Easy Grilled Creole Potatoes

You’re throwing some burgers on the grill. You need a quick and easy side. One that uses ingredients you already have on hand. These easy grilled Creole potatoes check all the boxes for a tasty but simple dish that’s ready in no time. I like to cook my veggies in a grill basket. I find it easier than using skewers and I don’t have to worry about the potatoes splitting when I skewer them. Easy, each and every time.

Easy Grilled Creole Potatoes

You can substitute a Dijon mustard for the Creole if you prefer. Just make sure to get a good hearty mustard. You know, one with ingredients you can see. Not that creamy stuff. For me, Creole is the way to go when making easy grilled Creole potatoes. And I’m not shy with the mustard, either.

Also try my grilled potatoes with mustard-garlic dressing.

Easy Grilled Creole Potatoes

Course Side
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds red potatoes about 8, all about the same size
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons Creole mustard I prefer Zatarain's
  • 1/2 teaspoon. freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  • Stab the potatoes with a knife or fork. Place in a microwave-safe bowl. Add the water and cover. Microwave for 10-12 minutes until the potatoes are just tender. Drain and rinse with cold water. Let cool.
  • Quarter the potatoes and transfer to a large bowl.
  • In a small bowl whisk together the mayonnaise, mustard and pepper. Add to the potatoes. Stir to coat and place in the fridge for 1 hour.
  • Fire up your grill for direct cooking over medium-high heat.
  • Transfer the potatoes to a vegetable basket (or thread onto skewers) and grill 8-10 minutes until lightly charred and tender, turning a few times.
  • Remove, transfer to a platter, sprinkle with cheese and serve.

Old Colony Chicken on the Char-Broil Big Easy

I’ve said it hundreds of times. Chicken cooked on the Char-Broil Big Easy is a fantastic thing. It doesn’t take much effort and no fancy ingredients are required. I like to peruse the marinades at the grocery store, grabbing whatever strikes my fancy. This time my fancy had me using Old Colony Sauce. Often used for steaks, it’s also a fantastic marinade for chicken, adding a light Worcestershire-like flavor and tons of juiciness.
Old Colony Chicken on the Char-Broil Big Easy
Old Colony sauce isn’t loaded up with sugar or honey, which is important when you are cooking on the Big Easy. Since the Big Easy cooks at a high temperature, marinades or sauces containing sugar or honey will tend to burn. You have to save those for saucing at the very end of your cooking, once the meat is almost done, so you don’t risk charred food.

As you can see, Old Colony sauce produced some mighty fine looking chicken (I used split chicken breasts), with great color and flavor throughout.

Also try my State Fair chicken, also made on the Char-Broil Big Easy.

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

Old Colony Chicken on the Char-Broil Big Easy

Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 4 hours
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time 5 hours 20 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Mike

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Place the chicken into a resealable bag or container.
  • Add marinade to taste. Toss to coat.
  • Seal and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, turning occasionally.
  • Fire up your Big Easy.
  • Transfer the chicken to the Big Easy basket.
  • Cook for approximately 20 minutes per pound or until it reaches 165 F as checked in several places.
  • Remove and let rest 10 minutes before serving.

Red Chile Smoked Bologna

This isn’t my first time smoking a bologna chubb (often called a log). But it is by far the best I’ve ever made. I used Albukirky Seasoning’s Red Chile BBQ rub (you can use any rub you want, but I highly recommend theirs) and it added a fantastic flavor (and a slight spiciness) to the bologna.

I sliced my smoked bologna about 1/2″ thick and then fried it up to get a bit of a crust on it. It was absolutely crazy good on a bun with lettuce, onion and mustard for the world’s best bologna sandwich!

Red Chile Smoked Bologna

Just about everyone can score a bologna better than I can. I’ve seen all sorts of fancy fru-fru angled scoring works of art. Me, I’ve had to resign myself to a simple checkerboard pattern. It really doesn’t matter how you do it, but you do need to do it or the chubb will crack or even blow open while smoking.

I went with a mellow wood (apple) when smoking my red chile bologna. I wanted that smoke flavor, but I didn’t want it to be so strong that I couldn’t taste the rub or the bologna. Feel free to use whatever wood you prefer, of course!

Also check out my traditional smoked bologna.

Red Chile Smoked Bologna

Course Main
Prep Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Author Mike

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Fire up your smoker for smoking at 250 F. I prefer a lighter wood, such as apple or peach, but you can use a stronger wood such as hickory.
  • Score the bologna chubb using a sharp knife. Make the cuts 1/4" – 1/2" deep. Use any pattern you want. If you don't score it the bologna will crack or pop open as it smokes.
  • Rub the chubb liberally with mustard. Get in there, get your hands dirty. I find it easiest to stand the chubb on one end (which is why I don't use a full-sized one).
  • Sprinkle the rub liberally all over the chubb. More is better here, so don't be shy with the rub.
  • Transfer the chubb to your smoker and smoke for 3 to 3 1/2 hours.
  • Remove the chubb and let rest for 15 minutes before slicing.

Mushroom Jerky on the Nesco Snackmaster Pro

The reviews for my mushroom jerky made on the Nesco Snackmaster Pro are in! And well… they’re mixed! So why am posting it? Well, because I’m one on the ‘thumbs up’ side! I thought these mushrooms came out very woodsy and very flavorful, with a hint of spice to them. I loved them right off the dehydrator, I thought they had a nice texture with a little ‘tug’ to them.

Mushroom Jerky on the Nesco Snackmaster Pro

After they cooled the mushrooms took on a slightly different texture. I’d call it less “jerky-like”. But still tasty. I opted to freeze the leftovers. They’ll be absolutely perfect in pasta sauce, that’s for sure. Or anywhere you need dried mushrooms but want something a bit more flavorful than ‘just’ ole dried up fungi!

Also try my sun-dried tomatoes, also made using the Nesco Snackmaster Pro.

Mushroom Jerky on the Nesco Snackmaster Pro

Course Appetizer
Prep Time 1 day
Cook Time 12 hours
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 4 large portabella mushrooms
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoons maple syrup the real stuff
  • 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika

Instructions

  • Slice the mushrooms into 1/2" thick slices.
  • Combine the remaining ingredients in a large resealable container.
  • Add the mushrooms and turn gently to coat.
  • Seal and place in the fridge for 10-12 hours, turning gently every few hours.
  • Fire up your Nesco Snackmaster Pro for 122 F. While you're waiting for the dehydrator to warm up remove the mushrooms from the marinade and place on a wire rack to drain.
  • Transfer the mushrooms to the dehydrator trays. Unless you've scaled the recipe up you won't need many trays, but keep in mind you always need to use at least 4 trays when drying.
  • Close the dehydrator and let run for 10 hours. I quadrupled the recipe and actually went 12 hours. You want the mushrooms to be pliable and chewy but not dried out.
  • Let cool just slightly before enjoying. I actually preferred the mushrooms warm, they seemed to have a more enjoyable texture.
  • Keep in an airtight container.

Smoked Pistachios

This is how you make a huge pistachio fan out of me. I love smoked nuts, but until now I’d never smoked pistachios before. Well, let me tell you folks! Good doesn’t even come close to describing how yummy these nuts were! I set out to smoke nuts to use in ice cream (I know, right? You know that’ll be awesome!). I doubt that half of them survived for my ice cream plans… I couldn’t help myself.

Smoked Pistachios

For the seasoning on my smoked pistachios I went with Sweet Red from AlbuKirky Seasonings. It has a nice sweet heat flavor to it, the perfect contrasting flavors for the nuts. I seasoned the nuts pretty liberally with it, too. Since the nuts aren’t shelled a lot of that flavor does end up on the shell. So by adding more I increased the amount of seasoning that made it’s way inside… and oh, was I ever rewarded for my efforts!

Also try my smoked peanuts in the shell.

Smoked Pistachios

Course Appetizer
Prep Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Author Mike

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Fire up your smoker for 250 F cooking. Use a light wood such as apple or peach.
  • Place the nuts in a large bowl and lightly (very lightly) drizzle with a little oil. For 1 pound of nuts I used less than 1/2 tablespoon of oil.
  • Toss the nuts to coat. Now, sprinkle them liberally with the seasoning. Now is not the time to be shy. Load up on it and toss to coat.
  • Transfer nuts to your smoker. I use a grill mat to keep the nuts from falling thru the grates. Smoke for 2 1/2 hours, stirring every 30 minutes or so.
  • Remove, shell and devour.

Tuscan Pasta Salad

Oh, Tuscan pasta salad, where have you been? I was getting just a bit tired of pasta salads and coleslaw then you came along and boom! Something totally different. This recipe makes a nice big batch, perfect for a family get-together, and perfect for that ‘wow factor too.

There’s nothing in this that will scare off grandma I tend to make my dishes on the spicy side. I resisted that temptation with this Tuscan pasta salad, with great results. Fresh and exciting, this salad hits the spot with it’s Italian-inspired flavors.
Tuscan Pasta SaladYou can substitute a tablespoon of dried basil for the fresh if you wish. Just make sure you crumble it a bit in your hand before adding it. I used fresh spinach, but you can also get away with frozen. Just make sure that it’s thawed completely first and squeeze very last drop of water from it before adding it (I like to place it in a kitchen towel, wrap it up tight, and squeeze the heck out of it).

Also try my Mardis Gras pasta salad and also my amazing dill pickle pasta salad.

Tuscan Pasta Salad

Course Side
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 8 -10 servings

Ingredients

For the salad

  • 1 16 ounce box bow-tie pasta
  • 1 7 ounce jar sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper diced
  • 1 6.5 ounce can sliced black olives, drained
  • 1 cup spinach chopped
  • 1/4 cup basil chopped
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

For the dressing

  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dry oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dry basil
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

For the salad

  • Cook the pasta per package instructions. Rinse with cold water and drain well. Transfer to a large bowl.
  • Add remaining salad ingredients and mix.
  • Add the dressing and toss to coat.

For the dressing

  • Whisk all ingredients together until combined. Note: I like to put the ingredients in a small jar or resealable container, seal, and shake to mix.

Rotisserie French Fries

This actually started out as just a test of an idea I’d had. It was a very hot day here. I have a pet peeve about cooking anything inside when it’s so hot. And thanks to my new Weber Summit S-670, I can not only cook in pots on a side burner, I have a big rotisserie I can use. I have the perfect basket for it, made by Napoleon, that I can use to cook up all sorts of side dishes, such as rotisserie French fries!
Rotisserie French Fries

I started with frozen fries. And I went with the larger wedge fries because, this being my first time, I wasn’t sure how smaller fries might hold up to the constant tumbling. My rotisserie French fries came out fantastic, with a great crispiness and flavor. Of course, you can make them on a charcoal grill too with a rotisserie and a basket and get even more of that great ‘cooked outdoors’ flavor!

I think you can easily get away with cooking smaller fries, such as crinkles. Just keep an eye on them because the cook time will obviously depend on how hot you have your grill. I kept the temperature right around 400 F directly below my basket. I did not use my infrared burner (you can see it above the basket in the picture above).

Fries on the rotisserie were perfect with the burgers I grilled at the same time! Win! For even more spinning goodness, make my chicken wings on the rotisserie too!

Rotisserie French Fries

My rotisserie French fries came out fantastic, with a great crispiness and flavor. No need to heat up the kitchen, just fire up your grill!
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Mike

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Fire up your grill for medium-high cooking and prepare a rotisserie basket setup.
  • Add fries to the basket and close. Turn on the rotisserie and close the lid. Let cook for 20 minutes then check for crispness. If the fries turn golden brown with a bit of char along the edges, they're done! If not, close the lid and cook another 10-25 minutes, checking every 10 minutes or so.
  • Use heat-proof gloves to remove and open the rotisserie basket. Serve.

Original BBQ Chicken on the Char-Broil Big Easy

Weber has a line of marinade mixes that you add juice to that are really, really good. And they’re perfect for flavoring chicken before cooking it on the Char-Broil Big Easy. I picked up a package of each and used them to marinate my favorite, split chicken breasts. The original BBQ marinade is mixed with apple juice to produce wonderfully seasoned chicken. A hint of hickory smoke and a hint of sweetness, you’ll think you’re enjoying sauced chicken, but instead all that flavor comes from the marinade alone.Original BBQ Chicken on the Char-Broil Big EasySince the Big Easy cooks at a high temperature you do have to watch that your chicken doesn’t char. One way to help prevent that is to not use marinades containing substances that might burn, like sugar or honey. The other is to rinse the chicken before cooking. Now, you’re going to lose a bit of flavor doing that, but if like me you’re going to remove the skin before eating, it really doesn’t make that big of a difference.

Weber makes all sorts of great flavored Just Add Juice marinades. Collect them all!

Also try my peach BBQ chicken, made in no time on the Big Easy!

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

Weber Marinades

Original BBQ Chicken on the Char-Broil Big Easy

Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 4 hours
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time 5 hours 20 minutes
Servings 2 -4 Servings
Author Mike

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Place the chicken into a resealable bag or container.
  • Add marinade to taste. Toss to coat.
  • Seal and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, turning occasionally.
  • Fire up your Big Easy.
  • Transfer the chicken to the Big Easy basket.
  • Cook for approximately 20 minutes per pound or until it reaches 165 F as checked in several places.
  • Remove and let rest 10 minutes before serving.

Smoked Peanuts in the Shell

If you like boiled peanuts, you’re in luck. If you like smoked peanuts, you’re in luck too. These smoked peanuts in the shell will satisfy you no matter which camp you’re in. Lightly smokey and well, pea-like, you’ll want to make a big ole batch for snacking during the next big game on TV.
Smoked Peanuts in the Shell

Unlike just boiled peanuts, which have a soggy shell, these smoked peanuts in the shell spend some quality time over higher heat, giving the shells an almost roasted-like texture. So when you crack one open, you might be expecting a roasted peanut. That’s not what you’ll get. The time in the brine not only softens the peanuts it lets them absorb smoke. That’s what you’re after.

Smoked Peanuts in the Shell

Also try my smoked spicy nuts and my smoked pistachios.

Smoked Peanuts in the Shell

Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 6 cups water
  • 2 cups kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 pounds raw peanuts in the shell

Instructions

  • Combine the water, salt, sugar and peanuts in a large pot over high heat. Bring to a boil and continue to boil for 20 minutes.
  • Drain the potatoes into a large colander and then spread out on a flat surface covered with towels to dry completely.
  • Fire up your smoker for 250 F. Use any wood you prefer, but the peanuts will absorb the smoke so I recommend a lighter fruit wood.
  • Add the peanuts to the smoker. If your grates are too wide, add foil sheets or pans with holes poked in them or use a grill mat like I did.
  • Cover grill and smoke for 20 minutes. Stir and smoke 20 more minutes. And then stir and smoke 20 more minutes. If the nuts aren't a bit crunchy continue smoking or transfer to a sheet pan in a 225 F oven or on a grill until golden brown and crunchy.
  • Store in an airtight container.

Mexican Macaroni Salad

I was not prepared for just how much we loved this Mexican macaroni salad. Sure, I looked at the ingredient list and thought “Hey, that’ll be good”. But I didn’t think it’d be absolutely fantastic. But it was. This is what every ole pasta salad you’ve ever had wished it was. Creamy, crunchy, savory, every bite is perfect. Oh, and it makes a HUGE batch, making it perfect for feeding a crowd!

I made only a small change to the original recipe for this Mexican macaroni salad. I wanted the contracting texture of cheese so I cubed a block of Monterey Jack cheese and added it in. Cheddar (mild or sharp) would also be excellent. I think you’d want it cubed, versus shredded, though, so you get a nice ‘bite’.

If I wanted a spicier version of this salad (and I do), I’d use a spicy salsa and add cubed pepperjack cheese instead.

Also try my Creole macaroni salad.

Mexican Macaroni Salad

Course Side Dish
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 12

Ingredients

For the salad

  • 1 pound elbow macaroni or whatever pasta you prefer
  • vegetable oil
  • 2 ears sweet corn
  • 15 ounces black beans drained, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup black olives finely chopped
  • 6 Roma tomatoes chopped
  • 3 green onions thinly sliced (plus more for garnish, if desired)
  • 1/2 medium red onion finely diced
  • 1 pound Monterey Jack cheese cubed (use pepperjack for a bit of a kick!)

For the dressing

  • 1 cup jarred salsa
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • kosher salt to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

For the salad

  • Cook the pasta per package instructions. Drain but do not rinse.
  • Meanwhile, roast the corn. Brush lightly with oil and place on a hot grill or under a broiler, rotating often until lightly browned and cooked.
  • Let the corn cool slightly before cutting the kernels off the ears. Transfer to a large bowl.
  • Add the beans, olives, tomatoes, green onion, red onion and cheese, if using. Toss gently to mix.
  • Add the dressing and cooking pasta and stir gently to coat.
  • Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving. Garnish with additional green onions if desired. Note: If the salad is too thick, stir in some more salsa or mayonnaise before serving.

For the dressing

  • Whisk together all ingredients in a medium bowl.