Chicken is my favorite thing to cook on my Big Easy. Corn-on-the-cob is my second most favorite. You can season it a million ways and no matter what, it always comes out sweet and tasty. Like this lemon pepper corn on the Char-Broil Big Easy. This is why the arrival of sweet corn season is such a happy time for me.
You cannot screw up lemon pepper corn on the Char-Broil Big Easy. Well, you could if you let it overcook, I guess. But, it’s pretty unforgiving. If you’re not sure that it’s quite done, just life up a piece and poke a kernel with a toothpick. If the toothpick inserts with just a little resistance and the kernel ‘pops’, you’re good-to-go.
Corn-on-the-cob on the Big Easy is also great with lime pepper seasoning. As good as my garlic Old Bay corn!
I’m a big fan of taco night. Granted, it’s not real Mexican taco night, but it’ll do. Well-seasoned ground beef, cooked slow all day, soaking up flavor after flavor. Nothing fancy. No fine dining here. Just tasty tacos. Perfect on a cold night and nothing could possibly be easier to make than slow cooker taco meat. I prefer to use my homemade taco seasoning instead of the packets you get in the store. I like to be able to control the amount of salt and making it myself gives me that chance.
When I made a big ole batch of smoked NOLA shrimp the other day I knew I needed something for sopping up that delicious, spicy, rich sauce left at the bottom of the plate. Grilled garlic parsley cheese bread to the rescue! The bread gets delightfully crunchy on the grill. The cheesy topping has hints of garlic with fresh parsley. On both sides of the bread! Yes! Double the flavor! I love garlic bread. But garlic bread with the topping on both sides? Crazy good!
You do have to keep an eye on your grilled garlic parsley cheese bread. Well, at least while you’re grilling it. Maybe after, too, in case someone wants to steal one of your pieces. As the butter melts, it may drip down into your grill and case a little flame up. If that happens (and it probably will), just temporarily move the bread away from the flame using some tongs. Wait for the fire to die back down, then move the bread back over the direct heat. No problem.
Fire up your grill for direct and indirect cooking.
Cut the bread into 1/2" thick slices.
Place softened butter, garlic, cheese, parsley and salt in a bowl and mash with a fork to combine.
Slather the butter mixture onto both sides of the bread and transfer to the grill over direct heat. Grill 1-3 minutes per side until lightly toasted and crispy. Watch out for flare-ups as the butter melts. If you get a flare-up, move the bread to indirect heat until the fire dies down.
Man do I ever love a big ole pot of great beans. But these enchilada beans aren’t great beans. They’re amazing beans. The flavors are just amazing. Southwestern in nature, with the perfect texture and a sauce that is to die for, I could eat these beans all day long and still ask for more.
You cannot improve on these enchilada beans. Don’t go adding hot sauce, or spicy chili powder, or some fru-fru roasted tomato sauce. They don’t need any messing with. At all. Trust me on this. Make them exactly as the recipe calls for and you will thank me all day long.
Now, that being said… after making these a few times the thought of adding crumbled browned ground beef and making these beans into a chili did occur to me…
I need a bib, drop cloth, tarp or half a roll of paper towel to eat a sandwich, I know it’s a great sandwich. The messier, the better and these Italian slow cooker beef sandwiches with Giardiniera aioli are true to the rule. The beef is delicious. Moist and tender and packed with flavor, you could eat it by itself. The giardiniera aioli is different, wonderful, and definitely something I”ll be using on other sandwiches and for sure, po boys! I add a bit of slaw to bring a bit of crunch and a nice vinegar hit to offset the sweet tender beef. This is the sandwich of kings!
These Italian slow cooker beef sandwiches with giardiniera aioli are great made just like the recipe states. But, if you want a bit of a kick to your sandwich, well, you came to the right place. Add some spicy pepper rings to the beef as it cooks low-and slow in the slow cooker. And substitute spicy giardiniera for the ‘regular’ stuff. That’ll satisfy your need for spicy, for sure!
Combine the chuck, bell peppers, onions, garlic, tomatoes, Italian seasoning, fennel seeds, salt and pepper in a slow cooker. Cook on the low setting for 8 hours. Use a ladle to remove some of the excess fat from the surface, then coarsely shred the beef with two forks. Season with salt and pepper.
Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.
Remove the meat from the cooker and shred. Return to the sauce in the slow cooker and keep warm until ready to use.
For the aioli
Place the egg, garlic and Dijon into a food processor and pulse until combined.
With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil and vegetable oil until they are blended.
Add the giardiniera and pulse a few times. Do not over process. You want it just chopped, not liquefied.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
For the sandwich
Spread 2 tablespoons (or more) of the aioli on both sides of the bread
I’m a big fan of battered fried fish. Add in some fries, a side of tartar sauce, and give me a bottle of malt vinegar and I’m one happy guy. This copycat of Captain D’s batter dipped fish checks all my boxes. Slightly crunchy. Tasty. Oh, and easy. Crazy easy. This is just like the great fish you can get at the restaurant.
I use a little FryDaddy when I cook my copycat Captain D’s batter dipped fish. It’s perfect for small pieces of fish and it heats the oil to the perfect temperature. But for larger pieces or when making dinner for more than just a few people, I use a Dutch oven or a bigger deep fryer.
No matter what you use to cook your fish, make sure that you don’t overcook it. The fish will dry out and not be good at all. Also make sure you get the oil temperature high enough. Low temperatures won’t cook the fish correctly. Low oil temperature will also saturate the fish with oil. That’s not good either.
2poundscod filletscut into bite-sized chunks if desired
Heat 3" of oil in a deep fryer or Dutch oven to 350 F.
In a large bowl add the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, salt and cayenne. Whisk to combine.
Slowly whisk in the water. You want a pancake-like batter. If it's too thick add a bit (a very small bit!) more water and whisk.
Rinse and pat the fish dry. I prefer to cut mine into bite-sized pieces.
Working in batches, add the fish to the batter and turn to coat completely. Transfer to the oil and deep fry 3-4 minutes, turning once, until golden brown. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate. If desired, sprinkle the fish with salt.
Note: If you like to cut your fish into bite-sized pieces before frying, you might need more batter to fully coat them. I usually double the batter ingredients just to make sure I have enough.
Crab cakes are one of those things where I have absolutely zero self-control. I cannot get enough of them. These crab cakes with shrimp are no exception, that’s for sure. The addition of chopped shrimp to the Cajun-flavor-packed crab mixture really makes for a different twist on a crab-only cake. I found myself loving these even more than ‘just’ crab cakes. It did not surprise me when Anita proclaimed these to be the best things we’ve made.
The cakes do have a bit of a spiciness to them. I found them to be fantastic. They’re not overly spicy, not at all. Every bite is a fantastic mix of flavors that I just hoped would never end.
I served our crab cakes with a chilled Creole remoulade sauce that was perfect for dipping. You can also make appetizer-sized cakes, but I’d make extra because they’re going to go fast.
Yowsa. Cedar-planked bloomin’ onions where have you been? Why weren’t you in my life years and years ago? Because this right here… this? This is good stuff. Mighty good stuff. The perfect side dish for the perfect grilled burger dinner. The onions are grilled until just tender, but still with a bit of crunch. They’re seasoned, and seasoned good. And they have just a hint of the smoky cedar plank used to grill them. All this and a delicious roasted red pepper dipping sauce.
There’s not any deep-frying going on here. Nope. Just clean, fantastic flavors. You’ll find yourself making cedar-planked bloomin’ onions again and again.Try different sauces. Try different woods, too. You can’t go wrong. Just grab a few big ole sweet onions and get to it!
You'll need a large cedar plank. Submerge the plank in water for 2 hours before making the onions.
For the onions
1large grilling plankcedar or any other untreated wood will work
Italian seasoningto taste
Parmesan cheesegrated, to taste
granulated garlicto taste
olive oilto taste
kosher saltto taste
freshly ground black pepperto taste
fresh parsleychopped, for garnish
For the aioli
1cuproasted red peppers
kosher saltto taste
freshly ground black pepperto taste
For the onions
Fire up your grill for indirect cooking 350-400 F.
Prepare your onions by cutting 1/2 inch off the stem end, then peel all the skin off. Place the onion on a cutting board cut side down.
Make cuts vertically thru the onion starting 1/2" from the root part that is sticking up. You'll make 16 evenly-spaced cuts around the onion, all the way to the cutting board. Make sure you go all the way through.
Carefully transfer the onion to your plank and turn over so the root is down. Carefully separate the pedals as if you were opening a flower.
Drizzle the onions with olive oil.
Sprinkle the onions liberally with the Italian seasoning, salt and pepper and Parmesan.
Place plank on grill away from heat and cook for 1 hour or until pedals have started to soften. If you prefer move plank over direct heat last 10-15 minutes to get more smoky flavor from the plank. Watch out for fires, though, and be prepared to move the plank back to indirect heat to put them out.
Garnish with parsley and serve.
For the aioli
Place all the ingredients into a food processor and pulse until well blended.
Baked bacon is one of my favorite things. A little time, a little seasoning and I’ve got a wonderful treat. I like my bacon to not be super-duper crunchy. Just a little bite is perfect. For me, baking is easier than cooking bacon in a skillet and I get a more-consistently cooked product (with minimal curling!). With less mess, too.
When I worked at the cafeteria at a large army base outside of Washington DC we would bake an unbelievable amount of bacon. And specially for Saturday morning’s buffet. Rack after rack after rack of bacon. I started as a dishwasher. Nothing was harder than scrubbing stack after stack of large sheet pans that had pieces of bacon stuck to them. I avoid that now by lining my pans with foil. A teen making minimum wage was probably cheaper than foil back in the day, so we didn’t line the pans at the cafeteria. We also didn’t season the bacon, something I really love to do.
If you’re planning on draining off the bacon drippings to use for other purposes, you might want to skip the seasoning all-together, or strain it first to remove any spice pieces.
For cleanup I take the paper towel that I drained the bacon on and toss it onto the baking sheet to absorb any grease. I fold up the sides of the foil and seal it tightly to create a packet that can be tossed into the bin without having to worry about it leaking.
Baked bacon is also a great way to use up those last bits of the spices you have in the pantry. You know the ones, they’ve been in there forever waiting for you to figure out what to do with them. Well, know you know!
Preheat oven to 350 F. For thick or crisper bacon you can go as high as 400 F.
Line a large rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Lay the bacon out onto the baking sheet. Do not overlap the pieces or let them touch.
Sprinkle the top side of the bacon with the seasoning.
Bake for 20 minutes. The bacon will still be mostly uncooked.
Flip and season the other side. Return to the oven for 15 minutes or until the desired doneness is achieved. I like my bacon done, but only lightly crispy. Thin bacon usually takes a total of 35 minutes, while thick can take 45 minutes or longer.
Remove bacon to paper towel-lined plate to drain then serve.
Do not use seasonings that contain a lot of sugar. If your seasonings contain a lot of salt I recommend using them sparingly as the bacon is already salty to begin with if it has been salt-cured.I usually use Grill Mates from McCormick. Todd's Dirt is also a favorite, along with any of the mixes from AlbuKirky Seasonings.Sometime bacon, specially thinner slices, can be hard to separate when removing it from the packaging. I freeze my bacon for a few minutes to make the pieces easier to remove. Just don't put the bacon in the freezer and forget about it!
A quick sub sandwich is my favorite lazy weekend lunch. Nothing fancy, but made fresh in just minutes. The stars of my house sub sandwich are the meats and the spicy dressing. I almost always include sandwich pepperoni on my subs, though sometimes it is a bit hard to find. It’s like pizza pepperoni only bigger and sliced thinner. It adds great flavor to any sandwich. The dressing mix really amps up the sandwich. No plain-ole mayonnaise here, that’s for sure. If you’re more in the mood for an oil and vinegar for your house sub sandwich, try my Italian hoagie dressing. It’s really really good, if I say so myself. It isn’t spicy like the dressing on these subs, but you can remedy that by adding a few spicy banana peppers on top.