Creole Pasta Salad

Paul Kirk’s book Paul Kirk’s Championship Barbecue: Barbecue Your Way to Greatness is full of great recipes. Such as this outstanding Creole pasta salad. We loved the crunch of the bell pepper and celery, the smoothness of the pasta and buttermilk dressing, the pop of the tomatoes, and our favorite, the briny saltiness of the olives. Although I used tri-color Rotini pasta, you can use elbow macaroni instead. Or even wagon wheel pasta.

Creole Pasta Salad

This recipe serves a crowd, so it is perfect for a family get-together. It does have some kick, so you might warn grandma before she digs in! If you want to keep out the heat, just leave out the cayenne pepper.

I recently discovered Blue Plate mayonnaise, which I think is the best around. If you can’t find it locally you can pick it up online for a fair price.

Also check out my other version of Creole pasta salad.

Creole Pasta Salad
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4 from 1 vote

Creole Pasta Salad

This is my take on Paul Kirk’s Creole macaroni salad. It serves a crowd, so it is perfect for a family get-together. It does have some kick, so you might warn grandma before she digs in!
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword Creole, pasta salad
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours 20 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 25 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 323kcal
Author Mike

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Cook the pasta per the package instructions. Rinse and drain well and let cool completely.
  • Combine the pasta, tomatoes, cheese, celery, onion, bell pepper and olives in a large bowl.
  • Combine the mayo, buttermilk, garlic, salt, and white and cayenne peppers in a bowl (or jar.. shake to combine) and pour over the salad. Toss to combine.
  • Let set in the fridge for at least 4 hours until well chilled.
  • If the salad seems dry, add in a tablespoon of extra buttermilk and stir to moisten.

Nutrition

Calories: 323kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 18mg | Sodium: 429mg | Potassium: 195mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 324IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 92mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional values are approximate.

Peas and Pasta Salad

There’s something about the ‘pop’ of putting peas in a smooth, creamy pasta salad. I added in some ham I had smoked a while back that was hiding in the back of the freezer. It added a nice smoky flavor to the salad. If you don’t have any ham, you can leave it out and still have a great peas and pasta salad. For extra crunch, add in some finely chopped green and red bell pepper.

Peas and Pasta Salad

For extra smoky goodness, substitute a smoked cheddar instead. Or for a lighter cheese flavor use mild cheddar. Monterey Jack cheese is also great in this salad.

I recently discovered Blue Plate mayonnaise, which I think is the best around. If you can’t find it locally you can pick it up online for a fair price.

The original recipe came from Sunny Anderson.

Peas and Pasta Salad
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5 from 1 vote

Peas and Pasta Salad

There’s something about the ‘pop’ of putting peas in a smooth, creamy pasta salad.
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Keyword pasta salad, peas
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 706kcal
Author Mike

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Cook pasta per package instructions. Drain well and let cool. Transfer to a large bowl.
  • Add the red onion, mayo, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and sugar to a small bowl. Mix well. Season with salt and pepper. Add to the pasta and fold to combine.
  • Add the remaining ingredients to the large box and fold to combine. Season with salt and pepper.

Nutrition

Calories: 706kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 47g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 56mg | Sodium: 835mg | Potassium: 354mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 380IU | Vitamin C: 23.1mg | Calcium: 81mg | Iron: 1.8mg

Nutritional values are approximate.

Taco Seasoning

This is my go-to taco seasoning mix. I usually make a really big batch and store it in the pantry. Use 2-3 tablespoons of mix per 1 pound of ground beef (or ground turkey) to make a great taco meat. I prefer to make my own mixes like this one because it allows for changing it up to suit my tastes. And another big thing is that I get to control the amount of salt. So many packaged seasonings are absolutely loaded with salt.

Taco Seasoning

It may seem a bit odd, but one of my favorite uses for taco seasoning is on enchilada chicken wings and taco pasta. But for tacos, I make my great slow cooker taco meat.

Taco Seasoning
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5 from 1 vote

Taco Seasoning

My go-to taco spice mix. Use instead of store-bought packets.
Course Seasoning
Cuisine American
Keyword seasoning, taco
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 42kcal

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. I prefer to then transfer it to a spice grinder and give it a little grind so the resulting mix is a little finer.
  • To use, add 2-3 tablespoons to every 1 pound of ground beef, along with 1/3-1/2 cups of water.
  • The mix will keep for up to a year in an airtight container in a pantry or closet.

Nutrition

Calories: 42kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 0.02mg | Sodium: 1132mg | Potassium: 224mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 2505IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 47mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutritional values are approximate.

Taco Po Boy

I actually came up with this idea on my own. I usually get inspired by other folk’s recipes, then try to adjust them to our likings or based on what ingredients I have on hand. The idea for this taco po boy just hit me out of the blue. It’s just like a taco, but served on French bread with a kicked up remoulade sauce.

Taco Po Boy

I have been on a po boy kick lately. It’s due mainly to the Kaw-Cajun Comeback sauce from Chez John. I make that stuff in big batches and put it on everything, usually “normal” po boys, like shrimp or such, but now also a taco po boy.

I highly recommend that you shred or grate your own cheese at home. Don’t buy the pre-shredded or pre-grated stuff. It has stuff added to it to keep it from sticking together. That ‘stuff’ affects how the cheese melts. Shred it yourself and use the good stuff.

Also try my chicken nugget po boy.

Taco Po Boy
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4 from 1 vote

Taco Po’Boy

I actually came up with this idea on my own. I usually get inspired by other folk’s recipes, then try and adjust them to our likings or based on what ingredients I have on hand. This one just hit me out of the blue.
Course Main
Cuisine American
Keyword sandwich, southwestern
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 729kcal
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf French bread
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 package taco seasoning or use 2-3 tablespoons of our homemade version
  • 4-6 tablespoons Kaw-Cajun Comeback sauce
  • handful lettuce shredded
  • 1 handful Doritos any flavor, lightly crushed
  • ½ large tomato chopped
  • ¼ cup white onion chopped
  • ½ cup sharp cheddar cheese shredded
  • Pickled or fresh jalapeno slices

Instructions

  • Hollow out the bread. Optionally, lightly brown the bread in the oven if you want a little crunch.
  • Cook beef in seasoning per package instructions. Let cool slightly.
  • Slather insides of bread with Comeback sauce.
  • Spoon in the meat mixture.
  • Sprinkle with chip pieces.
  • Add tomatoes, lettuce and onion. Top with the cheese and jalapeno slices.
  • Place under broiler until cheese is melted and bread starts to brown.
  • Slice into 2″ wide pieces and serve.

Nutrition

Calories: 729kcal | Carbohydrates: 73g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 95mg | Sodium: 1445mg | Potassium: 547mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1153IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 196mg | Iron: 7mg

Nutritional values are approximate.

Chicken Nugget Po Boy

It can be a dangerous thing when I’ve made up a big batch of Kaw-Cajun Comeback sauce, recipe courtesy Chez John. I will put that stuff on anything and everything, including this super simple chicken nugget po boy.

Chicken Nugget Po Boy

I opened up the freezer the other day and noticed a bag of chicken nuggets. I bought them with a coupon a while back. Normally I make my own, but the combination of a coupon and laziness got the best of me. I thought… boy, I need to use them up. I know! A po boy! And thus, the chicken nugget po boy was born… Nothing fancy, but mighty good!

Chicken Nugget Po Boy
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4 from 1 vote

Chicken Nugget Po’Boy

The perfect quick po’boy.
Course Main
Cuisine American
Keyword chicken nuggets, sandwich
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 1 servings
Calories 597kcal
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • ½ loaf French bread halved lengthwise
  • 12 chicken nuggets cooked per package instructions
  • 4 tablespoons Kaw-Cajun Comeback sauce
  • 4-6 slices tomato
  • handful lettuce chopped

Instructions

  • Lightly toast the bread, if desired, while the chicken is cooking.
  • Slather both sides of the bread with the Comeback sauce.
  • Divide chicken between bread halves. Top with lettuce and tomato and bread tops. Enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 597kcal | Carbohydrates: 117g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1031mg | Potassium: 512mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 900IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 99mg | Iron: 8mg

Nutritional values are approximate.

Kaw-Cajun Comeback Sauce

I put Kaw-Cajun Comeback sauce on just about anything. Po boys. Regular sandwiches (making them not just regular!). Wraps. Anything. I make a big squeeze bottle of this sauce and keep it on hand because it’s sooooo darned good and goes on darned near everything.

Kaw-Cajun Comeback Sauce

This recipe for Kaw-Cajun Comeback sauce comes from Chez John from Fat Johnny’s Front Porch. Do not omit the grated onion and garlic – they really make this sauce a keeper. If you cannot find Cajun Power Sauces where you are you can order them online. Although you can substitute other sauces, this sauce is best made with Cajun Power. It’s also fantastic on chicken wings.

Here are some of our favorite uses for this sauce.

“Cheater” Popcorn Shrimp Po boy
Chicken Nugget Po Boy
Crunchy Tilapia Po Boy
Grilled Smoked Sausage Po Boy
Hamburger Po Boy
Roasted Black Pepper Shrimp Po Boy
Smoked Pulled Pork Po Boy
Taco Po Boy

Cheater Crispy Chicken Po Boy
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5 from 1 vote

Kaw-Cajun Comeback Sauce

Put this sauce on every sandwich you make!
Course Sauce
Cuisine American
Keyword Cajun, sauce
Prep Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 10
Calories 299kcal
Author Chez John

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Blend all ingredients. Refrigerate for at least one hour before using.

Nutrition

Calories: 299kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 16g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 14mg | Sodium: 505mg | Potassium: 95mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 165IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 11mg | Iron: 0.4mg

Nutritional values are approximate.

Refrigerator Cucumber Salad

We really enjoy this refrigerator cucumber salad. It makes a good-sized batch and keeps in the fridge for up to 2 months. Fresh cucumbers, onions, and peppers from your local farmer’s market makes it even better!

Refrigerator Cucumber Salad

There are several variations of this recipe for refrigerator cucumber salad around, but I like this one since it uses celery flake, which adds a really nice flavor. You could substitute fresh chopped dill instead. This salad also has a little kick. If you don’t want a kick, just leave out the red pepper flake or use slightly less than the recipe calls for. I made the salad in wide-mouth quart-sized jars, but you could use smaller decorative jars and give this out as a great summer gift.

You’ll also want to make my watermelon pickles.

Refrigerator Cucumber Salad
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5 from 1 vote

Refrigerator Cucumber Salad

We really enjoy this salad. It makes a good sized batch and keeps in the fridge for up to 2 months. Fresh cucumbers, onions, and peppers from your local farmer’s market makes it even better!
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Keyword cucumber, salad
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 2 -3 quarts
Calories 740kcal
Author Mike

Equipment

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Mix the cucumbers, onion, bell pepper and salt in a large bowl.
  • Place remaining ingredients into a pot. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add 1 1/2 cups of ice cubes. Wait until the ice has melted.
  • Layer the cucumbers, onion and peppers in the jars. Depending on how large your produce is and how tightly you layer them, you might need 3 jars.
  • Pour the vinegar mixture into each jar, up to about 1″ from the top. Seal and refrigerate for up to 2 months.

Nutrition

Calories: 740kcal | Carbohydrates: 172g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 3529mg | Potassium: 1070mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 162g | Vitamin A: 1034IU | Vitamin C: 89mg | Calcium: 127mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutritional values are approximate.

Roasted Shrimp Po Boy

Roasting shrimp is a great way to bring out their flavor. And it’s really easy, too. Roast them and make a roasted shrimp po boy and you’ve got something really great! I used Chez John’s Kaw-Cajun Comeback sauce on my roasted shrimp po boy. You can also use your favorite remoulade, such as our spicy version. Of course, just a good ole mayonnaise works just fine too. Me, I prefer a spicy sauce on my po boys. And I do truly love po boys.

Roasted Shrimp Po Boy

Also try my grilled turkey po boys.

Roasted Shrimp Po Boy
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4 from 1 vote

Roasted Shrimp Po Boy

Roasting shrimp is a great way to bring out their flavor. And it’s really easy, too. Roast them and make a roasted shrimp po boy and you’ve got something really great!
Course Main
Cuisine American
Keyword sandwich, shrimp
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 329kcal
Author Mike

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 F.
  • Toss shrimp with oil and a pinch of salt and a little pepper. Place on a non-stick baking sheet and cook 8-10 minutes or until pink and firm and cooked. Remove from oven.
  • Lightly toast the bread in the oven, if desired.
  • Slather both halves of the bread with the Comeback sauce. Add shrimp, lettuce, tomato and top bread half and enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 329kcal | Carbohydrates: 57g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 91mg | Sodium: 831mg | Potassium: 158mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 10IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 97mg | Iron: 4mg

Nutritional values are approximate.