I’m a big fan of battered fried fish. Add in some fries, a side of tartar sauce, and give me a bottle of malt vinegar and I’m one happy guy. This copycat of Captain D’s batter dipped fish checks all my boxes. Slightly crunchy. Tasty. Oh, and easy. Crazy easy. This is just like the great fish you can get at the restaurant.
I use a little FryDaddy when I cook my copycat Captain D’s batter dipped fish. It’s perfect for small pieces of fish and it heats the oil to the perfect temperature. But for larger pieces or when making dinner for more than just a few people, I use a Dutch oven or a bigger deep fryer.
No matter what you use to cook your fish, make sure that you don’t overcook it. The fish will dry out and not be good at all. Also make sure you get the oil temperature high enough. Low temperatures won’t cook the fish correctly. Low oil temperature will also saturate the fish with oil. That’s not good either.
2poundscod filletscut into bite-sized chunks if desired
Heat 3" of oil in a deep fryer or Dutch oven to 350 F.
In a large bowl add the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, salt and cayenne. Whisk to combine.
Slowly whisk in the water. You want a pancake-like batter. If it's too thick add a bit (a very small bit!) more water and whisk.
Rinse and pat the fish dry. I prefer to cut mine into bite-sized pieces.
Working in batches, add the fish to the batter and turn to coat completely. Transfer to the oil and deep fry 3-4 minutes, turning once, until golden brown. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate. If desired, sprinkle the fish with salt.
Note: If you like to cut your fish into bite-sized pieces before frying, you might need more batter to fully coat them. I usually double the batter ingredients just to make sure I have enough.
Crab cakes are one of those things where I have absolutely zero self-control. I cannot get enough of them. These crab cakes with shrimp are no exception, that’s for sure. The addition of chopped shrimp to the Cajun-flavor-packed crab mixture really makes for a different twist on a crab-only cake. I found myself loving these even more than ‘just’ crab cakes. It did not surprise me when Anita proclaimed these to be the best things we’ve made.
The cakes do have a bit of a spiciness to them. I found them to be fantastic. They’re not overly spicy, not at all. Every bite is a fantastic mix of flavors that I just hoped would never end.
I served our crab cakes with a chilled Creole remoulade sauce that was perfect for dipping. You can also make appetizer-sized cakes, but I’d make extra because they’re going to go fast.
Yowsa. Cedar-planked bloomin’ onions where have you been? Why weren’t you in my life years and years ago? Because this right here… this? This is good stuff. Mighty good stuff. The perfect side dish for the perfect grilled burger dinner. The onions are grilled until just tender, but still with a bit of crunch. They’re seasoned, and seasoned good. And they have just a hint of the smoky cedar plank used to grill them. All this and a delicious roasted red pepper dipping sauce.
There’s not any deep-frying going on here. Nope. Just clean, fantastic flavors. You’ll find yourself making cedar-planked bloomin’ onions again and again.Try different sauces. Try different woods, too. You can’t go wrong. Just grab a few big ole sweet onions and get to it!
You'll need a large cedar plank. Submerge the plank in water for 2 hours before making the onions.
For the onions
1large grilling plankcedar or any other untreated wood will work
Italian seasoningto taste
Parmesan cheesegrated, to taste
granulated garlicto taste
olive oilto taste
kosher saltto taste
freshly ground black pepperto taste
fresh parsleychopped, for garnish
For the aioli
1cuproasted red peppers
kosher saltto taste
freshly ground black pepperto taste
For the onions
Fire up your grill for indirect cooking 350-400 F.
Prepare your onions by cutting 1/2 inch off the stem end, then peel all the skin off. Place the onion on a cutting board cut side down.
Make cuts vertically thru the onion starting 1/2" from the root part that is sticking up. You'll make 16 evenly-spaced cuts around the onion, all the way to the cutting board. Make sure you go all the way through.
Carefully transfer the onion to your plank and turn over so the root is down. Carefully separate the pedals as if you were opening a flower.
Drizzle the onions with olive oil.
Sprinkle the onions liberally with the Italian seasoning, salt and pepper and Parmesan.
Place plank on grill away from heat and cook for 1 hour or until pedals have started to soften. If you prefer move plank over direct heat last 10-15 minutes to get more smoky flavor from the plank. Watch out for fires, though, and be prepared to move the plank back to indirect heat to put them out.
Garnish with parsley and serve.
For the aioli
Place all the ingredients into a food processor and pulse until well blended.
Baked bacon is one of my favorite things. A little time, a little seasoning and I’ve got a wonderful treat. I like my bacon to not be super-duper crunchy. Just a little bite is perfect. For me, baking is easier than cooking bacon in a skillet and I get a more-consistently cooked product (with minimal curling!). With less mess, too.
When I worked at the cafeteria at a large army base outside of Washington DC we would bake an unbelievable amount of bacon. And specially for Saturday morning’s buffet. Rack after rack after rack of bacon. I started as a dishwasher. Nothing was harder than scrubbing stack after stack of large sheet pans that had pieces of bacon stuck to them. I avoid that now by lining my pans with foil. A teen making minimum wage was probably cheaper than foil back in the day, so we didn’t line the pans at the cafeteria. We also didn’t season the bacon, something I really love to do.
If you’re planning on draining off the bacon drippings to use for other purposes, you might want to skip the seasoning all-together, or strain it first to remove any spice pieces.
For cleanup I take the paper towel that I drained the bacon on and toss it onto the baking sheet to absorb any grease. I fold up the sides of the foil and seal it tightly to create a packet that can be tossed into the bin without having to worry about it leaking.
Baked bacon is also a great way to use up those last bits of the spices you have in the pantry. You know the ones, they’ve been in there forever waiting for you to figure out what to do with them. Well, know you know!
Preheat oven to 350 F. For thick or crisper bacon you can go as high as 400 F.
Line a large rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Lay the bacon out onto the baking sheet. Do not overlap the pieces or let them touch.
Sprinkle the top side of the bacon with the seasoning.
Bake for 20 minutes. The bacon will still be mostly uncooked.
Flip and season the other side. Return to the oven for 15 minutes or until the desired doneness is achieved. I like my bacon done, but only lightly crispy. Thin bacon usually takes a total of 35 minutes, while thick can take 45 minutes or longer.
Remove bacon to paper towel-lined plate to drain then serve.
Do not use seasonings that contain a lot of sugar. If your seasonings contain a lot of salt I recommend using them sparingly as the bacon is already salty to begin with if it has been salt-cured.I usually use Grill Mates from McCormick. Todd's Dirt is also a favorite, along with any of the mixes from AlbuKirky Seasonings.Sometime bacon, specially thinner slices, can be hard to separate when removing it from the packaging. I freeze my bacon for a few minutes to make the pieces easier to remove. Just don't put the bacon in the freezer and forget about it!
A quick sub sandwich is my favorite lazy weekend lunch. Nothing fancy, but made fresh in just minutes. The stars of my house sub sandwich are the meats and the spicy dressing. I almost always include sandwich pepperoni on my subs, though sometimes it is a bit hard to find. It’s like pizza pepperoni only bigger and sliced thinner. It adds great flavor to any sandwich. The dressing mix really amps up the sandwich. No plain-ole mayonnaise here, that’s for sure. If you’re more in the mood for an oil and vinegar for your house sub sandwich, try my Italian hoagie dressing. It’s really really good, if I say so myself. It isn’t spicy like the dressing on these subs, but you can remedy that by adding a few spicy banana peppers on top.
I love making ‘regular’ baked potatoes. And I love making Hasselback potatoes. For whatever reason, I find making them to be more fun. They are cool looking. They’re super-easy to cook. These three cheese Hasselback potatoes are simple yet packed with plenty of yummy creamy cheese. I love cheese. I love these potatoes.
Time for me to fess up. In the past I’ve cut my Hasselback potatoes by hand, using an old wooden spoon to prevent me from cutting too far. I was fairly successful at it, but it was time consuming and often frustrating. So now I ‘cheat’. I bought a slicing rack for these three cheese Hasselback potatoes and my life is oh so much better since I did. Perfectly sliced potatoes, every single time. Check it out on Amazon.
I make it a point to peruse the marinade section of my local grocery store on a regular basis. One of my favorite things to make is marinated roasted chicken breasts. Sliced and served on a bed of greens, I get a healthy dinner salad that is packed with flavor. This easy Creole chicken on the Char-Broil Big Easy has a light spicy flavor that didn’t overwhelm my salad.
When using any kind of marinade you need to make sure it doesn’t have a high sugar content. The Big Easy cooks at a pretty high temperature and sugary marinades may burn long before whatever you are cooking gets done so steer clear of them.
Anita was looking for a simple, low-carb side dish to take in her lunches to work. The pasta salads we normally made were just a bit too high in carbs, so I suggested we try a quick fix Italian salad. Tasty, easy, and low-carb, this salad was a welcome change and luckily, packed with flavor too! This quick fix Italian salad is just a simple variation on a traditional side salad often found at picnics and family get-togethers. I keep the portion size small, making a week’s-worth of salads at once Sunday evening. I use little 1-cup sized seal-able reusable containers with screw-on lids. The lids keep the dressing from leaking out in case the containers are overturned.
Sometimes I mix things up just a big. Leave out the meat (making it the perfect side dish for my toasted Italian sandwich). Substitute spicy pepperjack cheese. Try a different Italian dressing. I still keep the salad low-carb, but you do have to mix things up (even if only slightly) to keep them from getting too boring.
It’s ok if after you make this beef enchilada dip you decide to put down your tortilla chip and grab a spoon and eat it like chili. I’m not going to blame you one single bit. The enchilada sauce has that great southwestern spiciness to it. Adding some ground beef and toppings make it not only a great dip but also a great chili. I used my fire-roasted enchilada sauce when I made this beef enchilada dip. The char flavor comes thru, making the tomato sauce oh so much better. I often find myself substituting fire-roasted versions of peppers and tomatoes in recipes. Specially when the recipes call for chiles or jalapenos.
Ahhhhhh. Yummy. Tender, juicy, flavorful beer n’ butter turkey on the Char-Broil Big Easy proves again that there is no better cooker when it comes to poultry. No fussing with an oven, no messes in the kitchen. Just easy and fantastic. Every single time. The injection for this turkey is incredible. I would definitely call it my ‘go-to’ for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any time I want to wow my guests with a great meal.
I wouldn’t change a thing about this beer n’ butter turkey on the Char-Broil Big Easy. This recipe needs no modifications, nothing. Make it as-is and you’ll be happy with every turkey you ever make.
If you’ve never injected a turkey, don’t be intimidated by the process. To ensure success, take your time, be patient and definitely use a quality injector. I use one similar to the Grill Beast. It is heavy-duty, made of metal. Not plastic. It has several injection needles, which is a definite must. Just load it up with the liquid and slowly inject into the turkey. And pull the needle back out SLOWLY. Or else you’ll have an injection explosion. Trust me on this. Walls, cabinets, you name it. You pull that needle out quickly and stuff is gonna fly. You’ll get the hang of it.