Muffaletta Flatbread Pizza

True story: I often dream about muffaletta sandwiches. They have the perfect combination of flavors. Smoky provolone. Cured meats. Fantastic olive salad. This muffaletta flatbread pizza takes all those great flavors (and more) and puts it on a bite-sized crunchy slice. Perfect for a party, perfect for any time!
Muffaletta Flatbread PizzaI make my own olive salad when I have time. It’s completely amazing, and definitely one of my favorite things to make. No matter if you use homemade or store-bought, make sure you drain the salad a bit before using it. You want a bit of the great olive oil flavor, but you don’t want a soggy pizza.

Muffaletta Flatbread Pizza
Author: 
Recipe type: Main or Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 pizzas
 
Ingredients
Toppings (divide equally between the two flatbreads)
  • Olive salad, drained just slightly
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese (Mozzarella, provolone, Italian blend, whatever you prefer)
  • 3 slices Provolone cheese, cut into strips
  • 3 slices salami, cut into strips or chopped
  • 3 slices Mortadella, cut into strips or chopped
  • 3 slices Capicolla, Prosciutto, or smoked ham, cut into strips or chopped
  • 1/4 cup baby artichoke hearts, drained, chopped
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. Place flatbreads on baking sheets and bake for 2 minutes. Flip and bake for another 2 minutes to get crusts slightly crunchy. Remove and let cool slightly.
  3. Spread olive salad on to the flatbreads. Get a little of the yummy juice on them but not too much or they will be soggy.
  4. Add remaining ingredients.
  5. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until cheese has melted and crust is crunchy.
  6. Place under broiler for 30 seconds or so if you want a little char on the toppings.
  7. Slice and serve.

Big Mac Meatball Subs

I don’t know where some of my ideas come from. It’s probably best that I don’t know. But I do know that this right here, my Big Mac Meatball Subs, was one of my best creations. I was craving that great Big Mac taste but I didn’t have burger patties on hand. But I did have meatballs. Yeah, it’s just like a Big Mac burger, but oh so much better. And easier to make.

Big Mac meatball subs are a tad bit messy to eat and that’s a good thing. I’ve said it a millions times before. The messier the sandwich, the better it is. Put up the fine linens and grab some paper towels and dig in!

Also try my grilled Big Macs (a longtime favorite of mine) and Big Mac sliders (same great flavors, packed into smaller bites). Make an extra big batch of the special sauce. I use it on regular old cold-cut sandwiches and hot dogs!

Big Mac Meatball Subs
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Serves: 2 servings
 
Ingredients
For the special sauce (makes more than you'll need)
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 4 tablespoons French salad dressing
  • 4 teaspoons sweet pickle relish
  • 3 teaspoons white onion, minced
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • Pinch of salt
For the subs
  • 10 pre-cooked, frozen meatballs
  • 2 sub rolls
  • 2 slices American cheese
  • Special sauce, from above
  • 1/4 cup white onion, diced
  • Dill pickles
  • 1/2 cup shredded lettuce
Instructions
For the special sauce
  1. Combine all ingredients and whisk until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use.
For the subs
  1. Heat the meatballs per package instructions. The last 5 minutes of heating add the buns to the oven to warm them.
  2. Assemble subs by slathering bun bottoms with special sauce. Add the cheese, onion and lettuce.
  3. Top with meatballs and dill pickles.

Lime Pepper Saltines

It seems that I have a bit of an addiction to flavored saltines. It all started when I made Fire-Eater saltines, which disappeared in no time. I should probably hide them, but then, I’d still know where they are so that isn’t going to help. Guess I’ll try moderation instead. These lime pepper saltines aren’t going to help either. They have just a hint of lime with a great pepper flavor. I was very pleasantly surprised as to just how much I liked them.
Lime Pepper SaltinesI found lime pepper seasoning at our local GFS store, but you can also find a mix like it at your local grocery store. You can also substitute lemon pepper, which seems to be a bit more common.

Also try my Buffalo wing and Fire-eater saltines.

Lime Pepper Saltines
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 30 or so crackers
 
Ingredients
  • 1 sleeve Saltine crackers (low-salt work just fine)
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 heaping tablespoon Lime Pepper seasoning
Instructions
  1. Place crackers in a large resealable bag or container.
  2. Pour in the oil.
  3. Sprinkle with the seasoning.
  4. Seal and gently toss to coat.
  5. Let sit (on the counter) for 12 hours to get 'happy', tossing gently every once-in-a-while.
  6. Serve as-is or with cream cheese for topping.

Firemen’s Field Day Chicken on the Char-Broil Big Easy

This may well be some of the best chicken I’ve ever made on my Char-Broil Big Easy. And trust me, I’ve made my share of chicken. The flavor was fantastic. The meat was tender and juicy. And the skin was crispy. I used chicken legs, but any cuts of chicken will do, just remember that you’ll likely need a Bunk Bed basket to fit them all into your cooker.
I was reminded a bit of the time I used Chiavetta’s marinade on some chicken I cooked on the Big Easy. There’s a slight hint of vinegar, but definitely not an overpowering one. I didn’t have any poultry seasoning on hand (I’m not sure how that happened) so I ended up using Famous Dave’s Roast Chicken rub.

Love your Big Easy as much I love mine? Check out my Big Easy Add-Ons page and my free Big Easy eCookbook!

Firemen's Field Day Chicken on the Char-Broil Big Easy
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
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Serves: 3-4 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 6 chicken legs (or 4 split chicken breasts or 8 bone-in chicken thighs, or a combination of pieces)
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
  • 1 egg
Instructions
  1. Place chicken pieces in a large resealable bag or container.
  2. Whisk together the remaining ingredients and add to the chicken.
  3. Seal and toss gently to coat.
  4. Refrigerate for up to 24 hours, turning often if the chicken isn't fully submerged in the marinade.
  5. Fire up your Big Easy.
  6. Remove chicken from the marinade and shake off any excess. Discard the marinade.
  7. Place chicken into the Big Easy baskets and then into the cooker.
  8. Cook 45 minutes or about 20 minutes per pound, until the chicken reaches 165 F as measured in several locations.
  9. Remove, let cool slightly and devour!

Meijer Mango Habanero Wing Sauce

I admit, I might have been a little worried when I first opened a bottle of Meijer’s Mango Habanero wing sauce to take a taste. You don’t mess around with habaneros. As much as I’m a fan of spicy food, habaneros can actually just hurt. Well, my fears were unfounded because the heat is tamed perfectly by sweet mangoes. Yeah, oh yeah, there’s still a spicy kick, but it’s spot-on perfect. Like the other Meijer wing sauces I’ve tried, I found it to be perfect!
Besides great flavors and perfect consistency (you don’t want your wing sauce ending up in a puddle at the bottom of your plate), Meijer’s wing sauces are all all-natural. No weird stuff makes for better wings!

Also try Meijer’s Medium Buffalo wing sauce.

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.

Meijer Mango Habanero Wing Sauce
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
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Total time: 
Serves: 6-8 servings
 
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
  • Meijer Mango Habanero Wing Sauce
Instructions
  1. Place wings in a large resealable baggie or container.
  2. Add the oil, salt and pepper. Seal and toss to coat.
  3. Refrigerate for 4-8 hours.
  4. 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.
  5. Toss wings with sauce before serving.

Okra and Tomatoes

I like to stock up on canned goods before winter which is why I ended up trying a can of Margaret Holmes Tomato, Okra and Corn. Anita and I both loved it, which set me down the path to finding something similar that I could make at home. That brought me to this okra and tomatoes recipe, which Anita declared to be the best side dish I’ve ever made. And I have to agree, it’s the perfect side dish. It has that cooked-all-day flavor, but without the fuss. Perfect on a cool day for sure. Oh, and no, I didn’t add corn, but you could. Anita’s not the biggest fan of the corn part of the canned version, so she liked this even more!

I couldn’t find fresh okra (sadly, it can be hard to come by here in Indiana) so I used frozen, which worked out wonderfully. You can add a can of corn kernels (about a cup or so frozen) if you wish, but this dish is really great as it is.

I’m contemplating adding smoked sausage next time. The okra and tomatoes has that sort of gumbo feel to it, and a little smoked sausage would take it from a side dish to a main course in no time.

If you love okra as much as I do you’ll also want to make my okra giardiniera. It’s crazy good on a sandwich.

Okra and Tomatoes
Author: 
Recipe type: Side
Prep time: 
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Serves: 4-6 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 4 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans diced tomatoes, un-drained
  • 1 tablespoon chicken base
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups fresh okra, cut into 1-inch pieces (I used a 16 ounce package of frozen okra)
Instructions
  1. Heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat and cook the bacon until tender but not crispy.
  2. Add the onion and garlic and saute until the onion is tender.
  3. Add the tomatoes and their juices along with the chicken base and sugar. Stir and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Reduce heat to a simmer and let simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
  5. Fresh okra: Add okra and cook another 20 minutes.
  6. Frozen okra: Add okra and cook another 10 minutes.

Biscuits + Groovy The Donna Summer

I watch the show Eat Street on the Cooking Channel because I love food trucks. Whenever there’s one near me I stop and get something, anything. One of the episodes of Eat Street had the host, James Cunningham, stop at the Biscuits + Groovy trailer in Austin, TX. Because Anita and I love biscuits and gravy I knew instantly that I was going to make some of the dishes they serve up. I mean, dang, look at the menu! Everything sounds fantastic, including The Donna Summer. Biscuits, white pepper gravy, breakfast sausage and scrambled eggs topped with cheese and garnished with green onions. This ain’t no light breakfast, it’s the breakfast of champions!
I’m definitely not a food industry expert, but I do recognize a good concept when I see it. All of the biscuit dishes from Biscuits + Groovy start with great buttermilk biscuits. You can then build from there, like with the Donna Summer, which is definitely loaded with all things good and breakfasty.

If I was anywhere near Austin, Texas right now I’d be in line at the Biscuits + Groovy trailer and my stomach would be growling!

Biscuits + Groovy The Donna Summer
Author: 
Prep time: 
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Serves: 1 serving
 
Ingredients
  • 3 Pillsbury Flaky biscuits (or use my homemade black pepper biscuits)
  • White pepper gravy (see below)
  • 3 large eggs (see below)
  • Shredded Colby jack cheese
  • Fresh chives or green onions
For the white pepper gravy
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup milk (plus more depending on how thick or thin you like your gravy)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For the scrambled eggs
  • 2 tablespoons Bisquik
  • 1 tablespoon butter
Instructions
For the white gravy
  1. Melt the butter in a small saucepan.
  2. Whisk in the flour.
  3. Whisk in the milk until smooth. Gravy will continue to thicken. If too thick add a bit more milks.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
For the scrambled eggs
  1. Thoroughly beat eggs with mix until there are no clumps or lumps.
  2. Melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat.
  3. Add eggs and season with salt and pepper. Let sit for 1 minute.
  4. Once eggs start to cook start pushing toward middle with a spatula. Continue until eggs are completely cooked
For the biscuits
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Add biscuits and cook per package instructions.
Making the biscuits
  1. Split biscuits and place on a plate.
  2. Add eggs, gravy and cheese.
  3. Top with chives or green onions. Serve.

Homemade Pizza Rolls

Back when I was knee-high to a grasshopper I was lucky enough to live right next to my school. That meant that some days I could run home and grab a quick lunch (while watching The Gong Show, but that’s a whole other story). Now, mom usually made me a sandwich or maybe heated some soup, but on rare occasions she’d heat up frozen pizza rolls (at my request… or begging!). I could devour them no matter how many she made. And no matter how much they burned the top of my mouth (who waits for them to cool off?).

Well, here I am a few years later. And I still love pizza rolls. But now I make them at home. A little pizza sauce, some baby pepperoni, cheese and a little heat, all wrapped in a wonton wrapper. In no time I’m burning the roof of my mouth again, enjoying the snacks and memories from years ago.
These homemade pizza rolls are great for parties. You can make them ahead of time and freeze them. Bake just before your guests arrive. You can also make all sorts of variations on them, using your favorite pizza toppings. Just don’t use anything too wet, such as canned mushrooms, without first patting it dry. Otherwise the wrappers might get too soggy and they’ll pop while baking.

Also try my pizza pretzel nuggets.

Homemade Pizza Rolls
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: About 40 rolls
 
Note: You can make these ahead and freeze them. Just pop them in a 425 F oven for 15-20 minutes when ready to heat and eat.
Ingredients
  • 1 (5 ounce) package mini pepperoni (you can also substitute 1/3 pound cooked Italian sausage, ground fine after cooking and cooling slightly)
  • 8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 8 ounces pizza sauce (plus more for dipping, if desired)
  • Red pepper flake, to taste
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 1 package wonton wrappers
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 F.
  2. Combine the pepperoni, cheese, sauce, and red pepper flake in a large bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl whisk together the egg and water.
  4. Working in batches, lay the wonton wrappers out on a flat surface in the shape of a diamond, with one point pointing towards you.
  5. Lightly brush the edges of the wrapper with the egg wash.
  6. Spoon about a tablespoon of the sauce mixture into the center of the wonton.
  7. Grab the topmost (furthest away from you) point of the diamond and fold over the sauce mixture. Press down around the edges to seal.
  8. Fold in the left and right sides and press down on the edges to seal.
  9. Finally, fold over the bottom side (the point pointing towards you) and then press lightly around the edges to seal. Place seam-side down on a baking sheet lined with foil or use a silpat.
  10. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
  11. Serve hot with warmed additional pizza sauce for dipping if desired.