In my world there’s nothing better than a burger cooked on a super hot flat top griddle. Boy do I love that nice little char you get on the patties. These pepper crusted bacon cheeseburgers amp up that great flat top (though you can certainly grill them!) flavor even more.
The patties are loaded with sweet onion and lots of black pepper. Lots of black pepper. Crispy bacon, lettuce, smoky cheese and a fantastically garlicky aioli top it all off Every bite is loaded with flavor. Do not be shy with the black pepper when you roll the burger patties in it. You really want a good strong pepper flavor. I used smoked pepper but any good freshly cracked pepper will do. For extra smoky flavor used smoked garlic instead of regular raw garlic.
Wow. We were both totally blown away by just how incredibly fantastic these cedar planked Buffalo chicken bites were. Yeah, they’re supposed to be appetizers. Well, that’s not how they ended up here. Eat one? Two? Yeah, right. I’m a Buffalo wing addict to begin with so I’m all over anything that involves wing sauce. Bacon? Cheese? Chicken thighs? It’s like everything yummy all in a single bite, all with a wonderful hint of cedar flavor. Crazy good. One of the best things we’ve ever made. Easily.
Don’t worry if you get a little cheese ‘blowout’ when you make these cedar planked Buffalo chicken bites. And don’t leave that cheese on the planks, either. Nope, scrape it up along with the chicken and just go to town on it. These are delicious, one of the best things you can imagine.
I like to serve these with more warmed Buffalo wing sauce on the side. There’s no such thing as too much Buffalo sauce in my book.
Fire up your grill for indirect cooking 350-400 F. You do not want flame directly below the place where you plan on placing the planks
Cut the thighs in half lengthwise. Place a cube of mozzarella in the center and roll the chicken around it.
Wrap a half piece of bacon around the chicken.
Sprinkle the chicken with the rub. Don't be shy with it.
Transfer to the planks, leaving at least 1/2" space between each chicken roll.
Transfer planks to grill and cook for 1 – 1 1/2 hours. As the bacon and chicken begin to render fat you may experience flare-ups. I keep a spray bottle full of fresh water nearby when this happens, being careful to spray down into the grill at the fire and not at the chicken which would rinse off the seasoning.
Meanwhile, place the butter and hot sauce in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and let simmer for 5 minutes, stirring the help melt the butter.
Once the chicken hits 155 F internal temperature (make sure you measure in the meat, not the cheese!) using an instant-read thermometer, brush heavily with the Buffalo sauce.
Cook another 10-15 minutes or until the chicken is done (at least 165 F).
Brush with any remaining sauce and serve!
I like to have tons of Buffalo sauce, so I double the ingredients and serve half alongside the chicken for dipping.
I’m addicted to onion rings. And I’m picky about them. I’m picking about the coating. It has to be light and crunchy and it has to stick to every inch of the onion. And I’m picky about the onion. Each bite has to be ‘clean’. Nothing is worse than biting into a ring and having the entire onion want to come out at once. And of course, they have to taste great. These homemade onion rings pass my picky tests and then some. They are truly fantastic.
There is absolutely nothing I would change about the batter for these homemade onion rings. It has the perfect consistency and flavor. Well, ok, I might change up the seasoning just a bit depending on who I’m serving them to or whatever my mood is that day. Me, I like a bit of heat, so cayenne is my go-to seasoning. But, a little smoked paprika or even a dried herb such as Italian seasoning also makes for a pleasant change.
The batter would also be great on fish filets, making for a big plate of fish-and-rings.
Ahhhh, the perfect drink on a hot day. This cherry limeade hit the spot and then some. A little tart and a little sweet, you can make this regular or diet. The diet version isn’t completely carbohydrate-free. For that, you can omit the lime juice and cherries and instead use diet syrups, like the ones available from Torani. They make a wide range of diet fruit (and other) flavored syrups. We love them on sno-cones too!
I recommend not storing this cherry limeade with the lime slices if you have any leftovers. The next day it’ll get mighty darned ‘limey’. Just drop the slices in when you are ready to serve, and remove them if you need to refrigerate the remainder overnight.
My fast food dining days are pretty much behind me. Oh I might stop and grab something every once-in-a-while, specially if I’m traveling. I still crave some of my fast food favorites, but now I’m more a make-it-at-home kinda guy. So that’s how we ended up here, with a copycat of my favorite chain burger, the Burger King Whopper (although truth be told, McDonald’s Quarter Pounder and BigMac are close behind on the list!).
I like to cook my copycat Burger King Whoppers on a flat top griddle on my grill. I get the griddle hot, screaming hot, first. That gives me that little char, that little crunch around the edges. And of course cooking on the grill gives you that char-grilled flavor just like at the restaurant!
If you don’t have a grill cook the burgers in a hot skillet!
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.
Even if you’re a die-hard I-only-put-ketchup-on-my-fries person, you have to try this easy easy fry dipping sauce. Fear not since it does contain (some) ketchup! And mayonnaise (a worthy fry dipping sauce on it’s own!). A few other ingredients and a little spiciness and you’ve got something different for your next batch of fries.
I have quickly learned that one of the most valuable things in my fridge is a jar of pickle brine. It’s the liquid left after you’ve taken out the last pickle. Don’t ever toss it out. You can use it in so many recipes, from this easy fry dipping sauce to fried chicken.
The beauty of the Vortex BBQ insert is that you can take pretty much any deep-fryer recipe and use it on a charcoal grill. It doesn’t have to be for chicken either. This Hidden Valley Ranch fried chicken using the Vortex is a perfect example of just how amazing it is. The meat is crazy tender, unbelievable moist. And the skin? Well, let’s just say I leave it for last because it’s almost like dessert. A true treat.
Hidden Valley Ranch fried chicken using the Vortex is incredibly easy to make. And there’s no mess or clean up like if you’d fried the chicken on the stovetop or in a deep fryer. It’s why I love all my Vortexes. I have some for my big charcoal grills and some for my smaller charcoal grills. Which one I use depends on how much I’m cooking, but no matter what, everything comes out fantastic.
Let’s get the obvious out of the way first. Double this recipe. And if you have a lot of leftover smoked pulled pork (or brisket) laying around, quadruple the recipe. Because these smoked BBQ baked beans are fantastic you’ll want to make as much as will fit on your smoker at one time. I got this fantastic (and easy) recipe and many others from Brother Jimmy’s BBQ: More than 100 Recipes. If you’re a fan of smoking and grilling, you need Brother Jimmy’s now.
Just about any smoked meat will work just fine in these smoked BBQ baked beans. I prefer brisket or pulled pork, but chicken and turkey are good too. This is an excellent way to use up leftover (or not leftover) meats.
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.