Just back from our favorite food town anywhere- New Orleans- with some inspiration. How about a (Big) EASIER SHRIMP AND GRITS?
2 lbs shrimp (Gulf shrimp if you can get 'em), peeled and de-veined
4 oz unsalted butter
1/4 cup each finely diced sweet onion and bell pepper (green, red, yellow, orange- don't matter)
1 tsp Old Saratoga GSSP (mild) or GSS5P (spicy) and 1 tsp GMJ, HGC, PHG, OKMFR, or PBF
8 oz shredded cheese
4 servings grits
Chicken or vegetable stock
1/4 cup chopped green onion
Prepare grits first. For more flavor, use chicken or vegetable stock instead of water. When the grits near completion, start melting the butter on medium heat. As the grits finish, stir in the shredded cheese and half of the low salt seasoning. (This is where you start choosing: Jalapeno? GMJ, Horseradish? HGC, Crazy hot? OKMFR, Garlic-Parm? PHG) Set completed grits aside.
In your other pan, as soon as the butter starts to brown a little add the veggies and a bit of the saltier spice blend: GSSP for mild, 5P for spicy, GSSD for you culinary crazies. After two or three minutes, lower the heat to med-low, add the shrimp and the remainder of salty OSSR blend, then cook another two minutes. (Add a pinch of flour to thicken the sauce if desired.) Deglaze with a bit of the stock. Portion out the grits in four bowls. Dust each with a little of the remaining 1/2 tsp low salt blend, spoon on the shrimp and sauce, top with green onion, and serve.
Lassaize le bon TASTES rouler!!
GSSP and PBF - savory, mild (gruyere)
GSSP and PHG - Garlic/Parm (Parmesan)
GSSP and HGC - Horseradish (mild cheddar)
GSS5P and GMJ - Spicy (Sharp Cheddar or pepper Jack)
GSS5P and OKMFR - Crazy Hot (Habanero cheddar)
Whether your holiday is Solstice Day, Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, National Sangria Day (Dec 20), Mongolian Independence Day (Dec 29), or even Thaipusam (January 2020), we hope you enjoy a happy one with those you love. This month we go down our list of holiday uses for all flavors.
SKS- Everything. Those who use our smoked kosher salt usually agree it makes anything taste better.
GSSP- As we tend to say- it goes on virtually anything that sits still long enough. Potatoes, meats like prime rib or yak (for our Mongolian friends), fish, vegetables, salads, slaws, cheese balls, or soups.
GSSJ, GSS5P, GSSD- all three of these flavors go well on meats, fish, veggies, potatoes, egg dishes, or everyone's favorite: dips (the 1-2-3 recipe/ one teaspoon spice mix, two thirds of a cup of sour cream). Enjoy with your sangria.
PHG- Use this herb and garlic blend for poultry, light tasting fish, tomato/mozzarella salad, oven roasted potatoes, or add to a store bought stuffing mix to add some homemade flavor.
TFC, GCB, SWZ- all these make great vegetable dips whether you add them to sour cream, Greek yogurt, or store bought salsa.
PBF- add this to your potato or turkey spice to add depth of flavor. Definitely use in gravies, sauces, and meat dishes.
OKMFR, GMJ- Add to salsas, cheese dishes, deviled eggs, meats, potatoes, fish, or veggies for a little zip (GMJ) or a LOT of zip (OKMFR).
HGC- Sprinkle on your prime rib, fish, eggs or roast beef. Use to make dips with sour cream or spreads with cream cheese.
(Sugar Free) BBQ, Sweet & Smoky, Sweet Barbecue, Lime Jerk-use for any meat, venison, fish, poultry, or even roasted veggies.
Hot Que- 1 brick cream cheese, 1- 12 oz sour cream, one small jar roasted red peppers (drained and chopped), and 2-3 teaspoons Hot Que. Combine and have some crackers ready.
Sweet Dragon Spice- Popcorn balls, French Toast, fish, and even some teriyaki noodles and vegetables for our vegan friends.
HOMEMADE TAQUITOS WITH DIPPING SAUCE
Start with four roasted chicken leg quarters. Remove the skin and bones and finely chop the meat. Mix with about 3-4 ounces crumbled queso fresco, 2-3 ounces shredded cheddar, a small can of mild roasted green chiles, and 1 heaping teaspoon of (Roasted) Green Chile Blast. Combine meat, cheese and spices in a bowl and set aside. In a skillet, set the heat between med and med-hi and start heating a quarter to a half an inch of canola oil. Using white or yellow corn tortillas, place a spoonful of the meat mix in a line across the tortilla. Roll and then secure with a toothpick. (If you push the meat in a little with your finger tips after the taquito is rolled, little will fall out during cooking.) Brown each rolled taquito in the hot oil quickly and drain on a paper towel and then a wire rack.
For the dipping sauce, combine 1 tsp GSSJ, GSS5P, GSSD, or more (R)GCB with 2/3 of a cup of sour cream or creme fresh. If desired, add some chopped cilantro and a squeeze of lime. Mix and dip.
TERIYAKI PULLED PORK (or beef or chicken) WITH CARROT/RAISIN SLAW
Start with about 3-5 pounds of your protein of choice. It could be a whole chicken, a beef roast, or a pork butt or loin. Place it in a slow cooker (or a covered roasting pan in the oven at 350 degrees) with 1/8 cup each: Sweet Dragon Spice, soy sauce, brown sugar and one cup water. If you wish to add more marinade later, that's no problem. (To reduce the fat, remove the skin from chicken and excess fats from the meat before cooking.) Cover and cook until pull apart tender. Vegans can use the Sweet Dragon/soy/sugar mixture to marinate tofu or vegetables before grilling.
After starting the the protein, it's time to slaw. Start with a 14 oz can of crushed pineapple. Drain. Next, wash and dry about half a bag of matchstick carrots. After that, you will need 1/2 cup of white raisins, 1/2 cup of mayonnaise, and 1 tsp Old Saratoga GSSP. Combine all ingredients and refrigerate.
Now comes the big finish. Take a good roll, split it, butter it, and sprinkle a little GSSP on before you grill it (or brown it in a frying pan). Then stack your roll bottom, pulled meat, slaw, and roll top. It will take your tongue to a place it's probably never been. Enjoy!
BUILD A BETTER BRISKET SANDWICH
You'll need a loaf of Italian bread, a flat or whole beef brisket, butter or mayo, Old Saratoga GSSP and Sugar Free BBQ, and any other Old Saratoga flavor you might add to your sandwich.
Create a mix that is a little more BBQ spice than GSSP. The amounts will vary with the size of your brisket. (For a 5 lb flat-maybe 1 1/2 tsp BBQ Spice to 1 tsp GSSP. For a whole brisket, use more.) Trim any excess fat, rinse with clear water, and pat dry with a clean paper towel before applying the rub. I put mine immediately into my smoker or gas grill masquerading as a smoker. If you have only a grill, put wood on the hot side and the brisket on the cold side. Then, move it to your oven after getting some smoke on it. We prefer a lighter smoke so we use only 1 1/2 hours of smoke before going to heat only, about 220 degrees, until done. Again, we offer no times as we don't know the size of your brisket or your exact temp. Place it on a wire rack over a large sheet pan so air can get underneath it. When the brisket nears completion, start the bread. Split the loaf, apply butter or a light coat of mayo, then sprinkle with GSSP, GSSJ, GSS5P, or GSSD and grill until golden brown and delicious.
After the brisket is done and rested, slice it thin, lay it on the grilled loaf. Garnish with Old Saratoga Horseradish, Garlic, and Chive Mix, or Old Saratoga Garlic, Mustard, Jalapeno Mix. If you are adding sauce, do it now and then slice into individual portions.
Bacon, BACON, BAAACOOOONNN!!!!!
Make a better bacon (and enjoy it in more dishes).
It's not that bacon needs help, but what if it was easy to have horseradish bacon (HGC Mix), jalapeno bacon (GMJ Mix), Southwest chipotle bacon (SWZ Mix), or fiery spicy bacon (OKMFR), why wouldn't you? How about sweet BBQ (Sweet & Smoky) or savory BBQ (Sugar Free BBQ) seasoned bacon, or even General T'Sao's flavored bacon (Sweet Dragon Spice)?
If it wasn't easy, you wouldn't see it on this page. Here is what you do. Although any bacon will do, I prefer thick cut for sandwiches so that's what we use. Lay out your bacon on a parchment sheet on a sheet pan or on a pan that will allow the bacon to drip as it cooks. Into a 300 degree oven for about 25-30 minutes depending on how done you like your bacon.
To flavor it, pull it when it has about five minutes left to cook and dust it with any of our low salt flavors. Then back in for five minutes to finish. We usually choose two or three flavors per batch. We cut the slices in half we are saving for sandwiches or burgers and crumble the rest for salads, potatoes, mac and cheese, omelets, or hot dogs. Imagine: crumbled garlic/jalapeno bacon on a salad, horseradish bacon for a BLT or burger, or fiery hot bacon crumbles and cheese on a hot dog. Wait, one more. How about Sweet Dragon Bacon on a grilled chicken sandwich or salad? I'm hungry now. I gotta go.
This month we talk about matching our dry flavors with common everyday sauces like ketchup, mustard, etc.
Worcestershire Sauce: GMJ, SWZ, and OKMFR GMJ is kind of mild, SWZ is about a medium heat, and OKMFR is flat out hot. All match with Worcestershire. Rub some sauce on a London Broil, lamb chops, or mushrooms and then sprinkle on the rub. Marinate for an hour or overnight and grill, baby, grill!
Mustard: Same list as before but add HGC. Take any plain mustard and make it jalapeno, Southwest, extra spicy, or horseradish.
Ketchup: Ketchup is a great canvas! Add GSSP, GSSJ, GSS5P, GSSD (for extra fiery) or any of those mentioned above. Want horseradish ketchup for your fries? Sprinkle on HGC. Taco flavorerd ketchup is as easy as adding TFC mix. PBF also works for the mushroomers.
Ranch Dressing: Adding SWZ give you a chipotle Ranch dressing, GMJ a mild jalapeno, or OKMFR to set your salad or wings on fire.
BBQ Sauce: Let the kids have the mild stuff out of the bottle. Take yours and make it jalapeno, or fiery, or Southwest.
Mayonnaise: take plain mayo and turn it into the dressing or aioli of your choice with HGC, GMJ, SWZ, OKMFR, PBF, or PHG.
CHICKEN BBQ for 6-8
BBQ Chicken, Potato Salad, Macaroni Salad, and a Carrot/Raisin Slaw
Start with about ten pounds of chicken parts, around 20 pieces. (We usually buy a bag of leg quarters and cut them up into thighs and drumsticks) We divide them into 2 or 3 sets and hit each with a different flavor. Our pattern is usually half BBQ, and a quarter each Lime Jerk and Teriyaki (1/4 cup each Sweet Dragon, soy sauce, and brown sugar). If possible, an overnight with the flavor is best but not required. Remember that sugar burns so keep the fire down with the teriyaki and don't add BBQ sauce to the dry rub chicken until it is nearly done.
Dice and boil 2 pounds of red potatoes. When potatoes are tender enough for you, drain the hot water and replace with cold. Set pot aside. Dice small: one celery stalk, 1/2 med sweet onion, 1/4 bag matchstick carrots. Mix with about 1 to 1 1/2 cups mayo, 1 tbsp yellow mustard, and 2 tsp Old Saratoga GSSP. Drain potatoes and combine with the mayo mix. Garnish with slices of boiled eggs. Chill before serving with Old Saratoga Garlic/Mustard/Jalapeno mix or Horseradish, Garlic, and Chive Mix on the side.
Boil 1 box elbow macaroni or rotini. Drain. Dice 4 oz pepperoni, 1 small jar artichoke hearts, 1 small jar roasted peppers, 1/2 celery stalk, and 1/4 med sweet onion. Combine diced ingredients with 1/2 to 1 tsp Old Saratoga SKS and 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil and 1/8 cup red wine/ balsamic vinegar. To make extra savory, add 2 tsp Old Saratoga Portobello and Friends Mix and 2 tbsp grated parmesan. Combine with cooked pasta and chill before serving.
Rough chop 1/2 bag matchstick carrots. Drain one 14 oz can crushed pineapple. Combine in a mixing bowl with 1/2 cup white raisins. Set aside. The dressing is made from 1/2 cup mayo and 1/2 to 1 tsp Old Saratoga GSSP mix. Mix in a separate bowl and add to the mixing bowl. Chill before serving.
Scale up for larger gatherings. Now go impress 'em with your mad skills!
Not all leafy green things are evil! Some CAN be redeemed. Here's how:
Grilled Hearts of Romaine with Tomatoes and Mozzarella
First, halve or quarter cherry tomatoes into a mixing bowl. Next, dice some fresh mozzarella cheese into the same bowl, and a some diced sweet onion if desired. Season with a little extra virgin olive oil and Old Saratoga Provencal Herb and Garlic Mix. Set aside.
Split romaine heart(s). Brush cut side with olive oil and place cut side down on a HOT grill for 30-45 seconds. Pull from the grill, sprinkle with Old Saratoga Smoked Kosher Salt, drizzle with balsamic vinegar, and top with tomato/mozzarella mix.
BEST SALAD DRESSING EVER
And easy to make!! Combine 3/4 cup of buttermilk with 1/2 cup of mayonnaise or sour cream and then add two teaspoons of: whatever flavor you want!!!!
Want horseradish dressing? HGC Mix
Herb and Garlic? PHG Mix
Garlic Pepper Parm? Add GSSP or GSS5P and grated Parmesan cheese
Spicy? GSSJ or GSS5P (or GSSD for the "Culinarily Insane").
So grill up some chicken or steak with your favorite Old Saratoga flavor, slice it thin or dice it, lay it on some leafy greens, and top with one of the dressings above. Even carnivores smile.
April 2019 Portobello Beef Casserole
With all due respect to the mushroom haters out there, This recipe is both delicious and easy.
Start with one pound of sliced mushrooms, portobellos, if you got 'em. Put those in a microwave safe dish with about three cups of water and 1 tsp GSSP. Microwave for about 15 minutes. Drain and save the water for the pasta. While that is cooking, start browning 1 lb of lean ground beef or ground turkey with 1 tsp GSSP or 5P. When mushrooms are done, drain the water to a pan for your pasta, and put the mushrooms in the ground meat. Place one cup each shredded cheddar, American cheese (about 10-12 slices), and one cup milk back in the microwave safe dish and melt on medium. Once melted, add 1 tbsp Portobello and Friends (PBF) Mix and mix with ground meat. Add the mushroom water to the normal amount of water for about half a pound of bowties. Combine cooked pasta and ground meat/mushroom/cheese sauce and enjoy immediately, or, for a true "casserole", place in a 9X13 baking dish, cover with a combination of breadcrumbs and cheese, and then bake/broil until golden brown.
With St Patrick's Day and the arrival of spring, March is all about the green.
GREEN AND WHITE CHILI
Start with about 2 lbs of uncooked diced chicken. Put that in the slow cooker with 1 tsp GSSP and 1 tsp GSSJ. Add two cups of water, and a small can of green chiles, mild or hot. (Or, if you are a crazy person like myself, you can roast a couple of poblano chiles, peel and dice them instead.) Dice and add 1/2 sweet onion and 1/2 to 1 tsp ground cumin.. Cook on high about two hours. Next, add two cans of navy (white) beans and GSSJ to taste, usually about 1 more teaspoon. Cook 1 more hour. Serve over a bed of crushed tortilla chips and top with some crumbled caso fresco and a dot of sour cream.
We offer no amounts in this recipe because the sizes of skillets, families, and hungers all vary.
You'll need potatoes, bacon, eggs, your choice of frozen or fresh veggies, shredded cheese, and an iron skillet. Dice some potatoes, place them in a safe dish, add some diced peppers and onions, broccoli, or mushrooms, cover with water, and microwave until a fork can penetrate. Do not overcook. While those are waving, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and start the bacon on medium-low heat in the iron skillet. Make sure to cover the whole bottom and go slow. When the are potatoes waving, the bacon is simmering, and the oven is heating, it's time to scramble eggs.
Mix in some GSSP for mild or GSS5P for spicier. Add SWZ or GMJ to spice things up and keep the salt down. When the potatoes and veggies are done, toss them with PHG Mix and a little olive oil butter. Place in the skillet on top of the bacon and put the whole thing in the oven. After ten minutes, pour the eggs right over the potatoes. After five minutes, top with shredded cheese and place back in the oven for ten more minutes or until cheese is melted and eggs are firm. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.
SOUTHWEST CORN MUFFINS
Use a boxed corn bread mix and add a small can of drained Mexican style corn and 1/2 tsp OSSR Southwest Zest Mix for each box of cornbread mix. Prepare according to instructions. These will be the base.
If you have tried our pulled pork at an event, this is how we do it. This requires one pork butt and one pork picnic (uncooked ham) Using as small knife, remove the "sleeve" from the picnic. Set sleeve aside while both pieces get a good coat of dry rub, either Sweet BBQ or Sweet & Smoky. We use a big disposable pan and place the butt, the picnic, and the sleeve all in. We place them in dense oak smoke for about 1 hour. (Remember, you can use a gas grill as a smoker if you have a pan for your wood and put that on the hot side, meat on cooler side. It may take a bit longer than a regular smoker to get good smoke flavor.) Remove to an oven or turn the smoke off and finish. Keep the pan bottom covered in liquid so the juices can be used in the sauce. When the bone pulls out easily, it is done.
Before they cool off, we start pulling by hand and fork and yes, I do sometimes burn my fingers. The sacrifice of art. We remove any fat, bones, or other material that we don't want to eat. When they are pulled and mixed, add sauce. Our recipe for this much is 1- 28 oz can tomato sauce,1- 12oz jar molasses, 3/4 cup honey, 1/2 cup spicy brown mustard, 2 tbsp dried minced onion, and 1 1/2 tbsp OSSR BBQ rub and 1 cup hot water. Combine in a sauce pan and turn off once thoroughly heated. Add back to pork, combine well, and place back in the oven for 1 hour at 350 deg. We call this "Happy Hour". We will cool this off and store in 2 lb bags in the freezer between parties.
Sometimes we use canned with GMJ added. Other times we take canned navy beans, add molasses, ketchup, cooked bacon, and minced raw onion, along with GMJ or GSS5P. Combine in a sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Turn off after the first few bubbles. It just needs to come together, not be cooked.
EASY COLE SLAW
1 pkg Slaw Mix
1 cup Mayo
1/4 cup white sugar
1/8 cup white vinegar
1 `1/2 tsp Old Saratoga GSSP Mix
Combine mayo, sugar, vinegar, and GSSP and pour over mixing bowl of Slaw Mix and stir together. Best if refrigerated 1 hour before serving.
NOW STACK 'EM. CORNBREAD BASE, PULLED PORK NEXT, A SHOT OF BAKED BEANS, TOPPED BY THE COLE SLAW. YOU NOW HAVE A BBQ SUNDAE. ENJOY!!!
CLASSIC (OR TWISTED) MAC & CHEESE
1 lb shredded cheddar
1 lb American cheese slices
1 pint whole milk
1/4 sweet onion grated or food processed
1/2 tsp GSSP Mix (Spicy versions use GSSJ, GSS5P, or GSSD)
1 tsp OSSR Flavor Mix (GMJ, HGC, SWZ, TFC, PBF, or OKMFR)
1 lb uncooked pasta
Gently cook shredded onion and set aside. We use a microwave for that. Slowly heat milk and add cheese stirring regularly until melted. We use either the microwave or the oven on about 200 deg for that step. Once cheese and milk have combined for a basic sauce add the onion and divide in half. Flavor half the sauce and save the other half for a different meal or snack. Cook the pasta and combine with flavored half of cheese sauce.
Classic: Use only GSSP to season
Portobello: Use PBF Mix and add sliced cooked mushrooms
Taco: Use TFC Mix, add cooked and drained ground beef
Jalapeno: Use GMJ, add finely diced, cooked poblano pepper
Horseradish: Use HGC and add optional bacon
Southwest: Use SWZ and add drained corn and black beans
CRAZY HOT: Use OKMFR, cooked poblano and ground beef
SPICY or SAVORY (No Syrup) BREAKFAST PANCAKES
Use regular pancake mix. Add 1/2 tsp of seasoning per cup of mix and prepare as normal. Own favorite flavors to use are GMJ, SWZ, HGC, and OKMFR. Cover with this sauce:
1/2 lb uncooked breakfast sausage
1 cup milk
1/4 cup shredded cheddar
Crumble sausage in a pan and cook. Drain excess fat. Add milk and cheese and stir over low heat until melted. Pour this over your pancake stacks, throw on a spoon of salsa to cut the fat taste, and then top with a fried egg and maybe a little Smoked Kosher Salt.
For dips or spreads made with cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, hummus, or salsa, add about 1 tsp of the dry mix to 1/2 to 2/3 cup of the base.
S-K-S- Use just like regular salt on meats, poultry, fish, vegetable, potatoes, eggs, anything.
G-SS-P- grilled or roasted anything (veggies, potatoes, meats, poultry, fish, use as garlic/salt/pepper base for any dish and add herbs or other spices.
G-SS-J- popcorn, cheese spreads, Ranch style dressing, dip
G-SS-5P- SPICY popcorn, spreads, dips
G-SS-D- VERY HOT Burgers, popcorn, eggs, dips,hot chili
HGC- steak, salmon, popcorn, spreads or dips, baked potatoes, oven fries, dressing
GMJ- anything with eggs, macaroni, or dairy, spreads, dips, prepared mac & cheese, leftover chicken sandwich
TFC- taco or fajita meat, chili or meat sauce (for hot dogs), popcorn, dips, oven fries or tots
PHG- poultry, fish, roasted potatoes, vinaigrette dressing, microwave veggies, dips, spreads
SWZ- dips, spreads, Ranch dressing, cornbread, store-bought salsa
PBF- eggs, dips, potatoes, steak, chicken, burgers
OKMFR- EXTREMELY SPICY! Dips, eggs, chicken or tuna salad, steaks, popcorn
BBQ, Sweet & Smoky, Sweet & Spicy: any BBQ application, homemade (sweet) potato chips, most fish, grilled veggies
Sweet Dragon: to make teriyaki flavor, mix equal parts Sweet Dragon Spice, brown sugar, and soy sauce (suggestion 1 tbsp each), popcorn or popcorn balls, pumpkin bread, apple pie slice
YOUR ONLY LIMIT IS YOUR OWN IMAGINATION!