You have those cans of tomato soup just sitting there in the pantry. It’s not bad soup. But those cans have been sitting there for a reason. That soups needs a little something. A little help to make it into great soup and not ‘just’ a can of soup. This easy kicked-up tomato soup is just that. Just add a few pantry and fridge ingredients and boom, great tomato soup for a cold day!
The diced tomatoes add a nice texture and freshness to this easy kicked-up tomato soup, but you can definitely leave them out. Let’s face it, at least here in the mid-west US good fresh tomatoes are impossible to find this time of year.
I like a little crunch to my soup to give it even more texture, so I added a few homemade croutons. Optional, but yummy.
After making a big ole batch of bell pepper powder using my dehydrator I decided I need to kick things up a bit. Not crazy over-the-top kicked up, but something a bit spicier. I’m a big fan of poblano peppers. They aren’t super hot and they have such great pepper flavor. I love them stuffed, roasted, sliced on a sandwich, however. And now, I love them dried. Poblano pepper powder on the Nesco Snackmaster Pro is perfect for seasoning my favorite dishes. Dried poblanos can still pack a punch, so when you go to cutting them up make sure you wash your hands good (or use rubber gloves) when you’re done. And when you grind the dried peppers, watch out for that dust. It’ll wake you up and wake you up quick.
I keep my dried powders in Mason jars that I vacuum seal using an attachment for my sealer. They keep forever. You just need to remember to re-seal the jars after removing the powder to use in a dish.
I’m very new to the world of sous vide. But, making corned beef using the technique is something I have been wanting to do for a long time. Usually, I smoke my corned beef to make ‘fauxstrami’, or as it is sometimes called, ‘cheater pastrami’. This time I was going for just classic corned beef flavor and super tender meat. And that’s what I got.
For 48 hours all I could think about was a Reuben sandwich. Sous vide corned beef on pumpernickel with a homemade Thousand Island dressing, kraut and Swiss cheese. Lunch was fantastic!
I don’t think that the spice packet added much flavor to the corned beef. I would actually consider it borderline optional. I did learn that if you are using it don’t place it directly on the meat. As the vacuum seals the bag, the spices get embedded in the corned beef. And there they will stay until you scrape them off, which isn’t fun. So I pour it into a corner of the bag. It does get mixed in with the liquid from the meat, so perhaps it did add a little flavor. It certainly was not overwhelming.
I think the technique I used for sous vide corned beef can be used as a starting point for making pastrami, so that’s the next thing I will try. After the 48 hour sous vide, I will prepare the corned beef as I do my homemade pastrami, then smoke it just long enough to get a little smoke flavor to it. I will certainly post my results!
I could probably eat a ton of these blackened fried shrimp. I was already badly addicted to fried shrimp. Then along came these beyond-delicious treats and my addiction somehow got worse. I didn’t even think that was possible. Yummy crunchy batter that has a great light spiciness to it. The batter isn’t too thick. It isn’t too thin. You really just can’t stop eating them.
For a little extra kick, sprinkle the shrimp with more of the seasoning just after you remove them from the hot oil. Why go thru the trouble of making the blackened seasoning from scratch? That store-bought stuff is just way too salty for me. But you’re certainly free to use it.
Muffuletta sandwiches are what I would have on a deserted if I could choose only one food. I’d even go through the ‘trouble’ of making my own olive salad. When I first ran across this idea for a Memphis-style muffuletta I made a weird face. Huh? Why are you messing with my favorite? The answer was soon obvious: because this is really, really good. Similar to a muffuletta in many ways, but different too.
The creamy olive salad in this Memphis-style muffuletta is totally different than a traditional muffuletta mix but it has many of the same flavors. The artichoke hearts are a totally different twist and quite honestly I might find myself adding them to my homemade muffuletta olive salad too.The olive salad mix is also great on grilled hot dogs. If you prefer the original, try my more traditional muffuletta sandwich.
Is it possible for a bottled store-brand wing sauce to be too good? No, but Meijer Bourbon Honey Mustard wing sauce is about as good as you can get. All of the flavors are balanced and at just the right levels for me. Not too much bourbon flavor. Just the right honey sweetness. And the right mustardy vinegar kick. It’s different and delicious.
I contacted Meijer’s corporate office about the fact that I couldn’t find their Honey Bourbon wing sauce online. As of the time of this post they haven’t added it yet. So just head to your local Meijer and grab a bottle from the condiment section. While you’re there grab a few bottles of the other great Meijer wing sauces.
My two biggest food obsessions? Chicken wings and fried shrimp. I could eat either one any time, any where. I’ve never had wings or shrimp that I didn’t absolutely love. Like these Cajun fried shrimp. Lightly crunchy. Stick-to-the-shrimp batter. A little heat. Perfectly cooked.
This is shrimp done up right. I served these Cajun fried shrimp with a crazy wonderful remoulade that has ended up being a shrimp-dipping staple in our house. It’s great for fries fish, too.
For that little extra ‘something’ sprinkle the shrimp lightly with Old Bay seasoning just before serving.
I can eat an embarrassing amount of crispy fried shrimp. My addiction to these little goodies started as a child. Maybe once every few months we would eat out at Sizzler. I would always get the fried shrimp. I would devour them.
That tradition lives on, believe me. That’s why I make them at home. In bigger batches. These crispy fried shrimp are nice and crispy and have a fantastic lightly savory flavor. No overpowering flavors here, you can still taste the wonderful shrimp. I like to use shrimp that aren’t too big or too small when I make crispy fried shrimp. For me, 21-25 count (that means 21-25 shrimp are in a pound) are the perfect size. If I can get them, I use Louisiana Gulf Shrimp. I believe they have the best flavor but you can use whatever you prefer (or can find).
You can use pre-shelled and pre-deveined shrimp but give them a once-over before using to make sure that there aren’t any shell pieces or veins left. Just in case.
If you’re looking for something super-simple for dipping your delicious crispy fried shrimp, try my quick cocktail sauce.
Alliger’s House of Wings has some of most awesome wing sauces I’ve ever had. I just cannot get enough of them. The other really cool thing about Alliger’s is that their website has simple recipes for combining their sauces to make new flavors. Like these Garlic-Q wings. It’s a wonderful combination of, you guessed it, garlic wing sauce and BBQ wing sauce! The garlic sauce by itself is pretty garlicky. Add in some BBQ wing sauce and you get this awesome new taste with just the perfect amount of spice.
Garlic-Q wings are a great way to bring a little something different to the party. We’ve all had garlicky wings. We’ve all had BBQ wings. But Garlic-Q wings? Now, that’s new. And it’s so crazy easy to make!
I’m not a bartender or mixologist by any stretch of the imagination. If you asked me anything about mixed drinks you’d get a blank unknowing look in response. However, I can make two drinks that Anita does enjoy: a dirty martini and a Bloody Mary. Now, we’re not talking big-time fru-fru drinks here. My Bloody Mary isn’t like some you see on TV that are garnished with bacon, sliders and hot peppers or whatever. I keep it simple and tasty. And the key to my Bloody Mary is the rim salt. I make a big batch of it and keep it in the pantry, ready just in case someone requests a Bloody Mary.
Bloody Mary rim salt isn’t just for making drinks better, either. I love to sprinkle it on chicken wings hot out of the deep fryer or off the grill. It’s wonderfully different. It’s also great as a seasoning on grilled steaks.
1tablespoongranulated garlicnot garlic salt or garlic powder!
1teaspoonfreshly ground black pepper
1/4teaspoondry mustard powder
1/4teaspoondry powdered ginger
Combine all ingredients in a jar or sealable container. Shake to combine. Note: If you want a finer salt, place the salt into a spice grinder first and pulse a few times until the desired size is obtained.
To rim a glass, moisten the edge of your glass then dip into the salt.