Creole Macaroni Salad

It doesn’t take a whole lot of changes to make a pretty much run-of-the-mill pasta salad different. This Creole macaroni salad has buttermilk in the dressing, giving it that wonderful tangy flavor. I love buttermilk so I instantly thought how great . Buttermilk fried chicken and this salad are a great match too. Trust me, I tried it. The salad also has tomatoes and (my wife’s favorite) olives. Her motto is: You can’t have too many olives.

Creole Macaroni Salad

Heat In A Pasta Salad Is A Good Thing

I would (and did) add more cayenne pepper to give this Creole macaroni salad even more kick. Plus, I think the dressing has a somewhat cooling effect, so a bit more heat isn’t going to hurt anything.

This recipe comes from Paul Kirk’s Championship Barbecue Cookbook, a huge book of everything barbecue. Get it. It’s packed with recipes like this great salad and whole lot more.

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 try my Hawaiian-style potato and Mexican macaroni salads.

Creole Macaroni Salad
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5 from 1 vote

Creole Macaroni Salad

It doesn’t take a whole lot of changes to make a pretty much run-of-the-mill pasta salad different. 
Course Side
Cuisine American
Keyword pasta salad
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 15 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Calories 325kcal

Ingredients

For the salad

  • 1 pound elbow macaroni or whatever pasta you prefer
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese diced
  • ½ cup celery diced
  • ½ cup onion diced
  • 1 small green bell pepper diced
  • ¼ cup pimento-stuffed green olives halved

For the dressing

Instructions

  • Place all of the salad ingredients into a large bowl or resealable container.
  • Whisk together the dressing ingredients and pour over the salad. Toss gently to coat.
  • Cover and refrigerate for 2-3 hours before serving

Nutrition

Calories: 325kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 18mg | Sodium: 430mg | Potassium: 226mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 395IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 94mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional values are approximate.

Easy Creole Meatloaf

There’s one rule I have about meatloaf: the veggies have to be chunky. I want some crunch to offset what is essentially a large brick-of-meat. Nothing wrong with a brick of meat, but put some nice chunky vegetables in it. This easy Creole meatloaf hit the spot and it definitely did not break my meatloaf rule. Chunky vegetables everywhere, in every bite. Great flavor. Moist. And just a hint of spiciness.

Easy Creole Meatloaf

Its Chunky. As In Good-N-Chunky.

Now, I will say that leftover super chunky easy Creole meatloaf does make for a pretty messy sandwich. But then, who really sits around dreaming of a nice, neat leftover meatloaf sandwich? Not me. It is not something to be ashamed of if you have to go open-faced with your meatloaf sandwich.

Grab a meatloaf pan, some ingredients, and get to meatloafing!

Also try my Cajun meatloaf and my copycat of the meatloaf from Cracker Barrel.

Easy Creole Meatloaf
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5 from 1 vote

Easy Creole Meatloaf

his easy Creole meatloaf hit the spot and it definitely did not break my meatloaf rule. Great flavor. Moist. And just a hint of spiciness.
Course Main
Cuisine American
Keyword meatloaf
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 353kcal
Author Mike

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Spray a 9″ x 13″ baking dish with non-stick spray.
  • Place the bread in a large bowl and add the milk. Let soak for a few minutes.
  • Add the remaining ingredients to the bread except for half of the ketchup and combine well.
  • Form into a loaf in the baking dish.
  • Spread the remaining ketchup over the top of the meatloaf.
  • Bake, covered, for 45 minutes.
  • Remove cover and bake for an additional 30 minutes.
  • Let stand 5 -10 minutes before slicing.

Nutrition

Calories: 353kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 122mg | Sodium: 202mg | Potassium: 446mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 364IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 72mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutritional values are approximate.

Creole-Style Bean Soup

You had me at ‘okra’. I love okra. Grilled, fried, sauteed, roasted… or tossed into this Creole-style bean soup. The okra helps thicken up the broth and adds such a great flavor. All the flavors of a gumbo, along with some hearty beans to boot. Easy to make and fantastic on a cold day.

Creole-Style Bean Soup

Shrimp Now Or Shrimp Later

I don’t add the shrimp to the entire pot of Creole-style bean soup if I’m not going to eat the entire batch at once. Reheated shrimp are not my favorite thing. They get too tough. Instead, I transfer some of the soup (just enough for dinner) to a separate pot and then add the shrimp. It’s a bit more trouble but I think it’s worth it. I could leave out the shrimp entirely and still have a great soup, but it wouldn’t be the same, that’s for sure.

I like to use my good ole trusty Dutch oven to make this soup and pretty much darned near anything like it on my stovetop. It’s nice and big and sturdy. That extra weight helps it maintain and distribute heat perfectly. As an added bonus, it’s actually pretty easy to clean up too!

Also try my smoked turkey and file gumbo pie.

Creole-Style Bean Soup
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5 from 1 vote

Creole-Style Bean Soup

You had me at ‘okra’. I love okra. Grilled, fried, sauteed, roasted… or tossed into this Creole-style bean soup. 
Course Main
Cuisine American
Keyword beans, Creole, soup
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 202kcal
Author Mike

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Place all ingredients except the okra and shrimp into a large pot or Dutch oven.
  • Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and let simmer for 45 minutes.
  • Add the okra and shrimp.
  • Return to a boil and boil for 5 minutes then reduce again to a simmer and simmer until the shrimp are done.

Nutrition

Calories: 202kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 76mg | Sodium: 961mg | Potassium: 410mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 462IU | Vitamin C: 22mg | Calcium: 92mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutritional values are approximate.

Blackened Dry Wings

Visit my other site, For The Wing, for all things chicken-wing!

I love blackened chicken. I make a mean blackened chicken alfredo dish. Being that I’ve been on a major chicken wing kick lately (ever since discovering dry wings), I wanted to  get that great blackened seasoning flavor on a wing. And I did. Oh, did I. Blackened dry wings are truly a great thing. Spicy, with hints of onion and garlic. Great eats. I found myself licking all the seasoning off my fingers and still craving more. If you haven’t tried dry wings (they are wings without any sauce) you really need to stop reading right now and make some.

Blackened Dry Wings

This is one time I was not shy with the seasoning on my wings. I usually like to be a little light, just so I can still taste the chicken. But blackened seasoning has to be over-the-top. It can’t be done lightly or there just isn’t any point to it. I love dry wings. For a another variation try my garlic Sriracha dry wings.

I absolutely love chicken wings, cooked any way, with any sauce (or without). I love them so much that I created a free eCookbook that is full of my favorite wing recipes.

Blackened Dry Wings
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5 from 1 vote

Blackened Dry Chicken Wings

Being that I’ve been on a major chicken wing kick lately (ever since discovering dry wings), I wanted to  get that great blackened seasoning flavor on a wing. And I did. Oh, did I. Blackened dry wings are truly a great thing. Spicy, with hints of onion and garlic.
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Keyword dry, wings
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 292kcal
Author Mike

Ingredients

For the wings

Instructions

For the wings

Nutrition

Calories: 292kcal | Protein: 22g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 94mg | Sodium: 800mg | Potassium: 191mg | Vitamin A: 180IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional values are approximate.

Slow Cooker Delta Sausage

Two bites into the slow cooker Delta shrimp I made the other day and I already knew I was going to make it again, but this time with sausage. Not that the shrimp version wasn’t absolutely fantastic, oh no. The vegetable mixture has such tremendous flavor, still a tad bit crunchy, and is perfect with anything from shrimp to sausage to chicken.  Perfect.

I use fire-roasted diced tomatoes almost exclusively now when a recipe calls for canned diced tomatoes. They have so much more flavor.

Slow Cooker Delta Sausage

Spice It Up A Bit

Smoked sausage is great in this slow cooker Delta sausage dish, but if you can find  Andouille sausage, use it instead. It’ll add even more flavor to an already delicious meal. Oh, and if the sausage you are using is fresh, not cooked, cook it thoroughly before adding it to the slow cooker.

Also try my crawfish etouffee.

Slow Cooker Delta Sausage
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Slow Cooker Delta Sausage

Smoked sausage is great in this slow cooker Delta sausage dish, but if you find  Andouille sausage, use it instead. It’ll add even more flavor to an already delicious meal. 
Course Main
Cuisine American
Keyword crockpot, sausage, slow cooker
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 15 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 476kcal
Author Mike

Equipment

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Melt butter in a large saute pan over medium-high heat.
  • Add the onion and celery and cook until starting to soften.
  • Stir in the flour and allow to thicken.
  • Slowly add the water and stir.
  • Pour mixture into a slow cooker set to low.
  • Add the remaining ingredients except for the sausage. Stir and cook for 3 1/2 hours. If the sauce gets too thick add a bit more water and stir.
  • Meanwhile, heat a splash of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and brown lightly.
  • Transfer to the slow cooker and cook another 30 minutes.
  • Server over cooked rice.

Nutrition

Calories: 476kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 37g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 96mg | Sodium: 1647mg | Potassium: 611mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 1586IU | Vitamin C: 33mg | Calcium: 71mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutritional values are approximate.

Slow Cooker Delta Shrimp

The sauce on these slow cooker Delta shrimp is absolutely incredible. It’s another example of how simple Cajun-inspired ingredients can produce a fantastic dish. Although I used large Louisiana shrimp, you can easily substitute sliced Andouille  sausage or chopped chicken pieces.

Slow Cooker Delta Shrimp

Canned Tomatoes Work In A Pinch

The original recipe for slow cooker Delta shrimp called for fresh, diced tomatoes, which are definitely not in season here right now. So I substituted the next-best-thing: canned fire-roasted diced tomatoes. They add much more flavor to the sauce than just ‘regular ole’ tomatoes. I recommend substituting fire-roasted tomatoes into any dish that calls for tomatoes if you can’t find fresh.

Also try my slow cooker Delta sausage.

Slow Cooker Delta Shrimp
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4 from 1 vote

Slow Cooker Delta Shrimp

The sauce on these slow cooker Delta shrimp is absolutely incredible. It’s another example of how simple Cajun-inspired ingredients can produce a fantastic dish.
Course Main
Cuisine American
Keyword crockpot, shrimp, slow cooker
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 15 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 519kcal
Author Mike

Equipment

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Melt butter in a large saute pan over medium-high heat.
  • Add the onion and celery and cook until starting to soften.
  • Stir in the flour and allow to thicken.
  • Slowly add the water and stir.
  • Pour mixture into a slow cooker set to low.
  • Add the remaining ingredients except for the shrimp. Stir and cook for 3 1/2 hours. If the sauce gets too thick add a bit more water and stir.
  • Add the shrimp and cook 30 more minutes.
  • Serve over hot cooked rice.

Nutrition

Calories: 519kcal | Carbohydrates: 83g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 301mg | Sodium: 3844mg | Potassium: 3481mg | Fiber: 20g | Sugar: 49g | Vitamin A: 3449IU | Vitamin C: 185mg | Calcium: 722mg | Iron: 19mg

Nutritional values are approximate.

Creole Bologna on the Char-Broil Big Easy

Why didn’t I think of this before? How could I not have known just how fantastic a bologna chub would be when roasted high-and-fast on a Char-Broil Big Easy? Well, now I’ve gone and done it, and done it good! And to make sure it was even better than I could’ve dreamed, I first rubbed the chub down with a big of Creole mustard. The mustard gave it just a little kick, a little something extra that you taste as you bite through the lovely light crust into warm bologna goodness. Yes, you need to make Creole bologna on your Char-Broil Big Easy today!

Creole Bologna on the Char-Broil Big Easy

The Best Sandwiches!

I sliced the cooked bologna thick and served it on warm buns. I topped them with plenty of good ole yellow mustard, thick red onion slices, tomato, and lettuce. It’s the best darned bologna sandwich you can have. Creole Bologna on the Char-Broil Big Easy is fantastic.

It’s as good as time as any to point out that my bologna scoring skills are essentially non-existent. You don’t have to do it, but it does give the mustard a little something to hold on to. It’s completely optional, and if you’re as bad at it as I am, it’s ok. Don’t cut too deep, just 1/4″ – 1/2″ at the most.

Also try cooking up some Spam on your Big Easy. No really. Try it. You’ll thank me.

Love your Big Easy as much I love mine? Check out my Big Easy Add-Ons page and my free Big Easy eCookbook!

Note: This recipe was developed using the Char-Broil Big Easy Oil-Less Fryer. If you are cooking using the Char-Broil Smoker-Roaster Grill you should cook with the lid open and the temperature set to High. You might also need to adjust the cooking time.

Creole Bologna on the Char-Broil Big Easy
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5 from 1 vote

Creole Bologna on the Char-Broil Big Easy

Why didn’t I think of this before? How could I not have known just how fantastic a bologna chub would be when roasted high-and-fast on a Char-Broil Big Easy? Well, now I’ve gone and done it, and done it good! 
Course Main
Cuisine American
Keyword Big Easy, bologna, Char-Broil
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 5 pounds
Calories 1397kcal
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 5-6 pound bologna chubb packaging removed
  • Creole mustard to taste (or substitute your favorite rub, mustard, sauce… you name it)

Instructions

  • Fire up your Big Easy.
  • Score the bologna as desired.
  • Rub all sides of the chub with the mustard or whatever you are using.
  • Place chub in the Big Easy basket and lower into the cooker.
  • Cook for about an hour. Keep an eye on the chub after 40 minutes. Depending on conditions it might char quicker than 1 hour. The chub is already cooked, so you’re just giving it some color, extra flavor and good looks.
  • Remove and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing as desired.

Nutrition

Calories: 1397kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 69g | Fat: 112g | Saturated Fat: 42g | Cholesterol: 272mg | Sodium: 4354mg | Potassium: 1429mg | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 381IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 386mg | Iron: 5mg

Nutritional values are approximate.

Louisiana Burgers

These Louisiana burgers are absolutely incredible. They are the best burgers I’ve ever had. Wonderful grilled seasoned beef, kick’n pepper jack cheese, a creamy remoulade, crunchy red onion and my favorite, spicy homemade Tasso that just melts in your mouth. All on homemade buns. Without the tasso these are great burgers. With it, they are amazing.

Louisiana Burgers

Every bite of these Louisiana burgers is fully of fantastic flavor. If you don’t want to go through the ‘trouble’ of making tasso, I strongly encourage you to find some. Even if you have to drive to Louisiana. It’s special. The flavors are very concentrated so you won’t need much. It’s salty, spicy and lightly smoky. Perfect on a grilled burger.

I could’ve used some Kaw-Cajun Comeback sauce on these burgers, but I went with a bottle of Louisiana Fish Fry Product’s remoulade sauce instead. It has a nice zesty taste that is also great on po boy sandwiches. You can find it in your grocer’s southern foods section.

If you love big flavors, you’ll love these burgers. Also try my spicy bacon burgers.

Louisiana Burgers
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5 from 1 vote

Louisiana Burgers

These Louisiana burgers are absolutely incredible. They are the best burgers I’ve ever had.
Course Main
Cuisine American
Keyword burgers
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 725kcal

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Fire up your grill.
  • Combine the spices and mix into the meat in a large bowl.
  • Form the meat into 4 patties.
  • Grill the burgers as desired.
  • Toast the buns.
  • Slather the buns with the remoulade sauce. Top with the burgers, Tasso, red onion, and cheese.

Nutrition

Calories: 725kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 44g | Fat: 48g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 158mg | Sodium: 1719mg | Potassium: 616mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 443IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 436mg | Iron: 6mg

Nutritional values are approximate.

Homemade Tasso Ham

I love all foods Creole and Cajun. I love making jambalaya, étouffée, gumbo, and dirty rice. To really make authentic, unbelievably tasty dishes I like to add homemade tasso ham. Sometimes it’s hard to find tasso ham here in Indianapolis, so I set out to make my own and I couldn’t be happier with the results.

Homemade Tasso Ham

A Huge Success

Not only tender, spicy and tasty, but incredibly easy to make too, the homemade tasso ham was a success. All you need is a pork butt or shoulder, a few spices, and a smoker.

The process…

Homemade tasso ham takes 3-4 days to age before smoking. I started out with an 8 pound bone-in pork shoulder. Ideally you’ll want a smaller, boneless pork butt, but that day in the market a shoulder was all I could find. Cutting the shoulder into “steaks”, each about 1″ thick, I kept the bone section and smoked it at the same time I smoked the homemade tasso ham. The bone-in section will be great in a pot of beans at a later time.

The meat is generously covered in a cure and placed on a rack in the fridge for 3 hours. It lost a LOT of moisture during this process.

Homemade Tasso Ham

Curing…

Next, I rinsed off the cure and patted the meat dry. Onto a rack and back into the fridge for 3-4 days. The meat will firm up during this time.

Homemade Tasso HamOnto the smoker…

The last day, I sprinkled the meat with rub and put it onto a 250 F smoker over hickory for about 3 hours until the internal temperature reached 170 F. I removed it, rested it, and then sliced it thick for later use in jambalaya, beans, etc.

Homemade Tasso Ham

Yummy results

The end result is a spicy, almost-hammy meat that is absolutely fantastic. Although you could eat it by itself, homemade tasso ham is primarily used for flavoring dishes.

This homemade tasso ham is fantastic in my crispy shrimp in tasso sauce and spicy corn and tasso casserole.

Also try my smoked shanks and homemade Canadian bacon.

Homemade Tasso Ham
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5 from 1 vote

Homemade Tasso

Not only tender, spicy and tasty, but incredibly easy to make too, the homemade tasso ham was a success. All you need is a pork butt or shoulder, a few spices, and a smoker.
Course Main
Cuisine Creole
Keyword homemade, tasso
Prep Time 3 days 3 hours
Cook Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 3 days 5 hours 30 minutes
Servings 2 pounds
Calories 1617kcal
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 1 4 pound boneless pork shoulder or butt

For the cure

For the rub

Instructions

  • Slice the butt into 1″ thick “steaks”, each about a pound or so
  • Combine all cure ingredients and rub generously over the pork.
  • Place onto a wire rack over a baking pan and refrigerate for 3 hours.
  • Rinse cure off the meat and pat dry.
  • Return meat to rack in the fridge and let it age for 3 days.
  • Fire up a smoker for 250 F cooking. Use hickory or a lighter wood for smoking.
  • Combine the rub ingredients and spread gently over the meat.
  • Smoke for 2 1/2 – 3 hours or until the meat reaches 170 F internally.
  • Foil and let rest for 30 minutes before slicing thick.

Nutrition

Calories: 1617kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 257g | Fat: 40g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 680mg | Sodium: 58376mg | Potassium: 4549mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 36g | Vitamin A: 2264IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 189mg | Iron: 12mg

Nutritional values are approximate.

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Creole Pasta Salad Version 2.0

Our post on a peas and pasta salad has been the most popular post on Life’s A Tomato for a long, long time. We make it often. Well, I was reading through Paul Kirk’s Championship Barbecue: Barbecue Your Way to Greatness With 575 Lip-Smackin’ Recipes from the Baron of Barbecue when I came across this recipe for Creole pasta salad. I knew it would be a hit. It has everything in it that we love, from crunchy celery, to salty olives, to a great buttermilk dressing. I made a few minor changes to the recipe and made up a big batch. Oh, how it was sooo good. It was even better the next day after the olives got happier in the dressing, giving the entire salad a nice lightly salty olive flavor.

Creole Pasta Salad Version 2.0

Don’t Fear The Leftovers

If the salad gets a little dry the next day, stir in a little extra buttermilk or mayonnaise. And then give it a good stir.

Paul Kirk’s book is amazing. I can’t recommend it enough. It has recipes for everything from sauces, to meats, to wonderful salads like this one.

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 try my Mardis Gras pasta salad and my other other version of Creole pasta salad.

Creole Pasta Salad Version 2.0
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5 from 1 vote

Creole Macaroni Salad Version 2.0

When I came across this recipe for Creole pasta salad I knew it would be a hit. It has everything in it that we love, from crunchy celery, to salty olives, to a great buttermilk dressing.
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Keyword Creole, pasta salad
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings 14
Calories 277kcal

Ingredients

For the salad

  • 1 pound elbow macaroni cooked, drained, rinsed
  • 2 cups tomatoes seeded, diced . You can omit these if you want
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese cubed
  • ½ cup celery diced
  • ½ cup sweet onion diced
  • ½ cup green bell pepper diced
  • ¼ cup pimento-stuffed green olives sliced

For the dressing

Instructions

  • Combine all of the salad ingredients in a very large bowl.
  • Whisk together all of the dressing ingredients.
  • Pour dressing over the salad and gently stir to combine.
  • Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 277kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 367mg | Potassium: 177mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 499IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 79mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional values are approximate.