Thursday, February 6, 2014

February @ JJ's Red Hots

This month, JJ’s is bringing the heat. Let’s face it - this winter has been pretty crappy,  weather-wise. So we thought we would warm this winter up with the bright flavors of balmy Mexico!

The sausage of the month for February will be a house-made CHORIZO. This pork sausage has many variations including a Spanish cured version, a South American version, a Portuguese version (a/k/a/ Linguica) and a ‘dry’ Mexican version.  All of which have their own merits, but we especially liked the Mexican ‘Fresh’ version we came up with, which combines some South American flavors with more traditional Mexican seasonings.

JJ’s Chorizo includes cayenne pepper and chile d’arbols along with fennel, red wine (A nice Argentinean Malbec) and smoked paprika. After we grind, season and stuff the sausage, we gently poach it until it is fully cooked. This technique ensures a crispy grilled char on the outside, while retaining it’s internal moisture and texture. We then serve it in our famous toasted Martin’s roll with the traditional Mexican ‘street taco’ toppings of diced onions and cilantro. 

We are also offering this with fresh tortilla chips and our house-made Grilled Salsa Verde, made from fresh tomatillos. (See recipe below) Grilling these little beauties (sort of a cross between a small green apple and a tomato) really brings out their subtle sweetness and deepens their wonderful green hue. Like any bona fide Salsa Verde, it includes ‘green’ ingredients like fresh lime juice, roasted jalepenos and fresh cilantro.

Hope you enjoy!

Salsa Verde
This Mexican “green” Salsa features lesser known but wonderful tomatillos. Grilling them really
brings out their subtle sweetness and livens up steak, chicken and especially fish. We love it on grilled swordfish or grilled chicken tacos. Adjust lime and cilantro to your taste. It should have a chunky/smooth consistency and should not be too runny. As with all salsas, this should be served at room temperature if possible.

4 LB Tomatillos, Husked and Rinsed
1/2 C Onion, Grilled and Diced
1/4 C Minced Cilantro, loosely packed
1/4 C Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice
1 Large Jalapeño, Blackened and Minced
1/4 C Freshly Squeezed OJ
1/4 C Pickled Jalapeño Brine (optional)
2 TBS Salt (adjust to taste, if needed)
1 TBS Ground Black Pepper

Makes about 1/2 gallon. Adjust accordingly for smaller batches.


1. Grill tomatillos until softened and skins are black all over.
2. Put all ingredients in a blender and pulse until ‘chunky/smooth’ but not liquefied. Blend in batches if needed.
3. Cool and store in the fridge. Keeps for about a week.

Tomatillos in their husks. These must be removed and the fruit needs to be rinsed of all residue before cooking.

 Husked and rinsed tomatillos on the grill

Tomatillos should be grilled until blackened all over. Be careful to remove smaller fruit before they get too soft. 

 Blend all ingredients together until smooth but NOT liquified.

 The finished salsa, perfectly blended.

Also, don’t forget about these exciting new menu items that are still available all day, every day!

 Chicken Sandwiches – We’ve been thinking about how to expand our product line without straying too far from our core – which will always be hot dogs and sausages. Well, our chicken tenders have been really popular, and they fit perfectly into a toasted Martin’s Roll, so we thought we’d give them a try! Check out the BLT with our house made Buttermilk Ranch Sauce, or dig into a JJ’s Fil-A sandwich – Fried Tenders, Cole Slaw and a Pickle Spear. One bite, and you’ll forget all about those ‘other’ guys with the silly cows that can’t spell.

Sahlen’s Premium All Beef Jumbos – Many of you have been asking for an all beef dog, so we thought we’d step it up and give you the best one we could find – from Sahlen’s of course. They are about twice the size of our regular dogs and we have designed some toppings that will complement their beefy deliciousness. Like the Quarter Hounder –Beer Queso, Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato and Onion and our own ‘Special Sauce.’ And that’s just the beginning. Try them all!

Hall of Fame Dogs – These are some of our most popular dogs of the week from last year that we thought we’d bring back. The ‘Hey, Hey, Fry, Fry’ is a staff favorite with Cole Slaw, Tomatoes, French Fries and Remoulade. Also, the  ‘Weiner the Pooh’ is back! Peanut Butter, Bacon and Honey. You’re welcome!

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