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.
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. I’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.
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!
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. Now, 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.
Mmmmmmm. Buffalo chicken. That’s all I need to hear. I love that great spicy, vinegary flavor, with a little something for a cool-down. For my Buffalo wings that means some sort of dipping sauce. This Buffalo chicken Alfredo has that same great Buffalo flavor, with a built-in cool-down sauce. Creamy. Spicy. Cool. This really was a fantastic dish. I used some leftover Buffalo chicken that I made in the slow cooker, but you can also use my outstanding Buffalo chicken made on a Char-Broil Big Easy, the best cooker for all-things poultry.
If you aren’t a big fan of Buffalo chicken, the Alfredo sauce over pasta is definitely great by itself. Or add some chopped rotisserie chicken.
Cheeseburger gnocchi reminded me of a childhood canned favorite, RavioliOs, but taken to a whole new level. And making this dish wasn’t a whole lot harder than just opening a can either. A big bowl of cheeseburger gnocchi on a cold day and you’ll definitely forget the weather. Creamy, cheesy, tomato-y beefy stick-to-your-ribs goodness.
I can’t say I’d change much about this recipe for cheeseburger gnocchi. I really liked it and it really hit the spot after shoveling snow from the driveway. I might substitute spicy bulk Italian sausage for the beef for a little kick and Italian-inspired flavor.
For years and years and years I made my Reuben sandwiches pretty ‘normal’. Russian or Thousand Island dressing. A little (or a lot) of corned beef or pastrami. Warmed sauerkraut. And plenty of Swiss cheese. Then along came this southern take on a Reuben. I’ll never make a Reuben the ‘old’ way again. Crunchy tangy coleslaw replaces the kraut. A spicy homemade dressing replaces the stuff out of the bottle. This is nothing but good. I prefer pastrami on my southern Reuben sandwiches. I like the extra kick of the peppery flavoring. And when it comes to pastrami, my hands-down favorite is my homemade version. Sure, I’m biased, but for good reason. I’ve never heard anything but high praise for my pastrami. I can never make enough.
Oh me how happy was I with this pizza? Darned happy, that’s how happy! All of my favorite things. Crunchy pizza crust. Moist, tender chicken, cheese, smoky BBQ sauce, and of course, some heat! BBQ chicken pizza was a big hit in our household, that’s for sure! BBQ chicken pizza is also the easiest, tastiest way to use up leftover cooked chicken. You can also make this same recipe using leftover pulled pork or smoked brisket.
I used a smoky, hickory-flavored BBQ sauce since the chicken I used was roasted and didn’t have that much smoky flavor. If I was going to use smoked pork or beef I’d use a sauce without a smoky flavor since there’s already enough of that in the meat.