Recipe: Habanero-Brined Pork Sandwich

Recipe: Habanero-Brined Pork Sandwich

We’ve been on a sandwich kick of late (as evident by our recent Fat Cat Stuffed Cheeseburger recipe) and decided we wanted was to put our spin on this popular Midwestern staple. As with many dishes involving lean proteins, we’ve opted to brine the pork here (you can use turkey or chicken too) both to ensure our pork remains moist after cooking and also to impart flavor into the meat. For added kick, we’ve included some of our award-winning Mexican-Style Habanero sauce into the brine, which adds both some pleasing habanero heat to the meat as well as an underlying flavor of its base chile. Super simple and super delicious — definitely give it a try!

Here’s what we did:

Recipe: Habanero-Brined Pork SandwichIngredients:

For the brine:
1 quart of water
1/4 cup salt
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons Fat Cat Mexican-Style Habanero

For the sandwich:
1/2 lb pork chop, preferably the loin cut
2 eggs
1 cup unseasoned bread crumbs
4 potato rolls or hamburger rolls
1 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
2 tablespoon Fat Cat Mexican-Style Habanero
12 pickle chips or 12 slices of pickled jalapeno
4 leaves of butter or iceberg lettuce
1 tomato, sliced into 1/4-inch thick slices


Recipe: Habanero-Brined Pork SandwichDivide the pork into four equal parts. Place a piece of pork between two pieces of plastic wrap and pound flat with a mallet or large pan until it’s about 1/4-inch thick. (The cutlet should be large, by the way — this isn’t a dainty sandwich!) Repeat for remaining pieces of pork.

In a large container, whisk together the water, salt, sugar and 3 tablespoons of Fat Cat Mexican-Style Habanero until the salt and sugar have dissolved completely in the water. Add the flattened pork, give it a stir and then place the container in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

After 1 hour, remove the pork from the brine and pat dry with paper towels.

In a shallow bowl, crack and beat the eggs together with 1 more tablespoon of Fat Cat Mexican-Style Habanero.

In a third bowl, add the breadcrumbs.

Using a fork or your fingers, dip a pork cutlet into the egg mixture, coating well, and then dredge the cutlet into the breadcrumbs. Repeat for remaining cutlets.

Heat a wide pot over medium-high heat and add oil. When oil is shimmering and hot (or measures 350F on a thermometer), slide in pork cutlets into the pan and fry until golden brown and cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Depending on size of pot, you may have to do this in batches.

Remove cutlets and drain on paper towels.

To build the sandwich, first blend the mustard with the remaining 1 tablespoon of Fat Cat Mexican-Style Habanero in a small bowl. Spread mustard mixture over the bottom bun, top with a leaf of lettuce, a slice or two of tomato, the pork cutlet and a few pickle slices or pickled jalapeno slices, then top with top bun and serve.

Recipe makes 4 sandwiches. Enjoy!

Recipe: Grilled Habanero Tequila-Lime Shrimp

Grilled Habanero Tequila-Lime ShrimpWhat do you get when you infuse the big, boozy, citrus-infused flavors of tequila-lime shrimp with our award-winning Mexican-Style Habanero sauce? This fun and punchy party dish. Simple-to-do and full of satisfying flavor and spice, it makes a great pass-around appetizer or a wonderful light meal when served alongside rice and beans or sauteed veggies. 

Here’s what we did:


4 tablespoons lime juice
4 tablespoons tequila
2-4 tablespoons Fat Cat Mexican-Style Habanero (depending on desired spice level)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cilantro chopped
1 pound peeled and deveined shrimp


Whisk together all ingredients except shrimp in a bowl, starting with 2 tablespoons of Fat Cat Mexican-Style Habanero, and taste the marinade. At this point, if you want to add more heat to it, add more Fat Cat Mexican-Style Habanero, one tablespoon at a time, until desired heat level has been reached. Keep in mind that the marinade itself will be about three to four times spicier than the finished product.

Transfer mixture to a zip bag, add shrimp and stir to coat the shrimp well with the marinade. Let the mixture sit in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour but no more than 3 hours. (As shrimp sits, the acids in the marinade will start to cook them slightly, turning them somewhat opaque — this is normal.)

Set your grill to medium high. Once the shrimp have marinaded and the grill is hot, place your shrimp on the grates and let them sear (untouched) for about 1-2 minutes, then flip and sear for another 1 minute on the other side. Shrimp will be cooked once they’ve turned pink and have curled some and become slightly charred.

Note 1: If you’d like to skewer the shrimp (though not necessary), and are using wooden skewers, please soak the wooden skewers in water for 1 hour prior to grilling. Then remove the shrimp from the marinade and fit them on the skewers, leaving about 1/4-inch of space between each shrimp. Please allow 30 seconds more of cooking time per side if skewering shrimp.

Note 2: The recipe works just as well with scallops.


Recipe: Fat Cat Shakshuka (Eggs Poached in Spicy Tomato Sauce)

Fat Cat Shakshuka with Mexican-Style Habanero Sauce

Shakshuka (pronounced “shack-shoo-kah) is a Middle Eastern breakfast staple in which eggs are poached in a spicy tomato sauce. Hearty and flavor-packed, it’s one of our all-time favorite breakfast dishes. Plus, it’s easy to make and can be easily adjusted to suit one’s tastes. You can make the sauce spicy, mild, savory, tangy — it’s up to you really. Our version bases itself in the fresh flavors of tomato, onion, jalapeno and green pepper but gets its kick (and a unique habanero lift) from our Fat Cat Mexican-Style Habanero sauce. Be sure to keep lots of fresh bread on hand to sop up all the yummy juices.

Here’s what we did:


4 eggs
1 14.5 oz can of crushed or diced tomatoes or 3 cups of chopped fresh tomatoes
1/2 bell pepper, diced
1/2 white onion, diced
1 jalapeno, diced (remove seeds and ribs if desired)
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons of Fat Cat Mexican-Style Habanero
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
salt and pepper to taste


Add oil to a saute pan and head over medium heat. Once hot, add onion, peppers and jalapeno and saute until mixture starts to soften and brown slightly, about 3-4 minutes.

Add tomatoes and stir. Lower heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes, until tomatoes start to break down and mixture starts to thicken. Season with salt and pepper, add Fat Cat Mexican-Style Habanero and stir to combine. Taste mixture and adjust for salt, pepper and spiciness, adding more Fat Cat Mexican-Style Habanero if a spicier dish is desired.

Spread the mixture out evenly so that it forms a single even layer in the pan. Then, using your spoon, create four wells within the tomato mixture. You’ll know if the mixture is at the right consistency if the well you create holds its shape; if it collapses or fills with too much liquid from the vegetables, then continue cooking the mixture more so more liquid evaporates.

Once the wells hold their shape, crack the eggs, one by one, and one egg in each well so that the egg is contained in the well and surrounded by the spicy tomato mixture.

After all four eggs are in the pan, season them with salt and pepper, cover the pan with a lid, lower the heat to low and cook until the eggs have reached your desired level of doneness, about 2-3 minutes for easy, 4-5 minutes for medium, 5-6 minutes for hard.

To serve, get a large spoon and scoop under the egg, making sure to get both the egg and the sauce around it in the scoop.

Set that on the plate, alongside a large piece of bread for dipping, and serve. Drizzle with more Fat Cat Mexican-Style Habanero for extra kick if desired.


Recipe: Fat Cat Habanero-Peach Frozen Yogurt

Fat Cat Habanero Peach Frozen YogurtWe love spicy desserts, and we especially love them when they incorporate one of our sauces into the mix. (Check out our Vanilla Ice Cream with Habanero-Mixed Berry Coulis and Jason Wilson’s Nogales Freeze-Out recipes for proof of that.) So naturally you can imagine our excitement when our close friends Kip and Renee shared with this refreshing frozen yogurt recipe with us, which boasts plenty of sweet peach flavor, a slight tartness from the yogurt and a hint of chile heat brought upon by our Mexican-Style Habanero sauce, it screams “SUMMER” to us. And it’s super simple to make! Many thanks to Kip and Renee for their inspiration and support.

Here’s what they did:


2 cups Greek-style yogurt
2 tablespoons Fat Cat Mexican-Style Habanero
1 15 oz. can of peaches in heavy syrup
2 tablespoons sugar


Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth, about 2 minutes.

Pour contents into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 2-4 hours.

Pour contents into an household ice cream maker and churn to manufacturer’s instructions, normally about 25-30 minutes.

Serve immediately if you prefer a soft-serve-like consistency, or place in the freezer for a few hours to harden before serving. (If doing the latter, remove the yogurt from the freezer about 15 minutes prior to serving to make it easier to scoop.)


Recipe: Fat Cat Rum Punch

Cocktail3This was the general favorite of our pre-Gaspirilla drink event at Datz Resutarant in Tampa, the other two being our Fat Cat Pineapple-Habanero Cocktail and our Fat Cat Habanero Rum Runner. What we liked most about this drink is that the inclusion of our Mexican-Style Habanero sauce blended perfectly with the sweet-fruity nature of the drink, without steering it in any unexpected directions. As such, this turned out to be a solid rum punch with just a hint of spice. We would enjoy this on any day and be proud to serve at any party. Plus, the ingredients can be easily scaled up to pitcher-size for parties — just make sure the proportions stay the same.

Here’s what we did:


1 oz. lime juice
2 oz. grenadine
2 oz. dark rum
1 oz. white rum
2 oz. pineapple juice
2 oz. orange juice
1/4-1/2 tbsp Fat Cat Mexican-Style Habanero sauce (depending on heat level)


Mix ingredients in a shaker and serve over ice in a Collins glass. Garnish with a slice of orange if desired.

Recipe: Fat Cat Habanero Rum Runner

Cocktail2This is the second of three recipes we came up with for our pre-Gaspirilla event at Datz Restaurant in Tampa in 2013 — the other two drinks were the Fat Cat Pineapple-Habanero Cocktail and Fat Cat Habanero Rum Punch. We’ll be honest: This one came out to be the strongest (booze-wise) and spiciest (habanero-wise) of the bunch. We didn’t mind that and enjoyed the twist on this commonly beach-inspired cocktail (at least in Florida), but a few people at the event were taken aback by those elements of it. So if you’re looking for it to be a bit sweeter or less spicy, double the grenadine, keep the sauce level at 1/4 tablespoon and thin out the drink with a bit more ice than you expect to use.

Here’s what we did:


1 oz. spiced rum
1 oz. dark rum
3/4 oz creme de banana
3/4 oz Chambord or raspberry liqueur
1/2 oz grenadine
3/4 oz. lime juice
1/4-1/2 tbsp Fat Cat Mexican-Style Habanero sauce (depending on heat level)


Mix all ingredients well in a shaker with ice and then pour into an ice-filled Collins glass. Garnish with a lime wedge if desired.

Recipe: Fat Cat Pineapple-Habanero Cocktail

Cocktail1Here is the first of our three spicy drink recipes that we created for our good friends at Datz Restaurant, in Tampa, for their pre-Gaspirilla event in 2013. The other two are the Fat Cat Rum Punch and the Fat Cat Habanero Rum Runner. All three use our Fat Cat Mexican-Style Habanero to add spice and some fresh chili flavor to the drink.

Here’s what we did:


2 oz. pineapple juice
1 oz. spiced rum
2 tsp. simple syrup
1/2 oz. lime juice
1/4-1/2 tbsp Fat Cat Mexican-Style Habanero (depending on heat level)


Stir ingredients well in cocktail shaker and then pour over ice into a Collins glass to serve. Garnish with a chunk of pineapple on the rim if desired.

Recipe: Fat Cat Habanero Cranberry Sauce

The clean, fruity chili flavor of our Mexican-Style Habanero sauce makes it — in our opinion — our most versatile product for cooking, whether it’s in desserts, drinks, main dishes, sides and more. So when we were challenged to put together a holiday-themed dish, our first thought was the include our Mexican-Style Habanero into traditional cranberry sauce. The tart-sweet combination of flavors already found in regular cranberry sauce felt like a natural match to the punch of our sauce, and when mixed together the two parts create the same sort of magic that’s found in our popular Vanilla Ice Cream with Habanero-Mixed Berry Coulis recipe.

What’s neat here is that, like in that dessert recipe, the heat quotient has to fight with the sweeter elements found in the cranberry sauce before it appears, making it more of a complex building sensation (an afterburn effect, if you will)) as opposed to an immediate punch. For a more direct kick, simply add more sauce.

And feel free to double or triple the ingredient quantities to make a bigger batch. We can’t wait to have this on sandwiches the following day.

Here’s what we did:


1 cup frozen or fresh cranberries
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
pinch of salt
1 – 2 tablespoons of Fat Cat Mexican-Style Habanero (depending on designed heat level)
1 ounce orange-flavored liqueur, such as Grand Marnier, Cointreau or Triple Sec (optional)


Put all ingredients, except the Fat Cat Mexican-Style Habanero, in a pot and bring to a boil.

Let the mixture boil for 10-15 minutes, or until the cranberries have popped open and softened to a jelly-like consistency and all the liquid has dissolved.

At that point, take the pot off the heat and stir in 1 tablespoon of Fat Cat Mexican-Style Habanero. Test for desired heat level and adjust accordingly.

Sauce will form a jelly-like consistency as it cools.

Can be made 1-2 days in advance and kept in the refrigerator if need be.


Recipe: Fat Cat Habanero Caipirinha

Our loving family in Brazil inspired this twist on their country’s national drink — the caipirinha. Like with our Fat Cat Habanero Mojito and Fat Cat Habanero Margarita, we’ve taken that cocktail’s traditional ingredients — in this case cachaca (Brazilian sugarcane rum), lime and sugar — and added a touch of our Fat Cat Mexican-Style Habanero sauce to the mix. As with the Fat Cat Habanero Mojito and Fat Cat Habanero Margarita, the inclusion of our sauce here gives the drink an inviting orange hue. But unlike those concoctions, the habanero heat and chili fruitiness imparted by Fat Cat Mexican-Style Habanero aren’t as apparent here; rather, the sauce’s heat and flavor work to accentuate the complex flavors of the cachaca itself, making one powerful, palette-cleansing libation and a great aperitif before a meal of grilled meat.

Here’s what we did:


1/2 large lime, sliced into four half-moon-shaped wedges
1 tablespoon powdered/superfine sugar
3 ounces cachaca (we prefer an aged cachaca, but use whatever’s available; unlike Brazil, the choices of cachaca in the U.S. can be a bit limited)
½ tablespoon Fat Cat Mexican-Style Habanero


Place the lime, sugar and Fat Cat Mexican-Style Habanero in a cocktail shaker and muddle the ingredients together until the sugar has dissolved.

Add the cachaca and ice and stir to combine.

Pour the contents (straining out the squeezed lime wedges if desired) into a lowball. Add more ice to top the glass if desired and enjoy.

Recipe: Fat Cat Habanero Mojito

Taking inspiration from our delicious Fat Cat Habanero Margarita recipe, we decided to explore some more familiar cocktail territory. This time, it’s our take on the Cuban staple, the mojito. As with our Fat Cat Habanero Margarita, this one gets its twist courtesy of our versatile Fat Cat Mexican-Style Habanero sauce. The sauce adds a sexy orange hue to the drink, a pop of chili heat and a touch of habanero fruitiness, making a great complement to the drink’s traditional lime, rum and mint flavor base.

Here’s what we did:


1.5 oz. white or gold rum (don’t use anejo)
0.5 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon sugar
10-12 mint leaves, depending on size)
Fresh limes, cut into thin wedges
Club soda
Mint sprig (for garnish)
½ tablespoon Fat Cat Mexican-Style Habanero


In a cocktail shaker, add the sugar, mint leaves, lime juice, and Fat Cat Mexican-Style Habanero sauce, and muddle the ingredients together with a spoon or muddler until the sugar has pretty much dissolved.

Add the rum, two wedges of lime and some ice and shake vigorously.

Empty the contents into a high ball glass, top with club soda and stir to combine.

Garnish with a sprig of mint and enjoy.