Month 6: Big Daddy’s Flaming Lips Hot Sauce (December 2012)

Hello Hot Sauce Lovers!

I know this review is a month behind and we’re sorry that there was no sauce delivery in December.  To make up for it, we are doubling up in January!  And just to keep the ‘monthly’ in the Hot  Sauce of the Month Club, we’re goin’ to call this the December review.  January to follow later this month!

This month we get to try Big Daddy’s Flaming Lips Hot Sauce from HOUSTON, TEXAS! 

Name: Big Daddy’s Faming Lips Hot Sauce
Origin: Houston, Texas, USA
Creator: Dig Daddy Trevi Biles and his wife Becky
Pepper: Habanero Peppers


Big Daddy’s Hot Sauces are carefully crafted by Big Daddy Trevi and his wife Becky who call Houston, Texas home.  In 2001, Trevi and Becky got the ‘hot sauce bug’!  Not happy just buying sauce from other producers, they worked together to come up with a suitably spicy recipe,  they planted peppers in their garden out back and soon thereafter, a hot sauce legend was born!  In 2004, after urging from friends, they started producing hot sauce commercially. Trevi says about their sauces,  “We wanted to create sauces that combine great flavor as well as heat, which we did in all of our sauces, which include: Big Daddy’s Ass Burn, Amplified Heat, High on Fire, The Flaming Lips Three Drops of Death, and the Orange Show Fire Blossom Special BBQ Sauce.”

Not content to blend in with other hot sauces on the market that feature only peppers, Big Daddy have experimented with additional flavors in their recipes from pineapple and oranges to ginger and honey, to create a tasty and unique balance of flavor and heat.  Preferred peppers include combinations of cayenne, smoked jalapeno and, of course, habaneros.  They also use other unique local ingredients including an interesting offering from a  Houston microbrewery: St. Arnold’s Lawnmower Beer.

Hot Sauce Review:

When I received the package from Big Daddy’s Hot Sauce, I did what I do with every new box of hot sauce, I tore right into it like a kid on Christmas morning! Inside I found ‘The Flaming Lips’, a pineapple, orange and apple cider vinegar based hot sauce with habanero pepper, and ‘High on Fire’, a spicy hot garlic and chile de arbol hot sauce. Big Daddy Trevi also threw in a Big Daddy Ass Burn bumper sticker and business card to boot – each branded with a crazy little man burnin’ the wick at both ends and their tag line “Hell Goin’ In, Hell Goin’ Out”. Hilarious!

Even though I already had plans to go out for the evening (a Vegas Tech event), I was not leaving without a little sample of each before heading out the door. The Flaming Lips was what I was most curious about, so I tried that one first and opted to save the other for later. I grabbed a spoon and poured some out …and BOY was it delicious!  Not too hot, not too much vinegar, and a nice sweet smokey pineapple zest that wasn’t too sweet.

In hindsight, I realize that I should have eaten something before I left the house because the taste test successfully whetted my appetite and made me hungry! (Post holiday. I’ve been trying to loose a few pounds, so monitoring the calorie intake was front of mind…ugh!). Unfortunately,  all I could think about while sitting in the auditorium listening to tech dudes explain their latest online innovations was the delightful creation I was going to put together to compliment a smokey-sweet pineapple hot sauce.  And then it came to me.  A  quick Google search on my mobile: “best cheese for frying” and the rest is history.  As a direct consequence, so is my New Year’s diet.  I’m going to hit RESET on the calorie counting this week, because, well,  frying cheese pretty much changes everything.

Wouldn’t you  know it? The Internet told me that you can fry just about any cheese!  There are numerous suggestions online from soft cheese to hard cheese, and everything in between, including several cheeses I’m not personally familiar with, but I would love to meet them all one day…and I will! One familiar cheese came up a lot …Parmesan, which is brilliant because it’s the one cheese I always seem to have. I had lots of Parmesan in the fridge, the fresh shaved kind too. I also had soft mozzarella and some shredded cheddar as well.  We were in business!

I did refer to a cooking show I saw on TV a few nights earlier where a woman made a fried cheese dish, and it was so simple I actually remembered what she did. So I didn’t really come up with fried cheese outta the blue was already on my radar. She used some fancy pants cheese which, if I recall correctly, she described as soft and Italian. She grated it and put it in a small not stick pan. I was immediately mesmerized.  You know when you’re flipping channels sometimes and you stop on something that looks interesting, and you watch it for awhile only to ask yourself several minutes later, “Why the hell am I watching this?” ? That was me, but this time, I actually learned something.

It was a super simple recipe, and it went something like this…

First ingredient  … Bacon! I’m pretty sure I don’t need to go into detail here, we should all know how to make bacon.

Second Ingredient;  Boiled potato. Yep, a little salt, boil until soft but not mushy, then slice up. Easy.

Ingredient number three; Cheese. I used what I had …Parmesan, Cheddar ..I skipped getting the mozza involved as I figured I had enough to make a nice little tasting plate.

This is how we laid it down.

Bottom layer – chopped bacon. Layer two – cheese. Layer three – sliced potato. Top with more cheese and pepper.

Fry on medium/low heat.

This little dish cooks itself really. All you have to do is wait until the bottom gets a golden brown and it ‘un-sticks’ itself from the pan and slides around with ease with a little shake. The trick I saw on the TV show made the next step really easy.

1. Cover the pan with a plate…

2. Flip the whole thing upside down so everything is sitting on the plate…

3. Slide it back into the pan for 2 more minutes on the other site. VOILA!

Once it was golden brown on the other side, you slide it all out on to a some paper napkins to absorb some of the grease, let it cool for 5-10 minutes, then slice it up like a pizza-pie!

I served it up like little pizza slices ready for dipping in a small sea of Flaming Lips hot sauce.

This was a delicious combo. Crispy fried cheese ‘n potato and Big Daddy’s Flaming Lips Hot Sauce can only be described as sweet and savory. The Flaming Lip sauce is not too heavy on any one ingredient – and without a lie, its probably one of the best hot sauces I’ve tasted from the pineapple/mango sweet fruit varieties that I’ve tried. I do really like that it’s not too sweet as most of the fruit based hot sauces I’ve had tend to lean that way. Flaming Lips has a very nice apple vinegar and orange juice base that is peppery with a hint of lime. The ingredients say there is a ‘St. Arnold Lawnmower beer’, which I assume is the same Texas made ‘St. Arnold Fancy Lawnmower’ beer I found online here. If it is, I want to try this beer …I’ll have to have a look around. In any case, it may be what ties everything together in this well rounded this hot sauce. Flaming lips offers a medium heat that gained Big Daddy 5 hot sauce awards since 2009.

The Flaming Lips gets it’s name from ..The Flaming Lips! The Oklahoma City-based Grammy award winning modern psychedelic band. The label artwork was done by Lips singer Wayne Coyne and longtime Lips artist George Salisbury.

The second sauce in the shipment is ‘High On Fire’ and it  is named after the Oakland-based metal band, High on Fire, and it is Big Daddy’s most intense and hottest sauce, made with habaneros and chili de arbols.

Recap of Benito’s Original Naranja Hot Sauce Review:

Best pairings: It certainly paired well with fried cheese! Also suggested are Seafood (Fish Tacos) and salad!
Texture and Appearance:  Medium thickness with pineapple and orange pulp.
Taste:  Fresh apple cider vinegar, pineapple, orange and lime taste. Heat comes from Habaneros. Slight smokey character maybe from the the beer and brown sugar.
Heat Scale : 4/10
Awards and Recognition: 

  • 2012 – Houston Hot Sauce Category – 1st Place – Special Variety Category
  • 2011 – Houston Hot Sauce Festival – 1st Place – Special Variety Category
  • 2010 – Houston Hot Sauce Festival – 2nd Place – Special Variety Category
  • 2010 – NOLA Hot Sauce Festival – 3rd Place – Fruit Sauce Category
  • 2009 – Houston Hot Sauce Festival – 3rd Place – Special Variety Category

Ingredients: Pineapple, Pineapple Juice, Orange Juice, Apple Cider Vinegar, St. Arnold Lawnmower Beer, Habanero Pepper, Brown Sugar, Salt, Lime Juice, Spices.
Graphics/Packaging:  5 oz glass bottles design with artwork was done by Flaming Lips singer Wayne Coyne and longtime Lips artist George Salisbury. Includes nutritional facts, Big Daddy’s mailing address and website as well as the website and MySpace address of The Flaming Lips.
Final Thoughts: I think I found a new favorite in the fruity hot sauce category! I pretty much consumed the whole bottle in 3 days over an assortment of dishes …some pulled pork and a roast chicken sandwich. I have to see what other hot sauce I can find using beer in their recipe as well …interesting flavor. Big Daddy Trevi and his wife Becky have racked up a lot of awards for their sauces and I think they did a great job with The Flaming Lips. I just may just pop on over to their site and order some more very soon.

(To try this hot sauce, and many more like it join the Club!)

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