Memphis-Style Muffuletta

Muffuletta sandwiches are what I would have on a deserted if I could choose only one food. I’d even go through the ‘trouble’ of making my own olive salad. When I first ran across this idea for a Memphis-style muffuletta I made a weird face. Huh? Why are you messing with my favorite? The answer was soon obvious: because this is really, really good. Similar to a muffuletta in many ways, but different too.
Memphis-Style Muffuletta

The creamy olive salad in this Memphis-style muffuletta is totally different than a traditional muffuletta mix but it has many of the same flavors. The artichoke hearts are a totally different twist and quite honestly I might find myself adding them to my homemade muffuletta olive salad too.Memphis-Style MuffulettaThe olive salad mix is also great on grilled hot dogs. If you prefer the original, try my more traditional muffuletta sandwich.

Memphis-Style Muffuletta

Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup Italian salad dressing
  • 3/4 cup chopped green olives
  • 3/4 cup chopped black olives
  • 1/2 cup chopped artichoke hearts
  • 1 cup celery chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 10 " round loaf Italian bread a regular-shaped loaf works just fine too
  • Your favorite thin-sliced deli meats
  • American cheese slices

Instructions

  • Whisk together the mayonnaise and salad dressing.
  • Fold in the olives, artichoke and celery. Season with the pepper.
  • Slice bread horizontally. I like to remove some of the insides of the bread, but that's optional.
  • Spoon half of the olive mixture onto the bottom half of the bread.
  • Add the cheese and meats.
  • Top with the remaining olive mix and top bread half.
  • Wrap tightly in foil or plastic wrap.
  • Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before slicing and serving.

Meijer Bourbon Honey Mustard Wing Sauce

Is it possible for a bottled store-brand wing sauce to be too good? No, but Meijer Bourbon Honey Mustard wing sauce is about as good as you can get. All of the flavors are balanced and at just the right levels for me. Not too much bourbon flavor. Just the right honey sweetness. And the right mustardy vinegar kick. It’s different and delicious.
Meijer Bourbon Honey Mustard Wing Sauce
I contacted Meijer’s corporate office about the fact that I couldn’t find their Honey Bourbon wing sauce online. As of the time of this post they haven’t added it yet. So just head to your local Meijer and grab a bottle from the condiment section. While you’re there grab a few bottles of the other great Meijer wing sauces.

Also check out Meijer’s Sweet Chili, medium Buffalo and Mango Habanero wing sauces. They’re darned good too!

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. Also check out my always-growing list of my favorite store-bought wing sauces.

Meijer Bourbon Honey Mustard Wing Sauce

Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Prep Time 4 hours
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 45 minutes
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients

Instructions

Cajun Fried Shrimp

My two biggest food obsessions? Chicken wings and fried shrimp. I could eat either one any time, any where. I’ve never had wings or shrimp that I didn’t absolutely love. Like these Cajun fried shrimp. Lightly crunchy. Stick-to-the-shrimp batter. A little heat. Perfectly cooked.Cajun Fried Shrimp

This is shrimp done up right. I served these Cajun fried shrimp with a crazy wonderful remoulade that has ended up being a shrimp-dipping staple in our house. It’s great for fries fish, too.

For that little extra ‘something’ sprinkle the shrimp lightly with Old Bay seasoning just before serving.

Also try my crispy fried shrimp.

Cajun Fried Shrimp

Course Appetizer or Main
Cuisine Main
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 large egg lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon Creole mustard
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce
  • 1/2 cups self-rising flour
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 pounds shrimp peeled and deveined
  • Spicy Remoulade Sauce recipe follows

For the Spicy Remoulade Sauce

  • 1 shallot finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons Creole mustard
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce
  • 1/2 medium lemon juices

Instructions

  • Heat 3-4" of oil to 350 F in a deep fryer or Dutch oven.
  • In a pie plate or shallow dish, whisk together the buttermilk, egg, and mustard.
  • In another pie plate or shallow dish, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, paprika, salt, cayenne and garlic powder.
  • Working in batches, add the shrimp to the flour mixture and coat well.
  • Shake off excess then place into the buttermilk mixture.
  • Shake off excess then return to the flour mixture, coating again.
  • Add to the hot oil and fry 3-4 minutes or until golden brown, turning once. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
  • Serve with the spicy remoulade sauce.

For the Spicy Remoulade Sauce

  • Whisk together all ingredients in a small bowl. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Crispy Fried Shrimp

I can eat an embarrassing amount of crispy fried shrimp. My addiction to these little goodies started as a child. Maybe once every few months we would eat out at Sizzler. I would always get the fried shrimp. I would devour them.

That tradition lives on, believe me. That’s why I make them at home. In bigger batches. These crispy fried shrimp are nice and crispy and have a fantastic lightly savory flavor. No overpowering flavors here, you can still taste the wonderful shrimp.
Crispy Fried ShrimpI like to use shrimp that aren’t too big or too small when I make crispy fried shrimp. For me, 21-25 count (that means 21-25 shrimp are in a pound) are the perfect size. If I can get them, I use Louisiana Gulf Shrimp. I believe they have the best flavor but you can use whatever you prefer (or can find).

You can use pre-shelled and pre-deveined shrimp but give them a once-over before using to make sure that there aren’t any shell pieces or veins left. Just in case.

If you’re looking for something super-simple for dipping your delicious crispy fried shrimp, try my quick cocktail sauce.

Also try my Cajun fried shrimp.

Crispy Fried Shrimp

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 1 pound unshelled medium raw shrimp 21-25 count
  • 2 large eggs beaten
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups plain bread crumbs substitute Panko bread crumbs for even more crunch
  • 3 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil crushed
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • Vegetable oil for frying

Instructions

  • Remove the shells from the shrimp up to the tail section. Make an incision down the back and remove the vein. Rinse with cold water.
  • In a large bowl or pie plate combine the egg and milk.
  • Place the flour in another large bowl or pie plate.
  • And in another large bowl or pie plate place the bread crumbs, salt, basil, parsley, garlic and onion powders.
  • Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or deep fryer to 350 F.
  • Working in batches, coat the shrimp in the egg mixture. Shake off excess and then roll in flour.
  • Return shrimp to the egg mixture and coat again. Shake off excess and then roll in the bread crumb mixture, coating well.
  • Transfer to hot oil and fry until golden brown, 3-4 minutes. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to let drain before serving.

Garlic-Q Wings

Alliger’s House of Wings has some of most awesome wing sauces I’ve ever had. I just cannot get enough of them. The other really cool thing about Alliger’s is that their website has simple recipes for combining their sauces to make new flavors. Like these Garlic-Q wings. It’s a wonderful combination of, you guessed it, garlic wing sauce and BBQ wing sauce! The garlic sauce by itself is pretty garlicky. Add in some BBQ wing sauce and you get this awesome new taste with just the perfect amount of spice.
Garlic-Q Wings
Garlic-Q wings are a great way to bring a little something different to the party. We’ve all had garlicky wings. We’ve all had BBQ wings. But Garlic-Q wings? Now, that’s new. And it’s so crazy easy to make!

Also try my chili garlic wings!

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. Also check out my always-growing list of my favorite store-bought wing sauces.

Garlic-Q Wings

Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients

Instructions

Bloody Mary Rim Salt

I’m not a bartender or mixologist by any stretch of the imagination. If you asked me anything about mixed drinks you’d get a blank unknowing look in response. However, I can make two drinks that Anita does enjoy: a dirty martini and a Bloody Mary. Now, we’re not talking big-time fru-fru drinks here. My Bloody Mary isn’t like some you see on TV that are garnished with bacon, sliders and hot peppers or whatever. I keep it simple and tasty. And the key to my Bloody Mary is the rim salt. I make a big batch of it and keep it in the pantry, ready just in case someone requests a Bloody Mary.
Bloody Mary Rim Salt

Bloody Mary rim salt isn’t just for making drinks better, either. I love to sprinkle it on chicken wings hot out of the deep fryer or off the grill. It’s wonderfully different. It’s also great as a seasoning on grilled steaks.

Bloody Mary Rim Salt

Course Drinks
Prep Time 5 minutes
Servings 16 servings

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon celery salt
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon granulated garlic not garlic salt or garlic powder!
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry powdered ginger

Instructions

  • Combine all ingredients in a jar or sealable container. Shake to combine. Note: If you want a finer salt, place the salt into a spice grinder first and pulse a few times until the desired size is obtained.
  • To rim a glass, moisten the edge of your glass then dip into the salt.

Smoked Cheetos

Well, yep, smoked Cheetos are different. And boy, you gotta be careful smoking them too. It doesn’t take much smoke to get these little crunchy morsels mighty smoky. I admit, my first time making them I got distracted and smoked them longer than I should have. I was able to rescue them (the longer they rest after smoking, the more mellow the smoke flavor gets) but I suggest you start with less smoke time, try them, and go from there. They come out totally new, something people won’t expect! Nice and crunchy and smoky cheesy!

To smoke Cheetos you use a cold smoking technique. You do not want high heat. You can get by with temperatures up to 180 F, but I suggest cold smoking, which is generally below 90 F.

Smoked Cheetos

I use an A-Maze-N smoke tube when cold smoking. It gives me perfect control over the temperature and produces consistent smoke. I buy wood pellets and stuff the tube completely, then light one end. The tube stays lit for a few hours, perfect for smoking Cheetos. I highly recommend it. It’s also great for adding smoke flavor to dishes being cooked on a gas grill.

Since you have your cold smoke set-up going, throw on some potato chips or Chex mix too!

Smoked Cheetos

Course Appetizer
Author Mike

Ingredients

For cold smoking (using charcoal)

  • 4 lit charcoal briquettes
  • 1 small chunk apple wood

For cold smoking (using the A-MAZE-N tube)

  • wood pellets

For the smoked Cheetos

Instructions

For cold smoking (using charcoal)

  • Place the 4 lit briquettes in the bottom of your smoker.
  • Add the wood chunk.
  • Once the wood is smoking, you can add the Cheetos.

For cold smoking (using the A-MAZE-N tube)

  • Fill the tube with the wood pellets. Place into the bottom of your smoker and light one end. Once the pellets produce smoke, you can add the Cheetos.

For the smoked Cheetos

  • Place the Cheetos in an aluminum pan over your cold smoke setup that is already producing smoke (from above).
  • Smoke 20-30 minutes, gently tossing once or twice, until the desired smoke taste is achieved.
  • It's best to let the smoked snacks sit out for a while before serving. The smoke flavor can be a little strong at first. A little rest time will mellow it.

Deluxe Cheddar Pretzel Bites

The reason I made such a big batch of these deluxe cheddar pretzel bites isn’t because I needed a huge amount for a family get-together. Sure, I needed some, but not a ton. Nope, I made a big batch because I wanted more for myself. Sorry, but it’s true. I was being selfish, but for a good reason. I love them. Crunchy, a bit buttery, and definitely cheesy. And made with real cheese!
Deluxe Cheddar Pretzel Bites

You don’t have to use pretzels to make these deluxe cheddar pretzel bites. If you prefer, any cracker will do, specially oyster crackers or saltines. Just don’t substitute something that is strongly flavored and might not go well with the cheddar. That would make for a bowl of sadness.

Also check out my balsamicpizza,and spicy garlic ranch pretzel bites! They are all out of this world good too!

Deluxe Cheddar Pretzel Bites

Course Snack
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 1 pound

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 200 F.
  • Place pretzel bites in large bowl.
  • In a small bowl whisk together the oil and cheddar seasoning.
  • Pour the oil mixture over the pretzels and toss to coat well.
  • Pour pretzels bites out onto a large baking pan and spread out evenly.
  • Bake for 1 hour, tossing every 20 minutes.
  • Let cool slightly before serving.

Kroger Medium Wing Sauce

I’ve said it before. If you’re standing in the wing sauce section of the grocery store, trying to decide on the next sauce you’re going to grab for a great batch of wings, do not hesitate to try the store brand. I was at Kroger, and I couldn’t help myself. I grabbed one each of every one of their sauces, including the Kroger Medium Wing Sauce. The sauce turned out to be perfect! A decent hint of heat (a bit more than Kroger’s Mild Wing Sauce) and the perfect consistency. This is a mighty fine wing sauce, and boy, the price was right!
Kroger Medium Wing SauceIf you by chance end up with any leftover medium wing sauce, toss it in the fridge. Make sure you warm it a bit (at least to room temperature) before using it on your next batch of wings. Nothing makes hot wings sad faster than tossing them in cold wing sauce!

Kroger also makes a fantastic Parmesan garlic wing sauce. Try it too!

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. Also check out my always-growing list of my favorite store-bought wing sauces.

Kroger Medium Wing Sauce

Course Appetizer
Prep Time 4 hours
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 45 minutes
Servings 6 -8 servings
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 3-4 pounds chicken wings flats and drumettes separated, tips discarded
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Kroger Medium wing sauce to taste

Instructions

Silver Dollar Pancakes

As I was devouring the Big Bad Breakfast cookbook, I came across this recipe for silver dollar pancakes. I flashed back to the last time I had them. I think it was in the 1970s in Reno, Nevada. Seriously. 40 plus years ago. How did that happen? I instantly bookmarked the recipe on my Kindle reader. I had everything on hand to make them except for buttermilk. A quick trip to the grocery store took care of that.

There’s nothing complicated here. The batter is perfect. You can use the same batter to make these full-sized, but for me, the memory of silver dollar pancakes made making them again even more special.

Silver Dollar PancakesI made these silver dollar pancakes using my Cuisinart Griddler. I opened the Griddler flat so I could use both griddle plates at the same time then set the selector to Griddle. The temperature was set to maximum the entire time. The top griddle doesn’t get as hot as what is normally the bottom griddle, so food cooked on that side will take a little longer to cook.

Looking for a great side dish for your pancakes? Make some waffle iron sausages!

Silver Dollar Pancakes

Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 3 eggs lightly beaten
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter melted

Instructions

  • Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.
  • In another bowl whisk together the buttermilk, milk, eggs and vanilla.
  • Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture and whisk until completely incorporated.
  • Whisk in the melted butter.
  • Heat a griddle, Griddler, or large skillet over medium heat. Spray with non-stick spray (or melt 1/2 tablespoon of butter).
  • Working in batches, spoon 1 heaping tablespoon of batter onto the griddle. Do not crowd the pancakes. I was able to cook 12 at a time on the Cuisinart Griddler.
  • Once the tops of the pancakes start to bubble (2-3 minutes on the Griddler, maybe sooner on a stove-top), flip and continue to cook until browned, another 30 seconds or longer.
  • Keep cooked pancakes in a warmed oven until all of the batter is used.