Hawaiian Pork Burger

This Hawaiian pork burger is exactly why we should be eating more pork burgers. Packed with flavor and finished with great toppings, every bite was a treat. I could’ve opted to grill the pineapple, but I love the taste of fresh pineapple just as it is. That sweet flavor along with the tangy BBQ sauce really went along well with the slightly herby patties.
Hawaiian Pork BurgersI’d make these Hawaiian pork burgers again. And again. I do recommend using a BBQ sauce with a slight smoky flavor. And a little spiciness wouldn’t hurt either since you’ve got that wonderfully sweet pineapple slice to contrast it.

Hawaiian Pork Burger
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1/4 cup minced green onion, green parts only
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • Pinch freshly ground black pepper
  • Vegetable oil
  • 4 pineapple rings
  • 1/4 cup BBQ sauce
  • 4 burger buns
  • 4 green leaf lettuce leaves
  • 4 slices smoked ham sandwich meat
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl combine the pork, green onion, ginger, allspice, and pepper.
  2. Form into 4 equally-sized patties. Place on wax paper and refrigerate for up 2 hours.
  3. Fire up your grill. Clean the grates well.
  4. Lightly oil the outsides of the patties. Not much, just a bit so they don't stick.
  5. Grill the patties on one side for 5 minutes.
  6. Flip and continue cooking until done, reaching at least 145 F internally. I took mine to 160 F because some folks still aren't used to pink pork even though it's fine to consume.
  7. Optionally, brush the patties with BBQ sauce and grill the pineapple rings. I find grilled pineapple rings to be prone to falling apart unless cooked on a griddle, so I usually skip grilling them.
  8. Remove the patties and let rest for 5 minutes.
  9. Meanwhile, toast your buns if desired.
  10. Assemble the burgers by brushing BBQ sauce on the inside of the buns.
  11. Top the bottom bun with the ham, followed by the lettuce and pineapple.
  12. Add the pork burger and serve.

Crab Cake Po’ Boy

Oh how I do love po’ boys. Guaranteed great bread, with a crunchy crust and soft insides. Fresh toppings that always pack a little kick. And a bag of Zapp’s chips. The perfect meal. This crab cake po’ boy more than hit the spot. Tender, flaky crab cakes on a homemade po’ boy roll, topped with a killer spicy lettuce mix.

The lettuce mixture on this crab cake po’ boy has become my standard po’ boy dressing. It has just the right amount of kick for me, and a little crunch. I pick up a head of iceberg lettuce, shred and chop it, and stuff it into a baggie in the fridge, always on hand when I need to make a po’ boy, which is quite often.

I made the bread myself, using a dough recipe that uses a bread machine. The bread is perfect in flavor and texture. But I admit, my dough rolling technique needs work. Sometimes I get perfect loaves, sometimes I don’t. I could substitute French bread,¬† but honestly it’s not quite the same texture. Close, but not quite.

Crab Cake Po' Boy
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 serving
 
Ingredients
For the po' boy
For the lettuce mixture
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Creole mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon (or more, to taste) Louisiana hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
  • 2/3 cup shredded and chopped iceberg lettuce
Instructions
For the po' boy
  1. Cut the French bread in half horizontally.
  2. Add the sliced tomato, cooked crab cakes and the lettuce mixture.
  3. Devour
For the lettuce mixture
  1. Place all ingredients in a medium bowl and fold to combine.

Deluxe Philly Cheese Steak

Well, yes, I do usually make my Philly cheese steak sandwiches with thin-sliced rib eye steak. But I came upon some nicely-priced beef tenderloin, and since I had some odd-shaped pieces left after trimming it to make filet mignon, I decided to cook up this crazy good deluxe Philly cheese steak. It’s like the classic, but with a really fancy twist. Super tender, super flavorful.
I love the addition of garlic salt to this deluxe Philly cheese steak. It adds a nice different flavor beyond just salt and black pepper. Don’t go crazy with the garlic salt, but make sure to add enough to taste it.

Deluxe Philly Cheese Steak
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 sandwiches
 
Ingredients
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced thin
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded, sliced thin
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded, sliced thin
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound beef tenderloin, sliced very thin
  • 4 slices (or more) Mozzarella cheese
  • 1 large loaf French bread or 4 separate Italian soft rolls, split
Instructions
  1. Add the oil to a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add in the onion, bell peppers, garlic salt and pepper and saute until just tender. Remove to a bowl or plate and set aside.
  3. Add the steak to the skillet and fry until browned.
  4. Add the onion and pepper mixture back in and stir.
  5. Cover meat with the cheese.
  6. Spoon mixture onto bread and serve.

Deviled Egg Salad Club Sandwich

There’s no doubt about it. It only took one bite and Anita and I both agreed: a deviled egg salad club sandwich is a fantastic thing. It is the combination of two classics, deviled eggs and a club sandwich. Crunchy bacon, creamy egg salad and fresh juicy tomato. Nothing fancy, but something mighty good. Perfect for a picnic or outing, too, since you can make all of the components ahead of time and just assemble the sandwiches at the park or wherever you’re going!
We recently received an egg cooker as a gift. I was highly skeptical of it. I’ve had limited success with kitchen gadgets. Well, I admit when I’m wrong because the cooker makes the absolute perfect hard-boiled eggs (among other ways of cooking eggs). I cannot for the life of me get it to make a bad egg. They peel easily and without any damage to the eggs time and time again. It never fails. I absolutely love it.

Deviled Egg Salad Club Sandwich
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 8 large eggs, hard-boiled, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 stalk celery, very finely chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 8 slices thick-cut bacon, cooked
  • 12 slices white bread, lightly toasted
  • Green-leaf lettuce and ripe tomatoes, sliced, to taste
Instructions
  1. Combine the eggs, mayonnaise, onion, sweet pickle relish, paprika, salt and pepper to taste in a bowl. Using the back of a fork gently mash the eggs while stirring.
  2. Place a piece of lettuce and a slice of bacon onto 4 slices of the bread.
  3. Top the bread lettuce and bacon with 1/2 of the egg salad mixture.
  4. Add another slice of bread to each sandwich and top that slice with more lettuce and bacon, followed by the rest of the egg salad.
  5. Top each sandwich with the last slice of bread and serve.

Cowboy Beans

Oh yeah, pardner! You’ll take to these cowboy beans like a horse takes to water! You’ll think you’re out on the prairie sitting by the chuck wagon after a long day of rustling steer. Pinto beans in a sauce of coffee and BBQ sauce, the smoky goodness of a ham shank, and plenty of your favorite toppings. These cowboy beans don’t have to be a side dish, they’re a meal by themselves.
You won’t be learning anything while you’re eating these cowboy beans. Why is that? Well, because like the old cowboy saying goes, “you ain’t learning while your mouth’s a jawwin'”. Or something like that. You certainly won’t be telling a long tale about the calf you saved down by Dry Gulch. You’ll be too busy eating. You will be telling the chuck wagon cook that he’s a genius, though.

Cowboy Beans
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 1 pound dried pinto beans
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium sweet onion, chopped
  • 3 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 smoked ham shank (or hock)
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups brewed black coffee
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups your favorite BBQ sauce
  • Chopped roasted jalapenos, chopped red onion and shredded cheese (for garnish)
Instructions
  1. Place the beans into a large pot or Dutch oven and cover with 1" of water.
  2. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.
  3. Drain and reserve the beans.
  4. Add the oil to the pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
  5. Add the onion and saute for 3 minutes, stirring, until just starting to soften.
  6. Add the garlic and cook another 1 minute.
  7. Add the beans back into the pot along with the ham shank, water, coffee and salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Bring to a simmer and cover. Cook for 40 minutes or longer until the beans are just soft.
  9. Stir in the BBQ sauce and cover again and continue to simmer until the meat falls away from the ham shank bone, about 2 hours.
  10. Remove the shank and remove any meat. Chop and return the meat to the pot, stirring.
  11. Serve hot with chopped roasted jalapenos, chopped red onion and shredded cheese.

French Bread Pizza Rustica

Don’t let the fact that this French bread pizza rustica doesn’t have a sauce on it throw you off. Every bite is incredible. All of your favorite toppings, but with a little twist. Spinach. Yes, spinach. You can play around with the toppings, substituting whatever suits your fancy, but don’t leave out the spinach.
French Bread Pizza RusticaI’ve found variations on this French bread pizza rustica online, and some have you cook the vegetables a bit before putting them onto the bread. I opted to skip that step. We found the slightly crunchy (they do cook a bit in the oven) vegetables to be perfect. If you do want to cook the vegetables, just add to the skillet after you cook the Italian sausage and saute for about 5 minutes.

French Bread Pizza Rustica
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 1 large loaf French bread
  • 1 pound Italian sausage
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 small red bell pepper, seeded, chopped
  • 1/2 small green bell pepper, seeded, chopped
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 (12 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, defrosted, squeezed dry
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups Ricotta
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 stick pepperoni, chopped
  • 4 cups shredded Mozzarella and Provolone cheese mixture
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon (or more) dried red pepper flakes
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 425 F.
  2. Split the bread lengthwise. Optionally, hollow out the loaf by removing some of the bread. Love toppings? Hollow it out. Want less topping? Don't hollow it out. (You might have topping left over).
  3. Crumble sausage into a large skillet with the oil and cook until done.
  4. Remove and let cool. Optionally, transfer sausage to a food processor and pulse a few times to make the meat finer.
  5. Transfer meat to a large bowl.
  6. Add the remaining ingredients and stir.
  7. Spread mixture out onto the bread halves.
  8. Place bread on baking sheets and bake for 10-15 minutes or until the bread is crunchy and the cheese starts to melt. Place under the broiler to brown lightly if desired.

Chicken Sauce Piquante

Watching Emeril Lagasse is what got me interested in cooking. Years ago he had a show, Emeril Live. It was part entertainment and part cooking. Chef’s cooking fascinated me and inspired me to stop eating out of bags or containers. This chicken sauce piquante is one reason why I’ve never looked back fondly at the days when I scarfed down fast food on a regular basis. Nothing I ever had then could even come close to the flavors in this dish. Sure, there are a number of ingredients, and it takes a bit of time, but the end result is layer after layer of incredible rich flavor. Tomatoes, bell peppers, celery and even a bit of heat make for a sauce that was so heavenly I almost forgot about the delicious chicken.
The original recipe for chicken sauce piquante called for a whole chicken, cut into pieces. I prefer thighs so I ended up using boneless skinless chicken thighs instead. In a dish like this one I wanted the extra richness of the dark meat in thighs. And, well, it was easier to use thighs!

Chicken Sauce Piquante
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 12 boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 tablespoon Creole Seasoning
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
  • 3/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 medium jalapeno pepper, seeded, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minded
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes, drained and juice reserved
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • Cooked rice, for serving
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Place the chicken into a large bowl.
  2. Combine the Creole seasoning and flour and sprinkle over the chicken. Toss to coat well.
  3. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  4. Working in batches, remove the chicken from the flour mixture, shaking off the excess and transfer to the skillet. Brown on both sides and transfer to a slow cooker.
  5. Add the onion, bell pepper, celery and jalapeno to the skillet and saute for 2 minutes, scraping up any bits on the bottom of the skillet.
  6. Add the garlic, dried pepper flake, thyme, cayenne and bay leaves and cook another minute.
  7. Add the tomatoes without any of the juice. Break up the tomatoes with a spatula.
  8. Add the tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, sugar and salt along with 1/2 cup of the juice reserved from the tomatoes.
  9. Bring to a simmer and cook another minute.
  10. Add the sauce to the slow cooker (be careful to not splatter any on yourself since it is hot).
  11. Cover and cook on low 3 hours or until the chicken is tender but not yet falling apart.
  12. Remove bay leaves before serving over hot rice, garnished with parsley.

Easy Creole Meatloaf

There’s one rule I have about meatloaf: the veggies have to be chunky. I want some crunch to offset what is essentially a large brick-of-meat. Nothing wrong with a brick of meat, but put some nice chunky vegetables in it. This easy Creole meatloaf hit the spot and it definitely did not break my meatloaf rule. Great flavor. Moist. And just a hint of spiciness.
Easy Creole MeatloafNow, I will say that leftover super chunky easy Creole meatloaf does make for a pretty messy sandwich. But then, who really sits around dreaming of a nice, neat leftover meatloaf sandwich? Not me. It is not something to be ashamed of if you have to go open-faced with your meatloaf sandwich.

Easy Creole Meatloaf
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 3 slices white bread
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery, chopped
  • 1/2 cup green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoon ketchup, plus more for topping
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Creole seasoning
  • Pinch freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Spray a 9" x 13" baking dish with non-stick spray.
  3. Place the bread in a large bowl and add the milk. Let soak for a few minutes.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients to the bread except for half of the ketchup and combine well.
  5. Form into a loaf in the baking dish.
  6. Spread the remaining ketchup over the top of the meatloaf.
  7. Bake, covered, for 45 minutes.
  8. Remove cover and bake for an additional 30 minutes.
  9. Let stand 5 -10 minutes before slicing.