Lemon Pepper Corn on the Char-Broil Big Easy

Chicken is my favorite thing to cook on my Big Easy. Corn-on-the-cob is my second most favorite. You can season it a million ways and no matter what, it always comes out sweet and tasty. Like this lemon pepper corn on the Char-Broil Big Easy. This is why the arrival of sweet corn season is such a happy time for me.
Lemon Pepper Corn on the Char-Broil Big Easy

You cannot screw up lemon pepper corn on the Char-Broil Big Easy. Well, you could if you let it overcook, I guess. But, it’s pretty unforgiving. If you’re not sure that it’s quite done, just life up a piece and poke a kernel with a toothpick. If the toothpick inserts with just a little resistance and the kernel ‘pops’, you’re good-to-go.

Corn-on-the-cob on the Big Easy is also great with lime pepper seasoning. As good as my garlic Old Bay corn!

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

Lemon Pepper Corn on the Char-Broil Big Easy

Lemon pepper corn on the Char-Broil Big Easy is why the arrival of sweet corn season is such a happy time for me.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 4 ears corn-on-the-cob husks and silks removed, cut in half
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
  • 1 tablespoon lemon pepper more or less, to taste

Instructions

  • Fire up your Big Easy.
  • Brush corn with the butter. Sprinkle with the lemon pepper.
  • Place corn into the Big Easy basket. You'll need a Bunk Bed basket to cook all of the corn at once.
  • Cook in the Big Easy for 20-25 minutes or until the corn is tender.

Notes

You'll need a Bunk Bed basket or two to cook more corn at once on your Big Easy.

Slow Cooker Taco Meat Version 2.0

I’m a big fan of taco night. Granted, it’s not real Mexican taco night, but it’ll do. Well-seasoned ground beef, cooked slow all day, soaking up flavor after flavor. Nothing fancy. No fine dining here. Just tasty tacos. Perfect on a cold night and nothing could possibly be easier to make than slow cooker taco meat.
Slow Cooker Taco MeatI prefer to use my homemade taco seasoning instead of the packets you get in the store. I like to be able to control the amount of salt and making it myself gives me that chance.

We’re both big fans of Mrs. Renfro’s salsas, and in particular the peach-flavored salsa. It adds a nice mellow sweetness to this slow cooker taco meat. For a nice kick, try Mrs. Renfro’s Mango Habanero salsa. It’ll wake you up!

Slow Cooker Taco Meat Version 2.0

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours 15 minutes
Total Time 6 hours 25 minutes
Servings 8 -10 servings
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 large green bell pepper seeded, chopped
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1-2 cups peach salsa I used Mrs. Renfro's. You can substitute any good thick salsa.
  • 1 envelope taco seasoning I used a heavy 2 tablespoons of my homemade taco seasoning

Instructions

  • Brown the ground beef in a large skillet, breaking it up as it cooks. Drain and transfer to a slow cooker.
  • Stir in the remaining ingredients.
  • Cover and cook on low 4-6 hours, stirring occasionally.

Grilled Garlic Parsley Cheese Bread

When I made a big ole batch of smoked NOLA shrimp the other day I knew I needed something for sopping up that delicious, spicy, rich sauce left at the bottom of the plate. Grilled garlic parsley cheese bread to the rescue! The bread gets delightfully crunchy on the grill. The cheesy topping has hints of garlic with fresh parsley. On both sides of the bread! Yes! Double the flavor! I love garlic bread. But garlic bread with the topping on both sides? Crazy good!
Grilled Garlic Parsley Cheese Bread

You do have to keep an eye on your grilled garlic parsley cheese bread. Well, at least while you’re grilling it. Maybe after, too, in case someone wants to steal one of your pieces. As the butter melts, it may drip down into your grill and case a little flame up. If that happens (and it probably will), just temporarily move the bread away from the flame using some tongs. Wait for the fire to die back down, then move the bread back over the direct heat. No problem.

Also try my easy grilled chimichurri bread.

Grilled Garlic Parsley Cheese Bread

Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings 10 servings
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf French bread
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter softened
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons fresh parsley finely chopped
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  • Fire up your grill for direct and indirect cooking.
  • Cut the bread into 1/2" thick slices.
  • Place softened butter, garlic, cheese, parsley and salt in a bowl and mash with a fork to combine.
  • Slather the butter mixture onto both sides of the bread and transfer to the grill over direct heat. Grill 1-3 minutes per side until lightly toasted and crispy. Watch out for flare-ups as the butter melts. If you get a flare-up, move the bread to indirect heat until the fire dies down.
  • Serve immediately.

Enchilada Beans

Man do I ever love a big ole pot of great beans. But these enchilada beans aren’t great beans. They’re amazing beans. The flavors are just amazing. Southwestern in nature, with the perfect texture and a sauce that is to die for, I could eat these beans all day long and still ask for more.
Enchilada Beans

You cannot improve on these enchilada beans. Don’t go adding hot sauce, or spicy chili powder, or some fru-fru roasted tomato sauce. They don’t need any messing with. At all. Trust me on this. Make them exactly as the recipe calls for and you will thank me all day long.

Now, that being said… after making these a few times the thought of adding crumbled browned ground beef and making these beans into a chili did occur to me…

Also try my cowboy beans.

Enchilada Beans

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 medium sweet onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce
  • 14 1/2 ounces chicken broth
  • 3 15 ounce cans red beans drained, rinsed
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  • Heat oil in a medium saucepan or Dutch oven. Add onion and cook until just starting to soften.
  • Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  • Sprinkle onions with flour, chili powder and cumin and stir. Cook for 5 minutes to cook the flour, stirring.
  • Stir in the broth and tomato sauce. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Simmer for 15-20 minutes or until thickened.

Italian Slow Cooker Beef Sandwiches with Giardiniera Aioli

I need a bib, drop cloth, tarp or half a roll of paper towel to eat a sandwich, I know it’s a great sandwich. The messier, the better and these Italian slow cooker beef sandwiches with Giardiniera aioli are true to the rule. The beef is delicious. Moist and tender and packed with flavor, you could eat it by itself. The giardiniera aioli is different, wonderful, and definitely something I”ll be using on other sandwiches and for sure, po boys! I add a bit of slaw to bring a bit of crunch and a nice vinegar hit to offset the sweet tender beef. This is the sandwich of kings!

Italian Slow Cooker Beef Sandwiches with Giardiniera Aioli

These Italian slow cooker beef sandwiches with giardiniera aioli are great made just like the recipe states. But, if you want a bit of a kick to your sandwich, well, you came to the right place. Add some spicy pepper rings to the beef as it cooks low-and slow in the slow cooker. And substitute spicy giardiniera for the ‘regular’ stuff. That’ll satisfy your need for spicy, for sure!

Also try my slow cooker beef debris sandwiches.

Italian Slow Cooker Beef Sandwiches with Giardiniera Aioli

Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Assemble time 15 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Author Mike

Ingredients

For the Italian Beef

  • 4 pounds boneless beef chuck roast trimmed
  • 2 large red bell peppers seeded, sliced
  • 1 small sweet onion halve, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 15 ounce can diced tomatoes with basil and oregano
  • 2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole fennel seeds
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the Aioli

  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 16 ounce jar giardiniera drained
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

For the sandwich

  • 4 14" loaves French bread halved crosswise, split and lightly toasted
  • Delta slaw or your favorite vinegar-sauced slaw

Instructions

  • For the Italian beef
  • Combine the chuck, bell peppers, onions, garlic, tomatoes, Italian seasoning, fennel seeds, salt and pepper in a slow cooker. Cook on the low setting for 8 hours. Use a ladle to remove some of the excess fat from the surface, then coarsely shred the beef with two forks. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.
  • Remove the meat from the cooker and shred. Return to the sauce in the slow cooker and keep warm until ready to use.

For the aioli

  • Place the egg, garlic and Dijon into a food processor and pulse until combined.
  • With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil and vegetable oil until they are blended.
  • Add the giardiniera and pulse a few times. Do not over process. You want it just chopped, not liquefied.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.

For the sandwich

  • Spread 2 tablespoons (or more) of the aioli on both sides of the bread
  • Divide the beef between the bottom bread halves.
  • Add some slaw. Top with the bread tops and serve.

Copycat Captain D’s Batter Dipped Fish

I’m a big fan of battered fried fish. Add in some fries, a side of tartar sauce, and give me a bottle of malt vinegar and I’m one happy guy. This copycat of Captain D’s batter dipped fish checks all my boxes. Slightly crunchy. Tasty. Oh, and easy. Crazy easy. This is just like the great fish you can get at the restaurant.
Copycat Captain D's Batter Dipped Fish

I use a little FryDaddy when I cook my copycat Captain D’s batter dipped fish. It’s perfect for small pieces of fish and it heats the oil to the perfect temperature. But for larger pieces or when making dinner for more than just a few people, I use a Dutch oven or a bigger deep fryer.

No matter what you use to cook your fish, make sure that you don’t overcook it. The fish will dry out and not be good at all. Also make sure you get the oil temperature high enough. Low temperatures won’t cook the fish correctly. Low oil temperature will also saturate the fish with oil. That’s not good either.

Also try my copycat Long John Silver’s fish-and-chips!

Copycat Captain D's Batter Dipped Fish

Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • Vegetable oil or canola oil, for frying
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt plus more, for sprinkling
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups water plus more, if needed
  • 2 pounds cod fillets cut into bite-sized chunks if desired

Instructions

  • Heat 3" of oil in a deep fryer or Dutch oven to 350 F.
  • In a large bowl add the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, salt and cayenne. Whisk to combine.
  • Slowly whisk in the water. You want a pancake-like batter. If it's too thick add a bit (a very small bit!) more water and whisk.
  • Rinse and pat the fish dry. I prefer to cut mine into bite-sized pieces.
  • Working in batches, add the fish to the batter and turn to coat completely. Transfer to the oil and deep fry 3-4 minutes, turning once, until golden brown. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate. If desired, sprinkle the fish with salt.

Notes

Note: If you like to cut your fish into bite-sized pieces before frying, you might need more batter to fully coat them. I usually double the batter ingredients just to make sure I have enough.

Crab Cakes with Shrimp

Crab cakes are one of those things where I have absolutely zero self-control. I cannot get enough of them. These crab cakes with shrimp are no exception, that’s for sure. The addition of chopped shrimp to the Cajun-flavor-packed crab mixture really makes for a different twist on a crab-only cake. I found myself loving these even more than ‘just’ crab cakes. It did not surprise me when Anita proclaimed these to be the best things we’ve made.
Crab Cakes with Shrimp

The cakes do have a bit of a spiciness to them. I found them to be fantastic. They’re not overly spicy, not at all. Every bite is a fantastic mix of flavors that I just hoped would never end.

I served our crab cakes with a chilled Creole remoulade sauce that was perfect for dipping. You can also make appetizer-sized cakes, but I’d make extra because they’re going to go fast.

Crab Cakes with Shrimp

Course Appetizer or Main
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound lump crab meat picked over for any shell pieces
  • 3/4 pound small shrimp shelled, deveined, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups Ritz Crackers crushed
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup red onion minced
  • 1 stalk celery minced
  • 1 medium jalapeno seeded, deveined, minced
  • 2 teaspoons Creole mustard
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Creole seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons butter unsalted
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

  • Combine the crab and shrimp in a medium bowl.
  • In a large bowl combine the crackers, mayonnaise, onion, celery, jalapeno, mustard, pepper, Creole mustard, Creole seasoning, onion, and garlic powder.
  • Fold in the crab and shrimp.
  • Form into 6 5 1/2 ounce patties. For appetizers, make 2-3 ounce patties.
  • Wrap cakes in plastic wrap and refrigerate 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  • Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil.
  • Once the oil is hot, working in batches add the patties and brown for about 4-5 minutes per side until golden brown. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate or rack to cool and drain.
  • Serve with your favorite dipping sauce. We prefer a nice Cajun remoulade!

Baked Bacon

Baked bacon is one of my favorite things. A little time, a little seasoning and I’ve got a wonderful treat. I like my bacon to not be super-duper crunchy. Just a little bite is perfect. For me, baking is easier than cooking bacon in a skillet and I get a more-consistently cooked product (with minimal curling!). With less mess, too.

When I worked at the cafeteria at a large army base outside of Washington DC we would bake an unbelievable amount of bacon. And specially for Saturday morning’s buffet. Rack after rack after rack of bacon. I started as a dishwasher. Nothing was harder than scrubbing stack after stack of large sheet pans that had pieces of bacon stuck to them. I avoid that now by lining my pans with foil. A teen making minimum wage was probably cheaper than foil back in the day, so we didn’t line the pans at the cafeteria. We also didn’t season the bacon, something I really love to do.
Baked Bacon

If you’re planning on draining off the bacon drippings to use for other purposes, you might want to skip the seasoning all-together, or strain it first to remove any spice pieces.

For cleanup I take the paper towel that I drained the bacon on and toss it onto the baking sheet to absorb any grease. I fold up the sides of the foil and seal it tightly to create a packet that can be tossed into the bin without having to worry about it leaking.

Baked bacon is also a great way to use up those last bits of the spices you have in the pantry. You know the ones, they’ve been in there forever waiting for you to figure out what to do with them. Well, know you know!

Baked Bacon

Cook Time 35 minutes
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • bacon thin- or thick-sliced
  • seasonings see notes

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 F. For thick or crisper bacon you can go as high as 400 F.
  • Line a large rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  • Lay the bacon out onto the baking sheet. Do not overlap the pieces or let them touch.
  • Sprinkle the top side of the bacon with the seasoning.
  • Bake for 20 minutes. The bacon will still be mostly uncooked.
  • Flip and season the other side. Return to the oven for 15 minutes or until the desired doneness is achieved. I like my bacon done, but only lightly crispy. Thin bacon usually takes a total of 35 minutes, while thick can take 45 minutes or longer.
  • Remove bacon to paper towel-lined plate to drain then serve.

Notes

Do not use seasonings that contain a lot of sugar. If your seasonings contain a lot of salt I recommend using them sparingly as the bacon is already salty to begin with if it has been salt-cured.
I usually use Grill Mates from McCormick. Todd's Dirt is also a favorite, along with any of the mixes from AlbuKirky Seasonings.
Sometime bacon, specially thinner slices, can be hard to separate when removing it from the packaging. I freeze my bacon for a few minutes to make the pieces easier to remove. Just don't put the bacon in the freezer and forget about it!

House Sub Sandwich

A quick sub sandwich is my favorite lazy weekend lunch. Nothing fancy, but made fresh in just minutes. The stars of my house sub sandwich are the meats and the spicy dressing. I almost always include sandwich pepperoni on my subs, though sometimes it is a bit hard to find. It’s like pizza pepperoni only bigger and sliced thinner. It adds great flavor to any sandwich. The dressing mix really amps up the sandwich. No plain-ole mayonnaise here, that’s for sure.
House Sub SandwichIf you’re more in the mood for an oil and vinegar for your house sub sandwich, try my Italian hoagie dressing. It’s really really good, if I say so myself. It isn’t spicy like the dressing on these subs, but you can remedy that by adding a few spicy banana peppers on top.

You’ll also love my copycat Jersey Mike’s sub sandwich.

House Sub Sandwich

Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 1 sandwich
Author Mike

Ingredients

For the sandwich build

  • 4 ounces or more your favorite thin sandwich meats
  • A dash of Cajun seasoning
  • 2 slices Swiss cheese
  • 6 ince loaf French sliced horizontally
  • 2/3 cup dressing mix from below
  • 2-3 slices tomato

For the dressing mix

  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Creole mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon more or less, to taste Louisiana hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2/3 cup shredded and chopped iceberg lettuce

Instructions

For the sandwich build

  • Heat a griddle or skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Sprinkle the sandwich meat with the Cajun seasoning. Add to the pan and heat on both sides. Remove.
  • Add cheese and meat to the bottom slice of the French bread.
  • Add the dressing mix and sliced tomato, bread top, and serve.

For the dressing mix

  • Whisk together all but the lettuce. 
  • Place lettuce in a small bowl. Add dressing and mix.

Three Cheese Hasselback Potatoes

I love making ‘regular’ baked potatoes. And I love making Hasselback potatoes. For whatever reason, I find making them to be more fun. They are cool looking. They’re super-easy to cook. These three cheese Hasselback potatoes are simple yet packed with plenty of yummy creamy cheese. I love cheese. I love these potatoes.
Three Cheese Hasselback Potatoes

Time for me to fess up. In the past I’ve cut my Hasselback potatoes by hand, using an old wooden spoon to prevent me from cutting too far. I was fairly successful at it, but it was time consuming and often frustrating. So now I ‘cheat’. I bought a slicing rack for these three cheese Hasselback potatoes and my life is oh so much better since I did. Perfectly sliced potatoes, every single time. Check it out on Amazon.

Also try my grilled Hasselback potatoes.

Three Cheese Hasselback Potatoes

Course Side
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 6 potatoes

Ingredients

  • 6 medium baking potatoes
  • Vegetable oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup butter melted
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup finely grated Gruyere cheese
  • 1/3 cup finely grated Swiss cheese

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 F.
  • Slice the potatoes (see the post for instructions on how to do this manually or using a Hasselback slicing rack).
  • Transfer the potatoes to a foil-lined baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes.
  • Combine the butter with the parsley, salt and pepper.
  • Gently spread the potato slices apart and brush with half of the butter mixture.
  • Bake another 10 minutes or until the potatoes are done.
  • Brush with remaining butter mixture and divide the cheese between the potatoes.
  • Return to the oven, under the broiler, to melt the cheese, another 1 minute.