Wednesday, June 29, 2011

"No Mess" Cheeseburgers for the 4th of July

365 Day 196
Flickr photo by Collin Harvey

I was browsing through a bunch of Fourth of July recipes and discovered this great tip for making cheeseburgers without the mess of melted cheese dripping and burning on your grill grates or grilling tools. I call these "Surprise" Cheeseburgers, and I bet they'll be a big hit with kids. So the next time you plan on making cheeseburgers, think outside the box--or inside the burger!

This is a basic recipe that focuses on the meat-to-cheese ratios and the technique. Feel free to add whatever seasonings you wish to the ground meat (e.g., salt & pepper, minced garlic, etc.), and use any type of ground meat (beef, chicken, turkey, venison, meat combo, etc.) as well as any type of cheese so long as it's shredded. The ratio to use is 1 cup of shredded cheese per 1 pound of ground meat, and I make 4 burgers per pound of meat. If you want to season the raw ground meat, work the seasonings into the meat before you start making the burgers.

cheese filled teriyaki burger
Flickr photo by telepathicparanoia
To make the "Surprise" cheeseburgers, use your hands to divide the pound of ground meat into 4 equal balls. Place one of the balls in one hand and use your other hand's fingers to press the center in and push the sides out, creating a meat "cup." Place 1/4 cup shredded cheese in the meat cup, then press the sides of the cup back over the cheese to completely encase it in the ground meat. Carefully press the cheese-filled meat into a patty, making sure none of the cheese filling is exposed. Repeat for the remaining 3 balls of meat. Grill the burgers as desired (no need to add a slice of cheese on top unless you want to make "double-cheese surprise burgers"), and serve on hamburger buns with your favorite toppings and burger condiments.

Zestfully yours,
Carolina Sauce Company

PS:  Don't settle for boring supermarket condiments to top your surprise burgers. A gourmet stuffed cheeseburger deserves an extraordinary ketchup or mustard, which you'll find on our Mustard & Ketchup page.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

New Contact Info for Carolina Sauce Company

We've finally finished moving our warehouse & office and just have some cleaning left to do at our old facility, so I figured this was as good a time as any to post our new contact information:

Carolina Sauce Company, Inc.
P.O. Box 52297
Durham, NC 27717
Fax: 919-882-9593

Our main email address hasn't changed, and it's the fastest way to reach us. Here it is again for your convenience:

You can also leave a question or comment here on this Blog, or on our official Carolina Sauce Company Facebook page, and we'll be happy to reply. And I promise to resume monitoring my "SaucyGlo" Twitter account in July when all systems are "go" again here at Carolina Sauce.

We're in the process of settling into our "new digs" and I'm busy working on some exciting new features and product categories for the Carolina Sauce website. Our Grand Re-Opening is planned for the second week of July, and the announcement will be made in the July issue of the Carolina Sauce Co. e-Newsletter. If you don't already receive our FREE monthly email newsletter and you want to be notified when we re-open, simply sign up for our Newsletter. In each issue you'll find special discounts & exclusive coupons, plus interesting zesty news such as recipes, cooking tips, new product info and more. Our newsletter is free, sent only once a month, and you can unsubscribe anytime--and we NEVER share your email address with anyone else nor use it for any other purpose. Sign up today, and you'll be the first to know about our Grand Re-Opening and our expanded offerings!

Zestfully yours,

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Most Awesome Pimento Cheese Sandwich, Ever

Greg and I spent most of yesterday moving my office, which included lots of computer equipment, a bunch of heavy file boxes, a couple of filing cabinets and a variety of other bulky, unwieldy items. We took a break around 2 pm for a late lunch and decided to go to our local Irish pub, not just because they have excellent beers on tap (and we could both use a cold brew) but also because their food is actually quite good (they have a talented Irish chef who can whip up hearty pub fare as well as delicious "gastropub" dishes featuring fresh local ingredients). Greg ordered his usual, the classic fish & chips, while I decided to try one of their daily specials: a pimento-cheese sandwich. Yes, I know the correct spelling is "pimiento" but down here you're just as likely to see "pimento"--and honestly, I can't recall which one was written on the blackboard at the pub, and frankly, it doesn't really matter when talking about a down-home country diner favorite.

You might be asking: Who in their right mind orders a pimento-cheese sandwich at an Irish pub?? Well, this was not your ordinary pimiento cheese sandwich. As described on the daily-specials chalkboard, this sandwich included two other staples of Southern cooking, fried green tomato AND bacon, came on whole wheat bread rather than the ubiquitous white bread, and the pimiento cheese was made on-site by the chef. The description intrigued me and the ingredients appealed to me, so I decided to give it a try.

When the waitress placed the sandwich in front of me, my mouth began to water. The wheat bread clearly was not the mass-produced flavorless stuff of supermarkets and instead had a toothsome texture and taste that one usually experiences from home-made or artisan breads. The generous serving of chunky pimento cheese sported plenty of red pimiento pieces and was rich in flavor and mouthfeel. In the middle of the sandwich were two slices of crispy bacon and one thick slice of fried green tomato that had been breaded with seasoned cornmeal and was still piping hot from the fryer. After admiring this enticing sandwich, I took a bite.... and it was blissfully good. The interplay of contrasting flavors, textures and temperatures was heavenly--cold velvety/chunky pimiento cheese with hot crispy salty bacon & fried tangy green tomato that melted in your mouth--and paired quite nicely with the cold pint of NC-brewed pilsner. I let Greg have a bite, and he agreed that this was most definitely the Most. Awesome. Pimiento. Cheese. Sandwich. Ever.

Alas, our break from the hard work of moving had to come to an end once we finished our substantial lunch, but we returned to the task at hand with pleasantly full bellies and happy taste buds. I'll have to try my hand at making a pimiento-cheese, fried green tomato and bacon sandwich one of these days before the summer ends...

Zestfully yours,
Carolina Sauce Company

Friday, June 24, 2011

Iced Ginger Tea

I hate moving. I especially hate moving when it's 95 degrees outside with high humidity. Although the calendar says that summer has barely begun, it's here with a vengeance in Durham, NC. Although we're still in the process of moving our operations, I thought I'd take a break from the heat and hard work to post this refreshing recipe for iced ginger tea. This is a make-ahead recipe as you'll need to steep the fresh ginger the night before, but one sip and I think you'll agree that it's a great way to cool down, quench your thirst and re-energize when the weather gets really hot. This recipe makes a one-quart pitcher, and feel free to adjust the ingredient amounts for more or less zestiness, sweetness, or tartness as you may prefer.

1 quart water
2 inches fresh ginger root
1 Lemon
1/4 to 1/3 cup sugar

Bring the water to a boil on your stove top. While the water is heating up, peel and grate the ginger into a large non-metal bowl (preferably glass or ceramic). Finely grate the rind (avoid the white pith) off half of the lemon, and add the grated lemon zest to the bowl with the grated ginger. Reserve the lemon for later use in this recipe. When the water has reached boiling, remove from heat and carefully pour into the bowl with the ginger and lemon zest. Stir and let cool until safe to handle, then cover and place bowl in refrigerator overnight to allow the ginger and lemon zest to steep.

The next day, place a strainer over a pitcher, remove the bowl from the refrigerator and carefully pour the ginger-lemon tea through the strainer into the pitcher (you can also use a ladle, which is slower but less likely to spill). Discard the ginger and lemon zest left in the strainer. Squeeze the juice of half of the reserved lemon into the pitcher, and stir in 1/4 cup sugar. Continue stirring until all the sugar has dissolved. Taste for balance and add more lemon juice or sugar if desired. Pour into ice-filled glasses and garnish with a slice of lemon and a sprig of mint, if desired.

Zestfully yours,
Carolina Sauce Company

Friday, June 17, 2011

Closed for Moving

The Carolina Sauce Company is currently closed while we move our office and warehouse. We have exciting new features in the works for when we re-open in July, including many new offerings for the kitchen, the grill and the table. We'll announce our Grand Re-Opening in the July issue of our FREE monthly e-Newsletter. If you're not already receiving our monthly e-Newsletter, simply sign up here and you'll receive our announcement in July. Our e-Newsletter is FREE and we only send it once a month. You can unsubscribe anytime and we'll never share your email address with anyone else.

Stay tuned for our big announcement in July!

Zestfully yours,

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Moving Sale & Coupon Extended to Friday June 17!

We still have a few products left in our warehouse, so we've decided to extend our moving sale through Noon EDT on Friday, June 17th. Yes folks, that's THIS FRIDAY. At noon on Friday, we will officially close our online store so that we can start moving our warehouse and office, which means we will stop accepting orders online or by phone. Between now and Friday, you can save big by shopping online at the Carolina Sauce Company, because virtually all of our product prices have been reduced to all-time lows, PLUS you can save an additional 15% off your product total when you use the coupon code MoveBlog when you order online!

Some of the items that are still available include:
*Shoogs Authentic NC Barbecue Sauce, which is perfect for pulled pork BBQ and for marinating chicken
*Carolina Sauce Co. Green Pepper Jelly, made in the NC mountains and available in Mild and Hot, and also in a 2-pack gift box
*Outta the Park BBQ Sauce, a thick & zesty award-winning tomato based BBQ sauce available in Hot and Mild
*Bone Suckin Sauce in Hot and Thick-Hot only
*Melinda's Habanero Steak Sauce for spicing up burgers & steaks
*Pickapeppa Sauce, the original all-purpose brown sauce from Jamaica
*Thomas Gourmet Balsamic Vinaigrette, a unique NC salad dressing and marinade
*Selected flavors of Char Crust Seasonings & Rubs from Al Farber's famous steak house in Chicago
*Dave's Ultimate Insanity Sauce, one of the HOTTEST hot sauces on the market
*Walker's Jamaican Jerk Marinade and Walkerswood Jerk BBQ Sauce, both from Jamaica and often hard to find

As explained in our original moving announcement in our June e-Newsletter and also posted here, quantities are extremely limited, and there's some lag time between when a product sells out and our website is updated (I have to do it manually). So, if you order items or quantities that are unavailable, we will either reduce your order accordingly (including the shipping) or cancel it with no charges incurred.

If you want to be notified when we have our Grand Re-Opening, make sure you sign up to receive our FREE monthly e-Newsletter, because we're going to announce it in the July issue. We have many exciting new features in the works, so you won't want to miss it!

Zestfully yours,

Monday, June 13, 2011

Need a Last-Minute Father's Day Gift?

All Dads have one thing in common: They need to eat. Father's Day is this Sunday, so if you haven't yet gotten a Father's Day gift, you're rapidly running out of time. If you're still stumped on what to get that special Dad for Father's Day, or if you've simply been too busy to go shopping, the Carolina Sauce Company has what you need this Father's Day. Check out our selection of delicious gift sets for Father's Day, ranging in flavors and heat level from mild & tasty to wild & fiery--and they're all at bargain prices, so you get to save some money while thrilling your favorite Dad with the gift of good eats! Here are some suggestions for Father's Day gifts:

1. For the Dad who loves to munch on chips & salsa while watching the game or a favorite TV show or movie, we have the Pepper Dog Salsa Sampler Gift Box with three jars of award-winning Pepper Dog Salsa, and the Pepper Dog Salsa & Rub Gift Box, with two jars of salsa plus a bottle of zesty Pepper Dog Dry Rub to use on the grill or as a sprinkle-on seasoning (it's great on popcorn!) Each of these gift sets comes in a rustic wooden crate that can be re-used as a CD holder or other organizational purpose.

2. If Dad is King of the Grill and loves to barbecue, give him our bountiful Grilling Party Gift Set, with a selection of 9 great sauces, seasonings and condiments including BBQ sauces, dry rubs, wing sauce, spicy pickle chips and more. Another excellent choice is our popular NC BBQ Gift Set with 6 different bottles of North Carolina barbecue sauces representing the different BBQ styles found in NC. This gift set comes in Hot or Mild.

3. Does Dad love seafood? Then give him our Seafood Lover's Gift Set with 5 unique sauces and condiments that bring out the best in fish, shrimp, scallops, crab and all other seafood.

4. Is Dad a chilehead, a hot sauce addict, or a fiery foods freak? He'll appreciate the NC Hot & Spicy Gift Set with 7 different fiery & flavorful North Carolina products including spicy peanuts, hot BBQ sauce, fiery salsa & seasonings, and more. Another excellent choice is our 2-pack Bubba's Hot Sauce Gift Box with two jars of the feisty tomato-pepper hot sauce from Alabama, Bubba's Special Sauce. We even have a Hot Wings Gift Set for the Dad who's hooked on Buffalo wings!

5. For the foodie Dad, we have our Taste of NC Gift Set with a selection of some of North Carolina's finest gourmet sauces and seasonings, our signature Pepper Jelly Gift Box with 2 jars of our hand-made NC mountain green pepper jelly, and the Thomas Gourmet Chutney Gift Box with two jars of rich and flavorful all-natural gourmet chutney--and you can customize your gift by selecting the flavors of chutney!

Since all Dads must eat, why not give an edible gift this Father's Day that Dad is sure to enjoy?

Zestfully yours,

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Carolina Sauce Newsletter: Moving Sale!!

Moving Sale, Everything Must Go!

The Carolina Sauce Company is moving, which means huge savings for you! We're closing our warehouse on June 17th in preparation for the move, so ALL INVENTORY must go. Use the coupon code MoveBlog to get 15% off your product total at the Carolina Sauce Company online store, no minimum purchase required! No order is too small, and the coupon is good even on already-discounted sale items. We can't promise that your favorite products will be back after we move, so now's the time to order them while we still have them available. Things to remember:

*Quantities are limited. If we have fewer items in stock than you ordered, we will reduce your order & your shipping cost before we process your payment, and we'll ship what we have. If all items in your order are out of stock, we will cancel your order with no charge. Sorry, no back-orders as we won't be re-stocking before we move.

*Orders will be filled in the order received on a first-come, first-served basis. Ordering online is faster than ordering by phone. However, if you need to order by phone, please call us at 919-286-1080 and don't forget to mention the coupon code MoveNews.

*We'll do our best to keep our website updated regarding out-of-stock items, but please understand that it takes a human being to manually update the site (inventory is not automated), so there may be some delay from when an item sells out and when the website is updated, especially after business hours.

*The MoveBlog coupon expires on Thursday, June 16, 2011. That is also the LAST DAY to place an order either online or by phone. Our warehouse and online store are closing on Friday, June 17th, to begin the move, and you will no longer be able to place orders as of the 17th.

*Our July Newsletter will announce our Grand Re-Opening, so make sure to be on the lookout for our next newsletter--we have some very exciting things in the works, including new items for the kitchen, the grill and the table!

Find Recipes, Special Coupons, Product Reviews, Zesty News & More

The Carolina Sauce Facebook Page is your source for Carolina Sauce news, interesting food articles, and exclusive Facebook-only coupons. For access to these special coupons and the latest zesty news, simply visit our Facebook page and click on the "Like" button to become a Fan. You can then click on the Coupons tab and access special offers. And if you're looking for new recipes, grilling tips, product reviews, and the occasional chuckle, visit this blog on a regular basis. Here's where we post delicious recipes, review new products as soon as they arrive, announce any discontinued or unavailable products, warn of possible product shortages, run special sales and discounts, and provide other useful information. Subscribe to our free RSS feed and you won't miss a single zesty thing! Just fill in your subscription info in the spaces provided in the left-hand column of this blog.

Follow SaucyGlo on Twitter for additional exclusive coupons, the latest food news, & for sharing zesty tips!

Zestfully yours,

Monday, June 6, 2011

Gloria's Savory Mesquite Burgers

If you enjoy the robust flavor of meat cooked over mesquite coals, this easy recipe will let you enjoy the next-best thing when you don't have mesquite wood or are forced to cook indoors. Although the recipe calls for ground beef, I made these burgers last night using a blend of ground venison and organic ground beef, and I cooked them in the kitchen on our George Foreman Grill. Feel free to use any type of ground meat or poultry and cook using any method you'd use for hamburgers. The quantities below made 4 large burgers, and you can probably double the recipe (or make smaller-sized patties) if you want more burgers.

1 lb ground beef
1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 1/2 to 2 Tbs Mama T's Mesquite Flavored Seasoning

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and use your hands to thoroughly mix together. Shape the meat mixture into 4 or more patties, and grill or cook until done as desired. Serve on hamburger buns with your favorite toppings--if you want to make cheeseburgers, Monterey or peppper jack cheese works well with the mesquite flavor, as does cheddar.

Zestfully yours,

PS: Mama T's Mesquite Flavored Seasoning & Dry Rub is currently on sale at the Carolina Sauce Company, but we only have 2 bottles left in stock, so don't delay and order today!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

New & Improved Gift Sets for Father's Day

Need a tasty Father's Day gift for a Dad who loves to grill (or who loves to barbecue, as y'all say up North), or a hot sauce gift for a Dad who loves spicy food? Perhaps Dad enjoys fish & seafood but wishes he had new sauces or seasonings to kick up the flavor. If you're still looking for a Father's Day gift for a Dad likes to eat good food, the Carolina Sauce Company has what you're looking for! Check out our selection of gift sets & gift boxes, at prices that can't be beat--plus, we've updated the selection of products on several of our gift sets (photos haven't been updated yet but our prices and gift-set descriptions have):

*Our spicy Cajun Gift Set now includes a bottle of the new Distillery Cajun Garlic Wing Sauce, and both the White Pepper seasoning and the original Black Pepper seasoning by Slap Ya Mama, together with a bottle of Mean Devil Woman Hot Sauce and Louisiana Swamp Scum Hot Sauce, both made in Louisiana.

*Both the Mild Grilling Party Gift Set and the Hot Grilling Party Gift Set feature new products, with the Mild including a bottle of Big Daddy's Superb Herb Seasoning and a jar of our very own Sweet Pepper Relish, while the Hot now includes a bottle each of Durn Good Southwestern Seasoning and Bone Suckin' Habanero Hiccuppin' Hot Sauce.

*Our unique NC Hot & Spicy Gift Set now comes with Bone Suckin' Habanero Hiccuppin' Hot Sauce, a can of Hot Honeys Peanuts and a jar of Mama T's Hot Pepper Relish, along with the old favorites Bone Suckin' Hot Salsa, Pluto's Caribbean Bliss Fiery Seasoning, Outta the Park Hot & Spicy BBQ Sauce, and our own 3-Pepper Hot Sauce.

*Our Seafood Lover's Gift Set includes everything you need for a fish or seafood feast (just add the fish or seafood): Mama T's Seafood Seasoned Salt, a bottle each of Thomas Fish Camp Tartar Sauce and Cocktail Sauce, a jar of Thomas Gourmet Crab Cake Sauce, and the new Tortuga Spicy Seafood Grilling Sauce.

*For the home chef or foodie, check out the new & improved Taste of NC Gift Set, with Thomas Gourmet Balsamic Vinaigrette, Mama Thomas Pasta Sauce, a jar of Pepper Jelly from the NC mountains (you pick hot or mild), Big Daddy's Superb Herb Seasoning, the award-winning Jim's Own Homestyle BBQ Sauce, Thomas Gourmet Crab Cake Sauce, Ann's Marinade from Durn Good, and a can of Hot Honeys Chipotle-Honey Roasted Peanuts.

Now you have NO excuse to give your favorite Dad another boring tie for Father's Day!

Zestfully yours,

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Top 10 Best-Selling Sauces & Products for May

I had hoped to post this list last night from home, but my laptop computer had a major meltdown and unfortunately I wasn't able to finish my post last night as planned. Without further ado (and hopefully with the full cooperation of my desktop computer at work), here's the list of last month's Top Ten Best-Selling products across all product categories at the Carolina Sauce Company online store:

1. Wells Hog Heaven BBQ Sauce continues its reign in the top spot for another month. Wells is an authentic eastern NC vinegar BBQ sauce (with an extremely loyal fan base) that's ideal for Carolina pulled pork barbecue, for marinating chicken, and even for splashing on fried fish, hushpuppies or collard greens.

2. Buderim Ginger Bears hold on to 2nd place. These zippy Australian gummy bears are made with real ginger, and many folks report that Ginger Bears help soothe upset tummies while also satisfying their sweet tooth.

3. Jump Up & Kiss Me Spicy Passionfruit Sauce broke into the top ten for the first time in recent memory. A favorite of foodies and fiery-foods fans alike, this luscious blend of hot chilies, tropical passionfruit and exotic spices adds gourmet flavor and feisty zest to everything from grilled or roasted meats and poultry to fish, seafood and vegetarian dishes.

4. Walkerswood Jamaican Jerk Seasoning is a perennial top-ten best-selling product here at Carolina Sauce. Made in Jamaica according to a traditional recipe, Walkerswood Jerk Seasoning is THE wet rub or jerk paste of choice for making authentic Jamaican jerk dishes at home.

5. Georgia Peach & Vidalia Onion Hot Sauce is a regular on our list of best-selling hot sauces, and finished 5th overall in May. Made with southern peaches and real Vidalia onions, this mildly spicy hot sauce will perk up any meal with its sunny flavor.

6. George's Original BBQ Sauce has been featured by Rachael Ray and is a favorite of folks who enjoy eastern North Carolina barbecue. This tangy vinegar BBQ sauce uses apples and just the slightest hint of tomato for a mellower flavor than straight-vinegar sauces, and it comes with FREE recipes when you order it from the Carolina Sauce Company. You can also get a 3-pack George's BBQ Sauce Gift Box with recipes just in time for Father's Day, while supplies last.

7. Castle Sauce is one of our best-selling sauces of all time, and delivers a family-pleasing mustard-ketchup flavor that complements burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches, fries, steak and more. Made in Greensboro NC, Castle Sauce is a classic condiment that's irresistibly delicious.

8. Calhoun's Charcoal Seasoning is the go-to rub or seasoning for folks who crave real char-grilled flavor but don't have (or can't use) a charcoal grill. If you were a fan of the discontinued Durkee's Charcoal Seasoning, you're sure to love Calhoun's Charcoal Seasoning!

9. Matouk's Calypso Hot Sauce is a genuine West Indian hot sauce from Trinidad & Tobago. Made with fiery scotch bonnet peppers and other island ingredients, Matouk's Calypso is an excellent hot sauce any time you want to add tropical flavor and heat.

10. Capsicana Zing Gourmet Sauce completes our list of the top 10 best-selling sauces & seasonings for May. Subtly spicy with a food-friendly sweet-savory flavor, Zing Sauce is a North Carolina original that's wonderful at the table or in your favorite recipes.

Zestfully yours,