Roasted Red Peppers on the Char-Broil Big Easy

I usually cook ribs, chicken, turkey, or my favorite, chicken wings, on my Char-Broil The Big Easy TRU-Infrared Oil-less Turkey Fryer. I noticed that red bell peppers were on sale, and that got me to thinking about canning some roasted red peppers on the Char-Broil Big Easy. Normally when I roasted bell peppers I toss them on the grill for a while, but this time I loaded up the Big Easy basket and the Char-Broil Big Easy Bunk Bed Basket with 9 peppers (the 10th one wouldn’t quite fit, and you don’t want to crowd them).

Roasted Red Peppers on the Char-Broil Big Easy I lowered the basket into my preheated Big Easy and let the peppers roast for a 45 minutes (I’d go 30 minutes if you want your peppers to have a little more ‘bite’ to them).

Roasted Red Peppers on the Char-Broil Big EasyI wanted my peppers a little on soft side. If you pull yours out sooner, just keep in mind you might have to steam them a bit longer to get the skins off.

Roasted Red Peppers on the Char-Broil Big EasyThe peppers then went into a large bowl, which I covered in foil and let steam for 10-15 minutes to make the skins easy to remove. Be careful opening the foil (or handling the peppers) as they will be hot!

After letting them cool slightly, we cut out the stems and removed the skins. The peppers were then ready to can (see below for how we canned them).

Roasted Red Peppers on the Big Easy

Canned Roasted Red Peppers
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Prep time: 
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Serves: 1
 
Ingredients
Roasted red peppers on the Big Easy
  • 8-10 red peppers, stems cut back
  • Fire up your Big Easy. Add peppers to basket, but don't crowd them.
  • Add basket to the Big Easy and roast 30-45 minutes depending on how done you want them.
  • Remove and place peppers in a large bowl or resealable baggie and cover/seal for 10-15 minutes to let the skins steam off.
  • Remove skins, seeds, and stems.
  • Follow canning instructions below.
For every 2-3 roasted peppers (depends on size, so I'd have a few extra jars and a little extra vinegar mix on hand just in case)
  • ⅓ cup distilled white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 half pint Mason jar
Instructions
  1. Mix vinegar and water in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat.
  2. Put jar and lids into a large pot of water and bring to a boil for 10 minutes. Remove, drain, and set aside.
  3. Pack peppers into jars as desired.
  4. Add vinegar mixture. Using a knife, poke around the edges of the jar to make sure no air bubbles are trapped. Add more vinegar mixture if needed to maintain a level ¼" beneath the top of the jar.
  5. Add lid and screw on tight.
  6. Place jar into hot water and bring to a boil and boil for 10 minutes.
  7. Remove and let cool completely.
  8. Check that the lid has shrunken (doesn't move if pressed). If it does, refrigerate and use within a few days.
  9. Otherwise, store in a cool, dark place until ready to use. Refrigerate after opening.

 

Hawaiian Cole Slaw

I enjoyed this Hawaiian cole slaw so much that I made it twice in one week. I loved the sweetness of the pineapple, the explosion of orange flavor from the mandarins, and my favorite, the Maraschino cherries. It’s a nice tropical flavor all in a crunchy creamy slaw. I’d make this again and again, and soon. And best of all, I had all of the ingredients in my pantry (well, plus a bag of slaw in the fridge). I make a lot of slaws, so I try to always keep a bag of shredded cabbage mix around.

Hawaiian Cole Slaw

Hawaiian Cole Slaw
Author: 
Recipe type: Side
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
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Serves: 6-8
 
Ingredients
  • 1 14 ounce bag slaw mix
  • 1¼ cups mayonnaise
  • 1 8 ounce can crushed pineapple, well drained (squeeze to get all of the moisture out that you can)
  • 1 8 ounce can Mandarin oranges, well drained
  • 1 6 ounce jar Maraschino cherries, drained, quartered, and dried well wrapped in a paper towel
  • Salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Note: You have to make sure that the pineapple, oranges, and specially the cherries, are well drained before adding to the slaw. Wrap the quartered cherries in paper towels to dry. This will also keep the cherries from "bleeding" into the slaw.
  2. Combine slaw mix and mayo in a large bowl.
  3. Slowly fold in the pineapple, orange, and cherries. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Chill for 3-4 hours before serving

 

 

Smoked Spicy Nuts

Nothing is easier than smoking nuts. I use my Weber Smokey Mountain Smoker, but you can also smoke them on your gas or charcoal grill using a couple of added wood chunks. Smoking nuts only takes 20-25 minutes.

Smoked Spicy NutsThis version of spicy nuts isn’t in-your-face spicy. There’s a nice subtle spiciness to them, along with that great smoke flavor.

Smoked Spicy Nuts
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
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Ingredients
  • 2 cups of raw nuts (I used a mix of peanuts, pecans, almonds and cashews)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons Tabasco Green Jalapeno sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Tabasco Red Pepper sauce
  • 1½ teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon dry mustard
Instructions
  1. Fire up your smoker for 325 F cooking over a mild wood (I used cherry). (If you are using a Weber Smoky Mountain smoker, do not add water to the water pan).
  2. Place the nuts in a medium bowl.
  3. Combine the remaining ingredients in another bowl and pour over the nuts. Toss to coat completely.
  4. Pour nuts into a disposable aluminum foil half sheet pan or pie pan.
  5. Place onto smoker (top rack if using a Weber Smoky Mountain) and smoke for 20-25 minutes, stirring once.
  6. Let cool before serving. Store in an airtight container.

Roasted Poblano Cream Sauce

This roasted poblano cream sauce is the perfect somewhat-spicy sauce for topping grilled chicken sandwiches. It’s also fantastic on burgers, pork, or used as a dip. It actually would work as a soup too. For a little extra kick, roast a jalapeno with the poblanos and add it to the sauce when you blend it.

Grilled Chicken Fajita Sandwiches with Roasted Poblano Cream SauceMy first use for this sauce was over grilled chicken fajita sandwiches.

Roasted Poblano Cream Sauce
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Ingredients
  • 3 medium poblano peppers
  • Vegetable oil
  • 8 ounces chicken broth
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup butter, softened
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Brush the peppers with just a little bit of oil.
  2. Roast the peppers in your oven under the broiler or on your grill over direct heat until charred.
  3. Remove from heat and place in a bowl. Cover the bowl with foil and let the peppers rest for 10 minutes.
  4. Carefully remove the foil (there might still be some steam) and remove the skin from the peppers. Remove the stem and seeds.
  5. Place all ingredients into a blender. Blend until creamy smooth.
  6. Pour mix into a saucepan and heat over low heat.
  7. Serve warm.

 

Grilled Cuban Hot Dogs

Although certainly not an authentic take on the (yummy) Cuban sandwich, these grilled Cuban hot dogs do remind you of the tastes of the handheld classic. Easy to make, they’re perfect for lunch. I just fired up my Weber Q1200 grill and tossed a few dogs on. Minutes later we’re enjoying lunch!

Grilled Cuban Hot DogsI used McClure’s Sweet and Spicy wavy cut pickles on these dogs. They are by far our favorite pickles. They are crunchy, tasty, and have a really nice kick to them. They were perfect on these grilled Cuban hot dogs.

Grilled Cuban Hot Dogs

Grilled Cuban Hot Dog
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Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
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Serves: 3
 
Ingredients
  • 3 hot dogs
  • 3 hot dog buns
  • 3 pieces sandwich ham (I used a Black Forest ham since it has a nice flavor to it)
  • 3 pieces Swiss cheese
  • 6 pickle slices (I used McClure's Sweet and Spicy wavy cut)
  • Spicy brown (or Dijon) mustard
Instructions
  1. Grill the dogs and toast or warm the buns as desired.
  2. Insert one piece of ham into each bun.
  3. Add a piece of cheese, followed by the hot dog.
  4. Add pickles then mustard to taste.

Grilled Bacon-Wrapped Stuffed Olives

Whenever you’re cooking outdoors on the grill, there’s always room leftover to put treats, like these insanely good grilled bacon-wrapped stuffed olives. They’re easy to cook, and disappear in minutes.

Grilled Bacon-Wrapped Stuffed OlivesI used jalapeno-stuffed olives, but you can use garlic-stuffed or whatever you like. Or heck, they don’t even have to be stuffed! These little morsels come out salty and briny, with a nice kick from the rub (I used a sweet rub with a little kick to it).

Grilled Bacon-Wrapped Stuffed Olives
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
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Ingredients
  • Bacon, cut into thirds
  • Large olives
  • Toothpicks
  • Your favorite rub (a sweet, low- or no-salt rub works best)
Instructions
  1. Fire up your grill for indirect cooking.
  2. Roll small pieces of bacon around the olives and secure with toothpicks.
  3. Lightly dust the wrapped olives with the rub.
  4. Grill over indirect heat, flipping once or twice, until the bacon is cooked and crispy, 20-30 minutes.
  5. Let cool slightly before devouring.

 

Andouille Po Boy

I had an out-of-this-world good andouille po boy from Chef Dan’s Southern Comfort food truck the other day. And ever since, I’ve been jonesin’ for another. This time I made my own. A good po boy requires a good remoulade. I made a big batch of Chez John’s Kaw-Cajun Comeback sauce, but any good remoulade will do. Just make sure it’s got some kick to it. The fantastic flavor of andouille and the remoulade are the stars of this sandwich. A little heat and a little spice. Perfect.

Andouille Po BoyThe best po boy drips when you eat it. All down the front of your arms, on your shirt, and all over the table, and best, onto your plate so you can sop up the drippings with the last piece of bread from the sandwich. Those drippings have everything good in them, from remoulade to sausage juice. Good eats.

Andouille Po Boy
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Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
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Serves: 2
 
Ingredients
  • ½ pound andouille sausage, cut into ½-inch rounds
  • 1 12" loaf French bread, split lengthwise
  • Shredded lettuce, dill pickles and sliced tomato (and thinly sliced tomato if desired)
  • Your favorite remoulade (I prefer Chez John's Kaw-Cajun Comeback sauce)
Instructions
  1. Fry the sausage in a cast iron skillet until browned. If your sausage isn't fatty enough you might have to add just a bit of oil, but don't over do it.
  2. Warm the bread if desired.
  3. Top bread with the lettuce, pickles and tomatoes.
  4. Add the cooked sausage and top with the remoulade.

 

 

Chocolate with Nutella Milkshake

I love the flavor of Nutella. That great chocolatey, creamy, nutty taste is great in a milkshake. Perfect on a hot summer day. Or any day for that matter.

Chocolate with Nutella MilkshakeThis chocolate with Nutella milkshake is pretty much a to-taste affair. A little of this, a little of that. It’s not like you can mess it up.  Serve this in a chilled milkshake glass and share it with your Sweetie!  I topped this with whipped cream, toasted peanuts and a maraschino cherry.

Nutella Milkshake
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups quality vanilla ice cream
  • 3-4 teaspoons Nutella
  • A few squirts of chocolate syrup
  • Milk
  • Whipped cream, toasted nuts and maraschino cherry, optional
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients up to the milk into a blender. Blend until the desired consistency is achieved, adding more milk if needed.
  2. Pour into a chilled milkshake glass and top with whipped cream, toasted nuts and a maraschino cherry.

 

Smoked Pot Roast

I read somewhere that you’re not supposed to say “This is the best thing that I ever ate” on a food show or on a food blog. The theory is that well, tomorrow, you might have a better version of the same dish, so then what are you going to say? “This is even better than the best thing I ever ate”? Well, I’m going to violate the rule right here and now and say that this smoked pot roast is the best pot roast I ever ate. It’s incredible. It’s tender. It’s juicy, It’s so flavorful. And it has a hint of smoke.

Smoked Pot RoastYou could make this same recipe in the oven, but since you won’t get that great smoke flavor, you’ll need to add a bit (to taste, but not much) of liquid smoke.

We had some leftover pot roast, so I used up the meat in two other great dishes. First, I substituted the pot roast for corned beef on Reuben sandwiches (rye and Thousand Island and kraut).

Smoked Pot Roast ReubensThen I made grilled smoked pot sandwiches by topping Texas toast with white cheddar and sauteed onions, and of course, pot roast.

Smoked Pot Roast Grilled Cheese SandwichThis pot roast is incredible.

Smoked Pot Roast
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10-14
 
Ingredients
  • 2 3½ pound or so boneless chuck steaks
  • 1 packet brown gravy mix
  • 1 packet Ranch dressing mix
  • 1 packet Italian seasoning mix
  • 1 can beef broth
  • 4 Russet potatoes, cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 2 medium sweet onions, cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 4 large carrots, cut into bite-sized chunks
Instructions
  1. Fire up your smoker for 250 F and add a chunk or two of light wood (I used apple).
  2. Place each chuck steak into a deep 9" x 11" aluminum pan.
  3. Combine the gravy, dressing, and seasoning packets and rub liberally over each chuck. Use it all.
  4. Add ½ of the can of beef broth to each pan.
  5. Smoke for 1 hour.
  6. Cover each pan in foil and cook another 4 hours or until the meat is tender but not yet falling apart.
  7. Divide the vegetables between both pans, cover again, and cook another 2 hours.
  8. Remove from the smoker and let rest 10 minutes then shred as desired.
  9. Devour.

 

 

Smoked Habanero Meatloaf

This smoked habanero meatloaf is by far my favorite. The meat comes out tender, with a nice smokey flavor (though you can make it in the oven and still have a fantastic dish). And of course, there’s a kick – a big kick from BBQ sauce mixed with habanero salsa and mixed into the meat and used as a glaze.

Smoked Habanero MeatloafThe leftovers (if you have any) are just as good as the day you made this meatloaf. Perfect for sandwiches. For sandwiches we just topped crisped French bread with a slab of warmed meatloaf followed by mayonnaise and red onion. The onion and bread add a nice crunch to the tender meatloaf.

Smoked Habanero Meatloaf SandwichesI smoked the meatloaf on my Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker 18-1/2-Inch Charcoal Smoker.

Smoked Habanero Meatloaf
Author: 
Prep time: 
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Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 1 medium sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ tablespoon milk
  • 1 cup plain bread crumbs (Italian-seasoned bread crumbs work just as well)
  • 2 tablespoons Montreal steak seasoning (I used our homemade mix)
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce (I used Weber Kick'N Spicy)
  • ½ cup habanero salsa (I used Mrs. Renfro's Habanero)
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Instructions
For the smoker
  1. Fire up your smoker for cooking at 225 - 250 F with a light wood, such as apple.
For the oven
  1. Preheat oven to 450 F.
Assembly
  1. Place the onion, celery and green pepper into a blender. Pulse until chopped, but not quite pureed. Squeeze out any excess moisture. It is important to get as much moisture out as you can.
  2. Place beef and pork into a large bowl. Add onion mixture.
  3. Whisk egg with milk and add to beef mixture, along with the bread crumbs and steak seasoning.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the barbecue sauce, salsa, and Worcestershire sauce. Pour half of the sauce onto the meat mixture and combine all ingredients well. Reserve the remaining sauce.
  5. Spray a 9x13 aluminum (or glass if using the oven) pan with non-stick spray.
  6. Add the beef/pork mixture and form into a roll. Spoon remaining sauce over top.
  7. If cooking in the oven, bake 45-60 minutes or until center is done. You may want to drain some of the accumulating fat before serving.
  8. If cooking in the smoker, poke a few holes along the edges of the aluminum pan so that any accumulating fat drips out. Smoke 2-3 hours or until the center is done.
  9. Let meatloaf rest for 10 minutes and then slice into thick pieces.