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How do you celebrate V-Day? Most couples treat themselves to a special dinner out! Do you go out for that special dinner or cook a special dinner for your “valentines” and celebrate at home?

My wife and I did the Valentine’s night out for many years. We have had great experiences, and less than great. Her birthday is within a week of Valentine’s day, and we decided a few years ago, to do V-day at home. Men, trust me when I say there is nothing that could be appreciated more, and be more of an aphrodisiac than treating your busy and stressed ladies in your life, to a great meal you plan and cook for her to celebrate a special day. Dining out is one of the great pleasures in life, and we love several places in DFW and wherever we go. But for V-Day, it’s an at-home meal for us!

I ask my special Valentine what she would like to have and then execute the menu….., have a great wine with dinner, we know it is going to be good, reasonable cost without all the hassle of waiting for our reservation and table and then driving home! This years Chef Peter’s menu is going to be special because my special Valentine is from Chicago and wanted a Chicago time capsule dish….”Shrimp De Jonghe” created in about 1912 by the chef from the old De Jonghe Hotel. Make no mistake, even though this is considered a “hot dish”, casserole, it is delicious! I am going to make it a surf and turf by pairing Beef Wellington with it and going to my German roots by having a special Sauté of White Asparagus. We will top it off with a light, healthy dessert, Fresh Fruit Greek Yogurt Brulee!

Stay tune for pictures on my Facebook page and twitter! Happy V-Day to all whatever you do for your special one!

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Have you ever wondered what it was that makes a burger taste so great? If you answered yes and said seasonings and condiments, you are partially right! The other major factor is the “Maillard Chemical Reaction” that occurs when cooking with high heat. It is a chemical reaction that takes place between the amino acids and sugars initiated under heat, usually in the neighborhood of 285-350 degrees F. This reaction starts taking place within about 30 seconds of cooking. At higher temperatures caramelization starts taking place. This reaction characterizes the odors and tastes dependent on the proteins and fat content being cooked, i.e., beef, chicken, fish, etc. Other foods which contain rich amino acids, can also undergo this reaction if it contains sugars and amino acids, such as soya, wheat, pumpkin seeds, etc.

The above being said, I wanted to have a tasty burger last night! “making homemade happen” with a tasty burger was therefore in the cards. I ground up some top sirloin I had in the fridge, made my own ground meat in about 5 minutes, and proceeded to make my patties. Not just any patties, patties for smashing!

1. Create several meatballs with about 4 oz. of your ground beef
2. Add some canola oil to a preheated (hot, at least 350 degrees F) “flat top” grill
3. Add the meatballs to the flat top leaving enough room (about 6 inches) between meatballs for smashing
4. Smash each meatball within 30 seconds of putting on the flat top with your spatula or a press to about 1/4 inch thickness. Season immediately with our Smokin Texas Gourmet (STG) Dry Rub Seasoning and Garlic, Salt, and Pepper. Don’t worry about the rough edges that are created, they will get crispy with lots of flavor
5. Cook for about 3 minutes and flip seasoning the other side and cook about 2 minutes.
6. Re-flip and add a slice of cheddar cheese, add another burger on top, sandwiching the cheese and let cheese melt

I assembled the cheese burger on a bun that I put on the flat top to brown, with caramelized sweet onion and STG Ketchup! Added some homemade steak fries and Chipotle Aioli made for dipping. Chipotle Aioli made with mayo, sour cream, cream cheese, and STG Smokin Chipotle Pepper Sauce! Yummy…yum…yum!

Smash Burgers 1

Smash Burger 3

Smash Burger 4

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My wife’s family is from Minnesota and she loves a good “hot dish”. Her Tex-Mex twist to hot dish transformed
Leftover chicken Green mole from Super Bowl Sunday into a delicious mid-week dinner. The cream cheese element cut the heat to make it a dish for all palates. We used what we had in the fridge and pantry. Enjoy!

Ingredients:
9 or 10 corn tortillas
3 cups of the leftover chicken mole
Spreadable cream cheese
2-3 cups cooked rice (also leftover from Super Bowl)
1 can drained and rinsed black beans
One small chopped tomato seeded
3/4 cup soft cheese such as Chihuahua or mozzarella cheese (we used mozzarella)
Shredded or sliced mild cheddar cheese

1. Cut the tortillas in half and lightly schmear cream cheese on one side of the tortillas. Line the tortillas, cheese side up in the bottom of a 13″ x 9″ baking dish that has been greased with butter or olive oil.
Green Mole Hot Dish 1
2. Layer half the rice and half of the drained black beans next.
Green Mole Hot Dish 2
3. Next, layer 1 1/2 cups chicken mole
Green Mole Hot Dish 3
4. Add the whole chopped tomato and the mozzarella (or chihuahua) cheese.
Green Mole Hot Dish 4
5. Repeat the layering of steps 1, 2 & 3. Next, the last few tortillas were cut into strips and arranged lattice style on top of the second layer of chicken Mole. Finally, the cheddar.
Green Mole Hot Dish 5

Bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes, covered. Uncover and turn on the broiler for a few minutes to melt and brown the cheese.
Green Mole Hot Dish 6

We served with a side salad, and garnished with sour cream. If we had cilantro tonight, we would have used that too!!
Green Mole Hot Dish 7

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Red Kitchen Foods – Smokin’ Texas Gourmet again helped sponsor the Zest Fest Food Show at the Irving Convention Center in Las Colinas in 2016. Put on by Spicy Food Productions, the show was a big success in its sixth year! You can visit http://zestfest.net/ for all the information of this years show.

This year Red Kitchen Foods/Smokin’ Texas Gourmet had 3 booths, one featuring our VOTEW Beverage Mixer and a double booth for all the Smokin’ Texas Gourmet artisanal Sauces, Condiments, Seasonings, Rubs, and Salsas.

We entered or L’il Gems Candied Jalapenos, Angry Twist Pepper Sauce, and VOTEW Beverage Mixer in the Fiery Food Challenge competition. They were all winners!

1. VOTEW Beverage Mixer: Has now won three two years running, this year winning a People’s Choice Award and Beverage Mixer Enhancer award.

2. L’il Gems Candied Jalapenos: Three years running winning another Golden Chili award for Consumer Ready Pickled Other Category

3. Angry Twist Pepper Sauce: 2 years running in the Consumer Ready, Hot Sauce category. Great product that is in its second year. It is a boldly, flavorful sauce with a kick on the back end. It has “ghost pepper” as an ingredient and is not for the faint-hearted!

I was honored to participate in the line-up of celebrity chef demos on the main stage over Zest Fest weekend! Three demos highlighted how to make homemade happen healthfully and deliciously with our kitchen staples. Friday treated attendees to sliders of freshly ground beef or chicken with caramelized onions and Candied Jalapenos, and a side of crisp garlic fries…all seasoned with versatile and popular best-sellers “GSP” and Dry Rub. The audience learned techniques and benefits of grinding beef and chicken at home, then rushed to the sample table!

Saturday’s demo had our famous “Chemist and the Frenchman” theme with special guest, Chef Sebastien Layen, Executive Chef of the Omni Hotel in Fort Worth on stage with me. Together we did a another “Super Bowl Tailgating Party” theme. I prepared Chicken Salsa Verde (Green Mole) with Jasmine Rice and Chef Sebastien prepared a special Roasted Pork Slider on a beer bun with Candied Jalapeno relish! Yummy! It was amazing and chef used our GSP, Dry Rub and L’il Gems. All the recipes can be found on our web-site http://www.smokintexasgourmet.com/products-and-recipies/smokin-chipotle-hot-pepper-sauce.html .

My last demo was Sunday and it featured “Smoked Brisket and Bean Chili” with “Candied Jalapeno Cornbread. An amazing dish that is quick and easy to make featuring our GSP, Dry Rub, Chili Seasoning, L’il Gems and Smokin Chipotle Pepper Sauce. Everything was gobbled up with-in 5 minutes of the demo ending! The recipes can be found on our web-site http://www.smokintexasgourmet.com/products-and-recipies/salsas/tres-chilies-8-oz.html .

All three demos featured a cocktail with L’il Gems Candied Jalapeños: Jalapeño Apple Martini

All in all, it was an amazing and high octane 3 days! We were so happy and grateful to see so many returning customers from last year! Outstanding fun, food, people, and of course sales. See everyone next year…same place same time!

Ready to Rock the Demos

Ready to Rock the Demos

Chicken Green Mole

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Red Kitchen Foods – Smokin’ Texas Gourmet again helped sponsor the Zest Fest Food Show at the Irving Convention Center in Las Colinas. Put on by Spicy Food Productions, the show was a big success in its fifth year! You can visit http://zestfest.net/ for all the information of this years show.

This year Red Kitchen Foods/Smokin’ Texas Gourmet had essentially 3 booths, one for our new VOTEW Beverage Mixer and a double booth for all the Smokin’ Texas Gourmet artisanal Sauces, Condiments, Seasonings, Rubs, and Salsas. This year we entered a total of 4 products in 4 different categories. Our company won in 3 of those categories! Two first place and one second! Winners were:

1. VOTEW Beverage Mixer: 1st Place Cook-Off, Best Cocktail Mixer and has won 2 years in a row!

2. L’il Gems Candied Jalapenos: 1st Place, Snacks, Pickled Other, also won 2 years in a row!

3. Angry Twist Pepper Sauce: 2nd Place, Hot Sauce – Consumer Ready. This is a new product that we just started selling. It is a boldly, flavorful sauce with a kick on the back end. It has “ghost pepper” as an ingredient and is not for the faint-hearten!

I also participated in celebrity chef cooking demos! I did 3 demos highlighting our tasty products. The Friday demo featured our Award Winning Garlic, Salt, and Pepper (GSP), Yumni (Umami) Sauce, and Smokin’ Chipotle Pepper Sauce. ZestFest attendees and celebrity chefs (Put in Bonnell’s and Sarah’s twitter handles) alike thought this dish was a hit! The recipe is a “South West Chipotle Cashew Soba Noodles” that gets an Asian fusion with the Yumni Sauce. The following link is a video of the demo: http://youtu.be/S4Ud-nO1ONE . The recipe can be found on our web-site, http://www.smokintexasgourmet.com/products-and-recipies/smokin-chipotle-hot-pepper-sauce.html .

Saturday’s demo had a special guest chef, Chef Sebastien Layen, Executive Chef of the Omni Hotel in Fort Worth. Together we did a “Super Bowl Tailgating Party” theme. Chef Sebastien did a special and delicious “Pickled Turkey Jalapeno Cheese Sausage”. The process is not something you see every day, and was fun to watch. It was amazing and chef used our GSP, L’il Gems, and Smokin’ Chipotle Pepper Sauce. My take on “Wings 3-Ways” used our BBQ Sauce, Smokin’ Chipotle Pepper Sauce, and Regular wings using GSP and our Spiced Dry Rub. Rounding out the lineup included a super-fast “South West White Bean Chicken Chili” with our chili seasoning and “SW Fiesta Layered Party Dip”, with GSP, South West Chipotle Seasoning, and Tres Chilies Salsa. We had a blast and everyone enjoyed the food. All the recipes can be found on our web-site http://www.smokintexasgourmet.com/products-and-recipies/smokin-chipotle-hot-pepper-sauce.html .

My last demo was Sunday and it featured “Pronto South West Roasted Chicken Soft Taco” and “Southwest Table Side Guacamole”. Two amazing dishes that are quick and easy to make featuring our GSP, SW Chipotle Seasoning, Tres Chilies Salsa, Tomatillo Salsa, and Peach Salsa. The recipes can be found on our web-site http://www.smokintexasgourmet.com/products-and-recipies/salsas/tres-chilies-8-oz.html .

All in all, it was an amazing and high octane 3 days! We had many returning customers from last year! Outstanding fun, food, people, and of course sales. See everyone next year…same place same time!

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Last December, my wife and I visited Chicago for the holidays to visit her family. Me and my “Chicago Girl” spent a couple of days being tourists in the City before heading out to the ‘burbs for family festivities. Our stay at the Omni Chicago was our centrally located launching point for shopping the Magnificent Mile and hopping public transportation to the Museums including the exhibit “Art and Appetite”. Our foodie pilgrimage included some of our favorite haunts, 676 Bar and Grill, the Omni’s farm to table restaurant offering an abundance of America’s heartland on a plate, Sunda for modern Asian Fusion, and 11th City Diner..breakfast heaven so good there are no words. And then there was Eataly. With beverage in hand, (me, a Peroni and she, a nice chianti) we browsed eye popping rows of pasta, tomatoes, oils, foodstuffs of all kinds, books, wine, produce, cheeses, meats, chocolates and more! Before loading up a basket of items never seen in DFW, we had a great dinner. Each department has it’s own restaurant, and we chose the meat section. Our Ribeye tonight was inspired by this meal. The spectacular touch at our table that night was the brush made of rosemary sprigs and really good olive oil to dress rare steak slices. Our award winning Garlic Salt and Pepper (GSP) and dry rub seasoned steak was the perfect foil for the herb brush. Delicious and any day elegant, you too will Mangia Bene and make homemade happen!

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Red Kitchen Foods-Smoking’ Texas Gourmet’s VOTEW beverage mixer was featured in Fort Worth’s 360 West Magazine! VOTEW is an award winning, low calorie (35 per serving), all natural beverage mixer that is sweetened with Organic Agave Nectar and no added sugars. It is crisp, light and kissed with natural Hibiscus. VOTEW gets it’s name from it’s use with Vodka, Tequila, and Whiskey. You can get VOTEW “too” by ordering on-line or dropping by our store. It is also purchased by Pink Pistol stores owned by Miranda Lambert in Texas and Oklahoma. It is sold-distributed under their brand, Texas Roadie!See VOTEW in 360 West by going to the June issue, article on page 102! http://www.bluetoad.com/publication/?i=211357

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Congratulations to our good friend Chef Sebastien at Omni Hotels Ft. Worth for being nominated to compete in Fort Worth, Texas Magazine’s Top Chef competition on May 14.

Chef Sebastien uses our products at his restaurant to help create delicious meals for Omni guests. We know he’ll do well in the competition!

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Chef Sebastien, Executive Chef from the Omni Hotel Fort Worth won his round in the Top Chef of Fort Wort preliminaries with stunning cooking skills challenge and a Salmon Entree! He will compete July 2nd in the finals. Lets wish him luck and cheer him onto victory!

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Do you wish you craved healthy foods? Chefs and doctors are teaming up to create healthy dishes you might actually want to eat.

This past weekend, the Culinary Institute of America hosted the 10th annual Healthy Kitchens/Healthy lives conference. The conference brings together chefs with doctors, registered dieticians and nutritionists, educators, sustainability experts and healthcare professionals. The goal of the conference is to get people to move towards a healthier lifestyle and diet, which would help prevent or manage illness.

The idea that food can provide more than sustenance isn’t new. Ancient Greek physician Hippocrates said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Many of our products are developed with the same concept in mind.

We want the best for you and your family so all of our products are MSG and gluten-free, reduced sodium (salt) levels, with low sugar and low fat. Smokin’ Texas Gourmet-Red Kitchen Foods products will help you create homemade, healthy meals for your family that are full of flavor. What’s the best part? Our products taste so good you’ll actually crave them!

Click on our recipes tabs under each STG product to view simple, healthy recipes for each product.

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