Just came back from a camping trip. Met a lot of great peeps out there and learned of a great need. Many folks still struggle with the GRILL MADE BURGER. Charcoal, wood, or propane, it makes no difference. Their burgers stick. They break. They burn on the outside and don't cook inside. They are NOT great. We are stepping into the void this month and maybe we can help some folks out there. There are many ways to go, we will cover things from the beginning using our method.
Gloves- wear some gloves so you don't get everything on your hands. All gloves are NOT created equal. Make sure yours are food grade.
Meat- we will refer only to beef here but the lessons can be transferred to other foods. Whenever possible, pat out your own burgers. We like to go about 6 ounces and make a burger about 4-5 inches wide. SEASON ONE SIDE OF THE BURGER WITH OLD SARATOGA SMOKED KOSHER SALT. Two things that make foods stick to a grill are food residue and lack of heat. Make sure the grill is very hot, clean, and lubricated. Lay the burger on gently, salted side up. Let the burger cook on that side until it releases from the grill. (Pro tip- after brushing, use damp paper towels and tongs to clean a hot grill. Then use cooking oil on a paper towel and tongs to lubricate after cleaning. That is especially important when cooking leaner burgers or meats.) Your burger will tell you when it can be flipped. If it is sticking, it is trying to tell you it is not ready yet. AFTER YOU FLIP IT, SEASON THE OTHER SIDE WITH ONE OF OLD SARATOGA'S LOWER SALT BLENDS such as TFC, GMJ, SWZ, OKMFR, Reaper-Potle. I put my cheese on right away and close the cover for a couple of minutes. Once again, the burger will release itself from the grill when the second side is done. We determine rare or well done by the temp of the burger before cooking. Rare- leave refrigerated until cooking. Well done- let burgers come to room temp, while covered, before cooking. After cooking, let the burgers rest while you grill the rolls.
Buns- GET GOOD BUNS!! Kaiser rolls, pretzel buns, ciabatta rolls, stadium rolls, even a split hoagie roll- all good. Hamburger rolls? Maybe for the little kids. Apply a thin coat of butter or olive oil to the roll. Then season with one of our Old Saratoga Smoked Salt blends. While the burgers rest, grill the seasoning onto the buns.
Extras- therein lies the true beauty of a good burger: you can pile things as high as you want or simply toss a patty on a bun. It's still a burger.
SEARED SCALLOP WITH BACON, ONION, RED PEPPER JAM
Got this inspiration from a visit to Florida recently. We actually made this recipe on a small propane grill at a beach side campsite. We used a flat square non-stick pan. At home, we would probably have gone with cast iron.
4 slices thick cut bacon diced small
1 lb scallops
1/2 sweet onion diced very small
1/2 red pepper diced very small
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp Old Saratoga G-SS-(P, J, 5P, or D)
1/2 tsp Old Saratoga PHG, GMJ, SWZ, OKMFR, or Reaper-Potle (if desired)
Start with the scallops. It is VERY IMPORTANT that they are DRY when you season them and when you sear them. Otherwise, if there is too much moisture on the surface, they will steam and not sear. Dab with a clean paper towel if you have to. Once dry, the scallops should be seasoned with half of the Old Saratoga Garlic-Smoked Salt blend. Set aside.
Place diced ingredients in your pan with the remainder of the seasonings. Cook on low stirring occasionally to allow the bacon, onion, and pepper to slowly darken. This part should take 20-30 minutes. Remove the finished jam from the pan and place in a serving bowl. Put the butter in the pan and turn the heat to medium-high. Once the pan is hot, in goe the scallops- 90 seconds on a side for the big ones. About a minute per side for the little guys. Top the scallops with the bacon jam and enjoy.
WILD RICE AND PORTOBELLO STUFFED ROLL
Whether you use beef, pork, or even salmon, a stuffed roll creates a pretty picture when sliced and on the plate. Ours includes wild rice and mushrooms but almost anything works.
1- 12 to 14 inch section of pork loin (about 3-4 pounds)
1- 5-6 oz package feta cheese
1- 8 oz package unseasoned wild rice/wild rice blend
1- 32 oz or 2-14 oz low sodium broth
1- 8 oz package sliced portobello or wild mushroom mix
5-6 slices spicy capicola
1/4 cup diced sweet onion
4 tbsp softened butter
2-3 tsp Old Saratoga Garlic-Smoked Salt-Pepper Mix
Toothpicks or butcher twine
Start with the stuffing. Chop mushrooms into smaller pieces and cover with broth in a microwave safe dish along with the onion. Add 1 tsp Old Saratoga GSSP. Cook on high for 4-6 minutes until mushrooms are mostly cooked. Prepare the rice according to its instructions using the cooking liquid from the mushrooms (plus needed broth), one tablespoon of the butter, and 1/2 teaspoon Old Saratoga GSSP. Combine rice, mushrooms, and feta and set aside.
Create flat pork loin. Method one-cut pork loin from side to side stopping one inch from the cutting through. Splay out the two attached sides and repeat. Cover meat in plastic wrap and pound flat. Method two- Cut a slice about 3/4 of an inch deep end to end across the loin. Roll the loin slightly and repeat- being careful not to cut through. After a few cuts, you will have a flat piece of pork unrolled on the cutting board. (Pro tip- for best results, use a very sharp non-serrated blade.)
Spread softened butter on the flat meat. Lay out sliced capicola. Cover with a thin layer of the rice and mushroom mix. Leave the last two inches of the meat uncovered in the direction it will be rolled. Roll the meat and stuffing and close with the toothpicks or twine. (If you are using toothpicks, place the seam down along one side to help keep it from unrolling. It will expand slightly in the oven. Tied rolls should also go in a roasting pan seam down.) Season outside with remaining Old Saratoga GSSP (or GSSJ, GSS5P or GSSD).
Place, uncovered, into a 300 degree preheated oven for about 75 minutes. At that time, add remaining broth, cover, raise the temp to 350 and cook another 30 minutes. You are looking for an internal temp of at least 160 degrees. Rest 15 minutes and remove toothpicks before slicing. Use the pan juice as demi-glace or as a base for gravy. Serve with remaining mushrooms and rice.
1-2-3! Did you write that down? All our Garlic-Smoked Salt blends (Pepper, Jalapeno, 5 Pepper, Death, or Reaper and Friends) and all of our lower salt Flavor Mixes (PHG, TFC, GMJ, SWZ, HGC, PBF, OKMFR, or GCB) can be combined with sour cream, Greek Yogurt, hummus, cream cheese, or salsa at a ratio of 1 tsp per 2/3 of a cup. 1 tsp---2/3 of a cup, 1-2-3. For a little more pizzazz, add some chopped up roasted red pepper or diced jalapeno to the sour cream, cream cheese, or hummus.
For mayo, ketchup, or mustard, our favorite is Southwest Zest (SWZ) for a chipotle version. Other ways we improve the taste of basic sauces is to add Garlic-Mustard-Jalapeno (GMJ), Horseradish-Garlic-Chive (HGC), OKMFR, or even Reaper-Potle.
Oven Roasted/diced: toss in a mixing bowl with a combination of a little canola or vegetable oil and the spices of choice. We usually mix Provencal Herb & Garlic and GSSP. The amount will depend on how much you are making and what level of seasoning you are looking for. Always use the least amount of oil that will get the job done.
Baked: Crack open a baked russet potato, add butter, sour cream, cream cheese, or any combination thereof, now add one of our Garlic-Smoked Salt blends or our PHG Mix. Orrrrrrrrrr.........
Cut the potatoes lengthwise being careful with the skin. Spoon out the cooked potato and mash with cream cheese, milk, butter, and Garlic-Smoked Salt-Jalapeno Mix for very tasty Garlic/Jalapeno Smashed. Load the remaining skins with bacon, shredded cheese, sauteed mushrooms and onions, and season with a little Smoked Kosher Salt and PHG, HGC, GMJ, or SWZ.
Prime Rib/Beef Roast: Garlic-Smoked Salt-Pepper. Period. Stop. The outside gets a liberal dose of that. The night before is best but it can be done immediately before cooking as well. Sprinkle a little HGC Mix on your prime rib once it is on the plate.
Turkey/Duck/Chicken/Quail: We are fans of GSSP on the inside of the body and PHG on the outside for that crispy herb and garlic skin. Going spicy? Rub the cavity with GSS5P the night before and SWZ on the skin before cooking.
Seven Fishes- seven different flavors. Salmon? How about Sweet BBQ? Shrimp? Helloooooo Cajun Bayou Blast! Calamari? Add Hot Cue or OKMFR to your marinara for Fra Diavolo (depending on how hot you like it). Grilling light colored fish like haddock or cod? Go with Provencal Herb and Garlic or Garlic, Smoked Salt, Pepper or even a light dusting of Sweet Dragon Spice. Clam chowder a little boring? Stir in just a little Garlic, Mustard, Jalapeno. Whether your seventh dish is conch fritters, stuffed clams, or scungilli salad, all do better with a dusting of Horseradish, Garlic, and Chive or Southwest Zest.
Use Old Saratoga Herb and Garlic (PHG) mix to season homemade versions of stuffing/dressing. Add PBF, GMJ, or SWZ to add some spice of depth to packaged mixes. For cornbread, we LOVE to add Garlic-Mustard-Jalapeno Mix to ours.
If we think of more we will add them.
Whether you are celebrating a holiday this month or not, we wish to thank all of our loyal customers and our hope is for you all to have a peaceful, healthy, and blessed 2023.
Whether you are bringing something to someone else's house or having some of the family over, this month begins a run of get-togethers. So we need easy, inexpensive, and elegant. Gotcha. How about we use cream cheese or hummus as a base and do a couple or three things?
Start by prepping the spread. Whether it is cream cheese or hummus, chop up some roasted red pepper to add to it. Set aside. If you make your own hummus or are using cream cheese, use one of the Old Saratoga Garlic-Smoked Salt varieties to season depending on desired heat level. If you are using purchased hummus, then you probably will get better results from one of the Old Saratoga low salt blends such as GMJ, HGC, PBF, PHG, SWZ, OKMFR, or even Reaper-potle. Combine cream cheese or hummus with diced pepper and spices. (Pro tip- If you are doing multiple flavors of roll ups, leave the spread without spices and sprinkle them on individually on each rolled up tortilla.)
Roll ups or Swirls
Spread mix on a large flour tortilla. Make sure to spread all the way to the edge because this will be the glue that closes them. Now add a layer of sliced deli meat, shredded cheese, or sliced cucumber. (Pro tip- slice cucumber lengthwise thinly and set in paper towels in the refrigerator for an hour or two to drain some of the moisture.) For better results, refrigerate to firm up the filling before slicing into 1 inch cross sections. Plate and dust with more spice before serving.
Start with either white or portabella mushroom caps. If desired, add crab or cooked ground beef with the cream cheese mix before stuffing mushrooms. Top with bread crumbs mixed with parmesan or shredded cheese and bake at 350 degrees.
Stuffed Other Stuff
Start with a chicken breast or pork chop. Create a pocket with a knife and fill with cream chease and spice mixture. Seaon the outside and bake until desired level of doneness is reached. Let cool for at least ten minutes before serving.
I know, I know....
Regular visitors might have noticed that we have done a recipe or two in the past for different breakfast hash ideas. This one mimics a breakfast cheeseburger. We made it on a camp weekend back in September.
1 lb finely diced beef
1/3 lb bacon (thick cut if possible)
2-3 medium potatoes
1/2 medium sweet onion
1/2 cup chopped matchstick carrots
1 tsp Old Saratoga Spice Rubs GSSP, GSSJ, GSS5P, GSSD, GSSRF
1 tsp Old Saratoga Soice Rubs PHG, OKMFR, GMJ, PBF, or SWZ
Optional: diced pepper, diced celery, halved cherry tomatoes, two tablespoons unsalted butter, shredded cheese
Place bacon in the freezer for 20 minutes to firm up. Dice potato and onion to 1/2 inch. Chop carrots. Dice optional vegetables. Potato and onion (and peppers) go into a microwave safe dish with just enough water to cover. Cook in the 'wave on high until the veggies are mostly, but not all the way, done.
We chop off one end of the bacon package and cut the pieces to a width of 1/3 of an inch or so and start them on medium heat. As soon as they start to brown, remove them from the pan, leaving the fat, and put the beef in the pan. Brown. Drain and add the cooked veggies (and the carrot and celery) to the pan along with the butter. (Pro tip- most finely diced beef is not too fatty so the bacon alone will not provide enough lubrication to keep the veggies from sticking to the pan. If you don't use butter you may need a little extra oil even in a non-stick pan.) Add Old Saratoga Smoked Salt blend. Cook covered on medium, lifting and draining the cover every few minutes. Allow to brown a bit on the bottom for more flavor and use an oven safe pan to finish there. Top withthe optional cheese, dust with the other teaspoon of seasoning and let it rest for a few minutes before serving.
Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce
2 lb boneless chicken
Old Saratoga Sweet Dragon Spice
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp soy sauce
Optional: 1 tbsp lime juice, 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
Because the ginger, garlic, and chile flake is in the Sweet Dragon Spice, you don't need to put them in the sauce. Cut the chicken into 8 strips. Skewer them lengthwise. Apply Sweet Dragon Spice to each side as desired. Place aside for up to 24 hours before cooking. The chicken will cook fairly quickly so make the sauce as close as you can beforehand.
Whisk together the peanut butter, soy, and honey and optionals if desired. Add a bit more honey if you prefer a sweeter sauce or a tiny touch of Old Saratoga OKMFR to make the sauce fiery. Set aside. Get your chicken over a hot grill and cook fast and hard turning regularly. Pro Tip: This works A LOT better when your grill is cleaned and oiled. Put some kind of spray or bottle cooking oil on something clean and wip it on your grill using tongs to keep your hands away from the heat.
When the chicken is done, drizzle with the peanut sauce and serve with rice or noodles.
Garlic Bread Steak Sandwich
1 loaf Italian Bread
1- 2 lb London Broil or other steak
1/8-1/4 cup softened butter
8 oz shredded or sliced cheese
1/8 cup Worcestershire Sauce
Old Saratoga Garlic-Mustard-Jalapeno Mix
Treat the steak with Worcestershire Sauce, sprinkle with Old Saratoga GMJ Mix, and set aside. Split the Italian loaf leaving one side attached. Butter, sprinkle with Old Saratoga Provencal Herb & Garlic Mix, and set aside. At this time, cook your vegetable and set aside. Grill the steak and set aside, covered, to rest.Take the split buttered and seasoned loaf and either grill of place under the broiler to brown to desired color. (Pro tip- If you are going to melt the cheese under the broiler, make sure not to brown too much during this phase.) Slice rested steak on the bias ( that means lean your knife over and cut at an angle). Place rested steak in loaf, top with sauteed vegetables, top with cheese and either place in hot turned off grill or under broiler for cheese to melt.
OPTIONS: Use julienne cut sweet onion, green or red pepper strips, or sliced mushrooms. Take any of these and saute them with a little butter or oil and some Old Sarartoga Garlic-Smoked Salt-Pepper or 5-Pepper Mix.
If you planted your seeds in April or you have a good farm stand nearby, then the local first tomatoes, lettuce, peppers, and squash should be coming in. Let's talk about some garden love: salads, bruschetta, tomato/mozzarella salad, sauteed squash and onions, and grilled hearts of romaine.
Salads- add whatever you wish veggie wise we're concerned with the dressing. Combine 1/2 cup mayo, 1/2 cup buttermilk, and 1 to 1 1/2 tsp of almost any Old Saratoga Smoked Salt blend or Flavor Mixes. The ones people tell me about most often are Horseradish, Garlic, and Chive (HGC), Garlic-Smoked Salt-Jalapeno (GSSJ), GSS5P, GSSD,Provencal Herb and Garlic (PHG), and Southwest Zest (SWZ) for a chipotle ranch style dressing.
Bruschetta- we like ours pretty basic; fresh diced tomatoes, some sweet onion chopped small, extra virgin olive oil, and our Provencal Herb & Garlic Mix. Put a spoonful atop a nice ciabatta crostini.
Tomato/Mozzarella Salad- again we keep ours pretty basic: diced mozzarella, diced deseeded tomatoes, sweet onion chopped small, extra virgin olive oil, Old Saratoga GSSP and PHG Mix.
Grilled Romaine- split a heart of romaine. Brush the cut side with some neutral oil and place cut side down on a hot grill for 30 seconds or so. (Not trying to cook, just trying to put grill marks on.) Remove from the grill, sprinkle with a little Old Saratoga Smoked Kosher Salt, drizzle with a little balsamic vinegar and serve.....OR...... top with a little bruschetta or tomato/mozzarella salad and then serve.
Sauteed Squash with Sweet Onion- Whether it is yellow or zucchini, harvest you squash smaller rather than bigger as the plant should grow more. Slice into 1/4 inch thick slices. Julienne some sweet onion. Melt some butter on medium heat and when the bubbling slows down, add the onions and squash. Add one of our Garlic-Smoked Salt- blends (P, J, 5P, D, RAF) or perhaps a Provencal Herb & Garlic (PHG) or even Sweet Chipotle (SwCh). Stay with it as it should be cooked hot, briefly, and minded. The process will release a lot of water so the temp must be hot enough to saute, not boil.
Dogs, burgers, potato or macaroni salad, maybe some deviled eggs, that's what I think of when I think of summer celebration food. Hot dogs are OK, but chili dogs with onions and cheese is better.
1 lb ground beef
1- 14 oz can tomato sauce
1 tbsp dried minced onion
1 1/2 tsp Old Saratoga TFC Mix
1/2 tsp Old Saratoga SKS
1/4-1/2 cup water
In a medium frying pan brown the ground beef with the SKS. Add minced onion and TFC Mix and stir. After spices are fully integrated, stir in the tomato sauce and the amount of water desired to bring to desired consistency. Simmer for 3-4 minutes and remove from heat. Spoon over dogs, burgers or fries with shredded cheese and diced sweet onion.
For potato or macaroni salad, I will forego the lesson. I will, however, offer a few tips. We don't salt our macaroni or potatoes while cooking. We want to save any room in the flavor profile for the Smoked Kosher Salt in the other seasonings we are going to add. Use good mayonnaise. Cheap mayo doesn't taste as good. Add fresh veggies- dice them small. Most people like the taste of carrots, peppers, onions, or celery but few want to bite into a big chunk. Use Old Saratoga GSSP for regular or GSS5P for a spicy salad. Lastly, you gotta add some dust. Once your salad is in its pan, bowl, serving tray, or whatever vessel it will be taken from, dust the top of it with your favorite Old Saratoga condiment flavor. (People who can't have/don't want what you added can avoid the top layer.) Instead of some boring paprika, how about some tangy Southwest Zest Mix? What about trading a dust of mustard powder for Old Saratoga Garlic, Mustard, Jalapeno Mix? HGC is for the horseradish people and the crazy spicy can add OKMFR or any of our Reaper blends.
Deviled Eggs are one of those things that almost everybody has their version. Again, we will leave the specifics to you. What we would tell you is to use one of our Garlic-Smoked Salt blends to season the yolk/mayo filling. Then dust your awesome eggs with one of our condiment seasonings like GMJ, HGC, or OKMFR.
If you aren't one of those people who stands at the grill in a snowstorm, your time has come. The days are longer and warmer, the children put down the gaming console for 5 minutes, and you want to cook over a fire. This month we made some delicious skewers.
Start with the right skewers themselves. The twisted ones, the round ones, and the bamboo ones all allow the food to spin when you try to turn the skewer. Get the flat wide stainless ones.
Prep the food right. Make sure the meat is cut small enough to finish at the same time as the veggies. Also, try to trim most fat to avoid grill flare ups. Beef, pork, chicken, or firm fish all work. We cut them into about 1 1/2 inch cubes. For peppers, we cut into 1-1 1/2 inch squares. For onions, we get a large sweet onion, cut it lengthwise into six sections, and use the large "petals". We save the inner parts to chop up for something later. For mushrooms, we use white button or baby bellas. We cover them in water and partially cook them in the microwave so they don't split when you skewer them. The smaller 'shrooms can go on whole, going through the bottom of the stem to the top. The bigger ones can be split. Skewer them through the cut side going to the thicker side of the cap. When we used pineapple, it was raw chunks while the sweet potato was par cooked in water in the microwave.
Assembly requires care. BE CAUTIOUS TO AVOID JABBING INJURIES. Do not crowd the skewer. There has to be space for the heat to get between different pieces. No need to leave big gaps but also don't jam pieces together. Once assembled, spritz them lightly with baking spray. Now the rub will stick to all the parts.
Going classic and sugar free? Sprinkle on some GSSP, GSSJ, GSS5P, Cajun Bayou Blast, or (Sugar Free) BBQ Spice.
Prefer a some sweetness? Dust those beauties with Sweet BBQ (sweet & mild), Sweet and Smoky (not as sweet, slightly spicier), Sweet Dragon (sweet, gingery, and a little spicy), or the new Sweet Chipotle (first comes sweet, then the chipotle flavor turns on, then a warm heat builds behind it).
Something spicier? Go with our GSSD, Caribbean Lime Jerk, Hot Cue, or one of our F.N. Hott Carolina Reaper rubs.
Once everybody is cut up, stuck on the stick, spritzed, and sprinkled, it's time for the fire. Make sure the grill is hot and lubricated. Also remember to have tongs on hand to turn your skewers as the metal will be hot. Let rest for a few minutes before removing from skewer.
"Eat smarter, not harder".
What that means to us is: use Old Saratoga Spice Rubs to get more bang for your food buck. Easily make things that are more affordable, that are better tasting, and that have better ingredients. We say it all the time when we see folks at events. Now it's no longer a catchphrase, it's a necessity.
KETCHUP, MAYONNAISE, SALSA
If you enjoy spicy sauces DO NOT BUY THEM--MAKE THEM TASTIER AND CHEAPER. For ketchup, or mayo, our favorite additions are Garlic Mustard Jalapeno for a light jalapeno kick, Green Chile Blast for the flavor of green chile salsa, and Southwest Zest Mix for delicious chipotle ketchup or mayo. If you are a horseradish fan, our Horseradish, Garlic, and Chive Mix turns ketchup into cocktail sauce and mayonnaise into a very tasty sandwich spread. For salsa, if you aren't already, buy the plain cheap stuff. Depending on the heat level you enjoy, add Garlic Mustard Jalapeno, Southwest Zest, Our Killer Monster Fire Recipe, or Reaper-Potle to customize your flavor while saving money.
DIPS AND POTATO TOPPERS
A lot of folks out there are familiar with our dip recipe that can transform simple sour cream into whatever flavor dip you desire. 1-2-3. That's it, that's the whole recipe, 1-2-3. Mix one teaspoon of Old Saratoga Spice Rubs Mix with two thirds of a cup of sour cream. Stir. Wait a few minutes and stir again. That's it. The sour cream no longer tastes like sour cream. Go with Provencal Herb & Garlic, Horseradish, Garlic, and Chive, or Portobello and Friends for a great veggie or chip dip. If you use Garlic, Smoked Salt, Jalapeno, you have a delicious garlic jalapeno dip that's not too hot. For something spicier, go with Garlic, Smoked Salt, 5 Pepper Mix. Medium not hot enough? Go with Garlic, Smoked Salt Death. It's hot but if you are one of those crazies, you immediately note that flavor still wins. And if you are one of those "What's the hottest you got?" people, there is nothing high heat that is tastier than our Garlic, Smoked Salt Reaper, and Friends.
Split a loaf of Italian bread. Butter the cut side. Sprinkle with Provencal Herb & Garlic Mix and parmesan cheese. Place under broiler until golden brown. (If desired, sprinkle with shredded mozzarella or cheddar before browning.)
Hang on! Throw the flavor packet in the garbage but eat the noodles. Some of our favorites are buttered noodles with Portobello and Friends, Provencal Herb & Garlic, and Garlic, Smoked Salt, Pepper. One of our faves: ramen noodles with Sweet Dragon Spice, soy sauce, and a few leftover veggies and meat from the fridge. Turns leftovers into a fresh cheap meal.
IS IT JUST YOU OR IS IT GETTING HOT IN HERE?
This month we show some love to one of our wild children: HOT-CUE
First things first, the chipotle BBQ flavor is outstanding. It's slightly salty, slightly sweet, and tasty all day long. The heat, by itself is a little north of medium and a little south of crazy. (Remember, though, we are Old Saratoga- always, no matter what, twice as much flavor as heat.) If you are a MILD person, HOT-CUE is not for you. If you are a MEDIUM person, HOT-CUE will be a bit spicy to you but not overbearing. If you are a spicy person, this will be well within your range.
For full throttle flavor, sprinkle HOT-CUEon beef ribs, pork ribs, or (my favorite) grilled salmon.
Add HOT-Cue to your marinara sauce to make seafood Fra Diavalo.
Sprinkle HOT-CUE on sweet potatoes, either fries or diced and oven roasted.
Milder applications include:
Mix HOT-CUE with cream cheese to stuff your bacon wrapped poppers.
Mix HOT-CUE with cream cheese, diced roasted red pepper, and bit of milk for a cracker spread.
Zesty Stuffed Meatloaf
Blend 1-8 oz brick cream cheese, 1 tsp HOT-CUE, and 1/8 cup roasted red pepper diced small. Use plastic wrap to form a log just shorter than the meat loaf it will go in. Twist the ends of the plastic wrap closed and refrigerate while you assemble the rest. In a mixing bowl combine 1 1/2 lbs ground meat, 2 eggs, 3/4 cup breadcrumbs, 1/4 cup finely diced sweet onion, and 2 tsp Old Saratoga GSSP, GSS5P, or GSSD. Using parchment paper or plastic wrap, lay out the meatloaf mixture in a flat rectangle. Take the now hardened cream cheese log and place on the meat. Roll the meat around the cream cheese log making sure the ends are capped. Place seam down in a baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for about 90 minutes. Internal meat temp should be at least 155 degrees. YOU SHOULD LET THIS REST FOR AT LEAST 10-15 MINUTES BEFORE CUTTING AND SERVING.
Cheesy Grits with Pulled Pork
We had New Orleans Style BBQ Shrimp & Grits one day last month (see our May 2021 recipe) and we had half a container of grits left. Since we also make batches of pulled pork and freeze them in 1 quart freezer bags, I knew what to do. Because it's matching with pulled pork and not shrimp, we will slightly alter the grits recipe.
Most folks who make pulled pork have their own way. Some folks swear by their Egg. Others love their Treagers. Lots of people just use a slow cooker and liquid smoke. With us, we use a butt and a picnic. We take the fat sleeve off the picnic, give everybody a good rub with Old Saratoga BBQ Spice, Sweet & Smoky, Sweet BBQ, Hot-Cue, or Reaper-Cue. We like to put them in a pan to catch the juices, smoke them for only 2 hours or so, and finish them in the oven. We usually add a little water to the pan to prevent burning. We hand pull the pork to remove any fat, bone, or other undesirables, mix in some scratch made BBQ sauce (1-14 oz can tomato sauce, 1 cup or 8 oz molasses, 1/4 cup spice brown mustard, 1/2 cup honey or maple syrup, 1/8 cup dried minced onion, and 2 tbsp Old Saratoga BBQ Spice Rub). We mix everything together and put it back in the oven for about 1 hour at 350 degrees. We start with about 18-20 lbs of raw meat and in the end we net about 12-13 lbs of finished pulled pork.
We used a national brand of 5 Minute quick grits. Once they were cooked, we removed them from the heat and started adding. To make 4-1 cup servings, start with 1 tsp of one of the Old Saratoga Spice Rubs Garlic-Smoked Salt blends (GSSP, GSSJ, GSS5P, GSSD, GSSRF) and 1 tbsp unsalted butter. Next 5 slices American cheese and 1/4 cup shredded cheddar. Stir until the cheese is melted. Place some grits in a bowl, top with your pulled pork, and maybe sprinkle something green on them if you want to be fancy. Enjoy!
HOW MANY TIMES....have we said or thought to ourselves, "Well, I would eat more vegetables if they tasted better." Then let's make them taste better. It's not difficult.
SAUTE- Sliced yellow or green squash with sweet onion; cabbage, carrot, and onion; Asian Stir Fry Mix
Season all these with the Garlic-Smoked Salt blend of choice (GSSP, GSSJ, GSS5P, GSSD, GSSRF).
OVEN ROAST- diced sweet potatoes with sweet onion, regular potatoes with peppers and onions, Normandy Vegetable Mix, split Brussels Sprouts, any kind of hard squash peeled and diced.
In a mixing bowl, toss the prepared vegetables in 1-2 tbsp oil and one of the Garlic- Smoked Salt blends, Provencal Mix, Southwest Zest Mix, or even Sugar Free BBQ Mix.
GRILL- corn on the cob, peppers, portobella mushrooms, sweet onion, romaine lettuce hearts, artichoke hearts, radicchio hearts
Corn, peppers, mushrooms, and onions are all good with a wide range of flavors, some expected and some you may not think of. After brushing with oil or spritzing with baking spray, sprinkle on the Smoked Kosher Salt, Garlic-Smoked Salt blend, or even Sweet and Smoky BBQ or Cajun Bayou Blast. For all the hearts, we like just a traditional Smoked Salt or GSSP
RAW- mix any Old Saratoga Flavor Mix or Garlic -Smoked Salt blend with dairy. Mix 1 tsp into 2/3 of a cup of sour cream or greek yogurt for a veggie dip or mix 1 1/2 tsp with 1/2 cup mayo and 1/2 cup buttermilk for a salad dressing. Also mix 1 tsp Provencal Mix with 1/3 cup oil and 2/3 cup red wine vinegar.
A Polish Sunday Dinner
Some of the things you have to have would be pork cutlet, pierogis, golumpkis, and fried cabbage.
Pork Cutlets- You'll need the three stop breading station and some boneless pork chops. Station One: Add 1 tsp Old Saratoga Garlic-Smoked Salt- (pick one- P, J, 5, D, RF) to one cup of AP flour. Station Two: Egg dip (We don't give a number here because this will depend on the size of the eggs you use.) Station Three: For breading, store bought seasoned are fine, if yours are unseasoned, then add some Garlic-Smoked Salt-Pepper Mix or some Provencal Herb and Garlic Mix. After breading, fry, saute, air fry, or bake until done.
Pierogis- I must admit, I buy them from the store but I do dress them up. After quick boil, into the buttered non stick pan they go along with some sweet onion diced a little large. Dust them with a little Old Saratoga Garlic, Mustard Jalapeno or Horseradish, Garlic, and Chive Mix or maybe mix either of those into a bit sour cream.
Golumpkis- Take the larger outer leaves for a cabbage head and give them a quick boil to soften somewhat. Set aside Prepare about 1 cup of cooked rice. Set aside. Prepare a simple tomato sauce (1-14 oz can of tomato sauce with 1 cup water, 1/2 tsp Old Saratoga GSS5P, 1/2 tsp Old Saratoga GSSP, and 1/2 tsp sugar.) Set aside. Brown 1 lb ground beef with 1 1/2 tsp Old Saratoga Garlic-Smoked Salt-Pepper Mix and one quarter of a med sweet onion diced small. When ground beef is browned, add the rice and one can of diced tomato, drained. Take the seasoned rice and beef mixture and roll it up in cabbage leaves. Put some of the tomato sauce on the bottom of a baking dish and place the golumpkis in it in rows. Pour the remaining tomato sauce over them, cover, and bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour.
Fried Cabbage- Take the inner part of the cabbage, quarter, and remove the core. Chop into 1/2 inch wide strips. Set aside. Julienne cut one whole sweet onion,. Set aside. Peel and slice 4-5 carrots lenghtwise. (Mandolin them if you can.) Set aside.
For bacon- chop in 1/2 inch wide pieces. For kielbasa- cut into 1/4 inch thick discs.
Cook in a large skillet on med-low. Once the meat is cooked and before it browns, remove the meat and put the vegetables in the pan. Add 1-2 tsp of one of the Old Saratoga Garlic-Smoked Salt -Pepper blends. Add 1/2-2/3 cup water and simmer covered for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the cover and add the meat back in.Cook for another 10-15 minutes until the veggies are soft and starting to brown.
Brisket and Sweet Potato Hash
Although you may start with something smaller, we started with a 12-13 pound whole brisket. After trimming some fat, we were down to about 10 1/2-11 pounds. We rubbed it with a combination of Sweet and Smoky Rub and Garlic-Smoked Salt-Pepper Mix. We smoked it for about two hours at 250 degrees. Then we moved it to the oven overnight at 210 degrees and dreamed about our Brisket Brunch. (If you have one of those fancy pants smokers, you won't even need to move it to the oven.) We ate sliced brisket for two days. With about two pounds left, it became hash. Of course you don't need a whole brisket. A flat brisket, properly cooked with the same rub works just as well.
Cube your brisket (or chicken or steak or turkey or tofu or even par-cooked turnip for non-soy vegans) to about 1/2 inch, removing most of the fat that is left. Set aside.
You will need;
4 medium sweet potatoes peeled and diced to 1/2 inch
1/2 medium sweet onion diced small
8 oz or 1 cup unsalted beef broth
1 tbsp unsalted butter or oil
2 tsp Old Saratoga Smoked Salt Blend- either GSSP, GSSJ, GSS5P, GSSD, or GSSRF
In a microwave safe dish or on the stove top, cover the sweet potato with water and cook on high for 5 minutes. Add the onions and cook 3 or 4 more minutes or until the sweet potato is just starting to soften. Drain thoroughly. Place the butter or oil to an iron skillet or some other large oven safe skillet and begin heating on medium. Add the par-cooked sweet potatoes and onions and half the seasoning, and cook on medium heat for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add cubed brisket. Continue cooking for another 3 to 5 minutes until the sweet potato starts to brown a little. (De-glaze with) add the broth to the hot pan and stir in the remaining seasoning. If desired, make a couple of depressions in the top and crack in an egg or two. Place in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes before serving.
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
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