Tropical Shrimp Salad

I’ve been a subscriber to Louisiana Cookin’ magazine for years. This tropical shrimp salad is a great example of why I’ve been a loyal reader for so long. This salad was incredible. A wonderful combination of fruits and shrimp, with a light creamy dressing that has a hint of vanilla. It was the perfect dish on a hot summer’s day.
Tropical Shrimp SaladI made this tropical shrimp salad a main dish by using large shrimp and large melon balls. You can also serve this as a side or a great pitch-in dish by using smaller shrimp and melon balls. This salad is also absolutely fantastic without the shrimp.

I used a Greek vanilla yogurt but regular ole yogurt works just fine too. There’s no way you can go wrong with this salad.

Also try my Peruvian Palta Rellena.

Tropical Shrimp Salad

Cuisine American
Prep Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 -8 servings

Ingredients

For the salad

  • 1 1/2 pounds cooked large shrimp peeled
  • 2 cups chopped pineapple
  • 1 1/3 cups honeydew melon balls
  • 1 1/3 cups watermelon balls
  • 1 1/3 cups cantaloupe balls
  • 1 cup peeled seeded, sliced cucumber (1 medium cucumber)
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onion plus more for garnish

For the dressing

  • 1/3 cup fat free vanilla yogurt Greek is fine
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoon light mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill plus more for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

For the salad

  • Place all salad ingredients into a large bowl and stir gently.

For the dressing

  • Whisk together all ingredients and pour over the shrimp and fruit mixture.
  • Stir gently.
  • Serve garnished with chopped green onions and dill.

Copycat Red Robin BLTA

Who doesn’t love a BLT sandwich? It screams summer, with ripe tomatoes and crunchy lettuce. Add avocado and you get a copycat of Red Robin’s BLTA. That’s bacon, lettuce, tomato and of course… avocado! The addition of avocado really takes the classic sandwich to a new, wonderful, place. And serving it on a sweet, pillowy croissant is the way to go.
Copycat Red Robin BLTA

If you’re missing a little heat in your copycat Red Robin BLTA, mix a teaspoon or two of adobo sauce in with the mayonnaise. You don’t want to go crazy with it, but a little spiciness will offset the sweet bread and avocado perfectly. It also adds a bit more smokiness, helping that wonderful bacon smoke along a bit.

Also try my copycat Jason’s Deli California Club sandwich.

Copycat Red Robin BLTA

Course Appetizer or Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Servings 2 servings
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 2 large croissants
  • mayonnaise to taste
  • 6 slices turkey breast sandwich meat
  • 4 slices bacon cooked until crisp
  • 1/2 avocado sliced
  • 2 leaves green lettuce
  • 1 tomato sliced

Instructions

  • Slice croissants in half. Slather with the mayonnaise.
  • Add turkey, bacon, avocado, lettuce and tomato. Serve.

Cajun Muffaletta Poboys

Muffaletta sandwiches are tied with pastrami sandwiches on my list of all-time-favorite sandwiches. I often make my own pastrami. And I often make my own olive salad. But doing either is kind of a time-consuming process. These Cajun Muffaletta poboys are not only easier to make, they’re beyond crazy good. Delicious deli meat and cheese slices are combined with a spread that has a great mustard-y spiciness to it. The olive salad is divine and really, I could just eat it out of a bowl by itself.

Cajun Muffaletta Poboys

Don’t let the number of ingredients in these Cajun Muffaletta poboys scare you off. This recipe is well worth rounding them up. And many are things you probably already have on hand. Once you have the spread and the salad you’re good-to-go to make the best sandwich you’ve had in a long, long time.

Cajun Muffaletta Poboys

Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 12 hours
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 2 servings

Ingredients

For the sandwich

  • 1 loaf French bread
  • 4 ounces. deli ham sliced thin
  • 4 ounces Genoa salami sliced thin
  • 4 ounces Provolone cheese sliced thin
  • 4 ounces Mozzarella cheese sliced thin
  • 1 cup olive salad see below
  • 2 tablespoons Po'Boy spread see below
  • 1 cup iceberg lettuce shredded
  • 1 tomatoes sliced thin

Marguerite's Creole Poboy Spread

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup Creole mustard
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon dill pickle relish
  • 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce

Creole Olive Salad

  • 1 cup stuffed green olives
  • 1 cup black olives
  • 1/2 cup tomatoes chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1/4 cup pickled jalapenos
  • 1 tablespoon green onions sliced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley chopped
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

For the sandwich

  • Cut the bread in half horizontally.
  • Slather the top half of the bread with the poboy spread and the bottom with the olive salad.
  • Add the meats and cheeses, followed by the shredded lettuce and tomatoes.
  • Add top bread half and slice in half. Serve.

Marguerite's Creole Poboy Spread

  • Whisk together all ingredients. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before using.

Creole Olive Salad

  • Place all ingredients except for the oil into a food processor. Pulse until chopped and blended but do not over blend.
  • Transfer to an airtight container. Pour the oil over the top of the salad and seal. Refrigerate overnight before using.

Italian Slow Cooker Beef Sandwiches with Giardiniera Aioli

I need a bib, drop cloth, tarp or half a roll of paper towel to eat a sandwich, I know it’s a great sandwich. The messier, the better and these Italian slow cooker beef sandwiches with Giardiniera aioli are true to the rule. The beef is delicious. Moist and tender and packed with flavor, you could eat it by itself. The giardiniera aioli is different, wonderful, and definitely something I”ll be using on other sandwiches and for sure, po boys! I add a bit of slaw to bring a bit of crunch and a nice vinegar hit to offset the sweet tender beef. This is the sandwich of kings!

Italian Slow Cooker Beef Sandwiches with Giardiniera Aioli

These Italian slow cooker beef sandwiches with giardiniera aioli are great made just like the recipe states. But, if you want a bit of a kick to your sandwich, well, you came to the right place. Add some spicy pepper rings to the beef as it cooks low-and slow in the slow cooker. And substitute spicy giardiniera for the ‘regular’ stuff. That’ll satisfy your need for spicy, for sure!

Also try my slow cooker beef debris sandwiches.

Italian Slow Cooker Beef Sandwiches with Giardiniera Aioli

Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Assemble time 15 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Author Mike

Ingredients

For the Italian Beef

  • 4 pounds boneless beef chuck roast trimmed
  • 2 large red bell peppers seeded, sliced
  • 1 small sweet onion halve, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 15 ounce can diced tomatoes with basil and oregano
  • 2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole fennel seeds
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the Aioli

  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 16 ounce jar giardiniera drained
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

For the sandwich

  • 4 14" loaves French bread halved crosswise, split and lightly toasted
  • Delta slaw or your favorite vinegar-sauced slaw

Instructions

  • For the Italian beef
  • Combine the chuck, bell peppers, onions, garlic, tomatoes, Italian seasoning, fennel seeds, salt and pepper in a slow cooker. Cook on the low setting for 8 hours. Use a ladle to remove some of the excess fat from the surface, then coarsely shred the beef with two forks. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.
  • Remove the meat from the cooker and shred. Return to the sauce in the slow cooker and keep warm until ready to use.

For the aioli

  • Place the egg, garlic and Dijon into a food processor and pulse until combined.
  • With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil and vegetable oil until they are blended.
  • Add the giardiniera and pulse a few times. Do not over process. You want it just chopped, not liquefied.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.

For the sandwich

  • Spread 2 tablespoons (or more) of the aioli on both sides of the bread
  • Divide the beef between the bottom bread halves.
  • Add some slaw. Top with the bread tops and serve.

Crab Cakes with Shrimp

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.
Crab Cakes with Shrimp

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.

Crab Cakes with Shrimp

Course Appetizer or Main
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound lump crab meat picked over for any shell pieces
  • 3/4 pound small shrimp shelled, deveined, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups Ritz Crackers crushed
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup red onion minced
  • 1 stalk celery minced
  • 1 medium jalapeno seeded, deveined, minced
  • 2 teaspoons Creole mustard
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Creole seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons butter unsalted
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

  • Combine the crab and shrimp in a medium bowl.
  • In a large bowl combine the crackers, mayonnaise, onion, celery, jalapeno, mustard, pepper, Creole mustard, Creole seasoning, onion, and garlic powder.
  • Fold in the crab and shrimp.
  • Form into 6 5 1/2 ounce patties. For appetizers, make 2-3 ounce patties.
  • Wrap cakes in plastic wrap and refrigerate 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  • Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil.
  • Once the oil is hot, working in batches add the patties and brown for about 4-5 minutes per side until golden brown. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate or rack to cool and drain.
  • Serve with your favorite dipping sauce. We prefer a nice Cajun remoulade!

House Sub Sandwich

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.
House Sub SandwichIf 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.

You’ll also love my copycat Jersey Mike’s sub sandwich.

House Sub Sandwich

Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 1 sandwich
Author Mike

Ingredients

For the sandwich build

  • 4 ounces or more your favorite thin sandwich meats
  • A dash of Cajun seasoning
  • 2 slices Swiss cheese
  • 6 ince loaf French sliced horizontally
  • 2/3 cup dressing mix from below
  • 2-3 slices tomato

For the dressing mix

  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Creole mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon more or less, to taste Louisiana hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2/3 cup shredded and chopped iceberg lettuce

Instructions

For the sandwich build

  • Heat a griddle or skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Sprinkle the sandwich meat with the Cajun seasoning. Add to the pan and heat on both sides. Remove.
  • Add cheese and meat to the bottom slice of the French bread.
  • Add the dressing mix and sliced tomato, bread top, and serve.

For the dressing mix

  • Whisk together all but the lettuce. 
  • Place lettuce in a small bowl. Add dressing and mix.

White Pizza Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

There’s a scene in the movie Chef where the star, Jon Favreau, makes a grilled cheese sandwich. It was the perfect grilled cheese sandwich. Perfectly toasted on both sides. And it crunched, oh how it crunched, when he sliced it. I have to admit, I’m still working on my grilled cheese toasting skills, but I sure do enjoy a great grilled cheese sandwich for lunch. These white pizza grilled cheese sandwiches have a great pizza-ish herby flavor to them, with ooey-gooey melted mozzarella and a little Parmesan to boot. Very good, and a little different.
White Pizza Grilled Cheese SandwichesI prefer to use Texas toast for my grilled sandwiches. It holds up and holds up well to just about anything you want to pile up on it. No one likes a grilled cheese that just dissolves once you get past the crust. Nope, you need a bread that will be there till the end, and for me that’s Texas toast. Oh, and I love to make smoked paprika and garlic croutons out of any leftover pieces of Texas toast I might have.

The Griddler is a champ at making grilled cheese sandwiches, like my muffuletta grilled cheese, grilled caramel apply cheese, grilled spinach and artichoke cheese, and pepperoni pizza grilled cheese.

White Pizza Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 sandwiches

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil crumbled
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano crumbled
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • Pinch freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • 12 slices bread I used Texas Toast
  • 2 tablespoons softened butter

Instructions

  • Turn on your Griddler to the griddle setting and 350 F, or heat a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Mix the ricotta and oil together in a large bowl.
  • Stir in the garlic, basil, oregano, salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese.
  • Mix in the mozzarella cheese. The mixture will be thick. Don't be afraid to use your hands to mix it well.
  • Lightly butter each slice of bread on one side.
  • Working in batches, place slices of bread butter-side down on the Griddler or into the skillet. Top with the cheese mixture, spreading out evenly.
  • Add the top piece of bread butter-side up.
  • Cook until the bottom bread is golden brown. Flip and cook the other side until golden brown.
  • Let rest for 5 minutes before slicing.

Beef and Bean Burritos

These are our go-to beef and bean burritos. Nothing fancy and not  complicated. They taste fantastic and have just the right spice balance. The recipe makes a big huge batch of burritos. Leftovers freeze well and are perfect warmed up for a quick and easy lunch.
Beef and Bean Burritos

Now, don’t let the fact that I used canned sauce and beans throw you off. I grabbed the good stuff at the store when I picked up the ingredients for these beef and bean burritos. It makes a big difference.

If you’re going to freeze the leftovers, I suggest wrapping them tightly in wax paper. The enchiladas will absorb a lot of the sauce but I like to make a little extra on the side for dipping or drizzling. If I’m freezing them I always grab a can or two extra of sauce and heat it up at the same time I heat up the beef and bean burritos,.

The best side dish for these beef and bean burritos? Fiesta corn, of course.

Beef and Bean Burritos

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 10 ounce cans enchilada sauce (you might want more if you love them sauce)
  • 1 28 ounce can refried beans
  • 3/4 cup grated Cheddar plus extra for garnish
  • 12 large flour tortillas
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves chopped

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 170 F.
  • Heat a splash of oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Add the onions and cook until soft.
  • Add the ground beef and cook until done, breaking up the meat as it cooks.
  • Add the cumin, chili powder, oregano and salt. Stir.
  • Add 2 cans of the enchilada sauce. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • In a medium saucepan over low heat add the refried beans and cheese. Stir until the cheese is melted. Remove from heat.
  • Heat tortillas in the oven for a few minutes.
  • Divide bean and cheese mixture between the tortillas, spreading out evenly.
  • Divide meat between tortillas, spreading out evenly down the center of the tortillas.
  • Fold sides of the tortillas in the roll. Transfer to a large baking dish, seam-side down. Sprinkle with the cheese.
  • Cover with foil and transfer to the oven until warm.
  • Meanwhile, warm the remaining enchilada sauce.
  • When ready to serve, drizzle with warmed sauce and sprinkle with chopped cilantro.

Quick Fix Taco Salads Version 2.0

It was one of THOSE days. Not enough time to even think about dinner. But, a quick glance in the fridge and pantry and I was able to throw together a plan. Quick fix taco salads it would be. And you know, they turned out great! Crunchy shells, crunchy lettuce, and all of our favorite salad toppings.
quick-fix-taco-saladsI used chopped grilled chicken to top these salads, but any cooked meat (or no meat for that matter) would be great too. Like chilled cooked shrimp. Or warm taco beef crumbles. Just because these taco salads are quick to fix doesn’t mean that they are low on flavor.

Also try my quick fix shrimp tacos.

Quick Fix Taco Salads

Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Mike

Ingredients

Suggested toppings

  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Black olives sliced or chopped
  • Cooked chicken beef taco meat, or shrimp
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Sweet corn kernels
  • Tomatoes diced
  • Avocado diced
  • Green onions sliced
  • Crispy tortilla strips

Instructions

  • Place chopped salad into a large bowl.
  • Drizzle with dressing.
  • Add desired toppings and toss lightly to coat.
  • Spoon into taco salad shells and serve.

Grilled Creamy Shrimp and Mushroom Pasta

It was one of those almost-stormy evenings. I was in the mood for grilling, but as a backup, I needed to pick something I could cook inside in case the skies opened up. Well, they didn’t, so i was able to grill the fantastic shrimp for this grilled creamy shrimp and mushroom pasta. If it had stormed, I would’ve roasted the shrimp in the oven and still enjoyed a great dinner. But grilled shrimp, well, that’s just better.

The cream sauce and mushrooms are fantastic. The entire dish is incredibly easy to put together. If you don’t want to fret with the shrimp just used pre-cooked frozen shrimp from your grocery store. Just defrost them ahead and of time and you’ll be good-to-go.
Creamy Grilled Shrimp and Mushroom PastaDon’t be surprised when you start making the sauce that the cream cheese doesn’t melt and get creamy. Once you add the hot water from making the pasta the cream cheese will dissolve and make a fantastic sauce.

When grilling the shrimp, the butter and oil in the marinade may cause flare-ups on your grill. Be prepared to move the skewered shrimp to another place on the grill until the fire dies down. And by all means, don’t burn yourself!

Also try my creamy Cajun sausage ravioli.

Grilled Creamy Shrimp and Mushroom Pasta

Note: I throw the shrimp onto the grill while the mushrooms are sauteeing.
Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours 40 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Mike

Ingredients

For the grilled shrimp

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dried marjoram
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound large shrimp 20-24 count, peeled and deveined

For the mushrooms and pasta

  • 8 ounces pasta fettuccine, linguine or angel hair
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter divided
  • 8 ounces mushrooms sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 3 ounces cream cheese cubed
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped, plus a bit more for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 cup water from the cooked pasta you may not need the entire cup

Instructions

For the grilled shrimp

  • Combine all but the shrimp in a medium bowl.
  • Add the shrimp and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • Remove from fridge and let set at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  • Fire up your grill.
  • Thread shrimp onto skewers and place on grill.
  • Brush with remaining marinade (caution: flare-ups can occur) and cook for 3-4 minutes.
  • Flip, brush with more marinade and cook another 2-3 minutes or until the shrimp are done.
  • Remove from grill.

For the mushrooms and pasta

  • Cook the pasta per package instructions, reserving 1 cup of the water from the pot.
  • Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet.
  • Add the mushrooms and saute for 10 minutes or until golden brown and soft. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Remove the mushrooms and reserve.
  • Add remaining butter to the skillet and melt.
  • Add the garlic, cream cheese cubes, parsley and basil. Whisk to combine. Note: The sauce will not be creamy.
  • Add 2/3 cup of the reserved pasta water and whisk. The sauce will come together and get creamy.
  • Add the mushrooms, grilled shrimp, and pasta. Stir to combine. If too thick add a bit more of the pasta water and stir.
  • Serve garnished with freshly chopped parsley.