Blue Cheese Burgers with Caramelized Onions

My goodness, these blue cheese burgers with caramelized onions were good. Not sorta good, but close-your-eyes-when-you-take-a-bite good. Blue cheese and onions are the perfect match. Put them on perfectly cooked burgers and you’ve got a real winner. You can make the burgers really any way you like, but for me my go-to method is on a outdoor griddle. I like my patties thin, with a bit of a crunchy edge to them, so I end up smashing them before they really get cooking.

Blue Cheese Burgers with Caramelized Onions

Sometimes blue cheese makes Anita go ‘ewww’. Not the case with these blue cheese burgers with caramelized onions. The blue cheese is by no means overpowering. You do taste it, but it adds such a wonderful creaminess, a little tang, that you just want more. Make these and you’ll never want a burger any other way.

Blue Cheese Burgers with Caramelized Onions

The blue cheese is by no means overpowering. You do taste it, but it adds such a wonderful creaminess and a little tang,
Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium sweet onions halved, sliced thin
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary crushed
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt divided
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup blue cheese crumbled
  • 4 hamburger buns
  • 8 lettuce leaves I used iceberg
  • 4 slices tomato

Instructions

  • Note; You can make this recipe on a grill using a griddle or indoors, using a skillet (preferably cast iron).
  • Heat the oil on a grill griddle or in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Toss the onions with the rosemary and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Transfer to the griddle or skillet and cook 8 minutes or until starting to soften. Turn and cook another 8 minutes or until the onions are completely soft and caramelized. Add more oil as the onion cooks if they are too dry but do not drench them. Remove to a bowl, cover and keep warm until ready to use.
  • Shape the beef into 4 equally-sized patties. Season well on both sides with remaining salt and all of the pepper.
  • Transfer the patties to the grill or skillet and cook 5-6 minutes per side until done as desired. I prefer thin patties, so I smash my patties onto my griddle as they start to cook. Just before removing the patties, top each with some of the caramelized onion and the blue cheese crumbles.
  • Toast or grilled the buns as desired.
  • Top the buns with the patties. Add lettuce and tomato and serve.

Nutritional values are approximate.

Montreal Steak-Seasoned Smoked Bologna

This Montreal Steak-seasoned smoked bologna was destined for greatness, and that greatness was in the form of a fried bologna sandwich. The bologna takes on such a great flavor from the seasoning and smoke. You’d never think it was ‘just’ bologna because it isn’t. It’s something special, something amazing.

Montreal Steak-Seasoned Smoked Bologna

I slice my Montreal Steak-seasoning smoked bologna thin, for sandwiches. Because I usually end up with a lot of slices (more than I could ever use in a few days), I freeze it for later use. To maximum quality, I put the slices into vacuum-sealer bags and seal them. But, to make sure the slices don’t stick together I put burger patty paper between each slice.

Also try my red chile smoked bologna.

Montreal Steak-Seasoned Smoked Bologna

Of course you can use whatever seasoning you prefer when smoking bologna. I just happened to be craving Montreal Steak for some reason. Probably because I ran across a jar of it in my spice rack and thought…. hmmmm… what can I use this on?

Montreal Steak-Seasoned Smoked Bologna

You can use whatever seasoning you prefer when smoking bologna.
Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Servings 16
Calories 438kcal
Author Mike

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Fire up your smoker for 250 F. Use any wood you like, but I've found that fruit woods or hickory work best for me.
  • Start by scoring the chub. I've tried getting fancy diamond patterns, and sometimes they're great and sometimes they're not. Checkerboard works best for me! Either way, you want to make about 1/2" cuts so that the smoke and seasoning penetrate the bologna.
  • Spread the mustard liberally over the bologna. The mustard will help the seasoning adhere to the meat.
  • Now add the seasoning. Don't be shy. Get it on all sides, everywhere.
  • Transfer to the smoker and smoke for 3 hours.
  • Remove from the smoker and let rest before slicing. I've found that a super-sharp knife is great for slicing the bologna thin for sandwiches. You can use a meat slicer also. If you're having trouble getting good slices, freeze the chub for 15 or so minutes then try slicing it.

Nutrition

Calories: 438kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 85mg | Sodium: 1382mg | Potassium: 449mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 120IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 122mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutritional values are approximate.

Homemade Thousand Island Dressing

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.

Homemade Thousand Island Dressing

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.

So why is it called Thousand Island dressing? Because it came from the Thousand Island region between the US and Canada. I didn’t know that either.

Also try my 18000 Island dressing.

Homemade Thousand Island Dressing

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.
Course Salad Dressing
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings 3 cups
Calories 703kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup chili sauce
  • 1/4 cup diced pimientos drained
  • 1 large egg hard-boiled, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons dill pickles finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons capers drained
  • kosher salt to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • hot sauce to taste

Instructions

  • Combine everything in a bowl.
  • Refrigerate for 1 hour then check for seasoning.

Nutrition

Calories: 703kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 72g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 101mg | Sodium: 1415mg | Potassium: 209mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 823IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional values are approximate.

Grilled Coconut and Pineapple Sweet Chili Shrimp

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.

Grilled Coconut and Pineapple Sweet Chili Shrimp

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.

Also try my easy grilled Cajun shrimp.

Grilled Coconut and Pineapple Sweet Chili Shrimp

A wonderful blend of sweet pineapple and coconut with just a hint of spiciness, these grilled shrimp with sweet chili are absolutely amazing.
Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 184kcal

Ingredients

For the sauce

  • 3 tablespoons coconut cream see instructions
  • 3 tablespoons sweet chili sauce usually found in the Asian section of your grocery store
  • 1 slice pineapple
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha or more, to taste

For the shrimp

  • 1 pound shrimp large, peeled and deveined. I used 20-25 count.
  • 2 slices pineapple cut into chunks

For the pineapple polenta (optional)

  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup polenta
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup crushed pineapple
  • 1 teaspoon rubbed sage

Instructions

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.
  • Remove from heat and cover until ready to use.

Nutrition

Calories: 184kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 585mg | Potassium: 247mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 92IU | Vitamin C: 41mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional values are approximate.

Wood Shop BBQ Sauce

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.

Wood Shop BBQ Sauce

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.

Also try my copycat of Dreamland’s BBQ sauce.

Wood Shop BBQ Sauce

I would recommend that you use half of the Worcestershire sauce stated, taste, and add more if desired.
Course BBQ Sauce
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 1 quart
Calories 3518kcal

Ingredients

  • 6 cups ketchup
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup Worcestershire sauce start with about 1/2 cup first
  • 3/4 cup molasses
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons granulated garlic
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

Instructions

  • 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.

Nutrition

Calories: 3518kcal | Carbohydrates: 825g | Protein: 40g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 12g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Sodium: 32496mg | Potassium: 13724mg | Fiber: 54g | Sugar: 648g | Vitamin A: 44869IU | Vitamin C: 134mg | Calcium: 1681mg | Iron: 57mg

Nutritional values are approximate.

Cheesy Jalapeno Poppers

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.

Cheesy Jalapeno Poppers

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.

Also try my jalapeno popper bites.

Cheesy Jalapeno 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.
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Servings 12
Calories 119kcal

Ingredients

For the jalapenos

  • 12 large jalapenos
  • 12 slices bacon
  • your favorite BBQ rub or seasoning

For the filling

  • 8 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese grated
  • 1/2 cup Mozzarella cheese grated
  • 1/2 small white onion minced
  • 2 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic

Instructions

For the filling

  • Combine all of the ingredients.

For the jalapenos

  • Fire up your grill for indirect cooking.
  • Pipe or spoon the mixture into the jalapenos. Use your finger to push the filling all the way to the bottom of the peppers, filling them completely.
  • Wrap a piece of bacon around each jalapeno and secure with a toothpick.
  • Transfer the peppers to a rack on your grill and sprinkle with rub or seasoning.
  • Cook 1-2 hours or until the peppers are tender, the bacon is cooked, and the filling is bubbly.
  • Serve hot.

Nutrition

Calories: 119kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 213mg | Potassium: 84mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 618IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 120mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional values are approximate.