Saucy Mama’s Island Hopping Burger & A Give Away

Saucy Mama Island Hopping Burger

Saucy Mama’s Island Hopping Burger

When Saucy Mama of  Barhyte Specialty Foods, Inc. put out the call to bloggers to create new recipes using their sauces, dressings and marinades for the chance to win a spot at the World Food Championships I jumped right in. First of all, the company sent me an assortment of their delicious products (yes-I tried them all).  Second of all, one of my lucky readers will win an assortment of wing sauces; such a generous win-win for everybody.

Make Every Meal Extraordinary is Saucy Mama’s philosophy and these products make it easy. They are so flavorful that a recipe needs little else to highlight the fresh ingredients. Inspired by the Orange Habanero Wing Sauce, the Jamaican Jerk Wing Sauce, The Hot Wing Sauce and the Honey Dijon Dressing…and this gorgeous weather (finally) grilling burgers just seemed right. Specifically, Saucy Mama’s Island Hopping Burgers.IMG_1707

This lip-smacking recipe cooks up quickly once you assemble your ingredients and prepare them for the grill. It’s a giant burger with some bold spicy-sweet flavor that will have you longing for some sand between your toes and a cool drink in your hand.

ready to grill

ready to grill

Tropical Honey Dijon Dressing

Tropical Honey Dijon Dressing

Saucy Mama’s Island Hopping Burger

4 large shrimp, shelled, deveined

2 tablespoons Saucy Mama Hot Wing Sauce

1/3-cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon Saucy Mama Honey Dijon Dressing

¼ cup small dice fresh mango

¼ cup crushed, well-drained canned pineapple

3 tablespoons chopped cilantro

¾- pound ground pork

¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons Saucy Mama Jamaican Jerk Wing Sauce, divided

¼ cup chopped green onions

4 tablespoons panko bread crumbs, divided

1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

¾-pound ground chicken

¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons Saucy Mama Orange Habanero Wing Sauce, divided

vegetable oil for greasing grill rack

4 chunks fresh pineapple

1 sweet onion, cut into ½-inch slices

4 brioche hamburger buns, sliced horizontally into 3 layers

4 leaves fresh butter lettuce

Heat grill to medium-high. Soak 4 (6-inch) wooden skewers in water. In small bowl, toss shrimp with Hot Wing sauce; set aside. In small bowl, stir mayonnaise, Honey Dijon Dressing, mango, crushed pineapple and 1-tablespoon cilantro until well-mixed; set Tropical Honey Dijon Dressing aside. In medium bowl, combine pork, ¼ cup Jamaican Jerk Wing sauce, green onions, 2 tablespoons panko and ½ teaspoon of salt; mix well. Dip hands in cool water; with damp hands shape pork mixture into 4 (4-inch) patties. In same bowl, combine chicken, ¼ cup Orange Habanero Wing Sauce, remaining panko, cilantro and salt; mix well. With wet hands shape chicken mixture into 4 (4-inch) patties. Thread 1 pineapple chunk and 1 shrimp on each skewer. Brush grill rack with oil. Place pork and chicken patties on rack. Cook, turning once, 3 to 5 minutes on each side, or until just cooked through, brushing the pork patties with remaining Jerk sauce and chicken patties with remaining Orange Habanero sauce after turning. While the patties are grilling, place the onion slices and shrimp-pineapple skewers on grill rack; cook 2 to 3 minutes per side or until the onions are crisp tender and the shrimp are pink and just cooked through. During the last few minutes of cooking time, place the rolls, cut side down, on outer edges of grill rack to toast lightly.

To assemble the burgers divide the tropical dressing into 8 portions. On each roll bottom spread 1 portion of dressing, 1 lettuce leaf and 1 pork patty. Top the pork patty with the middle layer of toasted bun, another portion of dressing, a chicken patty and some grilled onions. Add the roll tops. Press the shrimp-pineapple skewer through the top of the burger.

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Now for the give away. Simply leave a comment on which Saucy Mama product you are most eager to taste (believe me I know you want them all). In 10 days (May 15) I will choose one random winner who will win a 3 bottle assortment of yummy wing sauces. Meanwhile, do yourself a favor and join Saucy Mama on Facebook and Twitter. Surround yourself with their generosity of spirit.

Scallops, Shrimp, Calamari, Oh My!

Scallops with fennel-apple salad

scallops with fennel-apple slaw

No words of wisdom today. Just recipes from my 7 fishes Christmas Eve feast as requested by a few readers. Since there were so many courses I did small plates, so I recommend 3 scallops per person for the first dish.

Hint: only buy wild-caught “dry” sea scallops. DO NOT buy scallops sitting in a preservative. Ask your fish monger if you are not sure. The difference in taste is incredible. Pat the scallops dry with paper towels. Season them (both sides) with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Swirl a tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon of oil (I have been using avocado oil lately as it has a high smoke point, but vegetable oil will do) in a skillet (I like cast iron) over medium-high heat. Sear your scallops about 2 minutes per side or until just opaque. Serve with the slaw which I found on Epicurious.com. I did swap out apple cider vinegar for the rice vinegar only because I wanted the slaw to be a little sweeter. And to get really thin slices of vegetables use a mandolin if you have one. Mound some slaw in the center of the plate and place the scallops around the slaw. Your taste buds are going to be so happy. You are welcome.

Fennel-Apple-Celery Slaw

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh tarragon (I used 1/2 teaspoon dried)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 celery stalks, thinly sliced diagonally, plus 1/4 cup loosely packed celery leaves
  • 2 small fennel bulbs, thinly sliced crosswise, plus 1 tablespoon chopped fennel fronds
  • 1 firm, crisp apple (such as Pink Lady, Gala, or Granny Smith), julienned
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Whisk first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl. Add celery and celery leaves, thinly sliced fennel and chopped fennel fronds, and apple; toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Shrimp & Stuffed Calamari Fra Diavolo (sauce is adapted from Cooks Illustrated)

prepare the stuffed calamari first (see recipe below)

1 1/2 pounds (26 to 30 count) shell on shrimp, peeled and deveined, reserve shells

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup dry white wine (I like Bogle Chardonnay)

6 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (just depends how spicy you like it)

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

2 anchovy fillets

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

1/4 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

Toss shrimp with salt; set aside. Pour tomatoes in a fine mesh colander set over a bowl to drain for about 5 minutes. Transfer drained tomatoes to a bowl and reserve the juice. Do not rinse colander. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in large skillet over high heat until shimmering. Add reserved shrimp shells and cook, stirring frequently, for 2 to 4 minutes or until skillet starts to turn brown. Carefully, add wine and simmer 2-4 minutes or until reduced to about 2 tablespoons. Add reserved tomato juice to skillet; simmer for 5 minutes. Pour contents of skillet into colander set over a bowl. Discard shrimp shells; reserve liquid. Heat remaining olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, crushed red pepper and oregano, stirring for 1 minute. Add anchovies, breaking them up with a wooden spoon. Add tomatoes and reserved tomato juice mixture. Increase heat to medium-high and simmer for 5 minutes or until thickened. Add stuffed calamari, cover and simmer for 18 to 20 minutes, turning once, or until tender. During last 5 minutes of cooking time add shrimp. Stir in basil and parsley. Serve over pasta or with a nice piece of crusty bread. Fry up some tentacles as a garnish to really gild the lily. Serves 6.

shrimp & calamari fra diavolo

shrimp & calamari fra diavolo

Stuffed Calamari

6 tablespoons butter

2 cloves, minced garlic

1/4 cup squid tentacles, minced

1/4 cup chopped clams

juice of 1/2 lemon

3/4 cup panko bread crumbs

6 squid bodies

1 tablespoon chopped flat leaf parsley

kosher salt and fresh ground pepper

Melt 5 tablespoons butter in skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, tentacles and clams; cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Scrape contents of skillet into a medium bowl. Add lemon juice and panko; mix well. Fill the squid bodies with stuffing (use your hands); secure ends with wooden toothpicks. Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in same skillet over medium heat. Add stuffed squid and brown on both sides–just a minute or two per side.

P.S. I know you all are wondering about that framed Christmas card–it was made by my very talented friend Betsy.