Pepper Onion Beer Sauce

I had a bunch (and I do mean a bunch!) of ham leftover from cooking a big ham on my Char-Broil Big Easy. I could’ve made more sandwiches. Or I could dice up some ham for omlets. Instead, I decided to warm up some nice thick slices and top them with this wonderful pepper onion beer sauce. It looks like your pretty standard vegetable topping, but with a twist: orange marmalade. Whoa! I wasn’t expecting that!
pepper-onion-beer-sauceThis pepper onion beer sauce really goes well with ham, but I also think it’d compliment grilled chicken just as well. Don’t like orange marmalade? I bet you could substitute your favorite marmalade or preserves.

Pepper Onion Beer Sauce
Author: 
Recipe type: Sauce
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-4 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 red bell bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 sweet onion, chopped
  • 8 ounces beer
  • 1/2 cup orange marmalade
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • Hot sauce, to taste
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat
  2. Add the bell peppers and onion and sautee for 5 minutes
  3. Add the beer, orange marmalade, soy sauce and hot sauce. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and continue simmering until the vegetables are softened and the sauce is reduced.
  4. Serve over sliced ham or grilled chicken.

Bacon Buttermilk Dressing

It was Wedge Salad Day (WSD) here. I love a cold slice of iceberg with my favorite salad go-tos, like boiled eggs, avocado and cherry tomatoes. And bacon. For more bacony flavor goodness I made a bacon buttermilk dressing. Nice and creamy smooth, but with a hint of smokiness and a little crunch.
The Dijon mustard adds a nice contrast to this dressing. A little tang. You could leave it out for a more mellow flavor and the dressing would be just as great. I like to consider this dressing ‘drink worthy’, a sign of a great salad dressing.

Also try my blue cheese vinaigrette. It’s perfect on a wedge salad too!

Bacon Buttermilk Dressing
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Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 cup
 
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked until crisp, chopped
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
  2. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Dill Ranch Salad Dressing

Anita and I recently spent a few days at the Dollywood DreamMore Resort and Spa. We had such a wonderful time there. One of the biggest highlights was the buffet. Normally when you think buffet you think low quality food, mostly pre-made. Oh that’s definitely not the case at the DreamMore. Everything was made from scratch and everything was out-of-this-world delicious. One of the things I loved the most, interestingly enough, was the house-made dill Ranch salad dressing. It was delicious. I could’ve just drank it out of the bottle. I knew instantly that I had to make some when I got home. Now, this version is mighty good, too, but I’m pretty sure that the DreamMore version used fresh herbs (they had a nice herb garden right outside of the restaurant). Even still, this is delicious and a perfect alternative to ‘normal’ Ranch.
Do not be tempted to rush the 1 hour rest time that this dressing needs. Those dry herbs need time to make the dressing happy. I really love dill so I added a bit more than the recipe calls for.

Dill Ranch Salad Dressing
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 cup
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon (plus more as needed) milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dry dill weed
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Kosher salt, to taste
Instructions
  1. Whisk together all ingredients.
  2. Add more milk (a little at a time) if you want the dressing to be thinner. Don't go crazy with it, though.
  3. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before using. Stir again before serving.

Quick Fix BBQ Ranch Dressing

A lot of restaurant signature sauces start with simple, off-the-shelf ingredients. A restaurant near us starts with BBQ sauce and Ranch, just like with this quick fix BBQ Ranch dressing, and then adds a few other ingredients (such as crumbled cooked bacon) to make it different for different dishes, such as for dipping onion rings or chicken wings.
This quick fix BBQ dressing isn’t just for salads, that’s for sure. I squirted it on a big plate of French fries. I dipped grilled chicken wings in it. Just make sure you start with good, quality BBQ sauce and Ranch dressing. And don’t hesitate to use a spicy BBQ sauce, or one with a bit of smoky flavor to it.

Also try my dill Ranch dressing.

Easy BBQ Ranch Dressing
Author: 
Recipe type: Dressing
Cuisine: American
Serves: 2 cups
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup Ranch dressing
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce
  • Embellishments, optional (crumbled cooked bacon, chili powder, cayenne, Sriracha, hot sauce, chopped fresh parsley, etc)
Instructions
  1. Whisk together the two ingredients.
  2. Add any embellishments and stir to combine.

Blue Cheese Vinaigrette

Wedge and Cobb salads are always my favorites. I can throw either one together in no time at all with a variety of ingredients, whatever I have on hand. If I’m in a hurry I might grab a simple oil-and-vinegar dressing out of the pantry, but if I have a spare minute or two I like to make my own. Like this blue cheese vinaigrette. Easy to make using ingredients I almost always have on hand. It packs that nice blue cheese twang, along with a little hit of mustard. It was perfect on my simple wedge salad.I like to use smoked pepper and salt when making this blue cheese vinaigrette. It adds a nice unexpected flavor. Subtle but definitely different than ‘normal’ salt and pepper.

Also try my bacon buttermilk dressing on a wedge salad.

Blue Cheese Vinaigrette
Author: 
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 1/2 cups
 
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup blue cheese, grated or finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Whisk together the cheese, vinegar, and mustard.
  2. While still whisking add the olive oil.
  3. Season with salt and pepper.

Ketchup Leather

“Don’t mess with my ketchup” is what Anita told me. And yeah, usually I do listen. But not this time. I was going to make ketchup leather no matter what. And you know what? When we’d finished off our hot-off-the-grill burgers topped with ketchup leather Anita said “Ok, you can mess with my ketchup anytime.”

Ketchup leather makes ketchup on burgers an even better thing. Tastes like ketchup. Looks like a Fruit Roll-Up. But here’s the cool part (besides the wow factor). It doesn’t leak out of your burger. If you’re like me, you’re not shy when squeezing ketchup onto your burger. But the more toppings and the more ketchup, the more that squeezes out. Dripping all over the place and eventually leading to a burger disaster. Not with ketchup leather. Everything stays right where it belongs.

Make a big batch and keep them in the fridge for the next time you make burgers. I really enjoyed it on our copycat of Red Robin’s Royal Red Robin burger.

Ketchup Leather
Prep time: 
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Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • Ketchup
  • Your favorite seasoning (cracked black pepper is my favorite)
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 170 F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spray the paper with non-stick spray.
  3. Squeeze the ketchup out onto the parchment paper. Using a spatula or the back of a spoon, spread it out evenly. You don't want it too thick, but you don't want it too thin either.
  4. Place in the oven for 3 hours.
  5. Let cool completely before cutting into squares or circles for use on burgers.

Hot Pepper Jelly BBQ Sauce

Oh, what a wonderful BBQ sauce this hot pepper jelly sauce is. It has the perfect consistency. Not too runny, not too gloppy. A small bit of heat and a little tang from vinegar and mustard. Perfect for any pork BBQ dish. For me that means smoked baby back ribs.
You can substitute any kind of jelly for the hot pepper jelly, really. But don’t be afraid of hot pepper jelly. Out of the jar, sure, it’s got some kick. But in this sauce that heat gets a little mellowed. You still get great pepper flavor though. It’s still a great sauce!

Want something even spicier? Try my atomic BBQ sauce on ribs.

Hot Pepper Jelly BBQ Sauce
Author: 
Recipe type: Sauce
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 cups
 
Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup hot pepper jelly (I used Tabasco)
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon prepared yellow mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients into a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Whisk until all ingredients are combined.

Copycat Jimmy John’s Avocado Sandwich Spread

Sometimes you just need a little reminder to step outside of your box of usual sandwich spreads and use something you might not think of. This copycat of the avocado sandwich spread from Jimmy John’s is essentially guacamole with a few twists thrown in. It’s fantastic on a sandwich and for that matter, equally as great as a dip for tortilla chips. That’s why I doubled the recipe. Sandwiches and chips. Lunch is done.
Every sandwich needs a little spiciness in my opinion. Which is why I was happy that this avocado sandwich spread includes a jalapeno. Now, granted, it’s a small jalapeno so you’re not going to get overwhelming heat. But you don’t want that kick to be front-and-center. Just there, in the back. Noticed but not overwhelming. This spread is excellent on my copycat of Jason’s Deli California Club sandwich.

Copycat Jimmy John's Avocado Sandwich Spread
Recipe type: Sauce
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded, chopped
  • 1 medium white onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 Roma tomato, chopped
  • 2 medium avocados, peeled, pitted, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon dry mustard
Instructions
  1. Place the jalapeno, onion, garlic and tomato into a blender or food processor. Process until smooth.
  2. Place avocado into a large bowl. Drizzle with the lime juice and smash with the back of a fork. Transfer to the blender.
  3. Add the salt and mustard to the blender and pulse until the mixture reaches the desired thickness.
  4. Slather on bread for sandwiches. If you do have any extra spread it makes for a great chip dip!