Sunday, August 30, 2009

Tips for Flawless Flank Steak

Soy-Glazed Flank Steak
Flank Steak by on Flickr
Flank steak can make a delicious and inexpensive meal, but because it's relatively lean it can be a bit tricky to grill or broil without drying out or unattractively curling. Here are some tips for flawless flank steak, grilled or broiled:

*Score the steak:: Using a sharp knife, make several shallow cuts in a crisscross pattern on both sides of the flank steak. Scoring the steak in this manner will prevent it from curling during grilling or broiling.

*Marinades with oil are best: A flavorful marinade that includes a little oil will help keep flank steak tender and prevent it from drying out while it grills or broils. One of my favorites is Bone Suckin' Yaki, which is also great for basting and grilling. If you like a marinade that doesn't already have some oil, simply mix in a tablespoon or so before marinating the steak. That's what I do when I use Ole Ray's Steak & Brisket Sauce, which is fabulous on venison as well as flank steak.

Bone Suckin' Yaki
*Marinate overnight: This will allow the marinade to penetrate the entire flank steak and give it the best flavor, as well as tenderize the meat. If you weren't able to plan ahead, then marinate for at least 2 hours.

*Use a cold broiler pan or grilling grate: If broiling the flank steak, place the meat on the rack of an unheated broiler pan. If grilling, remove the grill grate if possible (and make sure it's clean!) before lighting your coals so that it stays cool, and then carefully replace it when you're ready to place the flank steak on the grill. Using a cold pan or grill grate will help keep the meat from sticking.

*Don't over-cook: For best results, broil 3 to 4 inches from heat for 4 to 5 minutes, then baste with marinade and broil for another 4 to 5 minutes for medium-rare doneness (and only a little longer for medium). If grilling, follow the same directions and grill over indirect heat. Remove the meat from the broiler or grill just before you think it's ready to come off, because it will continue to cook a bit due to residual heat. Let the meat "rest" for at least 5 minutes to set before you slice it.

*Slice across the grain: To serve, use a very sharp knife to thinly slice the flank steak across the grain.

Zestfully yours,

Saturday, August 29, 2009

How to Make a Flaming Sauce

A flambeed dessert can be a stunning ending for an unforgettable meal. If you want to try making a flaming sauce at home, here's how:

First, make sure the dessert you want to flambee is served in a fireproof bowl - no plastic!

Use brandy or other liquor that is at least 70 proof, and don't dilute with any other liquids. Pour 2 to 4 Tablespoons into a small deep saucepan, or into a large metal ladle. Don't use a skillet because its large flat surface makes it very hard to pour flaming liquid (and it's harder to control than a deep saucepan or ladle, and the last thing you want to do is to pour flaming liquid all over the kitchen or table!)

Use either a long match or a wand lighter to ignite the liquor, and then carefully pour it over the food. After the flames die down, you can stir the liquor into the dessert if you wish.

Zestfully yours,
Carolina Sauce Company

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Spicy Italian Layered Dip

This zesty party dip is great with crackers or raw veggies. Not only does it taste good, but it's pretty, too! It needs at least an hour to chill, or you can make it the night before and keep it in the fridge until ready to serve.

Dried oregano, or dried Italian herb blend (salt free)
8 oz cream cheese (regular or low-fat), softened at room temperature
6 oz goat cheese, softened at room temperature
6 oz basil pesto
2 cloves hot pickled garlic, drained & minced
8 oz oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained & chopped
Red pepper flakes, to taste

Mix the softened cheeses with the minced garlic and set aside. In a separate small bowl, mix together the sun-dried tomatoes and a pinch (or more, to taste) of the red pepper flakes. Line a casserole dish with plastic wrap, and very lightly sprinkle with just a bit of oregano or dried Italian herbs. Using a spatula, carefully spread one-third of the cheese-garlic mixture in the dish, spreading evenly to the sides of the dish. Then layer the following ingredients in this order: tomato-pepper mixture, one-third of the cheese-garlic mixture, pesto, and remaining third of the cheese-garlic mixture. Make sure you spread each layer to the edges of the dish. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight. To serve, remove top layer of plastic wrap, place serving plate face down over the casserole dish and hold in place while turning the casserole dish upside down so that the dip comes out onto the plate. Remove the remaining plastic wrap and serve with crackers and/or crudites (raw carrots, celery, cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini sticks, etc.).

Zestfully yours,

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Outta The Park BBQ Sauce

Outta The Park BBQ Sauce is a unique new barbecue sauce that's made with real ingredients (nothing artificial or engineered in a lab), and is remarkably delicious. Beginning with a pleasantly sweet tomato base that's enhanced with a touch of vinegar and mustard, the flavor evolves with the careful addition of garlic, spices and zingy ginger, and finally finishes with a satisfying hot pepper kick (about a mild-medium heat level) from a dash of jalapeno peppers and hot sauce. This full-bodied sauce will make your mouth sing: Thick and rich like any self-respecting tomato BBQ sauce, but with a velvety feel thanks to some creamy butter plus little bits of fresh ingredients to add interest. The main ingredient in this robust barbeque sauce is organic ketchup, and there's no high-fructose corn syrup or MSG or GMOs. The butter is made from non-rBST/rBGH treated cows, the spices are non-irradiated, and there are no artificial flavors, colors, preservatives or additives. In sum, Outta The Park BBQ Sauce truly is a barbecue sauce that will please foodies and regular folks, and anyone who's looking for natural foods that actually taste good.

Perhaps what I enjoy the most in Outta The Park BBQ Sauce -- in addition to how good it tastes -- is its versatility: Slather it on ribs, chicken and other meats & poultry during the last 15 minutes of grilling or broiling and the sauce will keep your food moist and tender while adding amazing flavor and creating a seductive slightly caramelized coating that's irresistible, especially with the little bits of ginger and jalapeno pepper. Heat up some Outta The Park BBQ Sauce and use it as a warm condiment for hearty sandwiches, hamburgers, veggie burgers, grilled portobellos, and even as a sauce for steamed green beans or fish. Use it as a dipping sauce for fries, onion rings, hush puppies, chicken fingers or nuggets, jalapeno poppers, fish sticks... heck, even fried zucchini and tempura veggies. Cook up some chicken wings and then toss in a bowl to coat with this barbecue sauce for an amazingly delicious variation on Buffalo wings. Add some Outta The Park BBQ Sauce to your meatloaf recipe, baked beans, and ground meat for burgers to ratchet up the flavor. You can even pour it on pulled pork BBQ as an alternative to thin vinegar-based sauces, or use it in the crock pot with venison and other tougher cuts of meat. I hear it even makes a good sauce for homemade BBQ chicken pizza, but I haven't tried that recipe yet.

So if you're looking to hit a home run with friends and family at your Labor Day cookout -- or if you need a tasty gift for a baseball fan who likes to grill or eat good food -- make sure to order some Outta The Park BBQ Sauce from the Carolina Sauce Company, where it's currently on sale.

Zestfully yours,

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Durn Good Zesty Beef-Horseradish Sandwiches

This easy recipe makes 4 hearty sandwiches that can be enjoyed warm or cold, depending on your preference. For gourmet results, you want to use the best deli-sliced roast beef you can get, and fresh bread from a local bakery, but these sandwiches are still "durn good" if you simply use good supermarket cold cuts and bread. For some variety, you can substitute thinly sliced deli ham or roast turkey for the roast beef.

12 oz thinly sliced roast beef (or ham or turkey)
4 thin slices of Swiss or Provolone cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise (you can use low-fat)
1 Tbs prepared horseradish
1 Tbs Durn Good Hot & Spicy Mustard
2 bell peppers, sliced into rings
2 Tbs butter or margarine
4 Kaiser rolls, OR 8 thick slices of hearty dark bread like Pumpernickel or Rye
Several leaves of green leaf or red leaf lettuce

In a small bowl, stir together the mayo, horseradish and mustard. If desired, add salt to taste. Set aside in fridge until ready to assemble the sandwiches.

Melt the butter or margarine in a medium skillet and saute the bell pepper rings until slightly softened and almost tender ("al dente"). Remove the rings onto a paper towel on a plate to drain.

For warm sandwiches: Wrap the deli meat in microwave-safe clear plastic wrap and microwave on high for about 2 to 4 minutes or until warm, being careful to check because microwaves can vary greatly. For cold sandwiches, simply omit this step.

To assemble the sandwiches: line the bottom half of each roll (or one slice of rye or pumpernickel) with lettuce, then place 1 slice of cheese and 1/4 of the deli meat. Top with some of the sauteed peppers and a dollop of the mayo mixture. Add the roll tops or the top slice of bread, and enjoy.

Zestfully yours,

Thursday, August 20, 2009

America's Best Pepper Jelly: The "Revenooers" Smoked Habanero Pepper Jam

Race City Sauce Works, a Charlotte NC sauce company, won two top awards at the America's Best Gourmet Food Competition in Anaheim CA earlier this summer. In particular, their amazingly delicious (and fiery-hot!) The "Revenooers" Smoked Habanero Pepper Jam was named America's Best Pepper Jelly in this prestigious national competition. Made with all-natural ingredients and North Carolina grown chile peppers, The "Revenooers" Smoked Habanero Pepper Jam delivers a devilishly delicious peppery punch, starting with a seductively sweet & smoky flavor and ending with a seriously hot habanero finish. This gourmet pepper jelly is thick and rich, but also pourable, which means it makes a wonderful sweet & spicy glaze for ribs, pork chops, chicken, ham, and all sorts of grillable and broilable foods. It's also perfect for pouring over a block of softened cream cheese for a quick and zesty appetizer to be enjoyed with crackers. The "Revenooers" Smoked Habanero Pepper Jam not only tastes good, but is good for you: it's all-natural and very low sodium, with only 5 mg of sodium per serving. This award-winning gourmet pepper jelly from Race City Sauce Works is also on sale at the Carolina Sauce Company!

Zestfully yours,

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Pickapeppa Jamaican Jerk Seasoning is Back!

Fans of authentic Jamaican cooking rejoice: The Pickapeppa Company of Jamaica has brought back its Jamaican jerk seasoning, with a new & improved recipe that's truly a genuine Jamaican jerk paste! Pickapeppa Jamaican Jerk Seasoning is made with all-natural ingredients in keeping with time-honored Jamaican traditions, including fiery hot scotch bonnet peppers, aromatic Jamaican allspice (pimento) and thyme plus other herbs & spices, escallions, cane sugar and cane vinegar. There are no artificial preservatives or fillers in this recipe, and the flavor is intensely rich, complex, savory and subtly sweet, with a healthy peppery kick.

Legend has it that jerk originally was developed by Jamaica's first inhabitants, the Tainos, and was later enhanced and perfected by the "Maroons", escaped African slaves who fought the British in the 17th century. Pickapeppa Jerk Seasoning is a versatile wet rub or paste that can be used on pretty much anything: meat (pork, lamb, goat, beef, venison), chicken & other poultry, fish and shellfish, and even vegetables like summer squash, mushrooms, peppers & onions, and rice dishes. As a general rule of thumb, use between 1 and 2 tablespoons of this concentrated jerk paste per pound of meat or chicken or fish, adjusting the amount to taste. Rub on, place in your refrigerator to marinate (anywhere from 30 minutes for fish to a few hours or overnight for meat), and then grill, broil, roast, crockpot, etc. Enjoy with hot white rice for an authentic Jamaican meal.

Pickapeppa Jamaican Jerk Seasoning is now available online at the Carolina Sauce Company, and it's currently on sale!

Zestfully yours,

PS: Pickapeppa Jamaican Jerk Seasoning has 0 grams of sodium per serving, in case you're looking for a very low sodium jerk paste...

Monday, August 17, 2009

Quick Tips for Avocado Lovers

Ripe, buttery avocados are one of my favorite treats. Whether you prefer the small but intensely rich Hass avocados from California or the larger, milder and lower-fat avocados from Florida, here are some tips for enjoying them at their best:

*How to tell them apart: Small avocados with a wrinkled, very dark (almost black) skin are Hass or California avocados. The ones from Florida are much larger, with smooth, bright-green skin.

*How to tell when an avocado is ripe: A ripe avocado will "give" a little when gently pressed, especially at the stem end. Avoid very soft avocados or ones with "mushy" spots, as they are over-ripe and/or bruised

*How to speed up ripening: Avocados ripen at room temperature, but to speed up the process simply place them in a closed brown paper bag to capture the natural ethylene gas that's released as the fruit ripens. Just remember to check it every day or two - I once forgot a ripening avocado in a bag on the top of my fridge, and it was not a pretty sight when I discovered it a couple of weeks too late!

*How to prevent browning of a cut avocado: Squeeze fresh lemon or lime juice over the surface, or sprinkle with vinegar as a last resort. Because cut avocado browns so easily when exposed to air, it's best to add to a salad or serve cut wedges or guacamole at the very last minute.

*How to store a cut avocado for later use: Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, making sure to completely cover the cut surface to prevent browning. Store the wrapped avocado in your refrigerator. When ready to use, you can scrape off any surface browning with a knife - it won't affect the rest of the avocado.

*How to cut an avocado in half: Stick your knife in the stem end and gently insert straight in until you reach the pit, then run the knife lengthwise down and around the avocado using the pit as your guide. Remove knife, hold the avocado with a hand around each half and gently twist while pulling apart to separate. One side will hold the entire pit while the other side will have a "hollow" where the pit was.

*How to pit an avocado: After you've cut the avocado in half as described above, thrust the blade of a sharp paring knife into the pit. Then twist the knife gently to dislodge the pit, and lift it out (it will be "stuck" on the knife).

*How to peel an avocado: It's easiest to peel an avocado after you've cut it in half. Simply use your fingers to pull the skin off in strips starting at one end. A perfectly ripe avocado will easily peel this way. To cube an avocado to use the cubes in a salad, I first cut the avocado in half and remove the pit as described above. I then use a butter knife to carefully cut a cross-hatch pattern (several vertical cuts down the length of the half, then several horizontal cuts across) through the flesh of the avocado, being very careful to not cut through the skin. I then run a large spoon under the flesh at the skin while holding the avocado half over a bowl for the cubes to fall into.

Zestfully yours,
Carolina Sauce Company

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Spicy Glazed Creole Shrimp

This is my fiery version of an old recipe from Better Homes & Gardens. Creole Shrimp is best served over hot cooked rice, and this recipe will serve 4. You can use regular ketchup for a milder dish, but I prefer the spicy, zesty flavors of jalapeno ketchup. If you don't have jalapeno ketchup, or if you want even more heat, simply add a minced & de-seeded fresh jalapeno pepper when you add the green pepper.

1 lb large shrimp, fresh or frozen & defrosted, peeled & deveined

1 Tbs butter (you can substitute canola oil but it won't be as rich)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped celery
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp Slap Ya Mama Hot Cajun Seasoning*
1 cup tomato sauce
1 Tbs dry white wine
1/4 cup Jalapeno Ketchup (I recommend either Burning Asphalt Jalapeno Ketchup or Melinda's Jalapeno Ketchup)**

2 Tbs butter (don't use oil here)
2 Tbs light molasses
2 Tbs dry white wine
2 Tbs prepared mustard
1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce

2 cups hot cooked rice

To make the spicy Creole sauce, melt 1 Tbs of butter (or heat 1 Tbs oil) in a saucepan and saute the onion & garlic until tender, careful not to brown them. Add the green pepper, celery, Cajun seasoning and bay leaf, & stir to combine. The stir in the tomato sauce, ketchup and 1 Tbs dry white wine. Cover and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

While the sauce is cooking, make the glaze by melting 2 Tbs butter in a medium skillet. Stir in the molasses, 2 Tbs wine, mustard and Worcestershire sauce, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium high, stir in the shrimp and cook until the shrimp is done, about 3 to 5 minutes.

To serve, place hot cooked rice on each plate and pour some of the Creole sauce over the rice, then spoon some of the glazed shrimp on top. Enjoy!

Zestfully yours,

*For a reduced-sodium version, use salt-free Louisiana Bayou Blend Seasoning and then add some ground red or cayenne pepper to add heat (the Bayou Blend Seasoning is not as spicy as Slap Ya Mama Cajun Seasoning).

**Both the Burning Asphalt Ketchup and Melinda's Jalapeno Ketchup are currently on sale at the Carolina Sauce Company!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Off The Hook BBQ Sauce

If you enjoy the bold, rich flavors of steak sauce and the vinegar tang of North Carolina BBQ sauce, then you'll love Off The Hook Barbeque Sauce. This unique, savory barbecue sauce packs a big, robust punch of hearty flavor thanks to the addition of worcestershire sauce to its traditional NC style vinegar & tomato base. The careful addition of secret herbs and spices adds a hint of peppery bite, and just the right touch of sugar completes this well-balanced barbeque sauce for flavor that's intriguingly complex and not too sweet. In short, this is not your ordinary, simple vinegar & tomato barbecue sauce for pulled pork and little else -- no, Off the Hook Barbeque Sauce is truly an all-purpose marinade, grilling, finishing, mopping and dipping sauce for pork, beef, chicken and even certain seafood like tuna steaks and shrimp. If you're vegetarian or just trying to eat less meat, you HAVE to try this sauce as a marinade for portobello mushrooms, zucchini and other "absorbent" grillable veggies. We mixed some into ground beef and made mouthwatering grilled "steak" burgers. We can't wait to try it on venison this winter, as I can tell the sauce is probably excellent for tenderizing and penetrating tougher cuts of meat.

Off the Hook Barbeque Sauce was developed from a family recipe that's several generations old, and until recently it was virtually impossible to find in stores or online. But I'm happy to report that you can now try this tasty sauce regardless of where you live, by ordering it online from the Carolina Sauce Company, where it's currently on sale for only $4.50 a bottle!

Zestfully yours,

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Fiery Candied Pecans

Hot & spicy, sweet & salty, this fiery twist on traditional Southern candied pecans is the ideal snack for fans of fiery foods. If you prefer a slightly less hot snack, simply use cayenne powder or red pepper powder instead of the habanero pepper powder.

1/2 cup sugar
scant 1/2 cup water
1/4 of a whole vanilla bean
3/4 cup pecan halves
Habanero pepper powder
Kosher salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a small saucepan stir together the sugar and water, then scrape out the inside of the vanilla bean piece into the mixture. Bring to a boil while stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from heat and let this syrup sit for 1 minute. In the meantime, line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or wax paper. Add the pecan halves to the sugar syrup and stir well to evenly coat all the pecans. Spread the nuts in a thin layer on the lined cookie sheet, and sprinkle lightly with the habanero powder and the kosher salt. Bake at 400 degrees for 3 to 5 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Store in an airtight container, and enjoy with a cold beverage such as lemonade or sweet tea.

Zestfully yours,
Carolina Sauce Company

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Thomas Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing

Remember the old commercial for Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, where two people ran into each other and accidentally combined their respective chocolate and peanut butter snacks only to discover that the resulting combination was delicious? Well, Thomas Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing reminds me of that: A serendipitous blending of tangy tomato-vinegar barbecue sauce (the original Thomas Sauce) with traditional balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing, and the resulting combination tastes surprisingly delicious! With more body and substance than ordinary vinaigrettes, Thomas Dressing will coat and cling to your tossed salads, roasted or steamed vegetables, and anything else you toss with it. But Thomas Dressing is for much more than lettuces and veggies: The sweet & savory, perkily peppery tomato-vinegar flavors from the barbecue sauce work remarkably well with the balsamic vinegar and olive oil to create a wonderful marinade for seafood, meat and poultry that will penetrate without overpowering. If you like grilled portobello mushroom burgers, use Thomas Balsamic Vinaigrette to marinate the portobello caps for a couple of hours and then grill them to perfection, melting a slice of provolone or mozzarella cheese on top during the last couple of minute on the grill. Simply fabulous!

So if you're tired of your run-of-the-mill balsamic vinaigrettes and are ready to try something a little different to wake up your palate, give Thomas Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing a try. It's currently on sale at the Carolina Sauce Company online store. And if you happen to be watching your sodium intake, you'll be thrilled to know that Thomas Dressing is very low in sodium, with only 25mg per tablespoon!

Zestfully yours,

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Spicy 3-Bean Salad

I took an old family recipe and spiced it up to create a zesty version of Three Bean Salad that's perfect for folks who like hot & spicy foods.

1 can French-cut green beans, drained
1 can yellow wax beans, drained
1 can red kidney beans, drained
1/3 cup diced green peppers
1 de-seeded & diced red jalapeno pepper (use green if no red ripe jalapenos are available)
1 de-seeded & diced serrano pepper
Optional: 1 de-seeded & diced habanero pepper
1/2 cup chopped onion (I use a sweet onion)
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup white or cider vinegar (I prefer cider)
1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar (I prefer 1/2 cup)
1 tsp salt or to taste
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper

In a large bowl (preferably glass) combine the beans, peppers & onions and stir to mix well. In a separate bowl whisk together the oil, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper to make a dressing. Pour this dressing over the beans, stir to thoroughly mix in the dressing, then cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or ideally overnight.

Zestfully yours,
Carolina Sauce Company

Monday, August 10, 2009

Melinda's Spicy Ketchups

I love ketchup. There, I've admitted it. Always have loved it, and always will. As a kid, I'd slather it on almost everything except dessert. As an adult, however, the red stuff found in grocery stores is not my preference as it's too sweet, with a boring one-dimensional flavor and no zip, plus it usually has high-fructose corn syrup. If you think you've outgrown ketchup for those reasons, or if you've only had grocery store brands, let me introduce you to a new world of ketchup, courtesy of Melinda's Spicy Ketchups. These all-natural ketchups are packed with real tomato flavor, sweetened with sugar instead of high-fructose corn syrup, and spiced with just the right amount of hot chile peppers for a zesty kick that will complement, not overpower, your foods.

Melinda's Jalapeno Ketchup has a tangy, peppery zip that's on the mild-medium side, making it perfect for scrambled eggs and other breakfast dishes, as well as for any other normal "ketchup application" that could use a wake-up call. If you have adventurous kids who enjoy a bit of spice, I'll bet they'll love this ketchup. If you like food with zip but not fiery heat, then this is the Melinda's Ketchup for you. On the other hand, if you live for fire, then check out Melinda's Habanero Ketchup, with a seriously fiery habanero kick! It's especially good with heartier fare like burgers and other grilled meats, or in recipes where you want to ratchet up the heat (hot & spicy meatloaf, anyone?). And if you enjoy earthy, smoky flavors, then Melinda's Chipotle Ketchup is sure to make you smile. Made with real chipotles (smoked jalapenos), this rich, complex ketchup is also great on burgers and anything grilled, as well as with Tex-Mex egg or sausage breakfast dishes. And of course you can dip french fries and onion rings in any of Melinda's Ketchups.

You can get all three flavors of Melinda's Spicy Ketchups at the Carolina Sauce Company online store.

Zestfully yours,

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Rosemary Pesto

I adore the taste and fragrance of fresh rosemary. In fact, the dried stuff is also one of my favorite herbs. If you enjoy rosemary and have access to a rosemary bush (my neighbors are kind enough to share theirs with me), here is a delicious rosemary pesto recipe. The flavor is quite intense, so a little goes a long way. I recommend starting with 1/4 cup of the rosemary leaves first and giving it a taste, and then adding more if you want. I like to stir in a dash of red pepper flakes at the end, to add a bit of a spicy kick -- this pesto is robust enough to handle it! Serve this aromatic pesto tossed with pasta, or as a "wet rub" or marinade base for lamb or chicken, or whisked with a little melted butter to make a quick sauce for grilled vegetables, seafood, and steamed carrots. Rosemary pesto freezes well, so I usually make a whole bunch and spoon into little plastic 1/2-cup containers, adding a thin layer of olive oil on top (to protect against freezer burn) before covering and freezing.

1/4 cup to 1/3 cup fresh rosemary leaves
1 1/2 cups fresh Italian flat parsley
2 large garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 cup walnuts pieces
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (don't use the stuff that comes in a can)
1/2 cup to 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Optional: Red pepper flakes to taste

Place the the first 5 ingredients in your food processor and begin processing. Slowly and carefully drizzle in the olive oil while processing to desired consistency. Taste, then season with salt and pepper (and red pepper flakes) as desired, making sure to stir or pulse to mix in the seasoning. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes before using, to allow flavors to develop.

Zestfully yours,
Carolina Sauce Company

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Operation Sauce Drop Ships 600th Gift Box!

Operation Sauce Drop is a non-profit program that sends free gift boxes of BBQ sauce and hot sauce to US troops serving abroad. I'm thrilled to announce that as of today, we've shipped free gift boxes to 600 of our troops in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other overseas locations! The troops greatly appreciate receiving a free taste of home, as you can see from the photo and thank-you note on the left, and the many other notes and photos posted on our Operation Sauce Drop feedback page. This program is made possible by donations from individuals and companies. One hundred percent of all donations are used ONLY to purchase the gift boxes at cost and to pay for the shipping. Additionally, the Carolina Sauce Company matches ALL monetary donations, dollar for dollar, AND also covers all incidental costs associated with running Operation Sauce Drop, including the labor involved, packaging materials, etc.

Because Operation Sauce Drop is funded through donations, gift box requests come in faster than donations, meaning that there are always lots of troops on our waiting list. In fact, currently there are over 240 pending gift box requests. The average cost for us to purchase and ship a gift box of sauce is about $20. Want to bring a smile to a soldier's face by sending them a free taste of home? Please donate to Operation Sauce Drop, or shop to support Operation Sauce Drop where some or all of the purchase price goes straight to OSD. Remember, the Carolina Sauce Company matches all donations, so for only $10 you can help send a free gift box of sauce to a deployed serviceman or woman. Let's see how quickly we can get to 700 gift boxes for our troops!

Zestfully yours,

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Melinda's All-Natural Buffalo Wing Sauces

Many mass-produced Buffalo style wing sauces "cut corners" by using artificial ingredients to add flavor and buttery texture to their sauces, thereby sacrificing quality. Unlike such lesser products, Melinda's Buffalo Wing Sauces use only all-natural ingredients including cayenne peppers, natural butter flavor, and the Caribbean habanero peppers that Melinda's product line has become famous for. The result is a pair of traditional Buffalo style hot wing sauces that pack peppery heat, fabulous flavor, and tongue-pleasing texture and richness that will cling to your chicken wings. Melinda's All-Natural Buffalo Wing Sauces come in two flavors: Their original Hot wing sauce is definitely a true hot, not a medium, and is perfect for most folks who enjoy hot wings. If you prefer "suicide" wings or fiery-hot foods at the top of the heat scale (but without the punishing and unrelenting pain of capsaicin extract), then Melinda's Extra Hot Buffalo Wing Sauce is for you, with even more fiery habanero peppers than the original Hot.

Use Melinda's All-Natural Buffalo Wing Sauces just as you would any other wing sauce -- the label includes a simple recipe for making hot wings. You can also enjoy these good-for-you wing sauces with Buffalo style fried shrimp, as a dipping sauce for chicken nuggets or french fries, as a table sauce for fried fish or grilled chicken, and with any other foods that could benefit from a tangy, peppery, buttery hot sauce. Both flavors of Melinda's wing sauce are currently on sale online at the Carolina Sauce Company.

Zestfully yours,

PS: If you're counting carbs, you'll be happy to know that Melinda's Wing Sauces are low carb, with only 1 gram of carbs per serving!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Soyabi Crab & Cucumber Salad

If you enjoy wasabi, you'll love this zesty Asian-inspired salad -- it's simple to make, and simply delicious!

2 medium cucumbers, or 3 small cucumbers (or 1 long, seedless English cucumber)
1 Tbs soy sauce
1 Tbs Dave's Gourmet Soyabi Sauce (shake well before using)
1 Tbs rice wine vinegar
1 Tbs sugar (or Splenda brand sugar substitute)
1 Tbs sesame oil
Pinch of white pepper
1/2 lb fresh crabmeat (or surimi crab substitute, flaked)

Peel the cucumbers, cut lengthwise, and use a spoon to scrape out the seeds (this last step is not necessary if using a seedless English cucumber). Coarsely shred the cucumbers and set aside. In a large glass or ceramic bowl, combine all the remaining ingredients except the crab and whisk to mix thoroughly. Add the crab and shredded cucumbers, toss to coat thoroughly, cover and chill for at least half an hour before serving.

Zestfully yours,

PS: If you are seriously crazy about wasabi, you can substitute another tablespoon of Dave's Soyabi Sauce for the ordinary soy sauce.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

July's Top 10 Best-Selling Zesty Products

Here are the Top 10 best-selling sauces and seasonings for July across all product categories at the Carolina Sauce Company. If you're looking for some fiery and flavorful new hot sauces and condiments, this list is a great place to start!

1. Castle Sauce is an old-fashioned mustard & tomato based steak sauce from Greensboro, NC, and it's our best-selling product of all time, so it's no surprise that it tops our list for July. Enjoy Castle Sauce on steaks and burgers, with french fries, onion rings & more.

2. Scorned Woman Hot Sauce moves up several spots from last month. This is a classic vinegar-based hot sauce that gets its fire from a blend of hot chile peppers plus red and black pepper

3. Walkerswood Traditional Jamaican Jerk Seasoning is an authentic Jamaican jerk paste or wet rub that's an essential staple for cooking Jamaican cuisine

4. Wells Hog Heaven BBQ Sauce is a true eastern NC vinegar-based barbecue sauce made in the tiny town of Burgaw, NC (about 30 minutes from Wilmington), and is perfect for pulled pork BBQ

5. Walkerswood Jonkanoo Pepper Sauce moves up several spots from last month, and is named after a Jamaican street festival. With its spirited blend of fiery hot peppers and tropical flavors, Jonkanoo Sauce lives up to its festive name!

6. Matouk's Calypso Sauce is a rich and savory mustard-based hot sauce that's made with aged pickled scotch bonnet peppers

7. Walkerswood Spicy Jamaican Jerk Marinade: After being out of stock for some time, this authentic Jamaican jerk marinade burst back on the market last month and made many fans of traditional Jamaican cooking very happy!

8. Georgia Peach & Vidalia Onion Hot Sauce is a mildly spicy and richly flavorful pepper sauce that features two of the South's most famous summertime treats: sunny Georgia peaches and sweet Vidalia onions

9. Matouk's West Indian Hot Sauce is similar to Matouk's Calypso Sauce, with fiery scotch bonnet peppers in a thick, Caribbean mustard base, but it adds tropical papayas for a touch of sweet tropical fruit

10. Susie's Original Hot Sauce from Antigua rounds out our top ten list, and is a traditional mustard-based Caribbean hot sauce that will add island flavor to any dish

Zestfully yours,

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Follow me on Twitter for Carolina Sauce Coupons!

If you enjoy zesty foods and enjoy saving money, then follow me on Twitter to do both! Simply go to and follow me. As a SaucyGlo follower you'll have access to exclusive coupons available only on Twitter, read interesting and cool food-related articles I find, plus see occasional culinary musings, tips, recipes, new product announcements, and a Tweet to let you know I've posted something new on this blog. Better yet, you can Tweet your food and product questions to me (i.e., can you recommend an all-natural chunky salsa with medium heat? or, what can I use wing sauce on in addition to chicken wings?) and I'll be happy to help you out. And when I can't make up my mind, you can even help me decide what to drink with my meal, or provide other input when I ask for your suggestions and advice! And of course if YOU find something zesty to Tweet about, you can share it with me.

If you go to right now, you'll find a new coupon good for 10% off all products at the Carolina Sauce Company online store, even those with already reduced sale prices! This coupon expires on August 5th, so sign up now to follow me and become one of my "Tweeps".

Zestfully yours,