I’ve been inspired lately by my bread making expertise. Ok, not really. But I have been really happy with how great my last few loaves have turned out. I make the dough in my bread machine, then roll it out, shape it, and let it rise again. Finally, into the oven and done! I’ve proven to myself too many times before that I should not make dough by hand. I let the bread machine do it. Like this jalapeno cheese bread. Not too spicy, and not too cheesy, but just right and the perfect texture for sandwiches.
I think you could substitute just about anything for the jalapenos and the cheese. Chopped roasted poblanos and pepper jack cheese would make for a great combination. As would diced green chiles (drained very well first) and Monterey jack cheese. The options are pretty much endless. Just don’t use any ingredients that are extremely moist.
It’s not uncommon for me to dream of a meal the night after I’ve had it. What isn’t common is when I dream about a meal BEFORE I’ve even had it. I knew going in that this slow cooker jalapeno pot roast was going to be great. Of course, after a day in the slow cooker the meat was tender and easy to shred. And it has just the right amount of spicy kick to it. It’s definitely not a bland pot roast by any stretch of the imagination. I set out making slow cooker jalapeno pot roast for po boy sandwiches and that’s it. As soon as I came across the recipe I knew that that’s what I was going to do. And the sandwiches came out absolutely perfect. I could’ve served the pot roast over mashed potatoes or made an open-faced sandwich or even better, used it in tacos, but I wanted a sandwich with some cool toppings like tomato and onion and lettuce to contrast the spicy beef. Perfect!
Boy, where have I been that I haven’t grilled cornbread until now? Grilling adds a nice lightly smoky flavor, but more importantly it adds a terrific crunch. Add in spicy and sweet jalapeno honey butter and you have some fantastic tasting cornbread. I’m not sure I’ll ever eat ‘normal’ cornbread again. I started with a big pan of already-baked thick (I used two packages of Jiffy) cornbread. You can also make muffins. You do have to be careful handling the cornbread on the grill since it will want to fall apart on you. The moister and thicker your cornbread is, the less problems you’ll have.
You can make extra of the jalapeno honey butter and keep it on hand for more than just cornbread (I recommend it on biscuits!). It’s delicious and not overwhelmingly hot.
This is the potato salad I’ve been dreaming about. The one I was hoping I would find. THE ONE. Pimento cheese? A house favorite. Jalapenos? In darned near everything I make. Bacon? Ditto also in darned near everything I make. Add the three into a potato salad and you’ve got the perfect storm of flavor goodness. I could sit down with the entire bowl of this jalapeno pimento cheese potato salad and just go to town on it in one sitting. Gone. All done. There’s no way I can think of to improve on this salad. I thought well, maybe some more jalapeno. Nope, doesn’t need it. It has just the right amount of kick. I thought well, maybe some more pimentos. Nope, doesn’t need that either. Just make it as is and enjoy it. Jalapeno pimento cheese potato salad is a thingy of beauty and flavor.
Oh yes, I’ve made bacon-wrapped tater tots on the Char-Broil Big Easy. Several times. And I love them. Lots. But, if you follow this blog, you know I like some kick to my tots. Hence these bacon jalapeno tots. Same concept, but with some heat. Not a whole lot, but enough to be noticed. Served with a great creamy cheese sauce that also has a bit of a kick to it. The key to cooking bacon-wrapped tater tots on the Char-Broil Big Easy is to cook them until they just start to char. They won’t be super crispy yet. That happens after you take them out of the cooker and they cool. The bacon will crisp up as it sits.
If you don’t want to make this spicy version of bacon-wrapped tater tots, leave out the jalapeno slices and use Monterey Jack cheese in the cheese sauce. You’ll definitely still have a plate of fantastic treats.
Ok, I admit it. I sometimes buy cheap steaks on sale. They make for a quick lunch. Since I work from home I can just toss them on the grill and in no time I’m chowing down. But let’s face it. Cheap steaks aren’t the same as not-cheap-steaks so I often add a bit of something to kick them up a bit. This jalapeno onion steak topping was so good I ended up making another batch to top some hamburgers later in the week. Sweet lightly-caramelized onions in a creamy sauce with just a little beat of jalapeno heat. Next time I cook up some hot dogs I’m going to make another batch of this jalapeno onion steak and burger (and hot dog!) topping. It’ll really crank up any grilled hot dog or smoked sausage. There’s not a tremendous amount of heat (the jalapenos mellow while they cook), so don’t be afraid that the topping is too hot. It’s quite mellow and packed with great flavor.
Sure, I’ve made ABTs (atomic buffalo turds) on my smoker before. They’re a great appetizer, great cook’s snack, and a great way to use up any free space you might have on your cooker when smoking ribs, pork, or whatever. These Hawaiian ABTs bring a really nice sweet twist to the classic recipe. Bacon and a bit of heat tamed by cream cheese and pineapple. Perfect! You can sprinkle the ABTs with your favorite rub before placing them on your smoker if you wish, but I’d do so sparingly. You really don’t want to hide the great flavors in these little morsels.
If you by chance end up with leftover ABTs the next day, chop them fine and use them as the filling for the best grilled cheese sandwiches you’ve ever had. Or add to the tops of hot grilled burgers. You’ll thank me.
12 Whole Jalapeno Peppers, sliced in half lengthwise
8 Oz Cream Cheese, softened to room Temperature
24 Slices Thick Cut Bacon
24 Small long Pieces of Fresh Pineapple, cut to be slightly smaller than the size of the split Jalapenos
Half the jalapenos leaving the stem.
With a spoon scrape out the seeds and veins, then rinse with water. NOTE: It is the seeds and the white veins that are the most SPICY. Remove as much as possible to make a milder version of this if you are serving a large crowd.
Fill each jalapeno half with cream cheese, making sure to not overfill past the rim.
Place a slice of pineapple in each.
Starting at the bottom, wrap each stuffed jalapeno with bacon, add a toothpick to hold it together.
Place ABT’s on the grill, indirect heat (Coals pushed to the side, peppers placed where there are no coals under the peppers.
Grill until bacon is crisp about an hour to an hour 15 minutes. They can easily be done in a oven. (Not recommended: you will lose that wonderful smoky flavor)
I love when locally-grown jalapenos are at their peak. That’s the time to go grab a few pounds to make quick pickled jalapeno rings. They keep in the pantry forever, always on hand for a pizza, sandwich, salad, burger… hot dogs… everything! You can use this recipe for other peppers too, so go to your farmer’s market at peak pepper time and grab a variety.