If no one had been looking, I would’ve just put down my spoon and picked up my bowl of creamy pimento cheese soup and poured it right into my mouth. I know, not a pretty image but a spoon was just slowing me down. I could not get over how much I loved how creamy, rich and cheesy this soup was. It was like a tasty velvety bowl of happiness. For just a little contrast I added a small handful of homemade copycat Ruby Tuesday croutons, my favorites.
Creamy pimento cheese soup is absolutely perfect warmed up on a cold winter day, but also just as good on a hot day served at room temperature or thereabouts. Next time I’ll definitely double the recipe because the soup disappeared so fast that all I was soon left with was a memory. I’d rather have had another bowl!
I smoked a big (and I do mean big) batch of meatballs the other day. I knew exactly what dish I was going to use them in first: baked spaghetti and meatballs. The idea just appealed to me. Easy, tasty, and pretty to boot. And like the big batch of meatballs, I knew I’d end up with a big batch of spaghetti, making for an easy week of meals. Score! I actually ended up doubling the sauce in this baked spaghetti and meatballs. I like my pasta saucy. And spicy, so I also added a healthy amount of red pepper flake. You could add other favorite ingredients as well. Mushrooms and bell peppers would be great.
If you’re using a store-bought marinara sauce, go for the more expensive bottle over the cheap stuff. It really makes a difference in this dish. The extra cost is well worth it in the end.
You had me at ‘okra’. I love okra. Grilled, fried, sauteed, roasted… or tossed into this Creole-style bean soup. The okra helps thicken up the broth and adds such a great flavor. All the flavors of a gumbo, along with some hearty beans to boot. Easy to make and fantastic on a cold day. I don’t add the shrimp to the entire pot of soup if I’m not going to eat the entire batch at once. Reheated shrimp are not my favorite thing. They get too tough. Instead, I transfer some of the soup (just enough for dinner) to a separate pot and then add the shrimp. It’s a bit more trouble but I think it’s worth it. I could leave out the shrimp entirely and still have a great soup, but it wouldn’t be the same, that’s for sure.
I was busy. Way too busy to even think about making a lunch that took more than 5 minutes of my time. Desperate times call for desperate measures, so I heated up some pre-made chicken nuggets. Don’t judge me, I had to do it. Plus, truth be told, I like them. I can’t help it. But I wasn’t just going to dip them in ketchup or mustard. No, I took an extra 30 seconds and whisked up a copycat of the Chick-fil-A dipping sauce and tossed it into the fridge so that the flavors got happy while the chicken was heating. For a nice twist on this Chick-fil-A sauce swap out a spicy BBQ sauce for the smoky hickory BBQ sauce. Or just add a few splashes of hot sauce to the recipe below.
The reason I made such a big batch of these cheddar pretzel bites isn’t because I needed a huge amount for a family get-together. Sure, I needed some, but not a ton. Nope, I made a big batch because I wanted more for myself. Sorry, but it’s true. I was being selfish, but for a good reason. I love them. Crunchy, a bit buttery, and definitely cheesy. You don’t have to use pretzels to make these cheddar bites. If you prefer, any cracker will do, specially oyster crackers or saltines. Just don’t substitute something that is strongly flavored and might not go well with the cheddar. That would make for a bowl of sadness.
I often find myself needing cooked sausage. For biscuits and gravy, usually. For breakfast cups, on occasion. And in dips, for sure. Now usually, I just fry it up in a skillet, but since my smoker was still going strong after making some ribs, I decided to smoke the sausage instead. I crumbled it into a disposable pan and smoked it just long enough to get a slight smokiness to it and for the meat to get fully done. Because I usually need my sausage in smaller pieces, I ran the final product thru my chopper for just a second. I actually smoked a few pans of breakfast sausage, some hot, some mild, and some crumbled bulk Italian sausage too. Smoked Italian sausage is fantastic on pizza, specially when paired with smoked mozzarella!
You may want to drain the sausage as it cooks, but do so OUTSIDE of the smoker. Do not drain the fat directly onto the coals and you might risk a fire, and not good fire either. You can ladle it out too.
My goodness do I ever love cooking ‘fried’ chicken on my charcoal grill using the Vortex. In about an hour I end up with juicy chicken with a crispy coating, just like the real stuff. I find myself making it often, and I’ve now found my perfect base recipe for the chicken. I can then add whatever I want at the end. This time I added a spicy BBQ sauce and a drizzle of Ranch dressing. There were no leftovers. The Vortex produces very high temperatures, so do not put the BBQ sauce on too early or it will char and even burn. Plus, you want the skin on the spicy BBQ fried chicken to crisp up good first.
I usually use split chicken breasts on the Vortex (unless I’m making chicken wings, which I do at least twice a week). Bone-in cuts stay juicier. You do not have to keep the skin on to still get a crunchy crust, though. The batter provides enough crunch without it.
I don’t know Ross, and I’ve never been to his pool room. I came across this recipe for hot bologna sauce on a grilling group on Facebook, and instantly knew it was something I needed to make. Bologna burgers (or sandwiches) are an awesome thing, and something I love to make, from my smoked bologna sandwiches to Cleveland fried bologna sandwiches. Ross’ Pool Room hot bologna sauce brings a nice spicy, tomato-based punch to bologna burgers. It’s also great on hot dogs, hamburgers, and grilled chicken.
Apparently Ross’ Pool Room was once (I cannot find it on Google) a place in West Virginia. It sounds like my kind of place. Pool, music, and great simple food, like bologna sandwiches or burgers.
I adapted this recipe for Ross’ Pool Room hot bologna sauce from what appeared to be the restaurant’s original recipe, which made a big batch. You’ll still get 2 cups out of my version, plenty for a number of sandwiches or burgers.
If you happen to be in Nashville, Indiana, I recommend that you swing by Our Sandwich Place on South Van Buren Street and grab yourself a Larry’s Triple Bologna and Cheese Triple Decker sandwich. Now, it doesn’t come with hot bologna sauce, but it’s a mighty respectable and tasty bologna sandwich for sure!