I’ve been a subscriber to Louisiana Cookin’ magazine for years. This tropical shrimp salad is a great example of why I’ve been a loyal reader for so long. This salad was incredible. A wonderful combination of fruits and shrimp, with a light creamy dressing that has a hint of vanilla. It was the perfect dish on a hot summer’s day. I made this tropical shrimp salad a main dish by using large shrimp and large melon balls. You can also serve this as a side or a great pitch-in dish by using smaller shrimp and melon balls. This salad is also absolutely fantastic without the shrimp.
I used a Greek vanilla yogurt but regular ole yogurt works just fine too. There’s no way you can go wrong with this salad.
This is the first time in a long, long time that I didn’t take a picture of a dish after I plated. Why? Well, because my okra hush puppies were only on a plate for about 30 seconds. Yeah, sure, my hush puppy shaping skills are lacking, but it so didn’t matter. They were incredible. I mean just flat-out absolutely the best hush puppies ever. The perfect batter. And my favorite, fresh okra. I loved it!
You pretty much gotta go with fresh when it comes to the okra for these hush puppies. You might bet away with frozen when fresh is out of season, but the color, the crunch, won’t be quite the same. It’ll still taste delicious though.
Note: Yeah, I might have eaten several of these before they even cooled off. And yeah, they were pretty darned hot but I could not control myself. You won’t be able to either.
You want pasta salad. She wants potato salad. Now you both can get what you want, in one bowl! And with a little tropical twist, to boot. This Hawaiian-style potato macaroni salad is a wonderful side dish, perfect for a family get-together (it does make a pretty big batch!). It really is the combination of two favorites. What’s Hawaiian about this Hawaiian style potato macaroni salad? Well, you’re supposed to use sweet Hawaiian onions when you make it. I couldn’t find them, so I used good-ole Vidalia’s, my favorite onions. I don’t think it matters, because this salad turned out to be fantastic!
Note: You can cook the potatoes and pasta together, but I prefer to steam my potatoes. A hard boil tends to beat up the potatoes, whereas steaming keeps that nice cube shape. To do so, place the potatoes in a steam basket over the boiling pasta and steam until tender. The potatoes will likely take longer to steam than the pasta will take to cook.
I don’t know how long it has been since I’ve had warm German potato salad. It’s been a while for a reason. What I had was not good. It was thick. It was gloppy. It was horribly vinegary. This salad? This is not that. This is fantastic! We could not stop eating it. The potatoes were cooked perfectly. There’s just the right amount of vinegar. Oh, and of course there’s bacon! One bite erased those bad potato salad memories in an instant!
Do not overcook your potatoes or the warm German potato salad will get too mushy. Err on the side of caution. You can always cook them more if you think they have too much ‘bite’. But you can never un-cook them.
I used a thin-cut bacon. Normally I’m a more-is-better bacon kind-of-guy, but not here. This is just the right amount of bacon. Thicker bacon would get in the way off all the other great flavors.
This right here is what potato salad is supposed to be. I’ll never make another potato salad again because there just isn’t any point. Leatha’s Bar-B-Que Inn red potato salad is it. I’ve never been there, but Leatha’s sounds exactly like the kind of BBQ joint that I would love. From the atmosphere to the food to the service, it receives nothing but high praise. I’m sure Hattiesburg, Mississippi, considers themselves lucky to have it!
This potato salad is traditional in flavors, texture and appearance. The balance of everything is perfect. Just the right amount of egg. The right amount of mustard. Not too much mayonnaise. Everything is spot-on.
Don’t go messing with Leatha’s Bar-B-Que Inn red potato salad. Don’t add bacon. Or onion. Or smoked paprika. None of that. I mess with a lot of recipe, but I won’t mess with this one. I’d probably get hit by lightning.
We both found this marinated vegetable salad to be absolutely incredible. We could not stop eating it. The dressing has the right balance of sweet and tart. The veggies have the right balance of crunch and tenderness. The seasoning is perfect.
This recipe make a pretty big batch of salad so you’ll have a lot to feed a crowd. It’s the perfect dish for a family get-together or picnic. It’s super easy to make and travels well.
You don’t have to be real picky as to which vegetables you add to this marinated vegetable salad. It’s very flexible. You can pretty much walk down the produce aisle in your grocery store and grab whatever’s in season and you’ll be soon enjoying a fantastic dish.
Man do I ever love a big ole pot of great beans. But these enchilada beans aren’t great beans. They’re amazing beans. The flavors are just amazing. Southwestern in nature, with the perfect texture and a sauce that is to die for, I could eat these beans all day long and still ask for more.
You cannot improve on these enchilada beans. Don’t go adding hot sauce, or spicy chili powder, or some fru-fru roasted tomato sauce. They don’t need any messing with. At all. Trust me on this. Make them exactly as the recipe calls for and you will thank me all day long.
Now, that being said… after making these a few times the thought of adding crumbled browned ground beef and making these beans into a chili did occur to me…
Baked bacon is one of my favorite things. A little time, a little seasoning and I’ve got a wonderful treat. I like my bacon to not be super-duper crunchy. Just a little bite is perfect. For me, baking is easier than cooking bacon in a skillet and I get a more-consistently cooked product (with minimal curling!). With less mess, too.
When I worked at the cafeteria at a large army base outside of Washington DC we would bake an unbelievable amount of bacon. And specially for Saturday morning’s buffet. Rack after rack after rack of bacon. I started as a dishwasher. Nothing was harder than scrubbing stack after stack of large sheet pans that had pieces of bacon stuck to them. I avoid that now by lining my pans with foil. A teen making minimum wage was probably cheaper than foil back in the day, so we didn’t line the pans at the cafeteria. We also didn’t season the bacon, something I really love to do.
If you’re planning on draining off the bacon drippings to use for other purposes, you might want to skip the seasoning all-together, or strain it first to remove any spice pieces.
For cleanup I take the paper towel that I drained the bacon on and toss it onto the baking sheet to absorb any grease. I fold up the sides of the foil and seal it tightly to create a packet that can be tossed into the bin without having to worry about it leaking.
Baked bacon is also a great way to use up those last bits of the spices you have in the pantry. You know the ones, they’ve been in there forever waiting for you to figure out what to do with them. Well, know you know!
Preheat oven to 350 F. For thick or crisper bacon you can go as high as 400 F.
Line a large rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Lay the bacon out onto the baking sheet. Do not overlap the pieces or let them touch.
Sprinkle the top side of the bacon with the seasoning.
Bake for 20 minutes. The bacon will still be mostly uncooked.
Flip and season the other side. Return to the oven for 15 minutes or until the desired doneness is achieved. I like my bacon done, but only lightly crispy. Thin bacon usually takes a total of 35 minutes, while thick can take 45 minutes or longer.
Remove bacon to paper towel-lined plate to drain then serve.
Do not use seasonings that contain a lot of sugar. If your seasonings contain a lot of salt I recommend using them sparingly as the bacon is already salty to begin with if it has been salt-cured.I usually use Grill Mates from McCormick. Todd's Dirt is also a favorite, along with any of the mixes from AlbuKirky Seasonings.Sometime bacon, specially thinner slices, can be hard to separate when removing it from the packaging. I freeze my bacon for a few minutes to make the pieces easier to remove. Just don't put the bacon in the freezer and forget about it!
I love making ‘regular’ baked potatoes. And I love making Hasselback potatoes. For whatever reason, I find making them to be more fun. They are cool looking. They’re super-easy to cook. These three cheese Hasselback potatoes are simple yet packed with plenty of yummy creamy cheese. I love cheese. I love these potatoes.
Time for me to fess up. In the past I’ve cut my Hasselback potatoes by hand, using an old wooden spoon to prevent me from cutting too far. I was fairly successful at it, but it was time consuming and often frustrating. So now I ‘cheat’. I bought a slicing rack for these three cheese Hasselback potatoes and my life is oh so much better since I did. Perfectly sliced potatoes, every single time. Check it out on Amazon.
I recently smoked a big block of Velveeta. When I first mentioned the idea you could actually hear the gasps. Half were in amazement, half were not impressed. Well, for those not on the smoked Velveeta train, time to admit you were wrong because it’s crazy, crazy good! My first recipe for it? Yep, smoked Velveeta macaroni and cheese!
You could make this recipe with ‘regular’ Velveeta instead. But I have to say, smoked Velveeta macaroni and cheese is something special. The flavor is just right. The creaminess is what you’d expect.
This recipe is also fantastic using smoked cheddar cheese, something I’ve made a few times also. You can also find smoked cheddar in most stores. Sadly, you cannot find smoked Velveeta in stores. Yet.