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.
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! I 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.
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. I’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.
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. I 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.
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.
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.
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. Don’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.
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? You 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.