Friday, August 31, 2012

Grilled Chicken with Roasted Garlic Marinade

My homemade Roasted Garlic, Mustard & Herb Vinaigrette is much more than just a salad dressing: You can use it as a marinade and grilling sauce for chicken, too! We discovered that, in addition to imparting a savory-tangy garlic-herb flavor to chicken, it also produces super-juicy, succulent chicken that's amazingly tender and never dried out.

All you need is 2 to 3 pounds of chicken parts--I used an already-cut-up organic chicken, bone-in and skin left on, but you could also use boneless, skinless chicken parts. One cup of my homemade garlic mustard dressing was sufficient to marinate that much bone-in chicken--the key is to have enough to fully coat all of the chicken, and a little extra for basting if desired.

If you're using skin-on chicken, lift the skin up off the flesh and use a brush or your fingers to coat the chicken flesh with the marinade under the skin. This will allow more of the flavors to penetrate deeper.

Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette
Place the chicken parts and roasted garlic vinaigrette in a large resealable plastic bag or lidded container, seal or cover, and shake well until all pieces are evenly coated. Marinate in refrigerator for at least one hour or overnight, turning or shaking once or twice during this time.

When ready to grill, remove chicken pieces from the bag or container and place on grill over indirect heat or medium-hot coals. If you wish, you can pour the used marinade over the chicken pieces immediately after placing on the grill, but do NOT reserve the used marinade for later basting! Discard any remaining used marinade and use fresh vinaigrette to baste as the chicken cooks.

Grill the chicken until done, turning once. That's it!

Zestfully yours,

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Melinda's Fire-Roasted Habanero Sauce

Melinda's Fire-Roasted Habanero Hot Sauce
Melinda's Fire-Roasted Habanero Sauce
Melinda's Hot Sauces are beloved the world over for their honest, peppery flavor, fine all-natural ingredients, and versatility at the table and in the kitchen. Best-known for her classic habanero hot sauces ranging from mild to incendiary in heat, Melinda's likes to change things up once in a while by either creating a jalapeno hot sauce or a trendy naga jolokia hot sauce, releasing a limited-edition Reserve habanero hot sauce, or doing something entirely different.

This time, she's done the latter. And the result will not disappoint.

The Carolina Sauce Company is pleased to announce Melinda's Fire-Roasted Habanero Pepper Hot Sauce, the latest addition to Melinda's fabled hot sauce lineup. Choice red habanero peppers are slow-roasted along with fresh garlic cloves for that uniquely deep, robust and yet mellow, almost caramelized flavor that can only be achieved through fire-roasting. The roasted peppers and garlic are then blended into Melinda's traditional Caribbean-style hot sauce base of vinegar, lime juice and carrots to ensure that you experience the full-flavored, fiery splendor of the roasted habaneros with just the right touch of garlic pungency. If you enjoy chipotle hot sauces but prefer the heat of habanero peppers, this is the hot sauce for you.

Melinda's Fire-Roasted Garlic Habanero Sauce is currently on sale at the Carolina Sauces online store.

Zestfully yours,

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Roasted Garlic, Mustard & Herb Vinaigrette

Homemade Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette Dressing
I used to think that homemade salad dressings took too much effort, or were too hard to get to taste "right." But once I started reading the ingredient lists on most supermarket brands, the unpronounceable chemicals, additives and other undesirable ingredients convinced me to try my hand at making my own dressings. Much to my delight, it turned out to be easier and faster than I had anticipated--in fact, I discovered that if a homemade vinaigrette or dressing didn't taste quite right at first, it could be "fixed" by increasing the amount of one or more of the ingredients until I achieved the desired flavor balance. Another lesson I learned was that, while fresh herbs are often preferable, dried herbs can be used to make tasty homemade dressings. And invariably, a well-made homemade vinaigrette will blow away a mass-produced grocery store brand any day in terms of flavor--plus, you'll know exactly what's in it.

My roasted garlic vinaigrette is more than just a salad dressing: You can drizzle it over cooked vegetables or fish, mix a little of it into mashed potatoes, and even use it as a marinade and grilling sauce. In fact, we recently marinated and grilled chicken with it and the results were divine (yes, that recipe is coming soon). To save time, I buy already-peeled garlic cloves and "cheat" by using my stove-top roasted garlic instructions. Taking the time to oven-roast the garlic will impart a somewhat richer, deeper flavor to the vinaigrette, but you'll need to plan on at least 1 hour of roasting time. You can use either a Dijon mustard for a milder, more subtle mustard flavor, or a rustic whole-grain mustard for a sharper, more robust mustard flavor. As with any homemade dressing, taste after blending and adjust the ingredient amounts accordingly.

The following makes about 1 cup of dressing, which should keep a week or so in the refrigerator (we ate it all within a few days) in a tightly lidded jar. To make more or less, divide or multiply the ingredients accordingly. I use my hand blender (aka "immersion blender") to make this, but you can use a whisk, a regular blender or even a food processor for large quantities.

Salad with avocado, crunchy sprouts & roasted garlic dressing
30 cloves peeled, roasted garlic
1/3 to 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
1 Tbs Dijon mustard or whole grain mustard
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
1 to 1 1/2 tsp sea salt (to taste)
1/2 tsp fresh-ground black pepper OR fresh-ground blend of peppercorns

Blend together all ingredients, taste for balance and add a little more of any ingredient as needed (i.e., if too tart, add more oil; if too mild, add more mustard or vinegar; if not salty enough, add more salt; etc.).

Zestfully yours,

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Spicy Garlic Dill Pickles are Back!

Tabasco Spicy Garlic Dill Pickles
For over a year, spicy dill pickle slices had been absent from our offerings at the Carolina Sauce Company.  During this time, we've been searching for zesty, crunchy dill pickle chips with just the right balance of peppery zip and tangy, spicy flavor. Finally, we've found what we've been looking for: Tabasco Spicy Garlic Dill Pickles, now available on the Carolina Sauces online store!

Fresh pickling cucumbers are pickled in a traditional dill brine that's "fortified" with pungent garlic and spiked with several splashes of real Tabasco Sauce for robust, richly flavored pickle slices that beg to be layered on hamburgers and sandwiches, piled high on relish trays, tucked into pita sandwiches and wraps, tossed into salads, or simply noshed on straight from the jar. Just spicy enough to be considered a hot pickle, but not so much that it will overwhelm your mouth or burn your tongue, Tabasco Spicy Dill Pickles will please garlic lovers and fans of spicy foods without scaring away more tender palates.

These spicy pickle chips are for more than mere munching or using as a condiment: Chop or dice them to add to recipes like tartar sauce or cocktail sauce, homemade relish, tuna salad, chicken salad, egg salad, cole slaw and any other recipe that calls for chopped or diced pickles. They'll provide just a touch of gentle heat while the garlic will enhance the food's flavor, adding depth without overpowering.

Give Tabasco Spicy Garlic Dill Pickles a try, and let us know how you enjoy them by leaving a comment below, or posting on the Carolina Sauce Facebook Page.

Zestfully yours,

Monday, August 27, 2012

Saffron Rice with Almonds

A pinch or two of saffron provides subtle flavor and color to Basmati rice in this simple but elegant dish. I used only 5 or 6 saffron threads (one pinch) for a very pale yellow color, but if you want a deeper, sunnier yellow simply add a few more threads. The almonds provide a pleasant crunch and toasting them enhances their buttery flavor.

To make this recipe vegan, simply substitute oil for the ghee or butter.  And you can certainly double the recipe to make more--mine makes about 4 servings. If you don't have basmati rice, use regular white rice. I don't recommend substituting brown rice because its more robust flavor will overwhelm the saffron. My saffron rice with almonds is an excellent side dish for Indian or Middle Eastern meals--I recently served it with Kuwaiti Okra and Tomatoes. If you end up with a "crust" on the bottom of the pan, that is a good thing and is prized in certain cultures for its crunch and toasty flavor.

Served with Kuwaiti Okra & Tomatoes
1/4 cup sliced or slivered almonds
1 Tbs ghee (Indian clarified butter), butter or vegetable oil
1 to 2 pinches saffron threads
1 cup Basmati rice
1 1/2 cups water
Optional: Salt to taste (I don't add salt)

Place the almonds in a small dry skillet over low-medium heat and toast, stirring regularly, until light golden brown and fragrant. Note: It will take a few minutes before the almonds start changing color, but once they begin to turn, they can quickly burn so keep an eye on them. Once toasted, remove from heat and set aside.

Melt the ghee or heat the oil in a medium saucepan or small pot on medium-high heat. Add rice and stir-fry for a couple of minutes, until all the grains are coated and the rice becomes aromatic.  Add water, stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to very low, cover and cook for 25 minutes.

After 25 minutes, remove from heat, still covered to allow the rice to "steam" for 5 minutes. Uncover and stir. Taste and add salt if desired. To serve, either stir in most of the toasted almonds and sprinkle the rest on top of the served rice, OR serve the rice and then sprinkle all the almonds on top.

Zestfully yours,
Carolina Sauce Company, Inc.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

A Spicy Take on Honey Mustard

Tobago Keys Spicy Honey Mustard
A rich, creamy honey mustard that balances sweetness and tang can be hard to find--and if you're interested in such a honey mustard that's also spicy, it's darn near impossible... until now.

The Carolina Sauce Company is now your source for the fabled Tobago Keys Royale Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce, a habanero-heated blend of real honey, yellow mustard, mayonnaise, and other natural ingredients including just the right amount of fiery habanero peppers, for a honey mustard of incomparable taste, versatility and peppery zip.

Whether you use this spicy honey mustard as a salad dressing or as a marinade, a sandwich spread or grilling and basting sauce, at the table or in a recipe, Tobago Keys Honey Mustard will not disappoint. Most people will find it milder in heat than another popular sweet and spicy mustard, Dave's Gourmet Hurtin' Habanero Honey Mustard, and more velvety-smooth on the palate, too, for that "homemade" mouthfeel that's often lacking in bottled honey mustards.

In addition to its obvious use as a creamy dressing for salads and cooked vegetables or as a dipping sauce for raw veggies or fried snacks (e.g., jalapeno poppers, chicken tenders, French fries, onion rings, etc.), this honey mustard adds a feisty kick to deviled eggs, chicken salad and creamy coleslaw. It's excellent as a sauce for grilled, broiled or steamed fish as well as with roasted chicken. Enjoy it in your sandwiches and wraps, too, whether filled with smoked turkey or other cold cuts or even with sliced vegetables, cheese and sprouts. The possibilities are limited only by your culinary creativity.

You can find Tobago Keys Honey Mustard online on our Hot & Spicy Mustards page.

Zestfully yours,

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Kuwaiti-Style Okra & Tomatoes

Kuwaiti-style Okra & Tomatoes with Saffron-Almond Rice
Having recently received a large quantity of fresh okra from a friend experiencing "Okrageddon" (an explosion of okra production of Biblical proportions) in her vegetable garden, I decided to go digging through my cookbooks for a new way of cooking okra, especially more mature, longer pods. I've always thought of okra as a staple of the American South, the Caribbean, India and Africa (where okra traces its roots). Imagine my surprise when I discovered a recipe from Kuwait, of all places, that features okra as the main ingredient!

The following recipe is adapted from Madhur Jaffrey's World of the East Vegetarian Cooking cookbook. While the original calls for tender (i.e., young) okra that's cooked whole, you can use older, larger pods as I did if you slice them into rounds. The low, slow simmer will tenderize tougher, older okra, as will the acid in the lemon juice, and the results will not be slimy or "woody." To guarantee slime-free okra, make sure the okra pods are COMPLETELY dry before you cut them. I washed mine earlier in the day, patted them dry with paper towels and then spread in a single layer on dry paper towels for a few hours until it was time to cook dinner. The original recipe says it can be made with frozen okra instead of fresh, but I can't vouch for its lack of sliminess as I haven't made it with frozen.

I served this Kuwaiti style okra and tomatoes with saffron-almond basmati rice, and you can serve it with any other type of rice or with pita or other flatbread, too.

1 1/2 lbs fresh okra, trimmed & sliced into 1/2" to 3/4" thick rounds
Kuwaiti-style Okra & Tomatoes
4 Tbs olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 tsp ground coriander
1 to 1 1/2 tsp sea salt (to taste - I used 1 1/4 tsp)
1/4 tsp ground black pepper (this is mildly spicy; increase amount for more heat)
Juice of half a lemon (approx. 1 Tbs)
1/4 to 1/3 cup water

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat, add onion & garlic and fry until onions become translucent. Add okra and fry for at least 1 minute--or until just beginning to soften, if using more mature okra (about 5 minutes). Add the remaining ingredients--I start with only 1/4 cup water and add more later if it looks too dry. Stir, bring to a simmer, cover and reduce heat to low.  Cook gently for 15 to 25 minutes, or longer, until okra is tender, stirring occasionally (the larger or older the okra, the longer it will take to cook).  Serves 4 to 6.

Zestfully yours,

PS:  If you enjoy reading, collecting or browsing through cookbooks, visit our Cookbooks Page to check out what's available from the Carolina Sauce Company!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Pancake Syrup with a Splash of Bourbon

Jim Beam Bourbon Pancake Syrup
Earlier this year, I shared my recipe for Sweet Potato Rosti (a rosti is similar to an oversize latke, but more pancake-like) served with homemade Cinnamon Bourbon Maple Syrup. If you made and enjoyed my syrup recipe, or if the idea of a bourbon-spiked pancake syrup appeals to you but you don't have the time or inclination to make it, then I have good news: You can now buy Jim Beam Bourbon Pancake Syrup from the Carolina Sauce Company!

A splash of real Kentucky bourbon whiskey not only complements the natural sweetness of old-fashioned breakfast syrup, but its dark caramel and and subtle vanilla notes broaden and deepen the flavor of this rich and mellow pancake syrup. And don't worry, kids won't get drunk on this bourbon-spiked syrup, so it's good for the whole family.

As the name suggests, Jim Beam Bourbon Pancake Syrup is obviously great with pancakes, waffles, French toast, crepes, and yes, with rosti, too. But as with other sweet breakfast syrups, it's also a wonderful addition to oatmeal and other hot cereals, or drizzled over ice cream, cheesecake, bread pudding, pound cake, a bowl of berries sprinkled with nuts, and other sweet treats. And for a fancy coffeehouse experience at home, simply stir a spoonful or two into hot or cold coffee. You can also add it to smoothies, or even drizzle over a baked sweet potato!

Jim Beam Kentucky Bourbon Pancake Syrup is currently on sale at the Carolina Sauce Company online store.

Zestfully yours,

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Spicy Shrimp, Sweet Potato & Bok Choy Stir-Fry in Sour-Sweet Sauce

I call the sauce in this dish a "sour and sweet sauce" to differentiate it from what most people here in the US consider to be Chinese "sweet and sour sauce." While the latter is Americanized, extremely sweet and often made with ketchup and/or corn syrup, my sauce is closer to a traditional Chinese sweet and sour sauce: Brown in color and with a definite tang that keeps the sweetness in check but without puckering your mouth. If you really do want a sweeter sauce, you can add more brown sugar to it.

You can make my Sour & Sweet Sauce for use on all sorts of stir-fry dishes, including those featuring beef, pork, chicken or tofu. Likewise, you can select your own combination of vegetables--I used what I had on hand, namely bok choy, a garnet sweet potato, mini peppers (you can spice this up by adding or substituting one or more hot chilies) and onion. Serve as you would any stir-fry dish, i.e., over rice, with Asian noodles, or "as is."

Since stir-frying takes very little time and requires frequent stirring, it makes sense to prep all the ingredients before you start cooking. You can also cook the sauce right before frying the shrimp and vegetables--simply cook until dark brown and thickened, then cover and remove from heat. For best results, make sure your oil is hot enough and start with the slowest-cooking ingredients, and cook each until just tender (cooking times will vary). If your wok or pan isn't large enough, or if you're concerned about some ingredients ending up overcooked or too soft, simply remove each from wok or pan when cooked to desired tenderness and hold in a large bowl until all ingredients are cooked, then add all back to the wok or pan with the the cooked sauce and stir until heated through.

2 to 3 Tbs stir-fry oil or peanut oil
1 Tbs minced garlic
1/2 Tbs minced ginger
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes or 1-2 whole dried Asian chilies
1 large (approx. 12oz) onion, cut into wedges
1 medium sweet potato (approx. 8oz), cut in half lengthwise and into 1/4" thick half-moons
4 to 6 mini sweet peppers OR 1 large bell pepper (any color), cut into 1/4" wide rings or strips
1 bunch baby bok choy (approx. 8oz), bottom trimmed and leaves cut in half lengthwise
8 oz. raw peeled & deveined shrimp (weight *after* peeling)

Sour-Sweet Sauce Ingredients:
1/4 cup soy sauce (reduced sodium is fine) or tamari sauce
1/4 cup white wine
2 Tbs apple cider vinegar
2 Tbs brown sugar
1 Tbs cornstarch

To make the sauce, place all ingredients EXCEPT cornstarch in a small bowl or lidded jar, then whisk or shake vigorously until sugar is dissolved.  Add cornstarch and whisk or shake vigorously until completely incorporated and there are no lumps. Pour into a small saucepan, bring to a low boil while stirring frequently, reduce heat to a simmer and cook, stirring constantly, until sauce turns a dark, glossy brown and has thickened to the consistence of sweet & sour sauce. Cover and remove from heat, setting aside until ready to add to the stir-fry.

Thai Garlic-Chili Pepper Sauce
To make the stir-fry, heat oil to medium-high in wok or large, deep frying pan, add garlic, ginger & crushed red pepper or Asian chilies, and stir-fry until fragrant (1 to 2 minutes).  Add onion and stir-fry until starting to soften (approx. 3 minutes). Add sweet potato slices and stir-fry until just beginning to soften (about 2 to 3 minutes).  Add sweet peppers and stir-fry until just softened (approx. 2 to 3 minutes).  Add baby bok choy and stir-fry until leaves turn bright-green and are just barely wilted (about 1 to 2 minutes). Add shrimp and stir-fry until cooked through and no longer pink. When all ingredients are cooked to desired doneness, pour in the cooked sauce, stir and heat through.

Zestfully yours,

PS: If you're looking for an Asian hot sauce to spice this up even more, try A Taste of Thai Garlic Chili Pepper Sauce.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Jim's Own Sauces are Back--Plus Jim's Rubs!

Buy Jim's Own Sauces & BBQ Rubs
After a long absence, we are THRILLED to bring you Jim's Own Bar-B-Q Sauce again on the Carolina Sauce Company website! We've recently partnered with the manufacturer, Gentlewoods Food Co., to bring you these award-winning, tangy-sweet North Carolina barbecue sauces, which are fabulous for splashing on pulled pork BBQ, basting ribs (beef or pork), marinating & grilling chicken, and more.

Jim's Own Sauces are made in the Lexington (aka western NC or Piedmont) style with vinegar, tomatoes, spices and a touch of sugar. The mild original, Jim's Own Homestyle BBQ sauce, is back along with the fiery Hot version, AND we also have two new varieties: Jim's Own Mustard BBQ Sauce, made in the low-country or South Carolina style but with that signature Jim's Own tangy sweetness, plus Jim's Own Smokey BBQ Sauce, with a robust, natural smoky flavor that enhances the original recipe and adds just a touch of spice without getting it too hot.

All four flavors of Jim's Own Barbecue Sauces are available in three sizes to suit all your BBQ, grilling and cooking needs: The popular 16oz bottles that have always been one of our best-selling products; Plastic 32oz quart bottles that are a favorite among larger families and folks who frequently host cookouts or simply want to save some money by buying this "economy" size; and NEW plastic gallon jugs, which are perfect for large parties, family reunions, pig-pickins' and other special events as well as for restaurant or other commercial applications. You can also order by the case, too: The pints and quarts come 12 to a case, and the gallon jugs come 4 to a case.

Buy Jim's Own Rubs
But that's not all: Jim's Own has recently come out with their own savory, zesty all-purpose dry rubs, available in Mild and Smokey!  Consistent with their tangy-sweet and flavor-packed barbecue sauces, Jim's Own Rubs feature rich BBQ spices and herbs with just a touch of sweetness and zip. The Mild is subtly sweet with a rich paprika flavor, while the Smokey Rub showcases smoked peppers and hints of caramel for a depth of flavor that helps your food taste "char-grilled" even if grilled over gas or cooked indoors. Rub or pat either rub on raw meat, poultry and seafood before cooking, or sprinkle on veggies before and after grilling for amazing, mouthwatering flavor. The rubs are available by the case, too, with 6 packages to a case.

You can shop for any or all of these fine Jim's Own products on our Jim's Own Sauces & Rubs page, and listed on our *NEW* North Carolina Products page along with all the other NC products we currently offer. And stay tuned, as we'll soon have Jim's Own Gift Baskets, aprons, and other Jim's Own items that make great gifts for barbecue lovers!

Zestfully yours,

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Spicy Artichoke Spinach Dips are Here!

Artichoke Spinach Con Queso
A mainstay at parties and on the appetizers list at many sports bars and American restaurants, artichoke spinach dip is one of those comforting, irresistible snacks that you just can't get enough of, whether you're dipping chips, pita wedges or raw veggies. If you're one of those people who's hooked on spinach artichoke dip but don't have the time or inclination to make it at home, you're in luck: We now have two new zesty varieties available at the Carolina Sauce Company online store!

Fiesta Artichoke Spinach Con Queso Dip is a sassy, southwestern take on the classic sour cream and cheese spinach artichoke dip, with just enough jalapeno peppers and a dash of hot sauce to jazz up your taste buds and cure the appetizer blues. Made with real cream cheese, you can serve this baby straight from the jar or warmed up in a microwave-safe bowl and your friends will believe you if you fib and claim you made this dip from scratch--just remember to hide the empty jar.  More than just a cheesy, creamy dip, Fiesta Spinach Artichoke Con Queso Dip does double-duty in sandwiches and wraps, too. Heck, spoon some on a grilled hamburger or portobello cap for an innovative, gourmet change of pace! Although it comes in a generous 15.5 oz jar, this spicy artichoke spinach dip disappears quickly so make sure to stock up to avoid running out of it while your party is going strong.

Artichoke Spinach Fiesta Dip
For the more adventurous--or those who prefer a healthier, non-dairy dip or appetizer--we've added Fiesta Spicy Artichoke Spinach Party Dip, which is similar to a tomato and pepper salsa but with tangy artichokes and tender cooked spinach mixed in. Sure, it may sound strange, but trust me on this one: This feisty fusion dip will rock your taste buds and have you coming back for more. Moderately spicy with jalapenos and hot sauce, it won't burn out your mouth. In addition to serving as a dip for chips, vegetables and anything else dippable, you can also spoon it over grilled chicken, meat or fish for some southwestern flair, or add it to sandwiches or even omelets for an exciting new dining experience. It's a natural as a topping for nachos, enchiladas, burritos and other Mexican food, or you can turn your Italian food into fiesta food by spooning over pizza or mixing with plain cooked pasta.

Both new Fiesta dips are currently on sale at the Carolina Sauce Company.

Zestfully yours,

Monday, August 20, 2012

Pepper-Herb Focaccia

My pepper-herb focaccia uses crushed red pepper flakes--the kind often sprinkled on pizza and spaghetti--to add a bit of spiciness and warm pepper flavor. If you want a hotter, spicier flavor, you can add another 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes to the flour mixture. And if you have fresh rosemary, you can substitute 1 teaspoon of finely chopped fresh for the dried, and sprinkle some fresh rosemary leaves over the top. I enjoy making bread by hand, although it does take more time and effort to work the dough manually. If you prefer, you can use an electric mixer with a dough hook to mix and work the dough in merely a few minutes.

I highly recommend using a cooking thermometer to make sure the water is within the recommended temperature range--if the water is too cool, the yeast won't activate; if it's too hot, it will kill the yeast and your bread won't rise. I like to bake my focaccia in a large rectangular glass baking pan, e.g. 9" x 13" or larger, but for a more "rustic" look you can use a large baking sheet.

2 1/2 cups bread flour
1 envelope dry active yeast (I use regular, not rapid-rise)
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (or to taste)
1 tsp dried rosemary, lightly crushed
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
1 cup plus 1 Tbs warm water (105° to 115° F or as recommended on the yeast package)
1 1/2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil (plus more for working with the dough and greasing)
Extra-virgin olive oil
Fresh or dried rosemary, approx. 1/2 to 1 tsp
Sea salt, approx. 1 tsp
Crushed red pepper flakes, approx. 1/2 tsp

Combine the flour, yeast, red pepper flakes and herbs in a large bowl. Stir in the warm water and use a large wooden spoon and/or your flour-dusted hands to mix and work the dough until it becomes a soft but somewhat cohesive dough (this will take several minutes by hand, and you might need to add just a little more flour if the dough is too sticky, BUT not so much that it becomes a ball or stiff dough). Drizzle in the 1 1/2 Tbs olive oil and continue to work the dough until it's elastic and pliable. Turn out onto a flat surface that's lightly dusted with flour and knead for a few minutes to make a ball (dough shouldn't be "tacky").

Lightly oil the inside of a large glass or metal bowl and transfer the dough ball into it. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and place in a warm place to rise for 45 minutes (I like to turn my oven on to the lowest "warm" setting for two or three minutes, then turn it off and place the covered bowl in it for the dough to rise there).

Uncover the bowl and use your fingers to punch down the dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and gently stretch it out into a large rectangle. Let it rest 5 minutes--while the dough is resting, use your fingers and a little olive oil to grease a large rectangular baking pan (9" x 13" to as large as 16" x 18") or baking sheet. Using well-oiled fingers, transfer the dough rectangle into the baking pan or onto the baking sheet and press out to fit the pan (or to your desired size & thickness on the sheet).  Cover with the kitchen towel, place in a warm place and let rise 30 minutes.
Focaccia fresh from the oven

After 30 minutes, preheat your oven to 400°F. While the oven is heating up, uncover the dough and use a fork to pierce the surface in several places. Use your fingers to spread about 1/2 to 1 Tbs olive oil over the entire surface (you can use a pastry brush to spread the oil if you prefer). Lightly sprinkle the oiled surface with the remaining topping ingredients, i.e., rosemary, sea salt and crushed red pepper flakes. Let rise for an additional 15 minutes while the oven finishes preheating.

Bake the focaccia at 400°F for 30 minutes or until golden brown on top, rotating once half-way through the baking time. Remove from oven, let sit for a few minutes until cool enough to handle but still warm. Cut to serve warm or carefully remove from pan or sheet to finish cooling on a rack. When completely cooled, store in an airtight container or a ziptop plastic bag (squeeze out all air before sealing) or tightly wrapped in plastic or foil

Zestfully yours,

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Bacon Mustard is Here!

Jim Beam Bacon Mustard
Jim Beam Bacon Mustard
There's a popular saying that "bacon makes everything better" (or, if you prefer, "everything's better with bacon"), so it should come as no surprise that bacon makes that ubiquitous cookout condiment, yellow mustard, MUCH better.

Jim Beam Bacon Mustard might look like your everyday mustard when you first squeeze it out of the bottle, but once you taste it you'll discover a whole new realm of deliciousness. Beginning with a traditional ballpark-style yellow mustard-turmeric-vinegar base that's a little bit tangy and pungent, a splash of real Jim Beam Kentucky bourbon whiskey adds mellow depth and hints of caramel while natural bacon flavor provides a subtle smoky meatiness that will have your mouth watering at first bite.
This is the kind of mustard that will tempt hard-core vegetarians into becoming "closet" bacon-eaters.

If you're wondering what it's good on, then you're thinking too much: Jim Beam Bacon Mustard tastes like bacon and so it makes EVERYTHING better, of course! In all seriousness, however, it's a natural with burgers, hot dogs, bratwurst, sausage, ham or turkey sandwiches and all other meat-related "applications." It also adds smoky, bacon-y richness to deviled eggs and prepared salads that call for mustard--especially chicken salad made from smoked chicken, or everyday egg or pasta salad and the like. And you can substitute bacon mustard for ordinary supermarket yellow mustard in any other recipes calling for mustard if you want to enhance the flavor.

Jim Beam Bacon Mustard and many other hard-to-find mustard and ketchup products, are now on sale at the Carolina Sauce Company online store.

Zestfully yours,

PS: If you're looking for some bacon ketchup to go with the bacon mustard, we have it: Check out Slappin' Fat Bacon Ketchup, also on sale.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Grilled Cajun Peppers & Onions

Cajun onions & peppers with Grilled Andouille Sausage
This recipe is so embarrassingly easy, it shouldn't even be called a "recipe." It's really more of a throw-cooking dish or suggestion for a way to season and grill up some spicy, savory peppers and onions to serve as a side dish whenever you're making Cajun, Creole or other Louisiana dishes. We served it with some grilled Andouille sausages.  You can also serve the Cajun onions and peppers on top of hamburgers or on your favorite sandwich or in a wrap as a zesty condiment.

If you have leftovers, you can use them to make a quick and easy "portable" breakfast with a kick:  Scramble up an egg or two on the stove while you reheat the Cajun peppers & onions in your microwave oven or on another burner. Spoon the cooked eggs and the onions & peppers onto a tortilla or wrap, add a few splashes of Tabasco sauce (or other hot sauce) or some ketchup if you wish, roll up into a burrito or wrap, and you're ready to eat on the go. If you have any leftover grilled sausage, you could slice some up to add to your breakfast wrap or burrito, too.

Mini Sweet Peppers
The quantities for this "recipe" are up to you and your personal seasoning preferences. Adjust the amount of Cajun or Creole seasoning to taste, and according to how many onions and peppers you slice up. I used red and yellow mini sweet peppers from my local market, but you can use "full-size" bell peppers or other peppers of any color, and even throw in a hot pepper or two if you like things really spicy. I like to have a bit more onion than pepper but you could certainly use equal amounts or more peppers than onion. Below are the ingredients I happened to have on hand when I "threw" this together, and the amount of seasoning I added. Have fun customizing this as you wish.

1 large onion - I used a Texas Sweet
6 mini sweet peppers (or one large bell pepper)
2 Tbs vegetable or canola oil
1 1/2 tsp (or to taste) Cajun/Creole seasoning - I used Slap Ya Mama Cajun Seasoning

Slap Ya Mama Cajun Seasonings
Trim and peel the onion, cut in half crosswise, slice each half into 1/4" to 1/2" wide strips and place in a large bowl or resealable plastic bag.  Trim the peppers and remove the cores, then slice lengthwise into strips like the onion and add to the bowl or bag.  Add the oil and seasoning, toss together (or close the bag and shake) to evenly coat the onions and peppers. If you have the time, refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight--you can also grill the peppers and onions right away if you don't have time to "marinate."  Grill over indirect heat to desired doneness--a grill vegetable basket or grill wok is ideal for this, or you can place on a piece of heavy-duty foil on top of your grill grates to prevent the vegetables from falling through the grates.

Zestfully yours,

Friday, August 17, 2012

Three New Fruit Hot Sauces from Maui Pepper Company

Strawberry Meltdown Hot Sauce
While hot sauces flavored with fruit have been around for some time now, most fruit hot sauces rely almost exclusively on tropical fruits like mango, papaya, different varieties of citrus (lemon, lime, orange and even grapefruit), and pineapple. Also popular are peaches and apricots. And for the sake of this post, I'm not including tomatoes even though technically they're fruit.

Once in a while we run into an unusual (for hot sauce) fruit playing a starring role in a hot sauce, such as apple (featured in Maui Pepper Co. Apples Ass Hot Sauce) or cranberry (in the award-winning Toad Sweat Cranberry Dessert Sauce). The following three new hot sauces fall into this category, as each uses one or more different berries to provide lusciously summer-sweet, ripe & juicy flavor that delightfully complement the hot peppers for a refreshingly creative taste experience.  All three are made by Maui Pepper Company, and are now available on the Carolina Sauces online store.

The first of the bunch is the "tamest" and is called Strawberry Meltdown Hot Sauce, a bright and sassy concoction of juicy strawberries and fiery habanero peppers in a honey-sweetened apple juice & vinegar base. The flavor is enticing and inviting, not quite delicate but gentle enough for use on the mildest of foods including fish and shellfish, pork loin and poultry for pleasantly piquant spice and sunny strawberry flavor. As with the Toad Sweat hot sauces, Strawberry Meltdown is terrific on desserts such as cheesecake, bread pudding, chocolate or vanilla ice cream, or even on biscuits, pancakes, hot oatmeal and other breakfast fare. One taste and you'll wonder why you never thought of combining strawberries with chili peppers!

Chipotle Raspberry Mango Hot Sauce
In contrast to the light, bright flavor of the previous sauce, Chipotle Raspberry Mango Hot Sauce is firmly grounded in deep, earthy, smoky and complex flavors, but with enough ripe raspberry sweetness to keep this sauce from getting too "heavy" or "dark." In addition to providing a robust smokiness to this singular hot sauce, the chipotles add a good amount of heat--and there are also habanero peppers in the mix--making this fruity-smoky hot sauce an excellent choice for heartier foods including anything grilled, plus roast beef or turkey, all sorts of sausages, and even burgers and steak. It's outrageously good with smoked ribs, and it's divine on veggie burgers instead of ketchup, too. For a quick appetizer or snack, blend some of this hot sauce into softened cream cheese and spread on crackers or pita chips, a bagel, or even some toast. Boost the flavor by mixing a few splashes into your favorite chicken salad or turkey salad recipe.

Berry Mangolo Hot Sauce
Last but certainly not least is the amusingly-named Berry Mangolo Mango Habanero Hot Sauce (this one makes a great gift for a chilehead who appreciates silly puns). Each release of this berry-loaded hot sauce is slightly different than the previous, because the combination of berries used will vary with what's in season and best at the time each batch is made. But the common threads are that each batch begins with Maui Pepper Company's famous mango-habanero hot sauce base, and each batch will include three different types of berries selected from the following possible choices: Strawberry, blueberry, blackberry, red raspberry, boysenberry and marionberry. How's that for berry-licious variety?

Berry Mangolo falls between the other two berry hot sauces in terms of heat and "bigness" of flavor, making it quite possibly the most versatile and food-friendly of the bunch. Like Strawberry Meltdown, you can enjoy this sweet and fruity hot sauce on ice cream, cheesecake and other desserts; over waffles, pancakes, French toast and other breakfast items; with grilled, roasted, broiled or baked meats, poultry and seafood; and in dips, salads and other recipes when you're feeling adventurous.

You'll find these and other fruity hot sauces, as well as more traditional savory and tangy hot sauces, on sale at the Carolina Sauce Company.

Zestfully yours,

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Savory Spiced Red Cabbage

Savory Spiced Red Cabbage with Grilled Bratwursts
Greg came up with this tangy, savory red cabbage dish as a low-carb alternative to traditional German style red cabbage, which is sweeter and also includes apples.

Greg's version omits sugar and any other sweetener, and leaves out the apples, instead relying on cider vinegar, ground cloves and a generous amount of ground black pepper for a decidedly more tangy, spicier dish that's very low in carbohydrates. Serve it hot as a side vegetable for bratwursts, pork or chicken. We enjoyed it with grilled beer bratwursts while on a recent camping trip.

1 large head of red cabbage
2 Tbs butter
2 cups (1 pint) apple cider vinegar
1/2 to 1 tsp ground cloves (to taste)
Salt & ground black pepper to taste (perhaps a tsp of each)

Wash and trim the red cabbage, then cut in half, place cut side down on a cutting board and thinly slice. Melt the butter in a large, heavy-bottomed pot.  Add cabbage, season with cloves, salt & pepper, and saute until cabbage begins to soften. Pour in the vinegar, stir to combine, and bring to a simmer. Cook at a simmer or low boil, stirring occasionally, until most of the vinegar has evaporated and the red cabbage is buttery-tender. Serve hot. Makes 4 to 6 servings, and you can refrigerate & reheat any leftovers.

Zestfully yours,

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Two New Bourbon BBQ Sauces from Jim Beam!

Jim Beam Bourbon BBQ Sauce
In Kentucky, bourbon and barbecue go together like vinegar and pulled pork in North Carolina. Kentucky is known for its thick, rich, savory-sweet tomato BBQ sauces that deliver a sassy peppery kick with a touch of tang, all harmonized and mellowed with a splash or two of smooth Kentucky bourbon whiskey.  Don't worry, you can't get drunk from these barbeque sauces and they don't taste of alcohol. Instead, the bourbon adds layers of subtle, almost earthy caramel-vanilla-wood notes for incomparable depth of flavor.

An excellent example of Kentucky-style BBQ sauce is Jim Beam Bourbon Barbecue Sauce, featuring real Jim Beam bourbon from Kentucky.  Magnificent on all sorts of smoked or grilled meats, its well-balanced flavor also pairs superbly with chicken and other poultry as well as venison, more robust fish (mackerel, tuna steaks, amberjack), shrimp, portobello mushrooms and other grilled vegetables. Additionally, it's an excellent choice for replacing ketchup in recipes like meatloaf, sloppy joes and hamburgers for bigger, bolder flavor, or for enriching baked beans. Whether you baste, mop, slather, dip or marinade in it, the whole family will enjoy whatever you serve when Jim Beam Bourbon BBQ Sauce is part of the meal.

Jim Beam Spicy Bourbon BBQ Sauce
Because some people prefer a barbecue sauce that packs more heat, the makers of the original Jim Beam BBQ Sauce have also come out with Jim Beam Spicy Bourbon Barbecue Sauce, a hotter and spicier version that still delivers that renowned bourbon-spiked flavor that defines Kentucky style barbeque sauce.  Depending on your own personal "heat scale," you'll most likely find this feisty barbecue sauce to rate between a medium and medium-hot (or from a  4 to a 6 using a 10-point scale). In other words, the spiciness is assertive enough to be noticed, but not so obnoxiously hot as to drown out the other flavors or destroy your ability to taste your food. And as a counterbalance to the spiciness, there's a touch more sweetness in the Spicy Bourbon BBQ Sauce than there is in the original--but don't fret, this is no sickly-sweet "kiddie sauce." This robust, grown-up barbecue sauce is best enjoyed with equally hearty fare such as ribs (beef or pork), brisket, pork chops, venison, wild boar, pheasant and other game, chicken thighs and legs, and possibly shrimp and "meatier" vegetables like mushrooms or grilled summer squash.

Both varieties of Jim Beam BBQ Sauce, as well as other delicious barbecue sauces from all over the US and around the world, are currently on sale at the Carolina Sauce Company.

Zestfully yours,

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Final Two Days of August Coupon Sale!

Chipotle Raspberry Mango Hot Sauce
Our August Newsletter Coupon Sale ends at midnight tomorrow Wednesday, August 15th, which means you have fewer than 48 hours left to save an additional 5% off our already-discounted sale prices when you shop online at the Carolina Sauce Company and use our special Newsletter discount coupon.

If you're asking, "Where's the coupon code?", all you need to do is read our August Newsletter and you'll find it in there.

If you're wondering what zesty new products might be available, simply visit our New Products page on the Carolina Sauces online store. You'll find a whole slew of brand-new wing sauces, including the wildly popular Wing-Time Garlic Parmesan Buffalo Wing Sauce along with other flavors of Wing-Time, plus berry-licious new hot sauces from Maui Pepper Company, and creative gourmet barbecue sauces from Cajohn's including Mesquite Smoked Raspberry Vodka New-Mex BBQ Sauce and southwestern-inspired Tequila Lime Chile Barbeque Sauce.

If you already used the August coupon earlier this month and want to use it on a new order, I have good news:  Yes you can!!  Feel free to re-use the August coupon as often as you wish, or share it with friends. Just remember, it will expire at midnight on August 15th.

And if you want to receive future discount coupons in our FREE monthly newsletter--which also includes recipes, cooking tips & product info--simply sign up for the Carolina Sauce Newsletter!

Zestfully yours,

Monday, August 13, 2012

Healthier Eggplant Parmesan

Healthier eggplant parm, made with grilled eggplant
I adore a good eggplant Parmesan, but traditional recipes are loaded with fat from the cheese AND from the breaded and fried eggplant slices. The breading also adds carbohydrates and extra calories, AND can also create unpleasant sogginess and greasiness if the eggplant wasn't properly fried.

My healthier eggplant parm recipe calls for some changes that don't sacrifice flavor or texture: All-natural, lower-fat, part-skim mozzarella (not one of those "fake" fat-free substitutes) works just as well as full-fat, and a good-quality shredded Parmesan cheese allows you to cut back on quantity while preserving that distinctive salty-tangy taste. I also whip up a quick homemade tomato sauce instead of using a store-bought jar of pasta sauce, because those are often higher in sugar and may contain artificial or otherwise undesirable ingredients.

The biggest change from traditional recipes is that I grill the eggplant slices instead of breading and frying them. Not only does this cut back on fat, calories and carbs, but it also prevents greasiness, reduces the total time it takes to make the recipe, and gives the dish a richer eggplant flavor. I don't peel the eggplant because the peel helps keep the slices from falling apart (the grilled eggplant can be very tender) and grilling mellows the flavor. If you insist, you can peel the eggplant--just be very careful while grilling and handling the slices.

I used my George Foreman Grill to grill the eggplant slices, but you can certainly grill them outdoors on a charcoal or gas grill. If grilling outdoors, be sure to use medium, indirect heat, and keep an eye on the slices so as to not burn them. To prevent sticking, make sure your grate surface or vegetable grill basket is completely clean. Better yet, use GrillGrates on your grill to easily get perfectly cooked, beautifully seared eggplant slices without any sticking at all.

From start to finish, it took me no more than an hour (including baking time) to make this Healthier Eggplant Parmesan. I start the sauce first and let it simmer as I grill the eggplant. As soon as the eggplant is done, I assemble the dish and pop it in my preheated oven. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Seasoned eggplant slices on George Foreman Grill
For the tomato sauce:
1 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs minced shallot
1 tsp minced garlic
1/3 cup red wine
1 1/2 cups canned tomato sauce (I use organic)
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/2 to 1 tsp Kosher salt (to taste)

For the eggplant:
1 large eggplant (approx. 1 1/2 lbs), cut into 1/2" thick rounds
Olive oil or olive oil spray
Ground black pepper
Dried oregano or Italian herb blend
1 8-oz package Part-Skim Mozzarella
1/4 cup finely shredded Parmesan or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Start the sauce:  Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, then saute the shallot & garlic until soft and just beginning to caramelize. Deglaze with the red wine, reduce heat and simmer for a couple of minutes. Stir in the remaining sauce ingredients and very gently simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally (I recommend adding only 1/2 tsp of salt first, tasting for balance and then adding more salt if desired).

One layer assembled, one to go
Cook the eggplant:  While your grill preheats, arrange the eggplant slices on a plate or other large surface, lightly brush or spray with olive oil, and then liberally sprinkle with pepper and oregano or Italian herbs. Lightly pat the seasonings onto the slices, then flip over and repeat on other side. Place the oiled, seasoned eggplant slices on your grill over medium, indirect heat, cover and cook approximately 8 to 10 minutes, turning once, until tender (if cooking on a George Foreman grill, oil the grill grates and cook at medium high without turning). When eggplant is done, carefully remove slices from grill and place on a plate or other flat surface.

Assemble the casserole: (I had enough grilled slices for two layers of eggplant. If your eggplant is larger, you may have enough for 3 layers; if so, adjust the following instructions accordingly.) Preheat oven to 350°F. Spoon about 1/3 of the sauce onto the bottom of a square 8 1/2" x 8 1/2" casserole dish. Cover with a layer of eggplant slices, then spoon another 1/3 of sauce on top and sprinkle with half of the mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Repeat with another layer of eggplant, sauce, and mozzarella & parm cheese. Bake at 350°F for 20 to 30 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and turning golden brown. Remove from oven, allow to cool for a few minutes, then slice and serve.

Zestfully yours,

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Carolina Sauce Newsletter: Our Secret Rub Recipe & Zesty New Sauces

NEW Wing Sauces, BBQ Sauces & More

Wing-Time Garlic Parmesan
Before we reveal our secret rib rub recipe, we want to tell you about the most recent additions to our product offerings AND give you a coupon code so you can try them at a discount. If you love zesty Buffalo chicken wing sauces and gourmet BBQ sauces, you'll flip over the newest products at the Carolina Sauce Company. The latest arrivals include:

NEW Wing Sauces:

*Wing Time Buffalo Wing Sauces, available in 4 heat levels (Mild, Medium, Hot & Super-Hot) to satisfy anyone who craves the tangy-spicy flavor of classic Buffalo style wing sauces. We also have their most popular sauce, Wing Time Garlic Parmesan Wing Sauce, with plenty of zesty garlic and savory Parmesan cheese added to their original hot recipe.

Honey Habanero Wing Sauce
*Two unique wing sauces from the makers of Pain is Good Hot Sauce, with the trademark "screaming face" label:  #37 Honey Habanero Screamin' Wing Sauce, a sweet & sassy blend with a fiery habanero kick, and #114 Sweet Caribbean Jerk Wing Sauce, capturing the exotic flavor of Jamaican jerk seasonings but with a friendly, milder heat.

*Naga Jolokia 10 Wing Sauce: This Buffalo style wing sauce gets its insanely hot burn and layers of peppery flavor from ghost peppers, red savina habaneros, caribe chiles and black pepper. Jolokia Wing Sauce takes "suicide wings" to new heights of flavor and fire!

*Jim Beam Bourbon Wing Sauce: Medium-hot with a rich, buttery flavor, the splash of Kentucky Bourbon adds mellow depth to complement the traditional Buffalo tang.

NEW Marinades, BBQ & Steak Sauces

Raspberry Vodka BBQ Sauce
*Two inspired Private Reserve Mesquite Smoked BBQ Sauces from Cajohn's: Raspberry Vodka New-Mex BBQ Sauce, blending juicy-sweet raspberries with smoky mesquite, spicy New Mexico Chiles and a splash of brisk vodka for a deeply complex, multidimensional flavor that complements pork, turkey, venison, brisket, ribs & wild game; and Tequila Lime Chile BBQ Sauce, with bright citrus notes, tequila tang, feisty New Mexico chiles and a hint of dark smokiness in a rich and sweet tomato base for a sauce that's wonderful with chicken, seafood, pork and other meat.

*Jim Beam Original Bourbon BBQ Sauce, a big, bold Kentucky style BBQ sauce with plenty of savory-sweet tomato, a touch of peppery spice, and smooth bourbon whiskey for deep, mellow flavor. And if you prefer a hotter sauce, we also have Jim Beam Spicy BBQ Sauce, with more hot peppers.

*Jim Beam Bourbon Steak Sauce: Jalapenos and real KY bourbon whiskey take classic steak sauce to another level of richness and zest.

*Jim Beam Kentucky Bourbon Marinade, a versatile blend of soy and worcestershire to tenderize and add savory flavor, plus sesame and vegetable oil to seal in the juices and keep food moist, and a dash of bourbon for elegant depth and complexity. Superb on everything from steak and other beef to pork chops and loins, chicken, shrimp and vegetables.

NEW Hot Sauces

Berry Mangolo Hot Sauce
*Maui Pepper Co. Berry Mangolo Hot Sauce, a mango-habanero hot sauce with the sunny addition of three of the following sweet, ripe berries (depending on what's in season): strawberries, blueberries, marionberries, boysenberries, blackberries, or red raspberries. Luscious!

*Maui Pepper Co. Strawberry Meltdown, a medium-hot habanero sauce that's sweetened and flavored with strawberries for a fresh, bright, summer-sweet flavor that's incredible with chicken, turkey, pork, fish and seafood. Try it on cheesecake or poured over vanilla ice cream!

*Chipotle Raspberry Mango Hot Sauce: Those inventive folks at Maui Pepper Company are at it again, this time adding smoky chipotle and juicy raspberries to their mango habanero hot sauce for a sublime range of earthy to fruity flavor notes that enhance anything grilled, broiled, baked or roasted.

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

Discount Coupon for 5% Off

The summer heat wave continues... and so does our Heatwave2012 coupon code discount! We've extended the 5% discount through August 15, 2012 when you use the Heatwave2012 coupon at checkout at the Carolina Sauces online store. Yes, you can re-use this coupon and share it with your friends! And it's good on all our Carolina Sauces products, including the new hot sauces and barbecue sauces, plus the new wing sauces and everything else.

Our Secret Rib Rub Recipe

Slather this spicy herb mustard wet rub or paste on pork or beef ribs before smoking for succulent, juicy ribs with mindblowing flavor. The mustard creates the perfect "bark" that seals in the flavor and keeps the meat moist. Our secret recipe is also excellent for grilling pork chops, lamb, venison, beef and chicken--simply add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the recipe below.

1 cup yellow mustard
2 cloves minced garlic
1 to 2 tsp (to taste) crushed red pepper flakes
2 tsp dried rosemary, lightly crushed
1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 1/2 tsp dried sage leaf, lightly crushed
1 tsp dried oregano, lightly crushed
Mix together all ingredients until thoroughly combined. If using for grilling, baking or roasting, whisk in 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Makes approximately 1 cup, and will keep in refrigerator for 1 week.

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

Want to win FREE sauces and seasonings? Then play the Crock Pot Game on September 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 free products, a gift certificate, or other zesty prize. The next Crock Pot Game will be posted on September 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 tidbits.

Zestfully yours,

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Savory Vegetable & Salmon Stir-Fry

This is one of those "throw cooking" recipes I came up with the other night, using the vegetables I had on hand and some perfectly good "trimmings" of raw salmon from a large fillet that Greg had skinned and cooked the night before. You can certainly use different vegetables, and buy a 6 to 8 oz fillet of salmon to cut into chunks. Serve over cooked noodles or rice, or enjoy "as is" for a low-carb entree. Makes 2 hearty servings.

2 Tbs peanut oil or Asian stir-fry oil
1 tsp pureed or minced fresh ginger
1 tsp pureed or minced garlic
1 medium onion, cut into wedges
1 large carrot, peeled & cut into 1/4" thick ovals
1 medium bell pepper, cut into strips
1 small summer squash (yellow or zucchini, or half of each), cut into 1/2" thick rounds
1 Jalapeno pepper (or half of one for a milder dish), seeded & diced
6 to 8 oz raw salmon fillet, cut into approx. 1" chunks
2 Tbs soy sauce

Heat the oil over medium-high heat in your wok or large, deep frying pan. Add ginger & garlic and stir-fry 1 minute. Add onions and stir-fry 3 minutes until they just begin to soften. Add carrots and stir-fry 3 minutes. Add peppers & squash and stir-fry 3 to 5 minutes until just softened. Add salmon & soy sauce and stir-fry until salmon is just cooked (at this point all the vegetables should be tender but still with some "bite" and not overcooked). Serve hot.

Zestfully yours,

PS:  For some zesty Thai flavor and fire, substitute up to 1 tsp of Thai fish sauce for an equal amount of the soy sauce, and add a few splashes of A Taste of Thai Garlic Pepper Sauce. Garnish with fresh cilantro and/or lemongrass, or even some crushed peanuts.