There’s one rule I have about meatloaf: the veggies have to be chunky. I want some crunch to offset what is essentially a large brick-of-meat. Nothing wrong with a brick of meat, but put some nice chunky vegetables in it. This easy Creole meatloaf hit the spot and it definitely did not break my meatloaf rule. Great flavor. Moist. And just a hint of spiciness. Now, I will say that leftover super chunky easy Creole meatloaf does make for a pretty messy sandwich. But then, who really sits around dreaming of a nice, neat leftover meatloaf sandwich? Not me. It is not something to be ashamed of if you have to go open-faced with your meatloaf sandwich.
I made a batch of tremendously good baked smothered chicken burritos the other day. The chicken was cooked slow all day, resulting in the perfect tender filling. I was still enjoying flashing back to those great burritos when I came across this idea for slow cooker cream cheese chicken taquitos. Just like the burritos, these taquitos are stuffed with fantastically tasty chicken that just falls apart as it cooks. The creamy chicken and melted smooth cheese needed a little kick in my opinion, so I topped the taquitos with diced jalapenos and spicy salsa. Then all was right in the world again!
I’ve been in a sort of burger ‘rut’ lately, making your standard griddle burgers. Now, they are great, and I will keep making them, but I decided I’d better up my game a bit. So I made a copycat of the Royal Red Robin burger, which I’ve had a few times at Red Robin and have always enjoyed. This copycat is spot-on. It’s a pretty standard burger, but topped with a fried egg. A fried egg can make all the difference in the world to a burger. As does mayonnaise. I wish I’d known that a long, long time ago. Red Robin has a lot of great burgers. For a limited time, years ago, they offered the Mount Vesuvius Burger, which is crazy good and crazy big. But for a simple, flavor-packed burger, the Royal Red Robin burger is the way to go. Just try to not bust your egg like I did!
One of the things I love about being addicted to cooking and eating chicken wings is that 99 times out of 100, every new recipe I try is just absolutely fantastic. I dream about chicken wings. A lot. And these roasted red chile wings, well, they were crazy good and certainly dream-worthy. I love chile peppers for the pepper flavor. And although I also love spicy, my number one love is that great pepper flavor, and the roasted red chile jelly from Albukirky Seasonings brings that and then some without scary spiciness.The Albukirky Seasonings red chile BBQ rub (and also the green chile BBQ rub) has quickly become my go-to wing rub. It’s just perfect on wings (and other things, too, but I really, really enjoy it on wings). Combined with the red chile jelly (which I thinned just a bit) the roasted red chile wings made for a lunch that I won’t soon forget, but I will soon make again.
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.
Mmmmmmm. Buffalo chicken. That’s all I need to hear. I love that great spicy, vinegary flavor, with a little something for a cool-down. For my Buffalo wings that means some sort of dipping sauce. This Buffalo chicken Alfredo has that same great Buffalo flavor, with a built-in cool-down sauce. Creamy. Spicy. Cool. This really was a fantastic dish. I used some leftover Buffalo chicken that I made in the slow cooker, but you can also use my outstanding Buffalo chicken made on a Char-Broil Big Easy, the best cooker for all-things poultry.
If you aren’t a big fan of Buffalo chicken, the Alfredo sauce over pasta is definitely great by itself. Or add some chopped rotisserie chicken.
I love my Cuisinart Griddler. It’s the perfect kitchen appliance. I use it to make paninis, hashbrowns, waffles, burgers, eggs… just about anything. My favorite use for it has to be making sandwiches, like this toasted Italian sandwich. The bread gets nice and toasted on the outside, giving me that perfect crunchy bite. The mozzarella cheese gets nice and melted. Top that off with great Italian cold cuts, homemade sun-dried tomatoes and pesto, and I’ve got the perfect lunch. My favorite bread for sandwiches is hands-down, ciabatta. It has those great airy pockets in it (it reminds me a bit of English muffins, my other favorite bread). It gets fantastically crunchy while still being soft in the middle, like the perfect pizza crust.
When I make a batch of this basic BBQ rub I don’t just make a little ole container full. No, I make a bunch of it. A whole lot. That’s because I use it on just about every piece of meat that I throw onto my trusty old smoker. It shines best on beef and pork, adding a bit of sweetness and a bit of heat. And though it contains coffee and lemon pepper the flavors from those two ingredients don’t jump out and scream at your taste buds. They’re there though, working perfectly with the rest of the flavors. This is truly a great all-around rub. The idea for this basic BBQ rub came from Ray Lampe’s book, Slow Fire: The Beginner’s Guide to Lip Smacking Barbecue. The book is full of great recipes and stories and ideas, just like this one. This rub can be used as-is or as a great jumping-off point for making your own rub. Play with the ratios to suit your tastes. For example, don’t use regular paprika just use only smoked paprika for a much stronger smoke flavor, perfect for seasoning foods cooked in doors where you won’t get a strong wood flavor. Or add more heat. Or leave out the heat. It’s a very versatile rub.
Here lately I’ve been bound and determined to up my grilled side dish game. It’s been lacking, I admit. Nothing could possibly be easier than these dilly dilly grilled mushrooms. And very few things could be as addictingly tasty. I love mushrooms to begin with, and I’ve always been a fan of dill. Now, I get all that plus buttery goodness and a bit of salty garlic flavors. I like the butter mixture so much that I usually double it, making sure that I get plenty of it down into the gills of the mushrooms as they cook over an open fire. You could actually substitute your favorite herb or spice for the dill for something different. Red pepper flakes are an awesome change. Same goes for oregano, basil or, believe it or not, smoked paprika. You’ll never eat boring mushrooms again.