Smoked Sausage with Sauerkraut on the Char-Broil Big Easy

I’m always looking for something new to make on my Char-Broil Big Easy oil-less fryer. This time I roasted a few kielbasa sausages and made a fantastic sauerkraut dinner. I could’ve made this dish with fresh sausages, but I had a 3-pound pack of pre-cooked sausages on hand, so that’s what I used. You can use fresh too.

So, like I said, it’s easy… Just skewer the sausages…

Smoked Sausage with Sauerkraut on the Char-Broil Big EasyInto a fired-up Big Easy for about 20 minutes… The sausages came out moist and very flavorful…

Smoked Sausage with Sauerkraut on the Char-Broil Big EasyMeanwhile I cooked up some kraut with onion and carrots. For the final dish I added a bit of our favorite mustards from Zatarain’s.

Smoked Sausage with Sauerkraut on the Char-Broil Big EasyYou could just as easily leave out the carrots and just serve these sausages on buns topped with kraut and mustard. Yum!

Smoked Sausage with Sauerkraut on the Char-Broil Big Easy
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
For the smoked sausage
  • 3 pounds cooked sausage (I used skinless Kielbasa. You can substitute fresh sausage, cooking the sausage until they reach 165 F)
For the sauerkraut
  • 3 quarts fresh sauerkraut, rinsed and drained
  • 1 small sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, sliced
  • Caraway seed, to taste (optional)
  • Mustards for serving
Instructions
For the smoked sausage
  1. Fire up your Big Easy.
  2. Place sausages on the Big Easy kabob holder.
  3. Lower sausages into cooker and cook until desired color is achieved, 20-30 minutes.
  4. Let cool slightly then cut as desired and use in the sauerkraut recipe below.
For the sauerkraut
  1. Place kraut, onion carrots, and caraway seed in a large pan over medium heat. Cover and let simmer while the sausages cook.
  2. Add cooked sausages and continue to simmer for a total of 1 1/2 hours.
  3. Remove and serve with mustard for dipping if desired.

Torchbearer Chipotle Fried Chicken Wings

I’ve been contemplating how I would start this post for two days now. Not because I was searching for what to write, but because any time I started thinking about these wings I got hungry and had to go make something to eat. I wish I’d made a big extra batch of them.

I have made and eaten a lot of really great chicken wings. I smoke them, grill them, roast them in the Char-Broil Big Easy, and deep fry (like these) them. Any way, any time.

We were in Gatlinburg, TN, not too long ago.I stopped in to All Sauced Up, a little gourmet grocery store (full of nice folk) on main (Parkway) street in downtown Gatlinburg. I grabbed two bottles of wing sauce from Torchbearer Sauces, one of spicy chipotle and one of buffalo wing. One thing I noticed was that both sauces were made from stuff I wouldn’t expect in a wing sauce, like mandarin oranges. Say what?

Well, say hello to absolutely unbelievably good. I coated these wings with the spicy chipotle sauce. Yep, its spicy. It’s got some of the best heat I’ve had. Not in-your-face-crying-tears-of-sadness heat, but good heat with fantastic flavor. The sauce comes out thick and sticks to your wings. It doesn’t roll off and create a sauce lake in your plate (or basket). It’s just spot-on great sauce.
Torchbearer Chipotle Fried Chicken WingsI could not get enough of these wings. I coated them first (ala Hooter’s wings) and then deep fried them. Tossed them in Torchbearer sauce and chowed down. And kept chowing. It was borderline embarrassing the sounds I made, but that’s what happens when you’re eating some of the best wings ever. (Note: Anita says these were the best wings I’ve ever made, and that’s saying something).

Get you some of this sauce. You will not be sorry. At all. Oh, and the Torchbearer web site also recommends using this sauce on pork chops and in stir fry. You don’t get that from any ole normal wing sauce.

Torchbearer Chipotle Chicken Wings
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-8
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 3-4 pounds chicken wings, separated
  • 1/2 bottle Torchbearer Chipotle wing sauce
Instructions
  1. Combine flour, salt, cayenne pepper, and paprika in bowl. Divide in half and reserve one half of the mixture.
  2. Coat chicken pieces in half of the mixture and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  3. Coat chicken in leftover flour mixture. Shake off any excess.
  4. Working in batches, cook wings using the Deep Fryer method.
  5. Place wings in a large bowl. Drizzle with desired amount of sauce and toss gently to coat. Serve.

 

Copycat Subway Bread

I made a copycat version of Subway’s Italian BMT sandwich early last year. And it was good, mighty good… But, I used a loaf of French bread I picked up at my local grocery store. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, it just has been nagging at me ever since. It just wasn’t quite like the real Subway bread.

Copycat Subway BreadBut this is. And it makes all the difference in the world. Every sandwich I made with this bread was to die for. Perfect.

Copycat Subway BreadI should add that I can’t bake. I’ve had numerous failures. Many more failures than successes. But, I don’t give up. This recipe is actually very easy, though not quite fool-proof. Even if you’re a bad baker like I am you can pull it off.

Copycat Subway Bread
Author: 
Recipe type: Bread
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup water at 110 degrees F
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons yeast
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil (plus a little more)
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (more, or less)
  • Stick unsalted butter
Instructions
  1. Place warm water, yeast, sugar, salt and olive oil into the bowl of a mixer with a dough hook and let stand for 5 minutes until well bloomed.
  2. Add 1 cup of all-purpose flour and mix for 3-5 minutes until combined.
  3. Add 1 more cup of flour and mix until combined.
  4. Continue adding flour 1/4 cup at a time until the dough is nice and soft, about 8 minutes. It should not stick to the sides of the bowl, but will stick a bit to the bottom. If it crumbles and falls apart, it is too dry, so add water (a teaspoon at a time) with the mixer running until the consistency is correct.
  5. Lightly flour a work surface. Knead the dough until it is smooth and soft. This took me 5 or so minutes. It's a workout, too, but worth it. Don't give up!
  6. Wipe out the mixer bowl and wipe with a paper towel that has been very lightly oiled.
  7. Shape the dough into a ball and return to the mixer bowl. Cover with wrap and let rise in a warm place for one half to one hour or until it has doubled in size.
  8. Line a baking sheet pan (or two) with parchment paper.
  9. Dump the dough onto your lightly floured surface and divide into 4 equally sized pieces.
  10. Shape (roll) each dough piece until it is a 9" long loaf that is roughly the same thickness all over. Mine came out about 1 1/2" - 2" thick.
  11. Transfer dough to the baking sheet, keeping them 2" apart. I needed two pans.
  12. Cover with plastic wrap that has been sprayed lightly with non-stick spray.
  13. Place in a warm place and let rise until doubled, about an hour.
  14. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 350 F.
  15. When loaves have doubled, remove plastic wrap and bake for 25 minutes.
  16. When loaves are done, remove from the oven and immediately rub the tops with the stick of butter. You don't need much, but you do want to rub the entire top of the loaf. This will give the loaves the perfect crust and texture.
  17. Cover with a clean towel and let cool for 30 minutes.
  18. Slice as desired and enjoy!

Superbowl Favorites

The 2014 Superbowl is just around the corner. Here are some of our favorite party time favorites from the last year. Perfect for the big game!

Chicken Nacho DipChicken Nacho Dip Spinach Artichoke DipArtichoke Spinach Dip Jose’s Party Cheese DipJose's Party Cheese Dip
T-N-T DipT-N-T Dip Crazy Cajun NachosCrazy Cajun Nachos Beer Cheese SauceBeer Cheese Sauce
Tater Tot NachosPulled Pork Tater Tot Nachos Roasted Red Pepper HummusRoasted Red Pepper Hummus Roasted Garlic HummusRoasted Garlic Hummus
Buffalo Ranch Snack MixBuffalo Snack Mix Cheddar Ranch BuglesRagin' Cajun Cheddar Ranch Bugles Crab Boil PopcornCrab Boil Popcorn
Glazed Kielbasa BitesGrilled Glazed Kielbasa Bites Cheddar Ranch FritosCheddar Ranch Fritos Mini Chicken and WafflesMini Chicken and Waffles
BBQ Pigs in a BlanketBBQ Pigs In Blankets Big Mac SlidersGrilled Big Mac Sliders Bacon-Wrapped OlivesGrilled Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno-Stuffed Olives

Wanna see our 2013 Superbowl favorites? Click here.

T-N-T Dip

It’s football watching season, and that means dips. And for me that usually means dips with a little kick. Like this T-N-T dip. I served it up over a bed of Fritos and dug in like it was plate of a lovely nachos.
T-N-T DipIn fact, this dip would be great over nachos. Or a baked potato for that matter. Anything. It’s easy, creamy, and flavorful.

T-N-T Dip
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 pound bulk spicy pork sausage
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 pound Velveeta cheese, cubed
  • 1 cup your favorite salsa
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • Chopped green onion or jalapeno, for garnish (optional)
Instructions
  1. Brown sausage in a skillet. Drain.
  2. And all ingredients to a slow cooker over high heat.
  3. Cook for up to 1 hour, stirring occasionally, until all ingredients are combined and the cheese and butter are melted.
  4. Reduce heat to low, top with garnishes if desired., and serve with corn or tortilla chips.

Jose’s Party Cheese Dip

Looking for a seriously big batch of rich, creamy, a-bit-spicy-but-not-too-spicy cheese dip for the big game? Well, this is it. Courtesy of my old favorite margarita spot in Fayetteville, Arkansas, Jose’s Restaurant.
Jose's Party Cheese DipThis makes a really big batch of dip. It’s not a super thick dip like the usual cheese dips you find (you could cut back on the cream and milk if you want a thicker dip, but I find this dip is perfect as it is). It’s very tasty, which just the right combination of spices. Perfect with warmed tortilla chips (I also thick this dip makes a great sauce for nachos, hot dogs, and just about anything).

Jose's Party Cheese Dip
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup diced white onion
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 1/2 pounds white cheese, grated (you can substitute yellow shredded cheddar)
  • 1 4 ounce can jalapeno peppers, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot chili powder
  • Tortilla chips, warmed, for serving
Instructions
  1. Melt butter in a large pot.
  2. Add onion and saute until starting to soften.
  3. Add garlic and cook another 1 minute.
  4. Add flour, stir and cook another 1 minute.
  5. Add cream and milk. Bring to a low boil. Reduce heat to low.
  6. Slowly add cheese, a small bit at a time, stirring constantly until melted. Do not add the cheese too quickly or the mixture will separate.
  7. Add the remaining ingredients except chips and warm.
  8. Serve with fresh hot tortilla chips. You can transfer the dip to a crockpot set on low for serving.

 

Cravin’ Cajun Chicken Wings

I usually make my own sauce when it comes to Cajun-flavored chicken wings. But, for something new I grabbed a bottle of Cravin’ Cajun Wing Sauce from Louisiana Fish Fry Products. Our local grocery store has a number of Cajun-seasoned items. Thankfully. Cravin’ Cajun wing sauce has a nice hot sauce kick to it, sort of like a traditional wing sauce, but with some great southern spice.

Cravin' Cajun Chicken WingsSo I just made up a batch of wings my usual way, cooking them on the Char-Broil Big Easy for a bit. You can also make them on a grill, smoker, in the oven or in a deep fryer. Then I tossed them in some Cravin’ Cajun sauce and served them with Ranch dipping sauce. Easy. Great.

(Want a really great way to cook up a huge batch of kickin’ good chicken nuggets? Just heat your favorite frozen pre-cooked nuggets as the package says, then put them in a large bowl. Pour on the Cravin’ Cajun sauce and toss to coat. Perfect for a huge party and down-right absolutely delicious!)

Cravin' Cajun Chicken Wings
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-8
 
Instructions
  1. Place the wings into a large resealable baggie or container.
  2. Combine all of the rub ingredients except for the oil and sprinkle over the wings. Seal and shake to coat.
  3. Open container and add the oil. Seal again and shake to coat.
  4. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  5. Remove wings from container and cook.
  6. When wings are done, transfer to a large bowl and pour the sauce over them. Toss to coat.
  7. Serve with Ranch dipping sauce

Kale Chips

A glance around the internet would make one think I am the last person on earth to make kale chips. Well, I’ve never been accused of rushing to follow a fad!

Kale ChipsEating these chips reminds me a lot of eating the leaves off of roasted Brussels sprouts (I like to eat the ones that fall off in the oven). Crunchy, salty and light. In fact, if I close my eyes I can’t really tell a difference. I found kale chips to be rather addicting.

Kale Chips
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 bunch curly kale
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Your favorite seasoning, such as fleur de sel, oregano, Italian blend, Mediterranean blend, to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Separate leaves from bunch.
  3. Cut center stem out of kale leaves, then halve them.
  4. Place leaves in a large bowl and rinse well with cold water.
  5. Dry very well with a large kitchen towel or salad spinner. It is important that the leaves be completely try or they will not crisp up.
  6. Return kale to the bowl and toss with the oil, salt and pepper.
  7. Lay leaves out on a sheet pan (or two). Do not let the leaves overlap or touch.
  8. Roast in the oven for 10-15 minutes until crispy.
  9. Sprinkle with your desired seasoning and serve immediately.

 

Cajun Mashed Potatoes

Truth be told, I’d be happy at Thanksgiving or Christmas with just a big ole plate (or bowl… I’d prefer a bowl) of Cajun mashed potatoes topped with roasted turkey gravy, with a side of good ole fashioned dressing. Oh sure, I love (and make) a great turkey. And all the other dishes that make up a big holiday meal, but these potatoes… They are something special. Oh so buttery and creamy, with just a little kick to them… just enough to make them incredible.
Cajun Mashed PotatoesThese are well worth the extra time you might have to spend at the gym after eating them.

Cajun Mashed Potatoes
Author: 
Recipe type: Side
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8-10
 
Ingredients
  • 5 pounds Yukon gold potatoes
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 1 8 ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup heavy cream (can substitute whole milk)
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun Seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • My outrageously good Holiday make-ahead gravy, for serving
Instructions
  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.
  2. Add the potatoes. I prefer to not skin or chop my potatoes first. Just throw (er.. lower gently) the entire potatoes into the pot. If you don't like the skins, remove them first.
  3. Boil potatoes until fork tender (test the larger ones), 20-25 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and drain well.
  5. Return potatoes to the pot (off the heat) and mash with a potato masher (or use a hand-held blender).
  6. Add remaining ingredients and mash until well combined and smooth.
  7. Serve hot with warmed gravy. When reheating (if you have any leftovers), you may have to add a bit more cream (or milk) to get the right consistency.

 

Slow Cooker Roasted Garlic

Sure, I normally roast my garlic in the oven or on the grill, but I found this technique which uses a slow cooker to be completely fool-proof, and it has the added benefit of making the house smell wonderful all day long.

Slow Cooker Roasted GarlicRoasted garlic will last up to 1 week in the fridge. It’s perfect for making our roasted garlic hummus.

Slow Cooker Roasted Garlic
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 4-5 Whole garlic bulbs
  • Extra virgin olive oil
Instructions
  1. Cut 1/2" off the pointed end of each bulb.
  2. Place bulbs onto aluminum foil and drizzle with a little olive oil.
  3. Seal and place into slow cooker.
  4. Cook on low 3-4 hours or until the garlic is soft.
  5. Remove and let cool slightly before squeezing the heads to remove the roasted garlic.
  6. Store in the fridge for up to 1 week.