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.
I love when avocados are in season here. They’re perfect on a salad, be it sliced, chopped or in the dressing itself. This avocado Ranch dressing is quite easy to make. It packs a nice subtle avocado flavor, with the wonderful creamy herb flavor of Ranch. Avocado Ranch dressing isn’t just for salads either. It’s perfect as a dip, or use it as a substitute for sour cream on tacos or nachos.
When I make a batch of this basic BBQ rub I don’t just make a little ole container full. No, I make a bunch of it. A whole lot. That’s because I use it on just about every piece of meat that I throw onto my trusty old smoker. It shines best on beef and pork, adding a bit of sweetness and a bit of heat. And though it contains coffee and lemon pepper the flavors from those two ingredients don’t jump out and scream at your taste buds. They’re there though, working perfectly with the rest of the flavors. This is truly a great all-around rub. The idea for this basic BBQ rub came from Ray Lampe’s book, Slow Fire: The Beginner’s Guide to Lip Smacking Barbecue. The book is full of great recipes and stories and ideas, just like this one. This rub can be used as-is or as a great jumping-off point for making your own rub. Play with the ratios to suit your tastes. For example, don’t use regular paprika just use only smoked paprika for a much stronger smoke flavor, perfect for seasoning foods cooked in doors where you won’t get a strong wood flavor. Or add more heat. Or leave out the heat. It’s a very versatile rub.
I used to think it would be wrong to just have ham for dinner. This cherry sauce glazed ham made me think it would actually be ok to just sit down to a plate of ham and get at it. I didn’t, but I could have. The tartness of the cherries and the sweetness of the honey, along with a few spices, make each bite fantastic. Even a cheap ham becomes something decadent after being glazed with the sauce. I think you could try something other than cherry preserves to make the sauce, if you wanted to. You’d want something that isn’t so sweet, though, such as cranberry or pomegranates.
After smoking peppercorns, the next logical thing to smoke was salt. I love smoked salt, it really adds a nice slightly smokey flavor to dishes. If you have your smoker already fired up for other things, such as pork butt or brisket or ribs, you often have a little space leftover. No point in wasting all that great smoke, just add some sea salt to a pan and place it on the smoker until it starts to darken in color. I actually used a mix of Himalayan pink salt and coarse sea salt. The textures between the two are slightly different, and they brought different colors to the final mix of smoked salts. I keep the smoked salt in an air-right container right by my prep area. I still keep a salt pig nearby for those dishes where I don’t want that addition of smoke in my salt.
I was busy. Way too busy to even think about making a lunch that took more than 5 minutes of my time. Desperate times call for desperate measures, so I heated up some pre-made chicken nuggets. Don’t judge me, I had to do it. Plus, truth be told, I like them. I can’t help it. But I wasn’t just going to dip them in ketchup or mustard. No, I took an extra 30 seconds and whisked up a copycat of the Chick-fil-A dipping sauce and tossed it into the fridge so that the flavors got happy while the chicken was heating. For a nice twist on this Chick-fil-A sauce swap out a spicy BBQ sauce for the smoky hickory BBQ sauce. Or just add a few splashes of hot sauce to the recipe below.
I don’t know Ross, and I’ve never been to his pool room. I came across this recipe for hot bologna sauce on a grilling group on Facebook, and instantly knew it was something I needed to make. Bologna burgers (or sandwiches) are an awesome thing, and something I love to make, from my smoked bologna sandwiches to Cleveland fried bologna sandwiches. Ross’ Pool Room hot bologna sauce brings a nice spicy, tomato-based punch to bologna burgers. It’s also great on hot dogs, hamburgers, and grilled chicken.
Apparently Ross’ Pool Room was once (I cannot find it on Google) a place in West Virginia. It sounds like my kind of place. Pool, music, and great simple food, like bologna sandwiches or burgers.
I adapted this recipe for Ross’ Pool Room hot bologna sauce from what appeared to be the restaurant’s original recipe, which made a big batch. You’ll still get 2 cups out of my version, plenty for a number of sandwiches or burgers.
If you happen to be in Nashville, Indiana, I recommend that you swing by Our Sandwich Place on South Van Buren Street and grab yourself a Larry’s Triple Bologna and Cheese Triple Decker sandwich. Now, it doesn’t come with hot bologna sauce, but it’s a mighty respectable and tasty bologna sandwich for sure!
If it has blue cheese in it and Anita likes it, it’s not just good, it’s amazing. This wild wings dipping sauce has (you guessed it) tons of blue cheese in it but it has the perfect balance of that blue cheese funkiness, creaminess, and even a hint of smokiness. There was a whole lot of happy moaning as we dipped hot-off-the-grill buffalo wings into the sauce. It tamed the spicy wings perfectly. This wild wings dipping sauce is also fantastic as a dip for chips or crackers, too, so make a big huge batch of it. And don’t be afraid to add more of the seasoning than I state below. It adds just a hint of smokiness and heat to the dipping sauce, but not much. It’s there, it just doesn’t jump out at you (unless you want it to).
I absolutely love chicken wings, cooked any way, with any sauce (or without). I love them so much that I created a free eCookbook that is full of my favorite wing recipes.