Author Archives: culinarypirate

Grilled Sweet Black Pepper Cauliflower Steaks with Charred Corn Salad

Grilled Sweet Black Pepper Cauliflower Steaks with Charred Corn Salad

Cauliflower Corn Steak 5_sm
Though we’re now in the dog days of summer, the positive side of this time of year is that grilling is still a favored means of cooking and entertaining guests. While grilling brings to mind juicy burgers, steaks, and sausages, lest we not forget that veggies also make for great grilled offerings. They can be great as side dishes, but some vegetables can also be turned into tasty meatless main dishes.

Take for instance the new trend of vegetable “steaks”: instead of cooking up traditional beef steaks, veggies like cauliflower and cabbage can be cut into planks and grilled to be healthy and heart stars of a meal. They also take on other flavors very well, be it with seasonings or marinades.

For this recipe for grilled cauliflower steaks, I used Stubb’s Sweet Black Pepper Anytime Sauce to marinate the cauliflower and topped them with a grilled corn salad lightly spiced with Stubb’s Pork Rub. The Black Pepper Anytime Sauce is savory and slightly sweet with a hint of umami flavoring from the pepper, brown sugar and soy sauce in it. The tangy rub on the grilled corn topping has notes of spices, chile pepper and lime. Together the tastes combine to make one standout dish so good, that you’ll forget it’s meat-free.

In keeping with this more healthful style of cooking, Stubb’s marinades, rubs, and sauces add a kick of fantastic flavors to grilled meats and veggies without being laden with extra fat and calories. Plus, they’re not loaded with artificial, colors, flavors, sweeteners, or preservatives. Find these products at your local grocery store and more grilling recipe inspiration at www.stubbs.com or on Facebook at stubbsbbqsauce.
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Stubb’s ‘Triple B’ Pasta Salad

Stubb’s ‘Triple B’ Pasta Salad

Stubbs Pasta Salad 2 sm.jpg

If you’re tired of the same old go-to sides for your summer parties and cookouts, then let me suggest trying something new to kick them up a bit. Stubb’s Legendary Bar-B-Q has an array of tasty sauces, marinades, and rubs that are perfect for injecting new flavors into not only grilled meats, but also your sides and vegetables for holiday cookouts.

For this recipe, I took the classic party dish of pasta salad and gave it a sweet and smoky twist by making a barbecue ranch dressing with Stubb’s Sweet Heat Bar-B-Q Sauce (in place of a mayonnaise-only or vinaigrette). The smoky and slightly spicy chipotle peppers nicely complement the sweet brown sugar and molasses in the sauce. To further enhance the barbecue flavors, I added in tangy blue cheese crumbles and smoky peppered bacon. And of course, to add some healthfulness to the dish, I threw in veggies like broccoli, squash, corn and fresh tomatoes.

To make this recipe an even more appealing option to add to your table, it’s incredibly easy to throw together – simply cut up your veggies and make the dressing while the pasta cooks. Then mix it together and let it chill in the refrigerator for a few hours to overnight. This gives you plenty of time to work on other dishes and entertaining your guests.

If you’re going for a lighter, lower-calorie side, use Greek yogurt and/or light sour cream to make the dressing. Stubb’s products are great to use on your healthy fare because they don’t contain the fat, calories, or artificial flavors, ingredients or sweeteners you’ll see in many other similar products.

This summer, get creative with your food and look for Stubb’s to aid in creating some crowd-pleasing sides (and barbecue, of course).

Stubbs Pasta Salad 1 sm
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Bar-B-Q Shrimp & Sausage”Boil”Foil Packs

Bar-B-Q Shrimp & Sausage”Boil”Foil Packs

Foil Pack 2-1

Not only is May great because the weather is beautiful during this time of year, but it’s also National Barbecue Month. That means it’s time to fire up the grill for some outdoor cooking and patio entertaining. Seafood boils are also quite popular this time of year, but setup and cleanup for them can be a lot of work. Thankfully, you can have a zesty seafood “boil” with easy cleanup and get an excuse to use your grill. By putting ingredients in a foil packet, you can cook them on the grill, thus steaming them to perfection. These foil packets are perfect for entertaining and for busy weeknight dinners, as everyone gets their own pre-portioned meal and it makes for easy cleanup.

Not only is grilling and steaming a healthier way to cook, you can add flavor to your meats and veggies without adding tons of calories, high fructose corn syrup, or additional fat or artificial ingredients by using Stubb’s rubs, sauces, and marinades. Smoky, spicy, savory, sweet — whatever taste you’re in the mood for, you can add with Stubb’s.
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Masa ​Boats ​with ​Chorizo ​and ​Yucatecan ​Pumpkin ​Seed ​Sauce

Masa ​Boats ​with ​Chorizo ​and ​Yucatecan ​Pumpkin ​Seed ​Sauce

Chorizo Sopes 1

When you dine at a typical Mexican restaurant, you’re probably already familiar with the usual offerings of enchiladas, tacos, refried beans, and rice, right? It’s kind of ironic that many dishes served in most of today’s Mexican joints are actually of American origin by way of Texas or California. We Americans have put our own twists on the originals over the years and have since labeled them “Mexican food”.

To get a little more authentic taste of South of the Border cuisine, try out the following recipe for Mexican sopes, a zesty appetizer that will have you ditching your old gringo go-to of nachos and chimichangas.

Sopes are handheld Mexican street food dish made from a dough made of masa flour (dried and finely ground corn) that are flattened, typically fried, then topped with either meat or beans and salsa. This version of the classic Mexican dish sees the little masa “boats” baked instead of fried — saving you some calories and a greasy mess on your stove top. I chose to use flavorful Mexican chorizo sausage for the filling and topped it with a Yucatecan-style (i.e.: from the Yucatan Peninsula) sauce comprised of toasted pumpkin seeds, cilantro and habanero pepper. These sopes can be made any size you please — form smaller ones for appetizer servings and larger ones if you’re serving them as a snack or main course.

Buen provecho!
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Paprika: The Best App for Home Cooks

Paprika: The Best App for Home Cooks

Many of us use our phones to jot down recipes. Many home cooks probably relate to Pedantic Foodie, whose iPhone Notes app has become cluttered with fragments of recipes that haven’t come to life quite yet. Those who are looking for a way to organize their recipes, however, can rely on another app: Paprika.

Paprika has a host of different features that make it perfect for anyone experimenting in the kitchen. It’s able to import recipes from some of the most popular recipe sources on the internet, and even some more obscure ones with the help of an intelligent copy-and-paste tool. You can use the app on just about any device, and it syncs automatically so all of your saved recipes can be accessed anytime, anywhere. The app even stores information locally on your device – great news, because not using WiFi or a data connection is a great way to save on mobile battery, and when it comes to cooking large meals, you’ll want your phone or tablet to last for as long as it can.

Saving and creating recipes on the app is easy, but using the app to cook is even easier. There are several features such as the ability to cross off ingredients, highlight steps, and switch between recipes with the swipe of a finger that all give the app the functionality one would expect from an app that promises to be “most useful app you’ve ever downloaded” and “the perfect kitchen companion”. You can even use the app to plan meals throughout the week!
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Orange, Pancetta, and baby kale salad with honey-Pancetta vinaigrette

Orange, Pancetta, and baby kale salad with honey-Pancetta vinaigrette

Honey Pancetta Salad 2
As we ease into these cooler months, we tend to crave warm, heartwarming comfort foods like roasts, stews, casseroles and soups. Though it probably doesn’t first come to mind when thinking of autumn and winter foods, salad certainly shouldn’t be an option that’s taken off the (dinner) table. Sure, iceberg with Ranch dressing will be a little out of season to serve, but there are many other roughage and topping ingredients that are plentiful in the produce aisle during these next two seasons. Apples, avocado, citrus, beets, figs, and grapes, are great fruit and vegetable options, while arugula, spinach, escarole, baby kale, and endive all make great lettuce bases.

A great example of a salad that’s fit to serve in fall or winter is the following recipe that features citrus, crisp and salty Pancetta, hearty baby kale greens and a tangy, salty, sweet vinaigrette. Best of all, this salad can be served warm, as the vinaigrette is essentially cooked and and be rewarmed on the stove top just before serving if need be.
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Leftover turkey pot pie with Stubb’s Chicken Rub and Marinade

Leftover turkey pot pie with Stubb’s Chicken Rub and Marinade

Stubbs Turkey Pot Pie 3After Thanksgiving Day or Christmas, you’ll probably have leftovers coming out of your ears, namely turkey. If you become tired of eating it plain or simply topped with gravy, then try it out in something else. Read the remixed turkey dish ideas below and scroll down further for some full recipes using leftover turkey that have been kicked up with Stubb’s Bar-B-Q sauces and rubs.

The obvious go-to with excess turkey is to eat it between two slices of bread — slathered with cranberry sauce and/or gravy is great, but it’s also amazing smothered in barbecue sauce in between two slices of Texas toast. Another option is to build it and press it: make it a melt, panini, or even in a tortilla, dressed up as a quesadilla.

Another option is to tuck the turkey into a heartwarming casserole or pot pie. Mix it up with some canned condensed soup mix or a cream sauce and serve on top of pasta or bake it as a casserole; or omit the noodles and place it in a baking dish topped with biscuit dough.
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One-pan Smokehouse Bourbon roast chicken thighs and vegetables

One-pan Smokehouse Bourbon roast chicken thighs and vegetables

Stubbs One Pan Chx 3

There are some nights when most of us have a hankering to cook dinner for family or friends, wanting to make something savory and satisfying, but then we realize that making dinner also means dealing with dirty dishes afterward. If you’re anything like me, this is certainly a buzz kill. I enjoy making healthful and tasty dinners, but loathe the thought of having to scrub all of those pots pans directly following the meal. That’s why I adore one-pan meals: all ingredients are cooked (and sometimes even served in) the same pan. That means just one pan to clean.

Here’s a great option for an easy week night or weekend meal to share with your loved ones: one-pan roasted chicken thighs with onions, carrots, potatoes, and peas. While great on its own, I decided to kick up the flavor by using Stubb’s Smokehouse Bourbon Cookin’ Sauce Pack. I seasoned the chicken thighs with the Spice Pack, which is full of sea salt, garlic, ancho chile, before searing them, then simmered the chicken and vegetables in the smoky and savory Smokehouse Bourbon Sauce before placing the whole pan in the oven to finish cooking.
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A summery twist on caprese salad: Peach, Watermelon and Tomato Salad with Fresh Mozzarella

A summery twist on caprese salad: Peach, Watermelon and Tomato Salad with Fresh Mozzarella

Peach Watermelon Salad 2

If the sweltering summer heat has you cringing at the thought of slaving over a hot stove or dreading turning on your oven, then I’ve got the perfect, no-cook side dish recipe for you.

This summery take on a caprese salad is a light, refreshing side dish that showcases some of the best flavors of this season: savory tomatoes, sweet watermelon, juicy peaches and bright, verdant herbs. The best part: no pots, pans or hot ovens needed to throw this together. All you need is a cutting board, knife, whisk and a couple of bowls.

Perfect for picnics, dinner parties or a quick, weeknight side dish, this salad with white wine vinaigrette and herbs can be whipped up in a jiffy, a day ahead or à la minute. It can also be changed to your tastes — ditch the basil and add add tarragon or thyme, swap out the mozzarella for goat cheese or feta (or leave out the cheese altogether).

Keep your cool when cooking this summer and try out this sweet, savory, tangy and herbaceous side dish that I guarantee you’ll be making a staple in your kitchen.
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Slow-Cooker Carne Guisada with a New Mexican Hatch Chile Twist

Slow-Cooker Carne Guisada with a New Mexican Hatch Chile Twist

Carne Guisada text

Carne guisada (CAR-nay gee-SA-da) is a Mexican-style beef stew that hails primarily from south Texas. It’s main ingredient is cubed beef stew meat that is braised low and slow for hours with varying combinations of chilies, onions, tomatoes, and spices. The flour used to coat the seared meat causes the sauce to end up thickening to a gravy-like consistency. While fantastic on its own, served straight up in a bowl with a spoon, carne guisada also makes a savory taco or burrito filling.

For this version of carne guisada, I gave it an injection of Hatch chile flavor with Stubb’s new Hatch Chile Cookin’ Sauce pack. The package comes with a Cookin’ sauce, which I used for the braising, a spice packet, which I used to saute the vegetables with, and a Finishing Sauce, which I stirred into the thickened gravy sauce just before serving. This trio gives a fun, updated kick of flavor to this classic Tex-mex comfort food dish. Best of all, everything but the meat and veggies come in one package. The second best part about this dish is that you can easily use a slow cooker to do most of the work — just set it and forget it. A few hours later, you’ll have the makings of an incredibly flavorful meal.

I suggest serving this Hatch carne guisada on or with a side of warm tortillas, limes for squeezing on top of the meat, and a sprinkling of chopped cilantro and crumbled Mexican cotija cheese.
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