What can be naughty or nice and starts out in a pumpkin patch? Not sure? Okay, here’s another tip. It can be served cold or hot and also contains a heaping dose of autumn apples. Give up? Why it’s pumpkin hot sauce and after the first try, you won’t want to eat a fall, holiday meal without some. “What’s pumpkin hot sauce?’, you say. Well, lean in my pumpkin loving friends and we’ll tell you:

It’s actually a mixture of pumpkin butter, hot sauce, curry and a handful of other ingredients. You can make it any consistency desired and use it in a number of pump-alicious ways. For instance, some folks like to use it in place of chicken broth when making their homemade stuffing. Others love to pour it over their roasted turkey, rib-eye steaks or mashed potatoes instead of traditional gravy.We’ve even seen pumpkin hot sauce drizzled over pan-roasted vegetables and used as a basis for soups. And by the way, the soups may be hot or cold. Speaking of cold, the hot sauce infused mixture could be used to make homemade pumpkin ice cream too. Here’s the basic hot sauce recipe to get the pumpkin party started:

Place all of the ingredients into a sauce pan and hit it with an immersion blender to break up the chunks of vegetables or apples. Next, turn the heat on and let the pumpkin mixture simmer until you’re pleased with the consistency.  Continue by removing the pumpkin hot sauce from the pan and using it as desired. As long as it’s stored in an air-tight container and stirred every so often, it should keep in the fridge for at least four to seven days without separating. To learn more about jazzing up pumpkins with hot sauce, please contact Deli Direct today.

Hurra! It’s almost time to break out the best grilling meats, kick up our kierpces and celebrate National Polka Weekend. Are you ready to eat, drink and polka for 72 hours straight? If not, let us help you prepare for the big weekend, which this year happens to fall on May 22nd. Because it’s also Memorial Day Weekend, you’ll certainly need one of our large, EZ Disposable Grills and several packages of Polish Kielbasa. They’re hickory-smoked and ready for the grill. Each package will be enough to make a dozen Polish Boys, Chicago-style

Of course no Chi-Town, Polish Boy sandwich would complete without a bun and three other items; vinegar based coleslaw, Chicago Hit Sauce and hand-cut French fries. And if you want to replace the hit sauce with Big Bad Bubbas BBQ Sauce, we don’t think too many Polish Boy fans will complain. If they do, you can always point them in the direction of the appetizer table. Just make sure that you fill it with Polish kielbasa chips and a wide variety of hot sauces. The chips are easy enough to make.

Simply grill up some extra Polish kielbasa and let it cool. Then slice each link into bite-size rounds and put them into a decorative bowl. Squirt some of hot sauces or honey glaze into a second bowl and provide an assortment of toothpicks. Afterward, encourage the Polish Boy purists to spear the kielbasa chips with the picks and then dip them into one of the sauces before taking a bite. That should satisfy their hunger without stepping on to their Chi-Town pride. If not, provide heaping bowls full of sauerkraut, Polish coleslaw, garlic stuffed olives and pickles. In Chicago, they’re National Polka Weekend staples too. To learn more about the best grilling meats for Polish celebrations, please contact us at Deli Direct.

There's nothing more fun than getting together with friends to root for your favorite football team on a cool Sunday evening! You can enjoy hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza and many other great game time delicacies, but don't forget to provide meat and cheese gift baskets! As you root on for your team, or the best commercial, these baskets are great to use for snacks at your Super Bowl party. There are many different basket options available for your party planning needs so take a gander and stock on up!

Pick up an actual football themed gift sets that includes a football-shaped tray that you can easily use to display your food (though your friends will think you spent hours preparing). These are a lot of fun, and you can reuse the trays for future football parties. Other party-themed gift baskets are great as well because they include a variety of meats, cheeses and other foods so that you can find something to match everyone's different tastes!

Along with meat and cheese baskets, you could also grab a Hot Sauce Connoisseur basket to add some zest to your main dishes. Everyone can make their own unique burger by choosing the hot sauce that they like most. Your friends will be raving on the delicious food you prepared! A fruit basket could be a nice addition to your Super Bowl party as well. That would be a great way to mix it up a bit and to add a little healthy food to a menu that focuses on delicious foods that are high in fat and carbohydrates.

All of these basket ideas will make you the hit of the Super Bowl no matter the outcome! Everyone will appreciate the thought that you put into choosing the perfect food for your party. If you would like help choosing the perfect gift basket, please contact us.

Hot sauce is a staple ingredient on the menu of both holiday events and sports viewing parties. If you're planning your Super Bowl event make sure you include at least one (or all!) of these mouth-watering, eye-tingling, award-winning hot sauce recipes. We can't make any promises about the outcome of the game but we can guarantee the menu won't leave you or your guests disappointed.

1) Baked Chicken Wings with Spicy Buffalo Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 3 lbs. chicken wings, washed and dried
  • 1 teaspoon each salt & pepper
  • 6 tablespoons butter (softened)
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 1/4 cup Chicago Hit Sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2.  Arrange chicken wings on a foil-covered baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper. 
  3. Whisk softened butter, garlic, hot sauce, onion power, chili power, cayenne pepper and sugar together and drizzle over the chicken wings (if you want them extra spicy dip each wing into the sauce and place back on the pan!). 
  4. Bake wings for 30-40 minutes until skin is crispy and the center is no longer pink. Enjoy!

2) Hot & Spicy Cheese Dip

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray a 9x13 pan with nonstick spray. 
  2. Cream together blue cheese dressing and cream cheese in a small pan over low heat. 
  3. Mix together chicken and hot sauce and spread on the bottom of the pan, cover with cheese mixture and sprinkle with two cups of cheddar cheese. 
  4. Bake for 30 minutes until cheese is bubbly and golden. Serve with toasted chips!

3) Hot & Meaty Baked Beans

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Brown ground beef over medium heat until no longer pink. 
  2. Drain fat and pour meat into a large crockpot. 
  3. Add all remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly until combined. 
  4. Cook on low for 4-5 hours for optimal flavor!

Contact us to see our complete inventory of hot sauces and other speciality meat, cheese and condiment items available. We look forward to helping make your party a smoking hot success!

Let’s face it. In this world there are plain vanilla Veronicas or Vances and those that like to live life with a little more va va voom. If your family members fall on the va va voom side, there’s nothing better than surprising them with meat and cheese gift baskets. Take our Some Like It Hot gift basket as the perfect example. Pound for pound, it’s got more oomph than a heat-seeking missile and better outcome potential than date night at Denny’s.

Two of the items included in the basket are dip seasonings made by A Spice Above. One’s made with jalapeños and the other is packed with habaneras. Both may be used to make an ornery bowl of spicy pretzel sticks, nuggets or rods. Just tell your loved one to toss some of the dip into a bowl along with a cup of vegetable oil and any other seasonings that are sure to tickle their tonsils.

Stir it around and then set it aside while they place the pretzels onto ungreased baking dishes. Once the pretzels are spread out in the pans, have them drizzle the peppery mixture all over the pretzels. Afterward, they should pop the pretzel-filled pans into a preheated, 250 degree Fahrenheit oven for about 80 minutes. At the end of which, they’ll have a heated party snack that goes great with any number of beers.

The meat and cheese gift basket also contains spreads that may be used to make wicked appetizers. For instance, your loved ones could combine eight ounce of the habanera or jalapeño
spread with ¼ cup of Miracle Whip, 2 tablespoons of Worcester sauce and 8 ounces of chopped, smoked oysters or Cajun summer sausage. The mixture could then be shaped into a ball or log, covered with crushed nuts and served with crackers.

The dip seasonings and spreads, by far, are not the only great tasting items in the Some Like It Hot basket either. To learn more about it and other meat and cheese gift baskets, please contact us at Deli Direct today.

Hot sauce. The condiment of condiments. The flavor-additive that tops all others. The cherished companion of meats, cheeses and wing night!

For all the heat that it packs hot sauce is really a simple combination of three key ingredients; your preferred type of hot peppers, vinegar and the secret assortment of spices that each brand adds to give their sauce its own unique kick.

Chili peppers have been used for flavor for thousands of years (specifically in Mexico and countries throughout South and Central America). When the chili plant immigrated to the United States in the 1600's it was an instant hit! Over the next two-hundred years hot sauce recipes slowly evolved in the US until Tabasco started bottling and selling their recipe in the mid eighteen-hundreds.

These days you can purchase a wide variety of hot sauces - all different levels of spice and intensity of flavors, some are sweetened with fruit or sugar to add a unique twist while others blend several kinds of peppers to offer a dizzying combination of flavor.

With literally dozens of different hot peppers available to flavor your hot sauce you're guaranteed to find one you like (just go slowly with the experimenting!). Try a little hot sauce in your standard hollandaise or cocktail sauces to spice up the flavor, add it to scrambled eggs for a dose of morning heat, drizzle it on your popcorn for an extra-special treat or add it your hamburger meat for an unforgettable meal!

See our complete inventory of specialty sauces, party dips, cheese spreads and gift baskets. We look forward to helping you find the perfect gift for yourself or someone else!

Lets all be honest here… food makes the world go round. Now take a moment and think of every fun story or party you have been apart of. I would bet that somewhere in that story was food! Whether the food made the moment better or if the food was better the event would have been improved. Either way food is at the center of these stories.

For your fun future weekend story or party you want to make sure that you and your friends have a positive memory about the food of course! Here are three recipes guarantied to make your night a hit!

The Appetizer

The perfect food to start out the evening, this warm easy appetizer is delicious and simple to eat with a toothpick. Go crazy and get some multi colored toothpicks!

Barbeque Meatballs 
Makes: 4 dozen
Prep Time: 20 minutes Total Time: 50 minutes
Ingredients: 
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten 
  • 5 oz. of evaporated milk 
  • 1 cup of quick-cooking oats 
  • ½ cup of finely chopped onion 
  • 1 tsp. of salt ¼ tsp. of pepper 
  • 1 tsp. of chili powder 
  • ¼ tsp. of garlic powder 
  • 1 ½ lbs. of ground beef 
  • 1 ¼ cup of Big Bad Buddas BBQ Sauce 
Directions: 
  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except the beef and BBQ sauce (first eight ingredients).  
  2. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Shape into 1-inch balls.
  3. Put meatballs on greased rack in a shallow backing pan. Bake uncovered for 18-20 minutes at 350˚ then drain.
  4. Meanwhile, simmer the BBQ sauce in a saucepan for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
  5. Pour over meatballs and bake 10-12 minutes longer.

The Entrée

These spicy shrimp cakes are a delicious dinner and will keep your friends talking!

Spicy Shrimp Cakes with Salsa 
Makes: 10 shrimp cakes
Prep Time: 30 Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Ingredients:
Cakes: 
  • 1 lbs of medium shrimp (peeled and deveined) 
  • 1 cup of finely chopped red bell pepper 
  • 1 garlic clove, minced 
  • ¼ cup of thinly sliced green onions 
  • 3 Tbsp. of reduced-fat mayonnaise 
  • 1 Tbsp. of fresh lime juice 
  • 1 ½ tsp. of Chicago Hit Sauce 
  • ½ tsp. of sugar 
  • ¼ tsp. of salt 1 large egg 
  • ¼ cup of finely chopped fresh cilantro 
  • ¾ cup of panko 
Salsa: 
  • 1 cup of frozen white corn, thawed 
  • ¾ cup of diced peeled avocado 
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro 
  • 3 Tbsp. of finely chopped red onion 
  • 2 Tbsp. finely chopped seeded poblano pepper 
  • 1 tsp. of fresh lime juice 
  • ¼ tsp. of salt 
Directions: 
  1. Place shrimp in a food processor and pulse 10 times or until finely chopped.
  2. Spray pan with cooking spray and heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add bell pepper to pan and sauté for 3 minutes. Add garlic to pan and sauté for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Place bell pepper mixture in a large bowl. Add shrimp, green onions and the next 6 ingredients, ending with the egg, stirring well.
  3. Stir in cilantro and ¼ cup of panko.
  4. Divide shrimp mixture into 10 equal portions. Then shape into a ½ inch thick patties. Coat both sides of patties in remaining ½ cup of panko. Chill at least one hour.
  5. Heat pan over medium heat and spray with cooking spray. Add 5 cakes to pan. Cook 4 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove from pan then cover and keep warm. Repeat with remaining cakes.
  6. To make salsa, combine all salsa ingredients and stir gently. Serve immediately with shrimp cakes. 

The Dessert

This simple wonderful recipe will leave your company wanting more!

Pumpkin Butter Bars 

Makes: about 20 bars
Prep Time: 15 Total Time: 50-55 minutes
Ingredients: 

  • 1 box of yellow cake mix 
  • ½ cup of melted butter 
  • 3 large eggs 
  • 1 jar of Pumpkin Butter 
  • 2 Tbsp. of milk 
  • 1 Tbsp. of flour 
  • ¼ cup of sugar 
  • 2 tsp. of cinnamon 
  • 4 Tbsp. of cold butter 
Directions: 
  1. Set aside one cup of the cake mix in a small bowl. 
  2. Spray 9x13 pan with cooking spray 
  3. Mix together the remaining cake mix, melted butter and 1 egg. Press into the bottom of pan 
  4. In bowl mix together pumpkin butter, milk and 2 eggs. Pour over crust in pan.
  5. Add flour, sugar and butter to the reserve cake mix. Use a fork to cut the butter until it resembles small peas. Sprinkle over the pumpkin butter layer.
  6. Bake in a preheated 350˚ oven for 35-40 minutes. Cool completely and cut into squares. Top it off by sprinkling with powdered sugar.
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