I love a nice, big po boy sandwich. Even the most complicated po boy isn’t complicated. In minutes I’m having a great meal. I do go through the ‘trouble’ of making my own po boy bread, but that’s mostly because I just cannot seem to find great po boy bread here. French bread will do in a bind, but it’s just not quite the same. The texture is definitely different. For a topping, I use a simple but wonderfully spicy lettuce mixture. And you can never, ever go wrong with andouille sausage. That perfect spicy kick, in a casing that pops when you bite into it. I use the lettuce mixture on all of my po boys. It’s also great on hamburgers or hot dogs. It takes only a minute or two to make. When I pick up heads of iceberg lettuce at the grocery store I’ll shred and chop them and place them into baggies or containers along with a paper towel. That way I always have lettuce on hand for a quick po boy.
It was meatball week here. I made a monster batch of my homemade meatballs with plans of using them in all sorts of dishes, from spaghetti and meatballs to meatball sandwiches and meatball soup to, of course, 4-cheese meatball pizza. I love the texture of meatballs on a pizza. They add a nice meatiness to each and every bite, plus they add even more wonderful Italian flavor.
The combination of four different cheeses made for a delightful pizza feast. There weren’t any leftovers. That happens with pizza around here. Roasted cauliflower? Probably gonna have some leftover. Pizza? Nope.
8 Italian cooked meatballs, cut in half (I used my homemade meatballs. See the note below)
Any other desired toppings (I added mushrooms and black olives... plus a few pinches of dried red pepper flake)
1 cup shredded provolone cheese
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/3 cup shredded fresh Parmesan cheese
Note: I used my homemade meatballs. Normally I make them at least 2 ounces each. For the pizza I made 1 ounce meatballs instead. You can still use large meatballs, but instead of halving them you will probably want to quarter them.
Preheat oven to 420 F
If using store-bought pizza dough or crust, prepare per the package instructions.
Ladle sauce onto the pizza and spread out edge-to-edge.
Distribute the meatballs around the pizza.
Add any other toppings that you desire.
Sprinkle with the cheeses.
Transfer to a pizza stone or pan and bake 10-12 minutes or until the dough is crispy and the cheeses are melted.
I love Texas toast.
I love French toast.
I love waffles.
… and that sums up how I feel about Texas toast French toast waffles! Incredibly easy to make and beyond yummy. Self-control was very challenging with a platter of these little tasty beauties in front of me. Sweet, with a hint of cinnamon and vanilla, you can substitute any bread you like, but I prefer Texas toast because it can more than handle the job of holding up to an egg batter and a waffle iron. I often contemplate what I would do differently to a recipe after I make it. A little twist or something. I can honestly say there is absolutely nothing I would change about Texas toast French toast waffles. Except to maybe double the recipe.
What’s better than spiral ham? Spiral ham glazed with bacon, of course. It’s spiral-ham-sale-time here, so I backed up the truck and grabbed a nice big smoked ham. Of course, they’re easy to reheat. And just as easy to glaze during the last 30 minutes. The bacon glaze adds a bit more smokiness, but also some sweetness, a little tartness and a little tang thanks to two different kinds of mustard. You can substitute pretty much any jelly you want, but I’d stay away from ‘darker’ ones, such as blueberry or the like. Go for lighter colors. And don’t be afraid to use a spicy jelly such as jalapeno pepper jelly. You may also want to double the amount of bacon-glaze, serving any leftover glaze as a drizzle over the sliced ham when you serve it.
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.