There are certainly a lot of homemade Thousand Island dressing recipes out on the internet. But I found this one to be slightly different. The flavor is richer. It’s deeper. And it has just a little kick to it. It’s just better than the rest. And it uses ingredients that I have on-hand. That’s a plus. Perfect on a salad, and even better on a Reuben sandwich.
I wasn’t shy with the hot sauce when I made this homemade Thousand Island dressing. Now, I wasn’t making spicy wing sauce, no, but I wanted to get that spiciness. So many dressings are just creamy. Or just vinegary. A little heat changes things up.
There are certainly a lot of homemade Thousand Island dressing recipes out on the internet. But I found this one to be slightly different. The flavor is richer. It’s deeper. And it has just a little kick to it.
My picture of our grilled coconut and pineapple sweet chili shrimp definitely does not do this dish the justice it deserves. A wonderful blend of sweet pineapple and coconut with just a hint of spiciness, these shrimp disappear in no time every time we make them. We’ve had them over rice, over polenta, and just as is. No matter what else we had with them, the shrimp and sauce are the star of the show.
Feel free to use tail-off shrimp. Or keep the tails on, whichever you prefer. And don’t hesitate to double the sauce. If you’re serving these grilled coconut and pineapple sweet chili shrimp over rice or polenta a little extra sauce for drizzling at the end is a good thing. The sauce is also great on the side, perfect for dipping the shrimp.
3tablespoonssweet chili sauceusually found in the Asian section of your grocery store
1teaspoonsrirachaor more, to taste
For the shrimp
1poundshrimplarge, peeled and deveined. I used 20-25 count.
2slicespineapplecut into chunks
For the pineapple polenta (optional)
freshly ground black pepper
For the sauce
To get coconut cream, place a can of coconut milk in the fridge overnight. Do not SHAKE!
Open the can. The coconut cream is the solid that has floated to the top of the can. Scoop out 3 tablespoons but do not get any of the clear milk found below it in the can. You'll have leftover cream and milk for other uses (I made more of the sauce because it's fantastic on grilled fish and chicken too!).
Place the coconut cream, chili sauce, pineapple and sriracha into a blender and pulse a few times, just enough to chop up the pineapple a bit and get everything combined.
For the shrimp
Skewer the shrimp and pineapple pieces or place into a large grill basket. You can also grill them on a griddle.
Cook shrimp 3 minutes then brush with about a third of the sauce.
Flip and brush with half of the remaining sauce. Continue grilling until the shrimp is done, another 3-4 minutes.
Brush shrimp with remaining sauce and serve over pineapple polenta, if desired.
For the pineapple polenta (optional)
Bring broth to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
Whisk in the polenta and cook until thick and creamy.
Season with salt and pepper and add the sage and pineapple. Stir.
This sauce originates from a BBQ joint in Seattle, Washington, called Wood Shop BBQ. It’s pretty much a traditional (great) BBQ sauce but with a pretty healthy dose of Worcestershire sauce to boot. I used it on my awesome pulled pork BBQ, but I think this sauce would be even better on smoked brisket or beef ribs.
It has been a while since Anita and I sort of disagreed on a recipe. While this Wood Shop BBQ sauce is pretty Worcestershire-sauce-y, I thought it was pretty darned good. But Anita couldn’t get passed the amount of Worcestershire sauce. I also thought that the sauce got way better after sitting in the fridge for a few days. I recommend you start with half of what the recipe states and go from there. I am a huge Worcestershire sauce fan, so I used almost the full amount.
1cupWorcestershire saucestart with about 1/2 cup first
2tablespoonsfreshly ground black pepper
Combine the ketchup, vinegar, Worcestershire, molasses, brown sugar, hot sauce and lemon juice together in a large pot and whisk until blended. Place over medium heat and bring to a simmer, then add the chili powder, granulated garlic, onion powder, salt, pepper and cayenne. Continue to simmer 30 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep from burning.
Search around these days and most people are making what are called ABTs (atomic Buffalo turds… I didn’t make up the name so don’t blame me!). They’re sliced (usually) stuffed jalapenos that are grilled or smoked. I love them. But sometimes I like mine the old way, as poppers. Cooked whole, not halved, and stuffed with all sorts of crazy goodness, wrapped in bacon, and grilled until perfect. That’s just what these cheesy jalapeno poppers are. Perfect.
The nice thing about these little treats is that after cooking the jalapenos mellow a lot. So yeah, they are a bit spicy but definitely not screaming hot by any stretch. And any heat that there is gets tamed down a bit by the cheeses and the bacon. Even if you don’t like spicy foods I would not let that discourage you from making these. You’ll still love them. And hey, if you’re still worried, have a little cool Ranch dressing ready on the side for dipping just in case.
Of course, cheesy jalapeno poppers give me an excuse to use my jalapeno popper rack. Not that I really needed an excuse.
My mom makes a fantastic lasagna. It has been my favorite since I was knee-high to a grasshopper (a little kid, that is!). We make it often, though we do make a slightly different version. Usually we bake it in the oven, but this time we decided to make the lasagna in smaller pans and ‘bake’ them in the Char-Broil Big Easy. The results were amazing. Fantastic mini lasagna, hot and bubbly in no-time, ready to devour!
The technique for making mini lasagna on the Big Easy is al most the same as how we make big baking pans of lasagna. The difference is that the noodles have to be cut to fit the miniature pans. We found that the best approach was to cut an inch off the end of the noodles, then cut them in half. They fit perfectly!
We used a bunk bed basket to make 4 mini lasagnas at a time. They cooked evenly and quickly.
We used these disposable aluminum pans. Leftovers can be wrapped in foil and kept in the freezer.
1poundfresh buffalo mozzarella torn into chunks, or use shredded
For the meat sauce
Crumble the meats into a large pot or Dutch oven and brown over medium high heat. Drain fat if desired.
Add the onion and cook until softened.
Add the garlic and cook another minute.
Add in all of the sauce ingredients.
Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, 1-2 hours.
Continue cooking with lid off for another hour, adding a bit more water if the sauce is too thick.
For the lasagna
Cook noodles per package instructions. Drain well.
Cut 1" off of each noodle end then cut each in half in the middle.
First, spread a little sauce out on the bottom of each pan.
Then, layer the ingredients in the following order. Try to divide the ingredients evenly between each layer, but you don't have to be picky about it.
Repeat for 3 total layers.
Fire up your Big Easy. You can cook 2 lasagnas at a time in the basket that comes with the Big Easy. With a bunk bed basket you can cook 4 at a time.Place loaf pans into the Big Easy basket (and bunk bed, if using). Place in the Big Easy and cook for 15 minutes or until the cheese is hot and bubbly.
Cook the remaining 4 pans while the first pans rest. Alternately, keep them in the oven on low or warm until the final pans are done.
Well, here we go again. Another dish that results in my tossing any semblance of self control right out of the window. This Cajun fried chicken sandwich is absolutely packed with flavor. The chicken is oh-my tender, juicy and even has just a bit of a kick. This is the kind of sandwich where you close your eyes before taking each bite. Only one thing matters, and that’s getting these yummies into your mouth. No need to look. Just take a bite! And another!
I tend to use boneless skinless chicken thighs when I make Cajun fried chicken sandwiches. You could use boneless skinless chicken breasts, if you desire. I just like the additional flavor from the thighs. Either way, make sure you pound them out and nice and thin, and more importantly, keep the meat the same thickness throughout. If you don’t it won’t cook as consistently and … it’ll look weird.
Trim an excess fat from the chicken. Pound each piece flat. I like to put them in a one gallon baggie and then pound them so the chicken doesn't splatter.
Whisk together the buttermilk, dressing, and seasoning. Pour into a large resealable container. Add the chicken and seal.
For the slaw
Combine all but the dressing in a large bowl.
Drizzle dressing over the top of the slaw and stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate until ready to make the sandwiches,
For the batter
Heat 3" of vegetable oil in a Dutch oven or heat a deep fryer filled with oil to 375 F.
Whisk together the batter ingredients in a pie pan or shallow bowl.
Remove chicken from the brine and shake off any excess. Transfer to the batter mixture and coat well, turning to get all sides.
Place chicken in the oil and fry until internal temperature is 160-165 F, turning once. If you pounded the chicken very thin it won't take long to cook, 2-3 minutes per side. The coating will turn a lovely golden brown when it's done.
Remove pieces to a wire rack or paper towel-lined plate to drain.
For the sandwiches
Toast the buns if you wish.
Add a piece of chicken to each bun and top with plenty of the slaw and few pickle slices.