Copycat Houston Buttermilk Garlic Salad Dressing

I’ve never been to a Houston’s restaurant. Their food sure looks awesome. So though I can’t say this copycat of their buttermilk garlic salad dressing is a true copycat, I can say it is fantastic. Like slurp-slurp-I-love-salad-more-than-ever-now fantastic. This is Ranch dressing to the max. Thanks mostly to the garlic.

Copycat Houston Buttermilk Garlic Salad Dressing

Make sure you let the dressing ‘get happy’ in the fridge overnight before serving. It makes a huge difference. And make a double batch because this copycat Houston’s buttermilk garlic salad dressing isn’t just for salad. It’s great for dipping wings. And veggies.

Copycat Houston Buttermilk Garlic Salad Dressing

I can't say this copycat of Houston's buttermilk garlic salad dressing is a true copycat, I can say it is fantastic. Like slurp-slurp-I-love-salad-more-than-ever-now fantastic.
Course Salad Dressing
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
8 hours
Servings 2 cups
Calories 1001kcal
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic minced, smashed
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk

Instructions

  • Place all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Alternatively, place all ingredients into a large bowl and whisk well.
  • Cover and refrigerate overnight before using.

Nutrition

Calories: 1001kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 101g | Saturated Fat: 23g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 94mg | Sodium: 1417mg | Potassium: 233mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 730IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 169mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional values are approximate.

Spicy Old Bay Tartar Sauce

When I first saw this recipe for a spicy Old Bay tartar sauce it took me all of about 2 seconds to figure out exactly what I was going to use it on. A fried shrimp po boy. The sauce is perfect on a po boy. It has a mild Dijon flavor. It has a good bit of kick. And it tastes of Old Bay. If that doesn’t scream shrimp po boy I don’t know what does.
Spicy Old Bay Tartar Sauce

This recipe was inspired by a recipe from Steven Raichlen’s massive book, BBQ USA. it is packed with over 400 dishes, almost all with a spicy side to them. BBQ USA sits on my bookshelf along Raichlen’s other great cookbooks.

Spicy Old Bay Tartar Sauce

When I first saw this recipe for a spicy Old Bay tartar sauce it took me all of about 2 seconds to figure out exactly what I was going to use it on. A fried shrimp po boy. 
Course Sauce
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 1 cup
Calories 1555kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 small jalapeno seeded, minced
  • 1 tablespoon capers drained (see note)
  • 1 tablespoon cornichons chopped (or dill pickles)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon chives chopped (or use 1 teaspoon dired)
  • 1 tablespoon basil chopped (or use 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Combine all ingredients. Store in the fridge in a covered container for up to 1 week.

Notes

If I'm using this sauce as a tartar sauce I drain the capers. But I do not drain them if I'm using this as a dip for fried shrimp.

Nutrition

Calories: 1555kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 169g | Saturated Fat: 26g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 94mg | Sodium: 1994mg | Potassium: 158mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 662IU | Vitamin C: 26mg | Calcium: 69mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutritional values are approximate.

Parmesan Garlic Potatoes

When I am making baby or fingerling potatoes, I almost always keep them whole. I know, cutting them in half gives you more surface area for seasonings, but I really, really love the ‘pop’ of biting into a baby potato. It’s probably just me but that’s why I kept these Parmesan garlic potatoes whole. Hey, they’re not that big and boy do they cook up creamy good. Smothered in tons of garlic and cheese, I absolutely loved them.
Parmesan Garlic PotatoesI mentioned fingerling potatoes. This dish would also be great using fingerling potatoes. Ditto with baby yellow potatoes.

Since I’m somewhat of a butter-aholic I added a few pats of butter before serving up these Parmesan garlic potatoes.

Parmesan Garlic Potatoes

I really, really love the ‘pop’ of biting into a baby potato. It’s probably just me but that’s why I kept these Parmesan garlic potatoes whole. Hey, they’re not that big and boy do they cook up creamy good. Smothered in tons of garlic and cheese, I absolutely loved them.
Course Side
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 118kcal
Author Inspired by a recipe from The Recipe Critic

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds baby potatoes rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese grated, plus more for garnish
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • parsley chopped, for garnish

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 F or fire up a grill for indirect cooking.
  • Combine all ingredients except for the water in a baking dish (oven) or disposable aluminum pan (grill). Toss to coat. Pour in the water.
  • Cover with foil and bake or grill 20-30 minutes or until tender.
  • Serve garnish with chopped parsley and more freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Nutrition

Calories: 118kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 211mg | Potassium: 497mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 70IU | Vitamin C: 23mg | Calcium: 101mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional values are approximate.

SPAM Burnt Ends

I’ve smoked SPAM. I’ve grilled SPAM. But I’d never made SPAM burnt ends until now. I can say without hesitation that my life is now complete. No, these aren’t beef brisket burnt ends. But believe me, they’re really good. My first bite was an ‘oh, dang!’ moment for me. Heck, yeah, give me some more!

SPAM Burnt Ends

SPAM needs a bit of seasoning. Though it’ll pick up some flavor from the smoke, it’s up to you to add the rest. I decided to take a sweet heat approach. I used a spicy BBQ rub for the seasoning. And for the sauce I used a sweet tomato-based BBQ sauce. You want a sauce that will caramelize, giving you a bit of a crust to the SPAM. The sweetness of the sauce contrasted perfectly with the spiciness of the rub.

SPAM Burnt Ends

You really can’t get any easier than SPAM burnt ends. It’s a great way to use extra space on your smoker, too!

SPAM Burnt Ends

You really can't get any easier than SPAM burnt ends. It's a great way to use extra space on your smoker, too!
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 179kcal

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces SPAM classic or low-sodium
  • BBQ seasoning
  • BBQ sauce a sweeter sauce, containing sugar, will caramelize better

Instructions

  • Fire up your smoker for smoking 250-300 F. Use whichever wood you prefer. I used a few chunks of hickory.
  • Remove the SPAM from the tin and season heaving with the BBQ seasoning. Rub it in good, and get it everywhere. The more, the better, but don't put it on so thick that it cakes.
  • Smoke for about 1 hour or until the SPAM gets a bit of a crust on it and has turned a little darker in color.
  • Remove from the smoker and cut into 1" cubes. Brush all sides liberally with the sauce. Sprinkle lightly with more of the rub.
  • Transfer SPAM cubes to a disposable pan and return to the smoker.
  • Smoke another 30 minutes or until the sauce has started to caramelize.
  • Serve immediately

Nutrition

Calories: 179kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 40mg | Sodium: 800mg | Potassium: 232mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional values are approximate.

Copycat Carrabba’s Creamy Parmesan Salad Dressing

I didn’t really know what to expect when I made this copycat of Carrabba’s creamy Parmesan salad dressing. The recipe ingredients looked like they were right up my alley, but I’d never been to the restaurant to try the real thing. Well, I made it, and this is anywhere near what you get at Carrabba’s, I’ve been missing out. Perfectly creamy, with plenty of nutty salty Parmesan, this dressing was perfect on a big dinner salad.

Copycat Carrabba's Creamy Parmesan Dressing

Make sure you let the dressing ‘get happy’ in the fridge for at least an hour before serving. Give it one good last whisk or shake before serving. I wouldn’t change a thing about this copycat Carrabba’s creamy Parmesan salad dressing except to double it.

Copycat Carrabba’s Creamy Parmesan Salad Dressing

Perfectly creamy, with plenty of nutty salty Parmesan, this dressing was perfect on a big dinner salad.
Course Salad Dressing
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
1 hour
Servings 1 cup
Calories 910kcal

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese grated
  • 1 teaspoon garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon parsley chopped
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon tarragon fresh, minced, or a few good pinches of dried
  • kosher salt to taste

Instructions

  • Place all ingredients into a bowl. Whisk well to combine.
  • Refrigerate at least one hour before serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 910kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 92g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 71mg | Sodium: 1177mg | Potassium: 211mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 463IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 405mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional values are approximate.

Spicy Honey Fried Chicken using the Vortex

Oh. My. Goodness. Spicy honey fried chicken made using the Vortex is off-the-charts fantastic. Crispy crunchy skin. Juicy, moist, tender chicken. You’ll find it hard to believe that this chicken wasn’t deep-fried. Nope, it was made on a charcoal grill, took less than an hour to make, and with no fuss or mess at all. And the drizzle? It’s a wonderful spicy honey mixture, that brings the heat and the sweet in each and every bite.

You can adjust just how much kick your spicy honey fried chicken using the Vortex has by using a different pepper, and using more or less than the recipe calls for. I used a whole serrano pepper, which is pretty spicy. A jalapeno would be about right for most folks without having to worry about scaring them off, and of course you don’t have to use the entire pepper. A habanero will wake up just about anyone.

Also try my buttery garlic fried chicken using the Vortex. And my Amish fried chicken is fantastic too!

Spicy Honey Fried Chicken using the Vortex

Oh. My. Goodness. Spicy honey fried chicken made using the Vortex is off-the-charts fantastic. Crispy crunchy skin. Juicy, moist, tender chicken.
Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 1 day
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 1408kcal
Author Mike

Ingredients

For the crispy chicken

  • 4-6 large chicken pieces, I prefer bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk you might need a bit more
  • 1 large egg beaten lightly
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
  • hot sauce to taste
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

For the honey jalapeno drizzle

  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 large jalapeno sliced

Instructions

  • Combine the buttermilk, egg, Cajun seasoning and hot sauce in a re-sealable container. Add the chicken. If the chicken isn't completely covered in marinade, add more buttermilk. Refrigerate for 1 hour to overnight.
  • Fire up your grill with the Vortex BBQ insert. Fill it completely with charcoal and let the coals get ashed over and hot.
  • Combine the flour, Cajun seasoning, cornstarch and baking powder in a pie plate, bowl, or large baggie.
  • Grab each piece of chicken and shake off the excess marinade.
  • Dredge the chicken in the flour mixture. Coat well then shake off any excess.
  • Transfer the chicken to the Vortex. Close the lid and cook for 40 minutes. Rotate the lid every 15 minutes. The chicken should be near 165 F.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the honey jalapeno drizzle by heating the honey in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the jalapeno slices. Once the honey starts to bubble remove from heat and let cool while the chicken cooks.
  • Lightly brush the chicken with the vegetable oil and cook another 5 minutes or until at 165 F.
  • Remove the chicken from the grill and transfer to a platter. Drizzle with the jalapeno honey mixture and serve.

Nutrition

Calories: 1408kcal | Carbohydrates: 68g | Protein: 99g | Fat: 81g | Saturated Fat: 25g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 415mg | Sodium: 474mg | Potassium: 1123mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 48g | Vitamin A: 1980IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 146mg | Iron: 7mg

Nutritional values are approximate.