Fire-Eater Potatoes on the Char-Broil Big Easy

Baby potatoes have such a wonderful creamy sweetness to them. I love them roasted so the skin gets just a bit crispy. They pop when you bite into them. The Char-Broil Big Easy is the perfect cooker for making a lot of things, and these Fire-Eater potatoes are one of them. Roasted potatoes hit with a nice seasoning mix that brings a little heat to offset the sweetness.
Fire-Eater Potatoes on the Char-Broil Big EasyYou can substitute any rub or seasoning mix you desire, but you might want to shy away from any that contain a lot of sugar which might burn in high heat. These Fire-Eater potatoes do cook quickly since they are smaller, but keep an eye on them if you do use a sweeter spice mix.

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

Fire-Eater Potatoes on the Char-Broil Big Easy
Author: 
Recipe type: Side
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
You'll need a Big Easy Cooking Rack fitted with 9" pie pans as shown in the picture above, or you can use a Big Easy Bunk Bed basket lined with foil.
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Fire up your Big Easy.
  2. Place the potatoes in a large bowl.
  3. Drizzle with just enough oil to lightly coat the potatoes.
  4. Add the Fire-Eater seasoning and toss to coat.
  5. Add potatoes to your Big Easy and lower into the cooker and cook until tender, 15-20 minutes depending on the size. I use a long bamboo skewer to poke the potatoes to test for doneness.

Hot Dogs of the Big 10 Conference

A few years ago the Big 10 basketball tournament was held here in Indianapolis. As part of the event, the Levy restaurant group in Chicago produced unique hot dogs that highlight each of the Big 10 teams. I came across a copy of the list of the dogs recently, and just had to make each of them.

University Toppings
Iowa Hawkeyes Corn salsa, white and blue corn tortilla chips, pepperjack cheese
Indiana Hoosiers Coleslaw, red pepper relish, fried onions
Purdue Boilermakers Smoky black bean salsa, shredded cheddar, golden mustard
Illinois Fighting Illini Shredded cheddar, Dijon, fried blue tortilla strips
Michigan State Spartans Jalapeno relish, shredded pepper jack, spicy mustard
Minnesota Gophers Chili, cheese sauce, white onion, Fritos
Penn State Roaring Lions Sauerkraut, jalapeno relish, coarse-grained mustard, blue tortilla strips
Wisconsin Badgers Pepper jack, provolone, Cheetos, cheddar cheese sauce, pepper relish
Northwestern Wildcats Provolone, purple onion marmalade, Creole mustard
Michigan Wolverines Blue cheese coleslaw, bacon, Golden mustard

New Char-Broil Big Easy Cookbook

Woo hoo! It’s here! I just wrapped up the total re-design of the Life’s A Tomato free eCookbook of recipes for the Char-Broil Big Easy. With over 200 pages, it’s our biggest cookbook ever.

To download the new eCookbook, just click Our Free eCookbooks in the menu on the right.

Indiana Hoosier Hot Dog

A few years ago the Big 10 basketball tournament was held here in Indianapolis. As part of the event, the Levy restaurant group in Chicago produced unique hot dogs that highlight each of the Big 10 teams. I came across a copy of the list of the dogs recently, and just had to make each of them. The Indiana Hooiser dog was one of our favorites of all the dogs. We were both pleasantly surprised at how well slaw and relish go together. And the crunchy fried onions sealed the deal. These are fantastic dogs, ones we’ll make again and again.

Indiana Hoosier Hot DogI can’t say I’ve had much red pepper relish in my life. Well, ok, probably never. I think it’s fantastic stuff. It’ll become a staple around here for hot dogs and wraps.

For a full list of all of the Big 10 team hot dogs, click here and enjoy!

Love hot dogs as much as I do? Check out my free eCookbook that is packed with tons of hot dog recipes.

Indiana Hoosier Hot Dog
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • All-beef hot dogs
  • Hot dog buns
  • Coleslaw
  • Red pepper relish
  • Fried onions
Instructions
  1. Cook or grill the dogs as desired.
  2. Toast the buns, if desired (I always do).
  3. Add dogs to buns.
  4. Add slaw, relish and fried onions and serve.

Slow-Cooked Lima Beans

I have been devouring Chef Vivian Howard’s book, Deep Run Roots. Every recipe in the book sounds so great that I just cannot slow down. These slow-cooked lima beans are an excellent example not only of the great flavors Chef Howard conjures, but also the simplicity of the recipes. Lightly smoky tender beans. That’s it. Nothing fancy, but mighty good, specially on a cold day.
Depending on how you like your beans, you may want to cook them a little longer or a little less. I like mine pretty tender, bordering falling apart. Some folk like a little more ‘bite’ to theirs so they don’t cook them quite as much.

Oh, did I mention that these beans are perfect over a big hunk of cornbread?

Slow-Cooked Lima Beans
Author: 
Recipe type: Side
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8-10 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 1 pound dried lima beans
  • 1 onion, peeled, halved
  • 1 (10 ounce) smoked ham hock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 300 F.
  2. Place all ingredients into a large Dutch oven and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
  3. Transfer to the oven and cook 2 1/2 - 3 hours or until the beans are tender. Check the water level every 30 minutes and add water if needed.

Slow Cooker Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

It was a cold day. The kind of day that screams stick-to-your-ribs comfort food. These slow cooker stuffed cabbage rolls hit the spot and then some. They’re pretty easy to make, couldn’t get any easier to cook, and are the perfect cold-day food. Ground pork and beef get mixed with rice and a few spices to make a tender, flavorful stuffing. The rolls are bathed in a wonderful tomato sauce that reminds you of tomato soup (for a reason, since it contains tomato soup). You can’t eat just one, that’s for sure!
The next time I make slow cooker stuffed cabbage rolls I might add a bit of heat to spice things up a bit. I’m not sure. They’re mighty good as they are. I am sure I’d double the amount of sauce, though. The sauce is mighty darned good.

Slow Cooker Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12 cabbage rolls
 
Ingredients
For the cabbage rolls
  • 1 large head of green cabbage
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup white onion, minced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1 cup uncooked long grain rice
  • Red pepper flake or hot sauce, to taste (optional)
For the sauce
  • 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed tomato soup
  • Red pepper flake or hot sauce, to taste (optional)
Instructions
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  2. Remove the core from the cabbage but keep the leaves intact.
  3. Carefully lower the cabbage into the water. Boil for 2 minutes then remove and let cool slightly before gently removing any softened leaves that will come off without tearing, Return the head to the water and continue boiling/removing leaves until you have 12 nice large leaves.
  4. Chop any remaining cabbage and use it to line the bottom of your slow cooker.
  5. Place the remaining cabbage roll ingredients into a large bowl and combine well.
  6. Working in batches, lay out a cabbage leaf and spoon 1/3 cup of the meat mixture into the middle. Roll the leaf up like a burrito, folding the sides in to seal it as you go. Place into your slow cooker, seam-side down.
  7. Place cooker on low. Add the sauce (see below), cover, and cook for 8 hours.
  8. Let cool 15 minutes before serving with sauce spoon over the tops.
For the sauce
  1. Whisk together all ingredients.

Slow Cooker BBQ Pot Roast

It was the first frosty day of fall, and I needed something to warm me up. Something hearty. Something beefy. Something easy. So I made BBQ pot roast in the slow cooker and it fit the bill perfectly. It wasn’t long before I forgot how cold it was and how cold it would get in the coming days and weeks. Brrrrr! I should’ve made a double batch!
slow-cooker-bbq-pot-roastI like my pot roast shredded, but if you like yours chopped or sliced you can do that instead. Either way this BBQ pot roast comes out very tender and very tasty. You can substitute beef broth for the Coke too if you don’t have soda on hand.

I think pot roast is best served with grits, but mashed potatoes are just (well, almost) as great. I like the textural contrast of the grits with the tender, juicy beef.

Slow Cooker BBQ Pot Roast
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3-4 pound boneless chuck roast, fat trimmed from edges
  • 1 (12 ounce) can Coke (you can use diet)
  • 1 (12 ounce) bottle chili sauce (you can use spicy!)
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce
Optional gravy
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
Instructions
  1. Season the roast with garlic salt and black pepper.
  2. Transfer to a slow cooker.
  3. In a small bowl whisk together the Coke, chili sauce, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce. Pour over the roast.
  4. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or until the roast starts to fall apart. Remove the roast.
  5. Optional gravy:Combine the cornstarch with the milk and whisk into the juices left in the slow cooker.
  6. Slice, shred or chop the roast as desired and return it to the cooker.
  7. Increase slow cooker to high and cook another 15 minutes.
  8. Serve roast topped with the gravy (if you made it) or just spoon the remaining juices over the meat.

Homemade Gummy Bears

Oh my, how much fun were these homemade gummy bears to make and eat! They have the exact same texture as store-bought gummy bears and are absolutely packed with flavor. Some gummy bears were ‘normal’, and for some I added a bit of citric acid to make them nice and sour!
homemade-gummy-bearsI purchased a few gummy bear molds from Amazon (you can see the link below the recipe). The molds came with droppers that made filling the molds much easier. You’ll still make a little mess, get a bit of the gelatin on top of the molds and not in them, but that’s ok. They clean up easily.

The only think you have to watch for when filling the molds is air bubbles. You don’t want bubbles to form or your candies won’t look as fancy. They’ll still taste great, of course, but you want them to be pretty too! When filling the dropper make sure you get only liquid and not air or any of the bubbles that tends to form on top. If you do get bubbles I’ve found that you can usually pop them using the tip of the dropper.

The citric acid adds just a bit of sour flavor, but the candies will not be overly sour. I started by adding 1/8 teaspoon of citric acid and found it barely detectable. A 1/4 teaspoon amount is about right for me, but if you want your gummy bears super sour you might want to try 1/2 teaspoon. Citric acid can be found in your grocery store’s canning section.

Here’s how one of my molds looked after being filled. The recipe below will make 120 (more or less) gummy bears so be sure you have room in your freezer for 3 of the molds before starting.

homemade-gummy-bears-mold

Homemade Gummy Bears
Author: 
Recipe type: Snack
Cuisine: American
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 120 gummy bears
 
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 (7 gram) packages (or 2 tablespoons) unflavored gelatin
  • 1 (85 gram) package flavored gelatin, regular or sugar-free
  • 1/4 teaspoon citric acid (optional, for making sour gummy bears)
Instructions
  1. Place the water in a small saucepan.
  2. Add the gelatin packages and citric acid if using. Set heat to medium low and stir.
  3. Continue heating for 15 minutes, stirring slowly to ensure that the gelatin dissolves.
  4. Use a large eyedropper to transfer the liquid to the silicon molds.
  5. Place in freezer for 10-15 minutes or until the gelatin has set.
  6. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.