Cauliflower Popcorn

I loved the flavor of this cauliflower ‘popcorn’. The cumin and chili powder add a nice southwestern, earthly flavor. The nutritional yeast (which I’d never used before) made me think of cheddar cheese flavoring. I was pleasantly surprised by it.

Now, let’s talk ‘popcorn’. That makes you think crunchy, and if you eat this cauliflower raw that’s just what you’ll get. You can also pop (sorry) them into a dehydrator for 12 or so hours. Right out of the dehydrator they have a nice crunch to them, but I found that that crunch doesn’t last. The seems get a bit soft…. and not popcorny. But the flavor was still great!
I’m looking forward to other ways to use nutritional yeast. For us, I’d recommend this cauliflower popcorn, but honestly I’d enjoy them more raw and save the dehydrator time. That’s up to you. I’m a big texture guy, and for me, the texture of the raw cauliflower was better.

Cauliflower Popcorn
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
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Serves: 8 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 1 head cauliflower, florets removed (try to remove as much stem as possible if dehydrating)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 teaspoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • Kosher salt, to taste
Instructions
  1. Place the cauliflower into a large bowl.
  2. Add the olive oil, yeast, cumin, chili powder and salt and toss to coat.
  3. Serve raw, or if desired, place into a dehydrator and dry for 12 hours. Serve immediately.

Smoked Habanero Flake on the Nesco Snackmaster Pro

Not too long ago I made a fantastic batch of red pepper flake using my dehydrator, a Nesco Snackmaster Pro. I use the spicy flakes on just about everything. But, I thought, nothing wrong with making an even tastier, hotter version. So I grabbed a big bag of red habaneros and proceeded to make smoked habanero flake.
smoked-habanero-flake-on-the-nesco-snackmaster-proSmoking the habaneros, though not required, gives the flakes a fantastic slightly-smoky flavor and aroma, much more complex than if you just ground dried habaneros. And oh, yes, these flakes are mighty hot. You have to be careful handling the peppers, and trust me, when you grind them, do NOT put your face over the grinder when you remove the lid. I speak the truth here, it’ll get you.

Smoked Habanero Flake on the Nesco Snackmaster Pro
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Note: You'll need a smoker (wood, charcoal, or electric), a dehydrator, and a spice grinder (I use a blade-style coffee grinder) to make these smoked habanero flakes.
Ingredients
  • Ripe habaneros, any color, preferably all roughly the same size
Instructions
  1. Fire up your smoker. Add a few chunks of stronger wood, such as hickory. Do not use a fruity wood such as apple, peach, etc.
  2. Add the habaneros to the smoker and smoke for 2 hours. You're not looking to dry them (though you could given plenty of time), just get a nice smoke flavor.
  3. Remove the habaneros and transfer to your dehydrator, set to 165 F.
  4. Dry the habaneros until crispy, 8-12 hours (or more if they are large, less if they are smaller). Rotate the trays every 2 hours to ensure even drying.
  5. Remove the habaneros and let cool slightly.
  6. Remove the stems from the peppers.
  7. Working in batches, transfer the peppers to a spice grinder with blades (do not use a burr grinder) and grind until the desired sized flakes are achieved.
  8. Store in an air-tight container.
  9. Note: The flakes will be mighty hot, so use sparingly.

Copycat Buffalo Wild Wings Garlic Parmesan Wings

I love any restaurant, chain or not, that serves chicken wings. I have my favorites for sure, and Buffalo Wild Wings is one of them. BW3s Parmesan garlic wing sauce is to die for. It’s creamy, a little nutty thanks to the Parmesan cheese, and definitely packed with garlic. This copycat of the chain sauce is spot-on crazy good. I absolutely could not stop eating it. So much so that I made wings covered in the Parmesan garlic sauce two days in a row. Is that wrong?

I say without hesitation that you should double the amount of sauce. It’s not so much that you need to drown the wings in it, no. It’s because it’s good on sandwiches and subs too. Crazy garlicky good.

Also try my copycat of BW3s spicy garlic wing sauce.

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.

Copycat Buffalo Wild Wings Garlic Parmesan Wings
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8 servings
 
Note: Make the sauce a day ahead so that the flavors get time to 'get happy'.
Ingredients
  • 3-4 pounds chicken wings, flats and drumettes separated, tips discarded
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For the sauce
  • 1 medium head garlic
  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Place wings in a large resealable baggie or container.
  2. Add the oil, salt and pepper. Seal and toss to coat.
  3. Refrigerate for 4-8 hours.
  4. Cook wings as desired. Click here for our guide on cooking wings in a grill, smoker, deep fryer, oven, or a Char-Broil Big Easy.
  5. Toss wings with sauce before serving.
For the sauce
  1. Heat your oven to 350 F.
  2. Cut the bottom of the head of the garlic off. Drizzle with just a bit of oil then wrap in foil. Place in the oven for 30 minutes or until softened.
  3. Remove the garlic from the foil and let cool slightly. Squeeze the head to extract the garlic cloves. Transfer to a blender or small food chopper.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients.
  5. Pulse a few times until smooth and the garlic has been chopped.
  6. Refrigerate overnight before using.

Ham and Swiss Po’ Boy

I’m slowly (but surely) perfecting my homemade po’ boy bread. It has the perfect thin, but crunchy, crust, with a warm, soft inside. I just need to work on my dough rolling skills. Even still, that lack of loaf perfection doesn’t stop me from enjoying an absolutely great ham and Swiss po’ boy. The ham has a nice little spicy kick, the cheese just starts to melt. All topped with crunchy fresh lettuce mixed with spicy Creole mustard and fresh chopped tomatoes.

I always grab a bag (or two) of Zapp’s chips to go with my po’ boys. They have the best crunch and flavor, plus it’s a tradition. The last time (sadly, a long time ago) I was in New Orleans I had Zapp’s with my po’ boys, so I do the same at home. Food memories like that are the best, you know?

Ham and Swiss Po' Boy
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
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Serves: 1 serving
 
Ingredients
For the po boy
  • 1 6" loaf French bread
  • 1/4 pound thin sliced ham sandwich meat
  • 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
  • 2 slices Swiss cheese, divided
  • 2/3 cup lettuce dressing (see below)
  • 1 cup chopped tomato
For the lettuce mixture
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Creole mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon (or more, to taste) Louisiana hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
  • 2/3 cup shredded and chopped iceberg lettuce
Instructions
For the po boy
  1. Slice bread horizontally.
  2. Place sandwich meat in a medium skillet over medium heat.
  3. Sprinkle with the Cajun seasoning and warm the meat thoroughly. Transfer to the bottom bread halve.
  4. Add cheese and top with the lettuce dressing, tomato, and top bread half. Devour.
For the lettuce mixture
  1. Place all ingredients in a medium bowl and fold to combine.

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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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.

Awesome Green Beans

Anita said that I must make these green beans again, and soon. She proclaimed them as ‘awesome’, and I definitely agree. This is not a complicated recipe, but it gives green beans fantastic flavor. They need help, let’s face it. No one has ever sat down with a bucket of cooked beans with nothing else on them and said “dang, these are awesome!”. Sit down with a bucket of these beans you will say “dang, these are awesome!”.

Do not skimp on the chicken broth. I (almost) always use my homemade broth, but you can use a good quality store-bought broth or stock instead. For something totally different, substitute smoked turkey broth.

Awesome Green Beans
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Recipe type: Side
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Serves: 4 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 1 pound fresh green beans, stems removed
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 cup chicken broth, plus more if needed
  • 1/2 cup roasted red bell pepper, chopped (I use Merzetta's roasted pepper deli strips)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Melt the butter in a large pot over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the garlic and onions and cook for one minute.
  3. Add the green beans and cook until bright green, about 1 minute.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients and stir.
  5. Reduce heat to a low simmer. Cover but leave the cover slightly ajar and simmer until most of the liquid evaporates and the beans are crisp-tender, 20-30 minutes. Add more broth if needed.
  6. Check the seasoning and serve.

Walking BBQ

There are a few food shows on TV that I cannot miss. Even though it’s not a cooking show, I just love Carnival Eats. The host, Noah Cappe, is quite funny and entertaining. I think he may have the perfect job: travelling around and enjoying the crazy foods he finds at fairs and carnivals. Like this Walking BBQ. This is a take on the classic Walking Tacos, which are bags of Fritos topped with taco meat. Walking BBQ consists of Fritos topped with… yep… you guessed it… BBQ.
There aren’t any laws for what you can and cannot put in your Walking BBQ. I kept mine traditional, with just some leftover smoked pulled pork, homemade BBQ sauce, canned baked beans, and homemade slaw. It’s fun to eat and tasty at the same time. Win!

Also try my fantastic chili-in-a-bag!

Walking BBQ
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
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Note: I like to turn the Fritos bag on it's side and cut off the top side. It gives you more of an opening to get to the deliciousness inside.
Ingredients
  • Fritos chips bags, tops of bags cut off
  • Pulled pork BBQ
  • Your favorite BBQ sauce, warmed
  • Baked beans, warmed
  • Your favorite slaw
Instructions
  1. Open the bags.
  2. Spoon in the pork, sauce, beans and slaw.
  3. Grab a fork and walk around enjoying your grub!

Meijer Medium Buffalo Wing Sauce

This right here is yet another example of why you should not poo-poo generic wing sauces. I absolutely love all of the Meijer wing sauces.¬†Meijer’s Medium Buffalo wing sauce is lightly spicy, has that great Buffalo wing flavor, and has the perfect consistency. And consistency is important. Too many less-expensive sauces are watery. You end up with 10 times as much sauce on your plate as you do on your wings. That’s not why you made wings. You want them covered in sauce, not swimming in sauce soup.
Here in Indy at least, Meijer’s wing sauces are all under $3 for a 12 ounce bottle. That’s a really good price, and I often find them on sale for $2.80 or even less. That’s back-up-the-truck and load-up-on-wing sauce time for me. You can’t beat the price or the flavor. And they’re all-natural too boot!

Also check out Meijer’s Sweet Chili wing sauce. It’s darned good too!

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.

Meijer Medium Buffalo Wing Sauce
Author: 
Prep time: 
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Serves: 6-8 Servings
 
Ingredients
  • 3-4 pounds chicken wings, flats and drumettes separated, tips discarded
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Meijer Buffalo wing sauce, to taste
Instructions
  1. Place wings in a large resealable baggie or container.
  2. Add the oil, salt and pepper. Seal and toss to coat.
  3. Refrigerate for 4-8 hours.
  4. Cook wings as desired. Click here for our guide on cooking wings in a grill, smoker, deep fryer, oven, or a Char-Broil Big Easy.
  5. Toss wings with sauce before serving.