Cedar Plank Jalapeno Popper Twice Baked Potatoes

I never met a baked potato I didn’t like. It started as a kid, going to a steakhouse with my parents. Ordering a loaded baked potato was like a right of passage. As important as the steak, the potato was always something I remembered. Now, I make all sorts of variations on the classic, like these cedar plank jalapeno popper twice baked potatoes. Yep, saying them is a mouthful. And yep, I devoured mine by the mouthful too. Packed with all sorts of great flavor, a great kick, and creamy potato goodness, these potatoes give classic bakers a run for their money.

Cedar Plank Jalapeno Popper Twice Baked Potatoes

If you’re afraid of the spiciness from the jalapeno, you can omit them and still have fantastic potatoes. But, I have found that cooked jalapenos tend to be less spicy, adding a wonderful pepper flavor without a lot of heat. You can substitute poblano but you’re going to have a hard time explaining your cedar plank poblano popper twice baked potatoes!

Cedar Plank Jalapeno Popper Twice Baked Potatoes

I never met a baked potato I didn’t like. It started as a kid, going to a steakhouse with my parents. Ordering a loaded baked potato was like a right of passage.
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 715kcal

Ingredients

For the potatoes

  • 6 large baking potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt might need a bit more

For the filling

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 8 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese shredded , divided
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese shredded
  • 3 tablespoons dry ranch seasoning mix 1 1/2 (1 ounce) packets of store-bought seasoning
  • 4 medium jalapeno peppers seeded, diced, divided
  • 4 slices bacon cooked, crumbled, divided
  • 2 tablespoons green onion diced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 F. Rinse and dry the potatoes. Poke each several times with a knife. Pour a little oil on each potato and coat on all sides. Sprinkle liberally with the salt.
  • Cook potatoes for 1 hour or until tender. Remove and let cool enough to handle.
  • Lay the potatoes on their sides. Cut a slice off the top of the potato.
  • Using a spoon, carve out the center of the potatoes, transferring the potato insides to a large bowl. Transfer the now-hollow potatoes to a baking sheet.
  • Add the filling ingredients to the potato, reserving 1/2 cup of the cheddar and enough of the diced jalapeno and bacon for topping later. Mix well.
  • Transfer the potato filling to the hollow potatoes. Top with remaining cheddar and bacon.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
  • Sprinkle with reserved jalapenos and serve.

Nutrition

Calories: 715kcal | Carbohydrates: 75g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 37g | Saturated Fat: 22g | Cholesterol: 107mg | Sodium: 2190mg | Potassium: 1718mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1281IU | Vitamin C: 33mg | Calcium: 429mg | Iron: 4mg

Nutritional values are approximate.

Bacon-Wrapped Mushrooms with Artichokes

I’ve made my share of stuffed mushrooms. All sorts of different ingredients have found their way into my mushrooms. But never artichokes. These bacon-wrapped mushrooms with artichokes are divine. They’re different and they’re highly addicting. Pearl onions? In a mushroom? Brilliant!

Bacon-Wrapped Mushrooms with Artichokes

If you can’t find fresh pearl onions (I was surprised that I did), you can get away with frozen (thawed) ones. Or you can just add a bit of chopped white onion. The onion does add a nice contrast to the creamy artichokes and bacon. I wouldn’t skip adding some sort of onion. You’ll love bacon-wrapped mushrooms with artichokes just as much as we did!

Bacon-Wrapped Mushrooms with Artichokes

These wonderful bites will disappear in no time!
Course Appetiser
Cuisine American
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings 6 servings
Calories 324kcal

Ingredients

  • 12 medium portabella mushrooms
  • 15 ounces artichoke hearts small sized, drained
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 12 slices bacon sliced thick
  • 12 pearl onions
  • 2 teaspoons garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoons chile powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Fire up your grill for indirect cooking. You're aiming for around 350 F. You can also make these in an oven preheated to 350 F.
  • Remove the stems from the mushrooms. Using a spoon, carefully scrape out the gills. Do not puncture the sides of the mushrooms. You want to create a cavity for the filling.
  • Finely dice the artichoke hearts. Place in a bowl and stir in the olive oil, chile powder and cayenne.
  • Fill each mushroom with the artichoke mix so that's it's just even with the edges of the mushroom.
  • Cut off the ends of the pearl onions and remove the skin. I found it easer to just use my fingers to do this, but a small sharp knife will work also.
  • Gently push each onion into the stuffed mushrooms, leaving about half of the onion exposed. Sprinkle with the garlic salt.
  • Wrap each mushroom in a piece of bacon. Depending on the size of your mushrooms you may want to use slightly less than an entire piece of bacon. You want just enough of the bacon to overlap that you can stick a toothpick through it to secure it to the mushroom.
  • Take a sharp knife and make 4 small slices in the bacon above each mushroom. You're going to make a '+' sign. Don't skip this step, it makes for a better presentation in the end as the bacon will better form around the mushrooms instead of pulling away from them.
  • Sprinkle each stuffed mushroom with plenty of pepper and place on the grill or in the oven.
  • Bake for 60-90 minutes or until the bacon is just starting to crisp up.
  • Put the mushrooms on an oiled broiler pan and into a preheated 350º oven. Bake for approximately 90 minutes, or until the bacon around each mushroom is just barely crisp.
  • Remove and let cool slightly before removing the toothpicks and serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 324kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 29mg | Sodium: 1351mg | Potassium: 796mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 186IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional values are approximate.

Grilled BBQ Shrimp in Oyster Shells

It’s not that I needed any more cookware (or grillware). But I couldn’t help myself when I came across stainless steel oyster shells. I love seafood, and I figured hey, I really need to learn more seafood recipes, so why not get some shells and get to it?! Well, by golly these shells are just fun to cook in and I’ve found myself making super-awesome dishes, like these grilled BBQ shrimp. The shrimp cook up perfectly. And oh, the sauce. The sauce is just insane. The shrimp soak up some of that great buttery herby flavor. The rest of the soakin’ is up to you. Pick up the shell and drink it up, or dip a piece of nice crusty bread in it for a few seconds to sop it up. Man, it’s great!

Grilled BBQ Shrimp in Oyster Shells

If you like a bit of a kick, add just a pinch (a small pinch) of red pepper flake on top of the shrimp just before cooking. Don’t go crazy with it, the stars of the show are the perfectly cooked shrimp and fantastic sauce.

Don’t make the mistake I made and only purchase 12 stainless steel oyster shells. Everything I’ve made in them has been so yummy that I’ve always found myself craving more. And for more I’d need more shells. So get extra and you won’t be in the same boat.

Grilled BBQ Shrimp in Oyster Shells

Well, by golly these shells are just fun to cook in and I’ve found myself making super-awesome dishes, like these grilled BBQ shrimp. The shrimp cook up perfectly.
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 82kcal
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 1 pound large shrimp I used 20-24 count
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 tablespoons beer
  • 12 stainless steel oyster shells

Instructions

  • Note: You can make the butter mix in a small saucepan on your grill or on your indoor stovetop, whichever you prefer.
  • Peel and devein the shrimp. Leave the tail shells on if desired.
  • Fire up your outdoor grill for direct cooking over high heat.
  • Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. And remaining ingredients except shells. Stir.
  • Bring mixture to a slow simmer and let simmer until reduced by half, 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • Place 2 shrimp into each SOS shell. Place the shells on the grill. Cook until the shrimp begin to turn pink on the outside, 4-5 minutes. Baste each shell with 1 tablespoon of the seasoned butter mixture.
  • Caution: The butter will flame up when added, which gives the shrimp a smoky flavor. Cook just until the shrimp are done, 3-5 minutes. Serve immediately.

Nutrition

Calories: 82kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 146mg | Sodium: 502mg | Potassium: 117mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 55IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 123mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional values are approximate.

Cajun Shrimp in Oyster Shells

Think shrimp cocktail. Cooked and served in oyster shells, these are quite possibly the perfect grilled (or baked) appetizer. The sauce is so much better, so much more delicious that stuff you get in a bottle. You’ll want to make a lot of these Cajun shrimp in oyster shells because one or two just isn’t going to get it.

Cajun Shrimp in Oyster Shells

I used stainless steel reusable oyster shells, which have quickly become my go-to servers for seafood and well, just about anything I can fit into them. I can fit two (or even three) large Cajun shrimp into each shell. Even though they go onto a grill or in the oven, they cool off quickly so you can handle them. Just pick them up and slurp them down, just like you were eating oysters. Fun!

Cajun Shrimp in Oyster Shells

Think shrimp cocktail. Cooked and served in oyster shells, these are quite possibly the perfect grilled (or baked) appetizer. The sauce is so much better, so much more delicious that stuff you get in a bottle.
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 189kcal

Ingredients

  • 12 oyster shells
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce
  • 2 teaspoon dried red pepper flake
  • 3 tablespoons steak sauce A.1. is best
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 10 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 large sweet onion chopped
  • 1 pound shrimp 24-30 count, shelled and deveined
  • 2 green onions chopped, for garnish

Instructions

  • Fire up your grill for medium heat direct cooking. Or, preheat your oven to 350 F.
  • Place the tomato sauce, pepper flake, steak sauce, oil, garlic and onion into a blender and process until smooth.
  • Divide sauce between shells. You might have a bit leftover, or not, depending on how much sauce you want in each shell.
  • Add the shrimp. Transfer to the grill or oven and cook for 15 minutes or until the shrimp have turned pink and translucent.
  • Remove from heat and garnish with green onions before serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 189kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 286mg | Sodium: 1482mg | Potassium: 481mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 660IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 215mg | Iron: 4mg

Nutritional values are approximate.

Cajun Cheesy Waffle Fries

Yeah, I coulda just turned on the oven, tossed in a few waffle fries, and had a side for my burgers in less than 30 minutes. And I would’ve been fairly happy with that. But why not spend any extra minute or two and turn those fries into something special? These Cajun cheesy waffle fries prove just how easy it is to turn a simple side into something fantastic. Smoky bacon, sharp onion and creamy cheese, all on top of waffle fries seasoned well with Cajun seasoning. Just a bit of heat, just a bit of spiciness. Perfect.

Cajun Cheesy Waffle Fries

Mix it up a bit. I’ve made these Cajun cheesy waffle fries with smoked cheddar, leaving out the bacon, for a wonderful twist. Don’t have green onion? Red onion, minced, works great too! Instead of Cajun seasoning, use your favorite. I like blackened seasoning. Or smoked paprika. You can’t really mess these up. Oh, and sure, if you don’t have waffle fries, good ole French fries work great too!

Also try my Texas fries.

Cajun Cheesy Waffle Fries

These Cajun cheesy waffle fries prove just how easy it is to turn a simple side into something fantastic. 
Course Side or Appetizer
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 297kcal
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 22 ounce waffle fries Ore-Ida Golden Waffle Fries
  • 4 teaspoons Cajun seasoning divided
  • 6 ounces cheese finely shredded . I used a mix of 3 ounces cheddar and 3 ounces Monterrey Jack
  • 4 sliced bacon cooked, crumbled
  • 2 green onions sliced, for topping
  • Ranch dressing for serving, if desired

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 450 F. Line a large baking sheet with foil or use a silpat.
  • Add the fries and arrange them into one layer. Bake for 15 minutes.
  • Sprinkle the fries with half of the Cajun seasoning and flip. Return to the oven and bake another 10-15 minutes or until golden brown with crispy edges.
  • Sprinkle tops of fries with the cheese, remaining Cajun seasoning, and the bacon. Return to the oven and bake another 5 minutes to melt the cheese.
  • Sprinkle with green onion and serve with Ranch dressing.

Nutrition

Calories: 297kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 23mg | Sodium: 516mg | Potassium: 387mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 735IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 165mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional values are approximate.

Panko Fried Shrimp

Mmmmm. Crispy panko fried shrimp. If you ordered these little bites of yumminess at a restaurant how many would you get? Five? Six? That’s just not nearly enough. Not even close. They’re just too good to only eat a handful. They’re seasoned simply, fried quickly, and ready to devour before you know it.
Panko Fried Shrimp

For a little extra ‘something’ I often sprinkle my panko fried shrimp (and really, any fried shrimp) with just a bit of Old Bay seasoning just before I serve them. Not too much season, but enough that you get that wonderful seafood spice aroma and just a little of that great flavor. Try it and you’ll find yourself doing it too.

Also try my crispy fried shrimp.

Panko Fried Shrimp

Mmmmm. Crispy panko fried shrimp. If you ordered these little bites of yumminess at a restaurant how many would you get? Five? Six? That’s just not nearly enough.
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 379kcal
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds shrimp medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • kosher salt to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • seasoning salt to taste
  • vegetable oil for cooking
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • Lemon wedges, tartar sauce, cocktail sauce for serving

Instructions

  • Place shrimp in a large bowl. Season well with salt, pepper and seasoning salt.
  • Heat 3-4" of oil in a Dutch oven or deep fryer to 350 F.
  • Add panko to a pie plate or shallow dish. Season with salt, pepper and seasoning salt and stir.
  • In a separate pie plate or shallow dish place the flour. Season with salt, pepper and seasoning salt and stir.
  • In a small bowl whisk together the egg and water.
  • Dip the shrimp in the egg and water mixture and coat. Shake off excess.
  • Add the shrimp to the flour. Toss to coat. Shake off excess.
  • Dip again in egg and water mixture. Shake off excess.
  • Toss shrimp in panko crumbs. Coat well.
  • Working in batches if necessary, add shrimp to the hot oil and fry 3-4 minutes, turning once. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
  • Serve with lemon wedges, cocktail sauce or tartar sauce.

Nutrition

Calories: 379kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 43g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 522mg | Sodium: 1468mg | Potassium: 233mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 135IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 293mg | Iron: 6mg

Nutritional values are approximate.