Monday, November 30, 2020

Gringo Jalapeno Smash Burgers Sliders

 [FTC Standard Disclosure] We received no compensation for this post. I am fortunate to cook with the Flavor Anonymous guys at Memphis in May each year and recently they were kind enough to send me a box of their exciting rubs and seasonings.

Hungry? How about this triple-decker smash burger with bacon and layers of roasted jalapeno cream sauce? 

Jalapeno Gringo Smash Burgers on the Blackstone Griddle

Don't panic, that's not as big as it looks - it's only a slider. A slider with a half-pound of beef on it but still a slider. 

The Gringo Jalapeno sauce is a cream sauce with fire-roasted jalapeno and the Dirty Gringo rub from Flavor Anonymous. This rub has Southwestern flavors with smoky chiles that bring a lot of flavor to this sauce. I originally made it as a dip for hot wings but it also goes great on burgers.

Gringo Jalapeno Sauce for Wings and Burgers


  • 2 tablespoons butter, unsalted
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1 jalapeno, fire-roasted, peeled, seeded, and finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon Flavor Anonymous Dirty Gringo rub
  • pinch or two of salt to taste

Monday, November 23, 2020

Thai Peanut Ground Beef

 [FTC Standard Disclosure] We received no compensation for this post. Links to products used may include Amazon Affiliate links.

Asian flavors, especially Thai, make my mouth happy. This easy Thai Peanut Ground Beef recipe is no exception.

Thai Peanut Ground Beef on the Big Green Egg

The heat and tastes that the peanut sauce brings to this recipe put a smile on my face and a song in my heart...or is that my belly? Either way, we love it so much that I've cooked it a few times in the past two weeks. 

The idea for this recipe came while making The Recipe Critic's popular Korean Ground Beef and Rice Bowls recipe. 

Korean Ground Beef and Rice Bowls

It was delicious and super easy. But even still, I immediately knew that I wanted to make a Thai Peanut version of it. You can also make this into Thai Cashew Ground Beef by swapping out cashew butter for peanut butter. That's how we made it the first time; both renditions are lip-smacking good. 

Thai Peanut Ground Beef

These would also be fantastic as the filling for lettuce wraps.

Thai Peanut Ground Beef

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Fire-Roasted Spinach and Cheese Stuffed Shells

 [FTC Standard Diclosure] We receive no compensation for this post.


The days are getting shorter, which means it is time for me to start turning more to comfort food. Cheese stuffed shells are something that we frequently make when we have leftover meat sauce for spaghetti. Our base recipe is a simple cheese filling, ut it is easy to experiment by adding spinach, sausage, or other ingredients to the mixture.

Fire roasted spinach and cheese stuffed shells on the Big Green Egg kamado grill
Fire-roasted Spinach and Cheese Stuffed Shells on the Big Green Egg.

Of course, you can make these in the oven but cooking them on the Big Green Egg gives them the enhanced fire-roasted flavor.

Fire roasted spinach and cheese stuffed shells cooked on the Big Green Egg kamado grill

Here is how we make our Fire Roasted Spinach Stuffed Shells on the Big Green Egg. One tip: If your leftover meat sauce is extra chunky or "rustic," you might want to pulse it in a food processor. I think it is easier to work with a finer texture sauce with this one. 

Fire Roasted Spinach Stuffed Shells

Friday, November 13, 2020

Shaved Steak Tostadas

 [FTC Standard Disclaimer] We received no compensation for this post.

 Life has been very busy in our house. Work and home improvement projects have collided to interfere with my time available for cooking so we have been doing a lot of 30-minute meals. 

This is one that I threw together last night - Shaved Steak Tostadas. These tostadas are loaded with skillet seared steak, peppers, onions, queso sauce, enchilada sauce, tomatoes, black olives, and green onion. 

Shaved steak from Certified Angus Beef
This started with a package of Certified Angus Beef® Brand Shaved Steak that I bought at my Food City. They just started carrying this product but it has fast become a staple here for quick and easy dishes. The obvious use is for steak and cheese sandwiches but it is also great for Korean bulgolgi, stir fry, and Mexican beef dishes. 

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Bayou Grits

 [FTC Standard Disclosure] We received no compensation for this post.

These are one of the best grits I have ever had. I was in Pensacola for the Pensacola Eggfest this time last year and had breakfast at the Dog House Deli in Downtown. 

Fabulous Bayou Grits from The Dog House Deli in Downtown Pensacola
I went with Bayou Grits, over-easy eggs, and smoked Duroc pork belly.

The Dog House Deli's Bayou Grits are thick, cheesy, bold, and amazing. Chef Nathan Holler and his crew saute bacon, ham, sausage, peppers, onions, garlic, and tomatoes and add them to their cheese grits with a touch of salsa.  They are shut-your-mouth good!

My version of the Dog House Deli's incredibly good Bayou Grits.

I was smoking a pork belly this weekend and decided I would make a version of their Bayou Grits. Here is what I did, starting with the pork belly.

Smoked Pork Belly

I started with half of a pork belly weighing just a smidgen over  5 pounds. I patted it dry, lightly oiled it, and gave it a moderate coat of my NMT Southern Sweet rub recipe (from my second book, The Offset Smoker Cookbook). You could substitute a general sweet BBQ rub, like Meat Church Honey Hog.

Smoking pork belly on the Oklahoma Joe's Rider DLX Pellet Grill

I loaded my Oklahoma Joe's Rider DLX with Kingsford Hickory pellets and pre-heated it to 200°f. I smoked the pork belly at that temp for about 4 hours. I spritzed it with apple juice every hour or so. Then I raised the temperature to 250°f and cooked the belly until it reached an internal temperature of 200°f, about 3 more hours. Then I glazed it with a homemade cherry-bourbon BBQ sauce similar to my Honey Bourbon BBQ sauce.