Monday, March 31, 2008

Greg's Hot 'n Bothered Sauce - Limited Quantity Available!

Newsflash: Today I was able to obtain a small stash of the award-winning Greg's Hot 'n Bothered Sauce from a store that was closing, and all 9 bottles are now available and on sale from the Carolina Sauce Company! Greg's Hot 'n Bothered Sauce is a spicy, slightly sweet and nuttily savory marinade, grilling sauce, stir-fry sauce and general-purpose cooking sauce that won multiple Scovie Awards in 2005, and won the People's Choice Award for unique NC BBQ Sauce in 2004. Like the milder Greg's Happy Sauce, Greg's Hot 'n Bothered Sauce is a masterful blend of garlic, honey, ginger and soy in an olive oil base. There's no vinegar, no tomatoes, no high-fructose corn syrup, no gums or stabilizers (shake the bottle well before use!), just high-quality gourmet ingredients. To create the hot version, three different types of hot peppers were added, giving Greg's Hot 'n Bothered Sauce several complex and lingering layers of heat that stimulate and please the palate while complementing -- not overwhelming -- your food. Originally developed for venison and other game because of its tenderizing properties, Greg's Hot 'n Bothered Sauce is superb as a basting sauce on slow-cooking ribs and other meats, as well as a marinade and grilling sauce for chicken, salmon, and sauce-absorbing veggies like mushrooms and summer squash.

Although Greg's Hot 'n Bothered Sauce had quite a loyal following and had earned many accolades, we decided not to make any more when we sold out last year because the costs of production had gotten too high. I thought the sauce was gone for good, so I was thrilled when I had the opportunity today to buy back the last 9 known bottles. Now you can order Greg's Hot 'n Bothered Sauce, while supplies last! The sauce is currently on sale, and anyone purchasing a bottle will also receive a FREE recipe brochure and "Grilling Tips" flyer. So act now and get a bottle (or more) for yourself, because once this stash of Greg's Hot 'n Bothered Sauce is gone, it really will be gone for good!

Zestfully yours,

Saturday, March 29, 2008

"Hottest" New Products - Too Hot to Handle??

Rumors are flying in the industry about the hottest hot new products featuring capsaicin and other chile pepper derivatives that are about to hit the market. You may have read in the news about the wrinkle-minimizing effects of capsaicin-laced face creams, or weight-loss benefits of hot-pepper-enriched diets, and you might know that pepper spray really is made from peppers. Well, I bet you didn't know about these hot new hot products coming soon:

1. Extreme Espresso: When a triple-espresso super-venti extra caff cup of joe no longer does the trick, it's time to jolt yourself awake with Extreme Espresso, which is a shot of espresso spiked with a drop of pure habanero pepper extract. One gulp and every neuron in your brain will be firing at top speed! And for folks who prefer a frothier brew, there's the Capsaicin Cappuccino, known as a "Cap-Cap(TM)" among hip baristas and customers at a well-known chain of coffee shops. Look for the Extreme Espresso and Cap-Cap only at the most cutting-edge coffee bars and cafes.

2. Peri Peri Perimeter Defense System(TM): This is the logical extension of those little hand-held personal defense pepper canisters. The Peri Peri Perimeter Defense System harnesses the incendiary firepower of the Peri Peri Pepper to create an intruder defense system for your home. Simply install the Peri Peri Perp Preventers(TM) around the perimeter of your home, and arm the system like a regular home alarm whenever you want to activate protection against burglars, trespassers, door to door solicitors, bratty neighborhood kids and other unwanted visitors. When the Peri Peri Perimeter is penetrated, a powerful blast of highly-concentrated Peri Peri Pepper spray douses the intruder, completely in"cap"acitating them and redering them harmless. Just make sure to follow the instructions, since you don't want to trigger a false alarm with this system!

3. Cap-Shot(TM) Mouth Spray: Similar to traditional minty mouth sprays for instant fresh breath, the Cap-Shot spray is sure to be a hit among serious chileheads and capsaicin addicts who can't wait until their next meal for a "hit" of hot sauce. Until now, capsaicin addicts have had to bear the stigma of carrying a bottle or two of real hot sauce (not that wimpy grocery store stuff) in their pocket wherever they went to make sure they didn't suffer through the painful and embarrassing symptoms of zest withdrawal induced by consecutive bland meals. The discreet and powerful Cap-Shot spray is the answer to a chilehead's prayers, packing the undiluted intensity of pure capsaicin extract in each blast. But in addition to giving you a legal endorphin high, the Cap-Shot has been found to also assist in weight loss among non-addicts by temporarily rendering them unable to taste anything (and depending on their sensitivity to hot & spicy foods, this effect may linger for a day or more).

4. Ephemera(TM), the Ultimate Ghost Pepper "Ghost Hot Sauce": I was a little nonplussed when I was given a sneak preview of this top-secret, not-yet-available-to-the-public hot sauce made only with the purest Jolokia pepper extract and purported to be the hottest hot sauce ever created. The Jolokia pepper, also called the "ghost pepper", was recently recognized as the hottest variety of chile pepper in the world, rating over 1 million Scoville units. Well, Ephemera Ghost Hot Sauce is made with such an intense concentration of Jolokia pepper extract that it truly is a spectral hot sauce. In other words, it's invisible to all but the most knowledgeable hot sauce fanatics. Not only the sauce is invisible - even the bottle is nothing but a ghost. And I confess that I couldn't see it when it was "shown" to me (and I thought I was quite the hot sauce expert). But don't be fooled into thinking there's nothing there -- you'll know otherwise when you carefully place a pinprick drop of Ephemera on your tongue! We're in the process of adding Ephemera to the Carolina Sauce Company store in the very near future (assuming we can hire someone who can actually see it and therefore keep track of how many we have in stock), so you'll soon be able to order a bottle for yourself. Just don't be surprised when you open the package and find what appear to be only some packing materials in an otherwise empty box - remember, Ephemera is the ultimate Ghost Hot Sauce and is invisible to all except the most sophisticated chileheads. Trust me, we really did ship you a product, so if you can't see it, it simply means you're not yet ready for Ephemera and need to complete your peppery education by buying and trying more different types of hot sauce!

Zestfully yours,

Hellishly Hot Deviled Ham Spread

A serious chilehead submitted this fiery hot version of deviled ham spread, for our March Recipe Challenge. You can use it as a sandwich or canape spread, or even as a dip for pretzels or raw vegetables.

1 can (4 1/2 oz) deviled ham
1/4 cup sour cream
2 Tbs Twenty Pepper Sweet & Hot Relish
1 Tbs minced onion

Mix all ingredients well. Spread on bread or crackers, or serve as a dip. Caution: This is HOT!

Zestfully yours,

PS: You have until Monday, March 31st, to submit a recipe using one or more Carolina Sauce Company store products, and we'll send you a discount coupon for the Carolina Sauce product(s) in your recipe, good through the end of the year!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Burning Asphalt Hot Sauces Back in Stock!

Buffalo NY and the surrounding area have a well-deserved reputation as the home of REAL Buffalo wings, but there's a little company that's gaining its own well-deserved fame for its special, racing-themed hot sauces. Admittedly, Burning Asphalt does make an award-winning Buffalo wing sauce, but its fiery and flavorful hot sauces are earning a following among hot sauce consumers and collectors. And happily, all four flavors of Burning Asphalt Hot Sauce are back in stock again at the Carolina Sauce Company! For pepper purists, there's Burning Asphalt Jalapeno Hot Sauce and the considerably hotter Burning Asphalt Habanero Hot Sauce. What I love about both of these hot sauces is that the first ingredient listed on the label for each is the namesake pepper, and as a result you taste the true unadulterated essence of the chile pepper. Neither hot sauce is vinegar-heavy, relying primarily on other ingredients for tang (the Jalapeno sauce also has some mustard) and body (the Jalapeno sauce has green peppers, while the Habanero sauce has tomatoes). Additionally, the Burning Asphalt Habanero Hot Sauce tends a bit towards the sweet side, which helps render the heat more manageable and tames the sharp edginess of habanero peppers.

If you enjoy habaneros but have a lower heat tolerance, or if you're seeking a sweeter hot sauce (they're especially nice on grilled meats as well as pork), then try Burning Asphalt Sweet & Hot Garlic Sauce. Made with a secret blend of different peppers plus a bit of habanero peppers for a medium heat level, the sweet garlicky flavor of this pepper sauce is unusual and quite good. If you prefer a more traditional garlic hot sauce, then Burning Asphalt Garlic Habanero Hot Sauce is for you. Not quite as fiery as the original Burning Asphalt Habanero Hot Sauce but still plenty hot, this garlic hot sauce is especially good on pizza and Italian foods -- and would make a great hot sauce for your homemade hot wings recipe.

Burning Asphalt Hot Sauces were developed by racing fans (which explains the race car and checkered flag on the label, as well as the name of course), and have a big following at racetracks and among NASCAR and Indy Car fans. This adds to their gift appeal -- and with that in mind, we've also assembled some sauce sets that would make great gifts for racing fans. So if you're ready to shift your taste buds into high gear, order some Burning Asphalt Hot Sauce today!

Zestfully yours,

Hottest Hot Sauces: Da Bomb

This is the first in a series of posts featuring the hottest hot sauces available from the Carolina Sauce Company. While there are numerous different types of hot sauce currently on the market -- including traditional vinegar & pepper based hot sauces, fruit-flavored hot sauces, capsicum extract or pepper mash fortified hot sauces, and then regional styles like Caribbean, Mexican, African, etc. -- perhaps no category of hot sauce draws more attention than the ultra-hot hot sauces. Most serious hot sauce fanatics consider ultra-hot hot sauces to include those that are made with capsaicin extract or oil, thereby boosting the intensity and lingering effect of the heat in the hot sauce beyond anything that could otherwise be reached by using "natural" peppers. Da Bomb Hot Sauces made their reputation on upping the ante whenever the folks who make Dave's Insanity Sauce released a hotter version of their original "Hottest Sauce in the Universe." Thus, Da Bomb's first entry into the ultra-hot hot sauce arms race was Da Bomb Beyond Insanity, which rates around 120,000 Scoville Units (SUs) on the hot sauce heat scale. This level puts Da Bomb Beyond Insanity at #12 on our list of Hottest Hot Sauces, several places above Dave's Insanity Sauce.

Not to be outdone when Dave's Gourmet released Dave's Ultimate Insanity Sauce, Da Bomb responded with its release of the even hotter Da Bomb Ground Zero. Almost twice as hot as Da Bomb Beyond Insanity, Da Bomb Ground Zero sits at #3 on our list of Hottest Hot Sauces available at the Carolina Sauce Company. But that wasn't enough, especially once Dave's Gourmet started issuing their limited edition Dave's Insanity Private Reserve hot sauce. Instead, Da Bomb came out with its own weapon of mass destruction, the aptly named Da Bomb The Final Answer. Topping our list of Hottest Hot Sauces, Da Bomb The Final Answer rates 1.5 million SUs, which is three times hotter than military pepper spray. My verdict is still out on whether Dave's 2008 Private Reserve edition can meet or beat that heat level (our batch of the 2008 edition should arrive next week, and then I can report back).

So what do these ultra-hot hot sauces taste like? Honestly, I can't taste the different fruit extracts, spices and herbs listed on the label because of the extreme pain that just the tiniest drop of any of them inflicts (and I need to protect my taste buds as a "professional asset"!). A word to the wise: Da Bomb Hot Sauces are not toys, and are to be handled with extreme care. These ultra-hots are technically food additives (rather than hot sauces) meant to be used in tiny amounts during cooking (i.e., 1 drop will heat up an entire pot of chile), and are not meant to be splashed on served food. But if you collect hot sauces or are looking for a gift for a passionate chilehead, or if you are relatively experienced with ultra-hots, Da Bomb Hot Sauces are an indispensable addition to the collection or cupboard.

Zestfully yours,

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Southwestern Salsa Burgers

Here's the newest recipe submitted to our March Recipe Challenge. You select what kind of ground meat you want to use (beef, chicken, turkey or even venison), and you control the heat level with the salsa (mild, medium or hot). This recipe makes 4 burgers, and can be multiplied or halved as needed.

1 1/2 lb ground meat (beef, turkey, chicken or venison)
1/2 cup Pepper Dog Salsa (your choice of Mild, Medium or Hot)
Salt and Black Pepper, optional
4 slices of cheese, optional (pepper jack works well)
4 slices of tomato, optional
4 lettuce leaves, optional

Combine the ground meat and salsa in a bowl, season with salt & pepper to taste if desired, and mix well. Shape into 4 patties about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Spray your grill rack (or non-stick skillet, if cooking indoors) with olive oil spray, and then fire up the grill (or heat the skillet) over medium-high heat. Cook the burgers about 5 minutes on each side until well done (if beef or venison) or until the internal temperature on an instant-read thermometer reaches 170 degrees (for chicken or turkey). You can add a slice of cheese if desired towards the end of the cooking time. Serve the burgers on hamburger buns, topped with your favorite toppings.

Zestfully yours,

PS: Don't forget to submit your favorite recipes using Carolina Sauce Company products by Monday, March 31st, in order to receive your discount coupon(s)!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Dinosaur Bar-B-Que

The original Dinosaur Bar B Que restaurant was started by 3 biker friends in Syracuse, NY back in 1983. Billed as a "genuine honky tonk rib joint", Dinosaur Bar-B-Que has won national acclaim for its lip-smacking good, pit-cooked barbecue (ribs, chicken, pork and beef brisket) as well as for its blues club featuring excellent live music. The secret to the award-winning robust flavor of Dinosaur's ribs and other fare is in the signature secret spice blend used to rub the meats before grilling, and also added to their sauces. If you can't get to Syracuse (or to Rochester or NYC, where Dinosaur has opened restaurants), you can now enjoy great Dinosaur flavor on your ribs, chicken, BBQ and other home-cooked food. First, rub some Dinosaur Cajun Foreplay Spice Rub on meats before grilling, smoking, baking, broiling, etc. This all-purpose, all-natural seasoning blend adds savory and spicy notes to meats and vegetables thanks to paprika, garlic, black pepper, cayenne and roasted chilies -- and a secret blend of exotic spices. Not only is Cajun Foreplay perfect for seasoning slow-cooked ribs, but it's also wonderful for rubbing on pork shoulder and beef brisket, and sprinkling on veggies, too.

For slathering on ribs, BBQ chicken and other cooked food, there's Dinosaur Roasted Garlic Honey Bar-B-Que Sauce. This all-natural sauce pairs sweet honey with fresh roasted garlic in a sweet and smoky mustard-tomato base seasoned with Dinosaur's special spice combo, and an overall heat level of mild-medium. If you prefer fiery-hot barbecue sauce, then Dinosaur Bar-B-Que Wango Tango Sauce is the one for you. This hearty and hot bbq sauce starts with the same tangy, rich mustard-tomato base as the Roasted Garlic Honey BBQ Sauce, but then ratchets up the heat by adding habanero and cayenne peppers.

Don't let your taste buds fossilize by boring them with the same tired flavors - bring them back to life with Dinosaur Bar-B-Que sauces and Cajun Foreplay spice rub, available at the Carolina Sauce Company!

Zestfully yours,

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Crowd-Pleasing Appetizers and Party Snacks

If you're gearing up for a NCAA tournament party this weekend for the Sweet Sixteen games, here's a list of crowd-pleasing appetizers and snacks ranging from flavorful without fire all the way to insanely hot and spicy:

*Buffalo-style chicken wings: Use Burning Asphalt Buffalo Wing Sauce as the sauce in your hot wings recipe. Don't already have a recipe for buffalo chicken wings? Try this: 1 cup of Burning Asphalt Buffalo Wing Sauce to every 5 pounds of chicken wings. First cook the wings: For baked wings, spread in a single layer on a pan and bake at 450 degrees for at least 30 minutes or until done. To deep-fry, cook in fryer at 375 degrees until crispy (10 to 12 minutes), then set on paper towels to drain & cool. Then place the cooked wings in a large bowl with a cover (or an extra large zip-top plastic bag), pour the sauce in, cover (or seal the bag) and shake well to coat. Serve with blue cheese dressing on the side, and raw carrots and celery sticks.

*The folks who make Bone Suckin' Sauce created this simple recipe for Bone Suckin' Meatballs: Place 5 lbs of precooked plain cocktail meatballs in a crockpot and pour in one 16 oz jar of your favorite variety of Bone Suckin' Sauce and one 12 oz jar of Bone Suckin' Mustard. Stir to mix and coat the meatballs. Cook on high for 1 hour, then set on low and cook for another 3 to 4 hours (add an extra 30 minutes on low if using frozen meatballs). Serve on hoagie rolls. Serves 10.

*Meat Lovers' Kabobs: Marinate cubes of beef, pork, venison, and/or chicken in Greg's Happy Sauce for 24 hours in the refrigerator. Skewer the cubes and grill or broil the skewers until done. Baste with fresh Happy Sauce if desired - don't baste with the used marinade! And yes, you can add veggies (onions, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers all work) to the kabobs, and even pineapple chunks if you wish.

*Big Daddy's Burgers: Add a splash or two of Big Daddy's Marinade to raw ground beef (or raw ground chicken or turkey) and mix in well before shaping the meat into patties for cooking.

*Pig Pen's Popcorn: Instead of plain salt, sprinkle on some Pig Pen's Original Seasoning on popped popcorn for a tasty change of pace!

*Add some tropical flair for dipping veggies, chips and pretzels by serving with a bowl of Wahoo Willie's Carribean Ranch Dressing as a dip

*For seafood lovers, serve nacho chips with a bowl of Blue Crab salsa made with real Maryland blue crab. Choose from spicy Original Blue Crab Salsa, fiery and smoky Chipotle Smoked Corn Blue Crab Salsa, and horseradish-hot Zesty Blue Crab Salsa.

*Serving peel & eat shrimp? Don't forget the Thomas Fish Camp Cocktail Sauce and Thomas Fish Camp Tartar Sauce for homemade flavor without all the work!

*For peanut lovers who like fiery foods, make sure you have a can of seriously hot Chipotle Peanuts, and/or pleasantly spicy-sweet Hot Honeys Peanuts.

*Need some hot sauce but not sure how hot to get it? Then get a few different bottles of Dave's Gourmet Hot Sauce, ranging from mild and tasty Dave's Ginger Peach Hot Sauce to the original "hottest sauce in the universe", Dave's Insanity Sauce -- and even hotter if you dare! Dave's has a heat level and flavor combination for every personal preference.

*Want to offer some "grown up" candy? Then get some Ass Kickin' Jelly Beans (they look like ordinary jelly beans but are spiked with habanero!) for fun and laughs, or Simply Wicked Fruit Ginger Bears for zippy ginger and real fruit flavor.

Zestfully yours,

Monday, March 24, 2008

FINAL WEEK: Submit a Recipe, Receive a Coupon!

This is the last week (technically, the deadline is next Monday March 31st) to receive a FREE discount coupon redeemable at the Carolina Sauce Company online store. Simply submit a recipe using one or more products available from the Carolina Sauce Company. If we accept your recipe and post it on this blog (we've accepted all submissions so far), we'll send you a 10% off coupon for that product or products! Email your recipe to "sales AT carolinasauce DOT com". For more details, see the "calling all cooks" post earlier this month.

Don't delay - the March Recipe Challenge ends next Monday, March 31st!

Zestfully yours,

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Updated Lists of Best-Selling Hot Sauce, BBQ Sauce, etc.

Curious to see what are the hottest (as in most popular) hot sauces for 2008 so far? Is spring getting you thinking about firing up the grill and wondering what are the best-selling barbeque sauces folks are buying this year? Are you planning a picnic or party and need zesty condiments, best-selling salsas and popular snacks to please a crowd? Then you need to visit the "Best-Sellers" section of the Carolina Sauce Company Store! There you'll find product descriptions, nutritional info, ingredients and more for all of our Best-Selling sauces for the first two months of 2008 -- and you can buy them, too! Just click on the links below to go straight to the best-seller list for each product category:

Best-Selling Hot Sauce, led by Busha Browne's Pukka Hot Pepper Sauce

Best-Selling Barbecue Sauce, led by Wells Hog Heaven BBQ Sauce

Best-Selling Salsa & Relish, led by Thomas Fish Camp Tartar Sauce

Best-Selling Mustard, led by Scorned Woman Mustard

Best-Selling Dressings & Marinades, led by Blue Tick Dressing

Best-Selling Snacks led by Buderim Ginger Bears

Best-Selling Jerk & Curry, led by Walkerswood Traditional Jamaican Jerk Seasoning

Best-Selling Dry Rubs & Seasonings, led by Calhoun's Charcoal Grill Seasoning

Best-Selling Hot Wing Sauce, led by Anchor Bar Buffalo Wing Sauce, Original

Best-Selling North Carolina Products, led by Capsicana Zing Sauce

Best-Selling Gift Sets, led by Bone Suckin' Sauce Gift Set, Mild

Happy Easter!

Zestfully yours,

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Scorned Woman Deviled Eggs

This recipe submitted for our March Recipe Challenge uses one of my favorite products, Scorned Woman Mustard, and is a great way to use all those hardboiled Easter eggs (and you can halve or multiply the recipe, too!)

8 hardboiled eggs, shelled and cut in half lengthwise
1 Tbs Scorned Woman Mustard
3 Tbs mayonnaise
Minced fresh parsley (optional garnish)

Carefully scoop out the egg yolks and place in a food processor with the Scorned Woman Mustard and mayonnaise, and process until smooth and creamy (you can also do this by hand in a non-metal bowl, using a fork to mash the yolks and blend everything thoroughly). Spoon the yolk mixture back into the egg white halves, and garnish each half with parsley if desired.

Zestfully yours,

Friday, March 21, 2008

Asparagus with Soft-Boiled Eggs & Ciabatta

This springtime recipe is the latest from our March Recipe Challenge, and makes a lovely brunch dish for Easter. Use fresh, slender asparagus for the best flavor. You can grill or broil the asparagus - just make sure not to overcook it. Serves 4 (and you can easily double the recipe).

1 lb Fresh asparagus spears, woody ends trimmed
4 Tbs Signolia's Balsamic Vinaigrette
4 Large eggs
1 Plain ciabatta loaf (or other similar bread)
2 Large garlic cloves
Mesclun greens (or other tender spring lettuces)

Place the asparagus in a resealable plastic bag with 2 tablespoons of Signolia's Balsamic Vinaigrette, seal and shake to coat the asparagus. Marinate in refrigerator for at least 15 minutes. Soft-boil the eggs by placing in a saucepan and covering with cold water, bringing the water to a boil for 5 to 6 minutes. Remove the eggs carefully and set aside to cool. Slice the ciabatta or other bread into 8 thick diagonal slices, then carefully toast on the grill or under the broiler for about a minute or until lightly charred (be careful not to burn!). Carefully remove from heat and rub each slice well with the garlic cloves, then set the bread aside.

Grill or broil the asparagus for about 3 to 5 minutes, turning as needed and basting with the vinaigrette from the marinating bag, until the asparagus is lightly seared and just tender (this goes faster for thin young spears and takes longer for thicker spears). Remove from heat and set aside, keeping warm.

Place 2 slices of bread on each of 4 plates, and top bread with asparagus spears. Drizzle the bread and asparagus with the remaining 2 tablespoons of Signolia's Vinaigrette. Once the eggs are slightly cooled, shell them. Break the warm eggs open and place one on each plate overlapping the bread, then add some mesclun on the side of each plate and serve.

Zestfully yours,

Thursday, March 20, 2008

I'm Ready to Go Postal....

...over the Post Office's insistence that I don't exist!!! Actually, what they told me is that my suite, #674 (it says so on the door and in the lease) doesn't exist, and therefore instead of having mailbox 6674 assigned to me, the mailbox for the Carolina Sauce Company MUST be 6672 -- which means that the REAL suite 672 down the hall from me will have almost as much fun as I've had trying to get an official mailbox assigned that corresponds to their suite number. AAARRRGGGHHHH!!! Well, at least I hadn't yet ordered new business cards.... But I did lose most of the morning arguing at the Post Office in person (prior attempts over the phone were fruitless), and I've now "corrected" our new address on our website, in my earlier blog posts, and also with my vendors. So for the record, the official mailing address (according to the US Postal Service, if not according to the rest of the world) for the Carolina Sauce Company is now:

Carolina Sauce Company, Inc.
1058 W. Club Blvd., Ste. 6672
Durham, NC 27701

I apologize for any confusion this may have caused -- and if I have to spend any more time trying to get this all straightened out with the Post Office, they might just make me "go postal!"

Zestfully yours,

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Sweet & Spicy Mustard-Glazed Ham

Just in time for Easter, here's a zesty baked ham that's sure to draw rave reviews from family and friends.

1 precooked ham (about 8 lbs, or a 5 lb canned ham)
Whole cloves
2 Tbs Bone Suckin' Mustard
1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup maple syrup (dark or B grade provides better maple flavor than A or fancy)
1 Tbs cornstarch
1 can (16-20 oz) unsweetened crushed pineapple, undrained

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut rind off ham, if it has one. Using a knife, score the top of the ham into a diamond pattern, and stud the center of each diamond with a whole clove. Place the ham, fat side up, on a rack in a shallow baking pan. Bake the ham for approximately 15 minutes per pound, or according to package directions. While the ham is baking, combine the mustard, sugar and maple syrup. During the last 30 to 45 minutes of baking, baste the ham with 3/4 cup of the mustard glaze every 10 minutes. Pour the remaining glaze into a saucepan and stir in the cornstarch, then add the pineapple with its juice. Simmer, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens. Remove from heat and serve the ham with the sauce.

Zestfully yours,

PS: Don't forget to submit your favorite recipes during our March Recipe Challenge and receive a coupon for your favorite Carolina Sauce Company products!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Ooops, I goofed!

I just noticed that I used the wrong zip code when I posted the new address for the Carolina Sauce Company! Sorry about that. I've corrected the zip code in the original post, and here's the correct address in full:

Carolina Sauce Company, Inc.
1058 W. Club Blvd., Ste. 6672
Durham, NC 27701

Zestfully yours,

Hot Sauce for Pizza

It's NCAA Basketball tournament time -- plus the playoff races in the NHL are coming down to the wire -- and I plan on eating plenty of pizza while watching my favorite teams in action. Here are some of the ways I like to spice up my pie (pizza, that is!)

*Not Cool Garden Fresh Habanero Pepper Sauce: Mildly spicy with just enough habanero bite, this thick, rich hot sauce has a terrific garlicky flavor that perfectly complements pizza, especially a plain cheese or veggie-topped slice

*Mile High Hot Sauce: Full of ripe red jalapeno pepper heat and flavor without the "grassiness" of green jalapenos or the harshness of typical vinegar hot sauces, this delicious hot sauce will stay on your pizza and impart the right amount of flavor and fire. I especially like this hot sauce with pepperoni pizza and other pizza with meat toppings

*Blues Habanero Reserve Hot Sauce: When I want habanero pepper heat and flavor without burning out my taste buds, I turn to this tasty and fiery hot sauce. I splash Blues Habanero Reserve Hot Sauce on any type of pizza, but especially enjoy it on really cheesy pizza as well as on white pizza

*Nando's Hot Peri Peri Grinder: OK, so this one's not a hot sauce -- but Nando's Hot Peri Peri Grinder is a flavor-packed alternative to traditional hot pepper flakes for pizza! Just make sure your pizza isn't overly salty before you grind on some of this hot peri peri pepper seasoning, because it does contain sea salt. Nando's Hot Peri Peri Grinder is also quite good on focaccia and white pizza.

And finally, if I'm making my own pizza, I often use one of the 3 flavors of Santo & Josie Sicilian Pasta Sauce instead of ordinary tomato sauce, because it's thick and full of robust homemade flavors -- no need to add any other seasonings, just the sauce and mozzarella cheese plus any toppings I might want. Santo & Josie Pasta Sauces also make ideal dipping sauces for breadsticks.

And now I'm hungry for pizza!
Zestfully yours,

Monday, March 17, 2008

2007's Best-Selling Barbecue Sauces

At long last, here is the list of the Top 10 Best-Selling Barbeque Sauces from the Carolina Sauce Company! To add some drama, I'm listing them in reverse order, from 10th place to 1st place:

10. George's Original Barbecue Sauce, an eastern NC BBQ sauce that's mellower than most because it's made with apple cider vinegar and just the slightest touch of tomatoes

9. Bone Suckin' Barbecue Sauce, Thicker Style, an authentic western NC BBQ Sauce that's thick and rich, full of tomatoes, and pleasantly tangy due to just the right amount of vinegar (after all, it's not a sweet Kansas City or Memphis sauce!)

8. Carolina Cupboard Western NC Style BBQ Sauce: This Piedmont/Lexington style tomato & vinegar based sauce is tangy, not too thin like eastern NC sauces, and pleasantly peppery without being too spicy

7. Jim's Own Homestyle BBQ Sauce, a multiple award-winning Piedmont/Lexington style sauce made with vinegar, tomatoes and spices for a tangy-sweet taste sensation that just begs for pulled pork!

6. Carolina Treet, an all-purpose vinegar-based cooking and barbecue sauce that you can use on the stovetop and in the oven as well as on the grill

5. Bone Suckin' Sauce: This is the original Bone Suckin' Barbeque Sauce, a thick, tomato-rich western NC style barbeque sauce that's bone-suckin' good on ribs, chicken and anything else you grill!

4. Carolina Cupboard Eastern NC Style BBQ Sauce, a tangy vinegar-based and pepper-spiced barbeque sauce typical of the style found in North Carolina east of the Triangle

3. Scott's Barbecue Sauce: Made from a family recipe that's almost 100 years old, this authentic, traditional eastern NC BBQ sauce is the real deal with its tomato-free and sugar-free vinegar base and spicy-hot peppers!

2. Carolina Swamp Sauce: Made in NC but NOT a vinegar-based BBQ sauce, this gourmet grilling sauce with a slightly Asian flair is fabulous on meats, chicken, seafood and more

And now for the #1 Best-Selling Barbecue Sauce for 2007:

1. Wells Hog Heaven Barbecue Sauce: Made in the tiny town of Burgaw, NC outside of Wilmington, this authentic eastern NC BBQ sauce is peppery and tangy, with just a touch of sugar and smoke to temper the vinegar. Perfect for eastern NC style pulled pork BBQ!

Zestfully yours,

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Spicy Irish Stew

Irish Stew
Traditional Irish fare isn't exactly hot & spicy, but I did find an old recipe in my file for Irish stew that called for a store-brand hot sauce in the list of ingredients.

I've adapted the recipe to use one of my favorite vinegar-based hot sauces, Scorned Woman Hot Sauce. If you want to stick with an Irish theme, simply use one of these Irish hot sauces (well, they're not really Irish, but they have an Irish-themed label and name). MMMMMmmmmm, mmmmmmmm, yummy comfort food that's traditionally hearty, but also hot & spicy: perfect for a zesty St. Patrick's Day dinner! Serves 4 to 6

3 lbs lamb, cut into chunks
St. Patrick's Day Hot Sauce
8 medium onions, thickly sliced
8 large potatoes, cut into chunks
4 large carrots, cut into chunks
1 tsp hot sauce such as Boyle's Irish Scream, the original Irish Scream Hot Sauce, or Scorned Woman Hot Sauce
1 tsp dried thyme
1 bay leaf
Salt to taste
Water or broth (chicken or beef, or you can use vegetable broth - just don't use a bouillon cube)

In a large pot (oven-safe if you're going to cook the stew in the oven), layer the lamb, onions, potatoes and carrots in alternating layers. Sprinkle with thyme, salt to taste, the hot sauce and bay leaf. Add just enough water or broth to cover the lamb and vegetables. Cover the pot and either cook in the oven at 325 degrees or simmer on the stovetop, for about 2 hrs or until the lamb is tender. Taste to check the seasonings and add more if desired. Serve with a crisp green salad and crusty, hearty bread (and a Guinness, if you so desire!).

Zestfully yours,

Saturday, March 15, 2008

New Address & Phone Number!

The Big Move is over, and the Carolina Sauce Company is now operating out of its new warehouse and office! Here is our new address and phone number:

Carolina Sauce Company, Inc.
1058 W. Club Blvd., Ste. 6672
Durham, NC 27701

Phone: 919-286-1080

Our fax number has not changed, and the old phone number and mailing address will still work for a little while longer -- but please use the new contact info when you need to write or call us. And no, we still don't have a "walk-in" retail store for customers to visit in person, as this is strictly a warehouse operation and we're not equipped to handle visitors. But as before, if you are in the Durham area and want to make an appointment to pick up an order, simply email or call us to place your order at least 24 hrs in advance and we will let you know when and where you can pick it up (we need at least 24 hrs to make sure everything's in stock and someone is available to meet you).

Thanks for your patience and understanding while we moved our operations, and stay tuned for some exciting new products coming up this Spring!

Zestfully yours,

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Products Out of Stock?

If you've recently shopped online at the Carolina Sauce Company Store and found that some popular products -- like Carolina Cupboard Eastern NC BBQ Sauce or several flavors of Burning Asphalt Hot Sauce -- are out of stock, please don't panic. Because of our warehouse move (which is currently ongoing), we're waiting until after we're settled into the new location before re-stocking products that sold out right before the move. Rest assured that we will be ordering more inventory once we re-open next week, and you'll once again be able to get Carolina Cupboard and other favorite products very soon. In the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns about any products please feel free to email us at "sales AT carolinasauce DOT com".

Thanks for your patience and understanding, and stay tuned for our new contact info when we re-open next week!

Zestfully yours,

PS: We're in the process of updating the 2008 year-to-date lists of Best Selling Sauces in individual product categories so you'll be able to check which BBQ sauces, hot sauces, etc. are our customers' favorites this year.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

2007's Best Selling Rubs & Seasonings

The following were the top 10 best-selling dry rubs and seasonings for 2007 at the Carolina Sauce Company:

1. Adams Rib Rubb, Original Flavor: Made in NC, this savory & sweet, pleasantly peppery dry rub will tenderize meats & poultry while adding award-winning flavor

2. Calhoun's Charcoal Grill Seasoning: This Tennessee steak rub adds real charcoal flavor to meats and poultry even when you use a gas grill or an oven broiler

3. Bad Byron's Butt Rub Seasoning: This authentic Texas barbeque rub is savory (no sugar), spicy & slightly smoky, and is used by champion BBQ competitors, renowned chefs, and backyard BBQ enthusiasts for meats, poultry, seafood and more

4. Bone Suckin' Rib Rub: This NC favorite is sweet & savory, and is delicious on ribs as well as other meats, poultry, seafood, and even as a seasoning for veggies

5. Char Crust Original Hickory Dry Rub & Seasoning: This is THE original seasoning that made Al Farber's famous Chicago steakhouse a legend!

6. Corky's Memphis Bar-B-Q Dry Rub: From the renowned Corky's BBQ restaurant in Memphis, TN, this is the seasoning you need to make authentic slow-cooked Memphis style ribs at home

7. Char Crust Hickory & Molasses Dry Rub & Seasoning, made with natural hickory flavor and real molasses for a smoky, rich and slighly sweet flavor that pairs well with all meats, chicken and even vegetables

8. Char Crust Roasted Garlic Peppercorn Dry Rub & Seasoning: Adds gourmet flavor to steak, lamb, salmon & seafood as well as more common grillables

9. Slap Ya Mama Black Pepper Seasoning: An authentic Cajun spice blend from Louisiana that's an essential ingredient for jambalaya and other Cajun fare

10. Adam's Ultimate Rib Rubb: This is the hot & spicy version of Adam's Rib Rubb from North Carolina

Zestfully yours,

Monday, March 10, 2008

Marinated Vegetable Salad

Here's the latest submission to the Carolina Sauce Company Recipe Challenge. This salad should be made a few hours ahead of time or the night before, to allow time to marinate. Serves 4 as a side dish.

1 medium cucumber, thinly sliced
1 8oz can sliced carrots, drained
1 8oz can French style green beans, drained
1 small red onion, sliced into thin rings
1/2 cup Signolia's Balsamic Vinaigrette
1/3 cup (or to taste) crumbled Feta cheese

Combine the cucumbers, carrots, green beans and separated onion rings in a non-metal bowl or in a large resealable plastic bag, and pour the 1/2 cup Signolia's Balsamic Vinaigrette over the vegetables. If using a bowl, stir the vegetables to coat all with the dressing, then cover the bowl. If using a plastic bag, seal the bag and gently shake to coat all vegetables with the dressing. Place the covered bowl or sealed bag in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight, stirring or shaking occasionally. Before serving, place the marinated vegetables with their dressing in a serving bowl and sprinkle with feta cheese.

Zestfully yours,

Sunday, March 9, 2008

REMINDER: Closed for Moving 3/10-3/16

Just a friendly reminder that Carolina Sauce Company will be closed from Monday, March 10 through Saturday, March 16, while we move into our new warehouse. You can still order online, and orders will be shipped promptly after we re-open for business on March 17. If you need to contact us while we are closed, your best bet is to send us email (sales AT carolinasauce DOT com) and we will reply as soon as we get a chance (please understand it might not be the same day). As soon as everything is set up and operational, I'll be posting the new address and phone number here as well as on our website. And if I get a chance while we're closed, I'll post a few more recipes, best-seller lists and other "saucy information" as time permits.

Thanks for your patience and understanding!
Zestfully yours,

Thursday, March 6, 2008

More Thank-You Notes from Grateful Troops

I haven't yet had a chance to post the most recent thank you notes on our Operation Sauce Drop Photos & Feedback page, so I thought I'd quickly post a few of them here first, so that our donors could read them and know that they've made a difference by showing their support to troops serving abroad. The gratitude comes from military personnel, as well as from their family members. The following note arrived today, from Chief Warrant Officer 2 A. L.-G., serving in Iraq:

"Thanks you guys for all of your support for the military, it's those gestures like yours that reminds us that you guys are still thinking about us.
thanks again"

From A.A., serving in Europe:

"This is a great gift, much appreciated."

From a repeat donor and Military Mom:

"I am sending you a donation by mail...thank you for all you are doing for our troops! When my son deploys in May I will be sending some sauce his way! Thank You!"

From another Military Mom who signed up her daughter for a gift box:

"Thank you so much for remembering our kids this way. This order is going to my daughter in Japan." She also posted the following Customer Rating on our Carolina Sauce Company Store: "I sent a set of [Carolina Sauce Company] sauces through their free military member program [Operation Sauce Drop] and my son-in-law LOVED the sauces. What a fantastic way to show your support for individual service members. There's another set on its way to my daughter now. EXCELLENT service and products. Thank you!"

To date, our non-profit program Operation Sauce Drop has mailed 148 free gift boxes to US troops serving abroad, thanks to the generosity of 73 donors (including 8 repeat donors). At this time, there are over 100 servicemen and women on a waiting list to receive a free gift box of sauces. The average cost to purchase and ship a gift box is about $20, and this cost is likely to increase when postal rates go up in May. If you'd like to do your part to send a free gift of zesty sauces to our deployed military personnel, please make a donation to Operation Sauce Drop, even if all you can afford is $5. Every little bit (or large donation) will help to ship more free gift boxes and let more of our troops know that we're thinking of them.

Zestfully yours,

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Dave's Insanity Private Reserve 2008 - Update

According to the folks at Dave's Gourmet, the long-awaited release of their 2008 edition of Dave's Insanity Sauce Private Reserve is........

(drumroll, please).......

imminent. No, it's not here yet, unfortunately. But our supplier expects to have it around mid-March, which means we should be able to have it in stock shortly after we re-open for business on March 17th. Historically, each edition of Dave's Insanity Private Reserve sells out very quickly, and once a "vintage" sells out, it's gone for good because Dave makes a limited quantity each year. If you don't want to lose out on owning the 2008 edition of Dave's Private Reserve Insanity Sauce, go ahead and place your order now - I'll put you on our waiting list, and orders will be filled on a first-come first-served basis. And stay tuned to this blog: as soon as we receive our stock of the 2008 edition of Dave's Private Reserve Insanity Sauce, I'll be announcing it here.

Zestfully yours,

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The Big Move: Next Week!

The finishing touches (actually, the shelving) will be completed tomorrow in our new warehouse, and phone & internet will be installed in the office on Friday, all of which means The Big Move can finally begin! In order to get all of our inventory moved and set up in the new warehouse -- and to make sure all systems are ready to go -- we will be closed beginning this Saturday, March 8th, through the following Sunday, March 16th. No orders will be shipped while we are closed, and we cannot promise that someone will be around to answer the phone because all hands will be involved in moving. You will still be able to place orders online while we are closed, but please understand that they will not be shipped until after we re-open for business on March 17th. If you need to contact us while we are closed, the best way to reach us will be via email, to "sales AT carolinasauce DOT com." We will try to respond to emails each evening and as time permits while we are moving. You can also leave us voicemail at 919-765-0143, but we cannot promise to return calls on the same day (but we will get back to you as soon as we can). Once we are set up and ready to go at our new location, we will announce our new phone number and mailing address.

Please bear with us during this exciting time of transition, and thank you in advance for your patience and understanding!

Zestfully yours,

Monday, March 3, 2008

Calling All Cooks!

This month we're continuing our Carolina Sauce Company Recipe Challenge: Submit your original recipe featuring one or more products available from the Carolina Sauce Company, and we will email you a coupon for 10% off the purchase price of the Carolina Sauce product(s) used in your recipe! Here's all you need to know:

*Please send only original recipes (not copied from a cookbook, bottle label, product flyer, etc.)

*Any submitted recipes may be posted by Carolina Sauce Company on this Blog and the Carolina Sauce Company websites (after all, the point is to share great recipes with folks who enjoy cooking and zesty foods)

*At least one ingredient must be a product sold on the Carolina Sauce Company website, and the recipe must use more than a mere "dash", "drop" or other insignificant amount (we've had several recipes submitted and posted in February, so you can check those to get an idea of what we're looking for)

*Please email your recipe to "sales AT carolinasauce DOT com" with the words "Blog Recipe" on the subject line of the email

*Only 1 recipe per person per week, please

*Please submit your recipe(s) by no later than March 31st, and we will send you a coupon for 10% off the purchase price of the Carolina Sauce Company product(s) featured in the recipe, redeemable the next time you order the product(s) from the Carolina Sauce Company. Coupons are good through June 30, 2008.

Questions? Just email us at "sales AT carolinasauce DOT com". Happy cooking, and keep those recipes coming!

Zestfully yours,

Sunday, March 2, 2008

February's Top 10 Best Selling Sauces & Products

The month of February had a lot of people craving seriously hot sauces and snacks, as is evident from our list of the Top Ten Best-Selling Hot Sauces & other products during February 2008 at the Carolina Sauce Company:

1. Busha Browne's Pukka Sauce, a spicy all-purpose table sauce from Jamaica that's not a jerk sauce

2. Matouk's Calypso Sauce: thick, rich, scotch bonnet pepper hot, and full of West Indies fire and flavor

3. Buderim Ginger Bears, grown-up gummy bears from Australia that are made with real ginger

4. Bone Suckin' Hiccuppin' Hot Sauce, a tangy, spicy pepper sauce reminiscent of Bone Suckin' Barbecue Sauce, but hotter

5. Wells Hog Heaven BBQ Sauce: You can count on this peppery, eastern NC BBQ Sauce (vinegar based, no tomatoes) to show up each month on our list of Best Selling Sauces!

6. Dave's Insanity Popcorn, perhaps the hottest popcorn in the universe, and for serious chileheads only (it blows away "spicy" grocery store brands!)

7. Calhoun's Charcoal Seasoning, a favorite among folks who love charcoal-grilled flavor anytime on steaks and other meats or poultry

8. Carolina Treet BBQ Sauce, a tangy all-purpose vinegar based cooking sauce that's not watery-thin and works just as well indoors (stovetop, oven) as outdoors (on the grill)

9. Dave's Ultimate Insanity Sauce: For those times when the original Dave's Insanity Sauce isn't hot enough (ummm, when you need a personal defense weapon?!?)

10. Georgia Peach & Vidalia Onion Hot Sauce: Mild on the heat scale, but at the top of the flavor chart with sun-sweet Georgia peaches and savory Vidalia onions - perfect for folks who are just starting to try out hot & spicy foods!

Zestfully yours,

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Marie Sharp's Hot Sauces

Marie Sharp's Hot Sauces of Belize set the standard years ago for classic Caribbean hot sauces. The basic ingredients in her recipes are carrots, vinegar and one or more varieties of habanero peppers, resulting in straightforward, honest to goodness hot sauces recognized for their sharp habanero bite and fresh tropical savory flavor. This is clearly evident in Marie Sharp's original Habanero Pepper Sauce, made with red habaneros, but she also makes a much milder, gentler Mild Habanero Pepper Sauce that's perfect for folks who are ready to move beyond boring, overly vinegary grocery store hot sauces but don't want to get hurt. For serious chileheads, Marie Sharp ups the ante with her Fiery Hot Habanero Sauce that increases the proportion of red habaneros in her basic recipe. And then there's the even hotter Marie Sharp's Belizean Heat Habanero Hot Sauce, made with habanero pepper mash and capsicum oil, both of which dramatically increase the peppery bite and the length of the burn, but the Belizean Heat recipe also includes Cajun and creole spices for a more complex flavor. Her most intensely hot recipe is Marie Sharp's Beware Hot Sauce, with "comatose heat level" -- the first listed ingredient is capsicum oil, followed by habanero mash. All you need is a toothpick drop of this ultra-hot hot sauce.

Marie Sharp also makes some unusual and delicious variations of her habanero hot sauces, including Marie Sharp's Green Habanero Hot Sauce, made with nopal (prickly pear cactus) and green habaneros, both of which give this sauce a more "vegetal" or grassy flavor profile that pairs beautifully with the key lime juice in the sauce. This hot sauce is ideal for Mexican food like tamales, and also for shrimp and other seafood as well as meat dishes. And then there's Marie Sharp's Grapefruit Pulp Habanero Hot Sauce, made with yellow habanero peppers as well as grapefruit and lime juice for a citrusy and fiery hot sauce that's wonderful on seafood, poultry and stir-fry dishes, and Marie Sharp's Orange Pulp Habanero Hot Sauce, also made with yellow habanero peppers plus tropical oranges (but this is not a sweet hot sauce!), making this sauce a perfect choice for pork, poultry, seafood, and island cuisine.

So if you can't afford a trip to the Caribbean this winter but want to taste authentic Caribbean hot sauces usually only found in the islands, treat yourself to Marie Sharp's Hot Sauces.

Zestfully yours,