Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Soul Hot Sauce

Soul Hot Sauce
Subject: Soul Hot Sauce | Date: 09/26/15 |
Photographers: James Kiester & Dani Cogswell | This picture was taken by the author of this blog. |

I was at Beaverton's New Seasons Market when I spotted Ryan Brown, owner of Soul Hot Sauce, giving out samples of his company's Red Sauce and Green Sauce sprinkled atop of tortilla chips.  Being hungry, I stopped for a nosh.  Both Soul Hot Sauces are made in small batches in Portland, Oregon, and are advertised as being all natural, organic, gluten free, and vegan.

Soul's Green Hot Sauce, comprised of; water, whole tomatillos, white wine vinegar, yellow onion, pineapple juice, jalapeƱo powder, raisins, tamari (a smoky version of soy sauce), dried banana, mustard, garlic, turmeric, himalayan salt, and xanthan gum; was the spicier of the two varieties, even though Ryan claims the opposite to be true.  The sauce balances a bright citrusy tang with a pleasant kick of heat.

Soul Hot Sauce
Subject: Soul Hot Sauce | Date: 09/26/15 |
Photographers: James Kiester & Dani Cogswell | This picture was taken by the author of this blog. |

The smokier Red Sauce, made from; water, white wine vinegar, carrot juice, yellow onion, tamari (a smoky version of soy sauce), raisins, dried hot chiles, garlic, tomato paste, dried banana, mustard, red bell pepper powder, turmeric, dutch cocoa, himalayan salt, and xanthan gum; boasts flavors of habanero, dried banana, and Dutch Cocoa.  Notes of cocoa and habanero were definitely present, delivering a rich spicy, but not overly hot, bite.

While I liked both sauces, I found the presence of white wine vinegar to be much more pronounced in the Red Sauce.  Thus, I left with an 8.5 ounce bottle of Green Sauce, which I'm eating on a taco as I write this.

I give Soul's Red Sauce 7 out of 10 stars and Soul's Green Sauce 9 out of 10 stars.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Cascadia Creamery's Sleeping Beauty Cheese - Micro Blog

Cascadia Creamery's Sleeping Beauty is a smooth buttery grassy tasting cow's milk cheese with a slightly sharp bite to it.  Unfortunately, I didn't take a picture of this off white semi-hard cheese in its natural  rind, but Sleeping Beauty's color, taste, and texture remind me of a Gouda, only a bit earthier.

Just in time for fall, this cheese would pair nicely with crisp apples and/or pears.  Beverage wise, I'd suggest a hard cider, pilsner, or hefeweizen.  Plus,I found a tempting looking recipe, I admittedly haven't tried it yet, for Sleeping Beauty Mac n Cheese. Enjoy. 1 photo 121.gif


Saturday, September 5, 2015

The Myth Of Eggless Mayo And Beefless Burgers

Dictionary.com defines "mayonnaise" [mey-uh-neyz] as a thick dressing of egg yolks, vinegar or lemon juice, oil, and seasonings, used for salads, sandwiches, vegetable dishes, etc.

Photo courtesy of Amazon's Affiliate Program.
Recently, Hampton Creek has gone into the business of selling a vegan mayonnaise called Just Mayo, which does not contain eggs.  The problem is, there's no such thing as "vegan mayonnaise," since eggs are a defining ingredient of mayonnaise.

In my opinion, if Hampton Creek wants their eggless product "Vegan Dressing," or "Vegan Bread Spread" that's fine.  They simply shouldn't call it mayonnaise.  On Wednesday, the FDA agreed, ruling that products labeled "mayo" or "mayonnaise" must contain eggs.

While Just Mayo's case is relatively recent news, the debate over terminology on food labels is nothing new.  I remember being in grade school and learning the courts had ruled Pringles

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aren't "potato chips."  According to the ruling, potato chips are thin slices, or "chips," of potato which are seasoned and fried.

Pringles, on the other hand, are made from a mixture of 40% potato,  rice, wheat and corn.  The mixture rolled out into a very thin sheet, cut out into perfect ovals,  pressed into molds (to give them their stackable shape), blow dried, sprayed with flavors, and stacked into cans.  Thus, they're "crisps," rather than chips.

In a similar vein, a "hamburger" is a patty of ground beef, named after Hamburg, Germany's second largest city.  The definitive phrase in that sentence is "ground beef."  One can't have a chicken burger, fish burger, or veggie burger.  One can have a chicken patty sandwich on a bun, a fish patty sandwich on a bun, or a vegetable patty sandwich on a bun, but please don't call it a burger.

True, depending on where one lives dictates whether one has a; hoagie, sub, grinder, or Dagwood; for lunch, washes it down with a; pop, soda, or Coke (all soft drinks are "Cokes" in Texas); then goes home to a casserole or hot dish for dinner.  However, having regional differences in names for the same food is different than labeling a food as something it's not.
  • If one wants to sell an eggless bread spread, that's fine, just don't call it "mayonnaise."
  • If one wants to sell a crisp snack made from a 40% potato mixture, I'm all for it, just don't call it a "chip."
  •  If one wants to sell a veggie patty sandwich, more power to 'em, just don't call it a "burger."
Call food what it is, that's all I'm saying.

By the way, if you want a really good burger, check out the recipe below.

My Chile Cheeseburger Recipe

Ground beef is the least expensive grind, and contains the most fat, up to 30 percent fat. Since the juiciest, most flavorful burgers, result from a grind of 70 percent lean to 30 percent fat, ground beef, from a trusted (pink slime free) butcher/grocer, is really all you need.

For those hung up on the health thing, you can use the slightly more expensive ground chuck, which comes from the shoulder and neck part of the animal, an area producing the chuck primal cut, often containing 15 to 20 percent fat. If you use the chuck grind, you want a ratio of 80 percent lean to 20 percent fat. Beef grinds containing less than 15 percent fat make dry tasteless burgers.

My Chili Cheeseburger
Subject: My Chile Cheeseburger | Date: 05/26/13 |
Photographers: James Kiester & Dani Cogswell | This picture was taken by the author of this blog. |


1 1/2 pounds 70/30 ground beef
McCormick's Montreal Steak Seasoning
1 4.5 oz can chopped green chilies
8 slices American cheese
4 hamburger buns, split
Mayo (or eggless bread spread) & ketchup to taste


Set your stove's burner to medium heat per manufacturer's instructions.

Divide your grind into 4 equal burgers.  Season the one side of each burger with the steak seasoning. Place the burgers into a nonstick pan, seasoned side down and cook covered, until nicely browned on the bottom, about 4 minutes.

DO NOT PRESS ON THE BURGERS AS THEY COOK!  Doing so only forces the juices out and leaves you with a dry burger.

Season the other side of the burgers with the seasoning, then flip them carefully and continue to cook.  Top each cooking burger with 1 ounce of chopped green chiles, cover with one slice of American Cheese, and continue to cook, covered, until an instant-read thermometer inserted sideways into the center of each patty registers 160°F for well done, about 4 to 5 minutes longer.

Dab mayo, or eggless bread spread, on both halves of the bun, ketchup if desired, apply second slice of American Cheese to the bottom half of the bun, top with burger patty, and close with top half of bun.

You'll be treated to a creamy cheesy slightly spicy sandwich of savory beef.

Makes 4 Chile Cheeseburgers.

Note: Some professional chefs cook hamburgers to medium-well, warm with little or no pink, (150° to 155°), or even medium-rare, warm and red, (130° to 135°).  However, these chefs, ideally, grind their beef themselves and store it under pristine conditions.  Retail ground beef and home grind cooked to a temperature below 160°F can't be guaranteed to be safe.

Recipe prints as a single page for your recipe file or refrigerator.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

SBarro's BBQ Chicken Pizza - A Review

SBarro is a by-the-slice chain of pizza eateries, which are typically found in food courts.  The branch closest to me has resided in Washington Square Mall for quite a few years.  It's a place I stop at for a quick bite while shopping, but it's not a place I think about.  It's simply there.  Thus, I was surprised when PR Manager Adrienne Sender asked me to review their, limited time only, BBQ Chicken Pizza.

SBarro's BBQ Chicken Pizza
Subject: SBarro's BBQ Chicken Pizza | Date: 08/09/15 |
Photographers: James Kiester & Bonnie Kiester | This picture was taken by the author of this blog. |

SBarro's BBQ Chicken Pizza features BBQ sauce, chunks of grilled chicken, sliced red onions, kernels of fire-roasted corn, mozzarella & cheddar cheeses, and an herb & spice rubbed crust.

The first flavor I tasted was the sweetness of the sauce, followed by a mild spiciness.  Upon chewing, the tastes of the tender chicken, onion, and cheeses worked together to deliver a pleasant bite.

As the meal progressed, the spice level, from the sauce, built into a tongue tingling heat.  Meanwhile, it became necessary to fold the slice, New York style, in order to keep the tangy sauce and gooey cheese from dripping on my shirt.  The rubbed crust was chewy with a peppery bite to it. 

My only puzzlement was about the inclusion of the corn.  I could see several fire-roasted kernels on my slice.  They looked pretty, but against the strong flavors of the other ingredients, the corn didn't add, or subtract, anything to the taste of the pizza.  I'm not sure why it was there.

My lunch, a slice of pizza and a medium Pepsi, was about $8.00, which isn't bad for a fast food mall lunch.  I'd give this tasty slice of pizza 8 out of 10 stars.