Buffalo Chicken Alfredo

Mmmmmmm. Buffalo chicken. That’s all I need to hear. I love that great spicy, vinegary flavor, with a little something for a cool-down. For my Buffalo wings that means some sort of dipping sauce. This Buffalo chicken Alfredo has that same great Buffalo flavor, with a built-in cool-down sauce. Creamy. Spicy. Cool. This really was a fantastic dish.
I used some leftover Buffalo chicken that I made in the slow cooker, but you can also use my outstanding Buffalo chicken made on a Char-Broil Big Easy, the best cooker for all-things poultry.

If you aren’t a big fan of Buffalo chicken, the Alfredo sauce over pasta is definitely great by itself. Or add some chopped rotisserie chicken.

Buffalo Chicken Alfredo
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
 
Ingredients
For the Buffalo chicken Alfredo
  • 2 cups Buffalo chicken (I used our slow cooker version)
  • 1 (12 ounce package) angel hair pasta, cooked, drained
  • Cilantro, chopped, for garnish
For the Alfredo sauce
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese
Instructions
For the Buffalo chicken Alfredo
  1. Warm the chicken.
  2. Cook the pasta per package instructions. Drain well.
  3. Add pasta to the Alfredo sauce and stir to coat.
  4. Divide the pasta between 4 plates.
  5. Top pasta with the warmed Buffalo chicken.
  6. Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro and serve.
For the Alfredo sauce
  1. Add butter and olive oil to a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the butter is melted.
  2. Add the the garlic,cream, and white pepper.
  3. Bring mixture to a simmer, stirring often.
  4. Add the Parmesan cheese.
  5. Simmer for 10 minutes stirring often, until the sauce is thickened.
  6. Add the mozzarella and stir until melted.

Toasted Italian Sandwich

I love my Cuisinart Griddler. It’s the perfect kitchen appliance. I use it to make paninis, hashbrowns, waffles, burgers, eggs… just about anything. My favorite use for it has to be making sandwiches, like this toasted Italian sandwich. The bread gets nice and toasted on the outside, giving me that perfect crunchy bite. The mozzarella cheese gets nice and melted. Top that off with great Italian cold cuts, homemade sun-dried tomatoes and pesto, and I’ve got the perfect lunch.
My favorite bread for sandwiches is hands-down, ciabatta. It has those great airy pockets in it (it reminds me a bit of English muffins, my other favorite bread). It gets fantastically crunchy while still being soft in the middle, like the perfect pizza crust.

Toasted Italian Sandwich
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 sandwich
 
Ingredients
  • 1 ciabatta roll, sliced horizontally
  • 1 tablespoon pesto sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 slices Mozzarella cheese
  • 3 slices Prosciutto
  • 1 slice salami
  • 1 slice sandwich pepperoni
  • 1 slice Capicolo
  • 1 slice Sopressata
Instructions
  1. Heat a large skillet, cast iron skillet or Griddler.
  2. Place the ciabatta into the skillet cut-side down and toast for a few minutes until the bread starts to get crunchy and brown.
  3. Spread the top of the roll with pest and sun-dried tomatoes.
  4. Add the cheese and meats to the bottom slice. Return to the skillet to melt the cheese.
  5. Add the top bun, slice and serve.

Basic BBQ Rub

When I make a batch of this basic BBQ rub I don’t just make a little ole container full. No, I make a bunch of it. A whole lot. That’s because I use it on just about every piece of meat that I throw onto my trusty old smoker. It shines best on beef and pork, adding a bit of sweetness and a bit of heat. And though it contains coffee and lemon pepper the flavors from those two ingredients don’t jump out and scream at your taste buds. They’re there though, working perfectly with the rest of the flavors. This is truly a great all-around rub.
The idea for this basic BBQ rub came from Ray Lampe’s book, Slow Fire: The Beginner’s Guide to Lip Smacking Barbecue. The book is full of great recipes and stories and ideas, just like this one. This rub can be used as-is or as a great jumping-off point for making your own rub. Play with the ratios to suit your tastes. For example, don’t use regular paprika just use only smoked paprika for a much stronger smoke flavor, perfect for seasoning foods cooked in doors where you won’t get a strong wood flavor. Or add more heat. Or leave out the heat. It’s a very versatile rub.

Basic BBQ Rub
Author: 
Recipe type: Spice Rub
Cuisine: American
Serves: 1 1/2 cups
 
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup Sugar in the Raw
  • 1/2 cup Kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder (use hot for extra kick)
  • 3 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon (or lime) pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely ground coffee (not instant)
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients.
  2. Store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

Dilly Dilly Grilled Mushrooms

Here lately I’ve been bound and determined to up my grilled side dish game. It’s been lacking, I admit. Nothing could possibly be easier than these dilly dilly grilled mushrooms. And very few things could be as addictingly tasty. I love mushrooms to begin with, and I’ve always been a fan of dill. Now, I get all that plus buttery goodness and a bit of salty garlic flavors. I like the butter mixture so much that I usually double it, making sure that I get plenty of it down into the gills of the mushrooms as they cook over an open fire.
You could actually substitute your favorite herb or spice for the dill for something different. Red pepper flakes are an awesome change. Same goes for oregano, basil or, believe it or not, smoked paprika. You’ll never eat boring mushrooms again.

Dilly Dilly Grilled Mushrooms
Recipe type: Side
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
 
Note: I like to double the amount of dill weed and garlic salt.
Ingredients
  • 1/2 pound medium fresh mushrooms, stems removed if desired
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon dill weed (dried is fine, but you'll want to use more)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
Instructions
  1. Fire up your grill for medium-high cooking.
  2. Place mushrooms into a grill basket or thread onto skewers. (If using bamboo skewers, soak them for 30 minutes in water before using).
  3. Combine the butter, dill and garlic salt. Brush 1/3rd of the mixture over the mushrooms.
  4. Transfer to the grill and grill for 10-15 minutes or until just tender, rotating occasionally and brushing with the remaining dill mixture a few more times.

Fowl Play Chicken on the Char-Broil Big Easy

Fowl Play marinade by The Shed BBQ adds tremendous flavor to any cut of chicken. As soon as I opened it I knew that I was in for nothing but goodness. I detected soy sauce. Apple juice. Citrus. It’s tangy with a slight hint of vinegar. Chicken marinated in Fowl Play comes out incredibly flavorful all the way through.
I used split bone-in chicken breasts, marinating them for 4 hours before placing them into the Big Easy. The skin doesn’t get crispy because of all that time in the marinade, but the meat… oh my goodness. So tender and juicy and good! Incredible. If you’re looking for a quick, painless way to make masterful chicken on the Big Easy this is it.

I was a bit worried that maybe some of the spices in Fowl Play might burn from the high heat in the Big Easy but they did not. You have to watch for that if you’re using anything with large chunks of things like minced garlic.

Love your Big Easy as much I love mine? Check out my Big Easy Add-Ons page and my free Big Easy eCookbook!

Fowl Play Chicken on the Char-Broil Big Easy
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
 
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Place the chicken into a resealable bag or container.
  2. Add marinade to taste. Toss to coat.
  3. Seal and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, turning occasionally.
  4. Fire up your Big Easy.
  5. Transfer the chicken to the Big Easy basket.
  6. Cook for approximately 20 minutes per pound or until it reaches 165 F as checked in several places.
  7. Remove and let rest 10 minutes before serving.

Spiralized Curly Fries

It’s over. Done. My quest for an absolutely perfect curly fry recipe is over. I have reached the end, and the end is good. Perfectly curly. Perfectly seasoned. And perfectly crunchy. I could’ve just skipped whatever else it was I was having for dinner. I don’t even remember what else I had. I just remember these curly fries.

i used the smallest blade on my spiral slicer to make these curly fries. You could use the bigger one, but of course cook times will go up. I think the small blade is the perfect size.

The batter gives the fries their fantastic flavor. I plan on using the same batter on a whole lot of other fried foods. It’s a thin batter, not thick. Perfect for something like fish fillets or even non-curly fries.

Spiralized Curly Fries
Author: 
Recipe type: Side
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
 
Ingredients
For the potatoes
  • 2 large russet potatoes, peeled if desired
  • Water
  • Vegetable or canola oil, for deep frying
  • Kosher salt
For the batter
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt (substitute Mrs. Dash if you like)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
For the potatoes
  1. Fill a resealable container with cold water.
  2. Spiralize the potatoes (I used the smallest blade) and place into the water.
  3. Transfer to the refrigerator for 1 hour.
For the batter
  1. Place all of the batter ingredients into a large bowl or container and whisk until smooth.
  2. Heat 3" of oil in a deep fryer or Dutch oven to 365 F.
  3. Drain the potatoes and pat dry.
  4. Place potatoes in the batter and coat well.
  5. Working in batches, fry the potatoes until golden brown, turning once.
  6. Transfer cooked potatoes to a wire rack or pan lined with paper towels and sprinkle liberally with salt.
  7. Serve immediately.


Cheeseburger Gnocchi

Cheeseburger gnocchi reminded me of a childhood canned favorite, RavioliOs, but taken to a whole new level. And making this dish wasn’t a whole lot harder than just opening a can either. A big bowl of cheeseburger gnocchi on a cold day and you’ll definitely forget the weather. Creamy, cheesy, tomato-y beefy stick-to-your-ribs goodness.

I can’t say I’d change much about this recipe for cheeseburger gnocchi. I really liked it and it really hit the spot after shoveling snow from the driveway. I might substitute spicy bulk Italian sausage for the beef for a little kick and Italian-inspired flavor.

Cheeseburger Gnocchi
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 medium white onion, chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 (15-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 (16-ounce) package frozen gnocchi
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 green onions, sliced thin
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion. Season with salt and pepper and saute until just soft.
  3. Add garlic and saute another minute.
  4. Crumble in the ground beef and cook until no longer pink, about 5 minutes.
  5. Drain any excess fat.
  6. Stir in the mustard, diced and crushed tomatoes and the beef broth.
  7. Season with more salt and pepper as desired.
  8. Bring to a simmer.
  9. Stir in the gnocchi and cover.
  10. Continue simmering about 5 minutes or until the gnocchi is tender.
  11. Add the heavy cream and cheese and stir until the cheese is melted.
  12. Serve garnished with the green onions.

Bread Machine Garlic Herb Pepperoni Bread

Bread, glorious bread! You may not be excited but any time I get homemade bread to turn out as great as this I am one happy guy! It probably (ok, not probably) helped a lot that the dough for this garlic herb pepperoni bread was made in a bread machine making it about as foolproof as you can get. I need foolproof when it comes to bread. And oh, the aroma as the dough came together and then later baked! The entire house smelled soooooo good!
The right combination of Italian flavors, garlic herb pepperoni bread also has the perfect texture, color, crust, flavor… you name it. I thought about adding more chopped pepperoni, but I think I was right in not doing that. You want every bite to be filled with all of the flavors and not over-powered by just one.

I’d make this again in a heartbeat!

Bread Machine Garlic Herb Pepperoni Bread
Recipe type: Bread
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 loaf
 
You'll need a bread pan for baking the bread. You can use the bread machine to bake the bread if you like but you'll get a better crust and loaf if you transfer the dough to a pan and bake it instead.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1/4 cup light olive oil, plus more for oiling your bread pan
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon minced dried onion
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup pepperoni slices, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons bread machine yeast
  • All-purpose flour
Instructions
  1. Place ingredients into your bread machine in the order listed.
  2. Select the dough cycle and let the machine do its job.
  3. Lightly flour a work surface and add the dough. Punch down to flatten.
  4. Use a rolling pin to shape the dough into a rectangle the width of your bread pan. Lightly oil the bread pan.
  5. Roll the dough up into a tight log. Seal the seam and ends tightly and transfer to your bread pan.
  6. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and place in a warm place to rise, doubling in size, about one hour.
  7. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  8. Bake bread for 30 minutes or until the bread has a nice crust on it.
  9. Remove to a wire rack to cook slightly before slicing and serving.