Country Coleslaw

Chef John Besh’s book, Besh Big Easy, is full of easy-to-make recipes. The kind that I like. Southern- and Lousiana-inspired. Take this wonderful country coleslaw. It has your ‘usual’ ingredients, but with a twist (to me, at least). I’ve never had sweet pickle relish in a slaw, and I found it to be absolutely fantastic. So is the addition of rice wine vinegar. Great flavors out of such a simple dish. That’s key.I wouldn’t be afraid to add fresh jalapeno rings to this country coleslaw. Anita would tell me to not do it, though. I’d have to add it to my bowl and just enjoy the heat on my own.

Country Coleslaw
Author: 
Recipe type: Side
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10-12 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 1 head cabbage, chopped or sliced thin
  • 1 onion, chopped or sliced thin
  • 2 (I used 6) green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup sweet pickle relish
  • 1/4 cup shredded carrot
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Kosher salt and ly ground black pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Place the cabbage, onion, green onions, relish and carrot into a large bowl. Mix well.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients. Add to vegetables and fold to combine.
  3. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.

Red Chile BBQ Wings

Boy was I ever happy that I bought a sampling of the seasonings, sauces, and jellies from AlbuKirky Seasonings. Everything in the online store looked and sounded so good. I anxiously awaited the day my package arrived (which was very soon after I clicked ‘Check out’). I knew exactly what I was going to do first: chicken wings made with Kirk’s red chile rub and sauced with his red chile BBQ sauce. The perfect combination of southwestern flavors and a little kick of heat, the rub and sauce made for fantastic wings.
I’ve used the red chicle rub and BBQ sauce on many things since making these wings. Ribs, burgers, chicken, you name it, all came out great. But, oh, how I do love the wings. There’s no flavor like it to be found in any wing place around here, that’s for sure. There should be.

I absolutely love chicken wings, cooked any way, with any sauce (or without). I love them so much that I created a free eCookbook that is full of my favorite wing recipes.

5 from 1 reviews
Red Chile BBQ Wings
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8 servings
 
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Place wings into a large resealable bag.
  2. Add the oil.
  3. Add the rub, to taste. Seal the bag, and toss gently to coat.
  4. Refrigerate for 1-3 hours before cooking.
  5. Cook wings as desired. Click here for our guide on cooking wings in a grill, smoker, deep fryer, oven, or a Char-Broil Big Easy.
  6. When done, place wings in a large bowl and add sauce. Toss to coat.

Chipotles in Adobo

I go thru a lot of chipotles in adobo sauce. I have an entire section of one of my pantry shelves devoted to cans of them. So it occurred to me that I should try my hand at making them at home. These chiptoles in adobo came out fantastically. Great smoky flavor and a bit of heat. They do take a bit of time to prepare, but they are oh so worth the trouble.
I dried my smoked jalapenos in my Nesco Snackmaster Pro dehydrator. If you don’t have a dehydrator you can place the jalapenos on a baking sheet and place in the oven at the lowest temperature setting. Rotate the jalapenos every few hours until dried.

You can also skip the smoking and drying of the jalapenos and buy dried chipotles at your marketplace. In our grocery store the dried peppers can be found by the produce section.

5 from 1 reviews
Chipotles in Adobo
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 54 hours
 
Ingredients
  • 12 jalapenos
  • Boiling water
  • 1 cup tomato puree
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 medium onion, sliced thin
  • 4 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon black peppercorns
Instructions
  1. Fire up a smoker for smoking at 250 F. Use a strong wood such as hickory.
  2. Add the jalapenos to the smoker and smoke until browned and shriveled, at least 4 hours.
  3. Remove and let cool slightly then transfer to a dehydrator and dry at 135 F for 24-48 hours or until completely dried.
  4. Remove the stems (and seeds, if desired) and transfer to a large bowl.
  5. Cover with hot water. Cover with a plate to weigh the peppers down into the water and let soak for 20 minutes.
  6. Remove 4 of the peppers and transfer to a blender.
  7. Add the tomato puree and honey and 1/2 cup of the soaking water.
  8. Blend until you have a paste.
  9. Take the remaining peppers and the soaking liquid and transfer to a pot. Add in the paste.
  10. Add the onion, garlic, vinegar, salt and peppercorns.
  11. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and simmer for 1-2 hours until thick. If the sauce gets too thick add a bit of water.
  12. Store in the freezer or use within a month.


Sausage-Stuffed Hatch Chiles

I bought a case of Hatch chiles the other day. Most of the chiles ended up being roasted, but I kept a few for these sausage-stuffed Hatch chiles. Now I’m wishing that I’d kept a bunch more of the un-roasted peppers on hand because they sure make some fantastic dishes. I could’ve served this as an appetizer or as a main dish. I went the main dish route, and backed up the truck. I wasn’t shy about how many I put on my plate. There were no leftovers. Sausage and bacon, with a hint of fennel on a grilled chile with just a bit of cheese. Smoked low and slow. Like a fancy jalapeno popper, sort of.
For a kicked-up version substitute spicy sausage and add a few good-sized pinches of red pepper flake to the meat mixture. Oh, and use a nice pepper jack or even habanero jack cheese for that extra creamy kick.

For a healthier version, skip the cheese and bacon and use turkey sausage. You might want to up the seasonings though.

You can also make these sausage-stuffed Hatch chiles on your grill, be it charcoal or gas. Just cook them over indirect heat, trying to keep the temperatures fairly low as to not over-cook them.

5 from 1 reviews
Sausage-Stuffed Hatch Chiles
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10 chiles
 
Ingredients
  • 10 large Hatch green chiles
  • 2 pounds Sweet Italian pork sausage (casings removed if using sausages)
  • 1 teaspoon ground fennel seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 pound bacon, cooked, chopped
  • Shredded cheese, if desired
Instructions
  1. Fire up a smoker for smoking at 250 F. Use any wood you desire.
  2. Slice the chiles horizontally. Remove the membrane and seeds.
  3. Combine the sausage, fennel, pepper and garlic in a bowl.
  4. Divide the sausage between the peppers, gently pushing down to fill them completely.
  5. Sprinkle the peppers with the bacon.
  6. Smoke for 1 1/2 hours.
  7. Sprinkle with cheese (if using) and smoke until the cheese has melted.

Bacon on the Char-Broil Big Easy

It had to be done. I was sitting there looking at my Char-Broil Big Easy pondering what I haven’t yet cooked on it and then it hit me. Bacon. I knew I’d have to go vertical with the bacon, so I grabbed a Big Easy kabob rack, some bacon, and proceeded to make bacon ‘curtains’, hanging the bacon down into the cooker. The bacon cooked up quickly and came out super crispy. And oh, did it ever smell soooo good!
Since the bacon is hung over the kabob rack I didn’t end up with perfectly flat bacon, but I did get pieces that were perfect for BLT sandwiches. The point at which the bacon is bent cooks up the fastest, as did the bacon closest to the edges of the cooker. It’s easy to over-cook the bacon, so I recommend pulling it out of the Big Easy sooner than you think you should and letting it cool and crisp up. Also, it’s easier to remove the bacon from the rack if it is still slightly soft. Once it cools and gets crispy it will tend to break.

Although I haven’t yet tried it, I’m pretty sure you could use a Bunk Bed basket to hang the bacon if you don’t have the Big Easy kabob rack.

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

5 from 1 reviews
Bacon on the Char-Broil Big Easy
Author: 
Recipe type: Side
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • Bacon
Instructions
  1. Fire up your Big Easy.
  2. Drap the bacon over the Big Easy basket. or kabob holder. Do not overlap.
  3. Lower the basket into the Big Easy and cook 15-20 minutes. Do not let the bacon get too brown, it will crisp while cooling.
  4. Remove and let cool before removing.

Nashville Hot Chicken using the Vortex

I recently made ‘fried’ chicken on my Weber Performer grill using the Vortex insert. The chicken came out fantastic, which inspired me to then try making Nashville hot chicken in much the same way. Wow, oh wow, was it absolutely great chicken. Lightly crunchy, and a little spicy, it was a dish to remember. This method is definitely a great substitute for the traditional way of making Nashville hot chicken in a deep fryer.

I used split bone-in chicken breasts when I made this Nashville hot chicken. It’s our preferred cut of chicken, but you can use any cut you like. Just keep in mind that if you mix pieces that are greatly different in size some may be done before others. Smaller pieces can be checked for doneness after the 45 minutes cooking time.

Also check out my recipe for making ‘fried’ chicken using the Vortex.

5 from 1 reviews
Nashville Hot Chicken using the Vortex
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-8 servings
 
Ingredients
For the dry brine
  • 3 pounds chicken cut into pieces (I used 4 large split bone-in breasts)
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
For the dip
  • 1 cup milk (I used buttermilk) Note: If you have pickle juice on hand, use 1/2 cup milk and 1/2 cup pickle juice instead
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon Louisiana-style hot sauce
For the dredge
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
For the spicy coating
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1-3 tablespoons cayenne pepper (I used 2 and found the flavor to be perfect, and not too terribly hot)
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
For serving
  • Dill pickle slices
  • White bread slices
Instructions
For the dry brine
  1. Season chicken and place into a baggie or resealable container.
  2. Seal and refrigerate overnight or up to 24 hours.
For the dip
  1. Whisk together the milk, eggs and hot sauce in a pie pan or shallow bowl.
For the dredge
  1. Whisk together the flour and salt in a pie pan or shallow bowl.
For cooking
  1. Fire up your grill with the Vortex insert full of charcoal.
  2. Let the coals get good and ashed over.
  3. Working in batches, dredge the chicken in the flour. Shake off excess.
  4. Dip chicken into the milk mixture. Shake off excess.
  5. Return the chicken to the flour and dredge again. Shake off excess.
  6. Transfer chicken to the grill, placing it along the edges of the grill.
  7. Cover and cook for 15 minutes.
  8. Rotate the lid 90 degrees and cook another 15 minutes.
  9. Brush the chicken with the spicy coating. Rotate the lid 90 degrees and cook another 15 minutes
  10. Brush the chicken with the spicy coating. Rotate the lid 90 degrees and cook another 15 minutes
  11. Check for doneness. Remove when done and let rest 10-15 minutes before serving.
For the spicy coating
  1. Heat the oil in a small saute pan.
  2. Whisk in the remaining ingredients.
  3. Keep warm until ready to use.
For serving
  1. Serve garnished with dill pickle and white bread slices, if desired.

Fire Pit Burgers

Burgers definitely don’t have to be complicated to taste great. But, they do need to be messy, in my opinion. When I take a bite I want a bit of juice running down my arm. And some tasty sauce dripping onto the plate. These fire pit burgers are definitely not complicated, and they are a bit messy thanks to plenty of chipotle mayonnaise, which brings just enough smoky heat to make for bite-after-bite of deliciousness.

For a little extra kick, mix some finely minced jalapenos in with the ground beef before forming the patties. You can also substitute habanero Jack cheese for the pepper Jack. That’ll definitely up the spice level on your Fire Pit burgers!

5 from 1 reviews
Fire Pit Burgers
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 1 pound ground beef (I prefer 85/15 mix)
  • 3 hamburger buns
  • Chiptole mayonnaise (make your own by combining mayonnaise and chopped chiptoles in adobo sauce or pick up a bottle of Kraft Chiptole mayonnaise)
  • Green leaf lettuce
  • 3 slices pepper Jack cheese
  • 6 slices hickory smoked bacon, cooked until just starting to get crispy
  • 1 ripe tomato sliced
  • 6 thin slices red onion (I like to soak my onions in cold water for 10 minutes before draining and adding to the burgers to mellow them out a little bit.)
Instructions
  1. Form beef into 3 equally-sized patties. Cook as desired. I prefer to grill mine or cook them on a griddle.
  2. Toast the buns as desired.
  3. Slather the buns with the chipotle mayonnaise. Don't be shy with it.
  4. Add the lettuce to the buns. I like to put my lettuce under the patties. It helps keep the bottom bun from getting soggy.
  5. Top patties with cheese and add to buns.
  6. Add the bacon, tomato and onion and serve.

Apricot BBQ Sauce

Oh my goodness. I wasn’t even looking for another BBQ sauce to add to my list of homemade, fantastically-good sauces. I actually made this apricot BBQ sauce only because I found a jar of apricot preserves in the back of the pantry that needed to be used up. I now take it as a sign because this is one of the top BBQ sauces I’ve ever made or tasted. The perfect combination of sweet and heat and just the right consistency to stick to a rack of St. Louis-style smoked ribs without being too gloppy or too thin.
The apricot preserves add a light fruity flavor but it’s there in the back with lots of other great flavors and isn’t so in-your-face. Now, if you want to have a more apricot-like sauce, feel free to add more. You might want to if you’re using the sauce for pork, because apricot (or peach for that matter) goes great with pork. But if you’re using this sauce on say chicken, you might want to use a little less.

5 from 1 reviews
Apricot BBQ Sauce
Recipe type: Sauce
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 cup
 
Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • Pinch of Kosher salt
  • Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 dash Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons unsalted butter
  • 1 pinch garlic powder
  • Hot sauce, to taste
  • 1 cup (more or less, to taste) apricot preserves
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients into a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Stir and heat until the butter is melted.