Scrambled eggs are always one of my go-to off-menu items when something unexpected comes up. For example, I might have been planning for a big grill-out, but big storms make me change my plans. That’s when I go to eggs. This Kentucky farmhouse scramble was absolutely delicious. It’s a great example of why breakfast for dinner is a great idea and not just when your plans have to change, but any time. What really made this Kentucky farmhouse scramble special for both of us were the roasted red bell peppers and the crunchy French fried onions. This is the kind of scramble that makes omelets jealous.
I used to work just down the street from a Quizno’s. I went there often for lunch. Ok, very often. I loved their toasted bread and great meats and toppings. Now I work from home and I prefer to make my own lunch, so I make a copycat of the classic Quizno’s Italian sub, my favorite item on their menu. The sweet balsamic dressing and pesto are what really make this sandwich memorable. Even if you don’t follow the recipe for the toppings exactly, make the dressing and add the pesto. I find pepperoncini peppers to be a must-have on a sub. And on a pizza for that matter. I prefer them over pickles. They’re crunchier and tangier and really wake up whatever you put them on.
Yeah baby! Back up the truck to some fantastic ham flavor! This southern honey glazed ham, cooked up crazy good on my Char-Broil Big Easy, was the epitome of easy to make. Using the new Better Basket I was able to fit a 10 pound ham into my Big Easy with plenty of room to spare. The glaze adds a wonderful sweetness and elevates this ham way beyond just a plain ole pre-cooked spiral ham. Tender and moist with a nice little light crunch around the edges, this is my kind of yummy!
I just glazed the ham, wrapped it in foil, and let it ‘get happy’ on the Big Easy for 10 minutes per pound. The Better Basket made getting the ham in and out a breeze. You can certainly use the standard basket that comes with the Big Easy but you might have to use a little more elbow grease getting it in and out of the basket. Also be careful that you don’t get a ham that is bigger than your basket!
Cooking a spiral ham on a Big Easy is super easy. If you buy a spiral ham that is pre-flavored and doesn’t require a glaze, try my spiral ham on the Big Easy.
I’ve also included the recipe for my favorite ham gravy. It has a nice pineapple flavor that compliments the ham perfectly. Just drizzle a bit over the sliced ham before serving.
Remove the ham from the packaging and place on a large piece of foil. Place it like you would in the Big Easy basket. Larger hams will have to be stood on edge.
Combine the honey, brown sugar, tea, rub, mustard and bourbon (if using) in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a slow boil and let simmer for 10 minutes or until reduced by a third.
In a small glass combine the corn starch and water. Slowly whisk the mixture into the glaze. Continue whisking until thick.
Brush half of the glaze over the ham. Seal tightly in the foil, leaving the seam at the top for easy access later. Transfer to the Big Easy and cook (heat) for approximately 10 minutes per pound or until the ham reaches 145 F as tested in several places.
Remove the basket from the Big Easy and carefully remove the foil. It's ok if you don't remove the foil under the ham, just remove it from the top and sides. The Better Basket makes this very easy to do. With the regular basket you'll need to be very careful not to burn yourself on the basket, or remove the ham first to un-foil it.
Brush the ham with the remaining glaze and return to the Big Easy, un-foiled, for 10-15 minutes more to set the glaze.
Remove the basket from the Big Easy. Carefully remove the ham to a cutting board and cover with foil. Let rest at least 15 minutes before slicing.
For the pineapple gravy
Whisk together the brown sugar and cornstarch in a large bowl.
Whisk in the pineapple juice and water.
Add to a medium saucepan. Bring to a slow boil over medium heat, stirring constantly until thick.
Remove from heat and stir in the butter, apple cider and a pinch of salt until the butter has melted.
You definitely don’t have to brine your chicken to ‘fry’ it using the Vortex, but oh boy, does it make a difference. I was watching Eat Street on the Cooking Channel when they did a segment on the Buzznbeez food truck in Tempe, Arizona. They make my kind of food: soul food. Which means fried chicken. Dang good looking fried chicken, so I proceeded to find their recipe and make it on my grill with the Vortex. This right here is great eats. Tender, juicy, beyond flavorful, and oh…. that skin… and that beautiful color. Every bite was a dream come true. I’d make this again and again. For a little twist, I used my homemade smoked sea salt in the brine. It added a slight smokiness. You can get the same effect by placing a chunk of wood over your Vortex while cooking the chicken (something I also like to do when cooking wings on my Vortex, something I do almost daily!).
Hi! I just posted updates to the two free eCookbooks: for the Char-Broil Big Easy and Chicken Wings. Check them both out on my eCookbook download page.
These latest editions are full of recipes not yet seen here on Life’s A Tomato, so dig in!
I’m going to go to a 6-month release cycle for the books since they take a bit of work. I hope you like the new format. It’s a little cleaner. The images have been re-done and the text re-formatted. If you have any feedback please use the comment form on the download page.
I’m going to need a moment before I can write about these pork medallions in mushroom Marsala sauce. Whenever I start to type I flash back to the aroma, the flavor, the absolutely divine mushroom sauce, and the tender pork… This dish absolutely hit the spot on a cool early fall evening. The gravy is the absolute bomb. It would be great on any dish where you need a mushroom gravy.
I prefer to make this dish in a large cast iron skillet, finishing it off in the oven. The cast iron gives me that great sear, while cooking nice and evenly so that the pork comes out perfect. You can finish the pork on the stovetop if you wish, but I really think you’ll get a much better, more even, cook in the oven. And it really doesn’t take long at all. Just try resisting spooning out some of the gravy while it’s cooking. You’ll want to get yourself a taste. And then some.
The first time I tried the Thai Curry Wings at Buffalo Wild Wings I was blown away. It was in West Chester, Ohio, and I remember it like it was yesterday because I absolutely loved the combination of coconut, curry and just a bit of heat. I could’ve just licked the sauce off the wings, but then we were in a public place and that would’ve been awkward. Ever since I’ve been looking for a copycat of BW3’s sauce, and here it is. Now I can lick the sauce off the wings in the privacy of my own home! I could not find Thai chile peppers in our supermarket, so I had to go to plan B. I picked up a few packages of dried cayenne peppers, reconstituted them, and chopped them up. It was a great save.
I found the Shan chicken white karahi mix in the Pakistani section of our international supermarket. If you can’t find it nearby you can always order it online.
Place wings in a large resealable baggie or container.
Add the oil, salt and pepper. Seal and toss to coat.
Refrigerate for 4-8 hours.
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.
Toss wings with sauce before serving.
For the sauce (start cooking when you start the wings)
Mince the peppers and then pound in a mortar and pestle or grind into a paste using the side of a knife blade. You want the peppers to form a paste.
Place the peppers and remaining ingredients into a saucepan over medium heat.
Stir until the ingredients are combined.
Reduce heat to a simmer and continue simmering, stirring occasionally, while the wings are cooking. You want the sauce to thicken slightly.
NOTE: I could not find Thai peppers at our grocery store. You can substitute jalapenos or seranos for more heat. Preferably you want to use a red pepper. I bought dried cayenne peppers, which I then reconstituted in hot water for 1 hour. I then removed the seeds and minced the peppers into a paste.
I love loading up my Nesco Snackmaster Pro with freshly-ground lean ground beef and making a big batch of jerky. I have 12 trays, so I can make a good amount at once, all different flavors if I like. I recently picked up a package of Sweet and Spicy jerky mix from Hi Mountain. Their mixes make it super easy to make great jerky in no time. Though I tend to be more a spicy jerky guy, I love a great balance between the heat and sweet, and this mix nails it perfectly. Not so spicy that it’ll scare off those that fear a little kick. And not so sweet that it tastes like candy. Really a great balance and very addicting to eat, that’s for sure.
Make sure you rotate your trays every 2 hours or so. The bottom trays in the Nesco Snackmaster Pro will not dry as quickly as those on top. Rotating the trays will give you nice, even drying and perfect jerky on every level.
1 teaspoon curing salt (Comes with the seasoning. Optional if you're going to refrigerate the finished product)
1/4 cup water
Place beef in a resealable bag or container.
In a small bowl whisk together the seasoning, curing salt and water. Pour over the meat and seal. Shake to coat.
Refrigerate the meat for up to 8 hours, shaking or massaging every hour or so to get the marinade distributed and absorbed evenly.
Remove meat from the marinade and add to a jerky gun. Squeeze out onto Nesco trays. Do not overlap meat.
Add the dehydrator top, set to maximum temperature setting and dehydrate for 5 hours, rotating the trays (bottom to top) every 2 hours or so.
To test for doneness remove a piece and let cool slightly. Try to bend the meat. If it gives and starts to tear at the bend it is done. If it bends without tearing return to the dehydrator and let it run another 15 minutes and test again. If the meat is crunchy it is overdone but still good. It's really a personal preference as to how you like your jerky. Soft, chewy, crunchy. There's no wrong here.