Pulled Pork Mac-and-Cheese

Whenever I fire up my smoker to make pulled pork I make sure to make plenty extra. Sure, I love a big ole heapin’ mound of pulled pork on a bun with some slaw and pickles, but pulled pork is also great in mac-and-cheese. It adds such a wonderful smokiness to the dish. I didn’t go overboard on the pork. You want enough so that you get a bit in each bite, but you don’t want to have so much that you think you’re eating a pulled pork casserole.
Pulled Pork Mac-and-CheeseI think you could probably get away with making this same recipe using smoked brisket or chicken. Just make sure the meats are chopped small. And if you prefer more heat, don’t be afraid to add in some chopped seeded jalapenos or more hot sauce.

Pulled Pork Mac-and-Cheese
Recipe type: Side
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10-12 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 1 pound dry elbow macaroni pasta
  • 1/4 pound unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups cream
  • Hot sauce, to taste (I used a tablespoon or so)
  • 4 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup smoked pulled pork, chopped
  • 1 cup Cheez-It crackers, crushed
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 400F.
  2. Spray a 9" x 13" baking dish with non-stick spray.
  3. Cook the pasta until al dente, normally 6 minutes for dried pasta. Rinse with cold water and rain.
  4. Melt the butter in large sauce pan over medium heat.
  5. Combine the flour and salt and slowly whisk into the melted butter. Keep whisking until the butter begins to bubble.
  6. While whisking, add the milk and cream. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to low. Keep whisking for 10 minutes. The mixture should be nice and creamy thick.
  7. Stir in the hot sauce.
  8. Add the cheese and stir until melted.
  9. Remove from heat and stir in the macaroni and pulled pork.
  10. Transfer the mixture to the baking dish and spread out evenly.
  11. Sprinkle with the crushed crackers and bake for 25 minutes or until hot and bubbly and the topping has turned golden.

 

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Red Pepper Flake on the Nesco Snackmaster Pro

Ever since I bought my Nesco Snasckmaster Pro I have been looking forward to drying chile peppers to make my own red pepper flake. I use a ton of red pepper flake in the many dishes I cook, and I thought it’d be awesome to grown my own peppers and dry them. So, that’s what I did. My pepper harvest wasn’t very bountiful, but fortunately it doesn’t take a lot of peppers to make a good-sized batch of red pepper flake. Packed with heat and great flavor, I couldn’t have been happier with the end result.
Red Pepper Flake on the Nesco Snackmaster ProI hand-crushed the dried peppers with a mortar and pestle. You could use a blade coffee grinder or even blender, but I think you’ll end up with chile powder (my next project) instead of coarse flake. You get much better control over the end product using the mortar and pestle.

Red Pepper Flake on the Nesco Snackmaster Pro
Author: 
Recipe type: Spice Mix
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • Chile peppers
Instructions
  1. Cut the stems off of the peppers. Do not remove the seeds.
  2. Place peppers on the dehydrator trays. Set the dehydrator temperature to 165 F.
  3. Dry for 8 hours or until the peppers are crispy and brittle.
  4. Working in batches, place the peppers into a mortar and grind with the pestle until the desired consistency is achieved.
  5. Store in an airtight container.

Spiced Corn on the Cob

I usually grill fresh corn-on-the-cob, but I thought I’d try something a bit different and boil it instead. I wasn’t going to let all that great corn flavor disappear into the water and leave me with bland corn. Nope, a little spicy heat was in order. By simply adding a nice hot pepper (or two, really) to the water while you cook the corn, you infuse the cobs with a great spiciness. And the butter doesn’t hurt the flavor either, that’s for sure!
spiced-corn-on-the-cobDon’t add too much water to the pot when simmering the corn. The more water, the more diluted the flavors will be, so add just enough to cover the cobs. If Scotch bonnet peppers scare you, just substitute jalapenos. No need to stem them, seed them or chop them. Just toss them into the pot.

Spiced Corn on the Cob
Author: 
Recipe type: Side
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 8 ears fresh corn, shucked
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Scotch bonnet pepper (any hot pepper will do), or 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 cloves garlic
Instructions
  1. Cut corn ears in half and place into a large pot.
  2. Add just enough water to cover the corn.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients.
  4. Bring to a boil over high heat.
  5. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer and simmer for 30 minutes, rotating corn on occasion.
  6. Remove from pot, let cool slightly, and serve.

 

 

Northwestern Wildcat 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 Northwestern Wildcat hot dog is topped with an incredibly yummy purple onion marmalade that is definitely the star of the show.
Northwestern Wildcat Hot Dog The marmalade will become a staple in our house, but not just on Northwestern Wildcat hot dogs. I’m sure it’ll be amazing on pork burgers too!

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

Northwestern Wildcat Hot Dog
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • All beef hot dogs
  • Hot dog buns
  • Provolone cheese
  • Purple onion marmalade (see recipe below)
  • Creole mustard
For the purple onion marmalade
  • 1 large red onion, sliced into thin rings
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • Pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Cook or grill the dogs as desired.
  2. Toast the buns, if desired (I always do).
  3. Add cheese to the buns.
  4. Add dogs to buns.
  5. Add marmalade and mustard and serve.
For the purple onion marmalade
  1. Spray a large non-stick skillet with non-stick spray. Heat over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the onion, separating the rings. Cover and cook 3 minutes.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients.
  4. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook 8-10 minutes longer, uncovered, until just slightly thick, stirring occasionally.
  5. Let cool slightly before serving.

Cornbread on the Char-Broil Big Easy

I love the cooking rack I picked up for my Char-Broil Big Easy. It gives me up to 6 racks of cooking at once. And as a bonus, I discovered that I can fit 9″ pie pans onto the rack. Now I can make a whole bunch of things I couldn’t (easily) cook before. Like cornbread. And in my case, not just any cornbread. No. Over-the-top yummy Fat Johnny’s cheesy cornbread.
Cornbread on the Char-Broil Big EasyYou can use any cornbread recipe you want on the Char-Broil Big Easy. Fill the pans about halfway (as you can see on the left in the picture above). If you’re cooking just a pan or two keep your pans at the bottom of the rack. If you put pans to the top of the rack you might have to rotate them from top-to-bottom to get them to all cook in the same time, or, just remove the done ones as they finish and return the rack to the cooker. Use a toothpick to determine doneness. If it slides into cornbread and comes out clean, the cornbread is done.

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

Cornbread on the Char-Broil Big Easy
Author: 
Recipe type: Side
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
You'll need the Char-Broil Big Easy Cooking Rack plus 9" pie pans (2 per cornbread batter batch). Make sure that your pans will fit into the rack before beginning.
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Fire up your Big Easy.
  2. Make your cornbread batter just as you normally would
  3. I found that a normal cornbread batter recipe fits two 9" pans perfectly. Divide the batter between the pans and place the pans into the cooking rack.
  4. Lower rack into the Big Easy.
  5. Start checking for doneness (particularly on the lower pans) after the usual cornbread cooking time, 15-20 minutes. Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of each pan. If the toothpick is clean when you remove it the cornbread is done. Note: You might have to remove some pans before others.

Raspberry Chipotle Wings

Oh, goodness me! Raspberry chipotle wings are my newest food addiction. The sauce is just crazy good. Great berry flavor and a nice helping of heat. And a little bit of sweet to temper that kick just a bit. I used fresh local raspberries, but frozen would work just fine too.
Raspberry Chipotle WingsThe raspberry chipotle sauce would also be great on a grilled pork tenderloin, or just grilled chicken. I wouldn’t be afraid to add a bit more of the chipotle if you’re into heat like I am. Just make sure that when you strain the sauce you don’t let any seeds through.

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.

Raspberry Chipotle Wings
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6 servings
 
Ingredients
For the wings
  • 3-4 pounds chicken wings, flats and drumettes separated, tips discarded or saved for making chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2-3 tablespoons Buffalo seasoning (or Fire Eater rub)
For the sauce
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 cups fresh raspberries
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon (or more, I ended up using 2 tablespoons) chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped, with some of the sauce added
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
For the wings
  1. Place wings into a large resealable bag.
  2. Add the oil.
  3. Add the Buffalo seasoning. Seal the bag, and toss gently to coat.
  4. Refrigerate for up to 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.
For the sauce
  1. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion and sautee until starting to soften, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add all of the remaining ingredients.
  4. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and continue simmering until reduced by half, about 15 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
  6. Transfer sauce to a blender and puree until smooth.
  7. Strain through a fine mesh sieve, pressing to remove the solids.
  8. If sauce is too thin return it to the saucepan over low heat while cooking the wings. Do not let the sauce burn, though.

Ohio State Buckeyes 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 Ohio Sate Buckeye hot dog combines red pepper relish (which is a bit sweet) with white(ish) kraut (for a little kick, and for more kick there’s spicy mustard). Hey, the Buckeyes’ colors are red and white! Now I get it!
Ohio State Buckeyes Hot Dog
Pepper relish is a wonderous thing that I’ve started using more and more. It’s got a bit of a kick to it, but it’s also nice and sweet. It’s not only great on hot dogs but also on sandwiches and wraps.

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

Ohio State Buckeyes Hot Dog
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • All-beef hot dogs
  • Hot dog buns
  • Sauerkraut
  • Spicy mustard
  • Red pepper relish
Instructions
  1. Cook or grill the dogs as desired.
  2. Toast the buns, if desired (I always do).
  3. Warm the kraut, if desired. (Note: I sometimes like to mix the mustard in with the kraut. It guarantees that you get both flavors in every bite)
  4. Add dogs to buns.
  5. Top with sauerkraut, mustard and relish.

Raisins on the Nesco Snackmaster Pro

I’ve been having a blast with my new dehydrator, a Nesco Snackmaster Pro. I’ve been making a lot of jerky, so I figured I’d take a break and make something different. And that different is raisins. They take a few days to dehydrate, but boy are they fantastic! Tender and sweet. Soooooo much better than store-bought.
Raisins on the Nesco Snackmaster ProRaisins on the Nesco Snackmaster Pro are fun to make and eat! You can fit about a pound of grapes per tray (outfitted with screens). You should rotate the trays every few hours to guarantee even drying, but be careful rotating the trays when you first start out. Them lil grapes like to roll around!

After 2 days the smaller grapes may be dried completely, so check through the trays for any that are done.

Raisins on the Nesco Snackmaster Pro
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
You can fit about a pound of grapes per tray in the Nesco Snackmaster Pro. Do not overcrowd the grapes.
Ingredients
  • Ripe grapes
Instructions
  1. Remove the stems from the grapes.
  2. Rinse under cold water.
  3. Pat the grapes dry. The drier, the better.
  4. Place grapes onto the dehydrator screens. Try to not let them touch.
  5. Close the dehydrator and turn onto high.
  6. Dehydrate on high for 24 hours, rotating the trays every 2 hours or so. Don't fret if you don't rotate the trays at night while you're sleeping!
  7. Turn the dehydrator down to 135 F and continue drying for a total of 3 days, rotating the trays every 2 hours or so. I like to move the grapes around a bit as they are drying to keep them from sticking to the screens.