Sunday, May 31, 2009

Zesty Shrimp & Oyster Tomato Soup

Here's a really easy recipe for folks who love tomato soup, seafood, and zesty flavors. You can make it on the stovetop or in the microwave, and it serves 4. Pair it with a salad, and maybe also a hunk of crusty bread, and you have a quick and healthy meal!

1 can (14.5 oz) Italian stewed tomatoes, undrained
1 can (10.75 oz) condensed tomato soup (regular or low-sodium)
1 cup milk (I use low-fat or skim, but whole milk works fine & adds richer flavor)
1 cup cooked rice (white or brown)
1/2 tsp Big Daddy's Superb Herb Seasoning (you can substitute Italian herb seasoning, but I prefer the Big Daddy's Superb Herb)
A dash (or several) of a good vinegar-tomato hot sauce, like Blues Carolina Pepper Sauce or Blues Habanero Reserve Hot Sauce
1 small can (4 oz) tiny cooked shrimp, drained (I use Chicken of the Sea brand)
1 can (3.75 oz) smoked oysters, drained and chopped (I use Chicken of the Sea brand)
Shredded Parmesan cheese as a topping

Stovetop instructions: Combine the undrained tomatoes, soup, milk, rice, hot sauce and herb seasoning in a large saucepan, stir to combine, and cook over medium heat until hot (about 10 minutes), stirring occasionally. Stir in the shrimp and oysters, remove from heat, and serve with some shredded Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.

Microwave instructions: Combine the undrained tomatoes, soup, milk, rice, hot sauce and herb seasoning in a 2-quart microwave-safe bowl (glass is best) and stir well. Microwave on high for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes, until hot (cooking time will vary with the power of your microwave). When the soup is heated through, stir in the shrimp and oysters. Serve and sprinkle with shredded Parmesan cheese.

Zestfully yours,

PS: Big Daddy's Superb Herb Seasoning is currently on sale at the Carolina Sauce Company!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Operation Sauce Drop Update: Sad News

Operation Sauce Drop is a nonprofit program run by the Carolina Sauce Company to send free hot sauce and BBQ sauce to US troops serving abroad. Operation Sauce Drop is funded by donations, which the Carolina Sauce Company matches, and also through the sale of select products available at the Carolina Sauce Company online store. To date, Operation Sauce Drop has shipped free gift boxes of sauce to 544 troops serving overseas. The troops greatly appreciate the free sauce, as is clearly evident from their photos and thank-you notes to our donors. Unfortunately, requests for free gift boxes have far exceeded donations, resulting in a waiting list with over 300 troops, some dating back to last November.

Despite the economic downturn, the Carolina Sauce Company continues to match 100% of all donations received, and to pay for all incidental expenses associated with Operation Sauce Drop, and to donate the labor involved. We wish we could simply go ahead and pay for all the requested gift boxes ourselves without having to solicit donations, but we'd go bankrupt. We thought we'd be able to keep up with gift box requests, but unfortunately folks simply haven't been donating as much these days, plus other folks have been signing up dozens of troops thinking that they're doing a good deed but not realizing that donations are needed to pay for the gift boxes and the shipping.

Because our waiting list continues to grow faster than donations come in, we have decided to stop accepting requests for free gift boxes until we can fulfill the outstanding gift box requests on our waiting list. Despite these tough economic times, the Carolina Sauce Company will continue to match 100% of all donations received, to pay for all incidental expenses, and to donate the labor involved. It's the least we can do to show our appreciation to our troops for their service and their sacrifice.

Want to help send a free gift box of sauce to one of our brave troops serving abroad? Then please donate to Operation Sauce Drop. The average cost to purchase and ship a gift box is around $20, so a donation of merely $10 will send 1 gift box (remember, we match your donation so your $10 turns into $20). No amount is too small, so if you can only spare $5 that will get us half-way to a gift box. You can also shop to support Operation Sauce Drop, where 100% of the purchase price of the products goes straight into Operation Sauce Drop (we don't make a penny from the sale, not even our wholesale product cost). Thank you in advance for supporting our troops!

Zestfully yours,

Friday, May 29, 2009

Susie's Pineapple Pleasure is Back!

One of my favorite fruit-based hot sauces, Susie's Spicy Pineapple Pleasure Hot Sauce, is finally back in stock at the Carolina Sauce Company after being "MIA" for a few months. Hailing from the West Indian island nation of Antigua, Susie's Pineapple Pleasure is made from all-natural ingredients and features juicy, ripe pineapple as the principal ingredient. The spicy heat comes from a secret blend of Caribbean hot peppers, and tropical cane syrup (not refined sugar!) adds just the right amount of sweetness to create a delightfully sunny flavor. Susie's Pineapple Pleasure is wonderful with fish and seafood, whether grilled, pan-fried, steamed, broiled or baked. It's also quite nice with grilled chicken or pork tenderloin, and I've even been known to splash it over Asian stir-fry dishes or Chinese take-out, especially lo mein (who needs those nasty little packets of "duck sauce" when you can use this sweet & spicy hot sauce instead?!?). Susie's Pineapple Pleasure has very low sodium, only 30mg per tablespoon, which makes it a favorite with foodies who have to watch their salt intake.

All of Susie's Hot Sauces are notoriously hard to find outside of the Caribbean, and their availability is not exactly reliable. Although we make every effort to keep these sauces in stock, it can be a challenge and we simply can't be sure of when we'll be able to get our hands on more. So if you're a fan of Susie's Spicy Pineapple Pleasure Hot Sauce, make sure you stock up now while it's available. And if you've never tried it but are intrigued by the culinary potential of this sauce, now's the time to treat yourself to this Caribbean gem!

Zestfully yours,

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Three-Pepper Papaya Salsa

Fresh, ripe papaya and three different hot peppers combine to deliver layers of flavor and fire in this tropical salsa. Papaya is not quite as sweet as mango and has a milder but exotic flavor that pairs nicely with grilled meat, pork, chicken and seafood. Red jalapenos have a natural sweetness because they're ripe, and they don't have that sharp vegetal flavor edge of green jalapenos. However, if you can't find red jalapenos, you can certainly use a green one. You can also substitute a scotch bonnet pepper for the red habanero. The three types of peppers in this recipe bring different flavor notes and heat characteristics, making this recipe a favorite of fans of fiery foods. Enjoy this salsa with grilled pork chops and other grilled fare, and it's especially nice with Cajun blackened fish or as a side for Jamaican jerked chicken.

1 large ripe papaya or 2 small ripe papayas
1 red habanero pepper
1 red jalapeno pepper
1 serrano pepper
1 small red onion, diced
3 to 4 Tbs chopped cilantro
1 lime
Salt to taste

Cut the papaya in half lengthwise, then use a spoon to scoop out the seeds. Peel the papaya and then dice the flesh into a bowl. Slit each pepper in half and de-seed (I recommend wearing plastic gloves to protect your skin while handling the peppers). Finely dice the peppers and add to the bowl, together with the diced onion. Carefully grate the rind of the lime, avoiding the bitter white pith, and add the grated rind to the bowl. Then slice the lemon in half and sqeeze the juice into the bowl. Add the cilantro to the bowl, plus a pinch of salt. Mix everything together thoroughly, and taste to see if you want to add a little more salt. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Zestfully yours,
Carolina Sauce Company

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Spicy Pimento Cheese Spread

Pimento Cheese sandwiches are a beloved Southern treat, and a hot-weather lunchtime "comfort food" for me. Although you can find containers of pimento cheese at supermarkets, nothing beats the homemade kind. And forget about using whole wheat or other "healthy" bread for this old-fashioned delicacy: plain ol' white bread is the way to go! I've also been known to enjoy Pimento Cheese as a veggie dip or with crackers (and I confess that I do use "gourmet" or whole-grain crackers). Here is a spiced-up version of Pimento Cheese spread. A good medium-heat hot sauce works best in this recipe.

3 Tbs plain flour
1 1/2 Tbs sugar
Milk (whole or reduced fat) - just enough to make a paste with flour & sugar
1 large egg, beaten
1 1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp white vinegar
Dash (or more, to taste) of hot pepper sauce like Durn Good Hot Sauce
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup milk (whole or reduced fat)

1/2 lb grated mild cheddar or yellow hoop cheese
2 oz jar pimiento peppers, drained & chopped
2 Tbs butter (the real thing), melted

In a small saucepan over medium heat, stir together the flour, sugar and just enough milk to make a paste. Then stir in the next 6 ingredients and cook, stirring, until thick. Remove from heat and add the melted butter, cheese and pimientos. Stir well and transfer into a container with a lid, then refrigerate for several hours until cool (overnight is best). Enjoy as a sandwich spread, veggie dip or with crackers.

Zestfully yours,

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Three New Nando's Peri Peri Sauces!

Nandos' Hot Sweet Peri Peri Sauce is a devilishly delicious blend of fiery Peri-Peri peppers (also called African birds-eye chilies) and South African seasonings in a rich, sweet base that pairs wonderfully with grilled foods, roasted meats and poultry, and other hearty fare. If you enjoy truly hot hot sauce with a sweet side, then this is the hot sauce for you. If you're watching your sodium intake, you'll be glad to know that it's very low sodium, too.

On the other hand, if you have a sensitive palate or simply prefer a gentle touch of spice, then check out Nando's Extra Mild Lemon Peri Peri Sauce, a food-friendly, citrusy spice sauce that has just the softest touch of peri-peri pepper that will wake up your taste buds without hurting them. This zesty sauce complements fish and seafood, poultry, veggies, and even doubles as a fat-free (but flavor-packed) salad dressing. Because it is extra-mild in terms of spiciness, it's perfect for the family as young and old can enjoy its flavors without fear of any fiery heat.

And if you like to experience life on the wild side, then Nando's Wild Herb Peri Peri Sauce is for you! This exotic, medium-hot sauce combines wild herbs with Peri Peri peppers for a spectacular taste sensation that works well with virtually all sorts of foods (except perhaps the mildest of seafood). I enjoy this hot sauce with everything from burgers and other grilled fare to omelets and scrambled eggs, in wraps and sandwiches, and even splashed on pizza and Mexican food.

All three new Nando's Peri Peri Sauces are made in South Africa, and they're Kosher and low carb. You can get them now from the Carolina Sauce Company, and at only $3.75 a bottle, they're a steal!

Zestfully yours,

Monday, May 25, 2009

The True Meaning & Purpose of Memorial Day

With all the Memorial Day sales, neighborhood cookouts, and the quest to make the most of a day off from work, it's easy to overlook the true meaning and purpose of Memorial Day. Today is a solemn day of remembrance for those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in giving their lives while serving our nation. I've been guilty of forgetting this myself, so I thought it would be worthwhile to read up on the origins of this holiday to remind myself of its true purpose and meaning. Here's a summary of what I found.

The origins of Memorial Day in the US date back to the late 1860s, when it was called "Decoration Day" because flowers would be placed on the graves of soldiers who had died in the Civil War. The first official observance was on May 30, 1868 with flowers being placed on both Union and Confederate soldiers' graves in Arlington National Cementery. In the following years, individual states began adopting May 30 as Memorial Day although many Southern states continued to honor their Confederate dead on separate dates. In 1971, Congress passed the National Holiday Act establishing Memorial Day as a national holiday to be observed on the last Monday in May.

You might see people wearing red poppies on their lapels today. This custom dates back to World War I, inspired by the poem "In Flanders Fields" written by a Canadian soldier during that war, and serves to remind us of our fallen soldiers. The VFW sells artificial poppies made by disabled veterans to help raise money for their support.

Sadly, the traditional observance of Memorial Day has declined in recent years, being overshadowed by commercialism and perhaps simply by the relief of having a day off from work during hectic times. Unfortunately, fewer people are taking the time to honor our fallen soldiers on this day, and their graves are increasingly neglected or ignored. In an attempt to encourage the traditional observance of Memorial Day and educate the public on its meaning, Congress passed "The National Moment of Remembrance Act" in 2000. This Act encourages all Americans to pause wherever they are at 3pm local time today for a minute of silence to honor and remember those who gave their lives in the service of our country. Please join me in doing so today. And if you happen to see a member of our Armed Forces today, please consider saying a simple thank you to them for their service.

Here are some informative sites if you want to learn more about Memorial Day:
US Dept. of Veteran Affairs:

The Memorial Day Site:

Zestfully yours,
Carolina Sauce Company, Inc.
Operation Sauce Drop

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Mesquite Seasoned Brisket

Brisket is quite popular in Texas and not as well-known here in North Carolina, but we've managed to convert some pulled pork BBQ-only Tarheels into brisket-lovers thanks to our smoker and Greg's skill with it. Yesterday he made a mouthwatering mesquite-seasoned brisket, using Mama T's Mesquite Flavored Seasoning & Dry Rub, some natural lump charcoal, and some maple branches that had come down in our yard during a storm earlier this spring. Because the secret to tender, flavorful brisket is slow-cooking in a smoker, he started in the morning to make sure the brisket would have enough cooking time.

Greg started the lump charcoal in a chimney starter and let them burn down to white coals. While the coals were burning, he rubbed the brisket with Mama T's Mesquite Flavored Seasoning & Dry Rub, thoroughly coating it on all sides with a good layer of the seasoning. When the coals were ready, he spread them in the smoker with the maple branches on top and waited until the branches had burned down to coals. Then, once the temperature in the smoker was at 225F degrees, he placed the brisket in the smoker and let it cook at 225 degrees until he could stick a fork in it and twist pretty easily. The key is to keep the temperature at a steady 225F and let the brisket slow-cook, which took about 8 hours yesterday. The cooking time can vary so make sure you use the fork test to check the meat before removing it from the smoker. If you end up removing the brisket from the smoker too soon (i.e., if your coals die out before it's finished cooking), you can always finish the brisket in a crock pot with just a little bit of water and let it cook until it's fork-tender.

Once the brisket it done, remove it from the smoker (or crock pot) and let it rest for a few minutes before slicing it relatively thinly (about 1/4" slices) against the grain. The smoky mesquite flavor is so good that you don't need to add any sauce.

Mama T's Mesquite Flavored Seasoning is made by hand in small batches by Mama T and her daughter Shirley, on the North Carolina Outer Banks. They use natural ingredients to capture the true flavor of the American West, and their seasoning comes in a generous 8.4 oz bottle (about 68 servings). You can get it online at the Carolina Sauce Company online store, and it's currently on sale!

Zestfully yours,

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Spicy Grilled Corn on the Cob

This simple recipe works best if you use a hot sauce that's got a straightforward flavor (i.e., made with only a few ingredients) and a heat level of medium to hot. The recipe is for 6 ears of corn, but you can multiply or divide it as needed. Here are some of the hot sauces that I recommend for this recipe:

For great jalapeno flavor & fire: Iguana Mean Green Hot 'n Tasty Jalapeno Pepper Sauce or Melinda's Jalapeno Pepper Sauce

For zippy cayenne spice: Dave's Cool Cayenne Pepper Sauce

For real habanero fire: El Yucateco Salsa Picante Red Habanero Sauce or Marie Sharp's Hot Habanero Pepper Sauce

For tropical scotch bonnet pepper heat: Tortuga Caribbean Hell-Fire Sauce or Kato's Down South Hot Sauce

For a smoky flavor and fiery heat: Mountain Man Fire Roasted Habanero Pepper Sauce

For exotic African Peri Peri Pepper flavor & fire: Nando's Peri Peri Pepper Hot Sauce in your choice of Medium, Hot, or Extra Hot

6 ears of corn with husks on
4 Tbs hot sauce (see above for recommendations)
5 Tbs butter, melted

Peel back the husks from the corn and remove most of the inner husks, leaving some of the thicker outer husks to wrap around the end of the corn and use as a handle. Combine the melted butter and hot sauce, and brush over each ear of corn. Grill the corn over hot coals, turning and basting often, until the corn is tender.

Zestfully yours,

Friday, May 22, 2009

Tortuga Caribbean Hell-Fire Sauce

Jamaica is known for its seriously hot scotch bonnet peppers, and Tortuga Caribbean Hell-Fire Sauce features them at their finest in all their fiery glory. This premium hot sauce is made with scotch bonnets at their peak ripeness, which accounts for the deep red-orange color of the sauce and also its naturally sweet, almost fruity notes (like a ripe red bell pepper - there is no fruit or sugar added to this hot sauce - but with habanero heat). The simple vinegar base allows the real flavor and fire of the scotch bonnet pepper to shine through without interference from heavy spices or additional vegetables. But don't assume that this is a thin, watery vinegar hot sauce: No, the texture is thick with plenty of little pieces of pepper plus seeds, pleasing to the tongue as well as to the palate.

Tortuga Caribbean Hell-Fire Sauce is a versatile all-purpose hot sauce for cooking and for using directly on served food. Because it is a scotch bonnet sauce, it is especially well-suited for Caribbean cuisine, including meat patties, red beans and rice, and other traditional island recipes. But don't limit yourself - this hot sauce is also terrific on hamburgers and hot dogs, chicken wings, sandwiches, grilled foods, and generally all meats, poultry and seafood. Tortuga Hell-Fire Sauce is also very low sodium, in case you're watching your salt intake. Best of all, it's currently on sale at the Carolina Sauce Company, for well under $4 a bottle!

Zestfully yours

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Jim's Own Baby Back Ribs

I ran into a friend today who told me she was planning on making baby back ribs for Memorial Day, but wasn't sure how to cook them because she'd never made baby back ribs before. She asked if I had any recipes, and I suggested that she check this blog, because I was sure I had posted at least one baby back ribs recipe in the past (turns out I've posted two: Bone Suckin' Fabulous Ribs, which cook in the oven rather than the grill, and also a recipe for the World's Best Spare Ribs, which also works with baby back ribs).

Here is another great recipe for mouthwatering, crowd-pleasing baby back ribs, courtesy of Jim Arnold, the creator of Jim's Own Bar-B-Que Sauce. The ribs are started in the oven, and then finished on the grill. This recipe works for however many racks of ribs you're cooking - just make sure you have plenty of sauce on hand!

1 rack plain baby back ribs
Jim's Own Homestyle BBQ Sauce or Jim's Own Hot BBQ Sauce

Cut the rack of ribs into two-rib sections. Bake the plain ribs in a covered pan at 250 degrees for approximately 2 hours. Remove the ribs from the oven and brown slightly on the grill over medium heat. Reduce the heat and baste with Jim's Own Sauce, basting at least 3 times per side until the ribs are done.

Zestfully yours,

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Walkerswood Jonkanoo is Back!

Newsflash: This just in - literally! Walkerswood Jonkanoo Pepper Sauce (also known as Walkerswood Seriously Hot Jamaican Jonkanoo Pepper Sauce) is finally in stock and available again! You can now buy Jonkanoo Sauce online at the Carolina Sauce Company, and best of all, it's available for the rock-bottom low price of only $3.95 a bottle. We were THRILLED to be able to get this fiery-hot, flavorful and much-loved Jamaican pepper sauce again. Maybe this is a sign that other much-missed Walkerswood products will soon be manufactured again. Rest assured that we'll do all we can to keep Walkerswood Jonkanoo in stock, but we expect demand to be quite high so get your order in ASAP if you don't want to run the risk of missing out. And stay tuned to this blog for breaking news on Walkerswood Marinade, as we're hearing rumors that it might become available again (and if it does, we intend to restock ASAP and announce it here).

Zestfully yours,

Monday, May 18, 2009

May is National BBQ Month (and National Salad Month, too)

May is National BBBQ Month -- and also National Salad Month, perhaps as a concession to vegetarians who were feeling left out? Anyway, to help you celebrate National BBQ (and Salad) Month -- and to help you get ready for Memorial Day -- we've placed a tasty variety of barbecue sauces on sale, as well as our favorite salad dressing, Mama T's Olive Oil Vinaigrette. Among the wonderful barbeque sauces available at a reduced price are both the mild and hot versions of our very own Eastern NC vinegar-based bbq sauce -- this is THE sauce you need for making authentic North Carolina pulled pork barbecue, and we'll even send you a free recipe flyer with step-by-step instructions on how to make real pulled pork BBQ.

If you prefer a thicker, smokier, tomato-mustard style sauce that's excellent on ribs and chicken, you're in luck because Cool Hawg Grilling Sauce meets that description AND is on sale, too. And if you're the adventurous type and want to try a mouthwatering BBQ sauce that features North Carolina's muscadine grape, you'll want to try D'Vine Foods Muscadine BBQ Sauce while it's on sale this month. The subtle fruit notes and gentle sweetness in a perky tomato-mustard base add wonderful multi-dimensional flavor that complements anything you grill (yes, even veggies and tofu!), and of course it pairs nicely with a chilled glass of sweet muscadine wine -- or a refreshing spritzer made by combining equal amounts of muscadine wine and sparkling water.

Looking for more than just barbecue sauce on sale? No problem! Just visit the Carolina Sauce Company online store's main page and read about our Memorial Day Sale and how to find sale items! A word to the wise: Don't wait too long, as these sale prices are good only while supplies last.

Zestfully yours,

Friday, May 15, 2009

Year-to-Date Best-Selling Hot Sauce, BBQ Sauce, etc.

We've finally finished updating the Carolina Sauce Company's top best-selling products in each specific product category as of May 1st, 2009. Although you can't go wrong with any of the delicious products on any of these lists, here are a few notables -- plus links to each category-specific list:

*Best-Selling Hot Sauces: The versatile, subtly sweet and gently spicy Capsicana Zing Gourmet Sauce is the current number one best selling hot sauce

*Best-Selling BBQ Sauces: Our very own Carolina Sauce Company Mild Eastern NC BBQ Sauce and Carolina Sauce Company Hot Eastern NC BBQ Sauce are in third and sixth place respectively -- and both are currently on sale, and come with a free recipe for making authentic North Carolina pulled pork barbeque!

*Best-Selling Steak Sauce & Pasta Sauce: Hailing from the island of Antigua and packed with chunks of tangy tamarind in a thick, peppery base, Susie's Tamarind Tango is one of my favorite steak sauces and is in 7th place so far this year

*Best-Selling Marinades & Dressings: A Caribbean treat that delivers true island flavor, Tortuga Spicy Seafood Grilling Sauce sits in 10th place, and is on sale too!

*Best-Selling Dry Rubs & Seasonings: Straight from South Africa and almost impossible to find here in the US, the citrusy and mildly peppery Nando's Lemon & Herb Peri Peri Grind presently sits in eighth place -- and it's on sale!

*Best-Selling Gift Sets: A favorite of serious chileheads, our insanely hot Dave's Insanity Sauce Deluxe Gift Set is our 5th most popular gift set so far this year

*Best-Selling North Carolina Products: As usual, the number one best-seller in this category continues to be Castle Sauce, an old-fashioned steak sauce inspired by the original from the old Boar & Castle Restaurant in Greensboro, NC

*Best-Selling Wing Sauces: Hailing from Tony's Birdland Restaurant in Rochester, NY, and featuring mouthwatering sweet & tangy flavor with just a touch of heat, Tony's Birdland Mild Wing Sauce presently occupies 10th place on this list -- and it's currently on sale!

*Best-Selling Jerk & Curry Products: Our newest product in this category, Tortuga Jamaican Jerk Sauce, has become our 10th best-selling jerk sauce -- and it's also on sale!

*Best-Selling Snacks: Another local original, Carolina BBQ Peanuts, are presently our 10th best-selling snack, and deliver the spicy tanginess of NC barbecue sauce on premium peanuts

*Best-Selling Mustards: One of our newest mustards, Trolly Stop Hot Mustard Sauce from Wilmington, NC, holds 8th place on this list -- and yes, it, too, is on sale!

*Best-Selling Salsa & Relish: If you're looking for authentic southern style cabbage chow chow relish, you'll love the 5th and 10th place products on this list, our very own Carolina Sauce Company Chow Chow Relish in Mild and Hot -- and you guessed it, they're both on sale!

Zestfully yours,

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Discount Coupon: Only 2 Days Left!

Are you looking for BBQ sauce on sale? Or perhaps you're in the hunt for some fiery hot sauce on sale? How about some authentic North Carolina products or delicious best-selling sauces to stock the pantry or give as gifts, all at a great low price? Then take advantage of the Carolina Sauce Company's current Discount Coupon available in the most recent issue of the Carolina Sauce Company eNewsletter! But don't delay - this Discount Coupon is set to expire at the end of the day tomorrow, Friday May 15th. Yup, there are only 2 days left for you to get a discount off our already low prices, even our special sale prices, by using the current Discount Coupon. Or perhaps you took advantage of this great deal as soon as you read the eNewsletter but then realized you had forgotten to order a few other sauces or condiments -- no worries, you can use the Discount Coupon again on a new order even if you already used it for an earlier order! Just make sure you place your qualifying order online or by phone either today or tomorrow, so that you can lock in your savings.

Zestfully yours,

PS: Didn't get around to getting a Mother's Day gift for your Mom, wife, sister or other special mother in your life? We're here to help! Simply send her a gourmet gift basket loaded with fabulous foods, soothing bath and body products, specialty teas, and more. You can also order fresh flower bouquets direct from the grower, and send florist-arranged flowers of the highest quality, all at a reasonable price.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Exotic Canape Spread

Here's an unusual and delicious spread that's wonderful as a party appetizer, and remarkably good with cocktails. It keeps well in a tightly sealed container in your fridge.

1 8oz package of cream cheese (regular or reduced fat but NOT fat-free)
1/2 lb crunchy peanut butter (all-natural is best)
4 oz chutney (I like to use mango chutney or peach chutney)
1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/8 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp black pepper (freshly ground or coarse is best)
Dry red wine

Wheat thins, crackers or party-cut rye bread (small square or round slices) for serving

Mix together all ingredients EXCEPT the wheat thins or crackers or bread, cutting any large chutney pieces and adding just enough wine to make the mixture spreadable. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Zestfully yours,

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Tandoori-Inspired Grilled Chicken Thighs

I love Indian food, both eating it and cooking it at home. If you do, too, here's an easy recipe for the grill that's reminiscent of tandoori-baked recipes. Although you won't get the same earthy flavor as you would if you cooked the chicken in a tandoori (clay) oven, the exotic spicing is deliciously similar. You determine how spicy to make this dish by adjusting the amount of pepper (red and black). This recipe makes 4 servings, but you can readily multiply it if you have more mouths to feed. For best flavor, allow the chicken to marinade overnight before grilling.

8 chicken thighs (boneless or bone-in; I prefer skin-on for grilling but remove the skin before eating)
1 cup plain all-natural yogurt (Greek yogurt is ideal)
Juice of 1/2 lemon or lime
1 Tbs paprika
1 tsp kosher or sea salt
1/2 tsp (or to taste) coarsely-ground black pepper (coarse grind is best)
1/4 tsp (or to taste) cayenne/red pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 Tbs freshly grated ginger
2-3 cloves fresh minced garlic
Vegetable oil spray

Mix all ingredients, except the chicken and oil spray, in a gallon-size resealable plastic bag, seal the bag and squeeze/shake to combine thoroughly. If using chicken with the skin on, carefully lift the skin from the thighs without removing it, to allow the marinade to come in direct contact with the flesh. Place the chicken in the bag, squeeze out the air, seal and shake to completely coat the thighs. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 8 hrs, ideally overnight, turning the bag over from time to time.

Preheat grill to medium, remove chicken from bag and shake off any excess marinade. Discard the bag and marinade. Spray the thighs with vegetable oil spray, place on grill and cook over direct heat for about 2 to 3 minutes per side (turn once). Move the thighs to cook over indirect heat and cook to an internal temperature of 180 degrees (about 35 to 40 minutes). Serve with a side of rice (or Indian nan if available) and a tossed salad.

Zestfully yours,
Carolina Sauce Company, Inc.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Best-Selling Sauces & Products for April 2009

Here are the Top 10 best-selling sauces and products across all categories for April 2009, at the Carolina Sauce Company:

1. We have a new overall #1 Best-selling product for the first time in several months: Buderim Ginger Bears, which are all-natural gummy bear candies from Australia that are made with real ginger

2. Our very own Carolina Sauce Company Eastern NC BBQ Sauce, Mild was the second best selling sauce last month, and it's on sale AND comes with a free recipe for making authentic NC pulled pork barbecue!

3. Wells Hog Heaven BBQ Sauce, another genuine eastern NC vinegar-based barbecue sauce, finished in third place among all products last month

4. Castle Sauce, an old-fashioned steak sauce that had been our top selling product for the past several months, finished a very respectable 4th for the month of April

5. Matouk's West Indian Hot Sauce from Trinidad & Tobago features fiery scotch bonnet peppers in a thick, rich Caribbean hot sauce base that's sweetened with tropical papaya

6. Walkerswood Traditional Jamaican Jerk Seasoning is an authentic jerk paste or wet rub and is essential for making Jamaican jerked chicken, pork, goat and other jerk dishes

7. One of our most popular hot sauces is Busha Browne's Pukka Sauce from Jamaica, a delicious all-purpose table sauce

8. Georgia Peach & Vidalia Onion Hot Sauce is a mildly spicy but very tasty sauce that features some of the most delicious flavors of summer in the South

9. Busha Browne's Authentic Jerk Seasoning is a traditional Jamaican jerk paste or wet rub that's intensely flavorful and fragrant so a little goes a long way

10. Matouk's Hot Pepper Sauce completes our list of the top ten best-selling sauces for April, and it's a traditional savory & fiery scotch bonnet pepper hot sauce in the Caribbean style

Zestfully yours,

PS: Stay tuned as we are in the process of updating our separate lists of Best Selling Sauces in specific product categories...

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Spicy Beef Chimichangas

Happy Cinco de Mayo! Here's a zesty recipe for spicy Beef Chimichangas, one of my favorite Mexican recipes. I've included some suggested ingredient substitutions in parentheses, to make these chimichangas a little healthier. And if you like fiery-hot foods, just use the alternative ingredients noted at the end with an asterisk (*). This recipe serves 4, with 2 chimichangas per serving.

1 lb ground beef (or ground turkey, chicken or venison)
2 Tbs minced garlic*
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 heaping Tbs all-purpose flour (or whole wheat flour)
1 8oz can chopped tomatoes, undrained*
1 cup tomato sauce
1 8 3/4 oz can corn kernels, drained*
2 Tbs chili powder*
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese (or reduced-fat Monterey Jack)
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (or reduced-fat cheddar)
Vegetable or canola oil for frying
8 10-inch flour tortillas (or whole wheat tortillas)

Wooden toothpicks to secure the chimichangas for frying

2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce and 1/2 cup shredded carrot, combined in a small bowl; OR 2 to 2 1/2 cups bagged shredded salad mix containing lettuce & carrots

Green chili salsa, OR Pepper Dog Salsa Verde
Sour cream (or reduced-fat or fat-free sour cream)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (you'll use it to keep the tortillas warm). In a large skillet, cook the ground beef, garlic and onions until the meat is browned and the onion is tender. Drain off the fat and then stir in the flour. Add the corn, undrained tomatoes, tomato sauce and chili powder. Stir and cook until the mixture thickens and is bubbly, then keep cooking and stirring for another minute to allow the flour to cook.

While the meat mixture is cooking, stack the tortillas and wrap tightly in aluminum foil, and place in the 350 degree oven to soften. Once the meat mixture is cooked, remove a few of the tortillas from the oven, leaving the rest in the oven to stay warm and soft. Spoon a few tablespoons (about 4 or 5, or use a 1/3 cup measuring cup) of the meat mixture down the center of each tortilla. Then spoon about 1 Tbs of each type of cheese on top of the meat mixture on each tortilla. Then fold the chimichangas: Fold in 2 opposite sides of the tortilla in envelope fashion, then carefully roll up the tortilla starting at one of the short sides. The end result should look like a square-ish filled envelope. Secure the rolled tortilla with one or two toothpicks. Repeat for all of the tortillas (you can reserve any leftover cooked mixture in the fridge for future use). Once all the tortillas are out of the oven, reduce temperature to 300 degrees (you'll use it to keep cooked chimichangas warm as you finish frying all of them).

Heat about 1 inch of oil to 375 degrees in a wok or heavy deep skillet. While the oil is heating, prepare a draining surface: I use a cookie sheet lined with several paper towels, or you can use a couple of large plates with paper towels. Once the oil reaches 375 degrees, fry the filled and rolled tortillas, 2 or 3 at a time, until golden brown and crisp, about 1 minute per side. Place the fried chimichangas on your draining surface (cookie sheet or plate), and keep in the oven so that they stay warm while they drain and you finish frying the remaining rolled tortillas.

To serve the chimichangas, arrange some of the lettuce and carrot mixture on a dinner plate, then place 2 chimichangas on top. Spoon some green chili sauce or Salsa Verde on top of each chimichanga, and top with a dollop of sour cream.

*For fiery-hot chimichangas:
-Use 1 minced clove of Twenty Pepper Garlic instead of plain minced garlic
-Use 1 8oz can of chopped tomatoes with chilies, undrained
-Use 1 8 3/4 can of "fiesta corn" (corn kernels with diced chilies)
-Use a combination of Habanero Seasoning From Hell and chili powder to total 2 Tbs -- but BE CAREFUL and "start small" (maybe 1 tsp) with the Habanero Seasoning, because it is seriously fiery-hot!

Zestfully yours,

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Carolina Sauce Newsletter: Discount Coupon & More!

Exclusive Discount Coupon, Good Thru May 15th

***Use the Coupon Code Mom2009 to get 10% off your order of $45 or more in products from the Carolina Sauce Company online store, good thru May 15, 2009 -- and yes, you can get 10% off already-discounted sale items!!*** (Note: Coupon does not include or apply to flowers or gift baskets.)

Gift Baskets, Fresh Flowers Now Available!

Send Flowers Send Flowers Send PhotoBlooms Flowers

Send Mom beautiful fresh flowers for Mothers Day, or pamper her with a gift basket full of her favorite things! The Carolina Sauce Company now offers bountiful gourmet gift baskets loaded with fabulous foods, delightful snacks and candy confections, specialty teas, and more. You can also order fresh flower bouquets direct from the grower, and send florist-arranged flowers of the highest quality, all at a reasonable price. Next-day and even same-day delivery options available! Can't visit Mom in person? Then personalize your floral gift with your own digital photo and card by selecting a "PhotoBlooms" gift. You can even send Mom a live bonsai tree! Simply click on the boxes above to browse our offerings and select that special gift that says "I love you," "Thanks so much for being a great Mom," or anything else you want to express.

More New Products, Many On Sale!

Check out our latest arrivals, including our very own Carolina Sauce Company brand authentic Eastern NC BBQ sauce and old-fashioned chow chow relish (both on sale!), plus the reincarnation of Ruth's Mango Sauces now made by Pickapeppa, and the return of Nando's Peri Peri Grinders! Here are all the new products we've added since our last newsletter, many of which are on sale:

Hot Sauces
*Dave's Insanity Ghost Pepper Naga Jolokia Hot Sauce, an off-the-scale ultra hot sauce made with the Naga Jolokia or Ghost Pepper, the hottest pepper in the world!
*Pickapeppa Spicy Mango Sauce: A faithful recreation of the original Ruth's Mango Sauce featuring all-natural ingredients including lots of fresh mango, a touch of tropical hot peppers, and a dash of zippy ginger
*Pickapeppa Hot Mango Sauce: The same great flavor and fire of Ruth's Hot Mango Sauce, and it's all-natural, too!

Seasonings & Dry Rubs
*All three flavors of Nando's Peri Peri Grinders from South Africa, including the fiery Hot Peri Peri Grind (limited quantities available!), the pleasantly peppery Medium Peri Peri Grind (on sale!), and the citrusy, mildly spicy Nando's Lemon & Herb Peri Peri Grinder (on sale!)

BBQ Sauce
*Carolina Sauce Company Eastern NC BBQ Sauces: Authentic vinegar-based barbecue sauce made in Nash County, NC, available in tangy Mild and spicy Hot. Both flavors are on sale, AND we'll send you a free recipe for making genuine NC pulled pork BBQ!
*All three flavors of George's Barbecue Sauce from eastern North Carolina are now available in adorable 8oz mini-bottles that are perfect for graduation gifts, wedding favors, and more! Check out the tangy George's Original BBQ Sauce made with vinegar, apples and just the lightest touch of tomato, or the spicy George's Hot BBQ Sauce with plenty of red pepper added to the original recipe, or the tomato-rich and jalapeno-spiced George's Special Sauce that's especially good on chicken and ribs. All three flavors come in regular 16oz pints as well as the plastic 8oz mini-bottles, and with free recipes!

Relish & Condiments
*Carolina Sauce Company Chow Chow Relishes, real Southern chow chow made the old fashioned way with chopped cabbage and other local ingredients in a tangy-sweet vinegar base. Our chow chow comes in kid-friendly Mild and pleasantly peppery Hot, and both flavors are on sale!
*Thomas Gourmet Crab Cake Sauce, a flavorful and elegant alternative to plain mayo that's scrumptious on crab cakes and other seafood, as well as in prepared salads (potato, egg, etc.) and on sandwiches -- and it's on sale!

Send Free Sauce to Our Deployed Troops

Operation Sauce Drop is our non-profit program that sends free gift boxes of sauce to US military personnel stationed abroad. We've shipped over 500 free gift boxes to date, but there are still over 300 troops on our list waiting to receive a free box of sauce. It costs around $20 for us to purchase and ship each gift box. The troops really appreciate the free sauce, as you can see from all the thank-you notes to donors and photos they've sent in. Want to send a soldier a taste of home, and bring a smile to his or her face? Then please support Operation Sauce Drop by making a donation. The Carolina Sauce Company MATCHES all donations, so your money will go twice as far. You can also shop to support Operation Sauce Drop, where 100% of the purchase price of the listed products goes straight into Operation Sauce Drop (you get the products you order, and the money you pay is used to send free sauce to the troops).

Zestfully yours,