Last year saw plenty of spicy food trends, including the spicy ramen challenges and the “One Chip Challenge,” in which people attempt to eat a single Paqui chip made using the Carolina Reaper pepper, the hottest recorded on Earth. The results make for fantastic Youtube viewing.
As consumers continue to explore their flavor palates, a variety of new and interesting options are gaining popularity. One of our local favorites is Dutchess County-based Screamin’ Onionz. Founded in 2015, this versatile condiment is made from sliced onions slow cooked in specialty craft sauces.
“While others are trying to blow you away with the hottest heat, we decided that flavor was the most important aspect of a condiment,” says Richard Romano, founder and owner of Screamin’ Onionz. “That’s our focus: creating a product packed with flavors, using the fewest ingredients and no added sugar.”
Whatever your spice preference, Screamin’ Onionz has you covered with three varieties: mild, made with sweet peppers so there’s no heat; medium, made with cherry peppers for a balance of sweet and heat; and hot, made with cherry and cayenne peppers for a slow, smoky heat. Try them as a topper to burgers, chicken, eggs, salads, or any bland meal in need of a boost. Because of the concentrated flavor, they’re also a nice starter for sauces, stews, and soups.
“I’m overwhelmed with all the positive things coming our way,” says Romano. “I’m so thankful for every single person that buys a jar. I’d like to hug them and say thank you for your support, but I can’t. I try to stay professional, but inside I’m jumping up and down.”
Screamin’ Onionz are available online, at select local retailers (including Whole Foods and Adam’s Fairacre Farms), and on the menu at some local restaurants.Read on for two delicious recipes featuring Screamin’ Onionz.
1/4 cup Screamin’ Onionz (mild, medium or hot)
1/2 cup Canola oil
1 1/2 lbs shrimp – raw, thawed & rinsed (shells on or off)
1 tablespoon ground paprika,
1 teaspoon sea salt
Herb garnish – chop up some fresh cilantro, tarragon, basil, chervil, chives or Italian parsley and sprinkle on top of shrimp for added flavor and color
Combine Screamin’ Onionz, olive oil, salt, and paprika in a blender or food processor and blend/process until the mixture is smooth. Place raw shrimp into a bowl and add the Onionz mixture from the blender. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate overnight, or for at least 4 hours. When ready to cook, sear the shrimp in a hot pan, or on a grill, until the interior of the shrimp is no longer translucent. Use the shrimp in your favorite salads, pastas, grits, toss into sautéed veaggies, or enjoy as is.
2 lbs ground beef
2 cups carrots, shredded
2 cups kale, chopped
1 cup Screamin’ Onionz (mild, medium, or hot)
3 – 28oz cans of crushed tomatoes
1 can water
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons thyme, chopped
In 1 tablespoon of olive oil, brown the ground beef then remove and set aside. In 1 tablespoon of fresh olive oil, sauté kale for 3 minutes. Add another tablespoon of olive oil and carrots to the kale sauté for 3 minutes. Add Screamin’ Onionz and stir for 1 minute. Add 3 cans of crushed tomatoes and 1 can water and stir. Add browned ground beef and thyme; stir until incorporated. Set stove on low flame and simmer sauce for 1 hour, stirring every fifteen minutes.
Recipes courtesy of Screamin’ Onionz. For more recipes and information, visit www.loveonionz.com.