Hot Bologna Sauce

Ah, fried bologna sandwiches. Now, they aren’t something I eat every day, but when I do make them I do them up right. And that means brushing them with plenty of this hot bologna sauce. The sauce adds a bit of a tang, a bit of a sweetness, and a bit of heat. The perfect combination for a hot-off-the-grill or hot-out-of-the-skillet bologna slices. The beauty of this sauce is that you can really change it up by adding a different BBQ sauce depending on your mood.
Hot Bologna SauceI used my smokehouse BBQ sauce when I made this hot bologna sauce. I like the little bit of smokiness that it adds.  This sauce is just as crazy good brushed onto grilled hot dogs or smoked sausages.

This sauce is great on my southern bologna burgers.

Hot Bologna Sauce

Course Sauce
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 3 cups
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 1 cup your favorite BBQ sauce
  • 1/2 cup prepared mustard
  • 3/4 cup chili sauce
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons your favorite hot sauce
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Whisk together all ingredients.
  • Brush on bologna while grilling or frying. Also great on hot dogs and burgers!

Copycat Cracker Barrel Meatloaf

We absolutely love meatloaf. We don’t consider it to be just a cold-weather dish, either. Heck, one of our favorite meatloaf recipes involve smoking it, which isn’t that much fun to do when it’s -20 F and windy out (although I’ve done it). That’s why I’m always excited when I come across a new-to-me recipe, like this copycat Cracker Barrel meatloaf.

This is great meatloaf. It has the perfect balance of texture and flavor. It’s not crazy different than what grandma would make. It’s old school and it’s incredibly great. Great on a plate sliced or on bread as a meatloaf sandwich. You can’t beat it.
Copycat Cracker Barrel Meatloaf

This is the part of my blog posts where I suggest ways to change up a recipe. Add a bit of kick. Do things differently. Not this time. Not for this copycat Cracker Barrel meatloaf. I wouldn’t change this. Ever. The idea to change it never entered my mind. We loved this meatloaf just as it is.

Also try my easy Creole meatloaf.

Copycat Cracker Barrel Meatloaf

Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Resting time 15 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 sleeves Ritz crackers crushed
  • 1/2 cup onion finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup green bell pepper finely diced
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Topping

  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  • Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Add the crushed crackers, onion, bell pepper, milk, salt, pepper and cheese. Mix well.
  • Add the ground beef and combine. Transfer to the foil-lined pan and shape into a loaf that is 2-3" thick,
  • Bake for 30 minutes.
  • Mix the topping ingredients and brush over the top of the loaf. Bake for another 30 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160 F.
  • Let stand for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

TGI Fridays Buffalo Wings

I’ve always been a fan of Buffalo wings so I’m always up for trying an already-made Buffalo wing sauce, specially since there are so many different ones. I picked up a bottle of TGI Fridays Buffalo wing sauce and quickly got to making a batch of wings, this time using my Vortex insert on my Weber Jumbo Joe. This is not a thick Buffalo wing sauce, but instead it’s quite thin. A bottle goes a long, long ways. It’s a mild sauce so you get great Buffalo-style flavors but without a lot of spiciness. I would say it’s a good  standard Buffalo wing sauce, perfect for a crowd since you don’t have to worry about it being too hot.
TGI Fridays Buffalo WingsTGI Friday’s Buffalo wing sauce isn’t just great on wings, either. It makes for a perfect dipping sauce for chicken fingers or nuggets. If the sauce is too thin just warm it in a sauce pan. Then whisk in just a bit of flour. Not much, but just enough to thicken it up.

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.

TGI Fridays Buffalo Wings

Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
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
  • TGI Fridays Buffalo Wing Sauce to taste

Instructions

Copycat Jersey Mike’s Sub

It seems that there is a sub shop on every corner no matter where you go. When we do grab a sub, it’s Jersey Mike’s. We love the bread, the ratio of ingredients, oil and vinegar, and seasonings. We don’t eat out often, so when we get a craving for a sub we make a copycat of Jersey Mike’s sub at home.
Copycat Jersey Mike's Sub

The keys to making a good copycat of Jersey Mike’s sub are the right oil ratio (3 parts canola oil and 1 part olive oil) and the red wine vinegar (5% diluted). After that, you can do whatever you want, pretty much. We like ours “Mike’s Way”, with tomato, lettuce, onion, and of course oregano and salt. It’s a combination that always works.

Also checkout my copycat of one of my all-time favorite restaurant sandwiches, Subway’s Italian BMT, and my copycat of Quizno’s Italian Sub and of course, my copycat Firehouse Subs Battalion Chief sub too!

Copycat Jersey Mike's Sub

Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Mike

Ingredients

For the sandwich

  • 2 loaves French bread sliced horizontally
  • 1/2 head iceberg lettuce shredded
  • 1 pound thin sliced deli sandwich meat
  • 2 large tomatoes sliced
  • 1 large sweet onion sliced
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano more or less, to taste, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt more or less, to taste
  • red wine vinegar diluted to 5%, see note
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Instructions

  • Assemble the sandwich by dividing the meat between the bread halves.
  • Add the tomato and onion slices. Top with a few good handfuls of the lettuce.
  • Sprinkle the sandwiches with the red wine vinegar. Don't be shy with it.
  • Combine the canola and olive oils and sprinkle over the sandwiches. More is better, in my opinion.
  • Finally, sprinkle tops with the oregano and salt. Add the top halves of the bread, slice in half in the middle. Serve.

Notes

Note: The red wine vinegar you use should be dilute to 5%. I checked a few of the bottles available at our local grocery store and all were 5%, so I did not need to dilute the vinegar any further.

Red Velvet Popcorn

I’ve made my share of savory popcorn snacks before. Crab boil popcorn for example has long been a favorite of mine. This time I decided to go the sweet route and add in Anita’s favorite: red velvet cake. It’s just that easy too. Make a simple red velvet cake from a box mix (or just buy a cake or cupcakes from your bakery) and add to popped popcorn. Every bite has that wonderful chocolaty red velvet flavor and hey, it looks cool too.
Red Velvet PopcornYou could use any cake recipe you want. This is also a great way to use up any cake that you might have leftover from a birthday party. It is a messy (but tasty) way to eat cake, so make sure you have plenty of napkins on hand.

I use an old Stir Crazy popper for making popcorn. It’s easy and always makes perfectly popped kernels. Nothing fancy but it does the job.

Also try my crazy-good crab boil popcorn.

Red Velvet Popcorn

Course Snack
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 8 cups

Ingredients

  • 8 cups popped popcorn from 1/2 cup un-popped kernels
  • 3 cups leftover red velvet cake with icing, curmbled

Instructions

  • Place the popcorn in a large sealable container.
  • Sprinkle in the cake crumbs.
  • Seal and shake the bowl. A lot. A whole lot. You want the cake to get evenly distributed throughout the popcorn.
  • Devour!

Rotisserie Chicken Wings

I have cooked my share of wings and then some. On my Char-Broil Big Easy. And on a smoker. Sometimes, on a charcoal grill using the Vortex BBQ. Deep fried. Slow cooked. Any way, any time, I do love wings. Heck, I even put together a free eCookbook full of wings, using homemade and store-bought sauces. But until now I had never cooked wings using a rotisserie basket on my grill. One thing is for sure, this is not the last time I’ll be doing it, either. Perfectly crispy wings cooked up in no time, using a gas or charcoal grill. Nothing but yumminess here!
Rotisserie Chicken WingsI coated the wings in a just a bit of oil first. Then I tossed them with my favorite wing seasoning. That’s it. For the rotisserie all you need is a super hot indirect fire. You don’t want flame directly beneath the wings as they will drip, and that’ll cause flare-ups and burning. So keep the fire around the wings, but not below and your wings will come out as great as mine did.

Resist the temptation to open the lid to your grill while the wings cook. But I have to admit, I peaked once or twice because hey, it’s cool to see wings toss around in a basket. It’s the ultimate in food porn.

Also try my super-easy rotisserie whole chicken.

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.

Rotisserie Chicken Wings

Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 3-4 pounds  chicken wings flats and drumettes separated, tips discarded
  • 2 tablespoons 
    vegetable oil
  • Your favorite wing seasoning I used my Fire-Eater rub
  • Your favorite Buffalo wing sauce

Instructions

  • Place wings in a large resealable baggie or container. Add the oil and seasoning. Seal and toss to coat. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • Fire up your grill with a rotisserie attachment. You do not want any direct fire beneath the basket. I put a disposable pan under the basket to catch and drippings. On a charcoal grill you'll want to keep the lit coals in front of and behind the rotisserie. For a gas grill you want any burner(s) to the left and right of the basket to be lit if your burners run from-to-back. If your burners run from left-to-right you want to have the burner(s) in front of and behind the basket to be lit. If you have an infrared burner above your basket, light it also and turn it to medium-high. All other burners should be on high.
  • Transfer the wings to the basket and place on your grill. Turn on the rotisserie and close the lid. You want high heat, so no peaking. Let the wings cook for 20 minutes before checking them. They should start to crisp and the meat will start to pull back from the bones. Mine ended up taking 25-30 minutes until they got how I liked them.
  • Carefully remove the wings from the basket and sauce and serve.

Smoked Velveeta Macaroni and Cheese

I recently smoked a big block of Velveeta. When I first mentioned the idea you could actually hear the gasps. Half were in amazement, half were not impressed. Well, for those not on the smoked Velveeta train, time to admit you were wrong because it’s crazy, crazy good! My first recipe for it? Yep, smoked Velveeta macaroni and cheese!
Smoked Velveeta Macaroni and Cheese

You could make this recipe with ‘regular’ Velveeta instead. But I have to say, smoked Velveeta macaroni and cheese is something special. The flavor is just right. The creaminess is what you’d expect.

This recipe is also fantastic using smoked cheddar cheese, something I’ve made a few times also. You can also find smoked cheddar in most stores. Sadly, you cannot find smoked Velveeta in stores. Yet.

Smoked Velveeta Macaroni and Cheese

Course Side
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 pound dried elbow macaroni
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter divided
  • 3/4 cup diced sweet onion
  • 1 pound smoked Velveeta chopped (you can substitute smoked shredded cheddar)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 1/2 cups Panko breadcrumbs

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 F
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta until al dente, 7 minutes. Rinse and drain well.
  • Drain water from pot and add 2 tablespoons of butter over medium-low heat.
  • Add the onion and cook until just soft.
  • Add the cubed Velveeta, milk and mustard. Stir and let cook until the cheese has melted and is smooth, stirring often. You want the sauce to thicken until it sticks to a spoon, 10-15 minutes.
  • Stir in the cooked macaroni. Pour into a lightly greased 9" x 13" baking dish.
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown and hot.
  • Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter in a small saute pan.
  • Add the Panko and stir until golden brown, about 5 minutes.
  • Sprinkle breadcrumbs over the mac-and-cheese. Slice and serve.

Garlic-Cheese Crescent Rolls

I was ‘fridge diving’ when I came across a tube of crescent roll dough. I had already forgotten why I had originally purchased it. Well, didn’t matter because I knew then that with just a few more ingredients I could spruce them up to go with that night’s spaghetti. These garlic-cheese crescent rolls are proof that it doesn’t take much to make plain into … well, not plain!
Garlic-Cheese Crescent Rolls

You can use any spices and cheese you desire. You don’t have to make garlic-cheese crescent rolls exactly like the recipe. I like to substitute smoky chipotle powder for the spices for a nice southwestern, lightly spicy, variation. Creole seasoning and Old Bay make for a totally interesting twist that pair well with jambalaya or shrimp dishes. Go crazy with it!

Also try my chipotle garlic cheese bread.

Garlic-Cheese Crescent Rolls

Course Bread
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 17 minutes
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 8 ounce tube crescent roll dough
  • 3 tablespoons butter melted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  • Open dough and separate and shape per package instructions. Bake for half the time indicated on the tube (6 minutes).
  • Combine butter, garlic powder and oregano; brush over rolls. Sprinkle with cheese.
  • Return the rolls to the oven and bake another 6 minutes or until golden brown.

Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes

I have been a huge fan of anything Sloppy Joe since I was a kid. Back then I thought there was only one way to make Sloppy Joes: open a can, warm the sauce, slop it on a bun. Well, times have changed and so has my Sloppy Joes. This slow cooker Sloppy Joes puts that canned stuff to shame. Rich flavorful tomatoey sauce with a little kick. I loved the combination of ground beef with breakfast sausage. Different. Perfect. And all so easy to make using a slow cooker.
Slow Cooker Sloppy JoesI topped my slow cooker Sloppy Joes with a tangy vinegar-based Delta cole slaw. I liked the crunchy contrast. The vinegar in the slaw complimented the vinegar in the meat sauce. I think a creamy cole slaw would have made the sandwiches too creamy. I never thought I’d say that but like I said, my Sloppy Joe game has risen to a whole new level now.

Also try my delicious Bayou Sloppy Joes.

Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes

Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 8 servings
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork breakfast sausage I used spicy
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1/2 medium green bell pepper chopped
  • 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup water plus more if needed
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons prepared yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 8 hamburger buns toasted if desired

Instructions

  • Crumble the beef and sausage into a Dutch oven over medium-high heat and cook until just starting to brown.
  • Add the onion and bell pepper and continue cooking until the meats are done. Drain any excess fat.
  • Transfer meat mixture to a slow cooker on low heat.
  • Stir in all of the remaining ingredients except for the buns.
  • Cook on low for 4 hours, stirring occasionally. Add more water, a little at a time, if the mixture gets too thin.
  • Serve over toasted buns.

Roasted Turkey Wings on the Char-Broil Big Easy

If you have a family member (or heck, if it’s you!) that loves dark meat, I highly recommend making roasted turkey wings on the Char-Broil Big Easy. They take no time at all and come out crispy and delicious. There’s no special preparation required. Just a little oil and salt and pepper. Sure, you can substitute your favorite poultry rub for the salt and pepper if you want but don’t use anything with sugar in it. The high heat of the Big Easy may cause the sugar to burn.
Roasted Turkey Wings on the Char-Broil Big EasyYou can often find turkey wings on sale right before or after Thanksgiving. I grab as many as I can and roast them up for making turkey broth. The broth makes for the absolutely best turkey gravy you can imagine. Seriously, I make it by the gallon.

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

Roasted Turkey Wings on the Char-Broil Big Easy

Note: Depending on the size, you can fit 3-4 turkey wings in the Big Easy at once. Add a Bunk Bed basket to double that amount.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 6 wings
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 6 turkey wings defrosted if frozen
  • Vegetable oil
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper or substitute your favorite turkey seasoning, such as Todd's Dirt

Instructions

  • Fire up your Big Easy.
  • Lightly brush the wings with oil. I found it easier to just pour the oil on my hands and then rub them on the wings.
  • Season well. Don't be shy.
  • Add wings to the Big Easy basket and transfer to the cooker. Cook for approximately 10 minutes/pound or until wings are at least 165 F.
  • Remove and let cool slightly before serving.