Or, if you want to bake the stuffing separately, spoon into a large baking pan and bake in a preheated oven at 350 to 375 degrees for about 1 hr or until the top is browned.

Zestfully yours,

Friday, December 7, 2007

George's BBQ Sauce Gift Box

Do you need a gift for someone who loves to cook on the grill? How about a gift for a displaced North Carolinian, or for someone who loves (or would love to try) NC style barbecue? If your answer to any of the foregoing questions is "Yes," then you need to get the George's Barbecue Sauce Gift Box and fill it with 3 full-size bottles of your choice of George's Barbecue Sauce! This authentic eastern NC BBQ sauce is made with mellow apple cider vinegar, spices and just the lightest touch of tomato, making it ideal for anyone who's never tried real vinegar-based BBQ sauce before - AND it will please the palate of pulled pork purists, too! The Original flavor of George's is vinegar-tangy without being harsh, while the Hot version adds red pepper to spice up the original recipe. George's Special Sauce is thicker and richer thanks to more tomatoes, and it adds jalapeno peppers to kick up the heat. All three sauces are fabulous on pulled pork as well as chicken, meat and anything else you want to marinate and grill or broil. Plus we include free recipes with every order of George's Sauces! The George's BBQ Sauce Gift Box is not only perfect for the holidays, but also makes a thoughtful housewarming gift, birthday gift, Father's Day gift and more. When you order the George's Barbecue Sauce Gift Box, be sure to specify which flavors you want to include (you can pick 3 of the same flavor, 1 of each, or 2 and 1).

Zestfully yours,

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Chipotle Seasoned Peanuts

I have a new favorite spicy snack: Chipotle Seasoned Peanuts from The Peanut Roaster in Henderson, NC. Generously dusted with ground chipotle and other spices, these premium roasted peanuts start off with a medium burn, but quickly move up the scale to a fiery medium-hot to hot level (or extra hot, by North Carolina standards) as you eat more. The heat lingers pleasantly for a satisfying but not overwhelming burn, and the flavor is tangy, peppery-spicy, and savory with a hint of onion and garlic. There's no sweetness or smokiness, and just the right amount of salt. This time of year when things get crazy and I don't always have time for lunch, I can stave off hunger by grabbing a few handful of these peanuts while working and chasing them down with a big glass of water or iced tea. These Chipotle Seasoned Peanuts take care of my hunger, I get some energizing nutrition from the peanuts, and my craving for fire is satisfied - what more can you ask of a snack?? Try some today!

Zestfully yours,

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

November's Best-Selling Hot Sauce, BBQ Sauce, & More

The stats by product category are in, and here are the Top Ten (or Top 5 or 6, depending on category) Best-Selling sauces and other products at the Carolina Sauce Company last month:

*Best-Selling Hot Sauces: A "usual suspect" came in at No. 1, but Marie Sharp's Mild Habanero Sauce cracked the Top Ten for the first time, at a respectable #10

*Best Selling Barbecue Sauces: Another longtime favorite was at the top, and Thomas Sauce debuted No. 9

*Best Selling Rubs: The authentic Cajun seasoning Slap Ya Mama (Black Pepper recipe) from Louisiana broke in at an impressive #4

*Best-Selling Marinades and Dressings: A recent addition to our store, Big Daddy's Marinade, also broke in at #4

*Best-Selling Salsa and Relish: Another new product, Pepper Dog Salsa Verde, made its first Top Ten appearance at #6

*Best Selling Jerks and Curries: Featuring a first-timer, Vernon's Jamaican Hot & Spicy Jerk Sauce, at #5

*Best-Selling Mustards: A first-time Best-Seller, Texas Pete Honey Mustard Sauce, blew past the others to take top honors

*Best Selling Wing Sauces: The original Buffalo wing sauce came in at number 1, but our most unusual (and versatile) wing sauce, Wahoo Willie's Jamaican Wing Sauce, finished in second place

*Best Selling Snacks: A favorite for gag gifts and pranks, Ass Kickin' Jelly Beans cracked the Best-Seller list for the first time, at #5

*Best Selling North Carolina Products: A newer product, Carolina BBQ Peanuts, came in at #3

*Best Selling Gift Sets: With the holiday shopping season picking up steam in Novemeber, it was no surprise to see a few new Top Ten finishers in this category. Interestingly, the Lawyer's Gift Set was the strongest finisher among first-timers, coming in at #4

If you're still looking for a unique gift for someone, or you're searching for some delicious holiday recipe additions, you can't go wrong with any of our Best Selling sauces and products!

Zestfully yours,

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Hot & Spicy Potato Latkes

The celebration of Hanukkah begins at sundown tonight. Here is my somewhat non-traditional, hot and spicy take on potato latkes, for folks who enjoy fiery food.

6 medium potatoes, grated
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 large eggs (or the equivalent in egg substitute like Egg Beaters(R))
1/4 cup Matzo meal (or unbleached white flour)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
Dash of red pepper or cayenne
Baking powder - just a pinch
Canola oil (or vegetable oil)

*Sour cream (you can use low fat or fat free)
*Apple sauce (I stir in a little bit of fresh grated ginger for some zing)
*Robert Rothschild Raspberry Thunder Sauce

In a large bowl, mix together the potatoes, onion, eggs, Matzo meal or flour, salt, black and red pepper and baking powder until everything is combined well. If you prefer extra-light and crispy latkes, put all of those ingredients in a food processor or in a blender (you may need to divide into two batches) and process until smooth and well-blended. In a large skillet (cast iron works well), add enough oil - about 2 or 3 tablespoons depending on the size of the skillet - to cover the bottom and heat to medium-high. When the oil is hot enough (you'll know because the latke batter will sizzle), drop a large spoonful of batter in the oil and use the spoon to flatten it into a thin pancake. Fry on both sides until brown and crisp. You can add more oil as needed - just make sure it's hot enough before frying the next latke to avoid sogginess! Drain the fried latkes on paper towels, and keep them warm by placing on a cookie sheet in a single layer and placing in the oven at warm/200 degrees until your done frying and ready to serve.

Serve ASAP, topped with a dollop of sour cream. You can serve the apple sauce and the Raspberry Thunder Sauce on the side, or put a dollop of one or the other on your latkes. Just be careful with the Raspberry Thunder Sauce because it is SERIOUSLY hot - you might want to keep more sour cream handy!

Happy Hanukkah!
Zestfully yours,

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Three Free Gifts For December Blog Readers!

In the spirit of the holiday season, the Carolina Sauce Company is giving away FREE GIFTS for blog readers and RSS feed subscribers in December! There are three easy ways to receive a free gift - and you can do one, two or all three anytime through December 31st:

(1) Place an order for one or more products from the Carolina Sauce Company to be delivered to you, and enter the word "Blog" in the COMMENTS line on the online order form, and we will add a free item of our choice in addition to your purchase! You can also claim your free gift when you order by phone - just mention this blog when placing your order.

(2) Place an order for one or more products OR for a Gift Certificate from the Carolina Sauce Company to be delivered to someone else, and enter the word "Blog" in the COMMENTS line on the online order form, and we will email you a coupon for 10% off your next order of products from the Carolina Sauce Company, good through June 30th, 2008! You can also claim your coupon when you order by phone - just mention this blog when placing your order.

(3) Make a donation to Operation Sauce Drop in any amount between now and December 31st, and enter the word "Blog" in the COMMENTS line on the online order form (or if you donate through PayPal, send us an email at "sales AT carolinasauce DOT com" and mention this Blog). We will then email you a coupon for 10% off your next order of products from the Carolina Sauce Company, good through June 30, 2008! (And yes, even if you've already donated to Operation Sauce Drop in the past, you can still get your discount coupon if you make another donation between now and December 31st!)

Best of all, do all of the above, and you'll get all three gifts: a FREE item of our choice shipped to you with your order, and TWO coupons for 10% off your next two orders! (And yes, you can also do two out of three and get the two applicable gifts.) So what are you waiting for?!? Place your orders and make a donation today, and get your free gifts right away!

Zestfully yours,

Saturday, December 1, 2007

November's Top Ten Best Sellers

Here are November's Top Ten Best Selling Sauces and other zesty products at the Carolina Sauce Company:

1. Carolina Swamp Sauce, a unique marinade, grilling sauce and BBQ sauce with a funny name
2. Buderim Ginger Bears, made with real Australian ginger
3. Wells Hog Heaven BBQ Sauce, a tangy, spicy and flavorful eastern NC vinegar-based BBQ sauce
4. Carolina BBQ Peanuts, capturing the unique tang of North Carolina barbecue sauce in a crunchy snack
5. Busha Browne's Pukka Sauce, a favorite all-purpose hot sauce from Jamaica
6. Scorned Woman Hot Sauce, a peppery vinegar based hot sauce that's good on everything except dessert
7. Matouk's Calypso Sauce, a West Indian favorite that captures the fiery flavor of the Caribbean in a rich, thick hot sauce
8. Scott's BBQ Sauce, an old-style vinegar based eastern NC BBQ sauce with plenty of red pepper heat
9. Capsicana Zing Sauce, a zesty all-purpose table sauce that's wonderful on any dish and won't burn out your taste buds
10. Matouk's West Indian Hot Sauce, full of scotch bonnet peppers and a touch of tropical fruit to temper the fire

Stay tuned for updated best-seller lists in specific product categories!

Zestfully yours,

Carolina Sauce Holiday Shipping Information

The holiday season is upn us, and Christmas will be here before you know it. Don't wait until it's too late to send the gift of good taste to a special friend, business colleague or relative. If you want to avoid paying for expensive Air shipping, please note that the last day to place a Ground Shipping order at Carolina Sauce Company for delivery by Christmas is Friday December 14, subject to product availability (and we will notify you ASAP if any ordered items are out of stock, so that you can make a substitution or change your order). If you place an order after December 14th and would like it to arrive before Christmas, I strongly recommend that you select one of the UPS Air services, unless you are shipping within North Carolina because regular Ground service delivers the next business day within the state. The US Postal Service and UPS will have regular delivery services for Ground and Air packages on December 24th, but neither service will deliver on Christmas Day, December 25th.

November and December are by far the busiest time of year for us, and by Christmas we are in desperate need for some R&R. As in years past, Carolina Sauce will close for 2 weeks after Christmas to rest up and then gear up for the new year. Specifically, we will be closed from Saturday, December 22nd and through Sunday, January 6th. You can still place orders online during that time, but they will be shipped after January 6th. If you email or call us while we're closed, please understand that we won't be able to reply until after January 6th. We will re-open for business on Monday, January 7th, and I'm already excited about the new features and new products that are in the works for 2008!

If you have any questions regarding holiday shipping, product availability, or anything else, please don't hesitate to contact us. You can leave a comment here, or you can call us at 919-765-0143 or email "sales at carolinasauce dot com".

Zestfully yours,