Black-Eyed Pea Salad

This is it. My absolute favorite black-eyed pea salad. I could eat it all day. I could slurp up the dressing with a straw. I could dream about it. And I have. It has everything I love in every (big) bite. A bit of heat. Hints of mustard and vinegar. Crunchy fresh vegetables. There’s nothing boring about this black-eyed pea salad.
black-eyed-pea-saladAs with all great pea or bean salads, this one gets even better the next day. And the day after that. So make a double batch because you’ll want to have this salad on hand as long as you possibly can.

If you weren’t raised on black-eyed peas or love them as much as I do, you could substitute kidney beans instead and you’ll be just as happy as I was using black-eyed peas.

Black-Eyed Pea Salad
Recipe type: Salad
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
 
Ingredients
For the salad
  • 1 (10 ounce) can black-eyed peas, rinsed, drained
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/2 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley
  • 1 medium jalapeno, seeded, minced
For the dressing
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Creole mustard
  • 1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
  • 1/2 tablespoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
For the salad
  1. Place all ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Add the dressing ingredients. Toss to coat.
  3. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving. Toss again before serving.
For the dressing
  1. Whisk together all ingredients until smooth.

 

Cajun Shrimp-Stuffed Poblano Peppers

Wow, talk about amazingly good. The heck with the main dish, just load me up on some of these Cajun shrimp-stuffed poblano peppers. A slight kick of heat, perfect shrimp and creamy melted cheese. What’s not to love?
cajun-shrimp-stuffed-pobalno-peppersYou could use green bell peppers instead, if you want. I love poblanos because they are a little spicier than a bell pepper without just completely drowning out a dish in heat.

For extra kick, substitute shredded pepper jack cheese for the feta and mozzarella and add a few diced roasted jalapenos into the shrimp mixture. That’ll definitely liven up the party.

Cajun Shrimp-Stuffed Poblano Peppers
Author: 
Recipe type: Side
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 2 large poblano peppers
  • 1/2 pound shrimp, raw or pre-cooked, 24-30 count, peeled, deveined
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil (if you are using raw shrimp)
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
  • 1/4 cup ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil, crumbled
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce
  • Cilantro, chopped, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Note: You can use pre-cooked shrimp if you desire. Just toss the shrimp with the Cajun seasoning and do not cook.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  3. Cut the peppers in half lengthwise. Remove any stems or seeds.
  4. If using cooked shrimp, toss the shrimp with the Cajun seasoning in a large bowl.
  5. If using raw shrimp, heat the oil over medium-high heat in a skillet. Add the shrimp, sprinkle with the seasoning, and cook, turning, until done, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  6. Add the cheeses, basil and hot sauce to the shrimp Stir.
  7. Transfer shrimp mixture to the poblanos and place on a baking dish.
  8. Place in oven and bake 30 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the peppers are softened.
  9. Serve garnished with chopped cilantro.

 

 

Stromboli Sandwich

The meat sauce in this stromboli sandwich is absolutely fantastic. It will be my go-to meat sauce from this day forward, for everything from lasagna, to spaghetti, and of course, more stromboli sandwiches. Nice and thick, but not too thick, it is packed with Italian-inspired flavors.
stromboli-sandwichNext time I make a batch, I’ll probably quadruple it and store the leftovers in the freezer. A quick defrost, some cooked pasta, and I have a great main dish done in no time. You can also make this meatless and you’ll have the perfect sausage for grilled sausage sandwiches or serve it up with warmed meatballs over pasta or on French bread for a meatball sandwich.

Stromboli Sandwich
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 1 pound ground beef (or substitute Italian sausage)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 8 ounces small mushrooms, sliced thin
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 15 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup condensed tomato soup
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 12 ounce can tomato paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Vienna bread
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. In a large skillet, crumble the beef and brown along with the onion. Drain any excess fat.
  3. Add the mushrooms and bell pepper and cook for 3-5 minutes or until they are just starting to get soft.
  4. Add the tomato sauce, tomato soup, garlic powder, dried oregano, chili powder, tomato paste and black pepper. Stir and reduce heat to a simmer and simmer for at least 10 minutes, the longer the more the flavors will meld. If the sauce gets too thick add a bit of water.
  5. Cut bread in half lengthwise and scoop out as much of the bread as you can.
  6. Transfer bread to a sheet of aluminum foil.
  7. Fill insides with the meat mixture.
  8. Top with cheese and cover in foil.
  9. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes until the cheese is melted.
  10. Serve with lots of napkins.

 

Giardiniera Meatball Sandwich

Maybe it’s because I don’t get out enough, but I’d never heard of putting Giardiniera on a meatball sandwich before. Whomever came up with the idea should be knighted (if we knighted folks in the US). Add a bit of roasted red bell pepper and you have a super-easy-to-make incredibly yummy sandwich. Perfect any time, but also great because I almost always have the ingredients to make Giardiniera meatball sandwiches on hand.
Giardiniera Meatball SandwichI used mild Giardiniera when making these meatball sandwiches, but hot would be fantastic too. Just chop it up a bit before spooning it on top.

I did ‘cheat’ and use frozen meatballs. If I’d had more time to throw dinner together, I would’ve made a batch of my Italian meatballs. I try to keep some on hand at all times, but truth is, they are just so good that there’s just never any leftovers.

Giardiniera Meatball Sandwich
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 1 12" loaf French bread, sliced horizontally
  • 10-12 cooked meatballs, warmed (if using frozen store-bought, bake per package instructions first)
  • 4 slices Provolone cheese
  • Giardiniera, chopped
  • 1 roasted red bell pepper, sliced thin
Instructions
  1. Hollow out as much of the bread as you can to make room for the meatballs and toppings.
  2. Place on a sheet pan under the broiler for a minute or two until the bread starts to get crunchy.
  3. Add cheese and meatballs. Place under the broiler for another minute or two until the cheese melts.
  4. Add Giardiniera and bell pepper strips.
  5. Slice into two 6" sandwiches and serve.

 

Atomic BBQ Sauce

I’ve made mustard-based BBQ sauces before, but nothing even comes close to this Atomic BBQ sauce. It takes mustardy sauces to a whole new place, thanks mostly to the addition of pickled banana peppers. Of course, there’s a pretty good kick to the sauce. It is called Atomic BBQ sauce for a reason. Perfect on a rack of smoked St. Louis-style ribs, and outstanding on a pulled pork sandwich.
atomic-bbq-sauceFor a little extra kick, substitute spicy banana peppers. Don’t want the heat? Substitute jalapenos for the habaneros. You’ll still get a kick, but it’ll be tame enough for just about anyone.

Atomic BBQ sauce is a great thing. Definitely my new favorite when it comes to non-ketchup-based BBQ sauces.

5 from 1 reviews
Atomic BBQ Sauce
Author: 
Recipe type: Sauce
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 cup
 
Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup pickled banana peppers, chopped fine plus 2 tablespoons of the pickling liquid
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup prepared yellow mustard
  • 4 scallions, sliced thin
  • 3 tablespoons dry mustard
  • 2 tablespoons chili sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 habanero chiles, stemmed and minced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Whisk all ingredients except salt and pepper together in a bowl.
  2. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. For a less chunky sauce process in a blender until smooth before using.

 

Italian Herb Bread from the Bread Machine

I’ve been using my bread machine more and more lately. I’ve had it for years, and probably like a lot of people’s bread makers, mine spends a lot of time in the back of the pantry sitting quietly. That’s kind of sad, because it makes great loaves of bread. Now, they’re not quite the perfect loaves I can get at the locally-owned bakery shop, but they’re mighty darned good and they leave the house smelling delicious.

This Italian herb bread has a tremendous aroma and taste. It made for the perfect sandwich bread. A nice light crust and soft insides, but not so soft that it can’t hold up to a mound of sandwich meat and cheese.
Any leftover ends or less-than-perfect pieces of this Italian herb bread get turned into fantastic croutons. Great croutons. So good in fact that I wouldn’t hesitate to make a loaf just for croutons.

Italian Herb Bread from the Bread Machine
Recipe type: Bread
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 loaf
 
Ingredients
  • 10-12 ounces lukewarm water
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons dried onion flake
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeat
Instructions
  1. Add ingredients to your bread machine in the order listed (check with your bread machine maker if it requires a different order for the dry and wet ingredients).
  2. Select the French bread setting and start the bread cycle.
  3. Let cool slightly after baking before slicing.

Fiery Catalina Wings

Despite how simple the sauce on these fiery Catalina wings was to make, it absolutely blew us away! We loved it! A tad of sweetness, a tad bit of tanginess, and a good bit of heat. Of course, you can adjust the heat to your liking, which is why making your own chicken wing sauce is so much more fun than using a sauce out of a bottle.
fiery-catalina-wingsI cook a lot of wings using lots of different sauces, but there’s not doubt that fiery Catalina wings will be common in our house. Everything we need to make them is on-hand, so I can throw together the sauce in no time with no hassle. Perfect.

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.

Fiery Catalina Wings
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-8 servings
 
Ingredients
For the wings
  • 3-4 pounds chicken wings, flats and drumettes separated, tips discarded or saved for making chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2-3 tablespoons your favorite wing seasoning (I used my Fire Eater rub)
For the sauce
  • 10 ounces Catalina salad dressing
  • 5 ounce your favorite hot sauce (don't be afraid to add a bit more!)
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
Instructions
For the wings
  1. Place wings into a large resealable bag.
  2. Add the oil.
  3. Add the seasoning. Seal the bag, and toss gently to coat.
  4. Refrigerate for 1-3 hours before cooking.
  5. Cook wings as desired. Click here for our guide on cooking wings in a grill, smoker, deep fryer, oven, or a Char-Broil Big Easy.
  6. When done, place wings in a large bowl and add sauce. Toss to coat.
For the sauce
  1. Whisk together all ingredients.

Quick Fix Tex-Mex Corn Chip Chili

This may well be Anita’s favorite chili. I have to admit, it’s mighty good. This quick fix Tex-Mex corn chip chili is definitely quick fix. The only way you could make a chili any quicker is if the entire dish came out of a single can. Served over crunchy corn chips, it has all you need in a no-time-to-waste chili. Beans, beef, tomatoes, chiles, and cilantro. Oh and a bit of cheese.
I prefer fire-roasted green chiles any time a recipe calls for green chiles. The roasting adds a nice caramelized flavor and texture. Same goes for canned tomatoes, I prefer fire-roasted.

For a little kick use spicy pinto beans instead, substitute pepper jack cheese, and add in a minced roasted jalapeno.

Quick Fix Tex-Mex Corn Chip Chili
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, undrained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pinto beans, undrained
  • 1 (10 ounce) can tomatoes with green chilies, undrained
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
  • 3 cups Monterey Jack cheese, plus more for garnish
  • Fritos (I used Chili Cheese Fritos)
Instructions
  1. Crumble the beef into a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat and cook until browned.
  2. Add the onion, garlic, chili powder and cumin and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the undrained beans, tomatoes and chiles. Stir and bring to a simmer, cooking for 15 minutes.
  4. Season and then stir in the cilantro and cheese. Reduce heat to low and stir until the cheese is melted.
  5. Serve over corn chips topped with more cheese and cilantro.