There are two choices when it comes to making ‘fried’ chicken using a Vortex. You can make your own batter from scratch or you can use a mix from the store. I’ve done both time and time again and have never ever been disappointed. This time I picked up a box of Fry Krisp Krispy Country chicken mix. It’s the easiest mix in the world, giving you nicely crunchy, juicy, flavorful chicken in less than an hour with no oil used for frying. I do like to brush my chicken with just a bit of oil just before I pull it off the grill. It gives the chicken a bit more crunch and coats any leftover batter that might be hanging around. It’s completely optional, but I always do it.
Anita and I were grabbing lunch at one of our local favorite pizza joints not long ago. The lunch special comes with a small side salad. For the dressing Anita went with the balsamic smoked honey vinaigrette. I was intrigued. She was intrigued. Smoked honey? You know, that has to be good. Well, it was. It was “bring me a bottle of that dressing so I can drink it” good. Of course, that means I had to make a version of it when I got home.
This is a great, simple dressing without the smoked honey. With it, it becomes something a bit different. The smoke flavor isn’t overwhelming, but it’s there. Depending on the honey that you use, I recommend adding just a bit at first and tasting to see if you want to add more. Me, I want that smokiness up front and center. You might now.
I recently bought a new gas grill, retiring (at least for now) one I’d had for 19 years and had used almost 4,000 times. This time, I got a grill with a rotisserie. I didn’t think I’d need one, but I’d been looking forward to trying some new things, like this rotisserie pineapple bourbon glazed boneless ham.
I chose a boneless ham because I wanted to slice the end result thin and use it for sandwiches. Normally I’d score my ham, but I’ve found that scoring makes it very difficult to slice so thin. I still got that wonderful pineapple flavor, with just a hint of bourbon. It was delicious!
You can use this same approach on any pre-cooked ham, smoked or not. I found this rotisserie pineapple bourbon glazed boneless ham to be absolutely delicious. I could not sampling the slices as I cut them. The thin slices were for sandwiches. The thicker ones will find their way into omelets and yes, even homemade Spam!
Fire up your grill for direct cooking. You're aiming for a cook temperature around 350 F.
Carefully feed the ham onto the rotisserie and secure the ends.
In a small bowl whisk together the mustard and rosemary. Rub the mixture all over the ham.
Turn on the rotisserie, close the grill and cook for 15 minutes.
In a small bowl whisk together the juice, sugar and bourbon. Brush onto all sides of the ham. Save a little of the mixture for the last glaze.
Continue cooking another 15-30 minutes or until the ham reaches 140 F. Brush with remaining glaze, carefully remove from the grill, and let rest 15 minutes before removing from the rotisserie and slicing.
I’ve made this creamy, tasty, bacony loaded baked potato salad twice now. And I’m not ashamed to admit that the second time I made it, I unintentionally made a boo-boo. I was relying on my (fading) memory, and completely forgot to bake the salad. Well, you know what? It was just as fantastic as the baked version! Either way, I felt like I was biting into a seriously loaded up baked potato (my favorite kind). So hot or cold, dig in! Just about any potato will do in this loaded baked potato salad, but I tend to use Yukons because they add a very buttery flavor. I also prefer to steam my potato chunks instead of boil them. Tossing and beating and bagging around in a pot is a good way to turn a nice square potato piece into a marble-looking potato in no time.
Hatch chiles can be hard to come by here in Indiana. And when they are here, I grab a big batch of them. I love roasting them. They are great in lots of lots of dishes, and specially in green enchilada sauce. The flavor the chiles add is amazing. This is not an ordinary enchilada sauce. It’s fantastic!
If you are unable to find and roast Hatch chiles, roasted green chiles from a can are a fine substitute in this green enchilada sauce. You may want to drain the chiles first if they come in a lot of liquid.
As far as the amount of cumin in this recipe goes, I’d say use your own tastes as a guide. I rather like cumin, but Anita does not so I cut back on it quite a bit. The sauce was still fantastic.
There’s a Max and Erma’s restaurant right next door to the Premium Outlet Mall in Edinburgh, Indiana. We make it a point to stop by for lunch or dinner there whenever we can. Plus, you get to sit while you eat and after a few hours at the mall, you need that. Nine times out of ten I order the Santa Fe chicken salad. It’s a huge salad, with just the right toppings, and really, really good chicken. And when I’m not at the outlet mall, I can make a pretty darned good copycat of the same salad at home without a lot of fuss.
You can substitute chicken tenders for the chicken breast if you wish. I like my chicken a bit spicy so I load up on the hot sauce. Feel free to adjust to your taste. The chicken itself is outstanding.
To get the fancy dressing swirls on my copycat Max and Erma’s Santa Fe chicken salad I put some Ranch in a squeeze bottle with three nozzles and go to town on it. Hey, it’s fun.
Divide lettuce between two large plates. Add the chicken, cheeses, tomatoes, and tortilla strips.
Drizzle with Ranch dressing and serve.
For the fried chicken
Cut the chicken into small bite-sized pieces or strips, as desired. Transfer to a bowl or pie pan.
Stir in the buttermilk and hot sauce. Let marinate for 15 minutes, turning every 5 minutes.
Combine the flour, salt, black pepper, chipotle chile powder, oregano and cumin and place into another pie pan.
Heat 2" of oil to 350 F in a deep fryer or Dutch oven.
Working in batches, remove chicken from the buttermilk. Shake off the excess and then coat well in the flour mixture. Return the chicken pieces to the buttermilk and turn to coat. Shake off the excess and again coat in the flour mixture.
Fry 4-5 minutes per side until golden brown, turning once.
Remove to a wire rack or paper towel-lined to cool slightly and drain.
I’ve said it hundreds of times. Chicken cooked on the Char-Broil Big Easy is a fantastic thing. It doesn’t take much effort and no fancy ingredients are required. I like to peruse the marinades at the grocery store, grabbing whatever strikes my fancy. This time my fancy had me using Old Colony Sauce. Often used for steaks, it’s also a fantastic marinade for chicken, adding a light Worcestershire-like flavor and tons of juiciness.
Old Colony sauce isn’t loaded up with sugar or honey, which is important when you are cooking on the Big Easy. Since the Big Easy cooks at a high temperature, marinades or sauces containing sugar or honey will tend to burn. You have to save those for saucing at the very end of your cooking, once the meat is almost done, so you don’t risk charred food.
As you can see, Old Colony sauce produced some mighty fine looking chicken (I used split chicken breasts), with great color and flavor throughout.
The reviews for my mushroom jerky made on the Nesco Snackmaster Pro are in! And well… they’re mixed! So why am posting it? Well, because I’m one on the ‘thumbs up’ side! I thought these mushrooms came out very woodsy and very flavorful, with a hint of spice to them. I loved them right off the dehydrator, I thought they had a nice texture with a little ‘tug’ to them.
After they cooled the mushrooms took on a slightly different texture. I’d call it less “jerky-like”. But still tasty. I opted to freeze the leftovers. They’ll be absolutely perfect in pasta sauce, that’s for sure. Or anywhere you need dried mushrooms but want something a bit more flavorful than ‘just’ ole dried up fungi!
Oh, Tuscan pasta salad, where have you been? I was getting just a bit tired of pasta salads and coleslaw then you came along and boom! Something totally different. This recipe makes a nice big batch, perfect for a family get-together, and perfect for that ‘wow factor too.
There’s nothing in this that will scare off grandma I tend to make my dishes on the spicy side. I resisted that temptation with this Tuscan pasta salad, with great results. Fresh and exciting, this salad hits the spot with it’s Italian-inspired flavors. You can substitute a tablespoon of dried basil for the fresh if you wish. Just make sure you crumble it a bit in your hand before adding it. I used fresh spinach, but you can also get away with frozen. Just make sure that it’s thawed completely first and squeeze very last drop of water from it before adding it (I like to place it in a kitchen towel, wrap it up tight, and squeeze the heck out of it).
This actually started out as just a test of an idea I’d had. It was a very hot day here. I have a pet peeve about cooking anything inside when it’s so hot. And thanks to my new Weber Summit S-670, I can not only cook in pots on a side burner, I have a big rotisserie I can use. I have the perfect basket for it, made by Napoleon, that I can use to cook up all sorts of side dishes, such as rotisserie French fries!
I started with frozen fries. And I went with the larger wedge fries because, this being my first time, I wasn’t sure how smaller fries might hold up to the constant tumbling. My rotisserie French fries came out fantastic, with a great crispiness and flavor. Of course, you can make them on a charcoal grill too with a rotisserie and a basket and get even more of that great ‘cooked outdoors’ flavor!
I think you can easily get away with cooking smaller fries, such as crinkles. Just keep an eye on them because the cook time will obviously depend on how hot you have your grill. I kept the temperature right around 400 F directly below my basket. I did not use my infrared burner (you can see it above the basket in the picture above).
Fire up your grill for medium-high cooking and prepare a rotisserie basket setup.
Add fries to the basket and close. Turn on the rotisserie and close the lid. Let cook for 20 minutes then check for crispness. If the fries turn golden brown with a bit of char along the edges, they're done! If not, close the lid and cook another 10-25 minutes, checking every 10 minutes or so.
Use heat-proof gloves to remove and open the rotisserie basket. Serve.