Category Archives: Dude Food Dishes

Jalapeño Corn Muffins Topped with Pulled Pork and Slaw

Mini corn muffins topped with pulled pork

Mini jalapeño corn muffins topped with pulled pork and slaw.

It’s pretty much the perfect bite.  A sweet, spicy jalapeño corn muffin topped with savory pulled pork and a crispy, sweet slaw on top to refresh the palate.  Bring. It. On.  

Corn Muffin Sliders

Perfect combination of textures and flavors!

The great thing about this recipe is that you don’t actually have to make anything from scratch.  Got a great BBQ joint?  Pick up the pulled pork with sauce and some slaw.  Grab a dollar box of Jiffy corn muffins, add some jalapeños and bake in mini muffin tins.  Cut the top off those baby muffins and then top with pulled pork and slaw.  Done!  My favorite recipe for pulled pork is done in the oven and cooked overnight.  It’s more work than ordering from your favorite BBQ spot, but I personally think it’s worth it.  The coleslaw recipe I always come back to is Emeril’s.  I haven’t found a better, more delicious version! 

Turning this meal into a “mini” version with the tiny muffins makes it even more of a crowd pleaser.  It’s perfect for your tailgating party because these are bite-size and easy to manage.  The rich pork BBQ is off-set by the tiny portion, so dig in!

Beer and Pork Pairing

Pair BBQ pork muffins with a Farmhouse Saison.

Pair Jalapeño Corn Muffins Topped with Pork BBQ & Slaw with a Farmhouse Saison.  Saisons are earthy and spicy with a fruity tartness that bring together the smoky, layered flavors of these mini pork corn muffins.  The finish is crisp and quenching, a perfect companion to these savory morsels.

Bacon Bites

Bacon-licious Sausage Bites Stuffed with Cheese

Bacon Bites

Crispy Bacon wrapped around sausage stuffed with cheese

Introducing my latest edition of Tailgating Fabulous, Bacon babe reporting….

These might be illegal in 11 states.  We’re talking pieces of kielbasa wrapped in bacon and then stuffed with a mixture of cream and Mexican cheeses, sprinkled with a little brown sugar and BBQ rub.  OH yeah, baby.

When you wrap the bacon around the kielbasa pieces, the bottom of the bacon is flush against the sausage so there’s room to pipe the cheese and green chili mixture in.  You can secure them with toothpicks or put them on a skewer.

Bacon wrapped kielbasa

Once you wrap the bacon around the kielbasa, you’ll have room to pipe the cheese on top. *Pic courtesy of Egg Head Forum.

If you don’t have access to a grill, just put these bad boys in the oven at 300 for 45 minutes to slow cook that bacon– then crank it up to 450 for about 10 minutes to crisp up the bacon.  

Bacon Bites of Awesome

Warning: You won’t be able to eat just one!

Now, let’s talk beer….

Bacon Bites Paired with Lager

Pair these baconlicious bites with an American Lager

Pair Baconlicious Sausage & Cheese Bites with an American Lager.  A classic American lager has a malty sweetness that highlights the smokiness of the bacon and the savory, creamy sausage and cheese layer.  The lager’s balance of crisp hoppiness accentuates the rich flavors without being overpowering.

Bacon-licious Sausage Bites Stuffed with Cheese
Mini bites of smoky, savory, creamy delish!
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Ingredients
  1. 2 (8oz) packages of full fat cream cheese
  2. 1 package thick cut bacon
  3. 1 package of kielbasa sausage (cut into 1/2 inch slices)
  4. 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese
  5. 1/2 cup mild green chilies drained
  6. BBQ rub, brown sugar & cayenne to sprinkle
Instructions
  1. Preheat grill (or oven to 300 degrees)
  2. Cut up kielbasa and wrap with bacon. Secure with a wooden toothpick.
  3. Mix the cream cheese with the Mexican cheese with green chilies. Put in a Ziploc bag or a Pastry bag. Fill cheese mixture to the top of the bacon.
  4. Sprinkle with your favorite BBQ rub, some brown sugar and a little cayenne.
  5. Grill until bacon is done to your favorite level of crispy!
  6. *Alternately, you can bake at 400 on a tin foil covered baking sheet for 20 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking until cheese is slightly browned and bacon is crispy.
What's on Parker's Plate? http://whatsonparkersplate.com/
Chili in Mason Jars

Chipotle Chili Layered with Cornbread in Mini Mason Jars

Chili in Mason Jars

Layer chili with cornbread in mason jars for awesome presentation and convenient clean up!

I’ve been a pretty good cook for a long time, but presentation is the one part of the culinary process that doesn’t exactly come naturally.  I’m so consumed by making sure my dishes taste fabulous, that the prettying up the presenting is sort of an after-thought.  I know, I know, that goes against every culinary instinct that most chefs have– your food should look as stunning as it tastes, right?  Maybe it’s my ADD brain– I can only focus on one thing at a time, LOL!  Anyhoo, when presentation is easy, I’m all about it.  Chipotle chili layered with cornbread?  Oh yeah.  This is a brilliant way to not only make your chili look incredible, but you get to combine bites of my delish cornbread for added texture and flavor, AND it’s easy clean up.  Didn’t finish the whole jar?  Put the lid on and put it in the fridge or back in your tailgating cooler…Doneski.

I’ve posted the recipe for my cornbread before– it’s sturdy (not a muffin-like or crumbly texture) so it’s easy to cut into the shape of your mason jars.  I didn’t have a biscuit cutter, so I literally just took the top of each mason jar and pushed through the cornbread to cut out the exact shape of the jar.  

Cornbread layered Chili

Use the top of the mini mason jar as a makeshift biscuit cutter and your cornbread will be in the exact shape to fit inside.

I always come back to this chili recipe…not just because it’s won two awards, (let me just brag for a minute!)  but because it’s That. Damn. Good.  Recently, I sent the recipe to a girlfriend of mine who made it for a potluck party.  She promptly declared– and I do quote: “Oh dear God, Parker.  I’m not kidding.  That’s the best chili I’ve ever tasted!  And I live in Texas.  I’m giddy with excitement to take it tomorrow!”

I never get tired of hearing applause compliments for my recipes— mostly just because it makes my heart happy to share food, and for me, it’s sharing pure L.O.V.E.

The show-stopper ingredients in this chili are the hint of chocolate (1 Tb cocoa) and the chipotle peppers.  Once you brown all the ingredients and combine, you can let it simmer on the stove or in a crockpot on low for about 3 hours, but don’t keep it going in the crockpot all night or it will dry it out.  Just put it in the fridge and thin it out in the morning with a bit of beef stock.  I know there are a LOT of ingredients, but don’t let that intimidate you.  Aside from a little chopping and browning of meats, you pretty much just dump it all in there.  DO it.  You won’t be disappointed!

Pale lager paired with chili

Combine a pale lager with chipotle chili to bring down the heat and cool your palate.

Pair Chipotle Chili & Cornbread layered in Mini Mason Jars with a Pale Lager.  The depth of smoky spice that explodes in this chili/cornbread combination will be well balanced with a pale lager that cools and quenches.  A lighter Lager will celebrate the powerful combination of ingredients with a refreshing dryness that is clean tasting and crisp.

Chipotle Chili Layered with Cornbread
Layer the flavors (and textures) of scrumptious chipotle chili and homemade cornbread in mini mason jars.
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For the Chipotle Chili
  1. 2 pounds ground beef (sometimes the butcher will label it “chili mix”– the beef is thicker than regular hamburger meat)
  2. 1 pound spicy sausage (I use Jimmy Dean HOT sausage)
  3. 3 Tablespoons butter
  4. 2 medium or 1 large yellow/white onion diced
  5. 4-5 garlic cloves diced
  6. 2 jalapeno peppers diced (not seeds)
  7. 2 cans Rotel tomatoes (original)
  8. 1 (6 oz) can of tomato paste
  9. 1 can of red beans with juice (Kidney)
  10. 1/4 cup honey
  11. 4 Tablespoons BBQ sauce
  12. 1 Tablespoon Tabasco sauce
  13. 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (diced with seeds), plus 4 Tablespoons of sauce (if you want to cut down on the spice, omit the actual peppers and just use the sauce.
  14. 1 12 oz bottle amber beer
  15. 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  16. 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  17. 1 Tablespoon Cocoa
  18. 2 cups of beef stock (I prefer using “Better Than Bouillon” paste. You boil 2 cups of water and add 2 Tablespoons of the paste and mix.)
  19. 2 Tablespoons Cumin
  20. 4 Tablespoons Chili powder
  21. 1 Tablespoon Garlic powder
  22. 1 Tablespoon Onion powder
  23. 2 Tablespoons Paprika (Hungarian/spicy is best)
  24. 2 Tablespoons Brown sugar
  25. 1 Tablespoon Cayenne pepper
  26. 1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt
  27. 2 Tablespoons Black pepper
  28. 4 ears corn on cob, cut off cob
  29. Bunch of Scallions chopped to garnish
  30. Shredded cheese to top
  31. Sour cream to top
For the cornbread
  1. 6 slices bacon
  2. 2 cups Cornmeal Mix (not plain cornmeal! I use White Lily’s Buttermilk Cornmeal Mix)
  3. 2 1/2 cups Buttermilk
  4. 1 tsp salt
  5. 1-2 jalapeños chopped up with seeds (optional)
  6. 1 egg
For the chipotle chili
  1. In a large saucepan, brown chili meat and sausage. Do not drain.
  2. In a separate frying pan, melt butter and saute onion, garlic, jalapeno and corn until soft, 5-7 minutes.
  3. Add to beef saucepan and stir to combine.
  4. Add all the spices to the beef mixture and saute over medium heat until combine.
  5. Pour in everything else and simmer for 2-3 hours!
  6. Top with chopped scallions, sour cream and shredded cheese.
For the cornbread
  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together buttermilk, egg, salt, cornmeal mix and chopped jalapeños. It should be about the consistency of pancake batter.
  3. In a cast iron skillet, cook 6 bacon slices on medium high heat until they’re crisp and all the fat is rendered in the pan.
  4. Take out the bacon and turn up the heat until the bacon drippings start to smoke.
  5. Pour cornbread batter into the skillet immediately. (The hot bacon fat makes a decadently crispy crust to the cornbread.)
  6. Then put the skillet in the oven uncovered and bake at 400 for 40 minutes.
To layer in mini mason jars
  1. Using one mini mason jar as a "biscuit cutter" push into cooked cornbread to cut a perfect circle of cornbread to fit into bottom of the mason jar. Spoon chili on top. Repeat with a second circle of cornbread, spoon more chili into jar and top with sour cream, chives and cheese.
Notes
  1. Make sure to keep the mason jar tops-- you can simply put the tops back on to save leftovers and pop the jar into the fridge or back into your tailgating cooler.
What's on Parker's Plate? http://whatsonparkersplate.com/
Wings 2 Ways

Wings Two Ways

Wings 2 Ways

2 times the Tailgating fun with 2 times the flavor!

The biggest complaint I have (and hear) about most chicken wings is that they just aren’t crispy enough.  Most people think that the only way to get that perfect “crisp” is by frying.  That is a wing MYTH!  The key to making these wings super crispy is to simply baste them in flour (no other seasoning required because the punch of flavor comes from the sauce) and bake them at a high temperature.  Remember, the sauce goes on after they come out of the oven.  If you put it on before, the wings will be rubbery and won’t crisp up!  Just make sure you have extra sauce on the side so you can get in some extra dipping action!  And don’t forget to bring some extra napkins, because these bad boys will have you smacking your chops and licking those fingers!  The duo of flavors is just freaking fantastic– the buttery herb sauce has an Asian flair, while the more traditional hot honey BBQ is always a crowd favorite.  Crack open a cold one and dig in, y’all!

Wings paired with an IPA

Pair these crispy, juicy wings with an IPA for maximum flavor.

Pair your Wings Two Ways with an IPA.  An English-style or milder American IPA will transform these wings into a different flavor experience, complementing both the buttery herb sauce and the tangy, honey BBQ.  The IPA has a juicy, malty backbone that mirrors the tender, juicy wings. The milder malt character with spicy hops intensifies the layers of zesty, tropical flavor.

Wings Two Ways
Double your flavor with these 2 scrumptious recipes for crispy, juicy wings.
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For the wings
  1. 1 family pack of chicken wings
  2. flour for dredging
For the Vietnamese Buttery Herb Sauce
  1. 1 1/2 cups cilantro
  2. 1/2 cup Thai Basil (regular basil is fine)
  3. 1/2 cup mint
  4. 3 garlic cloves
  5. 2 Tb fish sauce
  6. 2 Tb honey
  7. 1 lime squeezed
  8. 1 stick butter melted
For the Hot Honey BBQ Sauce
  1. 2 shallots chopped
  2. 4 garlic cloves diced
  3. 2 Tb butter
  4. 1 chopped jalapeño
  5. 1 1/2 cups BBQ Sauce (I use Sweet Baby Ray’s)
  6. 1 cup Buffalo Wing Sauce (I use Frank’s Red Hot Wings)
  7. 1/2 cup chili garlic sauce (I use Sriracha Hot Garlic Chili Sauce, aka “Rooster” sauce)
  8. 1/4 cup honey
  9. 1/4 cup brown sugar
  10. 1/4 Jack Daniel’s Bourbon
For the Wings
  1. Preheat oven to 425.
  2. Grease a rimmed baking sheet with canola oil.
  3. Dredge wings in flour and put on baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 50-55 minutes, flipping over after 30 minutes.
For the Vietnamese Buttery Herb Sauce
  1. In a food processor, blend cilantro, basil, mint, garlic cloves, fish sauce, honey and lime juice. Add 1 stick on melted butter slowly until emulsified. Keep sauce warm until wings are done or butter will start to solidify.
For the Hot Honey BBQ Sauce
  1. Saute shallots (substitute a medium onion if you need to) and garlic cloves in 2 TB butter on medium heat until soft but not browned, about a minute.
  2. Add chopped jalapenos and saute for another minute.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir until well combined.
  4. Let simmer on stove top on low heat until wings are done.
  5. Dip wings in sauce after they come out of the oven and serve immediately with additional BBQ sauce on the side.
What's on Parker's Plate? http://whatsonparkersplate.com/
Mac and Cheese with Rosemary

White Cheddar and Gruyere Mac and Cheese Cups

Mini Mac and Cheese Cups

Turn ordinary Mac&Cheese into mini bites of delish

There’s nothing that says comfort food like Mac and Cheese!  I have tried dozens of variations of recipes over the years and there are 2 key parts to success:  1. Making a roux and 2. Using really, really good cheese.  Yeah, the orange stuff out of the box is easy, but a few simple steps can take ordinary Mac to Mac Daddy level!  These are baked in cupcake or muffin tins and are easy to transport to any tailgating party.  You can even make them in large quantities, freeze and reheat before the big game.  

Mac and Cheese with Rosemary

Sprigs of rosemary can add color and a beautiful, fresh touch to any platter.

Mini Mac and Cheese

For added color, pop a mini sprig of rosemary in the middle of your Mac and Cheese Muffin!

Looking for a great beer pairing?  Serve Mini Mac & Cheese Cups with a Belgian Blond Ale.

The creamy, full flavor of these Mac & Cheese cups need a beer to compliment it, so try a Belgian blond ale that is dry, fruity and lightly spiced.  The smooth malt sweetness extends over the whole palate with a balance of subtle bitterness that lingers and enhances the nutty notes of the Gruyere cheese.

Mac and Cheese Beer Pairing

Pair Mac & Cheese cups with a Belgian Blond Ale that is fruity and lightly spiced.

White Cheddar and Gruyere Mini Mac and Cheese Cups
Take ordinary Mac and Cheese to the next level with really great cheese and a presentation your guests will eat up!
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Ingredients
  1. 1 stick butter
  2. 3 cups milk
  3. 1 cup heavy cream
  4. pinch of kosher salt plus more to taste.
  5. 1/2 cup flour
  6. 1 cup gruyere
  7. 2 cups white cheddar (plus more for sprinkling on top)
  8. 1 box of macaroni
Instructions
  1. Cook macaroni according to package directions to al dente. Make sure to salt your pasta water! Drain and set aside.
  2. Melt 1 stick of butter in a large saucepan.
  3. Add 1/2 cup flour and stir until roux thickens.
  4. Slowly add in milk, cream and salt. Continue stirring until mixture is smooth, about 3-5 minutes on medium heat.
  5. Add in gruyere and white cheddar and stir until cheese melts.
  6. Pour in drained macaroni to cheese mixture and coat all the pasta.
  7. Scoop mac and cheese into greased muffin/cupcake tins.
  8. Sprinkle extra cheddar on each cup.
  9. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes until browned on top.
What's on Parker's Plate? http://whatsonparkersplate.com/
Bacon Artichoke Dip

Hot Bacon and Artichoke Dip

Bacon Artichoke Dip

Cheesey, smoky, gooey Bacon Artichoke Dip

This is the kind of dip you want to sneak downstairs for in the middle of the night and lick right off your fingers!  It’s got the smoky flavor from bacon, the earthiness of artichokes and the cheesy goodness of 2 different types of cheese– mozzarella and parmesan.  This is the kind of dip you can pop into a crock pot and take to the big game– just make sure you double the recipe, because it’s going to go faster than Odell Beckham heading toward the one yard line!  Whoop!

Belgian Witbier Pairing

Pair Bacon Artichoke Dip with a Belgian Witbier.

Looking for a good beer pairing?  Try a Belgian-Style Witbier.  The crisp coriander and citrus notes of a Belgian-style Witbier help cut through the richness of the cheese while letting the flavors of creamy artichoke and bacon take center stage.  This Witbier’s effervescence also helps cleanse the palate with a zesty, slightly spicy touch.

Bacon Artichoke Dip

Top with some extra parmesan to create a crispy, cheesy crust.

Hot Bacon and Artichoke Dip
Smoky bacon, earthy artichoke and 2 cheeses make this the perfect game day dip!
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 sweet onion
  2. 6 slices of bacon cup up
  3. 8oz full fat cream cheese
  4. 1/2 cup mayo
  5. 1 can drained artichoke hearts roughly chopped
  6. 3/4 cup mozzarella
  7. 1/3 cup grated parmesan (plus more to sprinkle on top of casserole)
  8. dash worcestershire sauce
  9. squeeze of lemon
  10. 1/2 tsp lemon zest
Instructions
  1. Saute onion and bacon together until bacon is cooked through.
  2. Combine the rest of ingredients until mixed. (Using paddle attachment on the mixer is easiest).
  3. Spoon into a casserole dish and top with extra parmesan.
  4. Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes until lightly browned on top.
  5. Serve immediately or put into a crock pot to keep warm on game day.
What's on Parker's Plate? http://whatsonparkersplate.com/
Labor Day Entertaining

Labor Day Weekend Entertaining

Labor Day Entertaining

Things to do, drink and eat on Labor Day Weekend!

Hard to believe the summer is already over…feels like just yesterday, we were talking about Memorial Day Delish!  Now that the kiddos are back in school and it’s almost time to put the cover on the pool, let’s get the party started with some Labor Day weekend entertaining ideas and enjoy these last breaths of summer lovin’!

If you want to take the “Labor” out of Labor Day, forget the cooking and order from my favorite BBQ restaurant in town, 521 Kitchen & Que, helmed by the talented Drew Kirkland.  Here are a few of his speciality BBQ dishes (and while I don’t have a pic, his kale coleslaw is so freaking good, I was literally eating it with my hands in the studio! OMG.  Scrumptious!)  Check out the perfect beer pairings as suggested by my friends at Let’s Grab a Beer!

Pair Chicken with a Lager

Smoked Chicken from 521 Kitchen & Que

If you’re serving grilled or smoked chicken this Labor Day, consider pairing with an American Lager, the most versatile of all beers.  Lagers have a malty sweetness, which will accentuate the juicy tenderness of chicken.  Bud Light has some subtle fruit notes and a crisp finish which pairs perfectly with this dish.

521 Kitchen & Que Wings

Can you smell the delicious wafting up from this hot tray of wings?

Who doesn’t love wings at a Labor Day party?  By the way, if you’re making your own, try this insanely good version I came up with recently with a Vietnamese flair!  If you’re serving hot wings, try pairing them with an English style IPA which has a crisp, zesty hoppiness.  Goose IPA is a hop lovers’ dream!  It has a fruity aroma, a dry malt middle and a long hop finish.

Pork Sliders from 521 Kitchen & Que

BBQ Pork Sliders from 521 Kitchen & Que

Pulled Pork would rank right up there on the, “if I had to pick a last meal” list.  Drizzled (not drenched) in reallllllly good BBQ sauce….The pic above is food-gasmic.  I just wish y’all could have tasted it!  Serve this sammy with a Farmhouse Saison, which has spicy notes and a fruity tartness.  It brings together the smoky and spicy seasoning of the sliders.  Atalanta, from local Orpheous Brewing has acidity and fruitiness to make it an ideal compliment.

Brisket

Melt-in-your-mouth Brisket at 521 Kitchen & Que

Everyone on set yesterday was freaking out over the brisket from 521 Kitchen and Que!  Recently, when I’ve sampled brisket from other joints, it’s been way salty and not super tender.  This brisket was smoked perfection.  It’s rich and tender and melt-in-your-mouth, just the way brisket is meant to be!  Pair this with a Bock style dark lager which has a balance of hoppiness and roasted caramel sweetness.  This bring out that deliciously smoked meat.  Michelob Amber Bock is a perfect compliment because of the dark, roasted malts.

Myrtle Beach

photo courtesy www.visitmyrtlebeach.com

If you’re looking for a last minute beach getaway for Labor Day weekend, look no further than Myrtle Beach, South Carolina!  TravelChannel.com recently named Myrtle Beach as one of the Best East Coast Beaches.  There are 60 miles of sandy beaches, an assortment of great live entertainment and family friendly attractions, world-class golf and delicious Carolina Coastal cuisine and fresh seafood.

Plus, the bonus is, it’s only about a five and half hour drive from Atlanta or a 45-minute plane ride and boom— you’re right at the beach.  This weekend, there are 2 fabulous events going on– especially enticing for foodies!

The Beach Boogie and Barbeque Festival is the Official BBQ Festival of South Carolina and is a free event that runs on Friday and Saturday. A $10 wristband gets you unlimited barbeque samples. They will also have a wing competition, a car show, corn hole tournament and other kids activities and games for the whole family.

Myrtle Beach’s annual food and wine festival Coastal Uncorked is also taking place Friday through Sunday. There will be a moonshine mixology and dessert event with a competition of local bartenders, a craft beer festival and a large wine tasting with food and local music.

If you can’t make it this weekend, Myrtle Beach just kicked off a “Relax and Unwind” initiative for the fall meant to combat stats revealed by the U.S. Travel Association showing that 40% of Americans don’t use all of their paid time off (PTO). To help encourage people to take their time off, Myrtle Beach has created some incentives for those traveling to the area this fall. Things like budget friendly lodging and attraction deals, perks for vacationers willing to temporarily disconnect from their phones at restaurants and other ideas for relaxing and unwinding in the area. There are ideas for every kind of traveler – from girlfriend getaways to family vacations, cultural enthusiasts to romantics – make sure to visit www.visitmyrtlebeach.com for all of the details!

The Great Plate

The Great Plate– and the ONLY plate you’ll ever need.

I already introduced you guys to The Great Plate last week, but it’s such an incredible product, I have to share again.  The past 2 times I’ve done TV segments with the plates, people keep coming up to me on set asking to take one (or 3!) home with them!  It really is that cool.  And, you can now order an assortment of colors and in packages of 4.  It’s shareable, it’s portable, it flies and it floats!  Check out all of The Great Plate’s incredible (and unlimited) uses here.

Watch Labor Day Entertaining on Atlanta & Company below!

 

*This is a sponsored post, but all opinions are my own!

Vietnamese Wings

Vietnamese Chicken Wings with Buttery Herb Sauce

Vietnamese Wings

Crispy wings drenched in a fresh, buttery herb sauce.

I’m a wing fanatic.  They’re always my go-to dinner when I’m not in the mood for a complicated recipe that’s time consuming and requires a ton of ingredients.  I usually lean on my fall back recipes like Spicy, Smoky, Sweet, Chili Wings, Mardi Gras Wings, and my favorite White Girl Can Cook Wings.

But last night, I was in the mood for a new recipe with different flavors.  As I was browsing the International Aisle at my local Publix yesterday, I did a quick google search on my phone for chicken wing recipes.  I came across a group of Food Network recipes and one labeled Vietnamese chicken wings, with cilantro, garlic and fish sauce as the main ingredients.  I followed the recipe but wasn’t thrilled with it, so I doctored it and added Thai Basil from my garden, fresh mint and a bit of honey.  It totally took these wings to Flavortown, y’all! 

The key to making the wings super crispy is to simply baste them in flour (no other seasoning required because the punch of flavor comes from the sauce) and bake them at a high temperature.  Remember, the sauce goes on after they come out of the oven.  If you put it on before, the wings will be rubbery and won’t crisp up!  I always serve each plate with some sauce on the side so you can get in some extra dipping action!

What I love about wings is that you can throw a party with these as the main course and then offer a variety of dipping sauces to change up the flavors.  No need to splurge on expensive protein like steak when you can rock out wings that will have your guests begging for more (and the recipe!)

Vietnamese Wings
Serves 4
Crispy wings drenched in a buttery, garlic herb sauce.
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
55 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
55 min
For the wings
  1. Family pack of chicken wings
  2. Flour
For the sauce
  1. 1 1/2 cups cilantro
  2. 1/2 cup Thai Basil (regular basil is fine)
  3. 1/2 cup mint
  4. 3 garlic cloves
  5. 2 Tb fish sauce
  6. 2 Tb honey
  7. 1 lime squeezed
  8. 1 stick butter melted
For the wings
  1. Preheat oven to 450.
  2. Grease a rimmed baking sheet with canola oil.
  3. Dredge wings in flour and put on baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 50-55 minutes, flipping over after 30 minutes.
For the sauce
  1. In a food processor, blend cilantro, basil, mint, garlic cloves, fish sauce, honey and lime juice. Add 1 stick on melted butter slowly until emulsified. Keep sauce warm until wings are done or butter will start to solidify.
What's on Parker's Plate? http://whatsonparkersplate.com/
Pig Shot

Tailgating & Beer Drinking with The Great Plate (and more delicious recipes!)

Pig Shot

One creamy, bacony bite of awesome.

Introducing my latest edition of Tailgating Fabulous, Bacon babe reporting….

These might be illegal in 11 states.  We’re talking pieces of kielbasa wrapped in bacon and then stuffed with a mixture of cream and Mexican cheeses, sprinkled with a little brown sugar and BBQ rub.  OH yeah, baby.

When you wrap the bacon around the kielbasa pieces, the bottom of the bacon is flush against the sausage so there’s room to pipe the cheese and green chili mixture in.  You can secure them with toothpicks or put them on a skewer.

Bacon wrapped kielbasa

Wrap bacon around the kielbasa, and you’ll have room to pipe the cheese on top. *Pic courtesy of Egg Head Forum.

If you don’t have access to a grill, just put these bad boys in the oven at 300 for 45 minutes to slow cook that bacon– then crank it up to 450 for about 10 minutes to crisp up the bacon.  

Here’s the magic, y’all…

Ingredients:

2 (8oz) packages of full fat cream cheese

1 package thick cut bacon

1 package of kielbasa sausage (cut into 1/2 inch slices)

1 cup shredded Mexican cheese

1/2 cup mild green chilies drained

BBQ rub, brown sugar & cayenne to sprinkle

Directions:

Preheat grill (or oven to 300 degrees)

Cut up kielbasa and wrap with bacon.  Secure with a wooden toothpick.

Mix the cream cheese with the Mexican cheese with green chilies.  Put in a Ziploc bag or a Pastry bag.  Fill cheese mixture to the top of the bacon.

Sprinkle with your favorite BBQ rub, some brown sugar and a little cayenne.

Grill until bacon is done to your favorite level of crispy!

Beer Pairing with Baconlicious Sausage Bites:

A classic American Lager with malty sweetness is going to highlight the flavor and texture of the bacon and the creamy cheese while balancing the spice of the sausage.

Asian Meatball Sliders with Hoisin Glaze

Asian Slider

This meatball packs major flavor with a spicy hoisin glaze (slider bun optional!)

My tailgating strategy involves small bites of utter delish.  You don’t want to stuff yourself with something too rich, so why not take the decadence of an Asian meal and turn it into a bite-size portion?  You’re welcome!

Asian Meatball Slider with Hoisin Glaze
A bite size morsel of ginger, jalapeno, hoisin deliciousness.
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For the meatballs
  1. 1 pound ground pork
  2. 1 pound ground beef
  3. 2 Tb fresh ginger
  4. 1/4 cup plus 1 Tb chopped scallions
  5. 1 jalapeno chopped (no seeds)
  6. 4 garlic cloves minced
  7. 1 cup shiitake mushrooms (sauteed until browned in 1 Tb butter)
  8. 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  9. 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
  10. 1 egg
  11. 1 Tb tamari or soy sauce
  12. 1 Tb chili garlic sauce
  13. 1/2 cup panko
  14. sesame seeds for garnish
For the sauce
  1. 1 cup hoisin sauce
  2. 1 Tb chili garlic sauce
  3. 1 Tb tamari
  4. 1 Tb rice wine vinegar
  5. Slider buns (optional)
For the meatballs
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Fold in ingredients until well mixed (do not over handle the meat or it will get tough)
  3. Shape into golf size balls.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes until cooked through. (Turn over after 15 minutes to brown evenly).
  5. Sprinkle with sesame seeds before serving.
For the sauce
  1. Mix ingredients together and spoon onto meatballs when ready to serve.
  2. Top onto slider buns.
What's on Parker's Plate? http://whatsonparkersplate.com/
 You want to pair this yummy slider with an Amber Ale, like Palmetto Ale from Palmetto Brewing Company.  An amber ale has a roasted caramel sweetness that’s going to bring together the exotic spices of these Asian sliders, like ginger,  jalapeno and sesame.  The spicy hops have a dry finish, making your palate crave that next bite!

The Ultimate Fan Dip

Creamy, spicy, sausage dip

Only 3 ingredients makes The Ultimate Fan Dip a Fan Favorite!

This remains my all-time favorite dip for parties and it’s a total winner for tailgating.  My original recipe is here— and it’s only 3 ingredients:  Spicy sausage, cream cheese and Rotel tomatoes.  Bam! The Ultimate Fan Dip needs a light lager with zesty and fruity flavors to bring out the creamy, spicy, bite of this dip.

Mango Salsa

Mango Salsa

Mango adds a bright, sweet component to salsa

Before I really had any interest in cooking, this was one of the only dishes I laid any claim to— I made mango salsa and topped it on blackened salmon, served it with guacamole and even mixed it into omelets.  There’s just nothing like the sweet, tropical flavor of mangos– they’re pretty much the perfect fruit.  You can even add roasted red pepper for a little smokiness, or black beans for a heartier meal.  

Ingredients:

3 mangos diced

2 avocados diced

1/4 red onion chopped

handful of fresh cilantro chopped

1 jalapeno diced (no seeds)

1 cup cherry tomatoes diced

1 red bell pepper diced (optional)

juice from one lime

Directions:

Combine ingredients and serve immediately.

An IPA is going to have a juicy malty backbone that will accentuate the sweetness of the mango and spicy kick of the jalapeno.  There’s a distinct dryness in an IPA that really accentuates this dish.

Speaking of dishes, let’s talk about the PERFECT PLATE for tailgating. It’s appropriately called, THE GREAT PLATE.

The Great Plate

The Great Plate– and the ONLY plate you’ll ever need.

At first glance, you might think, “Oh yeah, a chip/dip plate.”  Well, you can do that, but The Great Plate is sooooo much more!  You know that annoying party foul that happens when you’re holding your drink in one hand and flimsy paper plate filled with food in the other and you keep on having to put one thing down to shake a hand, or pull out your phone, or grab your kid by the collar!  You can single handedly manage your food and beverage….And, it’s made right here in the USA.  Use it indoors, outdoors or even in the pool!  

The Great Plate

Float your drink (and snack) in the pool with The Great Plate!

The Great Plate is the brain child of Rick Kellow and Beth Kuehl, a Wisconsin couple who debuted their idea on Food Network’s Food Fortunes.  3 investors got on board and with an investment of 250K, The Great Plate is now sold all over the country at CVS, on their website and coming soon to some major retailers.

The inspiration for the idea?  Between them, Beth and Rick have six kiddos who would make a big mess when they are snacking or eating…this solved that and so much more.  This is seriously the Cadillac of plates– it’s made out of FDA virgin resin polypropylene so the plates are safe to eat off of, are dishwasher safe, microwave safe, 100% recyclable and even BPA free!

You know how much I hate cleaning up after parties– I’m not exactly Queen of Clean when it comes to entertaining, so I love that the plates unique design allows them to stack compactly, go right into the dishwasher (and come out dry!) You can stack them on the buffet table and separate them just as easily when it’s time to pass around plates to your guests.  

Great Plate Stack

Stack ’em easily for guests!

And, bonus….Flatten the plate and throw it like a frisbee!  Talk about a party favor!

You’ll be seeing a lot more of Parker’s Plate using The Great Plate, so stay tuned….

Check out my segment featuring these recipes on Low Country Live in Charleston!

 
WCIV-TV | ABC News 4 – Charleston News, Sports, Weather

Tailgating and beer

Tailgating & Beer Pairings

Tailgating and beer

Take your tailgating party to a whole new level with beer pairings!

Football season means tailgating and tailgating means it’s time to get your eat and drink on!  I’m so over burgers and brats— you can really impress your party people with some unique twists on the classic tailgate.  I’ve learned so much in the last couple months about beer since partnering with Let’s Grab a Beer– I now qualify as the “BEER BABE,” y’all!  In terms of versatility, lagers  are a great choice – they offer crisp and well balanced flavors with malty sweetness and complex hopping, which accentuate the flavors in foods without being overpowering.  Read:  They make everything taste better.  And lagers come in all flavors and styles, including pale, golden, amber or dark.

Go to LetsGrabA.Beer for more expert tips on beer and food pairings, beer trends and more.  

Here are a few of my fave tailgating snacks and the perfect pairings:

Chocolate Chipotle Chili and Cornbread layered in a mini mason jar:

Pair chili with Bud Light

An American Lager, like Bud Light, will bring down the heat of chili and be refreshing.

Hello, fabulous!  Look how stinkin’ cute this presentation is?!!  I made my “award winning” (it’s true, 3 trophies, people!) Chocolate Chipotle Chili with Jalapeno Cornbread.  And, not to get all braggy, but friends of mine have won their neighborhood competition with my recipe for 2 years running!)  

Chocolate Chipotle chili

It’s an award winner, y’all!

You want to pair the chili with an American Style Lager like Bud Light. An American style lager will allow you to enjoy the chili and cornbread flavors because it will cool the burn of the heat and open up a whole new flavor experience with the right balance of crisp hoppiness that doesn’t overpower the dish. 

Glassware: Pint Glass. Pint glass will keep the lager colder for longer and releases the natural carbonation quicker, keeping it crisp and refreshing.

Mini Mac and Cheese with Bacon Cups:

Mac & Cheese pairs with a Belgian Blonde

Pair Mac & Cheese with a Belgian Blonde Ale like Leffe Blond

The creamy, smokiness of this dish needs a beer which can mirror it, so try it with a Belgian Blond Ale like Leffe Blonde that is dry, fruity and lightly spiced for a perfect balance of strength and subtlety. The bitterness is delicate, extending over the whole palate and lingering as a subtle aftertaste that will complement the dish and enhance your normal Mac & Cheese experience 

Glassware: Goblet or Chalice Glass. The glass helps preserve the beer’s aroma and creates the perfect, creamy head.

Mini Mac & Cheese Bacon Cups
Smoky bacon and Gruyere takes this Mac & Cheese to a whole new level of delish.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 box macaroni
  2. 6 slices of bacon
  3. 1 Tb bacon fat
  4. 1 stick butter
  5. 3 cups milk
  6. 1 cup heavy cream
  7. 1/2 cup flour
  8. 1 1/2 cups Gruyere cheese grated
  9. 2 cups white cheddar grated
  10. 1/2 cup Parmesan grated
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Snip bacon into bite size pieces and saute until cooked. Reserve 1 Tb bacon fat and set aside.
  3. Cook macaroni according to package directions, drain and set aside.
  4. Melt 1 stick of butter in a large sauce pan and add flour, stirring for a minute.
  5. Pour in milk and heavy cream slowly and keep whisking-- mixture will seem thick but will even out as you pour in the rest of the liquid.
  6. Stir butter/flour/milk/cream mixture until smooth, bringing to a simmer, about 2 more minutes on medium/high heat.
  7. Add in all cheese (except parmesan) and stir until smooth.
  8. Combine with cooked macaroni, bacon and 1 Tb bacon fat.
  9. Once macaroni is thoroughly and evenly coated, spoon mixture into greased muffin tins/cupcake tins, filling to the top.
  10. Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top of mac & cheese muffins and then bake for 30 minutes until browned on top.
  11. Let cool slightly before scooping them out and serving.
Notes
  1. You can also put this entire recipe into a casserole dish and bake it the traditional way.
What's on Parker's Plate? http://whatsonparkersplate.com/

Mini Meatball Sliders

Meatballs and IPA

Pair meatball sliders with an IPA like Goose IPA

I freaking LOVE sliders.  It’s the mouth feel, it’s the bite size delish, it’s the fact that I can eat one and not feel stuffed, while still saving room for the good stuff, like BEER.  Specifically, pairing meatball sliders with  An English-style or milder American IPA like Goose IPA.  The IPA will transform these mini meatball sandwiches into a different flavor experience, bringing out all the seasoning & spices while complementing both the sweetness of the sauce and meatballs to add another layer of zesty and spicy hop notes.

Glassware: Tulip glass. IPAs have a great color and aroma that are best displayed in a stemmed tulip glass allowing you to admire the walnut and amber colors, topped off with a creamy head. Glasses that curve inwards toward the top, such as tulips, focus beer aromas at the rim of the glass so the shape releases the warming aromas.

I had a hard time deciding what meatballs to make for this segment— I did a spin on Rachael Ray’s Florentine Meatballs with Cheese Sauce, but instead of using parmesan in the balls, I used Gruyere.  OMG.  They’re YUMMO, as Rach would say!  But check out some of my other signature meatball recipes, like Thai Meatballs with a Coconut Green Curry Sauce, Hoisin and Ginger Glazed Meatballs,  and Asian Meatballs with a Soy Ginger Dipping Sauce. Apparently, I kinda have an Asian theme going with my favorite meatball recipes!

Walking Taco

Walking Taco & Montejo

Pair your walking taco with a Mexican lager like Montejo

Hello, taco in a bag!  This is also known in tailgating circles as The Walking Taco and it’s so dang easy (and fun to make) you’ll never go classic taco shell again!  Just make all your favorite taco fixings, open up a bag of Fritos (or your favorite corn chip) dump it all in and shake it up!  Bam.  You’re welcome.  Pair your Walking Taco with a Mexican-style Lager like Montejo.  Mexican lagers have a great balance of refreshing sweetness and crisp hoppiness that will cleanse your palate and provide the refreshment you need to ensure you get all the flavors that pop with your walking taco. 

Glassware: Pint Glass. A Pint glass will keep the lager colder for longer and releases the natural carbonation quicker, keeping it crisp and refreshing.

Check out my segment in Greenville on Studio 62!

 

*This was a sponsored post by Let’s Grab a Beer, but all opinions are my own.