Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Walkerswood Jerk Seasoning is Back in Stock!

The 10oz jars of Walkerswood Traditional Jamaican Jerk Seasoning are once again back in stock at the Carolina Sauce Company, after another relatively brief interruption in supply. We're doing all we can to keep this product on our shelves, but as anyone familiar with the Jamaican side of things, production back on the island isn't always up to demand (and this hot and spicy authentic jerk paste is always in high demand). We received our first shipment today and are in the process of filling back-orders from patient customers. The good news is that we have a second shipment due to arrive later this week before we close for vacation. So go ahead and order it now if you want to make sure you have some Walkerswood jerk seasoning on hand for your enjoyment in the near future, as who knows what its availability will be like once we re-open in mid-July....

Zestfully yours,

Monday, June 29, 2009

Burning Asphalt Buffalo Wing Sauce & Dutch Apple BBQ Sauce: In Stock & Lower Price!

Hailing from Amish country in upstate New York, Burning Asphalt Dutch Apple BBQ Sauce is a rich, sweet homestyle barbecue sauce made with farm-fresh apples, ripe tomatoes and savory spices. The "Burning Asphalt" name pays homage to the sauce's creator's love of auto racing. This old-fashioned BBQ sauce is fabulous with pork and other meats, as well as chicken, veggies and seafood. It's finally back in stock at the Carolina Sauce Company, and now available at a new lower price!

Also back in stock is Burning Asphalt Buffalo Wing Sauce, a traditional tangy & spicy Buffalo style chicken wing sauce that's made with aged cayenne peppers and a touch of garlic. In addition to being the perfect complement to chicken wings, this medium-hot wing sauce is also terrific as a marinade or grilling sauce for chicken and shrimp, a dipping sauce for fries, and even as an alternative to ketchup on burgers. It's also back in stock at the Carolina Sauce Company, and also available at a new lower price!

Zestfully yours,

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Vanilla: An Unsung Zesty Ingredient?

Vanilla gets a bum rap as being "plain" or boring. Not true! There's a reason -- actually, there are many reasons -- why vanilla is generally considered the world's most popular flavor, and I'll gladly share a few of my reasons for loving this unsung hero or "character actor" of the zesty world. If you've only had imitation vanilla flavoring, or have never used a real vanilla bean, you don't know what you're missing!

Just as with coffee beans and wine grapes, the origins of a vanilla bean will affect its flavor and fragrance. Vanilla can brighten or enhance the spicy flavors in chili pepper dishes, add complexity and richness of flavor by reducing acidity in savory tomato dishes, and can complement citrus and other fruit flavors in desserts and in sauces. Here are the 3 major types of vanilla and how they differ:

Mexican: Vanilla beans from Mexico tend to be somewhat thick, with a creamy flavor and spicy notes that make them especially well-suited for savory dishes -- Mexican vanilla will help round out the sharpness of acidic foods like tomatoes.

Madagascar: This is the ideal vanilla for everyday desserts and sweets, with a naturally sweet and creamy flavor. Madagascar vanilla has the thinnest beans, and is also called Bourbon Vanilla.

Tahitian: This is the darkest and thickest of the vanilla types, and is actually a different species from Mexican or Madagascar vanilla. Its exotic flavor is brigher, with fruity and floral notes that make it perfect for fruit-based desserts, and also for homemade vanilla ice cream.

When buying whole vanilla beans or pods, take a sniff and select beans that have a strong vanilla scent. Also look for beans that are long and have a powdery white dusting over the shriveled black skin. Store the beans in an airtight glass jar or plastic bag at room temperature. To use the beans, split down the middle and scrape out the seeds with the dull edge of a knife for use in recipes. Save the pod for steeping in milk or for making vanilla sugar, or chop it for use in homemade potpourri. You can steep a bean in milk to flavor the milk, and the bean can then be removed, rinsed well and dried thoroughly for future use (you can get several uses out of 1 bean if you take care to rinse well and dry thoroughly before storing). To make vanilla sugar, simply place a whole vanilla bean in a jar of sugar, and shake every few days. One bean can flavor the entire sugar jar for a good year or more.

Zesty cooking tip: Add a tablespoon of Mexican vanilla extract to homemade spaghetti sauce or to a pot of chili to take the acidic edge off tomatoes and to enhance the spiciness of peppers. You'll love the enriched depth of flavor, and your guests will never guess what the "secret ingredient" is!

Zestfully yours,
Carolina Sauce Company, Inc.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Ginger-Spiced Lemonade & Limeade

This refreshing, zippy citrus drink can be made with sparkling water as well as "still" water, and with your choice of lemons or limes (or both combined). You'll want to make the lemon or lime "base" ahead of time and allow it to chill in the refrigerator until you're ready to serve. This recipe makes 6 servings.

One 4-inch piece of fresh ginger
1 1/2 cups freshly-squeezed lemon juice or lime juice (or both to total 1 1/2 cups)
1 1/2 cups superfine sugar
2 1/2 cups water (NOT sparkling)

3 cups (24 oz) ice-cold water OR sparkling water
6 lemon or lime wedges for garnish

Peel the ginger and use a very sharp knife to slice into thin coins. Combine the ginger with the 2 1/2 cups water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes, then remove from heat and allow to cool. Remove and discard the ginger pieces. In a serving pitcher, mix together the cooled ginger liquid, sugar and lemon or lime juice. Stir well until sugar is completely dissolved, then store this "base" in the refrigerator until ready to serve. To serve, fill glasses half-full with the "base" and then finish filling with ice-cold water or sparkling water. Serve each glass with a lemon or lime wedge.

Note: In really hot weather, like to "frost" my serving glasses by storing in the freezer for several hours or overnight, and then pulling them out just before filling with lemonade.

Zestfully yours,

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Zesty Independence Day Specials For Your Cookout

If you're planning a cookout, BBQ, picnic or party to celebrate the 4th of July, the Carolina Sauce Company has what you need for deliciously zesty to flavorful & fiery good eats. Best of all, many of these mouthwatering sauces and seasonings are on sale at specially discounted prices, just in time for the 4th of July! To take advantage of this Independence Day sale, simply look for the red sale prices, or look for the words "On Sale", when you click on a product category tab in the online store. You can also search the Carolina Sauce Company store for the words "on sale" and that will show you a list of all the products currently on sale.

There's barbecue sauce from North Carolina, Memphis, Texas and other locales famous for their 'que, marinades and seasoning rubs for meats, poultry and seafood, relish and salsa from mild to insanely hot, mustard of several different varieties and heat levels, snacks and pickles for munching and garnishing, a huge selection of hot sauce from around the world, and more.

But don't delay, as these special sale prices are good only while supplies last!

Zestfully yours,

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Hot Dill Pickle Chips

Tart, crunchy, and packed with fiery flavor, these hot dill pickle chips are made especially for the Carolina Sauce Company using all-natural ingredients including farm-fresh cucumbers from the NC mountains. The heat comes from plenty of red pepper flakes - you can see clearly see them at the bottom of the jar in the photo -- and these spicy pickle chips won't disappoint folks who enjoy hot & spicy foods. They come tightly packed in an old-fashioned 16 oz Mason jar, so you get plenty of pickles for your money. The obvious way to enjoy these hot dill pickle chips is on burgers and in sandwiches or straight from the jar, just as you would ordinary dill chips. And of course they're also good in wraps and salads. But here are some other ways I like to eat them:

*Finely chopped and added to tuna salad or egg salad - I also add a drained half-teaspoon of the red pepper flakes from the jar for added heat

*Coarsely chopped and stirred into mayonnaise for a simple and spicy alternative to tartar sauce -- sometimes I also add a little grated Parmesan cheese and mustard for added depth of flavor

*With sliced cheese on crackers as a quick zesty snack

*On a toasted bagel with cream cheese -- because plain cream cheese is sometimes too boring!

And for any of you pregnant readers out there, I assume you can enjoy these hot pickle chips with ice cream...

Zestfully yours,

PS: Our hot dill chips are currently on sale as part of the Carolina Sauce Company's Independence Day Sale, so order them today for your 4th of July cookout or picnic!

Spicy Blueberry Sauce

Here's my spicy twist on traditional blueberry sauce. Try it on biscuits, pancakes, crepes, blintzes, ice cream, and even as a deliciously unusual sauce for grilled chicken!

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 Tbs cornstarch
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp coarsely ground black pepper (preferrably freshly-ground)
Pinch kosher salt
1 pint blueberries

Combine all ingredients EXCEPT the blueberries in a saucepan and cook, stirring, over medium-high heat until thickened. Add the blueberries and continue to cook, stirring, until heated through.

Zestfully yours,

PS: If you like spicy-sweet fruit sauces, or are interested in unique hot sauces for desserts and more, then check out the award-winning Toad Sweat Dessert Hot Sauces, which come in zippy Lemon Vanilla (the mildest), exotic Chocolate Orange, sweet-tart and spicy Cranberry Hot Sauce, and fiery Key Lime Hot Sauce (the hottest). Not sure which to try? Then the Toad Sweat mini-bottle 4-pack is for you!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Hot Pickled Garlic

These fiery hot pickled garlic cloves come from a small family farm in the North Carolina mountains and are made especially for the Carolina Sauce Company using all-natural ingredients. Packed in an old-fashioned 16 oz Mason jar that includes a couple of whole pickled hot peppers along with a generous bunch of garlic cloves, this zesty and pungent pickle is perfect for snacking straight from the jar, or for using in any recipe that calls for garlic (and could use a bit of heat). You can chop, mince or slice the hot pickled garlic cloves just as you would fresh garlic for recipes, salads, soups, chili, pasta and more. And of course you can also cook with and eat the pickled jalapeno and habanero peppers in the jar! Here are some ways I enjoy hot pickled garlic:

*Sliced paper-thin for use as a pizza topping

*Coarsely chopped together with the pickled hot peppers for use in chili

*Minced and mixed into raw ground beef for hamburgers, meatballs, meatloaf and other ground meat recipes

*Chopped with sun-dried tomatoes, parsley and olive oil, then tossed with cooked spaghetti or other pasta

*Sliced for use in sandwiches

*Whole, with olives and other pickles on a party relish tray

Best of all, the Carolina Sauce Company's hot pickled garlic is currently on sale!

Zestfully yours,

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day Blue Cheese Buffalo Burgers

If Dad loves grilled burgers, and if he enjoys tangy Buffalo style chicken wings, treat him to the best of both worlds with this easy recipe (or let him grill it himself if his ideal Father's Day is spent manning the grill). This recipe makes 4 hearty burgers. Happy Father's Day to all you Dads out there!

1 1/2 lbs ground beef
salt & pepper to taste
Dad's favorite Buffalo style wing sauce
4 hamburger buns
8 oz crumbled blue cheese
Chunky blue cheese dressing - I recommend Anchor Bar Bleu Cheese Sauce

Preheat your grill to medium-high. In a mixing bowl, combine the ground beeth, salt and pepper, and a splash of Buffalo wing sauce. Shape the meat into 4 half-inch thick patties, with the middle less thick than the edges (this will prevent the burgers from puffing up while they grill). Grill the burgers over medium-hot coals to desired doneness (well-done is recommended for food safety). Just before the burgers are done, carefully place some blue cheese crumbles on top and let the cheese melt a little as the burgers finish cooking - you may want to close the lid on the grill for a little bit. As the burgers finish cooking, toast the inside of each bun over indirect heat on the grill, careful not to burn. Remove the buns onto a platter and smear a little wing sauce on the toasted inside of each bun. When burgers are done, remove from grill and place a burger in each bun. Top with remaining blue cheese, carefully spoon a little blue cheese dressing on top. Enjoy!

Zestfully yours,

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Firehouse Nuts and Hot Honeys are back in stock!

Firehouse Nuts are crunchy premium peanuts boldly seasoned with smoked habanero pepper powder and other fiery spices. Their medium-hot to hot burn is sure to please palates that crave hot & spicy snacking. Made in North Carolina using all-natural ingredients, Firehouse Nuts are attractively packaged in a generous 12 oz tin decorated with fire trucks and firefighting equipment, making them a great gift for firefighters and other emergency response personnel. You can buy Firehouse Nuts and other zesty snacks from the Carolina Sauce Company.

If you prefer a more gently-spiced snack, Hot Honeys are for you. Hot Honeys are honey-roasted peanuts seasoned with a light dusting of chipotle powder for a seductively sweet, spicy and subtly smoky flavorful crunch. Made in North Carolina with all-natural ingredients, Hot Honeys are deliciously addictive and come in a romantically "kissed" 12oz tin -- and they're finally back in stock at the Carolina Sauce Company.

Zestfully yours,

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Vidalia Onion BBQ Sauce

North Carolina is known for its vinegar-based barbecue sauce that's used on smoked pulled pork barbeque. East of I-95, the BBQ sauce is usually a mixture of vinegar with peppery seasonings and little or no tomato. West of I-95 and especially in the Piedmont region -- home of the fabled Lexington barbecue -- sauces start including some tomato along with the vinegar, although still relying primarily on vinegar for the base. These western or Piedmont style barbecue sauces allow for a little more creativity, both in terms of sauce ingredients and also uses for the sauce. We recently discovered a delicious all-natural barbecue sauce from the Piedmont that featured sweet Vidalia(R) onions mixed in with the tomato & vinegar base. We liked it so much that we decided to offer it under the Carolina Sauce Company name, and now our Vidalia Onion BBQ Sauce is available online for your enjoyment at home.

Made by a small family-run enterprise, our Vidalia Onion BBQ Sauce comes in savory Mild and peppery Hot. Both varieties deliver the traditional tangy vinegar-tomato flavor that put Piedmont style barbecue on the map. These sauces are full-flavored and robust without any discernible sweetness, and there are lots of little pieces of Vidalia onion for terrific flavor and mouthfeel. While the Mild has just enough pepper to perk things up without burning, the hot delivers a nice medium-hot fire that's perfect for folks who enjoy hot & spicy food but like to taste the flavors without getting scorched. In addition to using these barbeque sauces on pulled pork, you can use them for marinating, grilling and basting all sorts of meats and chicken, fish and seafood, and "absorbent" veggies like portobello mushrooms and summer squash -- just be sure to mix in a little bit of oil if using as a marinade with anything other than meats or poultry, to protect the food from burning or sticking on the grill.

Speaking of adding oil to these Vidalia Onion BBQ Sauces, I made a zesty salad vinaigrette by whisking together equal parts of sauce with olive oil. In addition to drizzling on a green salad, you can use the sauce either "straight" or with some olive oil on all sorts of steamed or grilled vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, etc.) To make the traditional "red slaw" that's often served in the Piedmont with pulled pork barbecue, simply stir in some of our Vidalia Onion BBQ Sauce into regular cole slaw. You can also splash our Vidalia Onion BBQ Sauce on collards and turnip greens or add a bit to your baked beans for depth of flavor. Both varieties come with our free instructions for making authentic NC pulled pork barbecue, and they're both on sale at the Carolina Sauce Company online store!

Zestfully yours,

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Five Creatively Delicious Ways to Enjoy Joe Bud's Everything Sauce

Joe Bud's Everything Sauce is a South Carolina or "low country" style mustard-based barbecue sauce that's thick, tangy, savory, and packed with robust meat-loving flavor. The fact that this delicious, all natural sauce has been around since the 1950s is a testament to its enduring goodness. Joe Bud's uncle created the original in Greenwood, SC, and now Joe Bud and his wife Vivian keep the tradition alive in Raleigh NC. The obvious way to use Joe Bud's Everything Sauce is on ribs, chicken and other meat as a basting sauce during the last 10 minutes of grilling over indirect heat. However, as the name of the sauce suggests, Joe Bud's sauce is good on just about everything else, too! Here are 5 creative ways to enjoy either the original Joe Bud's Everything Sauce or Joe Bud's Hot Everything Sauce (currently on sale):

1. As a wing sauce: Simply cook up a batch of chicken wings as you normally would (fried, baked, broiled or grilled, battered or "naked"), then toss the wings while still hot in a bowl with Joe Bud's Everything Sauce to coat well. If you love mustardy sauces and wings, this will thrill your tastebuds!

2. Marinate salmon steaks or fillets in Joe Bud's Everything Sauce for 30 minutes in your fridge, then bake or grill. The rich flavor of salmon is complemented nicely by the sauce.

3. Top your baked potato with Joe Bud's Everything Sauce for a low-fat and zesty alternative to butter or sour cream.

4. Use Joe Bud's Everything Sauce in place of regular mustard in your deviled eggs recipe, for a bold change of pace.

5. Use as a dipping sauce for pineapple, pears and apples. Yep, it's good. Trust me!

When you get Joe Bud's Everything Sauce from the Carolina Sauce Company, we'll send you a free card with more tasty ways to enjoy this fine barbecue sauce.

Zestfully yours,

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Old-Fashioned Corn Fritters with Maple Butter

Fresh sweet corn is perfect for this recipe. Corn fritters are best when served piping-hot, so that the maple butter melts on top. You can multiply the ingredients if feeding more mouths.

1 cup corn kernels freshly cut from the cob
1 1/2 cup self-rising flour
1 Tbs sugar
1/2 cup milk (you can use low-fat or skim)
1 large egg, beaten

Vegetable oil or corn oil for frying
Maple butter for topping - I use Lilly's Gourmet Maple Butter

Combine all ingredients (except the maple butter and oil) in a bowl and let stand in refrigerator for 20 minutes. Heat oil in a large skillet to medium-high (about 350 degrees F). Using a tablespoon, drop spoonfuls of the corn batter into the hot oil and fry until golden brown, turning once. Drain fritters on paper towels, then transfer to serving plate while still hot and spread some maple butter on top of each fritter.

Zestfully yours,

PS: Lilly's Gourmet Maple Butter is currently on sale at the Carolina Sauce Company!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Five Zesty Last-Minute Father's Day Gifts

If Dad loves to grill or barbecue, or is always looking for a hotter hot sauce, or simply enjoys good food with zesty flavors, there's still time to give him a Father's Day gift that he's sure to savor and enjoy. Here are 5 zesty Father's Day gift ideas that can arrive by Father's Day, all well under $50 (plus shipping & handling):

1. Grilling Pary Gift Sets, in Hot and Mild, each featuring a variety of 9 different BBQ sauces, seasonings, condiments and snacks for enjoying on the grill or with your favorite grilled foods -- only $45!

2. If Dad likes to hunt and enjoys venison and other game, this Hunter's Gift Set is the perfect gift, featuring 3 sauces that are especially good for marinating, grilling and cooking game, plus a flavorful dry rub developed by a hunter for tenderizing and seasoning wild game and other hearty fare -- only $21.99!

3. For the Dad who likes to brag that nothing's hot enough for him, there's the Dave's Insanity Sauce Deluxe Gift Set, featuring all 4 heat levels of Dave's Gourmet Insanity Sauce (including the original AND Dave's Ultimate Insanity Sauce), plus Dave's Insanity Salsa, Dave's Insanity Mustard, and Dave's Insanity Popcorn -- only $39!

4. Authentic NC barbecue sauce, the type that's vinegar-based and tangy, can be virtually impossible to find outside of North Carolina. If Dad misses his Carolina barbeque, or if he's always wanted to give it a try, then give him one of these NC Barbecue Sauce Gift Sets, in either Mild or Hot. Each gift set has 6 different bottles of real NC barbecue sauces covering the 2 main regional styles of Carolina BBQ, Eastern and Western (Piedmont), AND comes with free recipes PLUS step by step instructions for making authentic NC pulled pork BBQ -- only $29.99!

5. Still not sure what to get Dad? Or don't want to worry about shipping costs or delivery times? Then how about a Carolina Sauce Company Gift Certificate, available from $15 to $100 and redeemable by Dad on anything he wants from the Carolina Sauce Company online store. These electronic Gift Certificates never expire!

As always, you can call (919-286-1080) or email (salesATcarolinasauceDOTcom) the Carolina Sauce Company if you have any questions or concerns, or would like assistance placing an order. Don't wait too long, as Father's Day is this coming Sunday, June 21st!

Zestfully yours,

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Jones'en BBQ Ribs

Chef Craig Jones, the creator of Jones'en Espresso BBQ Sauce, was kind enough to share the following recipe and allow me to post it here. This recipe produces tender, fall-off-the-bones ribs slathered in a robust, rich sauce that's not too sweet and that complements, rather than overpowers, the meaty flavor of the ribs. Your friends and family are guaranteed to ask for seconds (and thirds) and to beg you to make these ribs as often as possible!

2 pounds pork baby back ribs (separated into 4 portions)
1 (20 ounce) bottle of Jones’en Espresso Barbecue Sauce

Ingredients for rib rub:
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon Hungarian sweet paprika
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoons garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder

Tear off 4 pieces of aluminum foil big enough to enclose each portion of ribs. Spray each piece of foil with vegetable cooking spray. Coat every inch of ribs with the rub mixture, then Bush the ribs with Jones’en Espresso Barbecue Sauce and place each portion in its own piece of foil. Wrap tightly and refrigerate for at least 8 hours, or overnight.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).
Bake ribs wrapped tightly in the foil at 300 degrees F (150 degrees C) for 2 hours and 15 minutes.
Open foil to expose the meat and add more sauce, bake an additional 15 minutes at 400 degrees F.

Zestfully yours,

PS: We'll send you a free printed copy of this recipe when you order Craig's Jones'en Espresso BBQ Sauce from the Carolina Sauce Company

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Iced Masala Chai (Spiced Tea)

I love the exotic flavors in masala chai, or Indian spiced tea. I drink it hot in the winter, and enjoy it iced in the summer. Although you can certainly make this refreshing beverage using a sugar substitute and skim milk, nothing compares to the richness and flavor of honey and whole or even low fat rather than fat-free milk. This recipe makes 2 tall drinks or 4 small drinks -- or one super-sized iced masala chai.

2/3 cup water
1 teabag OR 2 tsp loose tea leaves
4 cloves
1 inch cinnamon stick
4 whole green cardamoms* OR 1/8 tsp ground cardamom
2 Tbs honey
2 cups cold milk
Crushed ice

*If using whole cardamoms, crack them open and remove the seeds, discarding the hulls. Crush or grind the seeds as finely as possible -- I use a marble mortar & pestle.

Place the teabag (or loose tea), cloves, cinnamon stick and cardamom into a dry teapot. In a separate saucepan (or using your microwave), bring the water to a boil and then pour the boiling water over the tea and spices in the teapot. Allow to steep for 3 to 5 minutes to desired strength. Stir in the honey until dissolved. Place crushed ice into the serving glasses. Stir the milk into the tea, strain, and pour over the crushed ice in the glasses.

Zestfully yours,

Friday, June 12, 2009

Walkerswood Spicy Jamaican Jerk Marinade is Back!

A fresh batch of Walkerswood Spicy Jamaican Jerk Marinade in 17oz bottles arrived this afternoon at the Carolina Sauce Company warehouse, much to our excitement. This authentic Jamaican jerk marinade had been unavailable for months due to production problems in Jamaica, so when one of our suppliers told us that a fresh shipment had finally cleared US customs, we quickly took steps to re-stock. Anyone who's from Jamaica, or has been to Jamaica, or who loves traditional Jamaican cooking, can tell you that the Walkerswood products are the real deal. The Marinade is ready to use straight from the bottle: Simply place whatever you're jerking -- chicken, pork, goat, beef, fish or seafood -- in a non-metal container or a resealable plastic bag, and then pour in enough marinade to cover. Place in the refrigerator to marinate for the desired time (overnight is best for meats, at least a couple of hours or overnight for poultry, and 30 minutes to 2 hrs for fish and seagood). Then grill, broil, or otherwise cook until done. MMMMMmmmmmm, genuine Jamaican goodness for the whole family!

We're already experiencing great demand for the Walkerswood Marinade since activating the "order" button on our online store, so if you want some don't wait too long to place your order. We'll do our best to keep this much-loved product in stock, but as with all the Walkerswood products, supply can become uncertain at any time. But for now, we have the Marinade -- plus the Jonkanoo sauce and 10 oz. jars of Walkerswood Jerk Seasoning -- in stock.

Zestfully yours,

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Distillery Bar B Que Sauce & Buffalo Wing Sauces

I had the pleasure of dining at the Distillery Bar & Restaurant back in March while in Rochester NY, and enjoyed their food so much that it only made sense to look into adding their BBQ sauce and wing sauces to the Carolina Sauce Company online store. We were able to close the deal, and I'm pleased to announce that you can now order all three delicious sauces from the Carolina Sauce Company! The Distillery Bar B Que sauce is thick, smoky-sweet and tangy, with a tomato-mustard foundation that's enriched with real ham base and spiced with just a touch of cayenne. At the restaurant, this mouthwatering sauce is slathered on fall-off-the-bone ribs, and also featured on their pulled pork BBQ sandwich. You can now do the same at home, and also stir it into baked beans, use it in your meatloaf recipe, or make BBQ burgers by using it instead of ketchup. This sauce is so tasty that even little kids enjoy it for dipping fries and chicken nuggets.

The wing sauces come in two heat levels: The medium-hot Distillery Original Buffalo Wing Sauce, and the seriously fiery Distillery Hot Buffalo Wing Sauce. Both wing sauces are extremely thick and rich, to the point that you can use them as sandwich spreads -- I made myself a zesty crab & veggie wrap by smearing a piece of flatbread with some of the Original Recipe wing sauce and then adding the chunks of crabmeat and veggies, then pouring a little more sauce on top before rolling the wrap. What makes these sauces so good is that they have that famous Buffalo tang but without the sharp vinegar edge. The Distillery also adds a splash of bbq sauce to their wing sauces, which adds depth of flavor but without turning them into BBQ wing sauces -- the flavor is still authentic Buffalo.

The Distillery Hot Wing Sauce is for folks who are serious about very hot wings, but don't want to compromise on great flavor. This sauce really delivers on both fronts. The heat comes from the jalapeno peppers and guajillo chilis that are added to the traditional cayenne and butter base. You can actually see the little bits of pepper in this rich and creamy hot wing sauce! Because the flavor is so good and the texture is so rich, you can use both of the Distillery Wing Sauces for much more than just chicken wings and sandwiches: Try them in place of tartar sauce with fried fish and seafood, or stirred into mayo-based salads like potato salad or chicken salad or egg salad. Toss them with some lightly breaded and fried shrimp (while the shrimp is still hot) to make Buffalo shrimp, and enjoy that treat either on its own, on top of a green salad, or even with a side of rice.

If you've been lucky enough to eat at The Distillery and wished you could enjoy their sauces at home, or if you've never been and are looking for some outstanding new BBQ and wing sauces, then now's the time to try these new products -- they're currently on sale at the Carolina Sauce Company!

Zestfully yours,

PS: Both of the Distillery Buffalo Wing Sauces are very low in carbs, with 0 carbs per serving for the Original Recipe, and only 1 carb per serving for the Hot Buffalo Wing Sauce.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Toad Sweat Dessert Hot Sauces Available Again!

All 4 flavors of the award-winning, sweet & spicy Toad Sweat Dessert Hot Sauces -- and their 4-pack of mini-bottles -- are finally back in stock at the Carolina Sauce Company, after a long absence. Unlike any other hot sauces, Toad Sweat hot sauces are thick, sweet, fruit-based sauces reminiscent of dessert toppings or syrups, but with a peppery kick. Toad Sweat Dessert Hot Sauces come in mildly spicy Lemon Vanilla (the mildest), medium-heat Cranberry Hot Sauce (terrific with turkey and chicken as well as on cheesecake and other desserts), richly exotic Chocolate Orange (fabulous on ice cream and in brownines), and fiery Key Lime Hot Sauce (the hottest, great with seafood as well as ice cream and cheesecake). The Toad Sweat mini-bottle 4-pack contains 1 small bottle of each of the four flavors, and is a great introduction to the Toad Sweat product line. In addition to adding great flavor and spice to desserts and grilled food, the Toad Sweat sauces are also a delicious way to kick up a bowl of oatmeal or other hot cereal. Get them today at the Carolina Sauce Company online store.

Zestfully yours,

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Scorned Woman Crab Cakes

One of my favorite mustards is the spicy Scorned Woman Mustard, a fiery and flavorful Dijon style mustard with great texture thanks to little bits of onions, garlic and peppers mixed into the mustard. Here's a simple recipe for spicy crab cakes that makes good use of Scorned Woman Mustard. The recipe makes 6 to 8 crab cakes, and you can double it if you're feeding a crowd. And if you have a different favorite mustard, you can substitute that.

1 lb canned crabmeat
1 1/2 tsp Scorned Woman Mustard
2 1/2 Tbs mayonnaise (real or reduced fat, NOT fat free)
1/2 tsp celery seed
1 Tbs white vinegar
1/3 cup uncooked oatmeal (not instant - use regular or "old-fashioned" oats)
2 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp salt
Saltine crackers, crushed into crumbs, for coating the crab cakes
Butter, for frying

Mix all ingredients except the cracker crumbs and butter, then shape into 6 to 8 crab cakes. Coat the crab cakes with cracker crumbs. Melt the butter over medium-high heat in a large frying pan. Quickly brown the crab cakes on both sides, and serve hot.

Note: I like to serve these crab cakes topped with either Thomas Fish Camp Tartar Sauce, an old-fashioned homestyle tartar sauce, or with Thomas Gourmet Crab Cake Sauce, a rich and creamy egg-based sauce with subtle savory flavor notes that beautifully complement crab cakes and other seafood. Both the tartar sauce and crab cake sauce are currently on sale at the Carolina Sauce Company.

Zestfully yours,

Monday, June 8, 2009

Saying Goodbye to Bog Bottom BBQ Sauce from Carolina Swamp Stuff

The last of the Carolina Swamp Stuff product line, Bog Bottom BBQ Sauce, has sold out at the Carolina Sauce Company and will no longer be available. Sadly, the Swamp Stuff product line was discontinued by Harry & David after they bought the company that used to make those delicious sauces with quirky names like Blue Tick Dressing, Bog Bottom BBQ Sauce and Carolina Swamp Sauce (to name a few). We've let Harry & David know that our customers are very disappointed and want their Swamp Stuff sauces back, and that we'd re-order if they brought back the product line. I'm keeping an eye on the situation, and if they decide to bring back Bog Bottom BBQ Sauce, Carolina Swamp Sauce and/or Blue Tick Dressing, we'll re-stock as soon as we can. If you'd like to be notified if any of these products becomes available again, simply send an email to "salesATcarolinasauceDOTcom" and let us know which product you want, and we'll contact you if we're able to get it again.

In the meantime, if you're looking for a new barbecue sauce that's similar in flavor and texture to the Bog Bottom BBQ Sauce -- thick, tomato-based, with some sweet & smoky & mildly spicy flavor notes -- here are some recommendations:

*Old Mule BBQ Sauce: Made in the North Carolina mountains using all-natural ingredients, and slow-cooked to produce a thick, rich sauce with layers of mouthwatering flavor and a pleasant peppery kick. Awesome on ribs, chicken and more!

*Sa-Mokin Barbeque Sauce: Made in Oklahoma, this is the competition recipe that has won numerous championships and awards. Definitely one of the best rib sauces available on the market.

*Smokin' Cole's BBQ Sauce: Made in South Carolina and winner of local and national awards, this tomato-vinegar sauce has a nice tang and is great for marinating and grilling all sorts of meats, poultry, and even veggies and seafood

*Texas Rib Rangers Barbeque Sauce: These are authentic Texas rib sauces, and come in Mild, Spicey and Hot -- the Mild and Spicey flavors are currently on sale!

*Uncle Pete's BBQ Sauce: Made in South Carolina from an old family recipe, these award-winning sauces come in Original (slightly sweet & tangy), Hickory (smoky), and Spicy (peppery-hot) -- and each comes with a free recipe brochure!

Zestfully yours,

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Best-Selling Hot Sauces, BBQ Sauces & Other Zesty Foods - June 2009 Update

We've updated the Carolina Sauce Company's top best-selling products in each specific product category as of June 4, 2009, and here are a few of the top sellers, plus links to each category-specific list:

*Best-Selling Hot Sauces: Coming to us from sunny Belize, Marie Sharp's Hot Habanero Pepper Sauce broke into the top ten at #10

*Best-Selling BBQ Sauces: A favorite among folks who enjoy Memphis style "wet" ribs, Corky's Memphis Bar-B-Q Sauce made an impressive debut at #8

*Best-Selling Steak Sauce & Pasta Sauce: Made in the traditional Italian way with all-natural ingredients and sporting a fresh, light flavor, Mama Thomas Marinara currently holds 3rd place on this list - and it's on sale!

*Best-Selling Marinades & Dressings: Made in North Carolina but with a growing fanbase around the country, Big Daddy's Marinade is presently our best selling marinade - and it comes with recipes!

*Best-Selling Dry Rubs & Seasonings: Hailing from South Africa and no longer generally available in the US, the citrusy and mildly peppery Nando's Lemon & Herb Peri Peri Grind holds ninth place on this list -- and it's on sale!

*Best-Selling Gift Sets: A sign that grilling season is upon us, our Tailgating Party Gift Set is our 6th most popular gift set so far this year - and it makes a great Father's Day gift!

*Best-Selling North Carolina Products: No surpruse here - the number one best-selling NC product continues to be Castle Sauce, an old-fashioned steak sauce inspired by the original from the old Boar & Castle Restaurant in Greensboro, NC

*Best-Selling Wing Sauces: Made with real cream and featuring a rich and tangy flavor with a spicy medium burn, the award-winning DEFCON 2 Wing Sauce presently holds 10th place on this list

*Best-Selling Jerk & Curry Products: After a long absence due to being out of production for some time, Walkerswood Jonkanoo Pepper Sauce from Jamaican has come roaring back and is in 7th place on this list

*Best-Selling Snacks & Sweets: Made by a disabled former Chicago police officer using all-natural ingredients and an old family recipe, Mullen's Apple Sauce, holds the fifth spot on this list - and a portion of the proceeds from each sale goes to support the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation

*Best-Selling Mustards: One of our most popular gift items and featuring 5 different delicious mustards, the Mustard Lover's Gift Set is in 8th place on this list - and it's a great Father's Day gift for dads who love full-flavored, zesty mustards!

*Best-Selling Salsa & Relish: If you're looking for authentic southern style cabbage chow chow relish that's made in NC, look no further than the 8th and 10th place products on this list, our very own Carolina Sauce Company Chow Chow Relish in Mild and Hot -- and they're both on sale!

Zestfully yours,

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Devilish Carrots

This spicy side dish is best when you use very fresh, slender young carrots - check your local farmer's market or a grocer specializing in natural foods (Whole Foods or Earth Fare, for example). This recipe serves 4 to 6 and complements meat, poultry or fish main courses - just add a side of mashed potatoes or rice, and a simple green salad, and you have a complete and balanced dinner!

12 young tender carrots, washed, peeled and ends trimmed
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 tsp dry mustard (powdered mustard)
2 Tbs light brown sugar
1/2 to 3/4 tsp (to taste) Slap Ya Mama Cajun Seasoning, your choice of Original black pepper blend, milder White Pepper blend or fiery Hot red pepper blend

Cut each carrot in half lengthwise. Melt the butter in a frying pan on medium heat, then saute the carrots in the melted butter for 5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients, stir to blend, then cover and cook 10 minutes or until the carrots are tender but not too soft ("al dente"). Serve hot.

Zestfully yours,

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Saying Goodbye to Pickapeppa Hot Spicy Jerk Seasoning

Sadly, the rumors are true: According to two independent sources, Pickapeppa Hot Spicy Jerk Seasoning has been discontinued by the manufacturer and is no longer available. We sold out of this sweet and spicy Jamaican jerk seasoning last month and were told there was no more to be had, and today I was able to confirm that news with Pickapeppa's US importer. No doubt this is a huge disappointment to many of our customers and fans of the Pickapeppa product.

There is a bit of good news, however: Pickapeppa is currently working on a new jerk seasoning that will replace their old jerk seasoning. This new product is supposed to be more of an old-fashioned Jamaican jerk paste for use with chicken and fish as well as with meat (apparently there was a general belief that the original Pickapeppa jerk seasoning was best suited for meat rather than poultry or seafood). Of course, there's no telling when the new product will be available, but I'll definitely keep my ears open for any news and will post any useful information here if I run across any.

In the meantime, if you're looking for some delicious Jamaican jerk sauces and condiments for Jamaican cooking, then I highly recommend Pluto's Organic Jamaican Sauces. Pluto, a Jamaican native now living in North Carolina, has whipped up two delicious traditional Jamaican jerk seasonings (a hot jerk sauce and a mild jerk sauce) using 100% natural, certified organic ingredients. I prefer the hot version with beef, pork, lamb and goat, while the mild version is ideal for chicken, fish and seafood. Pluto's third sauce, called Paradise Potion, is a thick, richly-flavored and mildly spicy all-purpose Jamaican sauce and condiment that's slightly sweet and infused with savory Jamaican herbs and spices. And like the jerk sauces, Paradise Potion is all-natural and certified organic. You can use Paradise Potion on virtually anything, and it's especially good with grilled foods, roasted veggies, and even stirred into plain cooked rice. All three Pluto's sauces come with free recipes when you order them from the Carolina Sauce Company.

Zestfully yours,

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Patatas Bravas - Spanish Spicy Potatoes

papas bravas spicy Spanish potatoes
Also called "Papas Bravas," Patatas Bravas are spicy potatoes that are a traditional Spanish tapas (appetizer) dish found throughout Spain. The name means "wild" or "angry" potatoes, referring to their spicy peppery bite and the rough and rustic character of this flavorful dish.

Patatas Bravas are often served with another traditional dish, the "torta," which is an egg dish somewhat similar to a frittata or scrambled eggs but heartier. It is not unusual for both to be served at room temperature and enjoyed with a glass of young local red wine or even a fine Rioja.

There are as many variations on Patatas Bravas as there are Spanish tapas bars and restaurants, with each one claiming to be the best, of course. Many call for tomatoes and sometimes are served in a tomato sauce, while other versions are spice-crusted and served "dry" with a garlic mayonnaise dipping sauce similar to aioli.

 Here's a simple version of traditional spicy Spanish potatoes that's packed with fiery flavor and has great texture.

2 Tbs pure or virgin olive oil (not extra virgin)
1 1/2 lbs russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes, drained
5 cloves garlic, very thinly sliced
1/4 cup minced onion
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp smoked Spanish paprika (pimentón)
1 Tbs hot sauce (the original Tabasco Sauce works well for a tangy, medium heat)
1/2 tsp (or to taste) Kosher salt or coarse sea salt
Optional garnishes: Freshly squeezed lemon juice, Kosher or coarse sea salt, chopped fresh parsley

Patatas bravasHeat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, until it starts to shimmer (be careful not to reach the smoking point). Add the potato cubes in a single layer and fry until browned and partly cooked through (about 10-15 minutes), turning only once or twice with a spatula.

Pulse the tomatoes in a food processor just enough to break up -- do not puree (alternatively, place the tomatoes in a large bowl and use a fork or potato masher to break up the chunks, which is what I like to do). Place the tomatoes, garlic, onion, sugar, spices, hot sauce and salt to taste in a large bowl and combine thoroughly.

Once the potatoes have browned, add the tomato mixture to the pan and stir to coat. Reduce heat to medium and cook until potatoes are cooked through (about 5 to 10 minutes), stirring often to prevent burning. Transfer to a serving platter and garnish with drizzled lemon juice, a little Kosher salt or coarse sea salt, and chopped parsley.

Zestfully yours,

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

3 Tips for Perfect Grilled Burgers

Venison burgers with feta & grilled veggies
Tired of tough, dense and dry grilled burgers that remind you of hockey pucks? Or patties that transform into domed or puffed-up burgers that cause condiments to slide off and prevent bun tops from lying flat? Here are 3 tips that ensure your grilled burgers will be tender and juicy, with a flavorful crust and flat surface that will embrace your condiments and accept your buns:

1. Use ground beef (or other meat) with at least 20% fat content (no more than 80% lean). Yes, I know that's a lot of fat, but you really do need it if you want your burgers to survive the flames and remain juicy and tender. Plus, some of this fat will cook off anyway. Most experts recommend ground chuck, and our resident grill guru agrees.

2. Form a slight depression in the middle of each patty, so that the edges of the burger are just under an inch thick while the middle is around a half-inch thick. The depression in the middle will keep the burger from puffing up or turning into a ball as it grills, and the end result is a nice, flat patty. This is a little secret used by restaurants to produce beautifully flat gourmet burgers.

3. Sear over high heat on a clean grill grate, then finish cooking over indirect heat on a clean grill grate. Yes, making sure the grate is clean is crucial, because burgers (or any food for that matter) are far more likely to stick to a dirty or crusty grill grate. The quick sear will seal the juices and flavor while creating a nice crust, and then cooking over medium indirect heat will keep the meat from drying out.

Bonus tip: For added flavor, mix in a little seasoning or sauce with the ground meat before forming the patties. Two excellent choices are Ole Ray's Steak & Brisket Sauce, which also doubles as a tasty replacement for ketchup on burgers, and Bone Suckin' Seasoning & Rub, which adds robust spicy flavor but isn't hot/fiery so everyone in the family can enjoy the burgers. I use one or the other, not both at the same time.

Happy grilling!

Zestfully yours,

PS: Don't insult your perfect burgers by topping them with mass-produced supermarket ketchup made from inferior ingredients. Instead, compliment them with your choice of Melinda's Ketchups, made in small batches from the finest, all-natural ingredients and sweetened with pure cane sugar, NOT high-fructose corn syrup. Melinda's Ketchups are available in gourmet Black Pepper Ketchup, zesty Jalapeno Ketchup, smoky Chipotle Ketchup, and fiery Habanero Ketchup. Be on the lookout for their new Ghost Pepper Ketchup, coming soon to the Carolina Sauce Company!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Top 10 Best-Selling Zesty Products for May 2009

Here are the top 10 best-selling zesty products (including hot sauces, BBQ Sauces, condiments, etc.) for May 2009 across all product categories at the Carolina Sauce Company:

1. Walkerswood Traditional Jamaican Jerk Seasoning: This authentic Jamaican jerk paste or wet rub is getting harder to find every day, but we try to always have plenty in stock. It's the real deal, folks!

2. Castle Sauce: This is our all-time best selling product, an old-fashioned steak sauce based on the famous Boar & Castle Sauce from Greensboro NC

3. Wells Hog Heaven BBQ Sauce, a traditional vinegar-based (no tomatoes) eastern NC BBQ Sauce from the tiny town of Burgaw NC - perfect for pulled pork BBQ!

4. Busha Browne's Pukka Sauce: One of our all-time best-sellers, this fiery hot sauce is a versatile condiment for all sorts of food, from breakfast (eggs, sausage) to lunch (burgers, sandwiches) to dinner (all sorts of meat, poultry, seafood, pasta, & more!)

5. Matouk's West Indian Hot Sauce: Made in Trinidad & Tobago, this is a thick, rich scotch bonnet pepper hot sauce that's packed with the flavor of the islands

6. Capsicana Zing Gourmet Sauce: This perky, slightly sweet North Carolina spice sauce is one of our all-time best-sellers, and is a great way to add some zip to any dish without burning out your taste buds

7. Buderim Ginger Bears, grown-up gummy bear candies from Australia that are made with real ginger, and have that real ginger "bite"!

8. Matouk's Calypso Sauce: Another fiery & flavorful Caribbean hot sauce that's not your ordinary thin vinegary hot sauce

9. Georgia Peach & Vidalia Onion Hot Sauce: Mildly spicy but packed with sweet ripe Georgia peaches and mellow vidalia onions, this gourmet sauce is savory-sweet and wonderful with all sorts of meats, chicken & seafood.

10. Corky's Memphis Bar-B-Q Sauce: A newcomer to our top 10 best-seller list, this is the original BBQ sauce from the famous Corky's BBQ restaurant in Memphis, TN - a thick, sweet tomato-based sauce that's ideal for slathering on ribs!

Stay tuned, as we'll soon update the top ten best-seller lists in each product category...

Zestfully yours,