I had a bunch (and I do mean a bunch!) of ham leftover from cooking a big ham on my Char-Broil Big Easy. I could’ve made more sandwiches. Or I could dice up some ham for omlets. Instead, I decided to warm up some nice thick slices and top them with this wonderful pepper onion beer sauce. It looks like your pretty standard vegetable topping, but with a twist: orange marmalade. Whoa! I wasn’t expecting that! This pepper onion beer sauce really goes well with ham, but I also think it’d compliment grilled chicken just as well. Don’t like orange marmalade? I bet you could substitute your favorite marmalade or preserves.
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.
For years and years I have grilled my sausages after they spent some quality time in a ‘bath’ of beer and peppers and onions. And they are great, I admit it. But these kraut-stuffed sausages, well, they’re really beyond great. Tender, moist, and just packed with flavor. Such a wonderful texture in every single bite. I couldn’t stop eating them. Topped with plenty of mustard, these are now my only go-to grilled sausages. You have to use the right kind of sausages to make these kraut-stuffed sausages. Get the fresh sausages, with casings. You need to be able to poke your finger inside to make a cavity for the fantastic (but easy) filling. And unless your fingers are really, really long, don’t get really, really long sausages!
I suggested to Anita that we try adding other things to the stuffing, such as chopped roasted jalapenos, or poblanos or the like and she gave me a dirty look. The “don’t mess with this” look. So I won’t.
Also try my bratwurst bath. Perfect for getting brats ‘happy’ before grilling them.
1 pound fresh sausages (Italian, Kielbasa, whichever you prefer, just make sure you get the sausages in casings). I used Johnsonville Italian sausages which come 5 to a pound
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large sweet onion, cut thin
1 pound kraut plus some of the juice
1 cup shredded cheese (Monterey Jack, mozzarella, any good white melting cheese will work)
5 fresh sausage buns
Your favorite mustard
Using your fingers, make a hole down the center of each sausage, creating a cavity that runs the full length of the sausages.
Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
Add the onion, kraut, and a bit of the juice from the kraut jar.
Stir and let cook until the onions are softened.
Remove from heat and let cool completely.
Stir in the cheese. It won't melt but it will help bind the kraut mixture together.
Fire up your grill for indirect cooking.
Using your hands, grab some of the kraut mixture and force it into the cavity in the sausages. Just keep packing it in. Don't worry about being all pretty and what-not, just get it in there. But don't shove so hard that you have a blowout!
Place sausages over indirect heat on the grill and cook for 30 minutes until nice and dark and done.
Toast the buns.
Add cooked sausages to the buns and top with plenty of mustard.
The tastiest burgers are cooked on a flat-top griddle or in a hot skillet. Unlike a grill, the fat doesn’t drip down into the fire below. Instead, it stays on the burger, keeping it moist. And the added plus of a griddle is that you get that wonderful char. These Oklahoma fried onion burgers would be your standard fantastic griddle burgers, but they have a very tasty twist: onions that are griddled into the patties. The result is divine. I use a griddle insert that fits into my Weber charcoal and gas grills to griddle burgers like Oklahoma fried onion burgers. It not only gets super hot, it gets hot consistently across the entire griddle. This ensures that I get nice evenly cooked burgers no matter how many I am cooking at once.
Toss with 1 teaspoon of salt and let rest for 30 minutes to extract as much liquid out of the onions as possible.
Transfer the onions to a towel or a few sheets of paper towels, roll up tightly and squeeze to remove as much liquid as you can.
Divide the onion slices into 4 equal piles on a cutting board or flat surface.
Divide the beef into 4 patties and form into balls.
Place beef on top of the onions and, using the palm of your hand or the bottom of a small skillet, flatten the beef into patties. The onions will stick to the bottom of the patties. That's what you want.
Season patties with salt and pepper.
Heat up a griddle or cast iron skillet on your stove top or grill over medium-high heat.
Add the butter and swirl it around to coat the griddle or skillet.
Add the patties, onion side down, and cook for 6-8 minutes. You'll see the onions starting to turn golden brown and get crispy around the sides.
Flip and continue cooking until the burgers are done, about 2 more minutes.
Top with cheese and remove.
Toast the buns, if desired.
Add the patties, mayonnaise, mustard, and pickles.
These Sriracha bacon onion rings that I made on my Char-Broil Big Easy give new meaning to kicked-up goodness. I mean, come on, what could be better than Sriracha and bacon? Now, these rings don’t get all super crispy like they’ve been deep-fried, but they more than make up for that with flavor. You can’t possibly make enough of these to satisfy your guests. You can serve the rings ‘as-is’, or do as I did and mix a few squirts of Sriracha and Ranch dressing together and use that as a dipping sauce. The cool Ranch helps cool off the spicy goodness, but it doesn’t hide it. Heck, I added Sriracha to it so it’s not like it’s wimpy.
You can’t fit a whole bunch of Sriracha bacon onion rings on the standard basket that comes with your Big Easy. To really make a batch, you’ll need the Big Easy cooking rack available from Char-Broil. It adds a lot of cooking room. You can read my evaluation of the rack by clicking here.
Slice the onion into thick 'steaks' about 1/2" thick.
Push out the inner rings (save for another use), leaving the last two outer rings still together as one. Do not separate them. Note: If the rings are particularly thick then you can separate them as cook them as single rings.
Squeeze some Sriracha into a bowl that's just big enough to fit an onion ring.
Place the ring into the sauce. Using your fingers, spread the sauce all over the ring. Flip the onion and repeat. Get it coated, but not drenched.
Wrap bacon around the rings. Don't wrap too tightly since the bacon will shrink. Don't wrap it too loose or it'll fall off.
Brush (or just use your fingers) more Sriracha on the outside of the bacon.
Place the rings on your Big Easy rack and lower into the Big Easy.
Cook the rings until the bacon just starts to crisp. Gently flip them and cook another 10-15 minutes. Remove to a baking sheet and let firm up a bit.
Oh my goodness. I was just about as happy as a kid on Christmas morning as I cooked these cedar-planked hot dogs. I knew I was going to enjoy a truly tasty fantastic dog, topped with onion and crispy bacon that also had just a hint of cedar to them. The dogs cooked up super plump and moist. No overpowering sense of cedar. Just enough, there in the background. Perfect. After the onion and bacon got some cedar ‘happiness’ they went into a cast iron skillet on the grill to get cooked up the rest of the way.
Just thinking about these great dogs has my stomach growling. What great tastes in each and every bite. One of my favorites of all time, that’s for sure.
2 pieces thick-cut smoked bacon, chopped into 1/4" pieces
2 hot dog buns
Your favorite hot dog toppings
Soak the cedar plank in water for 30 minutes.
Fire up your grill for direct and indirect cooking.
Place the plank rough-side down over high direct heat. Let the plank get nice and hot, smoke and even get a bit charred. Move to indirect heat.
Add the hot dogs, onions, and bacon to the plank. Close the grill and let the ingredients cook for 15 minutes. Make sure you have the heat high enough to make the plank smoke but don't let it catch on fire. I keep a spray bottle full of water nearby just in case...
Remove the hots dogs to a plate.
Transfer the onions and bacon to a skillet on the stovetop over medium-high heat or use a small cast iron skillet on your grill since it's already nice and hot.
Cook the onions and bacon until the bacon is crisped and the onions are done.
Meanwhile toast the buns as desired.
Serve dogs on buns topped with the bacon and onions and your favorite condiments.
I ended up with leftover Vidalia onion after I made bacon wrapped Sriracha onion rings the other day. Vidalia onion is a great thing. A marvelous thing. While they are in season I grab as many as I can, and use them in everything. Like this fantastic Vidalia onion dip.
Since it was just Anita and I, I scaled this recipe way back. But, that’s easy to do since the ratio of ingredients is as easy as it gets: 1-to-1-to-1-to-1.