Hawaiian-Style Potato Macaroni Salad

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.
Hawaiian-Style Potato Macaroni SaladWhat’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!

Also try my Creole macaroni salad.

Hawaiian-Style Potato Macaroni Salad

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.
Course Side
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours 20 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 40 minutes
Servings 16 -20 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds Russet potatoes peeled (if desired), chopped into 1" cubes
  • 1 pound dried elbow noodles
  • 1/2 cup shredded onion
  • 1 large carrot shredded
  • 10 ounce bag frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup green onions chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups mayonnaise
  • 1 cup sweet pickle relish
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the potatoes. Boil for 5 minutes.
  • Add the pasta and cook 6-8 minutes or until the noodles are al dente.
  • Carefully drain the potatoes and pasta into a large colander and rinse with cold water. Transfer to a large bowl and add the onion, carrot, peas and green onion.
  • Combine the mayo, relish, vinegar, mustard, allspice and salt and pepper to taste. Gently fold into the potato pasta mixture.
  • Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.

Red White and Blue Cedar Planked Brie

Happy Fourth of July! And what better way to enjoy the day than with red white and blue cedar planked Brie. Wonderful creamy soft cheese. A hint of cedar. Sweet honey. Roasted and fresh berries. The perfect appetizer, right off the grill!

Red White and Blue Cedar Planked Brie

You can get as little or as much cedar flavor and aroma as you like. Charring the plank before adding the cheese will release some of those cedar oils. Less charring, less cedar. It’s that easy!

We both love the combination of cooked and fresh berries on this red white and blue cedar planked Brie. You get a wonderful textural difference, along with contrasting flavors. They’re really great!

Also try my cedar planked Twinkies.

Red White and Blue Cedar Planked Brie

Course Appetizer
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients

  • Cedar grilling plank soaked in water for at least 30 minutes
  • 1 wheel of Brie at room temperature
  • honey to taste
  • fresh blueberries rinsed, patted dry
  • fresh raspberries rinsed, patted dry
  • Crackers for serving

Instructions

  • Fire up your grill for high heat cooking around 400 F. I like to start my plank over direct heat then move it to indirect heat once the plank has a good char on it. If you're using a gas grill you can start over high heat then turn down the gas to finish softening the cheese.
  • Unwrap cheese and place in the center of the plank.
  • Drizzle the cheese with honey and sprinkle with berries. Use as many or as few as you want.
  • Grill for 20-25 minutes or until the Brie is nice and soft. Remove.
  • Sprinkle with more fresh berries and serve with crackers.

Lemon Roasted Chicken on the Char-Broil Big Easy

Ahhhhhh. Nothing beats roasting chicken on my Char-Broil Big Easy. From marinating, to cooking, to cleanup, it’s just about as simple a process as you can get. And you sure cannot beat the final results. Like this lemon roasted chicken that I made just the other day. I went the whole-bird route. I had my sights set on making some delicious chicken for chicken salad sandwiches. And boy did it ever satisfy!

Lemon Roasted Chicken on the Char-Broil Big Easy

I used fresh lemons for the marinade. Those are best, but I know, some times you just can’t find them. So reach for the bottled stuff if you have to. You’ll need about 12 tablespoons worth.

You can also make this lemon roasted chicken recipe on your Char-Broil Big Easy using split chicken breasts, legs, wings, or whatever you chicken pieces you have. A whole chicken is a little more challenging to marinate so feel free to use smaller pieces. I used a big, deep resealable container, but you can also use a super-big Zip-Loc baggie if you decide to go big.

Also try my Colombian-style roasted chicken.

Lemon Roasted Chicken on the Char-Broil Big Easy

Course Main
Prep Time 6 hours
Cook Time 2 hours
Servings 1 chicken
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 4-6 pound whole chicken
  • 6 lemons
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • Kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  • Place the chicken into a large resealable bag or container. Put the chicken legs in a large resealable bag, squeeze in the juice of the lemons and throw in the rinds as well. Add the olive oil, garlic and some salt and pepper, seal the bag and toss around. Place in the fridge to marinate for at least 30 minutes or up to 6 hours.
  • In a medium bowl, juice the lemons (save the rinds), olive oil, garlic and salt and pepper to taste. Add to the chicken along with the reserved lemon rinds.
  • Cover and place in the fridge for 1-6 hours, turning or shaking every hour.
  • Fire up your Big Easy and get it up to temperature.
  • Remove the chicken from the marinade. Shake off the excess and transfer the chicken to the Big Easy basket.
  • Cook until the chicken reaches at least 165 F as tested in several locations. Use 20 minutes/pound as your starting point.
  • Remove the basked from the Big Easy. Let rest 10 minutes then remove the chicken and slice as desired.

Sweet Black Pepper Chicken on the Char-Broil Big Easy

Oh let me at it! Delicious, tender, juicy chicken, packed with peppery goodness and a hint of sweetness. Sweet black pepper chicken on the Char-Broil Big Easy proves what I’ve said time and time again. Nothing cooks chicken like the Big Easy. Add a little marinade like this sweet black pepper anytime sauce from Stubb’s and you’ve got tremendously flavorful chicken.
Sweet Black Pepper Chicken on the Char-Broil Big EasyNine times out of ten I use split chicken breasts when cooking chicken on the Big Easy. They don’t ever dry out, a problem you can run into with boneless chicken breasts. So any time I see them on sale I pick up a few family packs and get to cooking. I love to have them on hand. They make for an easy dinner salad: just chop up the roasted chicken and top some greens with it. Dinner. Done!

Also try my lemon pepper chicken.

Love your Big Easy as much I love mine? Check out my Big Easy Add-Ons page and my free Big Easy eCookbook!

Sweet Black Pepper Chicken on the Char-Broil Big Easy

Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 4 hours
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time 5 hours 20 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Mike

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Place the chicken into a resealable bag or container.
  • Add marinade to taste. Toss to coat.
  • Seal and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, turning occasionally.
  • Fire up your Big Easy.
  • Transfer the chicken to the Big Easy basket.
  • Cook for approximately 20 minutes per pound or until it reaches 165 F as checked in several places.
  • Remove and let rest 10 minutes before serving.

Grilled Queso Dip

“If all of your friends jumped off a bridge would you jump too?” Well, probably not, but if all of my friends were making grilled (or smoked) queso dip, I’d make it too. And so I did. And it was oh so good. Creamy, cheese, spicy yummy good. I mean crazy good. If you’re used to making queso dip in a slow cooker, this is not that. This is so much better.

There are literally a thousand things that can go into grilled queso dip. I picked my favorites. Roasted vegetables. Spicy sausage. And the right combination of cheeses (ok, Velveeta isn’t technically cheese, but go with it for now) so everything gets nice and creamy smooth. It’s what a dip should be.

Grilled Queso Dip

You can make queso dip on your smoker just as easily as you can grill it. Instead of roasting the vegetables over high heat on a grill, just toss them in a 450 F oven until nice and just starting to soften and char. To make the dip, get your smoker up to 250 F over a light wood such as apple or peach. The cheeses might take a bit longer to melt, so be patient and enjoy the aroma!

Grilled Queso Dip

Also try my smoked onion dip.

Grilled Queso Dip

Course Appetizer
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 1 pound bulk spicy pork sausage
  • 2 medium sweet onions peeled
  • 1 large green bell pepper
  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 4 Serrano peppers or jalapenos for less heat
  • vegetable oil
  • 2 pounds Velveeta cubed
  • 1 can Rotel Diced Tomatoes and Green Chiles drained
  • 8 ounces cream cheese cubed

Instructions

  • Crumble the sausage into a skillet over medium-high heat and cook until browned. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain and cool. I like to chop mine to get it nice and fine, but that's entirely up to you.
  • Fire up your grill for direct high cooking over high heat.
  • Place the onions, bell peppers and Serranos into a large bowl and drizzle lightly with oil. Transfer to the grill and roast over high heat until browned and just starting to soften, turning occasionally. Remove to a plate to cool.
  • Chop the onion. Remove the charred skins, stems and seeds from the peppers and chop coarsely.
  • Spray a 9" x 11" disposable pan with non-stick spray. Add the ingredients. You can arrange them all pretty or just put them in. It's all gonna get mixed up in the end!
  • Change your grill over to indirect cooking. This just means you want a zone that isn't directly over the fire you already had going. Something around 350 F is what you want. You are just looking to melt the cheeses.
  • Place the pan over indirect heat and heat for 30 minutes to an hour, stirring occasionally once the cheese softens. Once everything is melted good and gooey, it's ready to serve!

Yum Yum Sauce

I went on a deep-fried shrimp kick the other day. It happens. Unfortunately it doesn’t happen often enough, because deep-fried shrimp are definitely one of my favorite things. To make the shrimp even better I always make a dipping sauce or two along the side. Usually that means some sort of variation on a cocktail sauce, but this time I went with a mayonnaise-based sauce often found in Japanese Hibachi restaurants, Yum-Yum sauce. Nice and creamy with a slight vinegar twist, this sauce was perfect with the crispy shrimp.
Yum Yum SauceAs I note in the ingredients, you’ll want to use full-strength (not light) mayonnaise. Light mayonnaise is too thin, you want something that’ll stand up to the shrimp.

I wouldn’t be afraid to add a few shakes of hot sauce, either. Or maybe a few good-sized pinches of dried pepper flake.

Also try my easy fry dipping sauce.

Yum Yum Sauce

Prep Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 1 cup
Author Based on a recipe from My Fridge Food

Ingredients

  • 1 cup mayonnaise do not use thin, light mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
  • 3/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Instructions

  • Whisk together all ingredients. Cover and place in fridge at least 30 minutes before using.

Cedar Planked Meatballs

As simple as they are, cedar planked meatballs are just flat-out, crazy good. Whether your meatballs are destined for pasta or in a sandwich, you’ll get a fantastic light cedar woodsy flavor in each and every bite. These can be as fancy or as un-fancy as you want. I went completely easy. Thawed frozen meatballs. Jarred sauce. Dinner was ready in no time. It looked great and tasted even better!

Cedar Planked Meatballs

If you are using scratch-made meatballs make sure you check the internal temperature of several of them before adding the sauce. It’s ok to pre-cook them before planking them, but they’ll get more of that great cedar flavor if you cook them from raw.

Also try my cedar planked sausage sandwiches and one of our all-time-favorites, cedar planked Buffalo chicken bites.

Cedar Planked Meatballs

Course Main
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes

Equipment

  • cedar plank (use as many as you need, depending on how many meatballs you are preparing)

Ingredients

  • meatballs if using frozen meatballs thaw first
  • marinara sauce warmed
  • Parmesan cheese grated

Instructions

  • Soak your cedar plank(s) in water for at least 30 minutes while you get your grill going.
  • Fire up your grill for direct and indirect cooking. Place the planks over the direct heat and let them get good and charred on both sides. I like to char what will be the serving side first, then flip them to char the bottom. Keep a spray bottle full of water on hand to put out any fires.
  • Transfer the meatballs to the planks and let heat over direct heat for 15 minutes or until the internal temperature of the meatballs reaches 155 F. Fresh meatballs may take longer.
  • Move the planks to indirect heat (or turn down the heat if using a gas grill). Spoon the marinara sauce over the tops and heat another 10 minutes. The meatballs should be at least 160 F for frozen or fresh beef or pork meatballs, and 165 F for poultry-based meatballs.
  • Sprinkle with the Parmesan and serve. You can actually use the planks as plates, no need to transfer the meatballs to a platter.

Copycat Chili’s Crispy Shrimp

This is how to fry up some shrimp. The perfect batter, with the perfect consistency and flavor. Not too light and not too heavy. And perfectly crunchy. And the best part of this copycat Chili’s crispy shrimp? You can still taste the shrimp. Don’t mess with perfection, follow the recipe as it is and you’ll (very) soon be enjoying fantastic shrimp.
Copycat Chili's Crispy Shrimp

The first time I made a copycat Chili’s crispy shrimp, Anita took one bite and immediately said that I don’t need to fry shrimp in any other way. Ever again. She also told me to not change anything about it. I tend to do that. You know. A little tweak here. A little something more or less there. Nope, not with these shrimp.

Also try my copycat of Applebee’s peppercorn and garlic shrimp.

Copycat Chili's Crispy Shrimp

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 2 pounds

Ingredients

For the shrimp

  • 2 pounds large shrimp peeled, deveined (I use 21-25 count shrimp and leave the tails on)
  • Oil for frying
  • Corn Flakes crumbs

For the batter

  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/3 cups cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 6 egg whites
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil

Instructions

  • Heat at least 3" of oil to 350 F in a deep fryer or Dutch oven.
  • Place the Corn Flakes crumbs in a shallow bowl.
  • Place all of the batter ingredients into a medium bowl and whisk until smooth.
  • Working in batches, coat the shrimp in the batter. Shake off any excess and then roll in the crumbs.
  • Fry 2-3 minutes until golden brown, turning once.

Barbecue Bean Chili Dogs

I’ve had my share of chili dogs. They’ve been a favorite of mine since I was knee-high-to-a-grasshopper. And most of the time that meant canned chili. These barbecue bean chili dogs aren’t those chili dogs. These are amazingly good. Think chili on a dog. Think baked beans on the side… but then, not on the side. The perfect topping for a hot dog.

Barbecue Bean Chili Dogs

I was tempted to add cheese to my barbecue bean chili dogs, but I resisted. A sharp cheddar might be a nice addition, but they’re perfect just topped with some nice crunchy onion. French fried onions… now, those would be awesome too!

Also try my home run hot dog chili on your next dog!

Barbecue Bean Chili Dogs

Course Main
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 8
Author Mike

Ingredients

For the chili

  • 1 cup barbecue sauce
  • 15 ounce can kidney beans drained, rinsed
  • 15 ounce can black beans drained, rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons chili seasoning mix about a packet
  • 1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon prepared yellow mustard

For the dogs

  • vegetable oil for brushing
  • 8 hot dogs
  • 8 hot dog buns
  • 1/2 medium white onion chopped

Instructions

For the chili

  • In a large skillet combine the barbecue sauce, kidney beans, black beans, chili seasoning, brown sugar and prepared mustard.
  • Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a low simmer.
  • Stirring often, simmer for 10-12 minutes.

For the dogs

  • Fire up a grill or a grill pan. Lightly brush the grill plates with oil.
  • Add dogs and cook for 10 minutes, turning once.
  • Toast the buns on the grill.
  • To serve, place dogs in buns and add plenty of the barbecue bean chili and sprinkle with onion.

Warm German Potato Salad

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!

Warm German Potato Salad

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.

Also try my jalapeno pimento cheese potato salad.

Warm German Potato Salad

Course Side
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 6
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds red potatoes about 6 cups, peeled if desired, diced
  • 8 slices bacon
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 6 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped

Instructions

  • Bring a large Dutch oven (preferred) or pot of water to a boil.
  • Add the potatoes and return to a boil. Boil another 8-10 minutes or until just tender. Do not over cool.
  • Drain the potatoes.
  • Add the bacon to the pot and cook until brown and crispy.
  • Remove the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Crumble.
  • Add the onion to the bacon grease and stir. Reduce heat to medium and cook until just browned.
  • Add the vinegar, water, sugar, salt and pepper. Stir and bring to a boil.
  • Add the potatoes and parsley and HALF of the crumbled bacon.
  • Transfer to a bowl for serving and sprinkle with the remaining crumbled bacon.