Thursday, April 30, 2009

Mother's Day Gifts

Send Flowers

Mother's Day is coming up -- have you gotten a gift for that special Mom (or those special Moms) in your life? The Carolina Sauce Company is here to help! We're your one-stop shopping source for gorgeous fresh flowers delivered straight from the grower, spectacular florist arranged flowers that are sure to impress, handsomely appointed gift baskets overflowing with her favorite treats, plus delicious gourmet sauces and sweets from North Carolina and around the world, all for her enjoyment!

Send Flowers Send PhotoBlooms Flowers Send PhotoBlooms Flowers

Can't be there in person on Mother's Day? The send PhotoBlooms(R), with your very own digital photo and personalized greeting card! Just click on either of the PhotoBlooms(R) icons above, and send your unique, unforgettable floral and photo gift.

Or if your Mom loves all-natural, hand-made soaps, check out our Chile Pepper Soaps from New Mexico, which are shaped like New Mexico chiles but scented with refreshing lime essence (green chile soaps) and opulent cinnamon (red chile soaps). These fragrant soaps lather up to a rich lather and contain skin-soothing natural oils, and come in single soaps or chile ristras (5 soaps per ristra). And they're on sale, too!

Need more ideas? You can't go wrong with any of the following delectably delicious sweet treats:

*Mullen's Apple Sauce from Chicago, an all-natural old-fashioned applesauce that tastes like apple pie without the crust (and a portion of the proceeds goes to support the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation, which assists officers and their families in times of need)

*Lilly's Gourmet Maple Butter, a decadent sweet that's made from an old family recipe and is delicious on pancakes, toast, biscuits, ice cream, waffles, baked sweet potates, and more (and it comes with recipes!)

*Thomas Gourmet Chutneys in four all-natural, fruit-packed varieties -- East meets West in these sweet & savory condiments that complement everything from chicken to meat and seafood, and can also be enjoyed with cheese and crackers as an appetizer or even for dessert (and they're on sale!)

Mother's Day is next Sunday, so make sure you order early to ensure on-time delivery!

Zestfully yours,

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Marie Sharp's Hot Sauces Back In Stock

Newsflash: At long last, we have received our back-ordered inventory of Marie Sharp's Belizean Heat and Marie Sharp's Fiery Habanero Hot Sauce! Made in Belize from local ingredients and using traditional recipes, Marie Sharp's Hot Sauces are hard to find outside of the Caribbean, and are prized for their authentic flavor and fire. Both the Fiery Hot Sauce and Belizean Heat Hot Sauce are intensely hot and definitely for seasoned chileheads (and not for folks with sensitive palates), with the Belizean Heat being significantly hotter thanks to the addition of capsicum oil (pepper extract). The Belizean Heat is enhanced with New Orleans spices, making it particularly suited for adding serious heat to Cajun and Creole dishes. Marie Sharp's Fiery Hot Sauce is made with red habanero and has an honest, straightforward peppery flavor and high heat level that will spice up your food without altering the food's natural flavors. For the best prices, get all of your favorite Marie Sharp's Hot Sauces at the Carolina Sauce Company -- but don't delay, as these hot sauces tend to sell out quickly and can sometimes be hard to re-stock.

Zestfully yours,

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Peri-Peri Sticky BBQ Wings

If you like spicy, sweet & tangy chicken wings, then you'll love this recipe from the makers of Nando's Peri-Peri Pepper Sauces.

2 lbs raw chicken wings (about 16 wings)
1 cup Nando's Portuguese BBQ Marinade
1/2 cup Nando's Hot Peri Peri Sauce
1/2 cup honey

Blend together the Nando's Hot Peri-Peri Sauce and Nando's Portuguese BBQ Marinade with the honey. Pour this mixture over the wings in a sealable container (or plastic zip-top bag) and marinate for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator. Remove wings from container and grill over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes until fully cooked, frequently turning and basting with leftover marinade.

Gloria's Note: For safety's sake, I recommend that you stop basting a few minutes before removing the wings from the grill, to make sure the marinade on the wings has fully cooked. Alternatively, pour only some of the freshly mixed marinade blend over the raw wings for marinating, reserving the rest of the marinade for basting -- that way you won't have to baste with marinade that came in contact with raw chicken.

Zestfully yours,

Monday, April 27, 2009

Spicy Crab Dip

Here's my hot and spicy twist on a classic crab dip. Enjoy!

1 lb fresh or canned crabmeat
2 8oz packages of cream cheese, softened at room temperate for a few minutes (you can substitute reduced fat, but I don't recomment using fat free cream cheese)
1 Tbs worcestershire sauce
1 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1 Tbs Crabanero Hot Sauce
2 green onions (including part of the green tops), finely sliced
1 bottle Thomas Fish Camp Cocktail Sauce

Mix together all ingredients *except* the cocktail sauce, and press into a shallow serving dish, leaving a little space below the rim. Pour the cocktail sauce on top of the mix and carefully spread to the edge of the dish, covering the entire surface evenly. Chill, then serve with crackers.

Zestfully yours,

PS: Thomas Fish Camp Cocktail Sauce is currently on sale at the Carolina Sauce Company!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Exotic, Delicious, & Good For You, Too!

Tropical cuisines -- Caribbean, Southeast Asian, Indian, etc. -- often feature exotic fruits and vegetables that add intriguingly delicious flavors, from citrusy to tart & tangy, and pleasantly piquant to fiery hot. I did some research and discovered that many of these fruits and vegetables also deliver important nutrients. Below is a list of some of my favorite tropical fruits and veggies, along with some info on their nutrients, and a few zesty sauces and condiments that feature these tropical treats.

*Tomatillo: They look like little green tomatoes wrapped in what looks like a dried, crinkly brown leaf. Their flavor is tart and vegetal, perfectly complementing chile peppers, onions and garlic. Tomatillos are often used in Mexican and Southwestern cuisine, and are the key ingredient in Salsa Verde ("green salsa"). I absolutely love salsa verde, and one of my favorites is Pepper Dog Salsa Verde, an all-natural medium-heat smooth (not chunky) salsa that's wonderful with enchiladas, nachos, tacos and even on burgers or simply as a chip dip. Tomatillos deliver niacin, potassium, Vitamin C, and fiber.

*Mango: Ripe mango is my all-time favorite fruit, juicy, fleshy, fragrant, and with an intensely rich, sweet flavor reminiscent of peach and banana and pineapple but without the acid edge of citrus. Mangoes are packed with Vitamin A, beta carotene and Vitamin C. In the summertime I love making a fiery chunky salsa with ripe mango, red or orange habaneros, sweet onions and fresh chopped cilantro. I serve that salsa with grilled fish or chicken, or with chips. Because mango pairs so well with habaneros, there are lots of hot sauces out there that feature mango as an ingredient. I loved the old Ruth's Mango Sauces, which are no longer being made, but thankfully the Pickapeppa Mango Hot Sauces deliver the same great flavor I had grown to love.

*Nopal: Nopal is a fleshy leaf of the prickly pear cactus, and is used in some Mexican dishes. In fact, there are a couple of taquerias here in Durham that make mouthwatering tacos and enchiladas featuring nopales. The flavor is subtly tangy and works well with chile peppers and cilantro. Nopal has potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron and dietary fiber, and also a few vitamins like A, C and B6. Marie Sharp's Green Habanero Hot Sauce features nopal as a main ingredient, blending it with green habaneros and savory ingredients for a fiery, tangy hot sauce that's especially good with poultry, seafood and cheese dishes.

*Tamarind: Used in Indian as well as Caribbean cuisine, the tamarind is tart-sour and tangy, and is often blended with sweet fruit or sugar (or both) to tame it a bit. Worcestershire sauce and steak sauces usually include tamarind as an ingredient. Rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, tamarind also has some of the B vitamins. Susie's Tamarind Tango is one of my favorite sauces for meat dishes like steak and burgers, with the perfect blend of tangy-sweet-spiciness that complements beef, venison and other meats without overpowering.

Zestfully yours,

Friday, April 24, 2009

Tortuga Jerk Pork

This spicy-hot Jamaican recipe comes to us from the Tortuga Rum Company, makers of several delicious Caribbean sauces and other island delicacies. For best flavor, plan on marinating the pork overnight before cooking.

1 onion, finely chopped
1 cup finely chopped scallions
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp fresh thyme, minced
1 scotch bonnet pepper, deseeded and finely chopped
5 lb pork
1 5oz bottle of Tortuga Jamaican Jerk Sauce

Combine the first 5 ingredients, then rub this seasoning into the pork to coat all sides. Place the pork in the refrigerator for half an hour to allow the flavors to penetrate, then remove from refrigerator and pour the Tortuga Jamaican Jerk Sauce all over the pork. Place back in the refrigerator to marinate for at least 5 hours, ideally overnight. Cook the pork as desired until well done: on the grill, in the oven, or even in a crock pot.

Gloria's Note: I like to enjoy jerk pork with fluffy white rice and a side of sweet (ripe) fried plantains, and a simple tossed salad with a citrus dressing. Of course, fresh tropical fruit (mango, pineapple, papaya etc) makes the perfect ending for this meal!

Zestfully yours,

PS: Tortuga Jamaican Jerk Sauce is currently on sale at the Carolina Sauce Company!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Walkerswood Update

First, the good news: Rumor (from our suppliers) has it that there's a container waiting to be cleared at U.S. customs with more Walkerswood products from Jamaica, and that we might very well have the Walkerswood Marinade and Jonkanoo Pepper Sauce back in stock around the end of the month. And we still have a few of the 10oz jars of Walkerswood Jerk Seasoning in stock, as do both of our major suppliers, so we don't currently anticipate shortages of that authentic jerk seasoning paste.

Now for the bad news: A vigilant customer told me today that there's a Walkerswood rescue underway, to try to bail out the struggling manufacturer. This confirms the rumors I've been hearing for years about the many problems -- both business and weather related -- that have been plaguing the Walkerswood company. Hopefully everything will work out and production will become more reliable, but there sure does seem to be an awful lot of uncertainty in the air about the future of the Walkerswood brand. Rest assured that we'll continue doing all we can to keep Walkerswood products in stock at the Carolina Sauce Company, and I'll keep an eye out for more information. If and when we're able to re-stock the marinade, Jonkanoo sauce or the Walkerswood Hot & Spicy Jerk Sauce, we'll do so right away and announce it here.

Zestfully yours,

Monday, April 20, 2009

Spicy Sherried Shrimp

This simple but flavorful recipe works as an entree when served hot over rice, or as a hot buffet hors d'oeuvre or brunch item in a chafing dish.

1 lb raw medium shrimp in shell (about 30-count)
1/2 stick butter
5 Tbs Busha Browne's Spicy Hot Pepper Sherry
Dash of salt
Dash of powdered garlic

Shell and devein the shrimp. Melt the butter in a frying pan, add the salt and garlic, and then add the shrimp. Cook, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes, then add the pepper sherry and finish cooking (total cooking time is around 5 minutes). Serve over hot white rice, or place in a chafing dish as a hot buffet item.

Zestfully yours,

Friday, April 17, 2009

No More Blue Tick Dressing or Carolina Swamp Sauce

Newsflash: Sadly, the rumors are true: Blue Tick Dressing and Carolina Swamp Sauce are no longer being manufactured, and are no longer available. We have completely sold out of both delicious sauces here at the Carolina Sauce Company, and our distributor is also completely sold out, and we haven't been able to find any other source for either product. PLEASE don't blame us, as we had nothing to do with the demise of the Carolina Swamp Stuff product line. We were not the manufacturer -- we merely sold the products on the Carolina Sauce Company online store. We are doing all we can to try to get both the Blue Tick Dressing and the Carolina Swamp Sauce back on the market, and have told the company that bought the product line that there are LOTS of people out there who want to buy the sauces. To that end, we are keeping a waiting list of folks who want to be notified us if we're able to get Blue Tick Dressing or Carolina Swamp Sauce again. If you want to be added to our waiting list, please email us (sales"AT"carolinasauce"DOT"com) to give us your name and contact info (preferably email, otherwise your phone number), and specify which product you're interested in. If we're able to get them again, we'll be back in touch right away.

If you're familiar with the Carolina Swamp Stuff product line, you probably also know that Bog Bottom BBQ Sauce is part of that family. Sadly, that thick, rich Western NC style barbecue sauce has also been discontinued by the company that bought the Swamp Stuff product line. We completely sold out of that delightful product too, and it's no longer available. If you're looking for other North Carolina BBQ sauces to try, you can browse our current selection on our North Carolina Products page.

Zestfully yours,

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Southern Twang Cheese Ball Appetizer

This crowd-pleasing appetizer recipe comes to us from the creators of Southern Twang Dry Rub, an award-winning tangy-sweet rub from North Carolina. This recipe makes 2 cheese balls. Make sure you allow at least 2 hours for the combined ingredients to chill in the fridge before serving

2 packages (8oz each) cream cheese, softened
1 can (8oz) crushed pineapple, drained
1 1/2 cup chopped pecans
5 Tbs Southern Twang Dry Rub (available from the Carolina Sauce Company online store)
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
2 Tbs chopped onion
1/4 tsp salt

Set aside 1/2 cup of the chopped pecans for later use. Mix together the rest of the ingredients and chill for at least 2 hours to allow the flavors to meld. Form into 2 balls, then roll each ball in the reserved pecans. Serve with crackers.

Gloria's notes: You can substitute low-fat (but not fat-free) cream cheese for one or both of the packages of regular cream cheese. For folks who like spicy food, you can substitute part or all of the chopped green pepper with chopped jalapeno pepper. I like to use chopped sweet onion instead of regular white or yellow onion.

Zestfully yours,

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Best Hot Sauces for Under $4

Today is Tax Day, and I figured some folks might need cheering up after feeling their wallets get lighter. I know that tasty food always cheers me up, and so does a good bargain. If you're the same way, then the following list of great hot sauces for under $4 should bring a smile to your face!

*Iguana Mean Green Hot 'n Tasty Jalapeno Pepper Sauce: Lots of green jalapeno flavor and medium heat that will complement, not overwhelm, your food

*El Yucateco Mexican Hot Sauces: Made in Mexico, El Yucateco comes in 6 different varieties all under $4 each, including red and green habanero sauces, jalapeno and chipotle sauces, Caribbean hot sauce, and a super-hot traditional Mayan hot sauce!

*Most flavors of Melinda's Hot Sauce, made the traditional Caribbean way, are under $4 a bottle, including the mustard-based Melinda's Amarillo Hot Sauce as well as several habanero pepper hot sauces

*All 4 varieties of Nando's Peri-Peri Pepper Sauces from South Africa, made with all-natural ingredients and Kosher, to boot!

*Samson's Sauce, a peppery old-fashioned hot sauce from North Carolina, with a very funny label

*The original Scorned Woman Hot Sauce, a fiery vinegar-based, multi-pepper hot sauce, and its fruity, slightly tamer sister, Scorned Woman Sweet Majic Hot Sauce

*All varieties of Texas Pete Hot Sauce, an all-purpose, not-too-spicy vinegar hot sauce that's actually made in North Carolina, not Texas, and is perfect for making homemade Buffalo wings

Now who can resist bargains like that??

Zestfully yours,

Monday, April 13, 2009

Always Read the Label!

As you might imagine, our refrigerator at home always has lots of open bottles of hot sauce, bbq sauce, and a variety of other condiments, thanks to our constant research into potential new products for the Carolina Sauce Company, and our love for zesty eating. On any given day you can find everything from old-fashioned maple butter, to mild and hot chow chow relish, gourmet crab cake sauce to wickedly fiery ghost pepper hot sauce made with the world's hottest hot pepper, the Naga Jolokia -- in short, stuff ranging from tame to insane on the heat scale. As a result, BEFORE I pour something on my food I always check the label *carefully* to make sure I know how much to use, and what to expect. Sometimes sauces in the same product family will have very similar labels, but wildly different heat levels, so it's wise (IMHO) to read the label before pouring it on. Unfortunately, Greg learned this lesson the hard way the other day.

You see, Greg had made himself a nice batch of chicken wings for dinner, and he wanted a tasty Buffalo style wing sauce to enjoy on them. He opened the fridge, and seeing two similar bottles of DEFCON wing sauce, he reached for the DEFCON 1 Wing Sauce, assuming the other one with the "3" (DEFCON 3 Mild Wing Sauce) was hotter. After all, 3 is higher than 1, so 1 should be milder, right?? Silly boy didn't read the label, where it clearly says that DEFCON 1 packs *Extreme Heat* and should be used sparingly, with caution, while DEFCON 3 says "low heat" plain as day on the label.

So of course he proceeds to slather his wings with DEFCON 1, takes a big bite, and thinks, wow, that's pretty hot, a lot hotter than I remember. Then he takes another big bite.... and a few seconds later is in extreme agony, coughing and running to the kitchen to pour himself a HUGE glass of milk. Once he catches his breath, he turns to me, face flushed and perspiring, and asks why the mild DEFCON has gotten so insanely hot. Suspecting his mistake, I ask to see the bottle he used and then calmly point out that DEFCON 1 is the hottest of the DEFCON products, not the mildest, and that as someone who loves reading military thrillers he should know the DEFCON scale (1 is the highest level of threat). Sheepishly he admits that he wasn't thinking, and didn't read the label... and then he chugs another glass of milk by the sink while rinsing off his Buffalo wings.

The moral of the story is to always check the label -- unless you don't mind burning off your tongue and getting your heart racing from time to time!

Zestfully yours,

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Asparagus with Lemon Sauce

Fresh asparagus is one of my favorite springtime treats, and this quick recipe makes a nice Easter side dish. This recipe makes 3 to 4 servings.

1 bunch (3/4 lb to 1 lb) fresh asparagus (slender spears are the best)
1 Tbs butter
2 tsp flour
Dash each of salt & pepper
1/2 cup milk (you can use low-fat or whole)
1/4 to 1/2 tsp finely shredded lemon peel (amount depends on your preference for lemon flavor)
1 tsp fresh snipped chives

Wash the asparagus and break off any woody ends. Place the asparagus in an 8x8x2 microwave-safe baking dish, add 2 Tbs water, and cover the dish with clear plastic wrap leaving a corner open for venting. Microwave on high (100% power) for 4 to 6 minutes (until the asparagus is crisp-tender), turning once (or use a microwave turntable). Set aside.

In a 2-cup microwave-safe glass measuring cup, melt the butter in the microwave (about 30 to 40 seconds on high - watch carefully against splatter). Stir in the flour, salt & pepper, and milk. Cook on high, uncovered, for 2 to 3 minutes or until thick & bubbly, stirring after every minute (the sauce may cook more quickly and you may need to stir more frequently if using a high-wattage microwave). Remove from the microwave and stir in the lemon peel and chives.

Drain the asparagus and place on a microwave-safe serving platter. Drizzle the sauce over the asparagus, then cook on high, uncovered for 30 to 60 seconds or until heated through.

Zestfully yours,

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Apple Glazed Ham

If you're looking for a family-pleasing Easter ham recipe, then you've come to the right place! This simple recipe is simply delicious. And if you're cooking for folks who love hot & spicy foods, then just add a few dashes of the apple hot sauce to the glaze.

1 10-oz jar of apple jelly
1 tsp fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Dash of nutmeg
Optional: A few dashes of Maui Pepper Co. Apples Ass Hot Sauce
1 5-lb pecooked ham, such as Armour Golden Star

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Score the surface of the ham, and heat in the oven according to package directions. Combine the first 4 ingredients (including the apple hot sauce if using) in a small saucepan and heat on the stove, stirring occasionally, until the jelly melts. Spoon this glaze over the ham during the last 30 minutes of heating.

Note: This ham pairs beautifully with a side of apple sauce -- I recommend Mullen's Apple Sauce, the most delicious (and all natural) apple sauce I've ever tasted. If you prefer a more savory accompaniment, then you can't go wrong with Thomas Gourmet Apple Chutney, another all-natural treat. Both of these are on sale from the Carolina Sauce Company.

Zestfully yours,

Friday, April 10, 2009

Blackened Fish

Cajun blackened catfish
Cajun blackened catfish
If you're cooking fish for Good Friday, here's a simple recipe for spicy blackened fish. You can save time by using any of the varieties of Slap Ya Mama Cajun Seasoning, or you can mix together your own Cajun blackening spice mixture using my recipe in the Note below.

There are no set amounts for this recipe - just go by how many mouths you have to feed, and how spicy you like your food.  

Warning: This recipe creates a lot of smoke when you blacken the fish, so either make sure you have a strong exhaust fan on your stove (and open your kitchen windows), or cook outside on your grill.

Raw fish fillets (white fish like catfish, flounder, whiting, cod, trout etc. work best)
Your choice of Slap Ya Mama Cajun Seasoning, OR your homemade Cajun Spice Blend - see *Note below
(Opt) Dried Thyme or Oregano - only if you're using Slap Ya Mama instead of making your own seasoning blend
Melted butter in a shallow dish, for dipping the fish

*Note: To make your own Cajun Spice Blend, combine 1/2 cup paprika, 2 Tbs salt, 1/4 cup garlic powder, 1/4 cup black pepper, 1/4 cup cayenne pepper, and 2 Tbs dried oregano or thyme in a small bowl, mix well and store in a tightly closed container until ready to use. This makes plenty and will keep just as well as other herb or spice seasoning blends

Heat a cast iron skillet over high heat or on your grill for 5 to 10 minutes, until very hot. Dip each raw fish fillet in the melted butter, remove and then sprinkle each side with Slap Ya Mama Seasoning and oregano, OR with your homemade Cajun Spice Blend. Carefully place each fillet in the hot skillet and cook 30 seconds to 1 minute on each side. Note: It's very important that the skillet is very hot, so that the fish will sear and blacken, instead of sticking to the skillet.

Note: Thinner fish fillets like trout will finish cooking in 2 to 3 minutes total. Otherwise, for thicker fish fillets, first sear the fish per above and then place the entire cast iron skillet in a 350°F preheated oven and bake until done (i.e., fish flakes easily).

Serve with lemon wedges, tartar sauce or cocktail sauce. Another excellent condiment for blackened fish is Tobago Keys Coral Ridge Seafood Dipping Sauce, a creamy and lightly tangy, peppery mayonnaise based sauce with a fun tropical (but not fruity or sweet) twist.

Zestfully yours,

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Pickapeppa Mango Sauces, for Fans of Ruth's Mango Sauce

If you are a fan of the old Ruth's Mango Sauces from Jamaica, which are no longer on the market, I have great news: Pickapeppa Mango Sauces have replicated the recipes, and these deliciously spicy sauces are now available from the Carolina Sauce Company! Blending sunny tropical mango with Caribbean peppers, zingy ginger and other all-natural ingredients, these fruity hot sauces are savory-sweet and pleasantly piquant, capturing the essence of island cuisine for your enjoyment at home. The Spicy Mango Sauce has just a bit of peppery heat, while the Hot Mango Sauce fires things up with plenty of hot peppers -- but don't worry, the heat won't overpower the flavor of the sauce or of your food. If you enjoy mango hot sauce, you will love both of these offerings from Pickapeppa, one of the oldest and most respected producers of fine Jamaican sauces and condiments. Enjoy Pickapeppa Mango Sauces just as you did Ruth's Mango Sauces: on poultry, fish and seafood, meat and game, stir-fry and grilled dishes, with rice, on burgers, and any other way you please! Both flavors are gluten free, very low sodium, all natural and have zero trans fat. In other words, they're delicious AND good for you, too!

Zestfully yours,

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Fat-Free Latkes

If you're watching your weight or trying to eat low-fat, but want to enjoy latkes for Passover, here's the perfect recipe for you. These fat free potato pancakes are especially nice when served with some Mullen's Apple Sauce, or even with just a few drops of honey. Or for an exotic twist, serve with a dollop of apple chutney.

1 cup fat-free egg substitute (I use Egg Beaters brand), or 8 egg whites
1 cup apple juice (100% real juice, not juice drink)
1 cup skim milk (organic tastes best)
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 finely ground whole wheat matzo crumbs

Whisk together the first 4 ingredients in a large bowl, then add the matzo crums and mix until just blended (don't over mix). Carefully heat a large non-stick frying pan (don't let it smoke!) and use a tablespoon to drop the batter into the hot frying pan. Fry until browned on both sides. Serves 4.

Note: If you are cooking for 2, you can simply halve the ingredient quantities in this recipe except for the cinnamon, which you might prefer to reduce only to 1/2 tsp.

Zestfully yours,

Monday, April 6, 2009

Gourmet Gift Baskets & Fresh Flowers Now Available!

Newsflash: The Carolina Sauce Company is now your one-stop online shopping destination for bountiful gourmet gift baskets, and for beautiful fresh flower bouquets and arrangements for any occasion!
Send Flowers Send Flowers
Nothing says "I Love You" -- or "I'm Sorry", or even simply "I'm Thinking of You" -- like the gift of a gorgeous bouquet of flowers, from traditional roses to springtime tulips to exotic tropical blooms. We've partnered with one of the leading providers of fresh flowers straight from the growers, offering the highest quality floral gifts at prices that can't be beat, with next-day and even same-day delivery available. You can personalize your gift with a color photo, or select a special gift card, or send other unique gifts, including real living bonsai!

Likewise, you can now order gift baskets brimming with gourmet goodies, delightful candy confections, specialty teas, and more. There's something for every budget, and a theme for every occasion. Simply click on the boxes above, or click on the text links in this post to browse our floral store and view the many different gift baskets that are available and ready to be sent to that special someone. You'll also find links on the Carolina Sauce home page, and that's also where you'll find special offers so don't forget to bookmark that page!

Zestfully yours,

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Dave's Ghost Pepper Naga Jolokia Hot Sauce

Just in case the original Dave's Insanity Sauce wasn't hot enough for you, Dave's Gourmet has now come out with Dave's Ghost Pepper Naga Jolokia Hot Sauce, featuring the world's hottest hot pepper as the main ingredient. Also called the Bhut Jolokia or "ghost" pepper (purportedly because you "give up the ghost" with one bite of this ultra hot pepper), the Naga Jolokia tops the Scoville scale at over 1 million Scoville Units of pure, unforgiving peppery fire. Dave's Ghost Pepper Sauce takes his original Insanity Sauce recipe and supplements it with a healthy amount of this dangerous pepper, and the result is an unrelenting burn of extreme heat, made all the more powerful and unquenchable by the addition of capsaicin extract. In case I haven't been clear, this is NOT a hot sauce that you pour on your food. No, Dave's Ghost Pepper Hot Sauce is technically a food additive that's meant to be used in cooking, and only by the micro-drop. The warnings on the label are SERIOUS. As to the comment on the label that this sauce is also a "great industrial cleaner and grease remover", well.... I can't say I've tried that, but I wouldn't be surprised!

All that being said, Dave's Ghost Pepper Naga Jolokia Hot Sauce actually does have some culinary use, specifically as an ingredient for chili, stews and spicy ethnic dishes, and for ratcheting up the heat in barbecue sauces or Buffalo wing sauces. Once you get past the mindblowing, brain-melting heat, you can savor roasted garlic and smoky flavors, and there's no vinegar harshness because the base is vegetable oil -- but that oil base is also what makes this sauce so dangerous if applied directly on your tongue or skin, so PLEASE stick to using this sauce in recipes and only in the smallest amounts. If you're cooking large batches of fiery chili or making a lot of suicide wings or otherwise cooking for a crowd of chileheads, Dave's Jolokia Hot Sauce is a great way to get the most bang (literally!) for your buck. And if you collect hot sauces or need a gift for someone who does, you can't go wrong with this brand new ultra-hot hot sauce. Dave's Ghost Pepper Naga Jolokia Hot Sauce is available now at the Carolina Sauce Company, along with other milder (and wilder!) sauces from Dave's Gourmet.

Zestfully yours,

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Kosher Sauces and Seasonings

If you are observing Passover next week, or if you prefer to use Kosher products in your kitchen, you'll be pleased to know that the Carolina Sauce Company has an entire section devoted to Kosher products. There you can find everything from Kosher hot sauce in different heat levels to Kosher barbecue sauce (mild or hot, vinegar style or thicker), and our very own Kosher Gourmet Gift Set (pictured) featuring five delicious all-natural condiments and sauces made in Israel by a gourmet chef. There are Kosher cooking sauces (these are on sale!) and Kosher marinades for meat, poultry, fish, vegetable and rice dishes, plus several different types of Kosher seasonings and Kosher dry rubs in a variety of different flavors. You can even find mild and hot Kosher salsa made in North Carolina and full of chunky tomatoes, peppers and onions. If you have questions about a particular product or need to know the specific Kosher certification for a product, please feel free to email us (sales"AT"carolinasauce"DOT"com) or give us a call at 919-286-1080, and we'll be happy to help any way we can.

Zestfully yours,

Friday, April 3, 2009

Nando's Hot Peri-Peri Grinds In Stock Again!

Our resourceful importer managed to find and send us another limited-quantity shipment of Nando's Hot Peri Peri Grinders, and they arrived at the Carolina Sauce Company warehouse this afternoon. You may recall that Nando's had discontinued its peri-peri grinds last year, and all three flavors had become impossible to find in the U.S. We were thrilled earlier this year when our importer was able to send us a limited supply of all three varieties, but we received very few of the Hot Peri Peri Grinds and they sold out almost immediately, much to the disappointment of fans of this convenient and deliciously fiery seasoning. Once again, we have a fresh - but limited - supply of the Hot Grinds (and we still slightly more of the Medium Peri Peri Grinds and the mild Lemon Herb Peri Peri Grinds). If you are a fan of this grind-as-needed whole spice seasoning, don't delay and order it now as I suspect we'll quickly sell out again. And there's no guarantee that we'll be able to get more.

Zestfully yours,

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Top 10 Best Selling Sauces & Products for March 2009

Below are the top ten best-selling sauces and zesty products for March 2009 at the Carolina Sauce Company online store:

1. Our overall best-selling product continues to be the addictively delicious Castle Sauce, an old-fashioned steak sauce and all-purpose condiment from Greensboro, NC that is wildly popular among fans of the old Boar & Castle Restaurant -- and is rapidly gaining a strong following among younger folks who never had the chance to eat at the Boar & Castle before it closed in 1979

2. In second place on our list of best sellers was Scorned Woman Hot Sauce, a traditional vinegar-based hot sauce that features red and black pepper as well as habanero and jalapeno peppers for layers of unforgiving fire

3. Dave's Ultimate Insanity Sauce, one of the hottest hot sauces we carry, finished an impressive #3 for March, showing that there are many fiery foods fanatics out there who are crazy about their ultra-hot hot sauces!

4. Carolina Swamp Sauce, a Caribbean-inspired gourmet marinade and barbecue sauce made in North Carolina, took 4th place on our list of best-selling sauces -- and we're doing our darndest to try to get more of this delicious sauce with the funny name!

5. Calhoun's Charcoal Seasoning is a great way to add real charcoal flavor to food when you can't grill outdoors or if you only have a gas grill. Don't worry, we WILL have more Calhoun's Charcoal Seasoning in stock soon...

6. Busha Browne's Pukka Sauce, another ever-popular item at the Carolina Sauce Company, finished 6th for March, delivering a powerful wallop of flavor and fire for folks who enjoy hot sauce that actually tastes good

7. Buderim Ginger Bears from Australia are "grown-up" gummies made with real ginger, and they were the seventh most popular item last month

8. Nando's Hot Peri Peri Grind is from South Africa, and is virtually impossible to find in the US nowadays. This fiery mixture of whole spices, sea salt, dried citrus and dried peri peri peppers comes with a convenient grinder built into the lid, so that you can add fresh-ground spiciness to any dish, anytime. And yes, a new shipment of this rare treat arrives TOMORROW! Make sure you order ASAP, as once again supplies will be limited and we don't know if/when our supplier will be able to get us more.

9. Wells Hog Heaven BBQ Sauce is an authentic eastern NC vinegar-based barbecue sauce, and it finished 9th on our list of best-selling sauces (which is impressive since March isn't exactly the best time of year to use the smoker or the grill!)

10. Rounding out our list of the top 10 best-selling sauces for last month is Matouk's Calypso Sauce from Trinidad & Tobago, a thick and rich, fiery hot sauce packed with tropical flavor and aged scotch bonnet peppers.

Zestfully yours,

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Mysterious Cause of Chile Pepper Blight Discovered

Newsflash: For the past few years, chile pepper crops in Jamaica, the West Indies and elsewhere in the Caribbean have been hit by a mysterious blight, resulting in product shortages and production problems for some of the most popular brands of hot sauce and Jamaican jerk condiments. Initially blamed on the harshness of tropical storms, the nature of the damage to the peppers was such that it couldn't be blamed solely on the weather (e.g., tiny teeth imprints unlike those of any known animals). This mysterious pepper blight is now striking hot pepper crops outside the Caribbean, including residential vegetable gardens in the US, to the dismay of fiery food lovers and hot sauce fans. Until now, the cause of this devastating pepper blight had remained a mystery. But thanks to our tireless sleuthing and the use of the latest in spy camera technology, the Carolina Sauce Company's research department has solved the mystery of the chile pepper blight. Meet the elusive and nefarious Pepper Gnome:

Disguising itself as an innocent, ordinary garden gnome, the devious Pepper Gnome has perfected its ability to remain motionless for hours, even days, thereby camouflaging its true identity and devouring hot peppers only when no one is around. The Pepper Gnome was originally thought to have become extinct during the late 18th century along with the last known brownies, fairies, leprechauns and other magical little peoples. However, it is now believed that the hardiest Pepper Gnomes survived by living only amongst the hottest varieties of chile peppers, generally considered inedible until recent times when the fiery foods craze and quest for the hottest hot sauce was born (we can thank Dave's Insanity Sauce for that).

With flesh as tough as modern plastic, the modern Pepper Gnome has proven resistant to all forms of pesticides and herbicides, wreaking havoc in fields of vulnerable habanero and scotch bonnet peppers throughout the Caribbean. Left unchecked, a Pepper Gnome infestation can devastate a commercial or residential pepper crop in no time, dooming the hapless farmer or gardener to a season (or longer) of boring, bland food. But there is hope: Here at Carolina Sauce Company we have discovered that spraying a Pepper Gnome with capsaicin extract rated at 800,000 Scoville Units or higher will permanently paralyze the Pepper Gnome, turning it into a harmless -- and inanimate -- garden ornament. To that end, we recommend that anyone planning on growing chili peppers in their garden "arm" themselves with one or more bottles of Satan's Blood Hot Sauce (rated at 800,000 Scovilles) or Da Bomb The Final Answer (rated at 1.5 million Scovilles, and able to wipe out the worst Pepper Gnome infestations).

We thought we had captured a Pepper Gnome in action, gobbling up a hothouse habanero, but unfortunately we were spotted as we clicked on the shutter and the Pepper Gnome instantaneously gulped down the remains of the pepper and froze in an innocent pose. However, if you are wily enough to photograph a Pepper Gnome in your garden, either with or near a hot pepper, please share your photo with us -- you can email photos to sales"AT"carolinasauce"DOT"com. We'll post the best Pepper Gnome photos here, AND you just might win a free bottle of a new ultra-hot hot sauce that will soon be available (and that part's not a joke!)

Zestfully yours,