Southwestern BBQ Sauce

The simple addition of a few chipotles in adobo sauce to what is normally just a great regular-ole tomato-based BBQ sauce really makes for a totally different, utterly fantastic sauce for ribs, chicken, pulled pork… you name it. Chipotles (smoke-dried jalapenos) are one of my favorite things. I love the combination of heat and smokiness. They’re perfect for things like this southwestern BBQ sauce.

Southwestern BBQ Sauce

Smoky Spicy Deliciousness

I rubbed down a rack of St. Louis-style ribs with homemade Cajun seasoning. Then I smoked it for 6 hours until the meat was nice and tender.  I then brushed on some of this great southwestern BBQ sauce let the ribs smoke for another 15 minutes, just long enough to set the sauce up just a bit. It’s not a thin sauce, and it’s not a thick sauce. I’d call it just the right consistency for things like ribs. You know you’re going to get messy eating them, but there’s no reason to drown in the sauce or to have it all just roll off the ribs and down your arms.

I like to keep my sandwich sauces in squirt bottles. It’s fun to squirt sauces onto sandwiches or well, just about anything.

Also try my strawberry chipotle BBQ sauce.

Southwestern BBQ Sauce
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5 from 1 vote

Southwestern BBQ Sauce

The simple addition of a few chipotles in adobo sauce to what is normally just a great regular-ole tomato-based BBQ sauce really makes for a totally different, utterly fantastic sauce for ribs, chicken, pulled pork… you name it.
Course Sauce
Cuisine American
Keyword BBQ, sauce, southwestern
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 cups
Calories 226kcal

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
  • Add the onions and saute until starting to soften, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and the chipotles and cook for 1 minute.
  • Deglaze the pan with the vinegar and lime juice.
  • Reduce heat and simmer until the liquid is reduced by half.
  • Add the adobo sauce, tomato sauce, molasses, mustard, bay leaves and salt.
  • Increase heat and bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and continue simmering, stirring often, for 15-20 minutes or until the sauce is the desired thickness.
  • Remove from heat and let cool slightly before straining through a fine-mesh strainer.

Nutrition

Calories: 226kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1799mg | Potassium: 1524mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 45g | Vitamin A: 1647IU | Vitamin C: 23mg | Calcium: 139mg | Iron: 5mg

Nutritional values are approximate.

Southwest Wraps

My wife and I took a little day trip over to Springfield, Ohio. We love visiting the Heart of Ohio Antique Center. It’s one of our favorite antique malls. And although there’s a nice little cafe in the mall, we decided to pack a lunch. Besides some Kaw-Cajun 4 bean salad and chips, I made a few of these southwest wraps. They’re the perfect picnic: spicy, tasty, and different than the usual boring sandwich. Tomatoes, black beans, corn, cilantro, turkey, habanero cheese and spicy Ranch dressing, all inside a habanero wrap. Definitely not boring.

Southwest Wraps

The Dressing Makes These Wonderful

The spicy Ranch dressing I made for these Southwest wraps is really great stuff. I also use it on sandwiches, hamburgers, and hot dogs. It definitely has a little kick. I keep a batch in a squeeze bottle in the fridge. It’s perfect for any time I want something with a little bite.

Also try my crab salad wraps.

Southwest Wraps
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Southwest Wraps

Make these for perfect picnic: spicy, tasty, and different than the usual boring sandwich.
Course Main
Cuisine American
Keyword southwestern, wraps
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 98kcal
Author Mike

Ingredients

For the Spicy Ranch Dressing (you’ll have plenty leftover for other dishes)

For the wraps

  • 1 15 ounce black beans rinsed, drained
  • 1 14 ounce sweet corn drained
  • 2 Roma tomatoes chopped
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro chopped
  • ½ red onion chopped
  • 8 habanero wraps
  • Turkey sandwich meat
  • lettuce Red or green leaf
  • Spicy Ranch dressing
  • Habanero cheese slices

Instructions

For the Spicy Ranch Dressing

  • Combine all ingredients. Refrigerate until ready to use.

For the wraps

  • Combine the beans, corn, tomatoes, cilantro and onion in a bowl and mix gently.
  • Lay out the wraps. Assemble the wraps by stacking the ingredients on one half of the wrap (so you can then roll it up.
  • Add the sandwich meat first, This will help keep the wrap from getting soggy.
  • Add the lettuce and a tablespoon or so of the dressing.
  • Spoon on a few tablespoons of the bean and corn mixture.
  • Add the cheese and wroll up the wrap.

Nutrition

Calories: 98kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 255mg | Potassium: 106mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 317IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional values are approximate.

Spicy Tex-Mex Party Mix

I’ve made a lot of snack mixes in my time. Traditional ones. Sweet ones. Savory ones. Sour cream and onion ones. Cajun ones. Italian-ish ones. And now, this most awesome spicy Tex-Mex party mix. Quick and easy to make.

Spicy Tex-Mex Party Mix

Bold. And Crunchy.

I really prefer our homemade taco seasoning in this spicy Tex-Mex party mix over the store bought stuff in the little packets, and not just because it’s so much cheaper to make. When you make the seasoning from scratch you can control how fine or coarse it is. For this party mix I wanted a little texture from the seasoning so I didn’t grind it for very long. There’s a lot of big things in the bowl. I didn’t want the seasoning to get lost in there.

You can also substitute your favorite Chex cereal for the cereal. Or use a combination of your favorite ones!

Also try my southwestern snack mix. Less kick, great flavor.

Spicy Tex-Mex Party Mix
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Spicy Tex-Mex Party Mix

I’ve made a lot of snack mixes in my time. Traditional ones. Sweet ones. Savory ones. Sour cream and onion ones. Cajun ones. Italian-ish ones. And now, this most awesome spicy Tex-Mex party mix. Quick and easy to make.
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Southwestern
Keyword Chex mix, spicy
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Calories 464kcal
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 2 ½ cup peanuts roasted
  • 2 ½ cup pretzels
  • 3 cups corn chips
  • 3 cups mini shredded wheat cereal not frosted Or, substitute Corn Chex cereal.
  • ½ cup unsalted butter melted
  • 1 packet taco seasoning

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Place peanuts, pretzels, corn chips and shredded wheat cereal into a large bowl.
  • Drizzle the butter over the snack mix and fold to coat.
  • Sprinkle with taco seasoning and mix to coat.
  • Spread out on a baking sheet (or two) and bake for 10 minutes.
  • Let cool and serve.

Nutrition

Calories: 464kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 575mg | Potassium: 325mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 510IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 79mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutritional values are approximate.

Chicken Nacho Dip

Truthfully, I was just looking for a way to use up some grilled chicken breast I found in the freezer. I wasn’t thinking I’d found anything too terribly exciting when I ran across this recipe for a chicken nacho dip. Well, I wasn’t just sort of wrong, I was very wrong. This chicken nacho dip is fantastic. Super cheesy, spicy, and creamy. This is a great dip, best served with tortilla chips.

Chicken Nacho Dip

Rotisserie Chicken Is Great Too

If you don’t have grilled (or smoked) chicken on hand, rotisserie chicken will work just fine too. My Weber grills and smoker make for great chicken. And I often have leftover chicken. I just save it and use it in great dishes like this chicken nacho dip.

Oh and don’t forget to warm the tortilla chips. They take just a few minutes in a 350 F degree oven. Warm chips and warm dip were meant for each other.

Also try my Jose’s party cheese dip.

Chicken Nacho Dip
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Chicken Nacho Dip

This chicken nacho dip is fantastic. Super cheesy, spicy, and creamy. Heck, I might eat as a soup next time!
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Keyword chicken, dip, nachos
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 121kcal
Author Mike

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Place everything except for the beans into a slow cooker and cook on high for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. If the mixture becomes too thick thin with a little milk.
  • Add the beans and cook another 30 minutes.
  • Stir before serving with warmed tortilla chips.

Nutrition

Calories: 121kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 23mg | Sodium: 633mg | Potassium: 194mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 481IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 229mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional values are approximate.

Chipotle Turkey Salad

This chipotle turkey salad is one of the most amazing salads I’ve ever made or had. The addition of two simple ingredients, chipotles in adobo and cilantro, to a pretty standard turkey (or chicken) salad recipe really takes it to a new level. This is a fantastic way to use up leftover turkey from Thanksgiving. I wouldn’t just make this salad when I have leftovers around. It’s worth making any time.

Chipotle Turkey Salad

No Turkey? Use Chicken Instead

I used roasted turkey from my Char-Broil Big Easy. Any cooked turkey (or chicken) will do just fine in. You want it chunky, though and not finely chopped. Or at least that’s how I like mine!

If you’re in a rush just grab a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store and shred the meat for the salad.

This recipe is based on a recipe from Simply Recipes.

Chipotle Turkey Salad
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Chipotle Turkey Salad

This chipotle turkey salad is one of the most amazing salads I’ve ever made or had. The addition of two simple ingredients, chipotles in adobo and cilantro, to a pretty standard turkey (or chicken) salad recipe really takes it to a new level. 
Course Main
Cuisine American
Keyword salad, spicy, turkey
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 580kcal

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Mix together the chipotle peppers, adobo sauce, and mayonnaise.
  • Place remaining ingredients except for the salt and pepper into a bowl.
  • Fold in the mayonnaise mixture and add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve on sandwiches, or spoon into seeded avocado halves for a delicious salad.

Nutrition

Calories: 580kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 60g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 12mg | Sodium: 236mg | Potassium: 292mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 307IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 50mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutritional values are approximate.

Southwestern Turkey Soup

I always make too much turkey at Thanksgiving. I’m not complaining, not at all. It means I get to find new and great ways to use leftover turkey. Like this southwestern turkey soup. It’s easy, it’s fast, and it is absolutely packed with great flavors. And it doesn’t matter how you cooked your turkey, whether it be smoked, fried, baked or roasted.

Southwestern Turkey Soup

Spice It Up A Bit

For a little extra zing in your southwestern turkey soup, skip the Rotel and add a small can of diced tomatoes along with a small can of Fire-Roasted Diced Green Chiles.

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 Mexican corn soup and my great chicken noodle soup.

Southwestern Turkey Soup
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5 from 1 vote

Southwestern Turkey Soup

It’s easy, it’s fast, and it is absolutely packed with great flavors. And it doesn’t matter how you cooked your turkey, whether it be smoked, fried, baked or roasted.
Course Main
Cuisine American
Keyword soup, southwestern, turkey
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 125kcal

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
  • Add the onion and saute until tender.
  • Add the remaining ingredients except the garnishes.
  • Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer and simmer, covered, for 20-30 minutes.
  • Serve with desired garnishes.

Nutrition

Calories: 125kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 36mg | Sodium: 186mg | Potassium: 270mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 364IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutritional values are approximate.

Smoked Southwestern Nuts

Nothing is easier than smoking nuts. I use my Weber Smokey Mountain smoker. You can also smoke them on your gas or charcoal grill using a couple of added wood chunks. Smoking nuts only takes 20-25 minutes. The smoke adds such a wonderful flavor to the nuts that you’ll want to make a big batch. For a bit more smokiness I add chipotle powder to these smoked southwestern nuts. It also adds a little bit of heat. You don’t want to add a lot of smoke from the smoker. It can overpower the nuts. You can always add more with more chipotle powder.

Smoked Nuts

Not Too Spicy

These smoked southwestern nuts have a fantastic light southwestern flavor with just a little kick. That all comes from the chipotle powder. If you want more heat, add a few decent pinches of cayenne pepper. That’ll heat things up a bit!

Need more kick? Make my spicy smoked nuts.

Smoked Rosemary Nuts
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5 from 1 vote

Smoked Southwestern Nuts

Nothing is easier than smoking nuts. Smoking nuts only takes 20-25 minutes. The smoke adds such a wonderful flavor to the nuts that you’ll want to make a big batch
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Keyword nuts, smoked
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 1 pound
Calories 3486kcal
Author Mike

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Fire up your smoker for 325 F cooking over a mild wood (I used cherry). (If you are using a Weber Smoky Mountain smoker, do not add water to the water pan).
  • Pour nuts into a disposable aluminum foil half sheet pan or pie pan.
  • Place onto smoker (top rack if using a Weber Smoky Mountain) and smoke for 20-25 minutes, stirring once.
  • Place the nuts in a medium bowl.
  • Combine the remaining ingredients in another bowl and pour over the nuts. Toss to coat completely.
  • Spread nuts out on a foil-lined baking sheet to cool and dry completely.
  • Serve.
  • Store in an airtight container.

Nutrition

Calories: 3486kcal | Carbohydrates: 266g | Protein: 79g | Fat: 256g | Saturated Fat: 46g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 60mg | Sodium: 4778mg | Potassium: 3045mg | Fiber: 43g | Sugar: 143g | Vitamin A: 1367IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 510mg | Iron: 18mg

Nutritional values are approximate.

Southwestern Cheese Sauce

This warm, creamy Southwestern cheese sauce is perfect as a dip for chips or pretzels. It’s also fantastic on hot dogs and hamburgers and anywhere else you need a cheese sauce. I t has a really nice spicy kick to it too!! Next time you have a recipe that calls for that “other” cheese sauce, substitute this instead!

Southwestern Cheese Sauce

Creamy Spicy Deliciousness

I use my homemade Cajun seasoning in this Southwestern cheese sauce. It’s very easy to make. Plus it has the added advantage that I can control the amount of salt. I always keep a big batch of it in the pantry because I used it in just about everything. The store-bought stuff is absolutely fine, of course.

Southwestern Cheese Sauce
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5 from 1 vote

Southwestern Cheese Sauce

This warm, creamy Southwestern cheese sauce is perfect as a dip for chips or preztels. It’s also fantastic on hot dogs and hamburgers and anywhere else you need a cheese sauce, but with a nice kick!
Course Sauce
Cuisine American
Keyword cheese, sauce, southwestern
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 87kcal
Author Mike

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Warm milk in a small pan over medium heat until steamy. Keep an eye on it and don’t let it bowl.
  • Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  • Whisk in the flour until smooth.
  • Whisk in the warmed milk until the sauce is thick and creamy.
  • Stir in the Cajun seasoning and cheese and stir until the cheese is melted.
  • Add in the salsa, lemon juice, and salt and pepper.

Nutrition

Calories: 87kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 17mg | Sodium: 257mg | Potassium: 89mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 255IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 152mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional values are approximate.

Southwestern Whole Roasted Cauliflower

Wow, now this is the way to cook and serve up cauliflower. The flavors are fantastic, and just doesn’t get any easier to make. You can make this southwestern whole roasted cauliflower in any style you want, just substitute your favorite spices. I lean towards southwestern and Cajun flavors, so that’s what I used. A little citrus, a little earthiness, and just a bit of heat. It’s nice to have something that looks a little different!

Southwestern Whole Roasted Cauliflower

Crunchy Outside, Tender Inside

The yogurt coating forms a light crust over this southwestern whole roasted cauliflower. It’s a nice little crunchy contrast to the tender roasted insides. I was pleased with how well this cooked up. I was afraid the cauliflower would be hard. Instead it was perfect.

Also try Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Cajun cauliflower.

Southwestern Whole Roasted Cauliflower
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4 from 1 vote

Southwestern Whole Roasted Cauliflower

Wow, now this is the way to cook and serve up cauliflower. The flavors are fantastic, and just doesn’t get any easier to make. You can make this southwestern whole roasted cauliflower in any style you want, just substitute your favorite spices. 
Course Side
Cuisine American
Keyword cauliflower, roasted, southwestern
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 64kcal

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 F.
  • Trim the green leaves from the cauliflower. Also trim the stem so most of the woody part is gone and there is a nice flat surface on the bottom.
  • Note: Depending on how large your cauliflower is, and how you like yours cooked (we prefer a little bite to ours), you may want to steam or microwave the cauliflower a little first. Make sure you dry the outside of the cauliflower afterwards so that the yogurt mixture will adhere.
  • Spray a small baking sheet with non-stick spray.
  • Combine the remaining ingredients in a medium bowl. Adjust the seasonings to taste.
  • Dip the head of cauliflower into the bowl and swish it around to get it fully coated. Transfer to the baking sheet stem-side down.
  • Roast for 30-40 minutes until golden brown and starting to get tender. I inserted a long toothpick into the cauliflower to make sure it was cooked like I want it (a little al dente). Depending on the size of your cauliflower, it may take more or less time.

Nutrition

Calories: 64kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 655mg | Potassium: 292mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 872IU | Vitamin C: 36mg | Calcium: 80mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional values are approximate.

Refried Bean Soup

This refried bean soup is a rather interesting combination of flavors. By interesting I mean ‘dang good’. I thought it was great. I admit, I wasn’t sure what to think about it going in. Refried beans, yeah. In a soup? Well, it has a nice Southwestern kick, the perfect consistency and is just all-around yummy. Perfect on a cool fall day. And different.

Refried Bean Soup

Good Beans Make For Great Soup

Don’t use el cheapo canned re-fried beans when making this soup. You don’t want a cheap tasting soup. Pay the few extra cents and get a premium brand.

If you want to just enjoy some great refried beans and not a soup, follow this recipe but leave out the chicken broth.

Also try my delicious taco soup.

Refried Bean Soup
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4 from 1 vote

Refried Bean Soup

This refried bean soup is a rather interesting combination of flavors. By interesting I mean ‘dang good’. 
Course Main
Cuisine Southwestern
Keyword beans, refried, soup
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 117kcal

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Cook bacon in a large skillet. Crumble. Transfer 2 tablespoons of the drippings to a large pot or Dutch oven.
  • Add onion and celery and saute over medium-high heat until softened.
  • Add garlic and cook another minute or until fragrant.
  • Add beans, salsa, broth, parsley, cayenne, chile pepper, salt and pepper, and hot sauce. Combine well.
  • Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring often. Adjust the seasonings as desired.
  • Serve hot topped with cheese and tortilla strips.

Nutrition

Calories: 117kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 721mg | Potassium: 303mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 402IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional values are approximate.