Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Don't Stand In Line, Order Online.

DENVER (BUSINESS WIRE) Any computer is now a virtual Chipotle Mexican Grill thanks to the restaurant company’s newly enhanced online ordering system. The new system enables customers to place and pay for their order online, then within minutes go directly to the front of the line at the restaurant to pick it up.

“This is another way we are making our high quality food available and affordable so everyone can eat better,” said Steve Ells, Chipotle founder, chairman and CEO. “We can deliver a great Chipotle experience in a way that meets the demands of time-pressed customers.”

Among the new features added to Chipotle’s online ordering system include a secure credit card payment capability that can save customers’ information so they do not have to re-enter it every time they log on. An expanded group ordering feature allows customers to place multi-item orders under a single name, invite others via e-mail to add to their order, and manage group orders online. Like the previous generation online ordering system, the updated version allows customers to save their own favorite meals online, as well as those of friends, family or co-workers. The system also provides ample space for comments and special instruction so customers can make the same kinds of requests they would if they visited the restaurant.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Ketchup Redux; The Russian River Way

If there was ever an existing condiment that takes change well, ketchup would be that condiment. You can squirt or pour the old standby on your fries, burgers, or dogs, but that's pretty much the limit of its humble being.

Chef Ken at Russian River Fine Foods quickly realized the potential for improvement and took charge with this zesty version of the American Classic.

Chipotle Ketchup
is a new and enjoyable twist on one of America’s most popular condiments. With just a hint of sweetness and a bit of smoky spice from the peppers, this sauce is a compliment for every thing from hamburgers and french fries to omelets or eggs cooked any style, but the reduced sweetness and the smoky, mildly spicy element lends itself to an even greater versatility.

Chef Ken has created many recipes that incorporate the use of his smoky Chipotle Ketchup. Here is a simple recipe that shows off the wonderful, subtle yet complex flavors of Chipotle Ketchup:

Smoky Chipotle Lime Prawns

12 medium prawns (peeled and de-veined)
4 ounces Chipotle Ketchup
Juice of ½ of a lime
2 tbsp olive oil

Marinate the prawns in the Chipotle ketchup for 24 hours. After the prawns are marinated, heat a sauté pan till it gets very hot then add the oil.

Take the prawns out of the Chipotle Ketchup and gently place them in the sauté pan. Sauté the prawns on one side for 2 minutes.

Turn the prawns over and add the chipotle ketchup you used as the marinate.

Squeeze the lime juice in as well. Continue to sauté for another 4 minutes. Now you are ready to serve.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Recipe: Smoky Chipotle Honey Roasted Peanuts

Party season is here and we all need a few good simple ways to throw together a snack for munching. This easy zipped up beer nut recipe will be a favorite at any get together. But you don't need to wait for a party to make these sweet, smoky, and spicy treats; they're great anytime!

1/3 cup white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons chipotle chile powder
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 pound skinless peanuts

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Stir together the sugar, chipotle powder, chili powder, and garlic powder in a small bowl; set aside.

2. Stir together the butter, honey, and kosher salt in a large saucepan over medium heat until the butter has melted, and the mixture is bubbly. Stir in the peanuts until well coated, then pour out into a 9x13 inch baking dish.

3. Bake in preheated oven until the nuts are golden brown, about 30 minutes. Stir the mixture 2 or 3 times to ensure even cooking. Once done, scrape the peanuts into a large metal bowl, and sprinkle with the spice mixture. Toss the peanuts to evenly coat with the spice mixture. Allow the peanuts to cool to room temperature, tossing every few minutes so the nuts do not stick together.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Smokey Chipotle Pepper Gourmet Salsa & Dip

The great white north is home to Epicurean Foods; makers of Prospero Smokey Chipotle Pepper Gourmet Salsa & Dip.

Epicurean Foods describes their salsa as follows:
"The rustic taste of our Chipotle Pepper Salsa on grilled meats is a wild new taste sensation! It's also great drizzled over cream cheese with crackers or crusty bread or as a delicious new topping on rice, steamed vegetables and mashed potatoes. "

This is one of the six fine salsas Epicurean food makes. The Raspberry & Chipotle Pepper Gourmet Salsa & Dip would be a nice change for the chipotle lover that likes their salsa with some sweet fruity elements.

If anyone has had the opportunity to try these great looking salsas from Canada we would love to get your feedback on them!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Willie B's Texas Style BQ Sauce; Blazin Hot and Smokey Chipotle

We found this smokey chipotle BBQ sauce at Willie B's who claim to be "Authentic Texans". Seems like both flavors are smokey chipotle but the Blazin' hot is Chipotle'er!

Texas Style Smokey Chipotle BBQ Sauce- in Texas, barbecue is king. This is a traditional Texas sauce...thick
and slightly sweet with chipotle peppers added to give it a warm smokey flavor. This sauce is delicious on any
kind of meat, as a marinade, or a sandwich topping. Try it on brisket, chicken, fish, or pork.

Texas Style Blazin' Hot BBQ Sauce- don't let the name fool you, this one is REAL good. And only the wimpiest
out there will find it too hot. We take our Smokey Chipotle BBQ Sauce and simply add more chipotle pepper
to it to give it more heat.

2nd place winner in the 2006 Fiery Food Challenge!!!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Recipe: Smoky Chipotle Crab Cakes with Chipotle Aioli

We added the Smoky Chipotle zing to some plain crab cakes to make them extra special! If you like crab cakes you'll love these with the addition of a snappy chipotle aioli.

3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon chopped roasted peppers packed in jar
1 tablespoon minced canned chipotle chiles

Crab Cakes
1 cup Masa Harina (corn flour)
12 ounces crab meat
1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
6 tablespoons mayonnaise
6 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel

2 tablespoons olive oil

Chipotle Aioli:
Combine all ingredients in bowl. Mix well. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Crab Cakes:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread Masa Harina on heavy baking sheet. Bake until lightly toasted, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Cool.

Combine crab meat, bell pepper, mayonnaise, cilantro, lime juice and lemon peel in medium sized bowl. Mix in 1/2 cup toasted Masa Harina. Season to taste with salt. Shape crab mixture into twelve 2 1/2-inch-diameter patties, using scant 1/3 cup mixture for each. Place remaining Masa Harina in shallow dish. Add crab cakes 1 at a time, turning to coat. Transfer to baking sheet. (Can be prepared in advance. Cover and refrigerate.)

Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add crab cakes in small batches and cook until browned and heated through, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to plates. Serve with aioli.

New From Planters; Wicked Hot Chipotle Peanuts

Planters Wicked Hot Chipotle Peanuts are available at your favorite snack food purveyor. We found a bag in the snack section at our local consumer electronic store. Everyday we are finding snack food companies are starting to cater to spicier tastes, and I say it's about time!

You used to have to find some Ass Kickin' Peanuts or some torched up nut snack from Dave's Gourmet Foods if you wanted to feel the fire in your snacky treats. Today even Planters is lighting up their peanuts with fiery Chipotle peppers.

These smoky toasty hot peanuts were nice and hot compared to the usual mainstream snacks but I would not call them hot in Chile-head terms. They will warm you up and they are a tasty improvement on plain old salted peanuts

Is the Chile-head taste spreading to mainstream America? I would have to say it's definitely spreading... like wildfire.