As much as I love blue cheese dressing for dipping my chicken wings, I don’t want it to overwhelm my ‘delicate’ palate that I can’t taste the wings. So, I might’ve been a tad nervous when I cooked up a batch of wings and tossed them in some Moore’s Blue Cheese Buffalo wing sauce. Well, that first bite told me and told me quick that the sauce was about as perfect as you can get. Nice and thick, but not too thick, and packed with blue cheese flavor and a hint of spiciness. But not too much blue cheese flavor and not too much spiciness. Darn good eating, that’s for sure. You can skip the Ranch or blue cheese dipping sauce for wings coated in Moore’s Blue Cheese Buffalo wing sauce. You don’t need anything except the wings, the sauce and a stack of paper towels. Also try Moore’s Creamy Ranch or Teriyaki wings.
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.
My first attempt at making these cheese straws was a learning experience. If the dough mixture is too thick it’s a nightmare to get through a cookie press. If the dough mixture is too thin the straw will flatten out as they bake and you’ll end up with a pan full of sadness. But, I did finally get it just right and oh, man, are these cheese straws more than just a little addicting! Crunchy and packed with cheese flavor you can’t eat just one handful.
I dusted the baked cheese straws with cayenne and smoked paprika, but you could try other flavors too. Italian seasoning for example, for a more savory approach. Or perhaps a little Ranch dressing mix.
I think you could also try other cheeses, specially something like a Monterey Jack or Swiss.
1/2 cup butter plus 1-3 more tablespoons, softened
2 cups shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese, divided
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne, plus more for dusting
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika, plus more for dusting
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
Preheat your oven to 375 F.
Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
Place 1/2 cup of the butter in a mixer with the paddle attached.
Add 1 cup of the cheese and mix for 5-7 minutes until smooth, scraping down the sides as it goes.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, salt, cayenne, smoked paprika, black pepper and garlic powder.
With the mixer still running, slowly add the flour mixture.
Add the remaining cheese.
Test the consistency of the batter. If it is really thick it might not go thru your cookie press or dessert decorator. If it is too thick, add another tablespoon of the softened butter and mix. Continue until just thin enough to press but not thin and runny.
Spoon mixture into your cookie press with a large star tip on the end.
Pipe out onto the parchment paper.
Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove from oven and dust with cayenne and smoked paprika, then transfer to a cooling rack.
I thought this Cajun stuffed chicken breast came out absolutely fantastic. Pounding the chicken out to a nice consistent thickness was a bit challenging, but I’m sure with more practice I’ll have it down pat. The filling is super-simple, just a few diced and sliced vegetables and a bit of cheese. The stuffed chicken is seasoned with Cajun seasoning, browned quickly on the stovetop, then transferred to the oven to finish cooking. Done and yum! I prefer to use my own Cajun seasoning in this and other recipes. I grind it myself so I get the consistency that I want. For this dish I ground the seasoning very fine.
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’ve been making homemade pastrami for years. I make what is commonly called ‘cheater’ pastrami, or ‘fauxstrami’ since I don’t start with a brisket, brine (or ‘corn’) it for ages and then smoke it. I cut to the chase and start with a corned beef brisket. The end result is absolutely fantastic. I load up on corned beefs any time they are on sale. My relatives and neighbors absolutely love it when I make pastrami. It’s a huge hit. I took a slightly different approach than my traditional method and I’ve found this way to be even better than the old. You still get that slight peppery bite, but the pastrami-like flavor seems more pronounced and further penetrates the meat than when I use a more coarse spice grind.
1 corned beef brisket (try to get a flat one that is consistent in thickness, such as a corned beef brisket flat)
2 tablespoons (plus more, if needed) yellow mustard
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground allspice
3-4 tablespoons freshly ground pepper
Rinse and dry the corned beef.
Whisk together the mustard, brown sugar, coriander and allspice. You want the mixture to be slightly wet so that it adheres to the meat. If it does not, add a bit more mustard and mix.
Rub the mixture all over the brisket, then cover completely with the ground pepper. Place in a large resealable bag or wrap tightly in foil and keep in the fridge overnight.
The next day, fire up your smoker for 225-250 F. Place a chunk or two of light fruit wood in the smoker (I used cherry). Cook the brisket for at least 8 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 195 - 205 F.
Remove, wrap in foil, and let rest for 30 minutes.
Thinly slice the brisket against the grain using a meat slicer or sharp knife. Serve.
As much as I do love meatloaf, for me the best meatloaf is on a sandwich. The joy of meatloaf is that it is (usually) a little denser than a hamburger, and (usually) comes with vegetables and other seasonings mixed in. Slap a big slice of meatloaf on a big hearty bun, top it with BBQ sauce, bacon, and French-fried onions and I’m not just sort of happy, I’m very happy! Don’t mess around with little ole thin slices of meatloaf when you make these BBQ meatloaf sandwiches. And don’t mess around with those little ole grocery store hamburger buns that are barely bigger than a potato chip. Go big. You want a bun that can hold up to a seriously thick slice of meatloaf that is covered in dripping BBQ sauce and crunchy smoky bacon and crispy onions.
I love the spicy vinegary flavor of Buffalo wings, along with a great blue cheese dressing for dipping them in. Now I can get those same great flavors in an easy-to-make side dish. The only way possible to make this Buffalo bacon roasted cauliflower any better is to double the recipe. Because more is definitely better.
If you’re not in to the funkiness that blue cheese has, try substituting cubed Monterey jack cheese instead. We still like the funky, but not super duper funky, so we often substitute gorgonzola cheese instead. No matter what you use Buffalo bacon roasted cauliflower is a treat.
I was digging around in the bottom of the fridge when I came across a tub of pizza dough. A quick check of the freezer found that I didn’t have any pizza sauce. And no ‘normal’ pizza toppings in the fridge, either. Well, I figured that this was the opportune time to make a breakfast pizza. I can’t say I went into the project with great optimism. Well, I’ve been wrong before. This breakfast pizza was easy to make and came out tasting fantastic. It was a welcomed twist on a regular ole pizza. Of course you can add more toppings. Such as crumbled cooked breakfast sausage. Roasted red bell peppers. Salsa. Hot sauce. Jalapeno slices. Use my version of breakfast pizza as sort of a canvas for whatever you want to do. You can’t mess it up.