I’m a big lover of crab cakes. And the crabbier they are, the better. If I’m going to drop some big bucks on crab I want to taste it. So, don’t load me up on fillers like bread crumbs. These cedar plank crab cakes meet my criteria and then some. Fluffy, light and deliciously crabby, they cook in no time. Yeah, I could’ve pan fried them, but I love grilling on cedar planks. They add just a little something different. A slight aroma and taste of aroma, but not so strong that I can’t taste what brought me to the party: crab.
To be truthful you can use pretty much any crab cake recipe. Just form them into cakes and place them on pre-soaked, pre-charred planks. They don’t take long to cook, so don’t go running off doing something else around the house while they’re on the grill. Once they hit 155 F they’re done.
I also like to cedar plank lemon wedges for my crab cakes. Grilled lemons are fantastic.
I must have had a bad fried green tomato experience as a child because I have not eaten them in years and years. Anita and I were in the produce section at the store and saw some really nice looking green tomatoes. Anita loves fried green tomatoes. So I grabbed a few to make fried green tomatoes with spicy Ranch dipping sauce.
We headed home with the tomatoes. And I have to say, any bad memories I have of fried green tomatoes are now long gone. They were fantastic. Crunchy and tasty, and with a nice lightly spicy sauce for dipping. I used Panko breadcrumbs for an extra crunchy coating on these fried green tomatoes with spicy Ranch dipping sauce. If you like yours a little less crunchy, just substitute regular bread crumbs. For extra kick, mix a little cayenne (or my favorites, smoked paprika or chipotle powder) into the bread crumbs first.
I think that like most people, I purchased my Char-Broil Big Easy for making Thanksgiving turkey. And I’ve sure made my share of fantastic turkeys using it, too. From spicy to savory, the Big Easy does turkey amazing, each and every time. This recipe produces a tremendous bird, filled with the flavors of Thanksgiving. It looks fantastic, tastes delicious, and is so moist and tender. All that and so very easy to make, you can’t beat the Big Easy time and time again.
When injecting the turkey it’s important to be consistent. You don’t want to bite into huge pockets of injection in one bite, only to get nothing in the next. Don’t rush the process. Take your time and get the injection in everywhere, from just under the skin, to deep inside the breast meat.
I use a heavy duty injector that has larger holes for injecting liquids that have big chunks of ingredients. Even so, it can be challenging and sometimes clogs. I recommend grinding your spice ingredients first so they are fine enough to easily flow through the injector.
Combine all ingredients. If your injector does not have large holes you will want to grind the mixture first, using either a mortar and pestle or spice grinder. Half of the mixture will be used for the injection, while the remaining seasoning will be using as a rub for the outside of the turkey.
For the injection
Combine all ingredients with half of the seasoning mix. Whisk well to dissolve the salt.
For the turkey
Inject the injection mixture evenly into the turkey. Get it everywhere.
Lightly rub the outside of the turkey with oil. Sprinkle with the remaining seasoning.
Fire up your Big Easy. Add the turkey to the Big Easy basket and lower into the cooker.
Cook for approximately 20 minutes per pound. Let the turkey reach 165 F for white meat, 175 F for dark meat. Remove from the cooker and let rest 15-20 minutes before slicing.
This recipe is for a 9-pound bone-in turkey breast. Larger breasts or whole turkeys may require that you double the amount of seasoning and injection ingredients. The cook time will also be longer. You can usually plan on 20 minutes per pound with the Big Easy.You will need a good injector for this recipe. One with larger holes, preferably.
I am definitely not one of those that thinks everything needs to be made from scratch. But that being said, I do enjoy the challenge and reward of making something that is a good copycat of something I can buy in my grocery store. Like this copycat Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce. I was making a big ole batch of smoked pork when I realized I didn’t have a sauce on hand. Well, in no time at all I whipped this great sauce together. It has the right consistency, just like the ‘real’ stuff. And it has that (nearly) same great flavor.
The great thing about making your own copycat Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce is that you can customize it for your tastes. Want it a bit more smokey? Add a tad bit (a very small tad bit) of liquid smoke. Maybe (like me) you want a bit of spiciness? Add more cayenne pepper or a few (long) shakes of hot sauce. Thinner? Stir in some water. Thicker? Don’t add as much water. Make it your own. I did.
These copycat KFC potato wedges could easily be the most dangerous side dish ever made. There’s no way you could make too many of these. There’s no way you’d ever have any leftovers. They are absolutely divinely yummy. Crunchy on the outside. Creamy on the inside. Absolutely packed with flavor.
Trust me, serving ketchup or any other dipping sauce with these copycat KFC potato wedges is just about a waste of time. They’re delicious right off the plate, nothing added. They are by far my favorite potato side, and that’s saying a lot because up until now I dreamed about baked potatoes almost nightly. Well, they’ve been replaced with these wedges. Sorry, bakers.
I am a big huge fan of vinegary bean salads. My mom’s recipe is one of my all-time favorites. This copycat of the bean salad you used to be able to get at KFC is just as good as mom’s, if not better. It’s dangerously similar, but with a twist: green bell pepper. Well, you could’ve knocked me down with a feather. How was I to know how much that lil old bell pepper would add to this salad?
This recipe for a copycat KFC bean salad makes a decent-sized batch. Good enough for a family get-together. And it’ll hold up in the heat for a bit too. But it won’t last anyways, because everyone is going to love it. I sure did.
I’ve made the ‘usual’ smoked nuts a number of times. You know, peanuts. Walnuts. Pecans. Those things. This was my first time smoking Hazelnuts. In fact, I’d never even thought about making them until I ran across a picture someone posted of a big batch of smoked Hazelnuts. They looked so amazing I could almost smell and test them. I’ve always loved Hazelnuts, so I figured I’d love them smoked even more and I was right!
You can shell and eat these nuts just as they are. And I certainly devoured a few handfuls. But, my main reason for smoking them was to use them in recipes. First up? A smoked Hazelnut butter for baked sweet potatoes!
As you can tell from the recipe, I didn’t add anything to the nuts before I put them on my smoker. They don’t need it. No oil, no salt and pepper. Just put them on ‘au naturale’ and let them go for a while.
Well now, these little bites of yumminess didn’t last long. Grilled chive potatoes didn’t take long to make either. Creamy and tender inside, the potatoes had nice crispy skin. Covered in butter and chives, with just a hint of lemon, each one was sooooo good. I grilled the potatoes, but you can make them in the oven just as easily. What will I do different next time I grill some grilled chive potatoes? Probably nothing. Oh I might add a pinch of red pepper flake but that’s it. They don’t need anything else.
If you don’t have fresh chives just use green onions instead.
There are two choices when it comes to making ‘fried’ chicken using a Vortex. You can make your own batter from scratch or you can use a mix from the store. I’ve done both time and time again and have never ever been disappointed. This time I picked up a box of Fry Krisp Krispy Country chicken mix. It’s the easiest mix in the world, giving you nicely crunchy, juicy, flavorful chicken in less than an hour with no oil used for frying. I do like to brush my chicken with just a bit of oil just before I pull it off the grill. It gives the chicken a bit more crunch and coats any leftover batter that might be hanging around. It’s completely optional, but I always do it.
Anita and I were grabbing lunch at one of our local favorite pizza joints not long ago. The lunch special comes with a small side salad. For the dressing Anita went with the balsamic smoked honey vinaigrette. I was intrigued. She was intrigued. Smoked honey? You know, that has to be good. Well, it was. It was “bring me a bottle of that dressing so I can drink it” good. Of course, that means I had to make a version of it when I got home.
This is a great, simple dressing without the smoked honey. With it, it becomes something a bit different. The smoke flavor isn’t overwhelming, but it’s there. Depending on the honey that you use, I recommend adding just a bit at first and tasting to see if you want to add more. Me, I want that smokiness up front and center. You might now.