Monday, April 30, 2012

Not Your Grandma's Fried Chicken Giblets

Fried chicken livers & gizzards & giblets
Chicken and turkey giblets--the livers, gizzards and hearts that come in a little packet tucked inside a whole bird--are often destined for either the gravy pot or the trash bin, unless you're one of those people who enjoys them fried. There seem to be far more of these enlightened folks here in the South, where you can still find fried livers and gizzards at diners, country restaurants and other joints.

If you're a liver-hater, I commend you for reading this far. Before you leave this post, I humbly ask you to keep reading and, if you're brave, to give this recipe a chance. You just might end up changing your mind about lowly giblets.

Properly prepared, fried giblets are a true delicacy: richly-flavored tender and nutrient-dense morsels enrobed in a crunchy, golden-brown breading that is free of excess grease. The livers should practically melt in your mouth, while the gizzards and hearts will have a firmer, more toothsome but not tough texture that yields to your bite.

Because gizzards and hearts are denser than livers, most recipes call for simmering the hearts and gizzards for an hour or two before breading and frying, while livers can skip that step. My recipe is a little different.

Inspired by a recipe I found in White Trash Cooking (one of the very first cookbooks I ever bought), I decided to try marinating the livers, gizzards and hearts in a little red wine instead of simmering them. My choice of breading also differed from that in the cookbook--but I must confess to frying in bacon grease rather than oil, using one of my well-seasoned cast-iron skillets.

Unless we're making gravy, Greg and I freeze the giblets when we buy whole chickens and turkeys. When I decided to make this recipe I had exactly a half-pound of mixed turkey & chicken giblets. If you like livers but don't care for the hearts or gizzards, by all means try this recipe using just livers. And yes, you can double or triple the recipe.

My livers turned out to be the best fried livers I've ever had, crunchy on the outside and velvety-tender on the inside, with nary a drop of excess grease. The hearts and gizzards were noticeably firmer but good nevertheless. The next time I make this recipe, I'll marinate the livers separately for an hour, while letting the hearts and gizzards marinate for an additional hour to see if that further tenderizes them.

Without further ado, here's my recipe for what I'm calling "Not Your Grandma's Fried Chicken Giblets," based on "Liver-Hater's Chicken Livers" from White Trash Cooking:

marinating giblets
Marinating giblets
1/2 lb chicken and/or turkey livers, gizzards and hearts (or any one or two of those)
1/2 cup red wine (I used a merlot-shiraz blend)
Salt & pepper to taste
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt (use more if you prefer a saltier breading)
Oil (not olive oil) or bacon grease for frying

Use a filet knife to trim the giblets of any membranes and to remove any dark bits attached to the livers. Cut the giblets into 1" pieces, place in a glass or ceramic bowl, season lightly with salt & pepper to taste and cover with the red wine. Allow to marinate for 1 hour in the refrigerator--if you prefer, marinate the liver separately for 1 hour while letting the gizzards & hearts marinate for two hours.

frying giblets
Frying the giblets
When you're ready to fry, add enough oil or bacon grease to your frying pan or skillet (preferably cast-iron) to cover the bottom, ideally 1/4" deep or so, and heat over medium-high heat.  Combine the cornmeal, flour, thyme, garlic powder and salt in a resealable plastic bag, shake off as much marinade from the giblets as possible and place in the bag. Seal and shake to coat the giblets thoroughly. Remove from bag and carefully place the giblets in the hot fat, frying for several minutes on each side until golden-brown (the livers may cook faster than the hearts and gizzards). Don't over-crowd the skillet; you may need to fry in batches. Drain the fried giblets on paper towels and enjoy while hot. They're quite tasty as-is, or with a few splashes of hot sauce, or even with cocktail sauce or tartar sauce.

For a Spicy Variation: Substitute 1 tsp of Slap Ya Mama Cajun Seasoning for the garlic powder and salt in the breading. You can also substitute dried parsley or dried oregano (use 1 tsp) for the dried thyme.

Zestfully yours,

Sunday, April 29, 2012

New from Melinda's: Black Pepper Ketchup

Melinda's Black Pepper Ketchup
Ketchup often gets a bad rap--and often deservedly so. Most supermarket ketchups taste more like sugar than tomatoes and are made with  "questionable" ingredients like high-fructose corn syrup. It's no wonder so many people either outgrow their childhood love of ketchup, or guiltily cling to it in private as they discover other condiments with greater depth of flavor and higher-quality ingredients.

If you've been a "closet" ketchup lover like me, secretly longing for a ketchup that would satisfy your craving for sweet-tangy tomato flavor but with a richer, more developed flavor and healthier ingredients, Melinda's Black Pepper Ketchup is for you.

This ketchup actually tastes like real tomatoes, isn't cloyingly over-sweetened with high-fructose corn-syrup, and finishes with zippy zest.  Like all other Melinda's Ketchups, her black pepper ketchup is all-natural and Kosher, so you know it's wholesome and better for you than the mass-produced ketchups from the grocery store. But just as importantly, this ketchup tastes so good you won't be ashamed to pour it on your scrambled eggs, hash browns, burgers, fries, hot dogs or other foods.

Naturally sweetened with glucose instead of HFCS, Melinda's Black Pepper Ketchup displays a refreshingly grown-up balance of sweetness and spice, with savory ingredients like onions and garlic, a tangy counterpoint provided by vinegar and lime, and a pleasantly peppery bite that sparks your taste buds without burning. In addition to serving all your tomato-condiment needs, Melinda's Black Pepper Ketchup will prove indispensable in family favorites like meatloaf, sloppy joes, homemade barbecue sauces, American goulash and other recipes.

Buy Melinda's Black Pepper Ketchup while it's on sale at the Carolina Sauce Company, and experience what ordinary ketchup wishes it could grow up to be.

Zestfully yours,

PS: If you want a ketchup with a spicier kick, check out Melinda's Jalapeno Ketchup, the smoky-hot Melinda's Chipotle Ketchup, the fiery Melinda's Habanero Ketchup and the super-hot Melinda's Naga Jolokia Ketchup.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Roasted Sweet Potato & Carrot with Rosemary & Peach Marmalade

Roasted sweet potatoes & carrot with rosemary & peach marmalade
Roasting brings out the best in many foods, and root vegetables like carrots and sweet potatoes are no exception. Although I usually do not care for cooked carrots, I find the mellowness and hint of sweetness in roasted carrots quite appealing. Similarly, I prefer sweet potatoes that are only lightly sweetened, or better still, seasoned with savory herbs and spices.

This recipe enhances the natural earthy sweetness of sweet potatoes through roasting (which caramelizes some of the sugar in the tubers) and tossing with citrusy-sweet peach marmalade, while the rosemary, salt and pepper provide a complementary savory counterpoint.

Serve these roasted sweet potatoes and carrots as a side dish for grilled or roasted chicken, pork or seafood. This recipe makes two to three servings, and you can double it to serve more--or for leftovers to enjoy the next day (the flavors will continue to develop, and leftovers are tasty either reheated or cold from the refrigerator).

Mrs. Picky Fanicky's Peach Marmalade
Buy Peach MmmMarmalade
1 lb sweet potatoes
1 large carrot
1 Tbs olive oil
1/4 tsp Kosher salt
Ground black pepper to taste
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
2 Tbs peach marmalade (I use Mrs. Picky Fanicky's Peach Cocktail MmmMarmalade)
Optional garnish: 1 or 2 sprigs of rosemary

Preheat oven to 400°F. If desired, peel the sweet potatoes (I don't). Cut into 1" chunks. Peel the carrot and cut into 1" thick rounds. Place the vegetables, oil, salt and pepper in a bowl or a resealable plastic bag. Lightly crush the rosemary in your hand and add to the bowl or bag. If using a bowl, use a spatula or wooden spoon to gently combine so that the vegetables are evenly coated with the oil and seasonings. If using a bag, seal it and shake to evenly coat the vegetables.

The Bag Holder
Using The Bag Holder to mix
Spread the seasoned vegetables in a single layer on a roasting pan and roast at 400°F until tender and lightly browned, about 30 minutes, stirring once or twice to ensure the vegetables roast evenly. Remove roasting pan from oven, let vegetables cool just slightly and return to the bowl or bag. Add the peach marmalade and very gently stir or shake until the vegetables are evenly coated with the marmalade. Serve, garnished with a sprig of rosemary if desired.

Roasting sweet potatoes & carrot
Zestfully yours,

PS: We're conducting a poll on our Facebook page to find out if you'd like us to observe "Meatless Mondays" or if you're more interested in "Meaty Mondays," i.e., recipes & other tips pertaining to meat. Cast your vote by answering the question on the Carolina Sauce Company Facebook page to let us know what you prefer.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Jalapeno Dip is Back!

Jalapeno Dip
The Carolina Sauce online store is once again your source for zesty, spicy, tangy and versatile jalapeno dip! We're thrilled to announce that we now carry Texas Longhorn Bread & Butter Jalapeno Dip, an all-natural--and all-purpose--condiment from Texas that's sure to become a favorite in your home.

Like "bread and butter" pickles or relish, this jalapeno dip is a little bit sweet and a little bit tangy, and because it's made with jalapeno peppers instead of pickled cucumbers it has a feisty peppery kick that's undeniably Texas. Use it the same way as you would regular pickle relish: Blend with mayo or cream cheese to make a sandwich spread or homemade spicy tartar sauce; combine with sour cream or plain yogurt for a zippy dip that pairs with chips, pita wedges or raw veggies; enjoy "straight" as a condiment on hamburgers, bratwursts, hot dogs and other grilled fare; add to prepared salads like potato salad, egg salad, pasta salad, macaroni salad and even cole slaw to perk up the flavor; spoon it over nachos, quesadillas, enchiladas, tacos and other Mexican, Tex-Mex or Southwestern fare; serve with scrambled eggs, omelets, frittatas, hash browns and other breakfast items to wake up your palate; or mix it into ground meat for peppery sloppy joes or burgers.

Texas Longhorn Bread & Butter Jalapeno Relish comes in a generously large 18oz jar, and it's also currently on sale, so stock up now for your Cinco de Mayo celebration and for the upcoming BBQ and grilling season.

Zestfully yours,

Thursday, April 26, 2012

How to Make Spicy Bacon Moonshine

Bacon Vodka
Flickr photo by Daniel Krueger
Bacon vodka has gained some notoriety among baconistas and others who enjoy their bloody marys, caesars and other drinks with a touch of bacon flavor. Also popular, although perhaps not as notorious, are chile pepper infused vodka and tequila. As far as I know, however, no one has infused alcohol with both bacon AND hot peppers, nor has anyone used moonshine (the legal stuff available in liquor stores) to make either a bacon or a chile-infused liquor. The following recipe remedies this glaring omission from the panoply of baconalia.

Admittedly, I haven't tried making this spicy bacon moonshine--yet. But when I do, this is my plan. And I will post my review on this blog after I've made it.

In the meantime, if you are brave enough to try this recipe, or if you have your own recipe for making a bacon-infused spicy moonshine, vodka, tequila or other such liquor, please do share your thoughts or recipe with us in a comment--and photos are welcome, too!

You'll need a quart-size canning jar (e.g., mason jar) or two pint-size canning jars for making this concoction, and then another quart or liter-sized (or two pint size) sterilized glass bottles or jars for storing the finished product.  You'll also need cheesecloth and possibly also a paper coffee filter or two for straining the liquor.

Buy NC Bacon
6 slices bacon
14 dried cayenne peppers or other small/thin dried red chiles
1 quart or liter of moonshine (legal, although we won't tell if it's not), or vodka or tequila

Fry the bacon, then drain on paper towels, blot off as much grease as possible and allow to cool.  Place the chiles in the sterilized jar.  Add the bacon--if using pint jars and the strips are too long, simply break in half.  Pour in the alcohol, close tightly with lid, and store in a cool, dark cupboard for 3 weeks.

After 3 weeks, place the jar(s) in your freezer overnight to solidify the bacon fat. When it's solid, remove the jar(s) from the freezer and remove the solidified fat plus the bacon strips (tongs would make this easier). Discard the fat and the bacon--from what I've read in other recipes, it won't taste good so there's no point in saving it.  Cover the top of the jar with a double layer of cheese cloth and then carefully strain into the sterilized storage bottle(s). Discard the peppers and any other strained solids. You can repeat this process using a coffee filter to strain more finely if desired.

Zestfully yours,

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Carolina Sauce Newsletter: It's Raining Saucy Savings!

They say that April showers bring May flowers... Well, it's raining saucy savings here at Carolina Sauce, in April AND May! Check out our newest sauces and use the new coupon code AprilShowers (no space!) to get **7% off ** your product total at the Carolina Sauces online store. This special coupon discount is good on ALL Carolina Sauces products including our newest products and already-reduced sale items, through the end of May (expires at midnight on May 31st, 2012). As always, the AprilShowers coupon doesn't apply to products purchased from other partners, such as BBQ Accessories or Meats/Cheese.

May 1st is right around the corner, which means you'll have another chance to win FREE sauces and seasonings by playing the Crock Pot Game on the Carolina Sauce Company Facebook page!  We post a new game on our Facebook page on the 1st of each month. Simply follow the rules and post your answer, and we'll select a winner each month to receive a free product, gift certificate, or other zesty prize. The next Crock Pot Game will be posted on May 1st, so make sure to "Like" us on Facebook in order to play.  You'll also find additional coupons, special offers and private sales when you click on the "Coupons" tab (with the green dollar sign) on our Facebook page.

Dave's Insanity Private Reserve Hot SauceApril's New Products

Everything we've added this month is edible and full of zesty flavor (unlike last month's focus on inedibles like BBQ Accessories and Wood Chips), with a mix of brand-new items and new larger sizes of old favorites:

*Dave's Insanity Private Reserve, 2012 Edition: It's here, it's on sale, and you can save even more with our April coupon! This limited-edition collector's item is individually numbered & signed by Dave, packed in the infamous wooden coffin with yellow caution tape, and made with Ghost peppers, habaneros, tabasco peppers & chile pepper extract for unforgiving heat

*Bone Suckin' Beef Jerky: All-natural USDA beef is hickory-smoked and seasoned with that famous tangy Bone Suckin' flavor for an award-winning high-protein snack that's gluten-free, too

*Deano's Sea Salt Jalapeno Chips: Thinly-sliced jalapenos are specially fried for a crispy crunch and seasoned with sea salt for a savory, spicy-hot and healthier alternative to potato chips

*Melinda's Black Pepper Ketchup: This classic all-natural pepper-spiced ketchup will perk up burgers, fries, scrambled eggs, meatloaf and anything else that could use some grown-up tomato flavor

*El Yucateco Hot Sauce in 8-oz bottles: By popular demand, we now have the larger, 8oz bottles of El Yucateco Green Habanero Salsa Picante and El Yucateco Red Habanero Salsa Picante, classic Mexican hot sauces previously available only in small 4 oz bottles

Marie Sharp's Hot Sauce *Marie Sharp's Hot Sauces in 10-oz bottles: Also by popular demand, we've added the larger, 10-oz bottles of five of the best-selling flavors of Marie Sharp's Caribbean hot sauces from Belize, including the original Marie Sharp's Habanero Hot Sauce, the spicier Marie Sharp's Fiery Habanero Hot Sauce, the super-hot Marie Sharp's Belizean Heat, the exotic Marie Sharp's Nopal Green Habanero Hot Sauce made with prickly-pear cactus, and the ultra-hot Marie Sharp's BEWARE Hot Sauce made from select red habanero mash and capsicum oil for a relentless burn

We'll continue adding new sauces & condiments, including some delicious salsas & unique hot sauces, so you'll want to bookmark our New Products page to watch for new arrivals. We'll also have some great new items for National BBQ Month in May, including steak branding irons, specialty grillers for chicken wings & jalapenos, and more, plus seafood, Mediterranean products, etc.

Zesty Cooking Tips: Garlic & Ginger Pastes, Garam Masala

Fresh GingerIndian, Thai and other spicy Asian cuisines often list "ginger paste" and "garlic paste" as ingredients. Instead of buying an expensive jar or tube of these pastes from a specialty store, make your own at home for a lot less money. It's very easy, and you can store the homemade pastes in your refrigerator for a month or in your freezer for much longer. To freeze, I scoop 1-teaspoon portions onto a piece of wax paper and lay flat in my freezer until frozen, then remove the portions into labeled zip-top freezer bags for storage in the freezer.

To make garlic paste, simply blend 4 oz peeled garlic cloves with 1/4 cup water until pureed. For ginger paste, substitute 4 oz peeled & chopped fresh ginger root and use the same ratio & process. You can multiply the amounts to make more, too.

Garam Masala is a classic blend of Indian spices that adds flavor & heat to many dishes. Garam means hot, and Masala means spices. Like curry powder, which is also a blend of different spices, there are many different versions of garam masala. Unlike curry, which is added early in the cooking process, garam masala is usually added at the end of cooking or sprinkled over food as a garnish. Here's a simple Garam Masala blend that uses common spices. Dry-roasting brings out deep rich flavors that will continue to develop over time. Homemade garam masala will keep for several months in an airtight glass jar. Stir into cooked rice, sprinkle over roasted potatoes or season grilled chicken, shrimp or vegetables with garam masala for a zesty change of pace.

8 to 10 dried red chiles of your choice (depending on your heat preference)
2 1-inch sticks of cinnamon
2 small bay leaves (or 1 large)
2 Tbs cumin seeds
Spice grinder test kitchen2 Tbs coriander seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp whole cloves
1 tsp whole black peppercorns
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1/4 tsp ground ginger

Dry-roast the chiles, cinnamon sticks & bay leaves in a large, heavy pan (cast-iron is great, DON'T use a non-stick coated pan like Teflon) over medium-low heat until you can start to smell them, about 2 minutes.  Add the remaining spices EXCEPT the ginger and continue to dry-roast, shaking the pan gently from side to side, until the spices darken and become aromatic. Remove from heat, allow to cool a little, then place in a spice grinder. Grind to a fine powder, transfer to a lidded glass jar, add the ginger, cover and shake to mix well.

"Like" Us on Facebook!

If you're not already our Fan on Facebook, you're missing out on exclusive coupons, FREE shipping offers and other special discounts available only to our Facebook fans!  To become a Fan, simply click on this link: Carolina Sauce Facebook Page, and then click the "Like" button.  You can then click on the "coupons" tab to see the current deals.  We also play the monthly Crock Pot Game, post recipes, link to interesting articles & pages about food & cooking, provide product info, share mouthwatering photos, and ask fun Questions where you can cast your vote.  We want to hear from you, too, so please leave us a comment on our Facebook page, and feel free to share your food photos, recipes, BBQ/food blog, and other zesty stuff.

***If you'd like to receive our FREE monthly eNewsletter with exclusive coupons & sales, product info, recipes & grilling tips, simply sign up here - and remember to click on the link in your confirmation email (check your spam folder & add us to your "safe sender" list) to confirm your subscription.***

Zestfully yours,

Monday, April 23, 2012

Country Ham with Red Eye Gravy

country ham & redeye gravy
Scrambled eggs, grits, country ham, & red eye gravy
Having grown up in the North, I didn't experience a true Southern breakfast or even hear of red eye gravy until I moved down to North Carolina over 20 years ago. And the so-called "country ham" I had tasted in NYC didn't come close to the mouthwatering saltiness, subtle smokiness, and succulent "hamminess" of genuine, traditionally cured North Carolina country ham.

A typical old-fashioned Southern breakfast is honest, hearty fare that's meant to fuel the body and soul for a long day of hard work running a farm or a household. Eggs, meat such as country ham, sausage, or bacon (or more than one of those), buttermilk biscuits, and a bowl of grits... A well-prepared Southern breakfast may be a cardiologist's nightmare, but it will make an old-timer smile, a carnivore grin, and a lover of traditional foods rejoice. Although my typical breakfast is admittedly much lighter and "healthier" by modern standards, I do enjoy the occasional treat of a genuine Southern breakfast, especially if made using old-fashioned ingredients like our great-grandparents ate, namely eggs and ham from local, naturally-raised free range chickens and pigs, fresh hand-made biscuits, stone-ground grits from non-GMO corn, etc. At least that helps me rationalize the fact that I'm ingesting a whole lot of calories, carbs and fat grams for someone with a desk job!

Red eye gravy is unlike other gravies in that it is not thickened with flour or cornstarch. It is a relatively thin, deeply dark brown, almost translucent liquid with enough viscosity to lightly coat a spoon. The name comes from one of its two ingredients: Brewed coffee.  The other ingredient is the grease or pan "drippins" (including any crispy bits) from frying country ham, sausage or bacon. Red eye gravy is often poured over country ham or grits, or served in a small bowl. Biscuits are used for sopping up the gravy, unless it's poured over grits.

Making red eye gravy involves more "feel" and "taste" than precise measurement, and the amount of coffee used will depend on amount of drippings left in your pan, as well as how many breakfast plates you're preparing. Keep in mind that different types of meat will produce varying amounts of drippings, with bacon and sausage usually shedding far more grease than country ham. If you end up with half an inch of grease in your pan but you're only making breakfast for two, you probably have too much grease. Pour some out--I save my excess bacon drippings in a glass jar in the fridge for other uses--and leave less than a quarter inch in the pan. You can always add more if you wish.

Country Ham
Buy NC country ham
I recommend that beginners first try their hand at making red eye gravy when they fry country ham, ideally using a well-seasoned cast iron pan. Plan on 1 slice of ham and a biscuit or two and/or a small bowl of grits per person, plus eggs if desired. For every two slices of country ham you fry, you should have enough grease left in the pan to serve two people when combined with 1/3 to 1/2 cup of freshly brewed coffee. Cook the ham in the skillet for a few minutes per side until lightly browned, then remove the ham from the skillet (I place it on an oven-safe dish and keep in a warm oven until ready to serve). Pour the hot coffee into the pan and cook over high heat, stirring the bubbling liquid and gently scraping up any little crusty bits--I use a wooden spoon, and NEVER use a metal spoon on cast iron.  Keep cooking & stirring until the gravy is reduced by half. Taste for balance--I find it's salty enough "as is" but you might prefer to add salt, or perhaps some pepper--and serve.

Do you make red-eye gravy? If so, please leave a comment to share your tips or your recipe!

Zestfully yours,

PS:  Be sure to visit our Country Ham page to browse through the different types of genuine Smithfield NC country ham that we offer through our partner, Johnston County Hams.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Marie Sharp's Hot Sauces in 10-oz Bottles

Marie Sharp's Hot Sauce
Good news for fans of Marie Sharp's habanero hot sauces from tropical Belize: You can now buy the larger, 10 oz bottles of her most popular fiery hot sauces at the Carolina Sauce Company online store!

For years we've carried  Marie Sharp's standard 5 oz bottles of hot sauce but hadn't been able to also offer the value-sized (and value-priced) 10 oz bottles--until now, thanks to our new warehouse that we partnered with last summer. Among the flavors now available in 10 oz bottles are the original Marie Sharp's Habanero Hot Sauce made from red habaneros in a traditional savory vinegar, lime & carrot base; Marie Sharp's Fiery Habanero Hot Sauce with even more habanero heat; the exotic Marie Sharp's Prickly Pear Green Habanero Hot Sauce featuring nopal (prickly pear cactus) blended with spicy-hot green habanero peppers; the intensely hot Marie Sharp's Belizean Heat Hot Sauce, made from habanero pepper mash, capsicum oil and zesty Cajun & creole spices; and the ultimate in firepower, Marie Sharp's BEWARE XXXXX Hot Sauce, with "comatose-level" heat thanks to a hefty dose of capsicum oil along with habanero mash and the Cajun & creole spices. And yes, we still have the 5oz bottles of these flavors along with the new 10 oz bottles.

Additional flavors available only in standard 5oz bottles include the citrusy & savory (not sweet) Marie Sharp's Orange Pulp Habanero Hot Sauce (made with yellow habaneros and oranges), Marie Sharp's Grapefruit Pulp Habanero Hot Sauce (yellow habaneros plus grapefruit), Marie Sharp's Mild Habanero Sauce (perfect for more sensitive palates who prefer just a little bit of peppery heat), and Marie Sharp's No Wimps Allowed Hot Sauce, comparable in intensity to Belizean Heat and blended with tomatoes and creole spices to complement your favorite New Orleans dishes.

All Marie Sharp's Hot Sauces are very low-sodium and made using traditional ingredients & recipes for authentic Caribbean flavor and fire.

Zestfully yours,

Friday, April 20, 2012

Frittata with Spring Onions, Potato & Tomato

Onion Potato & Tomato Frittata
Frittatas aren't just for breakfast or brunch--in fact, I made this frittata for a late-night hunt camp dinner, served along with a simple green salad and fresh local strawberries for dessert.

The tomatoes we had were all larger than I would have liked for this recipe, so I cut each slice in half and had enough tomato left over to use in the salad. Having no fresh herbs on hand at camp and only dried thyme and dried oregano, I chose the thyme. You can use a different herb if you prefer, and increase the amount if using fresh herb (1/2 to 1 Tbs). You could also use butter or bacon fat instead of olive oil, for extra richness.

This recipe made enough to feed the two of us when paired with salad. If making other dishes, it can serve up to four. To make this frittata for one, use 2 or 3 eggs with 1 Tbs of milk per egg, and halve the other ingredient quantities.

1 medium OR 2 small new potatoes, chopped (I prefer unpeeled)
1/2 cup sliced spring onions (green onions) including green tops
1/2 small tomato, thinly sliced (or a few slices of a larger tomato, cutting the slices in half)
Simply Organic - Thyme Leaf Whole - 0.78 oz. (Pack of 3)
Buy Organic Thyme
1 Tbs olive oil for frying
4 eggs
4 Tbs milk
1 to 1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
Salt & pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a medium skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat. Add potatoes and saute until softened and light golden brown. Add onions & saute until softened. While the onions are cooking, whisk together the eggs and milk in a small bowl, then stir in the thyme, season lightly with salt & pepper to taste, and set aside. When the onions & potatoes are done, spoon them out of the pan and into a small bowl, then reduce heat and add the tomato slices to the pan in one layer. Cook without stirring until just softened, about 2 or 3 minutes. Add the onions & peppers back to the pan and gently spread everything out so that it's mostly just one layer. Pour in the egg mixture, reduce heat to low, partially cover and cook until the eggs have just set (this can take 10 minutes or more--you want to let the frittata cook gently so that the bottom doesn't burn or turn an unattractive brown). Carefully flip over (see note) to cook the other side of the frittata for 1 to 2 minutes. Serve hot.

Note: For easy flipping, cover the skillet with a plate that's a little larger than the frittata, hold in place with one hand and carefully lift the skillet by the handle with your other hand, and in one motion turn turn the skillet over so that the frittata falls onto the plate. Then gently slide the frittata back into the skillet, uncooked side down, to finish cooking. Use the same technique to remove the fully-cooked frittata from the skillet when ready to serve.

Zestfully yours,

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Heads Up: New Coupons & Special Offers!

If you DON'T like to save money when you shop online, STOP READING NOW.

OK, since you're still reading, I'm guessing that you like finding great deals online.  Well, your search is over, because the Carolina Sauce Company has great bargains on sauces and condiments, meats & cheese, gourmet gifts & gift baskets, grilling & BBQ products including wood chips & grilling planks, and the like.

And speaking of likes, if you "Like" us on Facebook, you'll get access to exclusive coupons, private sales and other special offers available only to our fans on Facebook!

If you're already our fan, you'll find brand-new coupons and offers when you click on the "Coupons" tab on our Facebook page (the Coupons tab has the same green dollar-sign icon that's on the left here).

If you're not yet our fan, simply click on "Like" when you visit the Carolina Sauce Facebook page, and then click on the "Coupons" tab with the green dollar sign. And then start shopping and saving!

Zestfully yours,

PS:  Want to receive monthly coupons and deals? Simply sign up for our FREE monthly newsletter! Each monthly email newsletter includes a unique coupon code available only to our subscribers, plus a featured recipe or cooking/grilling tips, and the latest news on new products. Sign up here, and make sure you click on the confirmation link when you receive your subscription email (if you don't get it within a few minutes of signing up, check your spam folder and add us to your "safe senders" list). Our April newsletter will go out in the next few days, so subscribe now if you want to receive it!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

How to Steam Maryland Blue Crabs

Blue crab meat is sometimes compared to lobster for its delicate flavor and tender texture. Maryland is renowned for its superb blue crabs, and in fact the blue crab is the official State Crustacean (I had no idea that states had official crustaceans, but apparently at least Maryland does).

The best way to enjoy Maryland blue crabs is to buy them live and steam them with a good seafood seasoning, then crack the shells and claws to pick out the tender morsels of crabmeat. Sure, this may be a messy affair, but as anyone who has eaten freshly-caught and steamed blue crabs will tell you, it's worth the effort and the mess. To make the steaming and eating easier, you'll want to use a large two-part steamer pot that has a removable steamer "basket" (basically a perforated "pot" that fits inside the larger "boiler pot" with about an inch to spare at the bottom of the boiler pot), crab mallets and crab knives. And make sure to have plenty of paper towels or napkins handy!

To steam the crabs: Prepare the pot by placing the boiler pot on your stove or grill and adding just enough water, vinegar and flat beer in equal parts to cover the bottom by half an inch. Bring this liquid to a full boil. Layer the live crabs in the steamer pot and add crab boil seasoning to taste. Cover the steamer and place it inside the boiler pot. Let the crabs steam until they're bright red, approximately 20 minutes. Uncover pot and use tongs to remove the steamed crabs from the steamer basket--be careful, because they'll be hot! Allow to cool to the touch before shelling.

To eat the crabs: Cover your table with heavy brown paper (e.g., torn-flat paper bags) or newspapers. Set out the crab mallets, crab knives, paper towels, bowls of melted butter for dipping, and extra crab seasoning for folks who like to dip the chunks of crabmeat in butter plus seasoning. Dump the hot crabs in the middle of the table, and let everyone grab a crab, crack, dip and enjoy.

For more information and to buy live Maryland blue crabs, simply click here. And you can buy crab mallets & crab knives, too.

Zestfully yours,

Monday, April 16, 2012

Now Available in Larger Bottles: El Yucateco Habanero Sauce!

El Yucateco Salsa Picante Hot Sauce 8ozYou asked for them, so we got 'em: El Yucateco Red Habanero and Green Habanero hot sauces, in the large, 8oz bottles!

El Yucateco began in the 1960s as a small family business making homemade habanero hot sauces in Mexico. Today, El Yucateco is a world-renowned manufacturer of a variety of authentic Mexican hot sauces and condiments that have won international awards and global recognition while still preserving that traditional Mexican flavor.

For years, El Yucateco Salsa Picante Green and Salsa Picante Red have been available at the Carolina Sauce Company in their standard 4oz bottles like those found on the tables of countless Mexican restaurants and taquerias in the the U.S. and abroad. Because of their pure habanero flavor and fire, both are excellent for adding that trademark habanero heat to any and all Mexican and Tex-Mex dishes (the green habanero sauce is a little hotter than the red, which is made from mellower red ripe habaneros). But because of their versatile, food-friendly flavor, it's easy to go through a 4oz bottle fairly quickly, especially if you also enjoy the fiery flavor of these sauces on pizza, pasta, sandwiches, burgers, chicken, seafood, etc.

We'd been receiving requests for some time from customers wanting to purchase the 8oz bottles of El Yucateco Red and El Yucateco Green, but we hadn't been able to add these larger bottles until now. We're thrilled to announce that they're finally available for purchase on our online store, and currently on sale, making these larger bottles an excellent value buy for chileheads who prefer genuine Mexican habanero hot sauces.

Whether you prefer the powerful heat and emerald color of El Yucateco Green Salsa Picante (8oz) hot sauce or the slightly tamer fire and brick-red color of El Yucateco Red Salsa Picante (8oz) hot sauce, you can now buy them both from the Carolina Sauce Company.

Zestfully yours,

PS: El Yucateco makes other authentic Mexican hot sauces, including smoky chipotle, vibrant jalapeno and a super-hot Mayan kutbil-ik hot sauce. Browse all the different El Yucateco hot sauces to choose the right one for you.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Potato-Asparagus Frittata for One

Potato Asparagus Frittata
Springtime is asparagus season. This frittata combines asparagus with new potatoes and fresh spring herbs for a satisfying breakfast or brunch dish for one. I used Greek oregano in my frittata, but you can substitute chives, parsley, tarragon, thyme or other fresh herb of your choice. I left the oregano leaves whole rather than chopping them, simply to save time. If you chop your herbs or use a smaller-leaf herb like thyme, you'll want to use much less than 1 tablespoon.

For best flavor, select slender, young asparagus that's as fresh as possible. For a more substantial frittata, use three eggs instead of two, and an additional tablespoon of milk. And you can certainly double the recipe to make two frittatas or one larger one that you can cut to serve two or three people.

1 Tbs olive oil OR butter OR bacon fat for frying
3 small new potatoes, unpeeled & chopped
1/4 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup to 1 cup asparagus, chopped into 1" pieces
Salt & pepper to taste
Mediterranean  Oregano
Mediterranean Oregano
1 Tbs fresh oregano or other herb of your choice
2 eggs
2 Tbs milk

Heat the oil (or melt the fat or butter) in a medium skillet or frying pan (mine is 10") over medium-high heat. Add potatoes and saute until softened and light golden brown. Add onions & saute until softened & translucent. While the onions are cooking, whisk together the eggs and milk in a small bowl, then stir in the oregano or other herb, and set aside. Add asparagus to the skillet and saute until it starts to soften & turn deep green, about 1 to 2 minutes max. Pour in the egg mixture, reduce heat to low, partially cover and cook until just set, and then flip over (see note) to cook the other side for 1 to 2 minutes. Serve hot.

Note: For easy flipping, cover the skillet with a plate that's a little larger than the frittata, hold in place with one hand and carefully lift the skillet by the handle with your other hand, and in one motion turn turn the skillet over so that the frittata falls onto the plate. Then gently slide the frittata back into the skillet, uncooked side down, to finish cooking. Use the same technique to remove the fully-cooked frittata from the skillet when ready to serve.

Zestfully yours,

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Zesty Avocado-Garlic Hummus

avocado garlic hummus
What do you do when you don't have enough avocados to make a full bowl of guacamole and you don't have enough chick peas (garbanzos) to make a full bowl of hummus? Simple: Use what you have to create a tasty hybrid!

I considered calling this recipe "guacammus" or "hummole" but neither of those sounded particularly appetizing, so instead I just called it what it is: A zesty, avocado and garlic-flavored version of hummus. You can enjoy this "Middle East meets Latin America" dish just as you would enjoy guacamole or hummus: As a dip with raw vegetables, chips or pita wedges, and in sandwiches and wraps.

In addition to being very quick and easy to prepare, especially if you use a food processor, this recipe readily multiplies and you can adjust the amount of any ingredient to suit your taste preferences. The cilantro can also be replaced with parsley if you're one of those folks that hates cilantro--but the small amount used here doesn't dominate and provides only a hint of cilantro flavor.

1 can (15.5 oz) chick peas, aka garbanzo beans, drained BUT reserve the liquid
1 small avocado (or a large one for a richer avocado flavor)
1/4 cup (tightly packed) finely chopped fresh cilantro
Juice of half a lemon
Tahini Organic Sesame Seed Paste
Buy Organic Tahini online
1 Tbs tahini
2 tsp minced garlic OR 4 garlic cloves, minced
Salt & freshly-ground pepper to taste
Optional garnishes: a few cilantro leaves, a sprinkling of chile powder or mild paprika

If using a food processor:  Place the first six ingredients in the bowl of your processor and process to desired consistency, adding a little of the reserved chickpea liquid if the mixture is too thick. Taste for balance, season with salt & pepper as desired and stir to combine. Serve in a dip bowl and garnish if desired, or use as a sandwich spread or a filling for wraps. Cover and refrigerate any leftovers.

If making this manually:  Mash together the chickpeas, avocado, tahini and lemon juice to desired consistency, adding a little of the reserved liquid if the mixture is too thick. Stir in the cilantro and garlic until thoroughly combined. Taste for balance, season with salt & pepper as desired and stir to combine. Serve in a dip bowl and garnish if desired, or use as a sandwich spread or a filling for wraps. Cover and refrigerate any leftovers.

Zestfully yours,

Friday, April 13, 2012

Top Ten Weirdest Bacon Products

Our partner Bacon Freak sells some mighty good bacon in a variety of styles and flavors. But they also offer some mighty strange bacon products, both edible and inedible (the latter sometimes unintentionally). Here's my list of the top ten weirdest bacon products, counting down to number one:

10. The Bacon Wallet: This wallet gives new meaning to the expression "bringing home the bacon." Put your money where your bacon is, in your hip pocket. This whimsical bacon wallet measures 4-1/4" x 3-3/4" (10.8 cm x 9.5 cm) and is made of faux leather (you didn't really think it was made from real bacon, did you???), and has plenty of pockets to hold your hard-earned cash, driver's license or ID, and plenty of plastic (credit or debit cards, club/discount cards, etc.). Get one for yourself, and send them as gifts to fellow bacon fanatics--Gift boxes available, too.

9. Bacon Scented Candle: Fill your kitchen--or any room--with the intoxicating aroma of bacon cooking on the stove, but without the splatter or the dirty frying pan, and it's fat-free, cholesterol-free and has zero calories, too! Enjoy your bacon without having to eat it when you burn this long-lasting (75+ hours) candle that's made in the USA. Every "man cave," game room, hunt camp and clubhouse needs one of these babies for "mood lighting." This bacon-scented candle makes a great gift for guys and anyone else who loves bacon but really shouldn't eat it every day.

8. Bacon People: Weirdly charming, each little "bacon person" is unique and eager to be your lifelong buddy and traveling companion on all your adventures. Bacon people make the best friends: they'll never let you down, nag you, spread nasty rumors, or spill the beans. They'll listen to your problems, let you watch what you want on TV, and accept you just the way you are. Lovingly handmade in the USA, bacon people are approximately 6 inches long by 2 inches wide with bendable arms and legs. Each bacon doll comes adorably packaged (it's perfect for gift giving!) with an artistic license and bacon birth certificate.You'll never be lonely again when you have a bacon buddy by your side!

7. Bacon Drink Tabs: These effervescent tablets add fizzy bacon flavor to water and any other liquid you drop them into. Bored by plain milk? Make bacon-flavored milk with these Bacon Drink Tabs! Want a bacon-flavored ice cream float? Yep, these tablets will help you concoct one.  How about a bacon-flavored iced coffee or iced latte? Sure! Let your imagination be your guide when you create all sorts of bizarre bacon-flavored drinks by adding Bacon Drink Tabs to water, juices, soda, iced tea or coffee, and any other liquid. Just imagine the pranks you could play on unsuspecting coworkers, family members, colleagues, roommates, frat brothers or sorority sisters, and anyone else taking an unsuspecting swig... Makes a great Christmas stocking stuffer or bachelor's party novelty, and gift box packaging is available, too.

6. Bacon Dental Floss: No more excuses for not flossing daily. Use this bacon-flavored dental floss and you'll happily floss every day (heck, more than once a day!), guaranteeing to impress your dentist at your next check-up. They say that bacon makes everything better, so why not dental floss? Enjoy the mouthwatering flavor of crispy, perfectly-fried bacon while taking good care of your pearly whites. Dental hygiene never tasted so good! Each 2-1/2" (6.4 cm) tall plastic dispenser contains 27.3 yards (25 m) of waxed bacon-flavored floss, and comes with an illustrated blistercard. Order bacon floss for every bacon-loving member of your family, and keep a dispenser in each bathroom, plus one in your travel bag, another in your purse (no more parsley between the teeth after lunch!), in your desk drawer at work, etc. Bacon dental floss makes a fun gift for your favorite dental hygienist, dentist or other dental office professional.

5. Bacon Frosting: No doubt you've already heard of chocolate-covered bacon and bacon cupcakes, right? So why not bacon frosting? This dark red bacon-flavored frosting is a bacon-loving cake decorator's or baker's dream come true. Keep a tube of Bacon Frosting on hand to finish off a dessert masterpiece, add a sweet smoky garnish to any dish, or indulge in a delicious squirt right onto your tongue (don't worry, no one's watching and we won't tell). Decorate any cake, cupcake, brownie, cookie, or even a bowl of ice cream with some bacon frosting for a sweet & savory treat. Squeeze it onto pancakes or waffles, or even into a bowl of oatmeal or other hot cereal, for bacony flavor at breakfast without having to clean a frying pan or the splatter of frying bacon. Rumor has it the astronauts have been asking for bacon in a tube for decades, but you can enjoy it at home! Each tube of bacon frosting is 5" tall by 2" wide and holds 2.1 oz (60g) of frosting.

4. Bacon Soda: Admittedly, this one pushes the limits of palatability. But if you've always wanted to have your bacon and drink it too, then bacon soda might be just what you need. Bubbly, a little bit sweet, and startingly bacony, this soda is either pure genius or utter madness--you decide. There have been other bacon-flavored sodas on the market, and they've been less-than-favorably received, but rumor has it that this particular brand from Bacon Freak is far superior (I confess I haven't tried any of them, so don't look to me for a personal review). Bacon soda is available in single bottles and also by the six-pack at a discount. If you decide to try it, please leave a comment on this blog to let us know if you like it, what it really tastes like, and anything else you'd like to say about bacon soda.

3. Mr. Bacon's Big Adventure Board Game: Yes, bacon is now a board game. What's next, bacon the video game? Or perhaps the interactive 3-D bacon adventure? Bacon Freak boasts that this is by far the most mouth-watering meat-centric board game ever created--and we can't dispute that claim, because we don't actually know of ANY other meat-centric board games. As you move your bacon character along the path through Meatland you'll have to navigate your way through areas like the Mustard Marsh, the Wiener Wasteland and the Sausage Sea. The first player to make it to the frying pan at the end of the trail wins the game! Mr. Bacon's Big Adventure Board Game comes with a gameboard with spinner, four game pieces with plastic stands, twenty-four game cards, and alternate rules that turn the game into "a gluttonous meat feast" (their words, not mine). The game comes in a 18-1/2" x 9-1/2" x 1-3/4" (47 cm x 24.1 cm x 4.4 cm) illustrated box and is shrink-wrapped. Perfect for the entire family, this old-fashioned board game will provide hours of wholesome fun for bacon-loving kids of all ages.

2. Bacon Perfume: According to an old saying, the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. If he loves bacon, then presumably he'll find you irresistible if you wear bacon perfume. And apparently some women find bacon-scented guys irresistible as well, because Fargginay's Bacon Classic Fragrance Spray is designed for use by both men and women (unisex perfumes and colognes are all the rage these days, so I guess this qualifies as a "cutting edge" fragrance).  The "Classic" bacon perfume is described as "a sophisticated spicy maple fragrance with just a hint of bacon, and the fun is in finding it. This artisanal Classic formula is lovingly crafted with the pure essential oil blend of bergamot, orange, lime, grapefruit, black pepper, cedar wood, vetiver, guaiacwood and two pinches of Bacon salty goodness." But wait, there's also another version, called Fargginay's Bacon Gold Fragrance Spray, which is also designed to be worn and enjoyed by both women and men. This one is described as "a memorable sizzling citrus aroma with an ever so slight hint of bacon, and the fun is in finding it. This artisanal Gold formula is lovingly crafted with a pure essential oil blend of mandarin, bergamot, grapefruit, lemon, nutmeg, pimento berry, black pepper & a touch of sweet, a smidgen of savory, and one pinch of Bacon salty goodness." If the scent of frying bacon makes you or your beloved swoon, or if you want to catch the eye (or nose?) of a bacon-loving hottie, choose one (or both!) of these bacon-scented perfumes to make an unforgettable impression.

1. The Porky Pooper: Frankly, I'm at a loss for words about this truly bizarre and not exactly appetizing bacon product. But then again, if folks will spend big bucks to drink coffee brewed from beans pooped out by a civet cat, then why not offer an inexpensive toy pig that poops out bacon-flavored jelly beans??? Described by Bacon Freak as "Oinking good fun," this little pink plastic pig trots out "tasty treats" when you flick his tail (I'm guessing it's a male pig...). The Porky Pooper is perfect for any bacon-lover with a twisted sense of humor, and makes an amusing holiday stocking stuffer or any-occasion gag gift.

Zestfully yours,

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Gloria's Crazy Jambalaya

seafood jambalayaJambalaya is a traditional Cajun dish that's made many different ways, ranging from zesty to fiery in heat, and involving one or more types of meat such as sausage, chicken, ham, shrimp or other seafood. Tomatoes and classic Cajun seasonings are common ingredients in most Jambalaya, and the dish usually is served over cooked white rice or has the cooked rice stirred into it before serving.

My Jambalaya is a little different--and perhaps crazy by Cajun standards. Instead of using Andouille sausage, ham or chicken, my Jambalaya uses only seafood, namely shrimp and fish (I use tilapia or catfish, since both are readily available from local sources in North Carolina). That's not too crazy, you may be saying. Fine, here's the crazy part: There's beer AND wine in my Jambalaya, but no rice. Instead, my Jambalaya replaces the rice with corn, which is a whole grain, unlike white rice.  Of course if you've got to have rice with your jambalaya, you can serve my Crazy Jambalaya over cooked rice.

Here's my recipe for Crazy Corn & Seafood Jambalaya, which makes four servings--or six if served over rice. Feel free to modify the amount and type of chile pepper and hot sauce to suit your taste and heat tolerance.

1 12-oz bottle or can of beer (nothing fancy, a light beer is fine)
2 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup crab boil seasoning
Shrimp & fish jambalaya 1 lb fresh or frozen shrimp in shells
1/2 lb fresh or frozen (thawed) mild white fish fillets, e.g., catfish, tilapia, flounder
2 Tbs butter, or bacon fat, or olive oil (I like bacon fat)
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbs diced jalapeno (fresh or canned/jarred)
2 Roma tomatoes chopped
1 16-oz undrained can tomatoes, preferably fire-roasted (if whole, cut them up)
1/3 cup white wine (I use chardonnay)
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce (I use reduced sodium)
1 tsp hot sauce, preferably a Louisiana pepper sauce like Tabasco
2 cups fresh or frozen (thawed) corn kernels (canned corn is a last resort)
Salt & Pepper to taste, or Slap Ya Mama Cajun Seasoning to taste

In a large pot with a lid and steamer basket (remove the basket for now), combine the beer, water and crab boil seasoning. Bring to a boil, then add shrimp. Bring back to a low boil and cook shrimp until just done (pink). Remove pot from heat, and use a slotted spoon to scoop out the shrimp and place in a shallow bowl to cool to the touch. Reserve the crab boil liquid in the pot for steaming the fish later. When the shrimp is cool enough, peel and devein. Set aside.

Slap Ya Mama Cajun seasoningIn a large, deep saucepan with a lid, saute the celery, onion, garlic and jalapeno in the fat until softened. Add the tomatoes and saute until they've softened. Stir in the canned tomatoes with liquid, wine, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes (it's ok if it goes longer). While this is simmering, steam the fish: Bring the crab boil liquid back to a boil, place the fish in the steamer basket, place the basket in the pot and cover. Reduce heat but keep the liquid simmering, and allow the fish to steam until just done (you can flake it with a fork), about 5 minutes or so depending on the thickness of the filets. Don't worry if you uncover the pot and the fish isn't done yet; merely turn up the heat a bit to bring the liquid back to a gentle boil or simmer, re-cover and keep steaming for a minute or two more. When the fish is just barely done, remove from steamer basket and set aside with the shrimp.

Back to the tomato mixture: Uncover the saucepan, stir in the corn, raise heat to a gentle simmer and cook, uncovered, for a few minutes until corn is hot. Stir in the shrimp and fish, continue to simmer uncovered until heated through, stirring a bit to help the fish flake into chunks. Taste for balance and season with a little salt & pepper (or with Slap Ya Mama Seasoning) as desired. You can also add more hot sauce for a spicier dish--this recipe is mild-to-medium spicy as written. Serve in bowls, with or without cooked rice.

Zestfully yours,

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Now Available: Smoker Chips, Grills, Smokers & More!

Smoked turkeyHaving the right tools for the job can make all the difference between success and failure.

The same is true with barbecue. Having the right BBQ grill or smoker and using the proper BBQ tools and equipment/accessories will help even the novice outdoor cook produce impressively delicious results, and allow the seasoned pitmaster to create a magnificent mouthwatering feast.

BBQ smoked ribs
As the days get warmer & longer and your thoughts drift back to the wonderful aromas and flavors of barbecued chicken, char-grilled steaks, smoked ribs, succulent grilled seafood and other grilled or smoked fare, let the Carolina Sauce Company be your source for the BBQ tools & accessories you need, and for that special barbecue grill or smoker of your dreams.  Here's just a sampling of what we offer through our partners:

Gourmet Grill & Smoker (charcoal)1.  BBQ Grills and Smokers:  Whether your preference is charcoal or gas, vertical or horizontal or barrel, rectangular or round, basic or fully-loaded with all the "bells & whistles," our partner Shopping Warehouse has an extensive selection of high-quality barbecue grills and smokers to fit any budget and preference. Brands include Aussie Grills, Bayou Classic, Camp Chef, Brinkmann, LANDMANN USA, Bradley Technologies smokers, and other superior manufacturers.  Like us, Shopping Warehouse is a small, online business committed to providing excellent customer service and complete satisfaction. Based in Louisiana and accredited by the Better Business Bureau, their rave reviews from happy customers are a testament to their excellent service and fine product offerings.

Onward Grill Pro 00230 Apple Wood Chips2. Wood Chips: From popular favorites like hickory and mesquite to hard-to-find cherry and apple wood chips, and highly-prized Pacific alder wood chips, we have the natural wood chips you need for championship-quality smoked meats, poultry, seafood and cheese. Wood chips and lump charcoal are available on our Wood Chips, Lump Charcoal & Grilling Planks page, and brands include Frontier, Smokehouse, Onward Grill Pro, and others. We even offer Jack Daniels 1749 Wood Smoking Chips made from real Jack Daniel's whiskey-soaked oak barrels to give your food a rich, smooth smokiness with caramel-vanilla flavor notes.

Onward Grill Pro 00280 Cedar Grilling Planks3.  Grilling Planks: In the Pacific Northwest, salmon is traditionally grilled on cedar planks for a lightly smoked, subtly sweet-spicy flavor and incomparable juiciness. Plank grilling helps preserve moisture and flavor in fish and seafood as well as delicate meat and poultry cuts like boneless skinless chicken breasts, which can easily dry out on a BBQ grill. In addition to cedar planks, we also carry alder wood, hickory and maple planks, in single & multi-plank packs as well as variety packs with planks of two or more different types of wood. Grilling planks are available in different sizes, too. You can see some of the options on our Smoker Wood Chips, Grilling Planks & Lump Charcoal page - just click on any of the plank links to visit that partner site and browse their complete selection of wood grilling planks.

4.  Grill Grates: These award-winning, revolutionary GrillGrates are made from anodized panels that are twice as hard as stainless steel to provide superior cooking via conduction, convection & infrared. The patent-pending raised cooking surface "smooths out" hot spots, prevents grease flare-ups, seals in flavorful juices and gives food those attractive professional-quality sear-marks. GrillGrates never rust and are easy to clean, making grilling a pleasure you can enjoy every day. Grill Grates are available in a variety of sizes and shapes to fit virtually any grill style, whether charcoal or gas. Gift sets, gift bags and grilling accessories are also available from our partner GrillGrate. For the guy who loves to barbeque, GrillGrates are the ideal Father's Day gift, birthday or anniversary gift.

Maverick 5 Tool BBQ Accessory Kit5. BBQ Tools:  Grill tongs & long-stemmed forks, meat thermometers, heat-resistant grilling mitts, multi-pocket grilling aprons, stainless steel grill spatulas, grill brushes, kabob skewers, motorized fork baskets, etc., our partner Picnic World has them all, in a wide range of styles and a variety of brands to suit your taste and fit your budget. You can even get a game-day travel gas grill set, complete with a portable mini-grill and perfect for tailgating, picnics, beach outings and camping trips. Visit our BBQ Accessories page for a sampling of what's available from this and other partners, all at great prices and with the convenience of shopping at home or from your desk.

This barbecue & grilling season, don't disappoint your family, friends or yourself with burnt burgers, dried-out chicken, charred veggies or bland ribs that lack that unmistakable wood-smoked flavor and tenderness. Make sure you have the right grill or smoker for the job at hand, as well as the wood chips, charcoal, planks, grates, BBQ accessories and other necessary tools to do it right--and to earn you the title of King (or Queen) of the Grill--by shopping at the Carolina Sauce Company for all your BBQ, grilling and smoker needs.

Zestfully yours,

PS: Don't forget to visit the Carolina Sauces online store for all of the BBQ sauces, seasonings, condiments and other zesty edibles.