Thursday, April 29, 2010

Asiago Cheese Grits

I had a block of Asiago that was... well... Let's just say I needed to use it up. So, I happened upon a recipe from the Plain Chicken blog that worked out just great.

You really can't find anything easier to make.

Makes: 4 servings
Cook time: 10 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 3/4 cups water
  • 3/4 cups milk
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/2 cup uncooked quick-cooking grits
  • 3/4 cup Asiago cheese, shredded
  • 1 t dried basil
  • 1 t garlic powder
  • 1/2 t onion powder
  • 1 t dried parsley
  • 1 1/2 T butter

1. Bring water, milk and salt to a boil in a large saucepan.

2. Slowly whisk in the grits.

3. Cook 6-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thick.

4. Remove from heat and stir in remaining ingredients. Season to taste.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Bacon and Cheddar Fattie

We did this remake of our bacon and cheddar fattie. The original one was ok, but needed a little... sprucing up. It took about 1 1/2 cups of fresh shredded Tillamook sharp cheese and 3 or so slices of bacon to make this. This time we packed the stuffing a little bit tighter. It came out great!

I think the next time we make this it might need a little diced jalapeño in it...

Green Lightning Shrimp

I caught this on an old episode of BBQ University by Steven Raichlen. Every time I watch that show I get grill envy. Steven has the best toys.

These shrimp have a nice kick, with a good citrus flavor to boot. Just perfect. I made a few changes to the original recipe, but not much.

Makes: 4-6 servings
Prep time: 60 minutes
Cook time: 5-6 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 2 pounds shrimp, 16-20, deveined
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 8 jalapeños, seeded and chopped
  • 6-8 green onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 t salt
  • 1 t black pepper
  • 1 t ground cumin
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 stick butter

1. Soak some bamboo skewers in water for about 20-30 minutes.

2. Put the shrimp on the skewers and place in a glass dish.

3. In a blender, place all but 3 T of the cilantro, the jalapeños, green onions, chopped garlic, salt, pepper, and cumin and puree. While pureeing, add the olive oil and lime juice. Pour over the shrimp. Marinade for 30 minutes, turning several times.

4. Melt the butter in a small saucepan and add the remaining 3 T of cilantro and the minced garlic. Cook until sizzling, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat and keep warm.

5. Place shrimp on grill and cook 1-3 minutes per side, basting with the butter mixture, until done.

6. Serve with lime wedges, if desired.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Chili Dog Sauce

This sauce really can be used for just about anything. Put it on burgers, or even on a bun by itself. It's almost like a Sloppy Joe topping.

We both really liked this. We had it over grilled quarter pounder dogs, topped with melted Tillamook sharp cheddar. Good stuff!

I found the original recipe in Dr. BBQ's BBQ All Year Long. I picked up a copy at a book outlet in Edinburgh, IN. I highly recommend this book. It is full of great grilling recipes, from sides, to meats, to sauces and everything in between.

Makes: 10-12 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 T sugar
  • 1 T prepared yellow mustard
  • 1 T dried minced onion
  • 2 t chile powder
  • 1 t Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/2 t celery seed
  • 1/2 t ground cumin
  • 1/2 t black pepper

1. Brown the beef over medium-high heat in a skillet. When half done, add the onions. When nearly done, add in the garlic.

2. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.

3. Simmer for 15 minutes, uncovered.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sausage Balls and Mini Pigs-In-A-Blanket

These are more hors d'oeuvres from Anita's birthday party. Sure, the pigs in a blanket are your usual recipe, so to kick them up I served them with some hot and spicy Grandma Foster's BBQ sauce.

The sausage balls were served with a mustard dipping sauce and BBQ sauce for dipping.

For the Sausage Balls:

Makes: 40 sausage balls
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10-15 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 1 lb bulk sausage
  • 1 (10 oz) sharp cheddar cheese, grated (I used Tillamook)
  • 2 cups Bisquick baking mix

1. Let cheese and sausage come to room temperature.

2. Mix all ingredients. The mixture will be very dry.

3. Preheat oven to 400 F.

4. Line two cookie sheets with foil and spray with oil spray.

5. Bake in oven for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown. Drain if needed.

For the Pigs-In-A-Blanket:

Makes: 24-30 pigs
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 1 package Little Smokies sausage
  • 1 package Crescent Rolls
  • Parmesan cheese to taste, optional
  • Garlic salt to taste, optional

1. Preheat oven according to crescent rolls package.

2. Unroll dough but leave intact 2 triangles, forming a rectangle. Pinch the seam between the two triangles.

3. Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into 5 strips lengthwise. Then, cut cross-wise into 10 strips.

4. Roll each strip around a sausage and place in a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with non-stick spray.

5. Sprinkle with garlic salt and cheese, if desired.

6. Bake 10-15 minutes or until dough is browned.

Chicken Garlic Bites and Roast Beef Horseradish Pinwheels

These are some hors d'oeuvres we made a while back for Anita's birthday. They are both easy and tasty. Next time I'll try and roll the pinwheels a little tighter for a better presentation.

The chicken bites were served with mustard, BBQ, and Ranch dressing for dipping.

For the Chicken Garlic Bites:

Makes: 16 servings
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 t pepper
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 t cayenne pepper

1. Place chicken in shallow dish.

2. In a small bowl, mix the oil, garlic, and black pepper. Pour over chicken, cover, and marinate in fridge for 30 minutes.

3. Preheat oven to 475 F.

4. Mix bread crumbs and cayenne in a shallow dish. Coat the chicken bites.

5. Arrange chicken on a cookie sheet and bake 10 minutes or until brown.

For the Roast Beef Horseradish Spirals:

Makes: 36 spirals
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes - 1 day
Printable Recipe


  • 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 T prepared horseradish, well drained
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/4 t garlic powder
  • 8 oz deli roast beef, sliced thin
  • 2 10" flour tortillas

1. Combine the first six ingredients.

2. Spread half of the mixture on each of the tortillas.

3. Top each tortillas with the roast beef, leaving a 1/2" border around the edges.

4. Roll up the tortillas and wrap tightly with plastic wrap.

5. Refrigerate until firm, 30 minutes to 1 day.

6. Cut diagonally into 1/2" slices and serve.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Creamy Olive Soup

Anita loves olives, so when I ran across this recipe on the Mangos, Chili and Z blog I had to make it.

I added a few more olives than this recipe calls for.

Makes: 6 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 4 T butter
  • 1/4 cup onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup celery, diced
  • 1/4 cup carrot, diced
  • 5 T all purpose flour
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 1/2 cups half and half
  • 1/2 cup cooked rice
  • 1/4 cup black olives, sliced
  • 1/4 cup pimento-stuffed green olives, sliced
  • 1/4 cup frozen peas
  • 2 cups cooked chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces

1. Melt butter in large pot.

2. Saute the onion, celery and carrot until softened.

3. Slowly add the flour while stirring.

4. Slowly add the broth while stirring. Continue stirring until the flour is dissolved.

5. Add the wine and simmer for 20 minutes.

6. Add in the half and half and lower heat to a simmer.

7. Add the rice, olives, peas, and chicken. Heat thoroughly but do not boil.

8. Add salt and white pepper to taste.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Shrimp-Stuffed Phyllo Cups

We made these a few weeks ago for a get-together at my SILs. Everyone enjoyed them!

And even better, they are super easy to make. The original recipe says this makes only 15 servings, but I was able to get 30 out of it without any problem.

Makes: 15-30 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 2 cups shrimp, cooked, peeled and finely diced (about 1 pound)
  • 1/2 cup celery, diced
  • 1 T green onion, minced
  • 1 1/2 T fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/4 t pepper
  • 2 (15 count) packages frozen phyllo shells, thawed

1. Combine shrimp, celery and green onion in a bowl.

2. In a separate bowl, combine the lemon juice, mayo, salt and pepper.

3. Pour the liquid mixture over the shrimp and stir gently.

4. Spoon into phyllo cups and serve.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Corn Creole

This is my adaptation of a recipe I found on the Cajun Grocer's web site.

We really enjoyed this. I added some more heat by adding two large diced jalapeños. You can leave them out, of course.

Makes: 6-8 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Printable Recipe

  • 3 T bacon drippings
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 large jalapeños, diced
  • 2 cups cream-style corn (I substituted whole kernel sweet corn)
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 t cayenne pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 6 1/2 T pats of butter

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.

2. Heat the bacon drippings in a large pot over medium heat.

3. Add the onions and peppers and cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes.

4. Add the corn, egg and milk and cook, stirring occasionally, for another 5 minutes.

5. Add the cornmeal and stir until the mixture thickens.

6. Season with salt and add the cayenne.

7. Pour into a lightly oiled baking dish.

8. Sprinkle top with breadcrumbs and dot with butter.

9. Bake for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Roasted Poblano Fattie

I think this may be our favorite fattie so far.

I had a little cheese blowout towards the back, but it didn't harm a thing. In fact, that cheese dripped down on the 9 pound pork butt I was smoking on the rack below.

Take your standard fattie and fill it with a fire-roasted problano, (scrape off all the charred parts and chop), and add 2 cups of shredded queso blanco or queso chihuahua. If you need, substitute any good melting white cheese.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Pepper Jack Cheese Sauce

I found this wonderful, easy cheese sauce on the Nibble Me This blog.

I put it on burgers for dinner last night. They turned out great! Then, for lunch today, I put some more on a hot dog, in place of the usual mustard. Wow! I'll be making this again. You can substitute any kind of good melting cheese you'd like.

Makes: 6 servings
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 1 T butter
  • 1 T flour
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1 cup pepper jack cheese, shredded
  • 1 T Worcestershire sauce
  • hot sauce, to taste

1. Melt butter in a sauce pan over medium high heat.

2. Whisk in the flour and and continue whisking for 2-3 more minutes.

3. Reduce heat to medium and whisk in the half and half.

4. Bring mixture to a simmer, whisking occasionally.

5. Whisk in the cheese in small handfuls. Melt thoroughly before adding more cheese.

6. Add the Worcestershire and hot sauces and whisk again.

7. Reduce the heat to keep warm until needed.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Grilled Malibu Chicken

Patio Daddio posted this recipe and I just had to make it. The only change I made was to use thighs instead of chicken breasts. Check out Patio Daddio's site.

Of course, I goofed up and put the pineapple slices on upside down so you can't see the grill marks! Doh! Something that looks and smells this good can make you forget stuff like that!

Makes: 3 servings
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 1 hours 20 minutes (includes marinade time)
Printable Recipe


  • 6 boneless/skinless chicken thighs
  • 12 slices deli ham, sliced thin
  • 6 slices canned pineapple
  • 6 slices Swiss cheese
  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice, from the canned slices
  • 4 T butter, melted
  • 2 T BBQ seasoning (I use some Dizzy Pig original)
  • 2 T yellow mustard
  • 1 T honey
  • 1 T molasses
  • 2 t Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 t chili powder

1. Season both sides of each thigh with BBQ seasoning, cover, and put into fridge for at least an hour.

2. Combine the butter, pineapple juice, mustard, honey, molasses, Worcestershire sauce and chili powder in a medium bowl and whisk until well mixed. Divide sauce. (I divided the sauce so that I am using a different set of the sauce when brushing the uncooked meat versus for drizzling afterwards).

3. Bring grill to medium heat. Grill thighs and pineapple slices until seared and marked.

4. Flip chicken and pineapple and brush with the sauce and cook another 2 minutes.

5. Top chicken with two slices of ham and drizzle with sauce.

6. Top with a slice of cheese and then the pineapple and drizzle with more sauce.

7. Continue grilling until chicken is cooked through.

8. Serve drizzled with more sauce.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Grilled Potato Salad #2

I did a grilled potato salad a while back. This is a different take on it, more like the picnic potato salad you've come to expect, but with a kick.

We would make this again in a minute. It really is great.

This is based on a recipe by the Neelys.

Makes: 4 servings
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Printable Recipe

Ingredients for the salad:

  • 6 red potatoes, par-boiled and cut into quarters
  • 3 t olive oil
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/4 t black pepper
  • 2 t red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 sweet onion, sliced thinly
  • 2 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • Chives or parsley for garnish

Ingredients for the dressing:

  • 1/4 t stone-ground mustard
  • 1/4 cup mayo
  • 2 t red wine vinegar

1. Preheat grill to medium.

2. Place potatoes in a large bowl and drizzle with oil.

3. Add salt and pepper and red pepper flakes. Combine well.

4. Put the potatoes on the grill and cook for 3-5 minutes.

5. Flip and grill another 3-5 minutes. Remove from grill and place into large bowl.

6. Add the sweet onion and bacon.

7. To make the dressing, combine all ingredients and whisk together.

8. Drizzle with dressing and garnish with chives or parsley.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Apple Breakfast Fattie

Anita came up with this one. I have to admit I was a little skeptical at first, but it actually came out really tasty!

Just make your standard fattie. For the filling, put in a few tablespoons of apple pie filling. Top that with a tablespoon or two of maple syrup. Seal up and smoke!


Thursday, April 8, 2010

Bacon Bakers

The idea from these came from my bud, Chez John's, Front Porch and from a post Patio Daddio did on MOABs (Mother of All Bakers).

Next time you do up a baker, just wrap it in bacon first.

I tried it two different ways. The first, one the left, I just wrapped in bacon and the second I did in a bacon weave. Chez John skinned his taters first. I didn't. Why? Well, because I wanted to be different, that's why!

Also, because of all the bacon grease, I'd recommend baking your taters on a rack so that your potatoes don't soak it all up. Well, unless you want that.

Out of the oven, the weave looked awesome! I used a nice, thick cut apple wood smoked bacon.

Slice down the middle and squeeze in the ends to open them up, then add your favorite toppings.

Which is better? Well, actually the baker just wrapped in bacon versus the weave. The bacon understandably cooked better since it's not so overlapped. That's not to say the weave wasn't good, trust me.

It's like having your bacon bits on the outside of your potato instead of inside!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Carrot Popsicles

Yes, this is a take-off on the okra popsicles we had the other night.

And let me say, these are outstanding! The carrot flavors just pop! So good!

Makes: 2 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 4 carrots, approximately all the same size, peeled
  • 1 T butter, melted
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 skewers

1. Bring enough water to boil in a large sauce pan to cover the carrots.

2. Add carrots and slow boil until fork tender, about 10 minutes. The larger the carrots the longer this will take.

3. Remove from water and let cool enough to skewer.

4. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

5. Grill over medium high heat until soft. Remove and eat like popsicles.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Stuffed Avocado Salad

I admit, I kind of got ahead of myself when I made this. Not that it wasn't good, it was fantastic. It's just that tomatoes aren't in season yet, so I had to use a few hot house 'maters. I was jonesin' pretty bad for a good summery salad. A long winter will do that to you.

I'll make this again once the local tomatoes are in season. The original recipe came from here.

Makes: 4 servings
Prep time: 5 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 2/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 medium red onion, chopped
  • 2 T fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 T red wine vinegar
  • 1 t dried oregano
  • 2 large avocados, halved and pitted

1. Mix all ingredients except the avocados in a bowl.

2. Add salt and pepper to taste.

3. Spoon into avocado halves.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Grilled Okra Popsicles

I'm a big fan of okra.

This is the first time I put okra on skewers and grilled it, and I have to say it was one of the best tastes ever. I got the idea for these from an episode of the BBQ University, but I cannot find an actual reference to the recipe online. Whenever I post a recipe, whether I'm using one verbatim or my own adaptation of it, I will post the link if I can find it.

Makes: 3-4 servings
Cook time: 10 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 1 pound fresh okra
  • 2 T butter, melted
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Skewers

1. Skewer the okra. Baste with butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

2. Grill over medium high heat until starting to blacken or bubble, about 5-7 minutes.

3. Eat right from the skewers.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Bacon Salt Popcorn

We were looking for a little snack this afternoon, so I threw this one together. You could use microwave popcorn if you wish, but make sure to get one that has no flavorings added.

Makes: 4-6 servings
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes


1. Heat oil in your popcorn popper (I love the Whirley Pop) and add and cook the popcorn per manufacturer's directions.

2. In a small skillet (or in the microwave), melt the butter. Sprinkle in 3-4 good shakes of bacon salt (more or less, to taste) and whisk well.

3. Place the popcorn in a large serving bowl. Drizzle with bacon salt butter mixture and mix well. Serve.

Grilled Cabbage with Kielabasa (aka cabbasa)

It may look a little different, but this grilled cabbage was fantastic! We will definitely be making this again soon!

We used Grandma Foster's BBQ sauce, but you can substitute your favorite. And if you don't have kielbasa, just use bacon (you'll want to cook it to almost done first).

I originally saw this on an episode of BBQ University with Steven Raichlen. I believe he used bacon in the show, but the recipe on his web site uses kielbasa.

Makes: 4 servings
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 1 - 1 1/2 hours
Printable Recipe


  • 1 medium-sized head of cabbage, about 2 pounds
  • 3 T butter
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 oz kielbasa, diced into 1/4" cubes (about 1/2 cup or 3" of the sausage)
  • 1/4 cup BBQ sauce

1. Start your grill for indirect cooking. You'll get added flavor if you also add wood chips or chunks to the fire. If you're not familiar with indirect grilling, there's an explanation on BBQ U.

2. Take a 12" piece of foil and flatten it into a roll, then shape it into a ring. This will be the base to set the cabbage on so it doesn't roll around.

3. Cut out the core by inserting a knife at an angle and cutting around it, about 3" deep. When you remove the core it will look like a cone. I kept the core and trimmed it so that just the top remained to use as a cover.

4. Melt 2 T butter in a skillet over medium heat. Brush some of the butter over the outside of the cabbage.

5. Add the onion, garlic and kielbasa to the skillet and brown, 3-5 minutes.

6. Spoon the mixture into the cabbage and cover with BBQ sauce and 1 more T of melted butter.

7. Season with salt and pepper and put the core top back in place, if desired.

8. Grill over indirect heat for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. You can check for doneness using a skewer. If the skewer can be inserted through the cabbage with only some resistance, it is done.

9. Remove from grill and cut into 4 wedges and serve.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Hot Dog Salad

At first you might think that this just can't work. But, it's basically just a deconstructed Chicago hot dog. It's very good. Use good, large all-beef hot dogs for the best results.

The original recipe came from here.

Makes: 4 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 8 hot dogs
  • 1/4 cup yellow mustard
  • 2 T vinegar
  • 1 t sugar (I used Splenda)
  • 3 T oil
  • 1/2 medium red onion, sliced thin
  • 8 oz of slaw mix (about half a bag)
  • 1 romaine heart, shredded
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 3 large garlic pickles, chopped

1. Grill the hot dogs. Let cool slightly and cut into 1" thick pieces on a bias.

2. In a large bowl, combine the mustard, vinegar, sugar and oil.

3. Add remaining ingredients and toss. Taste and season.

4. To serve, mound up the salad and top with the hot dog slices.