As much as I love turkey around the holidays, it’s the dressing and gravy that I love the most. Dressing (specially this ciabatta and sausage version) has so many different flavors and textures and colors. Turkey? Meh… not so much. Not that the turkey is a bad thing, it’s just that I much prefer a plate with a lot of dressing and just a bit of turkey. I had never had a dressing that contained sausage until this one. I was blown away by just how much flavor the sage sausage adds. The ciabatta adds such wonderful texture and flavor too. There’s no question, this is one fantastic dressing.
Now, if it was summer I certainly would’ve made this deconstructed Mexican style corn using fresh corn-on-the-cob. But, sadly, it’s not summer. So I had to go with Plan B: use up some of the fantastic sweet corn I put up for winter. I didn’t char the corn, which really is a must to make this authentic street-style, but that’s ok. The dish is absolutely delicious none-the-less. It tastes and feels like summer, thanks mostly to the citrus. And it has just a little kick, which it needs to offset the sweetness of the corn. Mayonnaise in corn may seem odd, but it makes the corn wonderfully creamy, but with a little tang that you wouldn’t get with something like cream. Every bite has that bit of tang. It’s refreshing and different.
Boy, crispy bacon… spicy Mexican chorizo sausage… cheese… I could actually just have these bacon-wrapped Mexican potatoes for dinner. By themselves. Nothing else. Just give me a platter of them and check on me in 15 minutes to see if I need more. They’re like grilled potato skins taken to a whole new level.
I love the spicy kick from chorizo. But, if you don’t, you can easily change these potatoes up to be a little more mellow by making them Italian-style. Substitute crumbled cooked mild Italian sausage for the chorizo, mozzarella for the queso fresco, and sour cream for the crema. Excellent!
Fresh chopped green onions or cilantro, for garnish
Preheat your oven to 425 F.
Brush potatoes with oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet and roast until tender, 20-30 minutes. Remove and let cool.
Fire up your grill for indirect cooking (you can also make these in the oven, so keep your oven going if you're going to cook these indoors).
Meanwhile, crumble the chorizo into a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Cook until browned. Remove from heat. Note: You want to get the chorizo fairly well crumbled. If you are having trouble doing so, just let the cooked chorizo cool a bit then pulss a few times in a food processor.
Cut just enough of the bottom of each potato so that they can stand up straight. Then cut just enough off the top so you can scoop them out. Take a small mellon baller or spoon and spoon out the insides.
In a bowl combine the chorizo and cheese and spoon into each potato.
Wrap a halved piece of bacon around each potato and secure with a toothpick.
Place on the grill over indirect heat and cook until the bacon starts to crisp, about 20 minutes, or bake in the oven at 425 F.
Serve topped with a small dollop of Mexican crema or cream cheese and garnish with green onions or cilantro.
Chef John Besh’s book, Besh Big Easy, is full of easy-to-make recipes. The kind that I like. Southern- and Lousiana-inspired. Take this wonderful country coleslaw. It has your ‘usual’ ingredients, but with a twist (to me, at least). I’ve never had sweet pickle relish in a slaw, and I found it to be absolutely fantastic. So is the addition of rice wine vinegar. Great flavors out of such a simple dish. That’s key.I wouldn’t be afraid to add fresh jalapeno rings to this country coleslaw. Anita would tell me to not do it, though. I’d have to add it to my bowl and just enjoy the heat on my own.
This is the potato salad I’ve been dreaming about. The one I was hoping I would find. THE ONE. Pimento cheese? A house favorite. Jalapenos? In darned near everything I make. Bacon? Ditto also in darned near everything I make. Add the three into a potato salad and you’ve got the perfect storm of flavor goodness. I could sit down with the entire bowl of this jalapeno pimento cheese potato salad and just go to town on it in one sitting. Gone. All done. There’s no way I can think of to improve on this salad. I thought well, maybe some more jalapeno. Nope, doesn’t need it. It has just the right amount of kick. I thought well, maybe some more pimentos. Nope, doesn’t need that either. Just make it as is and enjoy it. Jalapeno pimento cheese potato salad is a thingy of beauty and flavor.
Onions and bell peppers in a slaw, with a little vinegar kick and a little sweetness. That’s why this Carolina slaw is so good. And celery seed. I love celery seed (celery seed is one of my favorite ingredients in my Fire Eater rub). I make slaws often, just about any time of the year. They usually keep longer than a green salad. To keep your slaw lasting longer only dress the amount of slaw you are serving for a meal. Keep your leftover dressing separate so your slaw ingredients don’t get soggy overnight.
Don’t you just love when an incredibly simple dish comes out so fantastic? I was looking for a little something to take to dinner at Anita’s sister’s house. Nothing big, just something fresh. Since strawberries were in season I picked up a few pints and made these delicious black pepper strawberries. The perfect combination of citrus and berry with a nice peppery twist. I even added a bit more pepper than the recipe called for (because I love freshly ground black pepper). Yummy! You can’t skip on the time these black pepper strawberries need to sit in the fridge before you serve them. They need that hour to absorb some of pepper and citrus-flavored juices. Toss them just before serving.
Why grab a can of pre-made BBQ beans at the store when you can make your own in no time at all. Sure, I’ve made scratch baked beans before (on the smoker and they were fantastic!). These aren’t those beans. Quick to fix, these BBQ beans still pack in the flavor. You can make these beans taste however you like just by changing which BBQ sauce you add. From smoky to spicy, you can’t go wrong. And speaking of spicy, for a little extra kick add a few sliced jalapenos. And for extra crunch, chop half of a medium sweet onion and toss that in too. You really cannot make a boo-boo when you make these beans.