Alabama white sauce

I am really, really lucky.

And by really, really lucky I mean I live about a mile away from Martin’s BBQ Joint. This is nationally acclaimed BBQ practically in my back yard!

One of my favorite things there (which is a pretty major decision; it’s all amazing) is the Alabama white sauce. It’s incredible on Martin’s smoked wings, but it’s also incredible on turkey sandwiches, meatballs, you name it. Fortunately Pat Martin shared the recipe with Garden & Gun a while back, so I get to make it at home now, too. I scale it way down to 1/4 of his recipe (see below); you can see Pat’s original proportions here.

Alabama white sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 cup mayonnaise (I use Duke’s)
  • 5 ounces cider vinegar
  • 3/4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1/2 tbsp. kosher salt (heaping)
  • 1/2 tbsp. black pepper (heaping)
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

Instructions

  1. Stir it all together (I use a whisk), then store in a squeeze bottle or Mason jar
  2. Add to everything you can think of.

Chicken Lazone

This is one of those fabulous recipes that is so simple and easy to make, but tastes like you spent a long time on it. BONUS.

It originally comes, I’m told, from Brennan’s in New Orleans; I found it here on Food.com.

The sauce is rich and creamy without being complicated, and because I used chicken tenders rather than chicken breasts, this cooks up really quickly — perfect for a weeknight meal.  I used more cream than the original recipe called for because I wanted enough sauce for the pasta too; I also added some olive oil, and some cayenne pepper for a little kick.

Chicken Lazone

Ingredients

  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 pounds chicken tenders
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/4 cup butter, divided
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Angel hair pasta

Instructions

  1. Get a large pot of water boiling for the pasta
  2. Combine spices and sprinkle over both sides of chicken tenders
  3. Heat olive oil and 2 Tbsp. butter in heavy pan until sizzling, then cook tenders till the pink is gone, about 4 minutes a side
  4. Add remaining butter and cream and simmer till sauce starts to thicken, about 5 minutes or so
  5. Cook pasta while sauce thickens, then serve chicken and sauce over pasta

Now here is my question: who is good at reheating cream sauce? Know any tricks? This is amazing the right out of the pan, but I have not yet learned how to reheat cream sauces without them separating and being weird. Who can school me?

Oven roasted cheesy sausage and potatoes

When I came across this recipe from Boy Meets Bowl it seemed simple and looked delicious, and I had kielbasa and potatoes on hand already. I prepped it all and put it in the fridge to make for my friend for supper.

I’ll spare you the details, but then there was a potato tragedy.

Fortunately, said friend had some red potatoes, and I had some bratwurst in the fridge. Supper was saved! V and I have now each made this an embarrassing number of times with varying combinations of kinds of potatoes and sausages and it is SO GOOD. I won’t name any names, but one of us might have eaten it cold in the car on the way home one day. Still good.

You must try it.

Oven roasted cheesy sausage and potatoes

Ingredients

  • 6 medium/large red potatoes, chopped into 1″ pieces (or more — can’t have too many potatoes)
  • 1 package kielbasa sliced into rounds
  • 2 slices yellow onion, diced
  • Olive oil or bacon grease
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Paprika
  • Cheddar cheese, grated

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400F
  2. Stir together potatoes and sausage in a 9×13 baking dish and drizzle with olive oil or melted bacon grease (or both — live a little)
  3. Sprinkle on salt, pepper, and paprika — just use your judgment here, no specific measurements
  4. Bake at 400 for about an hour, stirring around every 15 minutes or so, until everything is crispy and sizzling
  5. Serve covered in grated cheese

Pepperoni sauce

So when I say pepperoni sauce you either immediately think of Top Chef or you think, “Wait, what?”

Michael Isabella made this during the 2011 season of Top Chef and I was fascinated by it.  How had this never been done before? It’s brilliant, and certainly never occurred to me to make it.

I’ve made some tweaks to it for us — we like a little more sweetness in our tomato-based sauces, and I also used bacon grease instead of olive oil — sticking with the pork theme, right? But I didn’t stray too far from the original.

This sauce is fantastic on a meatball sandwich, on pasta, or anything you’d use red sauce on. I definitely want to try it with pizza soon. Love it!

Pepperoni sauce

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp. or so bacon grease (or olive oil if that sounds better to you)
  • 1/2 yellow onion, sliced thin
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced thin
  • 6 ounces pepperoni, cut into thin slices (I used Boar’s Head)
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 large can crushed San Marzano tomatoes
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 Tbsp. sugar

Instructions

  1. Heat the bacon grease in a large, heavy pot till it’s nice and hot, then cook the onions over low to medium heat till they’re very soft — a good 15 minutes or so. If you’re worried about them burning you can add a few splashes of water to the pan to help with that
  2. When the onions are soft, add the garlic and cook for 3-5 minutes or so until they’re soft — keep an eye on them because they’re easier to burn
  3. Add in remaining ingredients and simmer for at least 45 minutes, but longer won’t hurt anything
  4. Puree with a stick blender or in an actual blender till completely smooth, and enjoy!

I need more ways to incorporate this into my life. What would you use it on?

The meatball recipe

I cannot, for the life of me, remember where I originally found this recipe. It’s been saved in my Evernote for years, simply titled The Meatball Recipe, and I use it a lot. These have great flavor and never dry out on me.

It’s a great go-to recipe because it works for so many different seasons and occasions! I love it any time of year served with dipping sauces: barbecue, sweet chili, and ketchup all work great. They can be grilled in the summer when it’s too hot to fire up the oven. They’re obviously good to throw in a big batch of spaghetti and meatballs, but I also like to divide them up and freeze them in little baggies of three each so I can add them into quick pasta/tomato sauce lunches — instant protein add!

How would YOU use these?

The meatball recipe

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 24 meatballs

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp minced fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 lb 80% lean ground beef.

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425F
  2. Stir together Panko, eggs, water, cheese, garlic, parsley, seasoning, salt and pepper in a large bowl
  3. Add beef and mix by hand until just barely combined
  4. Scoop up meat mixture and gently roll into meatballs
  5. Bake on baking sheet, 1 1/2 inches apart, for 15 minutes or until internal temp is 165F

Pizza chicken pasta

I found this recipe in Great Food Fast, my favorite pressure cooker book, but it’s easily adaptable for baking in the oven too. It’s warm and comfort-food-ish without being heavy, and is very kid-friendly as well! I mean, it’s practically PIZZA. This is great served with some garlic bread or, I don’t know, some vegetables? I seem to have skipped that part. Ahem. Anyway! Try this:

Pizza chicken pasta

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 jar (24 ounces) spaghetti sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • 24 slices pepperoni
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • Corkscrew pasta

Instructions

  1. Whisk together the salt, pepper and flour, then toss the chicken breasts in the flour mix
  2. Heat the olive oil in a skillet or in a pressure cooker set to brown, then lightly brown chicken on each side
  3. Put chicken in pressure cooker dish or casserole dish and cover with spaghetti sauce, water, and pepperoni
  4. Cook in a pressure cooker on high pressure for 8 minutes, or bake at 350F in a casserole dish for 40-50 minutes depending on thickness of chicken breasts
  5. While chicken is cooking, cook pasta in well-salted water
  6. Serve chicken and sauce over pasta, sprinkling mozzarella over all of it

Notes

You can also transfer the chicken to a sheet pan, then top with mozzarella and cook under the broiler till melted and bubbling. This would be easy to do in a slow cooker as well! Just allow 4-6 hours for the chicken to cook

Help me out! What’s your go-to side dish for spaghetti sauce based recipes?

Slow cooker pot roast

I love the comfort foods of fall! By August, when it’s easily 102F in Nashville, I’m ready for cooler weather, football, and fall foods; this is definitely one of my favorites.

I put out the call on Twitter for pot roast preparations about a year ago and got some fabulous ideas which I’ve cobbled together here. The flour thickens the juice and really brings everything together; it’s fantastic. I make it in my combo cooker (affiliate link), but you can also brown in a skillet then move to a slow cooker. Either way, you’ll love it.

Slow cooker pot roast

Ingredients

  • Chuck roast
  • 2 tbsp. oil (vegetable or olive)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tbsp. kosher salt
  • 1 packet zesty Italian dressing seasoning
  • 1 packet ranch dressing seasoning
  • 1 packet onion soup mix
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • Carrots
  • Red potatoes

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl whisk together the flour, salt, dressings, and soup mix. Sprinkle over the roast on all sides, pressing the mixture onto the meat
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet or in your combo cooker if you have one, then brown roast on all sides
  3. When well browned, add in wine and vegetables and cook all day — I let mine go 8-9 hours

Your turn! How do YOU do pot roast?