Poor Man’s Lobster Roll

I dream about lobster rolls. Real ones. Loaded with lobster. I’ll take them with or without mayonnaise. My poor man’s lobster roll is not the real thing. It’s not supposed to be. But it is supposed to get as close to the flavor of the real thing without spending a lot of money. And for me, it works.

Poor Man's Lobster Roll

My poor man’s lobster roll is enough to get me by until I can head to Caplinger’s Fresh Catch here in Indianapolis for a fresh lobster roll. But I can enjoy my imitation version without shame. I don’t even have to close the drapes so no one notices that I’m using imitation lobster! Heck, it’s tasty!

Also try my copycat of Golden Corral’s crab salad.

Poor Man’s Lobster Roll

I dream about lobster rolls. Real ones. Loaded with lobster. I’ll take them with or without mayonnaise. My poor man’s lobster roll is not the real thing. It’s not supposed to be
Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 473kcal
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces imitation lobster chunky style
  • 1 teaspoon dried tarragon or more, to taste, crushed
  • 1 stalk celery diced
  • 1 medium lemon halved
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise more or less, to taste
  • Kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 hot dog rolls split-top are best
  • 1/2 tablespoon salted butter melted
  • 1/2 tablespoon green onion sliced, for garnish

Instructions

  • Gently mix the lobster, tarragon, celery, juice of half of the lemon, mayonnaise together in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste and stir.
  • Brush the outside of the rolls with the butter and place under the broiler or into 350 F oven until lightly toasted.
  • Divide lobster mixture between the rolls. They'll be very full. That's good!
  • Garnish with green onions. Serve with the remaining half lemon for juicing if desired.

Nutrition

Calories: 473kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 32mg | Sodium: 1071mg | Potassium: 266mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 326IU | Vitamin C: 31mg | Calcium: 128mg | Iron: 3mg

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.

Chicken or Pork Egg Rolls

As much as we both loved the filling in these chicken or pork egg rolls, let’s face it. Everyone loves egg rolls for the crispy, crunchy delicious fried wrappers. If the filling was the star we’d just make that and plop it on a plate and call it dinner. Instead, we wrap it in crazy addicting ‘blanket’ of yumminess. It’s really hard not to eat too many of these.

Chicken or Pork Egg Rolls

If you don’t want your chicken or pork egg rolls to have a bit of a kick, simply leave out the sriracha sauce. If you like the kick, but don’t have sriracha on hand, dried red pepper flakes are a great substitute.

Make sure you the let the egg rolls drain well if you are using a deep fryer to cook the egg rolls. I like to stand them on end so that any extra oil drains out the end.

Chicken or Pork Egg Rolls

As much as we both loved the filling in these chicken or pork egg rolls, let’s face it. Everyone loves egg rolls for the crispy, crunchy delicious fried wrappers. If the filling was the star we’d just make that and plop it on a plate and call it dinner. I
Course Appetizer or Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 288kcal

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil plus more for frying
  • 1 teaspoon garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger minced
  • 1 cup celery finely chopped
  • 4 cups coleslaw mix
  • 1 pound ground chicken or pork
  • 6 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce plus more for serving if desired
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons sriracha more or less, to taste
  • 1 cup green onions chopped
  • 24 egg roll wrappers

Instructions

  • Heat 1/4 cup of oil in a large Dutch oven or pot over medium high heat.
  • Stir in the garlic, ginger, and celery. Saute for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Do not let the garlic burn.
  • Stir in the coleslaw mix. Saute for 5-10 minutes, stirring constantly, until the cabbage is wilted.
  • Crumble in the ground meat, oyster sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil and sriracha.
  • Stir fry until the meat is done, about 5 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat and stir in the green onions. Let cool slightly before assembling the egg rolls.
  • Get your egg rolling station ready. You'll want a small cup of warm water for dipping your fingers into.
  • Working in batches, place an egg roll in front of you with a point towards you, like a diamond. Dip your fingers in the water and wet the edges of the roll.
  • Place a tablespoon of the meat mixture on the roll just below the center, towards you. Grab the bottom point and fold it over the mixture. Fold in the sides and then roll the wrapper up towards the furthest tip. Press down on the sides and seams to seal.
  • Heat oil in a deep fryer (3" to deep fry) or pan (about 2" to shallow fry) to 350 F.
  • Working in batches, deep fry the rolls until golden brown and crispy, rotating to make sure all sides get fried.
  • Remove to a wire rack to drain and cool slightly before serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 288kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 52mg | Sodium: 982mg | Potassium: 479mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 226IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 56mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutritional values are approximate.

Beer Battered Shrimp and Fries

“I’ll have the beer battered shrimp and fries and… a side salad.” No. No one has ever said that. This isn’t a salad-on-the-side kind of dish. It’s seriously battered, deep-fried decadence, from start to finish. The shrimp are absolutely delicious. I could eat well…. ok, more than a few of them. And the fries? Insane. I opted to double-dip them. They ended up just amazing. Yeah, they’re definitely battered and then some. But they’re sooooo good and different! And huge! All that batter makes them gigantic I tell ya!

If the double-battered monster fries scare you, they’re actually just as fantastic (or pretty much) single dipped.

Beer Battered Shrimp and Fries

I used my little Fry Daddy when I made these beer battered shrimp and fries. I’m not sure I can recommend doing that. I mean, sure, they came out fantastic, but you can’t really fry a bunch of either the shrimp or the fries at once, so it’ll take you a while to make a mess of them. The battered shrimp and fries like to stick together, so you can’t crowd them. If you can, I’d recommend using a larger fryer or a Dutch oven.

Also try my blackened fried shrimp.

Beer Battered Shrimp and Fries

“I’ll have the beer battered shrimp and fries and… a side salad.” No. No one has ever said that. This isn’t a salad-on-the-side kind of dish. It’s seriously battered, deep-fried decadence, from start to finish.
Course Appetizer or Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 6 hours
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 698kcal
Author Mike

Ingredients

For the shrimp

  • 1 pound large shrimp peeled, deveined (I used 20-24 count shrimp)
  • all-purpose flour
  • vegetable oil for frying

For the shrimp batter

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup lager beer plus more, if needed
  • 2 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the fries

  • 2 pounds russet potatoes
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun spice
  • 2 teaspoons garlic salt
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup lager-style beer
  • vegetable oil for frying

Instructions

For the shrimp (note the fries need to soak, so start them well before you plan on eating)

  • Place the shrimp in a bowl and lightly dust with flour. Stir gently to coat. You just want a light coating, so don't use too much flour.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, Old Bay seasoning, salt and pepper and the beer. You want the batter to be slightly thick, like a pancake batter. If it's too thick add a small amount of beer and whisk. Let stand for 15 minutes.
  • Heat oil in your deep fryer or Dutch oven to 350 F . If you have a small deep fryer like I do, I recommend warming your oven on the lowest setting so you can put the shrimp and fries in there to keep warm while you cook all of the batches.
  • Working in batches if needed, dip shrimp in the batter and coat completely. Transfer to the oil and fry for 2 minutes per side. Remove to a paper towel lined plate to drain.

For the fries

  • Fill a large bowl with cold water.
  • Cut the potatoes into 1/4" sticks. I did not peel mine, but you can peels yours first if you desire.
  • Transfer the potatoes to the water and soak for at least 4 hours. Ideally, you'll want to drain and add fresh cold water every hour, but if you don't have the time, just soak for 4 hours.
  • In a large bowl whisk together the remaining ingredients except for the oil. You want a pancake batter-like consistency. If it's too thick, add a bit more of beer and whisk some more.
  • Heat oil in your deep fryer or Dutch oven to 350 F.
  • Working in batches, dip the fries in the batter and transfer to the hot oil. Fry for 5 minutes or until just golden but not done. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Note: If you're not double frying, you'll want to extend the fry time and cook the fries until golden brown and crispy.
  • Now it's time for the second fry if you're doing it. Again dip the fries in the batter and fry until golden brown and crispy, 3-5 minutes. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate and season.

Nutrition

Calories: 698kcal | Carbohydrates: 120g | Protein: 39g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 286mg | Sodium: 3808mg | Potassium: 1239mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 971IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 235mg | Iron: 10mg

Nutritional values are approximate.

Three Bean Two Meat Chili

When I had lunch last week at my favorite local BBQ joint, I was looking forward to two things. Well, one thing really but in two different ways. First, I was going to enjoy (devour is probably a better word for it) a nice big smoked brisket sandwich. And second I was going home with a pound of smoked brisket for this three bean two meat chili. I wanted that great tender beef with a nice smokiness, the perfect compliment to my chili.
Three Bean Two Meat ChiliAnita’s not a big fan of chunks of beef in her chili (or anywhere else for that matter) unless they are crazy tender. That’s why she absolutely loved this chili: both the ground beef and brisket were fall-apart delicious.

The broth this chili makes it my favorite. It’s red and that means it’s going to be spicy thanks to plenty of cayenne. The chili powder and paprika don’t hurt either, that’s for sure. I could just drink it right out of the bowl.

To make this a Texas-style chili just leave out the beans. I guess.

Three Bean Two Meat Chili

The broth this chili makes it my favorite. It’s red and that means it’s going to be spicy thanks to plenty of cayenne. The chili powder and paprika don’t hurt either, that’s for sure. 
Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings 8 -10 servings
Calories 266kcal
Author Inspired by a recipe from The Food Network

Ingredients

  • olive oil
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 4 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin Note: Anita doesn't care much for cumin, so I used just about 1/2 tablespoon. Use more or less, to taste
  • 4 tablespoons cayenne Note: This makes for a mighty hot chili. If you like your chili milder, start with 1 tablespoon of cayenne and go from there.
  • 4 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 pound smoked brisket cut into small cubes (I picked up a pound of brisket from one of my favorite Indianapolis BBQ joints, Rackz. You can also use leftover smoked brisket.)
  • 1 pound ground beef browned and drained
  • 1 16 ounce black beans rinsed and drained
  • 1 16 ounce red beans rinsed and drained
  • 1 16 ounce red kidney beans rinsed and drained
  • 1 16 ounce diced tomatoes with juices
  • 1 16 ounce petite diced tomatoes with juices

Instructions

  • Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until just soft, 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the chili powder, cumin, cayenne and paprika. Stir to coat the onion and cook for 1 minute.
  • Add the remaining ingredients. Stir well.
  • Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a low simmer. Cover and continue simmering for 1 hour.

Notes

The spices in this chili are meant to be pretty aggressive, and they are. You may want to start with half the amounts stated, taste and adjust from there. Since all of the meats you are adding are already cooked you can taste/adjust to your liking.

Nutrition

Calories: 266kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 75mg | Sodium: 153mg | Potassium: 534mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 2396IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 51mg | Iron: 4mg

Nutritional values are approximate.

Big Daddy’s Kick’n Chicken Salad

I love chicken salad sandwiches. But this, Big Daddy’s Kick’n chicken salad, is different than any I’ve had. It’s outrageously good. Although there’s a lot of ‘normal’ chicken salad ingredients in it, there are some really unique flavors too. Like jalapeno. Chicken salad needed a bit of heat (not too much, mind you), and the jalapeno adds just the right amount. You’ll find nuts in a lot of recipes, but roasted pistachios really add a different flavor. In fact, I actually ended up adding smoked pistachios, which were incredible. And there’s chili sauce too! What??? In chicken salad??? Yes! Oh yes!

Big Daddy's Kick'n Chicken Salad

The recipe for Big Daddy’s Kick’n chicken salad is spot-on great. I wouldn’t change a thing except to triple the amounts because it’ll disappear in no time at all. This will be our go-to chicken salad recipe for now on, that’s for sure!

Also try my spicy chicken salad.

Big Daddy’s Kick’n Chicken Salad

I love chicken salad sandwiches. But this, Big Daddy’s Kick’n chicken salad, is different than any I’ve had. It’s outrageously good. 
Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 606kcal

Ingredients

For the chicken salad

  • 3 cups cooked chicken chopped or shredded, as desired
  • 4 large jalapenos seeded, diced
  • 1/2 cup red onion diced
  • 1/2 cup pistachios roasted, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons roasted garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon sweet chili sauce
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 medium lemon juiced
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped
  • 2 tablespoons green onions green parts only, sliced
  • kosher salt to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

For the sandwich

  • 12 slices bread or use split large croissants
  • green leaf lettuce
  • tomato sliced

Instructions

For the chicken salad

  • Combine all ingredients, seasoning to taste.

For the sandwich

  • Place lettuce and tomato on half of the bread slices.
  • Divide the chicken salad between the sandwiches and add the top bread slice. Serve.

Nutrition

Calories: 606kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 39g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 68mg | Sodium: 612mg | Potassium: 467mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 334IU | Vitamin C: 25mg | Calcium: 117mg | Iron: 4mg

Nutritional values are approximate.