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Friday, November 23, 2007

Best BBQ Sauce for Leftover Turkey

Spicy Food Guy is unafraid to state the truth -- the Thanksgiving Turkey is overrated. Sure it looks pretty, all bronzed and bountiful centered in the middle of the dining room table, but Spicy Food Guy is a realist. No matter how well prepared, a turkey can't run with the big dogs. It's not marbled, it really doesn't have a whole lot of flavor. Hell, it doesn't even taste like chicken.

Not everyone agrees. Yesterday, when Spicy Food Guy was examining his hot sauce and BBQ sauce collection for something to take to his Mother-In-Law's Thanksgiving feast, he was busted by Beautiful Spouse of Spicy Food Guy (BSOSFG). "You will insult my Mother's cooking," she fairly spat, eyes like lasers, "if you put one of your sauces on Mom's turkey."

Spicy Food Guy tried the old "bbq sauce has less cholesterol than gravy" angle, but to no avail.

Fridays, though, are about leftovers. And when you shred up some leftover turkey to make a sandwich, your best bet to make it spectacular is Texas Longhorn Smokey Chipotle Barbeque sauce. A 1st place Chile Pepper Magazine winner, the Longhorn sauce is one of the most flavorful and spicy bbq sauces Spicy Food Guy has ever tasted. Longhorn is almost too flavorful for ribs and pulled pork, which after extended smoking have a delicate flavor that should not be overpowered. For turkey, however, the Longhorn is exactly what the doctor ordered. Longhorn adds enough flavor to boring and bland turkey breast so that you may actually be fooled into thinking, "damn that turkey is good!"

Eat up now

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Best Hot Sauce to Add to Chili

That's right -- it's a mustard.

A couple of years ago, Spicy Food Guy had a revelation. If the best chili cheese dogs always have mustard on them, couldn't chili itself be improved by the addition of spicy mustard?

Indeed it could.

The search for the appropriate mustard, however, took much longer. For awhile, Spicy Food Guy used the world renowned Gladys's mustard out of St. Thomas. Spicy Food Guy was turned onto Gladys by the people at Passionate Food. Gladys's mustard, while perfect for the ham and cheese sandwich, somehow did not connect perfectly with a bowl of steaming chili.

Enter Crazy Mother Pucker's Maniacal Mustard. The Crazy Mother Pucker hot sauce line has won five Golden Chile awards over the years, and the Fire Roasted Fusion Hot Sauce is one of Spicy Food Guy's hot sauce staples.

The Maniac, which has a more fiery flavor than Gladys's, adds a district mustard zest to chili that gives the overall palette a tangier and more robust flavor experience. For you Sales Guys out there, that means the chili tastes better.

Someday, when mustard in chili is a common practice, you can say "I've been doing that for years." Just Spicy Food Guy's way of making the world a little bit better place.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Best Mustard for Egg-Rolls

Recently, Sales Guy Friend of Spicy Food Guy (SGFOSFG) took two or three minutes off his busy Tuesday on the golf course to introduce Spicy Food Guy to Millers Mustard. "Try this," SGFOSFG suggested, "It's made by a friend of mine. It has a unique taste."

No lies from SGFOSFG. Miller's does indeed have a unique taste. Goes from extreme sweet to extreme heat. A very wide bandwidth of flavor.

The flavor reminded Spicy Food Guy of when he mixes the duck sauce and hot mustard from Chinese take-out to make the perfect condiment for egg-rolls (does anyone else do this?). With this inspiration, Spicy Food Guy waited until his next egg-roll encounter and brought out the Millers. Not that Spicy Food Guy likes to brag, but the fit was spot-on perfect. Millers also passes the classic ham and cheese sandwich litmus test.

Miller's is a unique Western Pennsylvania regional mustard, and according to all reports, Miller is a nice guy. Encourage him. Go get you some Miller's.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Best Diner in Center City (Philadelphia)

Spicy Food Guy is a huge fan of the city of brotherly love.

And not just because of the cheese steaks, which merit their own post.

One year, when Spicy Food Guy was running the Philly Half Marathon , it was pouring rain to beat the band. Spicy Food Guy's hotel, the Center City Embassy Suites, passed out hundreds of garbage bags (make shift rain-gear) at no charge to all comers. People poured into the lobby, and the hotel was nothing but supportive. You have to love a hotel that goes out of its way to be helpful, especially when that involves people who are not paying customers.

But if you are in Philly and have Breakfast on your mind, there really is really only one destination diner. Head over to the Midtown Diner. Classic and outstanding diner breakfast. Cooked by a real short-order cook who knows how to do eggs on the griddle.

The last time Spicy Food Guy was there, while seated at the counter, his food server sang the entire time. Loudly. Aretha Franklin's "RESPECT". Spicy Food Guy is no fool. Consider it one of the few SFG motto's -- "If your diner breakfast waitress is in the mood to sing her ass off at 7:30 in the morning, let her have at it. " Spicy Food Guy spotted a fellow diner two stools down and we gave each other the nod.

Let her sing, baby. Let her sing.

Best Rib Rub You Can Buy On the Internet

As Spicy Food Guy sees the world, one can either spend several dozens of dollars on paprika, brown sugar, chili pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and other secret spices; then spend several dozen hours configuring the correct mixtures to proclaim that one has formulated one of the world's best rib rubs (of which there are thousands), OR, you can buy a really really good one off the internet for five bucks.

To Spicy Food Guy, who is busy smoking ribs while simultaneously: 1) is immersing himself in the decisions of whom to bench and whom to start on his fantasy football team, 2) is trying to either participate in or referee a game of "Capture the Flag" with very loud children, 3) is attempting to open and close the smoker while keeping Large Dog of Spicy Food Guy (LDOSFG) from licking the dripping fat off the patio, the choice is simple -- Bone Suckin Sauce Seasoning and Rub.

Formerly known as Bone Suckin Sauce Rib Rub, the renamed rub (presumably so that it crosses over to chickens and other non-pork staples) is a spicy, tasty, and fabulous rub. A terrific combination of heat and tang and sweetness. While Spicy Food Guy understands the broader "seasoning" appeal of the current brand, he is somewhat disheartened that the Bone Suckin' people would depart from this rub's core essence, which is all about ribs, dammit.

Like any good rub, you'll want to really coat both sides of the ribs before smoking. After rubbing, do not forget to put the ribs back in the fridge for a couple of hours to let that flavor sink in.

By the way, the Children of Spicy Food Guy think that Bone Suckin Rub is too spicy for their tastes, so Spicy Food Guy uses Sutton's Bay Hog's Tale Rub, which seems to have less chili powder and more brown sugar. Or, for the truly spice averse, just use pure brown sugar.

Eat 'em up!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Best Garlic Spice Ever Invented

A request was recently made, from one of Spicy Food Guy's two regular readers, to provide links to outstanding spices. Spicy Food Guy is only too happy to provide the first link of many.

Pictured here is perhaps the finest garlic spice ever invented. While not exactly spicy, the mixture of garlic and herbs seems to go well with a number of Spicy Food Guy's favorites. He sprinkles it liberally on fish (tilapia, in particular) which he wraps in foil and cooks on the grill. Spicy Food Guy uses it as a rub on beer-can chicken. Any pasta begs for the Garli Garni. Another option -- cut up some zucchini, onions, peppers, and mushrooms. Add some Garli Garni. Saute or grill. Results are fantabulous.

Real story. Spicy Food Guy bought the little bottle (pictured above) at, of all things, a home and garden expo that had a few food booths. SFG bought the 2.5 oz bottle. Gone in 8 months. The next year, same home expo, Spicy Food Guy bought the 14 oz big-ass plastic offering. Half gone now. Spicy Food Guy reckons that next year, what the hell, he'll just buy a case.

Eat up now.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Best Discontinued Fast Food Item

How acutely does Spicy Food Guy miss the Taco Bell Chilito.

Simple concept -- chili and cheese in a flour tortilla. Add about three fire sauces. Better when reheated in the microwave at 12:30am.

Some called it the Chili Cheese Burrito, others the Chilito. It's rightful name may be lost to time. Or it may be that the term chilito is mexican slang for "small penis". If Spicy Food Guy was a Taco Bell executive, that would be a pretty motivating factor in changing the name to Chili Cheese Burrito in a big damn hurry.

But all is not lost. There is a website devoted entirely to bringing back the Taco Bell Chili Cheese Burrito. Spicy Food Guy signed the petition. They have collected over 12,000 signatures. God love the internet.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Hottest Salsa You Can Buy in an Airport

Two disclaimers are needed to establish context for this claim.

First, Spicy Food Guy has a penchant for picking up regional salsas, BBQ sauces, and hot sauces at airport shops. Surprisingly fine selections can be found at these generic looking establishments. For example, in the Charlotte International Airport in North Carolina, Spicy Food Guy recommends picking up a bottle of Prissy's of Vidalia Vidalia Onion and Peach Hot Sauce, an interesting yet tasteful blend of fruity sweetness and heat that can take a standard potato salad to the next level.

Second, Spicy Food Guy can handle all manner of hot salsas: those labeled "XXX", those with the word "Pain" in their labels, and ceratinly all habanero based Salsas. Dave's Insanity Salsa, which claims to be "the hottest salsa in the universe" and is made with the hottest pepper in the world (red savina), is a staple of Spicy Food Guy's dipping salsas.

Why all these disclaimers? Because it was an uneventful day for Spicy Food Guy, wandering a bit aimlessly in the Phoenix Airport, when he picked up a couple of "Sergio's Revenge Salsas", claiming to be "only for the brave". Yawn. Spicy Food Guy has seen those claims come and go. But what the heck, sometimes that stuff can be very tasty.

A month or two later, on a random evening in a fishing cabin, Spicy Food Guy dipped a big old heaping of Sergio's on a chip when he was playing hearts, hungry, and in the mood to try something new. An explosion of culinary pain and some hurting heat hit Spicy Food Guy full blast. Made Dave's look like a wuss. Kid you not. Can't be found on the internet. Spicy Food Guy's second jar, unopened and in a place of honor in his hot sauce collection, is pictured here.

Double dare you.

Best Chili Dog North of the Mason Dixon Line

As Forrest Gump once said, "I could eat about a million of these".

First in the spirit of disclosure, Spicy Food Guy must admit he is more than impartial to the Skyline Chili Cheese Coney. Besides having consumed thousands of Skyline Cheese Coneys in his lifetime, the geographical center of the Skyline restaurant chain is Cincinnati, Ohio, home of Almost Deaf Father of Spicy Food Guy (ADFOSFG) and Loving Mother of Spicy Food Guy (LMOSFG). Routinely, Spicy Food Guy will drive home to visit ADFOSG and LMOSFG, who have just prepared a scrumptious from scratch meal for Spicy Food Guy and his hungry spouse and kids, only to have one of the kids, usually Wild Child Stepdaughter of Spicy Food Guy (WCSOSFG), announce, "he (SFG) ate five cheese coneys after we got off the interstate! In 10 minutes!"

Alas, it is true.

And if you have not partaken of what may be the finest chili cheese dog to have graced the planet, here are the the details.

It is a small hot dog, perhaps four inches long. Add mustard and onion. Pour on a bean-free chili that has finely ground meat, next to zero heat, and a touch of cinnamon, and does Spicy Food Guy dare say it, a misty hint of chocolate? Add a thick layer of finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese, put it all in a steamed bun, and there it is, the best of the best, the Skyline Chili Cheese Coney.

Another tale needs to be told as it relates to the Skyine Chili Cheese Coney. There is an option, for young picky eaters, to order plain hot dogs on a bun. Skyline calls them wiener buns. That's how they are ordered, "wiener buns". Go back seven years. Spicy food guy is visiting ADFOSG and LMOSFG, with then nine year old Intellectual Eldest Daughter of Spicy Food Guy (IEDOSFG) and then four year old Loud Only Son of Spicy Food Guy (LOSOSFG) riding in the back of Spicy Food Guy's SUV. Spicy Food Guy pulls into the drive through of the local Skyline, and the Speaker says "May I take your order sir?"

Spicy Food Guy then replies, ""I will take four wieners..." and the rest of the order is drowned in cacophony of shrieks as piercing laughter peals from LOSOSFG, who screams "DAD SAID WIENER!!!" five consecutive times as Spicy Food Guy is doubled over, no longer able to speak, and IEDOSFG is belly laughing and snorting at the same time.

Nothing beats a first class chili dog, except maybe a carful of laughing kids who just embarrassed their Dad with an incident that will be retold at both of their wedding rehearsal dinners sometime in the next twenty years.

We still laugh about it.
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