Creamy Pasta Salad

Whenever Anita and I go antiquing we like to pack a light lunch for the trip. Taking our lunch instead of eating out means that way we maximize our antiquing time. But just because lunch is hauled in a cooler doesn’t mean that it’s going to be boring. I made a few fantastic Italian cold-cut wraps and this absolutely delicious creamy pasta salad for our last trip. We both could’ve eaten the salad all afternoon long, but that would’ve meant little time for looking for antiques! Perfectly creamy, with a little crunch from the onion, peas and pickles. Oh, and cheese.
Creamy Pasta SaladFor a great twist on this creamy pasta salad substitute chopped green or black olives for the diced pickles. Another great change is to use smoked cheddar cheese instead of extra sharp cheddar.

This salad is even better (I wouldn’t have thought it could be any better!) the next day.

Creamy Pasta Salad

Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Side
Cuisine: American
Servings: 10 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 cups dried elbow macaroni
  • 2 cups frozen peas
  • 1 7 ounce block of extra sharp cheddar cheese, diced
  • 1/2 cup sweet pickles diced
  • 1/2 cup sweet onion diced
  • 1 4 ounce jar pimentos, drained
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  • Cook the pasta per package instructions. Drain well, transfer to a large bowl, cover and refrigerate for 1 hour to cool.
  • Add the peas, cheese, pickles, onion and pimento and fold to combine.
  • In a separate bowl whisk together the mayonnaise, cream, mustard and sugar. Fold into the pasta mixture.
  • Season with salt and pepper and serve.

BBQ Shack Slaw

This BBQ Shack slaw reminds of me just that: the kind of great slaw you can get at just about any respectable BBQ joint across this country. Nothing fancy, but cool and fresh, the perfect side dish for a big ole pulled pork sandwich. Or, the perfect topping for any BBQ sandwich or grilled hot dog.
BBQ Shack SlawI chopped the slaw ingredients in my food processor, which can be a dangerous thing. I swear it has a big block V8 engine in it. In no time it’ll take a chunk of cabbage and turn it into sawdust. I have to be careful. I had actually intended for this BBQ shack slaw to be a lot more chunky than it came out, but it was still delicious.

Next time I’ll either chop the ingredients by hand or just buy a bag of pre-chopped slaw mix so I don’t have to be so careful with my food processor.

Also try my Delta slaw.

BBQ Shack Slaw

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time2 hrs
Total Time2 hrs 15 mins
Servings: 8 -12 servings
Author: Mike

Ingredients

  • 1 small head green cabbage cored, coarsely chopped
  • 4 medium carrots coarsely chopped
  • 1 small sweet onion coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon or more hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons poppy seeds

Instructions

  • Working in batches, process the cabbage, carrots and onion in a food processor until the desired chop is achieved. Transfer to a large bowl.
  • In another bowl whisk together the vinegar, ketchup, sugar, hot sauce, salt and pepper until the sugar dissolves. Whisk in the oil and poppy seeds.
  • Pour dressing over the cabbage mix and toss to coat.
  • Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  • Stir and season with salt and pepper before serving.

Bacon-Smothered Cabbage

It was a cold day. We were spoiled by a few warm days this winter, but that came to an abrupt end. That meant I needed a big ole bowl of comfort food to warm me up. This bacon-smothered cabbage hit the spot.

Great as a side, but also fantastic as a main dish by simply adding a little sliced smoked sausage. A little sweet, a little heat and a bit of smokiness made this the perfect dish on a cold day.
Bacon-Smothered CabbageI like my bacon-smothered cabbage to be almost completely tender, but still have just a bit of crunch to it. After about 5 minutes of cooking I start sampling for my preferred doneness and continue testing every minute or so.

I also prefer green cabbage, but purple cabbage (or even better, use one half of a head of green cabbage and a half head of purple!) would work just as well.

Also try my stuffed cabbage soup.

Bacon-Smothered Cabbage

Add a pound of smoked sausage, cut into 1/2" pieces and lightly browned to make this a fantastic main course dish!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Side
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Inspired by a recipe from Louisiana Cookin' Magazine

Ingredients

  • 1 head green cabbage core removed, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 5 slices bacon chopped
  • 1 large sweet onion chopped
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Hot sauce to taste

Instructions

  • Lightly brown the bacon in a large Dutch oven. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate. Remove all but 2 tablespoons of the oil left in the pot.
  • Add the onion and saute for 5 minutes or until just soft.
  • Add the cabbage. Stir and saute for 3 more minutes.
  • Stir in the vinegar. Cover, reduce heat to medium low, and cook until tender, about 10 minutes.
  • Stir in the bacon, salt, pepper and hot sauce to taste. Serve.