Pimento cheese is one of those things that does not last very long in our house. Make batch, do a quick errand, come back.. gone! It doesn’t seem to matter how much I make, it’s gone in an instant. Where does it go? Well, one place is in this delicious easy grits dish. Creamy, yummy grits with kicked up pimento cheese. You can’t beat it. Sure, pimento cheese is great on crackers or sandwiches, but in grits… oh me is it ever amazing. Always make extra.
As much as grits are a wonderful thing, the star of this show is the pimento cheese and it deserves the love and the attention it needs to be extraordinary. First, hand shred your cheese. None of that pre-shredded bagged stuff. It has cornstarch or other coatings on it to keep it from sticking. Nope, pass on that. If you’re not a big fan of shredding with your old hand-powered box shredder, get one of these. It’s awesome!
Second, make the pimento cheese the night before you make this dish. Let it get happy in the fridge, just hanging out. It’s better that way. The flavors and the consistency are better the next day.
I was in need of a good side dish for a batch my orange chicken. The chicken is crazy good, with a thick, slightly sweet sauce that has just a slight kick to it. This easy Asian slaw was the perfect side. Crunchy with a hint of sesame oil, we both loved it. The red onion added a great little heat. I used a bag of pre-made slaw mix, but you could go thru the trouble of shredding your own cabbage too. Either way, you can’t lose with this slaw.
The original recipe for this easy Asian slaw stresses that you shouldn’t add the dressing until you’re ready to serve it. We actually enjoyed it even more the second day, dressing it completely the first day. The cabbage and onion soaked up the delicious flavors from the dressing. I’ve made this several times and I prefer it that way.
I’ve made homemade breakfast sausage from scratch before. I picked up a few pork shoulders, trimmed them, ground them (twice) and added seasonings. But I don’t always have the time (or energy, really) to do all that work. That’s when my quick fix homemade breakfast sausage comes in handy.
Note: It’s not uncommon for many homemade sausage recipes to say that you should refrigerate your mixer bowl and even utensils before starting. I agree if you’re grinding your meats from rough cuts, but in this case we start with already-ground pork so I don’t think it’s necessary to start out ‘cold’. That doesn’t mean that you can’t. And it might be a good idea if you’re working in a particularly warm kitchen or area.
I use a great seasoning mix from A.C. Legg’s that I picked up on Amazon. It has just the right blend of spices without having too much sage or black pepper. I cook the quick fix homemade breakfast sausage as soon as I make it. I crumble it and freeze it in batches so I can make breakfast cups for Anita’s breakfasts during the week. You can also form it into patties. I also love smoking breakfast sausage for a fantastically different flavor.
I use a great seasoning mix from A.C. Legg’s that I picked up on Amazon. It has just the right blend of spices without having too much sage or black pepper.
Keyword breakfast, quick fix, sausage
Prep Time 15 minutesminutes
Cook Time 25 minutesminutes
Total Time 40 minutesminutes
1tablespoonbreakfast sausage seasoning mixor slightly more, breakfast sausage mix (I use A.C Legg's seasoning)
Place the pork into your mixer bowl and place into the freezer for 15 minutes.
Add 1 tablespoon of the seasoning mix.
Place onto mixer using the bread hook and mix for 5-10 minutes.
If this is your first time making the sausage I recommend that you take a small handful of the mixed sausage and cook it in a skillet. Taste it after it cools (while cooling place the uncooked meat mixture into the freezer in case you need to mix more). If you need to, add more seasoning and mix well.
Freeze or cook the sausage. You can also form it into patties if you wish.
I use a mixer to combine the meat and seasonings. You can use your hands if you wish, just make sure the meat and the bowl you are using for mixing are very cold before mixing.
A lot of restaurant signature sauces start with simple, off-the-shelf ingredients. A restaurant near us starts with BBQ sauce and Ranch, just like with this quick fix BBQ Ranch dressing, and then adds a few other ingredients (such as crumbled cooked bacon) to make it different for different dishes, such as for dipping onion rings or chicken wings. They also use it as a spicy version of their house Ranch salad dressing for well, you guessed it, salads.
This quick fix BBQ Ranch dressing isn’t just for salads, though. That’s for sure. I squirted it on a big plate of French fries. Then I dipped grilled chicken wings in it. I slathered it on hot-off-the-grill hamburgers. Heck, it’s great on wraps too!
Just make sure you start with good, quality BBQ sauce and Ranch dressing. And don’t hesitate to use a spicy BBQ sauce, or one with a bit of smoky flavor to it.
This dressing will last a while in the fridge, if there happens to be any leftover. Just make sure to give it a good shake or stir before serving.
A lot of restaurant signature sauces start with simple, off-the-shelf ingredients. A restaurant near us starts with BBQ sauce and Ranch, just like with this quick fix BBQ Ranch dressing, and then adds a few other ingredients.
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.
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!
There’s definitely no wrong way to make ‘fried’ chicken on your charcoal grill using the Vortex. I absolutely love it. For a long time I’ve been making my chicken using batter made from scratch. This time I decided to try an off-the-shelf batter mix usually meant for actual deep frying in oil. The result? Absolutely delicious, crunchy, moist fried chicken with about as little fuss and mess as possible. And no oil.
Any good fried chicken batter mix will work. It’s called easy crispy fried chicken using the Vortex for a reason. Just dip and put onto the grill. I prefer to use split bone-in chicken breasts or thighs. I recommend bone-in chicken because it will have more flavor and won’t dry out as easily as boneless.
You can use boneless chicken but you might have to adjust the cook time. When I do need boneless ‘fried’ chicken I still cook it bone-on then remove the meat from the bone when done. If you prefer to make your own batter from scratch, try my super easy Vortex fried chicken recipe. For something a bit more fru-fru, make my spicy BBQ fried chicken. You’ll quickly see why fried chicken on the Vortex is fantastic!
This time I decided to try an off-the-shelf batter mix usually meant for actual deep frying in oil. The result? Absolutely delicious, crunchy, moist fried chicken with about as little fuss and mess as possible. And no oil.
Fire up your charcoal grill with the Vortex insert. Get the coals good and hot.
In a large bowl combine 5 tablespoons of the batter mix with 1/4 cup of cold water.
Place the remaining batter mix in a shallow pie pan.
Working piece-by-piece, dredge the chicken in the wet batter mix. Shake off any excess then roll the chicken in the dry batter mix.
Transfer chicken to the grill, placing along the edges.
Cover and cook for 45 minutes, rotating the lid 90 degrees every 15 minutes.
Check for doneness (165 F as measured in the thickest pieces of chicken), remove and serve.
I’ve found that rotating the lid isn’t very necessary, specially on smaller grills. You can experiment by not rotating and checking the chicken after 30 minutes. If the pieces are cooking evenly you can skip rotating the lid.
I set out to prove to myself just how easy it can be to smoke a turkey for Thanksgiving. That meant no brining, no basting, no rubs, no oils, no injecting. Nothing. Just an easy smoked turkey breast.
I used a turkey breast that was already in a basting solution to speed things along and keep the ‘easy’ theme. Turkeys that are already pre-brined (or ‘pumped’) are common and they do save you a lot of time and hassle.
I was very, very happy with this easy smoked turkey breast. It was completely fuss-free. The skin was nice and crunchy. The meat was tender and moist. I used plenty of wood to get plenty of smoky flavor. I think that made up for the spices or basting sauce I would normally add. If you’re making a turkey for a crowd this is the way to go. You’ll have plenty of free time for other things.
I prefer to use fruit or nut woods when I smoke unless I want a heavier smoke flavor. Pecan, apple or cherry are my favorites. I used apple for this turkey.
This recipe uses a ‘pumped’ turkey breast, or one that has already been brined. The package will state ‘contains up to 8% of a solution of water, salt, spices to enhance tenderness and juiciness’. Normally I would use a natural turkey that does not contain such a solution, but the goal was to make as easy a turkey breast as possible.
Yes, sometimes I just grab a big ole jar or two of spaghetti sauce at the grocery store instead of making a big batch of homemade. There’s nothing wrong with that. But I don’t just heat it up and toss it over cooked pasta. Nope, I gotta make my shortcut spaghetti. It’s a dish I started making in my bachelor years, and have perfected over time.
You can use ground beef instead of Italian sausage, but I wouldn’t. The first years I made shortcut spaghetti I used beef. Sausage is better. Much better. And my homemade Italian sausage is fantastic. I make a batch and freeze it in one pound packages. Perfect for a shortcut dish.
I like to use my good ole trusty Dutch oven to make this spaghetti 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!
Oh, and I almost forgot! Instead of pasta, serve the meat sauce mixture on a hoagie or sub roll as a sandwich and top with tons of shredded mozzarella. It’s the perfect messy Sloppy Italian Joe sandwich. Or substitute meatballs for the sausage.
I admit, I don’t always cook up a big ole fru-fru dinner. In fact, sometimes I crave junk food. Or a take on junk food. I was rummaging through the freezer and found a batch of homemade pizza sauce. I decided to make some cheater chicken Parmesan sliders. They’re just what you might imagine: pre-made chicken nuggets, pizza (or marinara) sauce, mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses, all served on slider buns for a quick and easy tasty bites. They’re actually very tasty and kinda fun to eat. They are also perfect game-time snacks.
Make sure you use nuggets that are slider-friendly when you make these cheater chicken Parmesan sliders. Chunky nuggets won’t do well here. You want flat ones, which is why I used the nuggets from Tyson’s. Chunky nuggets to make for great crispy chicken po boys, though.
Turkey roasts from Butterball are a really great way to cook up turkey in no time at all. They’re pretty much no-fuss. Defrost, season, cook, eat. The roasts are already brined, so you don’t have to mess with that either. That’s what makes this easy turkey roast on the Char-Broil Big Easy so … easy!
Let’s get started!
In keeping with the easy theme, I decided to cook a roast on my Char-Broil Big Easy. It was my first time (I usually cook full turkeys or bone-in turkey breasts), and I have to say, wow, that was easy! I literally just put a seasoned defrosted roast in the cooker and went away for 45 minutes. I came back to dinner. Well, ok, almost dinner. I made a batch of my delicious (and also easy) Cajun gravy, some stuffing, and green beans. Then I had dinner.
Nice and juicy!
You don’t have to worry about this turkey roast drying out on the Char-Broil Big Easy. Just like with all other things poultry, the Big Easy cooks the roast up evenly and without losing all those great juices.
Seasoned to perfection!
I seasoned the roast with my Fire-Eater rub, which might not be for everyone, and is definitely not ‘Thanksgivingy’. Substitute your favorite seasoning. Salt and pepper are great by themselves, so no need to use anything fancy. I also made another turkey roast a few days later that I first injected with Texas butter (any injectable butter-based sauce will do). It was really fantastic too! Whole chicken is just as easy, too.
Looking for the perfect dessert to cook in the Big Easy? Try my mini pumpkin cheesecakes. They also take only minutes to cook (they do need to chill before serving), but boy, are they ever fantastic!
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.
In keeping with the easy theme, I decided to cook a roast on my Char-Broil Big Easy. It was my first time (I usually cook full turkeys or bone-in turkey breasts), and I have to say, wow, that was easy!