Beer Can Chicken Jambalaya

I made a lot, and I do mean a lot, of beer can chickens on my Char-Broil Big Easy last weekend. So, I had a good amount of chicken on hand, and that got me to thinking jambalaya. I took the classic jambalaya recipe from Chef John Folse and used my tender, incredibly flavorful beer can chicken instead of browned fresh chicken.

There’s no loser in this beer can chicken jambalaya, but for me the winner is the rice (well, and me for getting to eat it). It absorbs flavors from the vegetables and meats and broth and spices and turns out just flat-out incredible.

You can add shrimp to this jambalaya if you want, but I prefer mine without it. It’s hard to re-heat shrimp leftovers without them becoming way too tough. Since this recipe make a big, big batch and there’s only two of us, I was guaranteed to have leftovers and then some.

Beer Can Chicken Jambalaya
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 14-18 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 pounds smoked sausage, sliced
  • 2 cups onion, diced
  • 2 cups celery, diced
  • 1 cup green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup garlic, minced
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 3 pounds cooked beer can chicken, shredded or cubed
  • 2 cups mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup green onions, sliced
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • Salt and cayenne pepper (I used 2-3 tablespoons), to taste
  • Louisiana style hot sauce (I used 1/4 cup or more), to taste
  • 5 cups uncooked long grain rice
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in a very large (7 quart or larger) Dutch oven.
  2. Add the sausage and brown lightly on all sides. Remove.
  3. Add the onion, celery, and bell pepper. Saute for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the garlic and cook another minute.
  5. Add the stock. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer and continue simmering for 15 minutes.
  6. Add the chicken, reserved smoked sausage, mushrooms, green onions, parsley, salt, cayenne pepper and hot sauce.
  7. Cover and simmer another 15 minutes.
  8. Add the rice, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 45 minutes or until the rice is tender, stirring every 15 minutes.

Spicy Chicken Salad

A better name for this spicy chicken salad would be ‘absolutely fantastic, totally different, outrageously great chicken salad’, but that’s too long for a blog post title. This is not your typical chicken salad. Sure, it’s creamy, but there are special, unexpected ingredients in there too. Like cheese (in a chicken salad????!). And bell pepper (why didn’t I think of that? It adds great crunch and flavor). And tart sour cream???! And my favorite flavors, spicy smoky chipotle and cooling creamy avocado. What a great chicken salad this is!
spicy-chicken-saladI wouldn’t change  a thing about this salad.

If you aren’t going to use the entire batch at once, I do recommend that you only mix in avocado with what you will use. The avocado isn’t going to keep for long. You’re better off mixing it in when you need it.

Spicy Chicken Salad
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 cooked chicken, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/3 cup pepper jack cheese, diced
  • 1 avocado, diced
Instructions
  1. Place the mayonnaise, sour cream, lime juice, salt, garlic powder, chipotle powder, onion powder and cumin in a large bowl. Whisk until smooth.
  2. Add the chicken, bell pepper and cheese and stir.
  3. Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  4. Gently fold in the avocado and serve on bread, in wraps, or on crispy lettuce.

 

Bistro Burger Version 2.0

Any good bistro has good bistro burgers. And there are as many variations as there are bistros. My first favorite bistro burger was loaded with lettuce, fried egg, bacon, and a whole bunch of other things. Version 2.0 of the bistro burger takes a little simpler approach, combining delicious grilled mushrooms and onion with a fantastic sauce. The sauce absolutely pairs beautifully with the burger, and is so good that I doubled the recipe.
bistro-burger-version-2I’m a casual fan of horseradish, which means it can easily become too strong for me if there is too much of it in a dish. The amount of horseradish in the sauce on these bistro burgers was just right for me. The same sauce now finds its way onto wraps and sandwiches in our household. It’s just that good.

Bistro Burger Version 2.0
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
 
Ingredients
For the burgers
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 ounces fresh button mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 ounces fresh cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 cup red onions, sliced then
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 slices Swiss cheese
  • 4 slices Fontina cheese
  • 4 onion burger rolls
For the sauce (we love the sauce so much that we doubled it)
  • 1/4 mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped (or substitute green onions)
Instructions
For the sauce
  1. Whisk together all ingredients until smooth.
For the burgers
  1. Fire up your grill.
  2. Season the burgers with salt and pepper and begin cooking.
  3. Toss the mushrooms and onion with the olive oil and place on a sheet of aluminum foil.
  4. Place foil on grill and cook until the mushrooms are starting to get tender.
  5. When the burgers are done top with the mushroom mixture.
  6. Add the cheese slices and melt.
  7. Toast the buns if desired. Slather with the sauce.
  8. Add the cooked patties.
  9. Devour.

Asian Pork Burgers

I could’ve just left off the lettuce because these Asian pork burgers require absolutely nothing else to make them even more fantastic. Every bite is packed with tender, juicy pork. Teriyaki and soy sauces and ginger bring that Asian-inspired taste. Add a few vegetables and you have what might just be the perfect pork burger.
Asian Pork BurgersI substituted a hot pepper instead of adding bell pepper. I wanted a little heat in my burgers. Nothing too overpowering. You can also just add a few pinches of red pepper flake if you want a little kick. But don’t leave out the vegetables. They add not only flavor but moisture, which pork needs.

Asian Pork Burgers
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8 servings
 
These burgers are so packed with flavor that they really don't require any toppings.
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds ground pork
  • 1 small apple, peeled, cored, finely chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 green or red bell pepper, finely chopped (I substituted a small chili pepper)
  • 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
  • 1/4 cup apple cider
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 8 hamburger buns
Instructions
  1. Place the pork in a large bowl.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients except for the buns.
  3. Divide into 8 equally-sized portions and form into patties.
  4. Wrap in wax paper and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  5. Fire up your grill.
  6. Grill the burgers for 5 minutes then flip and continue grilling until done (160 F internal temperature).
  7. Toast the buns, if desired.
  8. Serve.

Homemade Frosted Corn Flakes

One of the first recipes I made out of John Currence’s Big Bad Breakfast: The Most Important Book of the Day was homemade frosted corn flakes. As soon as I saw it I was like wow…. how cool would it be to eat a bowl of cereal that I made? So I did. And it was fantastic. So much more corn flavor than the stuff in a box! I mean they were super corny!
These homemade frosted corn flakes were also a lot crunchier than the ones out of a box. They can definitely hold up to milk. You know how with the store-bought flakes you only have a few minutes before you have bowl of soggy sadness. Not with these. You’ll be crunching until the last flake.

5 from 1 reviews
Homemade Frosted Corn Flakes
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 cups
 
Ingredients
  • 2 1/12 cups cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup masa
  • 6 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 2-4 cups boiling water
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 250 F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Lightly spray the paper with non-stick spray.
  3. Combine the cornmeal, masa, 3 tablespoons of the sugar, and all of the salt.
  4. Add 2 cups of boiling water and stir until blended. Add more water as needed, getting the batter to a consistency just a little thinner than that of pancake batter.
  5. Pour the batter out onto the lined baking sheet and spread out evenly. Try to get it as thin as
  6. possible (mine was a bit thick, but you're aiming for 1/8" if possible).
  7. Sprinkle the batter with the remaining sugar.
  8. Bake for 45 minutes, turning every 15 minutes. The batter will dry out and start to crack. If your batter is thick like mine you might have to bake it a little longer.
  9. Remove from the oven and let cool.
  10. Break up the corn into bite-sized pieces. It's like breaking up brittle, but you want smaller pieces.
  11. Return to the oven and bake another hour or until fully dried.
  12. Remove and let cool completely. The flakes will get a bit crunchier after cooling.
  13. Keep in an airtight container.

 

BBQ Pulled Pork Poutine

I’m a big fan of poutine. It’s definitely one of my favorite dishes. I’ve made it the classic way (fries, curds, gravy) many times. This time I thought I’d try a totally different approach to poutine and top the fries with smoked BBQ pulled pork instead. A handful or two of curds and a pickle garnish and I was in poutine heaven again.
There’s really no way to improve on this BBQ pulled pork poutine. Every bite was flat-out delicious. I used spicy hot pepper cheese curds, but I think any flavor (other maybe curds infused with herbs such as rosemary or thyme) would work perfectly.

As an aside, on the off chance that you have a little leftover pulled pork and curds, make a few baked potatoes and top them with the meat and cheese. You won’t be sorry.

5 from 1 reviews
BBQ Pulled Pork Poutine
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6 servings
 
The amounts below can be changed to suit your tastes. I didn't measure anything very closely, I just went for it. You can't mess this up so don't worry about amounts so much.
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 pounds frozen French fries, cooked per package instructions (or use fresh-made)
  • 1 cup BBQ pulled pork, warmed
  • 1 cup cheese curds (I used hot pepper curds)
  • 1 1/2 pounds frozen French fries, cooked per package instructions (or use fresh-made)
  • 1 cup bread-and-butter pickles, diced
Instructions
  1. Spread the fries out onto a large platter.
  2. Add pulled pork and cheese curds.
  3. Drizzle with the BBQ sauce and garnish with the pickles.
  4. Devour.

Easy Sausage Stromboli

This easy sausage stromboli is called easy for a reason. We’d just gotten in from a long day and we were hungry and too beat to throw together a huge meal. But that doesn’t mean huge and lame. Just easy and fantastic. Yummy Italian sausage (spicy sausage makes it even better), pizza sauce and lots of ooey-gooey cheese all in crispy golden brown dough. Nothing fancy, nothing fru-fru, but definitely good and filling.
Easy Sausage StromboliDon’t be afraid to add a little chopped bell pepper to the onion while it is cooking up. Don’t get it too soft though, you’ll still want a bit of crunch to it. If you have extra pizza sauce on hand warm it up and serve it on the side for dipping.

Also try my other stromboli recipe and a stromboli sandwich (yum!).

Easy Sausage Stromboli
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6 servings
 
Ingredients
  • Olive oil
  • 1 medium sweet onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound spicy Italian sausage
  • 1 pound pizza dough (I used a tube of Pillsbury pizza crust)
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup pizza sauce, plus more for dipping if desired
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
For the topping
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 F.
  2. Saute the onion in a splash of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  3. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Crumble in the sausage and cook until done.
  5. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
  6. Flatten the dough into a rectangular shape in a 10" x 13" low-rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silpat.
  7. Sprinkle the dough with half of the mozzarella.
  8. Add sausage and drizzle with the sauce.
  9. Add remaining mozzarella.
  10. Roll the dough up working from the longest edge. Pinch the seam and edges, and place seam-side down onto the mat.
  11. Combine the topping ingredients and brush over the top of the dough.
  12. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and bake for 18 minutes.
  13. Let rest 5-10 minutes before slicing.
  14. Serve with warmed pizza sauce for dipping if desired.
For the topping

Cajun Shrimp-Stuffed Poblano Peppers

Wow, talk about amazingly good. The heck with the main dish, just load me up on some of these Cajun shrimp-stuffed poblano peppers. A slight kick of heat, perfect shrimp and creamy melted cheese. What’s not to love?
cajun-shrimp-stuffed-pobalno-peppersYou could use green bell peppers instead, if you want. I love poblanos because they are a little spicier than a bell pepper without just completely drowning out a dish in heat.

For extra kick, substitute shredded pepper jack cheese for the feta and mozzarella and add a few diced roasted jalapenos into the shrimp mixture. That’ll definitely liven up the party.

Cajun Shrimp-Stuffed Poblano Peppers
Author: 
Recipe type: Side
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 2 large poblano peppers
  • 1/2 pound shrimp, raw or pre-cooked, 24-30 count, peeled, deveined
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil (if you are using raw shrimp)
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
  • 1/4 cup ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil, crumbled
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce
  • Cilantro, chopped, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Note: You can use pre-cooked shrimp if you desire. Just toss the shrimp with the Cajun seasoning and do not cook.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  3. Cut the peppers in half lengthwise. Remove any stems or seeds.
  4. If using cooked shrimp, toss the shrimp with the Cajun seasoning in a large bowl.
  5. If using raw shrimp, heat the oil over medium-high heat in a skillet. Add the shrimp, sprinkle with the seasoning, and cook, turning, until done, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  6. Add the cheeses, basil and hot sauce to the shrimp Stir.
  7. Transfer shrimp mixture to the poblanos and place on a baking dish.
  8. Place in oven and bake 30 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the peppers are softened.
  9. Serve garnished with chopped cilantro.