Bacon-Smothered Cabbage

It was a cold day. We were spoiled by a few warm days this winter, but that came to an abrupt end. That meant I needed a big ole bowl of comfort food to warm me up. This bacon-smothered cabbage hit the spot.

Great as a side, but also fantastic as a main dish by simply adding a little sliced smoked sausage. A little sweet, a little heat and a bit of smokiness made this the perfect dish on a cold day.
Bacon-Smothered CabbageI like my bacon-smothered cabbage to be almost completely tender, but still have just a bit of crunch to it. After about 5 minutes of cooking I start sampling for my preferred doneness and continue testing every minute or so.

I also prefer green cabbage, but purple cabbage (or even better, use one half of a head of green cabbage and a half head of purple!) would work just as well.

Also try my stuffed cabbage soup.

Print Recipe
0 from 0 votes

Bacon-Smothered Cabbage

Add a pound of smoked sausage, cut into 1/2" pieces and lightly browned to make this a fantastic main course dish!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Side
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Inspired by a recipe from Louisiana Cookin' Magazine

Ingredients

  • 1 head green cabbage core removed, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 5 slices bacon chopped
  • 1 large sweet onion chopped
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Hot sauce to taste

Instructions

  • Lightly brown the bacon in a large Dutch oven. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate. Remove all but 2 tablespoons of the oil left in the pot.
  • Add the onion and saute for 5 minutes or until just soft.
  • Add the cabbage. Stir and saute for 3 more minutes.
  • Stir in the vinegar. Cover, reduce heat to medium low, and cook until tender, about 10 minutes.
  • Stir in the bacon, salt, pepper and hot sauce to taste. Serve.

Slow Cooker New Orleans Roast Beef Po Boy

This slow cooker New Orleans roast beef po boy all I need on a cold day. Nothing fancy, just great-tasting tender beef that melts in your mouth. On a French bread loaf (real po boy bread is something that’s hard to come by here in Indy. although I do occasionally make my own), topped with a slice or two of cheese, slathered with plenty of mayonnaise. That’s it.

Oh sure, I could add shredded iceberg and some tomato slices and maybe some onion. Not this time. Just give me that great New Orleans roast beef po boy flavor and I’ll be a happy guy.
Slow Cooker New Orleans Roast Beef Po BoyYou could actually serve this slow cooker New Orleans roast beef po boy like a French dip. Just serve a bowl of the juices from the cooker on the side. The shredded beef is also great over tortilla chips as nachos. Just add some cheese, salsa and whatever your favorite nacho toppings might be!

Also try my slow cooker beef debris po boy sandwich.

Print Recipe
0 from 0 votes

Slow Cooker New Orleans Roast Beef Po Boy

For 6 servings you'll want to pile the roast beef on pretty deep. You can easily get 8 servings out of this recipe depending on how much you want to use on each po boy.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 hrs
Total Time10 hrs 10 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Mike

Ingredients

  • 3 pound chuck roast trimmed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 14.5 oz can beef stock
  • 1 10.5 oz can French onion soup
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 6 loaves French bread
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 12 slices Provolone cheese

Instructions

  • Spray your slow cooker with non-stick spray.
  • Add the bay leaf, stock, onion soup, red wine, pepper and garlic powder.
  • Cook on low 8-10 hours or until the beef is completely tender and falls apart. Remove to a cutting board and chop or pull. Return the meat to the slow cooker.
  • Discard the bay leaf.
  • Brown the rolls and slather with the mayonnaise. Don't be shy with it, you might need more.
  • Spoon the meat onto the rolls and top with the cheese.
  • Ladle the juices from the slow cooker into bowls for dipping.

Joe Montana’s Dry Rub Wings

I don’t know if these really are Joe Montana‘s dry rub wings. Maybe they are. I’m a long time Dallas Cowboy’s fan so it sorta bothers me to say that these are mighty darned good wings.

As much as I do like wings covered in sauce, I’m just as big of a fan of dry wings. Over-the-top sauces can bury the flavors from the chicken and the seasonings. If you can’t taste the chicken, what’s the point of cooking wings to start with?
Joe Montana's Dry Rub WingsThere’s nothing but flavor from Joe Montana’s dry rub wings. Simple flavors. No spiciness (add a good pinch of cayenne if you want some heat). No sweetness (add some brown sugar or honey powder if you prefer a sweeter wing). Just great flavor that anyone will love.

These wings are dry marinated in the rub just before cooking. After they are done, the wings are tossed in a little more rub. You get the rub in every bite.

Also try my Buffalo ranch and smoky chipotle dry rubbed 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.
Print Recipe
0 from 0 votes

Joe Montana's Dry Rub Wings

Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr 45 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 -8 servings
Author: Mike

Ingredients

  • 3-4 pounds chicken wings flats and drumettes separated, tips discarded
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

For the rub

  • 1 teaspoon Lawry's Seasoned Salt
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

Praline Crunch

Praline crunch is the kind of good stuff that you put in a bowl on the table during a football game for guests to snack on and by halfway through the first quarter you are wondering where it all went. “Why didn’t I double it?” is what you’ll be asking yourself, so I’m telling ya right now: double it. Crunchy and just the slightest hint of vanilla. And pecans! I love pecans!

Praline CrunchThis recipe for praline crunch is pretty flexible. If you aren’t a fan of pecans, shelled peanuts also work fine and do cashews. You can also substitute other cereals, or use a mix. Praline crunch is good no matter what you put into it, just make sure you double the recipe!

Note: I used baking powder because, somehow, I was out of baking soda! You can substitute baking soda by using just 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda versus the 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder.

Also try my caramel crunchy Cheetos!

Print Recipe
0 from 0 votes

Praline Crunch

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr 20 mins
Total Time1 hr 35 mins
Servings: 10 cups

Ingredients

  • 8 cups Original Crispix cereal
  • 2 cups pecans whole, halved, or chopped, whichever you prefer
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar packed
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 250 F.
  • Lightly spray a deep 9" x 13" baking dish with non-stick spray.
  • Combine the cereal and nuts in a large heat-safe bowl.
  • Melt the butter in a medium sauce over medium high heat.
  • Stir in the brown sugar and corn syrup. Stir while bringing to a boil.
  • Remove from heat and whisk in the vanilla and the baking powder until smooth and the baking powder has dissolved.
  • Pour the mixture over the cereal and stir to coat.
  • Pour the mixture into the baking dish and distribute evenly.
  • Bake for 1 hour, stirring carefully every 20 minutes.
  • Pour mixture out onto parchment paper and spread out evenly to a thickness of 1".
  • Let cool then break into pieces and serve.

Spicy Orange Chicken

This spicy orange chicken is one of those “there aren’t going to be very many leftovers” dishes. We knew it as soon as we started eating. The sauce on the chicken is just crazy good. A slight hint of orange. A slight spicy kick. The chicken is fried quickly and perfectly, with just a slight crunch. We loved this dish and then some.
Spicy Orange ChickenI’m a big fan of green onions on dishes that are Asian-inspired such as this spicy orange chicken. I need something to cut thru the sweetness, the soy sauce. So I tend to be a bit heavy-handed when it comes times to sprinkle on the sliced green onion.

Don’t be afraid to add more crushed red pepper to the sauce.

Also try my copycat of Panda Express’ SweetFire chicken.

Print Recipe
0 from 0 votes

Spicy Orange Chicken

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Main
Cuisine: Asian-Inspired
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Inspired by a recipe from Kikkoman

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized cubes
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Cooked rice for serving
  • Sliced green onions for topping

For the spicy orange sauce

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 teaspoon or more crushed red pepper
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 5 ounce bottle Kikkoman Orange Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

Instructions

  • Combine chicken, egg whites and soy sauce in a bowl and let stand 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, heat oil in a large Dutch oven or deep fryer to 360 F.
  • Working in batches, remove chicken from marinade. Shake off excess then roll in the cornstarch. Fry until golden brown and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate.
  • Make the sauce by heating 1 tablespoon of oil (you can also use 1 tablespoon of the oil from the fryer) in a large skillet. Add the garlic and red pepper and stir-fry for 15 seconds.
  • Dissolve the cornstarch in the water and stir into the skillet. Add the Orange Sauce and soy sauce. Reduce heat to a simmer and continue simmer, stirring, until thickened.
  • Add in the chicken and stir to coat.
  • Serve over rice topped with green onions.

Roasted Peanuts on the Char-Broil Big Easy

Woo hoo! I love it when an idea hits me in the middle of the night and it actually turns out to be a great idea! Roasted peanuts on the Char-Broil Big Easy? I have no idea where the idea came from, but boy, they came out fantastic! These little beauties are highly addicting. And easy? What’s easier than ‘Turn on Big Easy. Add peanuts.’?

Roasted Peanuts on the Char-Broil Big EasyYou might want to use your first batch of peanuts to gauge the cook time on your Big Easy. Arrangement of the basket, wind and other factors might influence the roasting time. My first batch was a bit over-done (but darned tasty, I have to admit). I learned that the peanuts need to be removed once they look like they are changing color. If they turn dark, they’re burnt. They do crisp up as they cool so don’t just grab a hot one and think they’ll stay tender. They won’t.Roasted Peanuts on the Char-Broil Big Easy

I cooked my peanuts in two Bunk Bed baskets lined with foil. You can use the standard basket instead if you don’t have any bunk bed baskets. Note that the top basket tended to cook a little slower than the bottom. Using a single basket will give you more control over the cooking.

Also try my bacon-wrapped jalapeno tots made on the Big Easy!

Love your Big Easy as much I love mine? Check out my Big Easy Add-Ons page and my free Big Easy eCookbook!
Print Recipe
0 from 0 votes

Roasted Peanuts on the Char-Broil Big Easy

Use a Bunk Bed basket to cook more peanuts at once.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Servings: 2 cups
Author: Mike

Ingredients

  • 2 cups raw peanuts in shell
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions

  • Fire up your Big Easy. Line your basket with foil.
  • Add the peanuts and spread out evenly. Sprinkle with the salt.
  • Place basket into the Big Easy and roast for 15-20 minutes or until the peanuts just start to change color.
  • Remove and let cool before eating. The peanuts will get crisper as they cool.

Smoky Ranch Saltines

Flavored saltines are a favorite snack in our house. They are so easy to make. They are great for travel snacks. You can make them in pretty much any flavor you can think of. From Buffalo wing-flavored, to spicy Fire-Eater saltines, to these smoky ranch saltines, you can’t go wrong with them.Smoky Ranch SaltinesIf you’re not gentle when tossing the saltines they will crumble and not get fully covered in the flavoring. If you double or triple this recipe make each sleeve of crackers in it’s own bag or you’ll have trouble getting the smoky Ranch seasoning to coat each individual saltine.

Also try my Buffalo wing, Fire-eater and lime pepper saltines.

Print Recipe
0 from 0 votes

Smoky Ranch Saltines

Prep Time12 hrs
Total Time12 hrs
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Servings: 30 or so crackers
Author: Mike

Ingredients

For the Saltines

  • 1 sleeve Saltine crackers
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1-2 tablespoons Smoky Ranch seasoning from below

For the Smoky Ranch seasoning (makes approx 7 tablespoons)

  • 2 1 ounce packets dry Ranch seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt

Instructions

For the Saltines

  • Place crackers in a large resealable bag or container.
  • Pour in the oil.
  • Sprinkle with the seasoning.
  • Seal and gently toss to coat.
  • Let sit (on the counter) for 12 hours to get 'happy', tossing gently every once-in-a-while.

For the Smoky Ranch seasoning

  • Combine all ingredients.

Copycat Subway Chipotle Southwest Sauce

Let’s get the obvious out of the way first. When it comes to making a sandwich, I don’t go by the serving size on the meat package. One slice? Two at most? That’s not a sandwich, that’s an hors d’oeuvre. Same goes for the spread. I made a batch of a copycat of Subway chipotle southwest sauce. Did I dot it on the bread? Nope. Slathered. Thick. Piled high with my favorite toppings, it was a sandwich to remember.
Copycat Subway Chipotle Southwest Sauce

The chipotle southwest sauce is fresh, with a hint of citrus and fresh cilantro, but also with a little kick thanks to one of my favorites, ground chipotle chile. I love the smoky heat that ground chipotle chiles bring to whatever I use it in. It’s not over-the-top spicy or smoky, it’s just right.

Also try my copycat of the great bread at Subway.

Print Recipe
0 from 0 votes

Copycat Subway Chipotle Southwest Sauce

Prep Time4 hrs
Total Time4 hrs
Course: Sauce
Servings: 1 cup

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon water
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle chile
  • Pinch each of dried thyme and ground cumin

Instructions

  • Combine all ingredients.
  • Refrigerate for at least 4 hours to let the flavors 'get happy' before using.