Friday, June 29, 2012

Melinda's Classic Habanero Hot Sauces Now in a Gift Box

Order Melinda's Hot Sauce Gift Box
The habanero pepper is beloved--and feared--by millions around the world for its fearsome firepower and distictive, almost citrus-like flavor. Melinda's of Costa Rica has achieved global fame--and praise--for developing a line of all-natural, food-friendly and high-quality habanero pepper hot sauces that capture the essence of the habanero pepper, enhancing it with complementary seasonings for a range of heat levels ranging from surprisingly mild to tormentingly incendiary.

Melinda's three most popular habanero hot sauces are the Original Melinda's Habanero Pepper Sauce, with plenty of habanero heat and a classically clean flavor; the noticeably hotter Melinda's Extra Hot Habanero Hot Sauce, which preserves the same purity of flavor while ratcheting up the heat, and Melinda's XXXtra Hot Habanero Sauce, made from specially-selected red habanero peppers bred for their relentless heat. These three sauces are the perfect showcase for the spectrum of heat that's possible from this famous chile pepper--and now you can get all three together in our brand-new Melinda's 3-Pack Hot Sauce Gift Box, available at the Carolina Sauces online store!

Whether you're shopping for a hot sauce connoisseur who enjoys hosting tastings or a brave newbie who's recently discovered the joys of *real* hot sauces, the Melinda's Habanero Hot Sauce Gift Box is an excellent choice. It comes with three full-size (5 oz each) bottles of the sauces mentioned above, carefully packed in a sturdy and attractive gift box decorated with Melinda's logo and colors. Get it today while it's on sale from the Carolina Sauce Company.

Zestfully yours,

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Fruity, Fiery Hot Sauces Star in this Gift Box

In the Caribbean and other tropical locales, many cooks like to combine fiery hot peppers like habaneros and scotch bonnets with tropical fruits such as mango, papaya, local berries and any number of citrus fruits. The resulting sauces are a tantalizing blend of naturally sweet fruit and tangy, savory spicy heat, for flavors that will complement everything from fish and seafood to poultry and grilled meats, as well as vegetables, rice dishes and more.

If you or someone you know enjoys fruity, spicy hot sauces that are not too sweet and are bursting with sunny island flavor, the new Maui Pepper Co. Hot Sauce Gift Box available at the Carolina Sauces online store is sure to please.

This gift box comes with a full-size bottle (5 oz) of each of the following four fruit-infused hot sauces from the Maui Pepper Company: Their original Mango Meltdown Hot Sauce with a spunky medium heat level, the much more fiery but still quite delicious Maui Meltdown Xtreme Heat Hot Sauce, the delightfully sassy Apples Ass Hot Sauce made with apple butter and rum, and the bright and berry-licious Berry Mangolo Mango Hot Sauce made with an ever-changing combination of berries (depending on the season and availability) and may include any three of the folllowing: blueberry, strawberry, marionberry, boysenberry, blackberry, or red raspberry.

The "Fiery Fruits" Maui Pepper Co. Hot Sauce Gift Box is on sale now at the Carolina Sauce Company.

Zestfully yours,

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

For Bikers Who Love Hot Sauce

The new "Biker Box" Hot Sauce Gift Box was one of our most popular Father's Day gift items, and also makes an excellent birthday, holiday or other special occasion gift for any motorcycle enthusiast who also enjoys hot and spicy foods, or collects hot sauce or biker-themed stuff. All four of the full-size (5 oz) hot sauces in this gift box have motorcycle-themed names and labels. But they're not merely "gimmicky" sauces--these babies are flavorful and fiery, and will give virtually any savory food a peppery kick (with a few splashes) or an intimidating burn (if used more liberally).

The Biker Box Hot Sauce Gift Set comes with Daytona Bike Week Hot Sauce, a savory and fiery habanero hot sauce made in the traditional Caribbean style with a vinegar-carrot-lime base; Crazy Jerry's Biker Trash Habanero Garlic Hot Sauce, a garlicky Louisiana style hot sauce; HAWG Hot Sauce, an extremely hot and straightforward habanero sauce; and Sturgis Bike Rally Hot Sauce, a South Dakota favorite made with habaneros and a dash of garlic. Order this gift set today from the Carolina Sauce Company online store and make your favorite biker smile.

Zestfully yours,

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Follow Carolina Sauce on Pinterest!

Follow Me on Pinterest BREAKING NEWS: The Carolina Sauce Company is now on Pinterest!

We've recently taken the plunge and have started pinning some of our favorite recipes, food photos, product pictures and other zesty stuff from our files and from other sources.

We're just getting started on Pinterest, and have lots of ideas in the works including new ways for you to interact with us and to share YOUR photos, recipes and favorite pins, so make sure to follow us on Pinterest:

 Follow Me on Pinterest

Zestfully yours,

Monday, June 25, 2012

The ORIGINAL Buffalo Chicken Wing Recipe

road_trip-2526.jpgIf you're a chicken wing aficionado and are serious about spicy, tangy Buffalo style chicken wings, there's a good chance that you're familiar with the story of how they were "born" back in 1964 at the Anchor Bar Restaurant up in Buffalo, New York. I'm proud to say that an old family friend was present in the Anchor Bar on the day that Buffalo wings were debuted. At least that's her story, and she's sticking to it.

The creation of the first Buffalo style chicken wing was truly momentous in that it revolutionized American pub fare and gave new status to a previously neglected and often rejected food. As a result, instead of relegating the lowly chicken wing to the stock pot or the trash can, restaurants and home cooks now regularly fry, bake or grill chicken wings, toss them with a wing sauce, and serve them up to eager, hungry diners who gobble them up while watching sports, tailgating or hanging out with friends and family.

Buy the Anchor Bar Wing Sauce Gift Box
While some folks prefer to batter their chicken wings prior to frying or baking, the original Anchor Bar Buffalo wings were never battered, and were always deep-fried rather than baked or grilled.

If you want to experience genuine Buffalo style wings at home, all you need is a bunch of fresh chicken wings (split at the joint if you prefer), oil for frying (vegetable or peanut), and your choice of Anchor Bar Wing Sauce: The Original which is medium in heat, the spicy-hot Anchor Bar Hotter Wing Sauce, and the fiery Suicidal Wing Sauce. Or better yet, get the Anchor Bar Wing Sauce Gift Box, which comes with a full-size bottle of each of the three heat levels, making it the perfect gift or purchase for a party.

Honey BBQ Wing Sauce
(Note: Anchor Bar also makes a sweet and sassy, mildly spicy Honey Barbecue Wing Sauce, but it wasn't one of the original sauces and isn't really a Buffalo style wing sauce, which by definition is made primarily with vinegar, cayenne and butter or margarine.)

You also need a deep fryer or other deep vessel for frying. Make sure the raw wings are as dry as possible (pat them with paper towels) to minimize splattering--trust me, it's not pleasant to be splashed with boiling oil.

Heat the oil to 350°F and fry the wings, a few at a time, until cooked through and crispy--this should take 10 to 12 minutes. Use a slotted ladle or strainer to remove from the hot oil and drain on paper towels, then place the wings in a large bowl, pour in as much sauce as you need to coat all the wings, and toss until thoroughly coated.

If you insist on baking the wings--which, admittedly, is healthier--you'll have to bake them at 425°F (preheat oven first) until fully cooked, which can take a good 45 minutes or so. Then place in a bowl and toss with sauce.

Zestfully yours,

PS: The Buffalo wings photo at the top is by yurilong on Flicker

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Two New Hot Sauce Gifts for Serious Chileheads Only

If you're one of those passionate fiery-foods fanatics who's always searching for a scorching, relentlessly hot sauce--or if you are shopping for the perfect fiery gift for someone who meets that description--you'll be happy to learn that the Carolina Sauces online store recently added two new hot sauce gift boxes specifically for serious chileheads.

Before I get into specifics, however, a word of warning is warranted: The hot sauces in these gift boxes are HOT. Not Tabasco or Frank's Red Hot hot, not jalapeno pepper hot, and no, not habanero hot, either. We're talking burn-your-tastebuds-off hot, "keep out of reach of children" hot, handle-with-care and a-toothpick-drop-is-enough hot. In fact, some walk-in stores make you sign liability waivers and ask for ID (you must be 18 or older) before letting you buy some of these ultra-hot hot sauces. That being said, let's get down to details.

The "No Survivors" Gift Box was an extremely popular hot sauce gift with military personnel back when we ran Operation Sauce Drop, a donation-supported non-profit program that sent free gift boxes of hot sauce and BBQ sauce to servicemen and women stationed abroad. Unfortunately we had to discontinue that program last year when we closed our Durham warehouse, and back then we also didn't offer the No Survivors Hot Sauce Gift Box for purchase through our online store. Well, the good news is that as of this month, we can now sell the No Survivors Gift Box on the Carolina Sauces site! This intimidating gift box comes with a full-size (5 oz) bottle each of the following extreme hot sauces: The original Dave's Insanity Sauce, Marie Sharp's Fiery Habanero Pepper Sauce, Endorphin Rush, and Mad Dog Inferno. If, by chance, one of those sauces happens to be out of stock when you order this gift box, our warehouse will substitute a different super-hot hot sauce of comparable heat and value.

The second ultra-hot gift box is the brand-new Ghost Pepper Hot Sauces Gift Box, packed with a full-size (5 oz) bottle of each of the following ridiculously hot hot sauces that feature the Ghost Pepper, aka naga jolokia or bhut jolokia pepper, widely recognized as the hottest hot pepper on the planet in terms of its consistently blazing-hot heat: Dave's Gourmet Ghost Pepper Naga Jolokia Hot Sauce, Blair's Pure Death with Jolokia Hot Sauce (this one comes with Blair's infamous Skull Keychain hanging from the top), Mad Dog .357 Pure Ghost Hot Sauce, and The Ghost Hot Sauce.

Both of these hot sauce gift boxes make great birthday gifts, Christmas or other holiday gifts--and they're currently on sale at the Carolina Sauce Company, too!

Zestfully yours,

Friday, June 22, 2012

Three Tips from the Pros for the BEST Beer Can Chicken

Beer Can Chicken Roaster and Flavor Enhancer w/ Potato Prongs
Deluxe Beer Can Chicken Roaster with Potato Prongs
Beer-can chicken is a classic American technique for cooking a whole chicken in a smoker or on a grill. Anyone who's ever had the pleasure of tasting beer-can chicken cooked by a BBQ champion or professional will most likely rave that it was unbelievably moist and juicy, tender, perfectly done throughout (white meat not dried out and dark meat succulent), with wonderfully golden-brown crispy skin and with just the right balance of seasonings infusing all of the meat (not just right under the skin) without overwhelming the natural flavor of the chicken.

Beer-can chicken isn't difficult to make, but if you want to master the technique for blue-ribbon results every time, here are three tips from the pros to help you achieve championship quality beer-can chicken every time.

1.  First, don't use a beer can. Wait a minute - it's called BEER CAN chicken, right?? So what should you use instead? Use what the pros use: A sturdy metal upright chicken roaster like the Deluxe Beer-Can Chicken Roaster with Potato Prongs. Face it, a beer can is thin and flimsy, easily tipped over, and only usable once. In contrast, this professional-quality vertical chicken roaster is built to last and features a stable base to support the chicken, holding it in place and also providing a surface on which you can add vegetables such as onions, peppers, squash etc. And the potato prongs are a stroke of brilliance, letting you roast potatoes or sweet potatoes simultaneously and ensuring that they cook evenly because the prongs transmit heat into the middle of the potatoes. Most importantly, the can-like cylinder is removable and can be filled with any liquid you'd like, greatly broadening your flavor horizons by letting you use any type of beer (not just canned brands), or wine, or a favorite marinade, etc. Plus it's washable and reusable, and won't crush or dent or tip over.

2.  Drink half of the beer first. Okay, well, you don't really have to drink half of the beer if you don't want to. The point is, don't cook with a full can of beer. Pour off half of the beer (and drink it if you wish, or use it to make a basting sauce), then add your seasonings such as herbs, spices, chopped onion, garlic cloves and the like to the beer left in the can or cylinder. This will prevent the liquid from bubbling over and splashing on the heat source and will also allow the chicken interior to be steamed and flavored by the aromatic steam rising from the can.

3.  Crossed legs will keep your chicken safe. Huh? Safe from what?? From two things, actually: From tipping over or otherwise shifting, and also from being underdone. After inserting the can or cylinder into the chicken cavity and placing the chicken upright on your smoker or grill, make sure the chicken legs are bent forward. Doing so will add stability and support. More importantly, it will give you a way to check for doneness: You'll know the chicken is fully cooked when the legs move freely... No, not on their own, silly! No dancing chickens here. I mean that the legs will bend at the joints when you tug on them. Of course, to be completely sure that the chicken is at a safe temperature, you'll want to use a grill thermometer to make sure that the internal temperature has reached 180°F.

If you have a favorite recipe for beer-can chicken, or your own tips that you'd like to share, please leave a comment here.

Zestfully yours,

PS: Here's a bonus tip: Keep the chicken skin on and rub with a poultry-friendly blend of seasonings before smoking or roasting on your grill--I recommend Bone Suckin' Poultry Seasoning Rub or Gator Hammock Gator Sprinkle.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Carolina Sauce is On the Move

Thomson passenger jet
Flickr photo by bigpresh
No, the Carolina Sauce Company isn't moving locations.... but yours truly is on the road for a couple of weeks of food-filled R & R, returning back to work on Thursday, July 5th. During this time, the Carolina Sauces online store will continue to operate 24/7 and the warehouse will continue processing and shipping orders, and you'll still be able to contact Customer Service if you have any questions or concerns about any online orders. That's one advantage--both for me and for YOU, our valued customers--to my no longer being involved in warehouse operations or order processing. Likewise, all our partner sites will be completely unaffected by my trip.

While I'm out, I will have some access to email and to the internet, but not always during regular business hours (yes, I'm actually taking a REAL vacation for a change). So, please bear with me if you contact me via email, through this blog, or on the Carolina Sauce Company Facebook page. I promise I'll reply as soon as I can when I'm back online, most likely within a day or two at worst (barring some major technological incompatibility or inaccessibility).

And again, if you need to contact someone about a Carolina Sauces online order, please make sure to email the warehouse's Customer Service ( and not me, since they're the only folks who'll have the info needed to help you out.

Thanks for your patience and understanding!

Zestfully yours,

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Texas Longhorn BBQ Sauces & Chili Fixins are Here!

Straight from the Lone Star State, we now have three new genuine Texas sauces available at the Carolina Sauces online store!  Sure, our name might be Carolina Sauce Company but we're always looking for great-tasting, zesty products from all around the country and the world (in addition to North Carolina products). So without further ado, here's what's new from Texas:

First up is Texas Longhorn Smokey Chipotle BBQ Sauce, a big, bold and robustly smoky tomato barbecue sauce that's true to its Texas roots with a sweet and tangy flavor that will complement beef ribs and brisket. The sweetness comes from honey and molasses, not corn syrup or sugar, and this keeps the sauce from being cloyingly sweet while complementing the deep, earthy flavor of the chipotles. And because chipotles are smoked jalapeno peppers, Texas Longhorn Smokey Chipotle Barbecue Sauce is indeed spicy--but like any good Texas BBQ sauce, the heat level is more moderate and won't burn out most people or overpower the food. Of course, beef is the logical choice for this sauce, but it's also superb with grilled chicken, pork ribs, venison or other game, and any other hearty grilled or roasted meat. You can also enjoy it with shrimp and portobellos, on hamburgers and as a dipping sauce for French fries.

Texas Longhorn Rodeo Jalapeno BBQ Sauce delivers a vibrant, feisty jalapeno kick in a tangy-sweet tomato-based barbecue sauce that's fun and lively like a Texas rodeo. Whether you slather it on ribs, baste it on chicken, toss it with veggies as a pre-grilling marinade or serve it at the table for dipping or pouring, this bright and spicy jalapeno barbecue sauce will make you smile--and ask for seconds. A little sweeter than the chipotle barbecue sauce, Texas Longhorn Rodeo Jalapeno BBQ Sauce has just a hint of smoke without being "smoky" and its lighter flavor means it will complement fish and seafood as well as red meats and poultry. It's also great as an addition to baked beans sloppy joes, meatloaf, burgers and anywhere else where you might want to use barbeque sauce as an ingredient. And while North Carolina (and South Carolina) barbecue purists might scoff at the following suggestion, I dare say that this Texas barbeque sauce makes a fine addition to pulled or chopped pork barbecue, especially if served on a bun with a dollop of slaw.

The third Texas product is not a sauce but rather condiment of sorts: Texas Longhorn Hott Damn Chili Fixins is your spicy shortcut for making homemade chili, whether it's genuine meat-only Texas chili or chili with beans, turkey chili, vegetarian chili and any other style. Made with three very different chile peppers--ancho chiles, jalapeno peppers and habaneros--plus a special blend of spices, Texas Longhorn Hott Damn Chili Fixins saves you the trouble of buying and chopping hot peppers, and finding all the spices you need for family-pleasing, championship-quality chili. All you need to do is brown the meat (if using meat in your chili), add a can of tomatoes (or chop up fresh tomatoes if you prefer), add chopped onions and/or a can of drained beans if you wish, and then let everything simmer on your stove or in your crock pot. The Chili Fixins will add hot & spicy heat with deep layers of flavor, all with little effort on your part. Get several jars (it's on sale!) to keep in your pantry so that you can whip up a pot of chili whenever the mood strikes you.

All three Texas Longhorn products--plus their Bread & Butter Jalapeno Dip--are made in Texas from wholesome, all-natural ingredients, and they're on sale now at the Carolina Sauce Company.

Zestfully yours,

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Congri (Cuban Red Beans & Rice)

Black beans and rice are one of Cuba's best-known dishes. Not as well-known, however, is Congri (sometimes spelled Congris), the red beans and rice dish that's ubiquitous in the eastern part of Cuba. In fact, many consider congri to be the "signature dish" of Oriente province, where you'll be hard-pressed to find black beans.

As with black beans and rice, there are almost as many different variations on Cuban red beans and rice as there are Cuban cooks. My version of congri is vegetarian & vegan, which is certainly an authentic way to prepare the dish. It's also perfectly acceptable and traditional to use pork lard or bacon fat instead of (or in combination with) olive oil, and to add chopped smoked ham, cooked bacon or fatback to the dish so feel free to do so if you wish. You can also increase the amount of beans to 1 1/2 cans and reduce the rice to 3/4 cup (reduce water to just over 1 cup) for a heartier dish. For a more robust flavor, you could add up to 1/4 teaspoon of mild smoked Spanish paprika when you add the other spices. And although it wouldn't be authentically Cuban to do so, there's nothing wrong with adding a splash or two of your favorite hot sauce if you insist on adding some heat to red beans and rice.

The following recipe serves two as a main course, or four as a side dish. If you serve it as the entree, good sides include a tossed salad (preferably with avocado chunks and dressed with a lemon or lime vinaigrette), fried plantains and/or boiled or fried yucca with mojo, a thin and tangy garlic infused marinade, dressing and dipping sauce that's also used on roasted or smoked pork. You can double my congri recipe to make more servings.

1 can (15.5 oz) red kidney beans, drained & rinsed
2 Tbs olive oil, preferably a Spanish olive oil
1 bay leaf
Optional: 1/2 Tbs annatto (achiote) powder (available in Latin American markets and some specialty-foods store. Omit if you can't find)
1 small onion, chopped (approx. 3/4 cup)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 small green bell pepper, chopped (approx. 1 cup)
1 large tomato, chopped
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 cup raw white rice
1 1/2 cups water
salt & pepper to taste

In a large deep saucepan heat the oil, bay leaf and annatto (if using) over medium-high heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Add onion & garlic and saute until onion is soft and translucent. Add bell pepper & tomato, and saute until pepper is soft and tomato is breaking down. Add beans, rice, oregano & cumin, stir to combine, then stir in the water. Bring to a gentle boil, stir, cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 30 minutes without uncovering. Remove from heat and let sit, covered, for 5 minutes. Uncover, stir, taste and season with salt & pepper as desired. Serve hot.

Zestfully yours,

Monday, June 18, 2012

Habanero Stuffed Olives from Hell

Buy Habanero Stuffed Olives from Hell
Move over, boring grocery-store olives: Habanero-stuffed Olives from Hell are here! Wake up your salads, rev up your relish or other homemade condiment, and supercharge your Martini with the fiery heat of these juicy, queen-size olives stuffed with a generous slice of habanero pepper.

These edible "nuclear nuggets" live up to their name and their hype: Habanero-stuffed Olives from Hell are not for the faint of heart as they do pack quite a big punch of burning heat. If you're not a big fan of hot and spicy foods, then these super-hot olives are not for you. If you're a fiery-foods fanatic, however, these babies won't disappoint. The green olives themselves are also quite good: tangy, salty and toothsome, just like a fine olive should be.

Eat them whole out of the jar if you dare, toss one or two in your Martini, or slice them up to add to your favorite recipes, salads, pizzas, sandwiches, subs, wraps, omelets and anywhere else you'd use normal everyday green olives. Be careful, however, because they're painfully addictive, in a good way!

Habanero Stuffed Olives from Hell are now available at the Carolina Sauces online store, and they're also on sale.

Zestfully yours,

PS:  Looking for a milder but still spicy olive? Try Crazy Jerry's Lizard Eyes Jalapeno Stuffed Olives.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day from Carolina Sauce Company!

Flickr photo by rockinfree
Happy Father's Day to all Dads, from your friends at the Carolina Sauce Company!

May your day be filled with fun, friends, family and your favorite foods and activities--including lazing on a hammock if that's what you wish! Just make sure it's your own, however...

Zestfully yours,

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Carolina Sauce Father's Day Coupon Sale Ends Tomorrow

Learn how to spatchcock a chicken
Barbecue and cookout season is here, and the Fourth of July is coming up... have you stocked up on your favorite barbecue sauces, zesty condiments, spicy salsa and crowd-pleasing snacks? Cash in on our Father's Day coupon sale by using the special coupon code available in the June issue of the Carolina Sauce Company newsletter--but don't delay, because the coupon expires at midnight (EDT) tomorrow, June 17th!

If you did not receive our June newsletter, you can read it online here. In addition to the coupon code, you'll find information on our newest products, as well as our featured recipe for making easy North Carolina pulled pork BBQ (no smoker required!). In fact, you still have time to impress your Dad tomorrow for Father's Day by making him some Carolina style barbecue if you use this recipe.

Would you like to receive our FREE monthly e-Newsletter, chock-full of product reviews, recipes, cooking & grilling tips, and special discount coupons & exclusive sales? Sign up here, and don't forget to confirm your subscription by clicking on the link in the confirmation email you'll receive.

Zestfully yours,

PS: If you already placed an order using the Father's Day coupon, you can re-use the same coupon code on a new order! Just make sure you place your order online at the Carolina Sauces online store before midnight tomorrow.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Spicy Indian Chickpeas & Potatoes (Aloo Channa Masala)

This vegetarian Indian recipe is hearty, healthy, moderately spicy and quite "user friendly" for palates that may not be as accustomed to the exotic and unusual flavors in other Indian recipes. If you want a hotter dish, add the optional green chiles and/or increase the amount of ground red pepper.

Instead of using dried chickpeas that have been soaked overnight and boiled until tender, my version saves substantial amounts of time by using canned chickpeas and canned diced tomatoes.

Traditionally served with a deep-fried bread called poori or with naan, an oven-baked flatbread, you can also serve Masala Chickpeas & Potatoes over rice or simply as-is. I like to remove the whole spices before serving, so that no one is "startled" by biting into a whole cardamom or other spice. This recipe serves two.

1 can (15.5 oz) chickpeas, drained & rinsed
Frontier Garam Masala CERTIFIED ORGANIC Seasoning Blend, 2.00 oz. Bottle
Buy garam masala
4 new potatoes, washed, halved & then quartered (each potato yields 8 pieces)
2 Tbs ghee (Indian clarified butter) or vegetable oil
1 bay leaf
1" stick cinnamon
4 black cardamoms
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tsp garlic paste/puree OR finely minced garlic
1 tsp ginger paste/puree OR peeled & finely grated ginger
1/2 to 1 tsp ground red pepper (to taste)
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 cup canned diced tomatoes, undrained
1/4 cup water
Optional: 1 or 2 small hot green chiles, diced (any variety of your choice)
Salt to taste
Several sprigs fresh cilantro OR parsley, finely chopped

Melt the ghee or heat the oil in a deep, lidded saucepan over medium-high heat. Add potatoes, bay leaf, cinnamon & cardamom, and saute until the potatoes are just soft and light gold. Add onion and saute until soft and starting to turn gold. Stir in the ginger & garlic, saute for a minute. Add chickpeas and sprinkle with red pepper & turmeric, stir to thoroughly combine and saute for a few more seconds. Add tomatoes, water and green chiles if using. Stir, cover, reduce heat and simmer gently for about 15 minutes. Uncover and stir--if most of the liquid has NOT evaporated, then simmer, uncovered, for a few more minutes, stirring occasionally, until virtually all the liquid is gone (it should be moist but not "runny"). Remove from heat, taste for balance and add salt as desired, then stir in the cilantro or parsley and serve.

Zestfully yours,
Carolina Sauce Company

PS:  If you're missing several of the spices listed for this recipe, you can make a "cheater's version" by substituting 1 1/2 to 2 tsp of a good-quality garam masala spice blend in place of all of the following (omit these): bay leaf, cinnamon, cardamom, red pepper & turmeric. The flavor will probably be different, depending on the component spices in your garam masala blend, but the dish will still be quite tasty.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Pro's Secrets to Perfect Grilled Pizza

For truly great grilled Italian Pizzeria-quality pizza with a crust that's crisped on the outside but tender and yielding on the inside, you need a proper cooking surface and very high temperature.

Few of us are lucky enough to have our own wood-fired, stone-lined oven that can reach temperatures above 500°F like commercial pizzeria ovens. But that doesn't mean that we're doomed to choose between mediocre homemade pizza and takeout or delivery from a local pizza joint.

With the right knowledge and tools, you can achieve Italian pizzeria quality results when you make pizza on your barbecue grill or in your oven. Here's how the pros do it:

Right Temp Oven and Grill Thermometer1. Cook at 500°F or higher: For best results, it's imperative that you get your grill really, really hot--we're talking at least 500°F degrees. This is usually easier with a gas grill than with a charcoal grill. If you've tried and just can't get the heat that high, then just go with as high a heat as possible. The same is true for oven-baked pizza: Aim for 500°F or higher. And don't rely solely on the temperature gauge built into your grill or oven to check the temperature. For the most accurate temperature reading, the experts recommend using a grill and oven thermometer that you can place inside your grill or oven.  

Grill-Top PizzaQue Stone2. Use a Pizza Stone: A pizza stone is the ideal surface for cooking pizza in the oven as well as on the grill. Stone retains heat and produces that crispy exterior that pizza lovers want. A good-quality pizza stone is also porous, however, ensuring that a thin crust won't try out and that a thick crust will cook thoroughly, all while creating that crispness on the outside. An excellent choice is the Grill-Top PizzaQue stone, which can be used both on your grill (gas or charcoal) and in your oven. It's made of porous clay ceramic and features a removable steel base with a built-in thermometer to measure the temperature of the stone. The look is sleek and elegant, making it an attractive as well as practical gift.  The generous 15" x 16" x 2 1/2" surface allows you to cook larger pizzas. Experienced as well as novice pizza makers have been thrilled with their results using the PizzaQue pizza stone, which also comes with an easy and helpful how-to-grill starter guide in case you're new to cooking pizzas on the grill. Best of all, this deluxe pizza stone is no single-tasker--it's also an excellent surface for cooking vegetables and fish on the grill as well as in the oven! Once you use the PizzaQue stone, you'll wonder how you ever managed to make pizza without it.

3. Use the GrillGrate for Grilled Pizza: The award-winning GrillGrate lies on top of any grill to provide a superior ridged, non-stick and anti-flareup surface that's great for grilling anything, including pizza. The raised ridges will sear for a magnificently crispy, golden-brown crust similar to that of rustic wood-fired pizza from the Old Country. GrillGrates are available in a wide variety of sizes to fit virtually any grill of any shape or size, and you can also order custom GrillGrates if you have an unusual type of grill. And GrillGrates work on both charcoal or gas grills. Of course, the GrillGrate is not merely for pizza but is a revolutionary all-purpose grilling surface that will perfectly sear and cook steaks, burgers, poultry, fish, seafood, vegetables and anything else you might want to throw on the grill. Not only do the ridges create appealing sear marks on your food, but they help seal in the juices and evenly cook your food without worrying about flare-ups or hot spots (or cold spots, either).

Whether you choose a professional-quality pizza stone like the Grill-Top PizzaQue Pizza Stone, or invest in a set of GrillGrates for your grill, you'll be on your way to making the best home-made pizza you've ever had when you cook it like the pros do, at 500°F or higher.

And if you want to try a mouthwatering, meaty and cheesy deep-dish pizza you can make in the oven or on the grill, here is a delicious recipe for Greek pizza the whole family will love.

Zestfully yours,

PS:  Don't forget the hot sauce! If you like to splash a little heat on your pizza, I recommend a nice cayenne pepper sauce like the original Gator Hammock Gator Sauce, or for fiery heat that's also flavorful try Ring of Fire Habanero Hot Sauce. And if you crave the flavor of bacon, you can't beat the original Bacon Hot Sauce.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Savory Quinoa & Kale with Sun-Dried Tomatoes & Garlic

Quinoa is a lesser-known "superfood" that's an excellent vegetarian source of protein and other nutrients, and can be used as a lower-carb substitute for rice and other grains.

Mild in flavor and faster-cooking than rice, quinoa works quite nicely as the base for stews, curries, stir-fry dishes and other saucy recipes, whether vegetarian or meat/seafood-based. But you can also give quinoa a starring role similar to that of risotto, pilaf and other rice-based main courses. This is such a recipe.

You can serve my Savory Quinoa & Kale as a vegetarian/vegan main course (serves 4), or as a side dish with grilled shrimp, roast chicken, pork chops, steaks, roast beef, broiled or grilled fish, or seared scallops (serves 6).

Not sure how to cook quinoa? I've included my "foolproof" instructions for fluffy quinoa at the end of the recipe. I've also included my advice on rinsing.

Bob's Red Mill - Organic Grain Quinoa, 26 oz
Buy quinoa
1 bunch kale (approx. 10-12 oz)
1 1/2 Tbs olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 to 4 cloves garlic, minced (to taste)
3 Tbs sun-dried tomatoes, cut into strips*
1/3 cup water
1/4 tsp EACH of the following dried herbs: Thyme, Oregano, Basil, Rosemary (slightly crushed)
1/4 to 1/2 tsp Kosher salt (to taste)
1/4 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
1 1/2 to 2 cups hot cooked quinoa**

Optional toppings: Grated or shredded Parmesan cheese, crumbled feta cheese, toasted pine nuts or slivered almonds, red pepper flakes

Thoroughly rinse the kale and shake off excess water (it's ok for some residual water to remain on the leaves). Strip the leaves off the stems: I hold the end of the stem with one hand and grab the leaf at its base with my other hand, and then pull up to strip the leaf off. Discard the stems and coarsely chop the leaves with a sharp knife.

Heat the oil in a large, deep pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Saute the onions in the hot oil until translucent and soft. Add the garlic and keep sauteing until the onion begins to turn light gold. Stir in the kale and cook, stirring frequently, until leaves are bright green and wilted. Add the sundried tomatoes and water, stir, cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 10 minutes or until the kale is tender and the water has evaporated. Uncover and remove from heat, stir in the quinoa, herbs, salt & pepper. Taste for balance and adjust seasonings if desired. Serve "as is" or with any optional topping(s) of your choice.

*If using oil-packed sundried tomatoes, shake off excess oil. If using dry-packed, soak in a little hot water for a few minutes to soften, then drain off the water.

**For fluffy, perfectly-done quinoa, I start with 1 cup raw quinoa (rinsed if necessary) and a scant 1 1/2 cups water. Bring to a boil in a saucepan, cover & reduce heat to low. Cook for 15 minutes, then remove saucepan from heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Uncover and fluff with fork. Using this method, 1 cup of raw quinoa yields about 1 1/2 to 2 cups cooked.  If you buy quinoa that has not been pre-rinsed, I recommend using a sieve or a superfine colander or mesh strainer--or even a "gold" (reusable) coffee filter if you have one of those--to rinse the quinoa under running water for at least 15-30 seconds.

Zestfully yours,

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Five Fiery Father's Day Gifts for Hot & Spicy Dads

Scrambling for a last-minute Father's Day for a chilehead or fiery-foods fanatic? Here are five fiery gift ideas from the Carolina Sauce Company for the Dad who collects hot sauce or enjoys hot and spicy foods:

1. Dave's Private Reserve Insanity Sauce, 2012 Edition: Each year, Dave concocts a unique, small-batch ultra-hot hot sauce from a combination of the world's hottest peppers, adds specially-selected complementary seasonings, personally signs and numbers each bottle, and packs the deadly concoction into a wooden "coffin" that's sealed with yellow "caution" tape. And each year, this highly-sought-out collectors item sells out, leaving thousands of chileheads disappointed unless they're willing to shell out the big bucks on eBay for past editions (yes, past editions appreciate in value). Don't let Dad get left out. Give him the 2012 Edition of Dave's Private Reserve while it's still available and on sale at the Carolina Sauces online store. And if Dad actually eats sauces this hot, this year's edition won't let him down: Naga Jolokia (ghost peppers), habanero and tabasco peppers are blended with passionfruit and lime juice, sugar and savory seasonings plus a shot (or three) of pepper extract for deliciously deadly potion with tropical flair. As with all ultra-hot sauces and pepper extracts, Dave's Private Reserve should be used one toothpick-drop at a time and handled with extreme care.

2. The Source 7.1 Million SU Collector's Hot Sauce:  This baby is the real deal--pure pepper extract with NO other ingredients to dilute the heat or dull the pain. And the pain is guaranteed to burn, because The Source has been rated at 7.1 million Scoville Units of heat, making it several times hotter than pepper spray (yes, the stuff sprayed by cops on protesters and carried by civilians for personal protection). So why would anyone eat The Source?  We have no idea. It's possible that someone cooking up a huge batch of chili or chicken wings for a crowd would want to use The Source as an economical way to add plenty of heat with only a few drops of sauce. But in reality, it's hot sauce collectors and serious fiery foods aficionados who covet The Source. It arrives in a striking, display-quality box that will stand out on any shelf or table, regardless of how many other hot sauces might be around. Made in the USA in limited quantities, this extreme pepper extract sometimes sells out before the manufacturer can brew up another batch, so make sure to buy The Source now while it's available.

3. Mad Dog .357 Hot Sauce Gift Box:  This gift box is specifically targeted at hot sauce enthusiasts AND gun enthusiasts, too, as two of the bottles come decorated with a bullet keychain and the theme of all of the sauces is the .357.  Mad Dog Hot Sauces are famous for their flavor as well as their firepower, and the four bottles in the Mad Dog .357 gift set are true to form. First is the original .357 Hot Sauce which is the mildest of the bunch and yet packs 357,000 SU's of heat with its blend of red habaneros, specially-selected super-hot cayennes (not your ordinary everyday cayenne peppers) and pepper extract. Next comes Mad Dog 357 Ghost Pepper Hot Sauce with--you guessed it--the Ghost Pepper in the starring role, and co-starring habaneros, peri-peri peppers and chile extract. Then there's the Collector's Edition of Mad Dog 357 with a bullet keychain and packing 600,000 SUs of heat. Finally, there's Mad Dog .357 Silver Collector's Edition Hot Sauce, also with a bullet key chain but with a lethal 750,000 SU heat level. All four bottles come in a giftwrap-ready white gift box bearing the Mad Dog label. As with any deadly weapon, these hot sauces should be handled with extreme caution and kept away from children, pets, and anyone with an evil streak.

4. Lawyers Hot Sauce Gift Set: Need a unique Father's Day gift for a lawyer, judge, paralegal, law student or professor, legal assistant or other law professional? Give them our Lawyers Hot Sauce Gift Set!  The company that makes these fun and flavorful hot sauces is called "Judicial Flavors" and was founded by a lawyer. All of the sauces have amusing legally-inspired names and the labels feature 19th-century style cartoon caricatures of lawyers, judges and other players in the judicial system. Our Lawyers Gift Set comes with Lawyer's Breath (a fiery jalapeno & habanero garlic-infused hot sauce), Contempt of Court (a spicy pepper sauce with a savory tomato base), So Sue Me (a fiery-hot, extract-spiced jalapeno hot sauce), and Under the Influence (a unique blend of tomatillos, yellow chiles, pears and other natural ingredients for deliciously spicy flavor). If you'd like to give the Lawyers Hot Sauce Gift Set as a gift BOX, simply order the gift set and then also order our ready-to-assemble "Create Your Own" Hot Sauce Gift Box. Then fold the box together, insert the bottles and dividers, and slap on your own label or decorate the box as you wish.

5. Custom Hot Sauce Gift Box ("create your own"):  If you've browsed our Gift Sets & Gift Boxes page and haven't found the perfect gift box yet, don't despair--simply order our "Create Your Own" Hot Sauce Gift Box and pick out four hot sauces of your choice (make sure they're 5oz or 4oz standard hot sauce bottles) to design your own custom hot sauce gift box! You'll receive your sauces and the white cardboard gift box ready to assemble by folding along the crease marks and inserting the enclosed dividers between the bottles. Finish by personalizing and decorating the box any way you want: Slap on a label, cover with stickers, draw or paint with your own artwork, etc.  And there you have it, a unique, custom-made hot sauce gift especially designed by you for the lucky Dad or other recipient!  Here are some theme ideas: If Dad is a Marine, fill up the box with Semper Fi Marine Corps Hot Sauce. For the Tarheel fan or grad we have UNC Tarheels Hot Sauce. For the NC State grad or fan there's NC State Wolfpack Hot Sauce. And for the East Carolina grad or fan we have ECU Pirates Hot Sauce. You can also fill the box with any of Dave's Hot Sauces, or any other combination of 5oz (or 4oz) standard hot sauces.

Father's Day is this coming Sunday, so stop procrastinating and order today!

Zestfully yours,

Monday, June 11, 2012

Five BBQ Gifts for Father's Day

Dry Style Baby Back BBQ Ribs1. REAL smoked BBQ ribs, pulled pork & more, delivered! Our partner Pig of the Month smokes ribs the old-fashioned way for results that are sure to please any and all rib-lovers: Perfectly seasoned, tender-on-the-inside but crispy-on-the-outside, smoky and succulent—just tear-off-the-bones good barbecue. They also offer genuine Carolina pulled pork, gourmet sausages, bacon and traditional BBQ sides, desserts, complete barbecue feasts or create your own perfect BBQ package... all fully cooked, specially sealed & frozen for shipment, and delivered to you or to Dad with instructions for reheating. Sounds too good to be true? It's not! This is the real deal, as seen on Good Morning America and recommended by Iron Chef Michael Symon and lots of satisfied customers around the country. They also have gift certificates, so that Dad can design his own BBQ feast.

2. GrillGrate award-winning grates to fit any grill: Made from high-tech anodized panels for superior cooking without sticking or flare-ups, GrillGrates feature a unique raised surface that evens out cooking temperature over coals or gas, produces appealing sear-marks while sealing in juices for the most flavorful, mouthwatering results you've ever tasted. Whether Dad likes to grill steaks or burgers, fish or chicken, veggies or even pizza, and whether he's a BBQ veteran or newbie, he's sure to be blown away by how much better everything tastes AND looks when cooked on GrillGrates. Available for round and rectangular grills in all the common sizes, and custom GrillGrates can also be ordered. Browse their entire selection--plus grill tools & accessories--here.

3. Jim Beam Grilling Gift Pack: For the Dad who enjoys a good grilled steak, burger, ribs or chicken, this gift box of gourmet sauces is sure to please.  The Jim Beam Gift Pack comes with a full-size bottle each of Jim Beam Marinade to tenderize and complement meats, poultry and game with robust, savory flavor; Jim Beam Original Barbecue Sauce, a thick and rich tomato-based based sauce that balances tangy and sweet flavors with a splash of Jim Beam Kentucky bourbon whiskey and a pleasantly spicy kick; and Jim Beam Steak Sauce, a big, bold restaurant-quality sauce that will enhance the natural flavor of steaks and burgers without overpowering or overshadowing the food's natural flavors. And yes, all three sauces are made with Jim Beam's famous whiskey. But that's not all: This BBQ gift box comes with an exclusive Jim Beam basting brush! We recently added this Jim Beam Sauces Gift Pack to the Carolina Sauces online store, and it's proven to be one of our more popular Father's Day sauce gifts.

Personalized Steak Branding Iron with Wood Gift Box4. Personalized Steak Branding Iron with Wood Gift Box: Now Dad can leave his mark on his steaks as they grill to perfection when he uses his very own personalized branding iron! Widely regarded as the finest steak branding iron on the market, the stainless-steel "HeatBacker" letters retain heat better than ordinary steak brands for a perfect brand every time. The sturdy metal shaft is finished with a beautifully lacquered wood handle topped with a leather hanging strap, and the branding iron is enclosed in an attractive cedar box that's branded with the enclosed personalized brand for a unique and memorable presentation. This elegant gift is made in the USA and comes with a one-year warranty, and it's just one of the many different BBQ and grilling tools & accessories that we have available through our partners on the Carolina Sauce Company website.

5.  North Carolina BBQ Sauce: If Dad's a native North Carolinian living elsewhere, send him a taste of home when you order one or more of our genuine NC barbecue sauces and other hard-to-find North Carolina products. Whether he prefers tangy-spicy vinegar based eastern NC barbecue sauce like Wells Hog Heaven, or craves the mellower tang of tomato-vinegar western (aka Lexington or Piedmont style) NC BBQ sauce like Bone Suckin' Sauce, we have what Dad wants. We also have John Boy & Billy's Grillin' Sauce which is a special concoction of vinegar-tomato-mustard available in milder Original and feisty Hot, as well as North Carolina BBQ rubs and seasonings, too.

Father's Day is this Sunday, so don't wait too much longer to place your order!

Zestfully yours,

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Tempeh "Reuben" Sandwiches

Tempeh Reuben Pita Sandwiches
The following vegetarian recipe is based on the original Tempeh Reuben recipe published in New Recipes from Moosewood Restaurant by The Moosewood Collective. Unlike the original recipe, I prefer to cut the tempeh into four "slices" and marinate them before either broiling or grilling on my George Foreman grill. This cuts back significantly on the amount of fat. I also use low-fat (but all-natural) Jarlsberg cheese instead of regular Swiss cheese. If you prefer a vegan version, you can substitute vegan alternatives to the cheese and dressing, but because I've never done that I don't know any products to recommend.

My version of tempeh reubens makes two hearty sandwiches, whether served on traditional rye bread (shown in photo towards the end) or in whole-wheat pocket pitas as shown above. Alternatively, you can make 4 open-face sandwiches. Another alternative is to cut the cooked tempeh into strips or coarsely chop/crumble and assemble the reubens using wraps instead of bread slices or pita.


¼ cup soy sauce
1 Tbs olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ tsp onion powder
8 oz slab of tempeh*
4 slices of rye bread, toasted if desired, OR 2 pocket pitas
Approx. 4 Tbs thousand island dressing
Approx 4 Tbs sauerkraut, well-drained

Use a sharp knife to cut the tempeh in half crosswise, then carefully slice each piece in half through one of the edges so as to make 4 thin square pieces of tempeh that are half as thick as the original slab. 

Sliced tempeh
Whisk together the soy sauce, olive oil, minced garlic and onion powder. Place the tempeh slices in a shallow container and pour the marinade over them. Marinate in refrigerator for one hour, turning the tempeh slices after 30 minutes (I spoon some of the marinade over them after turning to make sure they’re evenly marinated on all sides).

Marinating tempeh
To broil: I place a large piece of aluminum foil on my broiler tray and fold up the edges to make a “pan,” which makes cleanup much easier because I can just scrunch up the foil & discard, rather than having to scrub the broiler tray. Remove tempeh slices from marinade and arrange in single layer on the foil. Place tray in oven on second rack from the broiler element (for top broilers). Broil until browned and crisped on both sides  - this takes only a few minutes per side and you need to watch to make sure they don’t get charred.

Broiled tempeh
To grill: I use my very old but fully-functional George Foreman grill and make sure that the grates are well-oiled. I grill on the second highest setting for 8-10 minutes, then flip over the tempeh (re-oiling the grates if necessary) and continue grilling until the surface is golden & crispy.

To serve in pita pockets: Cut each pita in half. Slather the inside of the pitas with Thousand Island dressing. Place a slice of tempeh inside each pita half, top the tempeh with a slice of cheese, then add the sauerkraut.

Tempeh reuben on German rye
To serve on rye:  Toast bread if desired, then slather two slices with some of the Thousand Island dressing (reserve some dressing). Place two pieces of tempeh on each "dressed" slice of bread, add a little sauerkraut and then top with two slices of cheese per sandwich. If desired, carefully place the "open" reubens on the broiler tray and broil just until the cheese melts (a few seconds). Remove from oven, top with more thousand island dressing and sauerkraut, then complete the two sandwiches with the remaining two slices of bread.

Zestfully yours,
Carolina Sauce Company, Inc.

*Tempeh, a common ingredient in Indonesian cuisine, is made from fermented soybeans and has a naturally "meaty" flavor and texture. It's denser than tofu and can be crumbled and browned in oil to use as a substitute for meat in chili, stuffed peppers, stews and casseroles. You can also cut tempeh into strips or cubes and use in stir-fry dishes and similar recipes. Like tofu, tempeh takes well to virtually any sauce or seasoning. You'll find tempeh sold in slabs at natural-foods stores and in better supermarkets in the same section as tofu and other soy products.

Whole tempeh slab

Friday, June 8, 2012

Three New BBQ Sauces for Chileheads

Buy Dave's Badlands BBQ Sauce
Do you love barbecue sauce and enjoy hot & spicy foods, or need a Father's Day gift for someone who does? Then the Carolina Sauce Company is the place for you! We've recently added the following three fiery and flavor-packed BBQ sauces to our Carolina Sauces online store, and they span the heat spectrum from pleasantly peppery to pretty darn hot to fiercely flaming.

Dave's Gourmet Badlands Barbeque Sauce is the tamest of this trio--but don't get me wrong, this sauce is neither wimpy nor bland. After all, Dave's Gourmet is known both for its delightfully delicious gourmet sauces, condiments and seasonings as well as for its "Insanity" line of seriously spicy hot sauces. Dave's Badlands BBQ Sauce is a thick, rich and tangy blend of mustard, tomato and brown sugar with just the right amount of jalapenos, green chiles and spices to add a piquant kick that will wake up your taste buds without destroying them or overwhelming your food. Whether you slather it on ribs, chicken, fish, shrimp, or grilled vegetables, you cannot go wrong with this sauce. It's also a tasty substitute for ketchup or regular BBQ sauce in meatloaf and other ground meat recipes, and you can also use it for oven-baked or slow-cooker meats and poultry. Made in California using all-natural ingredients, this BBQ sauce lives up to the "Gourmet" in it name, while sneaking into "Badlands" territory with its feisty peppery finish.
Melinda's Mesquite Habanero BBQ Sauce

In the middle of heat scale (at least to me--please keep in mind that perceived heat is subjective and personal) is Melinda's Spicy Mesquite Habanero Barbecue Sauce, a gem of a hot and spicy BBQ sauce. What I really like about the Melinda's line of products is that they never use any artificial ingredients, and they manage to crank up the heat while still allowing you to savor the layers of other flavors in the sauces AND in your food. This spicy-hot, smoky barbecue sauce is different from most in its flavor niche in that it relies on mesquite rather than chipotle (dried, smoked jalapenos) for its smokiness and habanero peppers for the heat. The result is a deeper, earthier flavor that is reminiscent of Southwestern fare, plus greater heat with brighter, almost fruit-like notes from the habanero peppers (but don't get me wrong, this is not a fruity barbecue sauce--I'm simply referring to the natural fruity flavor of habaneros in contrast to the "grassy" or vegetal flavor of jalapenos). The texture and body are thick and rich, and the sweet-tangy base of tomato and mustard complements anything you grill, especially red meats like beef, pork, venison and other game; or dark poultry including chicken or turkey thighs and legs, duck, goose and game birds.

Buy Habanero BBQ Sauce from Hell
Finally, for people who prefer seriously HOT barbecue sauces but still want to be able to taste what they're eating, we now have Habanero BBQ Sauce from Hell, a classic fiery-hot barbecue sauce that's been popular for years. Although the label continues to claim that this is the "world's hottest BBQ sauce," I disagree in light of the new ghost-pepper sauces that have entered the market recently. Instead, I think one could fairly state that this is the "world's hottest BBQ sauce that actually tastes like a BBQ sauce." This sauce features a traditional thick, sweet tomato base with a touch of smoke and savory spices. The burn comes from a hefty handful (or three) of habanero peppers and a generous amount of green chiles. As with any very hot barbecue sauce, Habanero BBQ Sauce from Hell is best used on heartier grilled or roasted fare that can stand up to heavy firepower. You can also use it in your crock pot or slow cooker--in fact, we have a crock pot recipe from the manufacturer for Hellishly Good BBQ Beef Sandwiches posted on our product page for this habanero barbeque sauce.

If you're partial towards milder barbecue sauces, don't despair: We have plenty of milder barbecue flavors in a variety of styles (Carolina vinegar or mustard sauces, sweet Memphis, Kentucky bourbon, etc.) on our Barbecue Sauce page.

Zestfully yours,

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Carolina Sauce Newsletter: BBQ & Hot Sauce Gifts for Father's Day

NEW Sauce Gift Packs & Father's Day Coupon Sale!

Use coupon code FieryDads12 at checkout to save 7% off your product total at the Carolina Sauces online store, good through June 17, 2012 (which is Father's Day). Save money on Dad's favorite sauces & seasonings, and stop giving Dad boring gifts like ties or shirts--instead, give him one of our themed gift sets or brand-new gift boxes featuring hot sauces, BBQ sauces & other zesty products ranging from mild to wild! Check out some of our newest arrivals below:

NEW Gift Boxes & Gift Packs:

*Jim Beam Sauces 3-Pack: This gift box comes with a full-size bottle each of Jim Beam Steak Sauce, Jim Beam Marinade and Jim Beam BBQ Sauce. These bold, robust sauces are enhanced with a splash of Jim Beam bourbon whiskey for incomparable flavor.

*Anchor Bar Wing Sauce Gift Box: Featuring the fabled Buffalo wing sauces from their birthplace, this gift box comes with a full-size bottle each of the Original (Medium), Hotter, and Suicidal wing sauces from the Anchor Bar

*"No Survivors" Gift Box: A favorite of military personnel, this scary-looking gift box comes with 4 fearsome super-hot sauces: Endorphin Rush, the original Dave's Insanity Sauce, Mad Dog Inferno, and Marie Sharp's Fiery Habanero Sauce.

*Ghost Pepper Gift Box: For serious fiery-foods fanatics only! Comes with Dave's Ghost Pepper Naga Jolokia Hot Sauce, The Ghost Hot Sauce, Mad Dog 357 Pure Ghost Hot Sauce, and Blair's Pure Death Hot Sauce with Jolokia, all made with the world's hottest pepper.

*Garlic Lover's Gift Box: Is Dad a chilehead AND a garlic-o-holic? Give him this gift box with a bottle each of Dave's Gourmet Roasted Garlic Hot Sauce, Melinda's Habanero Garlic Hot Sauce, Tahiti Joe's Tropi Garlic Hot Sauce and Chileheads Garlic Hot Sauce.

*"Biker Box" Hot Sauce Gift Box: For the hot sauce loving motorcycle enthusiast, this gift box comes with HAWG Hot Sauce, Daytona Bike Week Hot Sauce, Sturgis Bike Rally Hot Sauce and Crazy Jerry's Biker Trash Habanero Garlic Hot Sauce.

*Create Your Own Hot Sauce Gift Box: This sturdy white cardboard gift box holds four 5-oz bottles of hot sauces of your choice. Simply order the 4 sauces you want and order the box, assemble by folding along the creases, insert the hot sauce bottles, slap on a label and VOILA! Your own unique hot sauce gift box is ready to wrap and give!

NEW Snacks & Condiments:

*Spicy peanuts including Dave's Burning Nuts (habanero-dusted peanuts), Dave's Lucky Nuts (sweet-salty peanuts but 1 out of 10 is FIERY, hence their nickname "Russian roulette nuts"), and Dave's Smokin' BBQ'd Nuts (smoky, savory spicy BBQ flavored peanuts)

*Texas Longhorn Hott Damn Chili Fixins: Combine this special spicy blend of fresh peppers & Southwestern seasonings with browned meat, tomatoes & beans (if you wish) for the easiest, tastiest Texas chili

*Habanero Stuffed Olives From Hell: The name says it all. Jumbo green olives stuffed with habanero slices instead of mild pimientos.

*Melinda's Naga Jolokia Ketchup: Quite possibly the world's hottest ketchup, this all-natural gourmet ketchup gets its heat from the Ghost Pepper

NEW Barbecue Sauces:

*Cajohn's Private Reserve Apple Smoked Spiced Rum Ancho BBQ Sauce: A gourmet feast of flavors, this tomato BBQ sauce has subtle applewood smoke notes, spicy ancho chiles and sweetly mellow depth from spiced rum. Delicious on everything from meat to poultry, veggie kabobs, & shrimp.

*Melinda's Spicy Mesquite Habanero BBQ Sauce: Fiery-hot with bold, smoky flavor, this all-natural BBQ sauce is great with ribs, pork, beef, venison & other game.

*BourbonQ Roasted Garlic & Chipotle Kentucky Bourbon BBQ Sauce: Savory-tangy with hints of sweetness & smoke, this rich & elegant BBQ sauce makes everything taste better by complementing and enhancing, rather than overwhelming.

You can see ALL our newest products on our New Products Page.

June Recipe: Easy NC Pulled Pork BBQ

If you don't have a smoker or the time to make slow-smoked pulled pork BBQ, you can enjoy the next-best thing to genuine NC barbecue by using your oven & following these 5 easy steps:

Pork finished being pulled
Slow-smoked BBQ delivered nationwide - Click here
(1) Select a 6 to 8 lb Boston butt (pork shoulder) with a nice fat cap and season with your favorite BBQ rub.

 (2) Preheat oven to 300F. Place pork fat-side up in a DEEP (at least 2") roasting pan. The fat will render during cooking so depth is important!

(3) Leave pan uncovered & cook on center rack for at least 6 hrs, until pork is fork-tender & pulls with little effort.

(4) Turn off oven & let pork sit until cooled enough to pull by hand. Remove pan from oven, pull apart by hand while removing all fatty bits and placing the pulled meat in a large pan.

(5) Pour your favorite BBQ sauce over the pulled pork and mix in by hand. For vinegar-based Eastern NC BBQ, try Wells Hog Heaven BBQ Sauce. For Piedmont or Lexington (western NC) BBQ, try Bone Suckin' Sauce.

"Like" Us on Facebook & You Could Win FREE Sauce!

Want to win FREE sauces and seasonings? Then play the Crock Pot Game on July 1st on the Carolina Sauce Company Facebook page! We post a new game on our Facebook page on the 1st of each month. Simply follow the rules and post your answer on our page, and we'll select a winner each month to receive a free product, gift certificate, or other zesty prize. The next Crock Pot Game will be posted on July 1st, so make sure to "Like" us on Facebook in order to play. Our Facebook page is also the place to find additional coupons, special offers and private sales--simply click on the "Coupons" tab (with the green dollar sign) to access the current offers. We want to hear from you, too, so please leave us a comment on our Facebook page, and feel free to share your food photos, recipes, BBQ/food blog, and other zesty stuff.

Want to receive our FREE monthly e-Newsletter? Sign up here, and click on the confirmation link when you receive your "welcome" email.

Zestfully yours,