Tag Archives: bbq

Tropical BBQ Sliders

As of late, there has been a cooking phenomenon of baking the King’s Hawaiian rolls with ham and cheese, roast beef and cheese, turkey and cheese, do I need to go on?  ..and quite frankly, I LOVE it!  I have tried them all and they are all delightful.

On that same note, stay with me…my oldest son has been on a Lilo & Stitch movie binge.  Every single night before bed, for the last 2 weeks, he requests this now somewhat old movie, at least compared to his 6-year-old self.  Fifteen days into it later, he randomly asked me if I could make “Hawaiian Sandwiches” for dinner.  Now, I wasn’t about to go buy a can of SPAM, so I got creative while thinking of those new, beloved baked sandwich recipes.  Below I give you another favorite that needs to be added to the Pinterest lineup of such.  You can make them for an appetizer, party, a dinner with a side of fries…  A super easy and fun recipe to enjoy with your whole family!

*You can use fresh pineapple, by all means, but for this I actually prefer the canned variety, as fresh is pretty tart and overpowering for this recipe.  That being said, my preferred brand is the new’er Libby’s Brand “Skinny” Pineapple…It is not canned in that heavy syrup, so it’s not cloyingly sweet.

The Starting Lineup

  • 12 ct package King’s Hawaiian Rolls
  • 1/3 cup of BBQ sauce (I prefer also the King’s Hawaiian original barbecue sauce)
  • 1 lb thinly sliced or shaved ham (I prefer honey or Black Forest from the deli)
  • 1 package swiss cheese (about 8 slices); Colby Jack is a good alternative too
  • Pineapple (about 6 slices or 1/2 cup segments)
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon (hefty fill) of ground ginger (i.e. McCormick brand)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 Tbsp shredded coconut 
  • **Optional: fresh jalapenos slices, for a savory-sweet-heat flavor

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease or non-stick spray a rimmed baking sheet or casserole dish.  Most recently, I used my Pyrex 8×11, but I have used a foil-lined & sprayed baking sheet when I made a double batch.

In medium microwave safe bowl, slowly melt your butter.   Whisk in the soy sauce, ground ginger, garlic powder and coconut.  Set aside.

With a large bread knife, halve the ENTIRE 12 (or 24) rolls horizontally, so that the rolls are still connected to each other and you have two “bread rectangles”; a bottom halve and a top half that will form your sandwich slider.

Place the bottom half of bread into your prepared bread and lay on half of the cheese, followed by the ham.  Next drizzle the BBQ sauce evenly overtop, followed by the pineapple and then the remaining cheese.  Place the other “bread rectangle” topper on top.

Whisk your butter mixture once more and evenly pour or brush overtop it all (don’t worry, it doesn’t get soggy).  **If using the  fresh jalapeno slices, I like to place 1 slice ON TOP of each roll (12 slices) and then pour on the butter mixture. 

Immediately transfer to your preheated oven, uncovered, for about 15 minutes, till the top will be a deep golden brown and the cheese is super melty.

Serve immediately and enjoy!  Maybe with a Mai-Tai or two?? 😉

TropicalBBQSliders

 

BBQ Bacon Ranch Meatball Subs

Frozen meatballs are always a staple in my freezer for easy & quick last-minute dinner or appetizer ideas.  However, most of my friends and family get stuck in the rut of only using them for Italian flavored meals, which is great, but let’s change it up just a bit!

Awhile back when trying to think creatively, something struck me when my 6-year-old son asked for BBQ (we do live in Texas and a giant smoker owns our back porch) for dinner.  Well, I hadn’t made my weekly grocery run yet but I did have meatballs in the freezer, a slow-cooker and a few jars of barbecue sauce in the pantry…change my thinking and the standard marinara sopped hoagie was about to receive a southern twist!  After a few ingredients were added and the smells were filtering through my house (did you see there’s bacon too??), I just KNEW I had a winner on my hands!  Boy did I ever!

*You can leave the bacon in strips or chopped.  Ill often do simple crispy strips for my husband and I, but the chopped is easy for lil mouths.

*I also go back and forth with sliced cheese or shredded…sliced is gooey’er but shredded works in a pinch!  I still say cheddar is best here!

*If you’d like this as more of an appetizer you can make them into sliders or just pour onto a serving dish, sprinkle with bacon, cheese and green onions.  Keep toothpicks & cocktail napkins handy!

 

The Starting Lineup

  • 1 package frozen fully cooked home-style meatballs 
  • 2 jars of your favorite barbecue sauce
  • 1 packet Hidden Valley Ranch seasoning packet
  • 1 onion, rough chop
  • 1 package bacon, rough chopped and cooked
  • Sliced or shredded cheese (i.e. Cheddar, Jack, Colby)
  • Sub/hoagie rolls, lightly toasted

BBQRanchMeatball1.jpeg

Simple, simple, simple!  First, lightly spray your slow cooker with a non-stick spray and then add in the chopped onions.  Next, add in the frozen meatballs, sprinkle on the ranch dressing dry mix and pour the bbq sauce over top.  Toss to coat.  Cover and set on low for 4-6 hours.  Yep, you’re done until it’s time to assemble the subs!

Fast forward to dinner time…….this is how I serve ours:

I preheat my broiler and line a baking sheet with foil.  I first halve the hoagie buns lengthwise and give a light toast under the broiler (watch veryyyyy carefully as it goes quick!).  Then, buns still on baking sheet, I scoop on about 4-5 of the meatballs along with extra bbq sauce onto the toasted rolls from the slow cooker.  Finally, top with the crunchy cooked bacon and then copious amounts of cheese.  Place back under the broiler until the cheese is melted and bubbly…enjoy!!

BBQMeatballSub4

Baked “Fried” Chicken w/ Alabama White Sauce

Not everyone is familiar with the wide variety of barbecue sauces that exist in this great country.  Most know of the thick, slightly sweet Kansas City style, the tangy vinegar or mustard based Carolina flavors and that damn good bold and spicy Texas rendition.  However, if you ever find yourself in the northern (or even not so north) parts of Alabama, you’ll find their zesty, tangy and a bit quirky WHITE version.  Yep!  White bbq sauce that I must admit is pretty darn tasty!!

It originated in 1925 by the legendary Bob Gibson (his restaurant is still there and busy as ever!) where he created a tangy, mayonnaise based concoction that is great for marinating, basting or dipping.  Really, every southern home should have this condiment on hand for the more traditional smoked or grilled chicken, pulled pork sandwiches or even a fantastic french fry sauce!  Give it a try..I know it won’t be your last time! 

*Their are a few renditions of the famous white sauce, but as long as you have mayo, vinegar, salt and pepper, you can add to it!

The Starting Lineup
Baked “Fried” Chicken

  • 4 Chicken Breasts, thin sliced
  • 3/4 cup Alabama White Sauce
  • 1 3/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp seasoned salt
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika

Alabama White Sauce

  • 1 cup mayonnaise 
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Creole mustard 
  • 1 tsp horseradish, prepared
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper 

Alabama White Sauce ingredients..


At least an hour before you’re planning on eating, mix up the Alabama White Sauce so that A.  The flavors can really meld together in the refridgerator and B.  You can marinate the chicken in 1/2 of the sauce prior to dredging and baking.

In a medium size bowl, simply whisk together all of sauce ingredients until thoroughly combined.  Next, in either a baking dish or a gallon-size ziplock bag, pour out about half of the sauce to coat the chicken breasts.  *Make sure not to cross contaminate here!

Cover both the bowl of remaining white sauce and the now coated chicken with plastic wrap/zip up bag.  Place in the refridgerator for at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours.  

Time to eat!!  Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and prepare a foil-lined baking sheet with a wire rack on top (you may need to spray the rack with non-stick).  Remove the marinated chicken from the refridgerator.

*This next step is optional, but recommended….In a skillet heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil to medium heat.  Add in the 1 3/4 cups of  Panko and the 1/4 cup of cornmeal.  Lightly brown the breading, stirring often, about 5 minutes.  Transfer to a shallow dish.

To the (toasted) breadcrumbs, whisk in the spices.

Take each sauce coated chicken breast, one by one, and dredge in the spiced (and toasted) breadcrumbs.  Gently press the panko on as well as possible and transfer each to the wire racked baking sheet.  It’s ok if it’s not perfect..rustic is pretty!  

Place in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, until outside is nice and crunchy and the centers are cooked through.  

Serve with a small dish of that tangy Alabama White Sauce for dipping or just pour on over the chicken!  I like to accompany ours with a side of bacon black eyed peas, a country salad and bread and butter..enjoy!!

BBQ Pulled Pork Enchiladas

Being creative has its perks!  Like when you can’t decide between spicy Mexican food or a warm bbq sandwich for dinner..decisions, decisions!

Now one my think this sounds crazy, but it’s oh so not!  The slightly spicy pulled-pork mimics south of the border carnitas and instead of the flavor of a cornbread side, you’re replacing it with corn tortillas.  Finally, the marriage of enchilada sauce with a slightly tangy and spicy bbq sauce is a winner!  Hell, I know in the near future I’ll be re-concocting this sauce for some barbecue sandwiches!  It has a great flavor that I know no one will be able to pinpoint..unless they read this of course. 😉

*You can use left over pulled pork or even shredded chicken if so inclined. 

*I prefer a thinner, spicy and tangy BBQ sauce here.  Leave the Sweet Baby Rays for your ribs, as these enchiladas need a bit of a kick..NOT sweetness.  My opinion..but believe me!

*When I was planning on preparing  this meal, I knew that I had a busy weekend ahead.  So on Saturday, before we ventured out for a full day of baseball, I slowcooked the pork.  When returning home that evening, I shredded it and placed the meat and the juices in an airtight container in the refridgerator.  The next day for dinner, I simply had to assemble and bake the enchiladas (as pork was cooked) and it took less than an hour to hit the dinner table!

*If you’re not into making your own pulled pork, you can pick up a tub from your favorite restaurant.

The Starting Lineup

Simple Pulled Pork (Slowcooker)

  • 3lb Pork butt/shoulder
  • 1 yellow onion, quartered
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce (your choice)
  • 1 Tbsp cumin
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 rounded tsp of chicken bullion 
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Enchiladas 

  • Corn tortillas
  • Pulled Pork (cooked)
  • 1 red onion, chopped (3/4 for filling/1/4 for garnish)
  • 1 can green chiles
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika 
  • 1 can enchilada sauce
  • 3/4 cup bbq sauce (I prefer a thinner, spicy one..not too sweet here folks!)
  • 2-3 cups Mexican-blend cheese
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil

Garnish (Optional)

  • Red onion, chopped
  • Jalapeños, thinly sliced
  • Cilantro
  • Sour cream 

Alright!  Now, again, you can pre-cook the pulled pork the day before (like I did) so that this is an easy, quickly assembled homemade dinner OR you can just as easily start the slow cooked pork on a Sunday morning and have this on the table by dinner time no problem!

So either way you choose, you’ll always start with the pulled pork..and its simple!  In your non-stick sprayed crockpot, place in the quartered onions followed by that pork butt!  Next, add all of the seasonings and the cup of bbq sauce.  Cover and cook on low for 8 hours! (*Once finished, continue on to assemble the enchiladas OR shred and store in an airtight container, remember to ladle in a bit of those juices too!

Enchilada time!!

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick spray.

In a large pan over medium heat, add in the vege oil.  Follow that with the 3/4 cup of chopped red onions, green chiles, cumin and smoked paprika.  Saute for 3-5 minutes.  Then in goes the cooked and shredded pulled pork, cook till mixed throughly together.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the can of enchilada sauce and the bbq sauce.  Make sure to taste as you can add more BBQ sauce if desired..I think I did add a bit more?? Haha. 

Warm the corn tortillas (in a tortilla warmer OR on a plate with a damp paper towel over top for a few seconds.)
One by one, spoon a good amount of the spiced pulled pork onto the middle of each tortilla and roll up.  Place seam side down into your baking dish.  Repeat until full.  *One or two may slightly crack..dont you worry!  They’ll be covered by sauce and cheese and will taste the EXACT same..no one will be the wiser! 😉

Pour the BBQ enchilada sauce evenly over the filled tortillas and top with all that glorious cheese!

 

Place (uncovered) in the oven for 25 minutes, or until cheese is melted and edges are browned.  Remove and let sit for a few minutes as the cheese will be molten hot!!

Serve up with the garnishes of your choice and unlike the normal Mexican cerveza you’d enjoy with enchiladas..we’re actually tasting BBQ flavors here!  So we like ours with a cold good ol Texas beer and a shot of bourbon!  Enjoy!!  

YUMMMMMMMM……..

Reuben Dog’s

Change up your hotdog game with this one!  Many people are stuck in the same rut when it comes to the ol’ hotdogs & hamburger toppings.  So move over ketchup and mustard and say hello to a mash-up of this grilling staple with your favorite deli sandwich!

 Your family will thank you, your guests at your next cookout will love you and you can give yourself a pat on the back!  *and it’s soooo easy too!! Sshhhhhhh…..

*If you’re feeling a bit more “south of border”, than please try my Sonoran Hotdogs..also a great crowd pleaser!

The Starting Lineup

  • 1 pckg hotdogs (I love Hebrew National)
  • 1 pckg/jar Sauerkraut, drained well (I love Boars Head in the deli section)
  • 1/2 pound deli Pastrami
  • Swiss cheese slices 
  • Dill pickle slices
  • 1 pckg hotdog buns

Simple Russian Dressing

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise 
  • 1/4 ketchup 
  • 2 hefty Tbsp sweet pickle relish
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

    Yes…I forgot the darn pastrami for the pic, I know.

Let this super easy recipe begin!!  Start up the grill, heat up a pan or turn on your ovens broiler.  

Next wrap each hotdog in a slice of the deli pastrami, place seam side down, continue until all are wrapped.

Simple Russian Dressing:  In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, ketchup, sweet pickle relish and the salt and pepper to taste.  Toss with the drained sauerkraut.  Cover and set aside.

Now that your cooking element is hot and ready to go, place the pastrami wrapped hotdog (again, seam side down) and brown all sides.  *once the “seam-side” is browned, it almost creates a seal so that the pastrami will not unwrap itself. 

Now if you prefer, feel free to toast the hotdog buns (or not), then place a slice of Swiss cheese down followed by the hot, browned pastrami-dog over top (will help to melt the cheese).  Top with a good helping of the Russian dressed sauerkraut and a dill pickle slice!  We like to serve ours with a batch of homemade fries or chips and a cold beer, enjoy!! 

German Potato Salad

Lesser known fact, in Germany they serve potato salad one of two ways.  If you live in the northern part, it will have mayo (similar to here in America), but if you’re in the southern region it will not.  So in honor of my German heritage I’m preparing it MY favorite way..the southern!

Now we grew up with this side dish staple at, I’d say, every single family get together ever, of all time, of eternity…and it was then and now always a hit with us and the newbies to try it.  However, much to my mom, aunts, grandmas and great-grandmas dismay I steered away from the northernn variety due to my distaste for mayo.  Given I love bacon, cider vinegar and mustard, this authentic style fits the bill for me!

*This is fantastic for a warm day grill-out with the family, as it has no mayo and won’t spoil nearly as fast!

*You can add a 1/2-1 cup of mayonnaise if you just MUST have it that way 😉  It will still be just delicious and no need to  tweak anything else!  You’ll just be eating northern Germany style!

The Starting Lineup

  • 3lbs potatoes
  • 1/2 lb bacon
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt & pepper, to taste
  • Green onion, sliced
  • Parsely, fresh, chopped  

In a large stockpot, add in the scrubbed potatoes (I like to quarter mine for faster cooking/no need to peel) and cover 1-inch over with water.  Add a liberal amount of salt and bring to a boil.  Once the water is boiling, cover and reduce the heat a bit and let sit for roughly 20 minutes, until just fork tender.  Drain and set aside to cool slightly.  Once cool enough to touch, the skins will easily come off and chop the potoes into bite size chunks.  *Personally, I like just a tad bit of the skins still.

Meanwhile, chop up the bacon and place in a pan, cook till crispy.  With a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon (when done to your likeness) to the bowl of warm potatoes.  You want all that glorious bacon grease to remain! 

 

While the bacon is cooking is when you can chop up the veggies. 

 

Transfer the sliced and diced up celery and red onion the the hot bacon grease and saute for 3-4 minutes.   


Once softened, add in the apple cider vinegar and dijon mustard and cook for 2-3 more minutes. 

Finally, whisk in the olive oil and season with the salt and pepper.  Pour this hot dressing directly over the warm potatoes and cooked bacon pieces.  Toss together careful not to smush the potatoes too much. 


Lastly, fold in the green onion, parsely and season again with a bit more kosher salt & ground pepper to taste.  (remember potatoes can benefit from salt).  Enjoy friends! 

   

Bbq Chicken Cobb Salad

A Cobb Salad is one of the most ordered salads in our great country…I LOVE them!  However, in true Carly fashion, I wanted to give it a Texas twist with an extra punch of flavor! 

This is a great summertime dinner dish that doesn’t heat the home up and can be made in under 30 minutes!  The BBQ sauce doesn’t overwhelm when mixed with the ranch dressing, only compliments, and you get a extra great crunch from the tortilla chip topping!

*You can shred a rotisserie chicken in a pinch!

The Starting Lineup

  • 2 cups cooked chicken, chopped
  • 3 hard boiled eggs, sliced
  • 4-6 strips crispy bacon, crumbled
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 bag mixed greens
  • 3 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 avocados, sliced
  • 1/4 red onion, diced
  • 1/4 green onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeńo, thin sliced
  • 1 can black olives
  • 1 cup ranch dressing 
  • 1 cup bbq sauce, divided 
  • 1 cup tortilla chips/or strips 
  • Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
     

Here we go!  First, in a bowl or mason jar combine the 1 cup of ranch dressing with 1/2 cup of bbq sauce.  Add in a pinch of salt & pepper and give a good whisk/shake and then refridgerate until the salad is complete. 

 

Next, simply rinse the produce and start the chopping and dicing of the vegetables and chicken! 

In a large bowl, add the cooked, chopped chicken along with the remaining 1/2 cup bbq sauce and toss together. 

  Finally, combine all of the ingredients into the bowl, drizzle with the Bbq Ranch dressing your made earlier and top with the crunchy tortilla strips/chips! 

  

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