Tag Archives: cheddar

J-Dawg Hot Dog Sauce

J-Dawg's Sauce

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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J-Dawg’s Gourmet Hot Dog Sauce
This recipe was adapted from food blogger thefoodcharlatan. You all know how to make a hot dog so I will leave that part out. Admittedly, I didn’t know who Jdawg was so I had to look it up. It’s a joint in UT that supposedly serves up some serious polish dogs with a a sauce that people rave about.

Thought I would give it a try and pair it with cheddar as an homage to one of my favorite burgers, Houston’s Hickory Burger. The sauce has a BBQ taste to it but when you look at the ingredients you will see it is more sweet. I added some tabasco to bump up the heat.

Lastly these pictures are dreadful. I was making a quick lunch and wasn’t thinking about the blog as much as I was thinking of making lunch. Given that I deplore cleaning my food processor for shredded cheese and given that I was making only two dogs, I sliced up the cheese into larger strips. The dog isn’t pretty but was pretty delicious.

You absolutely could use this on anything BBQ related.. chicken, ribs, brisket, burgers, sandwiches etc… I could see kids really liking this sauce due to the lack of heat if you omit Tabasco.

1/2 cup of ketchup
1/4 cup of brown sugar
1/4 cup of honey
1 tbs of BBQ sauce (I used Stubb’s)
1 tsp of apple cider vinegar
2 tsp of Worcestershire Sauce
1 tsp of Onion Powder
1 tsp of Black Pepper
1 tbs of Tabasco (optional)


Add everything to a small saucepan and heat it on medium low until it slowly simmers. That’s it. Serve and enjoy.

Chili Roast Beef Sandwich

Chili Roast Beef Sandwich

You can see my recipe for The Chili Roast Tacos for the chili pot roast. Of course I had extra and decided to make a sandwich. Jill and I love eating pot roasts the next day (cold) on a sandwich with mayo and horseradish. Given that my Chili Roast is on the spicy side I didn’t think it required any heat from the horseradish.

Block sliced Cheddar, Bibb lettuce, Tomatoes and of course Duke’s Mayo.

Me Pork Bahn Mi

Me Pork Bahn Mi

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Me Pork Bahn Mi
The Bahn Mi “Vietnamese sandwich” seems to be all the rage these days. It’s basically a sandwich with Asian flair.

You will not be disappointed in this one. The pork tenderloin is so tender it basically melts in your mouth. The pickled radishes and carrots compliment the pork marinade that has soy, garlic, fish sauce and ginger. Then Duke’s mayo, a little cheddar on a hoagie make is familiar. Really a great eat. You really need to try this one.

Pork Tenderloin
Cheddar cheese
Duke’s mayo
Hoagie Roll

3 tbs Fish sauce
2 tbs Soy sauce
1 tbs minced ginger
3 green onions
3 cloves of garlic minced
1 tbs of sugar

Pickled Carrots and Radishes
½ cup water
1 cup of apple cider vinegar
1 tbs salt
2 tbs sugar

1. Trim your tenderloin of any silver skin or fat. Slice into ½ and inch.   Place these medallions between saran wrap and pound them with a mallet. Put them into a Ziplock and mix up your marinade and pour over the pork. Marinate for a minimum of 30mins up to a couple of hours.

2. Julienne the carrots and radishes and slice your jalapeno. (you can remove seeds and spine if you want to lower the heat).  Soak these in the vinegar mixture for about 15- 30mins.

3. When ready to cook sear in a cast iron skillet with a little peanut oil. This cooks really quickly. (about 90 seconds on each side) The skillet should be on medium high heat so you can get as much crust as possible. FYI-the second side won’t crust up.

4. Prepare your hoagie with Duke’s mayo on both sides. Fresh Cheddar on the bottom. Top with the hot tenderloin, then carrot/radish/jalapeno mixture, Sriracha and top with Cilantro.

Hickory Burger with Wickles Pickles

Hickory Burger with Wickles Pickles


Had some extra buns, ground beef, and left over cheddar fries so I made another burger. Bad for the waistline but good for the taste buds. One of my favorite burgers is the Hickory Burger at Houston’s. Was thinking the BBQ sauce would compliment my beloved Wickles Pickles. Jill likes a thin patty so pressed this one as flat as I could get it and seasoned it well with Slap Ya Mama, onion powder, garlic powder, Kosher salt, black pepper.

Dukes Mayo on the bottom, Spicy mustard on the top. One slice crispy bacon, topped with cheddar and BBQ sauce and finally Wickles Pickles.


Authentic Cheese Enchildas

Authentic Cheese Enchiladas

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy but several steps
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Authentic Cheese Enchiladas

If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right. This saying is one that Jill takes to heart. I on the other hand don’t think everything is worth doing 100% because not all things are equal. It’s possible that “time” is more valuable than the task. Well that’s not the case when you are dealing with a classic like cheese enchiladas.

Sylvia Casares runs a place in Houston called Sylvia’s Enchilada Kitchen. In 2011 she did an article in Texas Monthly about cheese enchiladas. I basically follow her recipe. I think the combination of the Cheddar and creaminess of American cheese works best.

Chile Gravy
1 white onion (chopped)
5 cloves of garlic
½ lb of lean ground beef
2/3 cups vegetable oil or lard
2/3 cups flour
2 cups beef broth
2 cups water
3 tbs chili powder
1 tbs Kosher salt
3 tsp Cumin
2 tsp of Cayenne Pepper
2 tsp Black pepper

12 corn tortillas
7 Guajillo chiles (stems and seeds removed)
2 Arbol or Ancho chilies , stems removed
½ cup water
½ vegetable oil

5 cups of shredded cheddar
2 cups of shredded yellow American
Chopped white onions (optional)
Cilantro and green onion topping (optional)

1. Chili gravy is a three step process. Take your onion and garlic and rough chop them and put them in a blender until smooth. In a small pot add your beef and this onion/garlic slurry and cook for 30mins on medium heat. It’s not pretty but part of the process.

2. About 25mins into your meat mixture, get your beef stock and water in a bowl and microwave for 3mins. Get all your seasonings together in a small bowl.   Now start your roux by combing your flour and oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Stir until golden brown and smooth (see pic).IMG_8462

3. Now add your beef stock water, seasonings and beef mixture and stir on medium low heat. IMG_8467

4.While cooking your gravy, take another small pot and bring ½ cup of water to a boil and add your dried chilies bring it down to a simmer and cover.   Cook for about 10-15mins and add water as necessary. Turn off and cool slightly before adding to a blender and mixing it smooth.   Strain it into a pie dish (see pic).IMG_8464

5. Shred your cheeses and prepare for assembly by dipping your tortillas in the chili sauce and stacking them in another pie plate. Once done you will heat them in oil so that they are pliable. Get about ½ up of oil on medium high heat and take your chili soaked tortillas and one by one put them into the oil for about 5 seconds and stack back into the pie plate.IMG_8466

6. Take a 9×12 baking dish and take you tortillas and fill with the cheese mixture. Roll them up, seem side down and put them in the dish. Cover with chili and top with extra cheese.

7, Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 15mins until the cheese is melted.   Serve as is or top with onions, green onions and/or cilantro or sour cream.IMG_8470

Spicy Pimento Cheese Dip

Pimento Cheese Dip

  • Servings: 10
  • Difficulty: easy
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Pimento Cheese Dip
Never really understood the whole pimento cheese thing. I hated it on sandwiches, I mean it was cheese and mayo.   Jill on the other hand loves it and she makes it for her lunch. She uses a recipe The Peachtree Cookbook that had jalapenos and no miracle whip. Okay, much more interesting but didn’t move my needle in sandwich form.

There was a joint in town called Tried and True (now closed) that was a whiskey bar with slightly gourmet bar food. They had on their menu as an appetizer Pimento cheese spread with saltine crackers and Tabasco. As a dip with Tabasco made perfect sense and here is my stab at it.

10 oz extra sharp cheddar (shredded from block)
3 oz of pepper jack cheese, (shredded from block)
3 oz of cream cheese cut into chunks
½ cup Dukes Mayo or sub for Greek Yogurt
1 4oz jar of drained pimentos
2 jalapenos (seeded)
½ tsp of onion powder
½ tsp of garlic powder
½ tsp of cayenne pepper (optional)
Pinch of red peppers flakes (optional)

Ready? Put in a food processor and blend until combined and smooth. Serve with crackers, Tabasco and whiskey.

Tomato Cheddar Pie with Bacon Crust

Tomato Cheddar Pie with Bacon Crust

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Tomato Cheddar Pie with Bacon Crust
This is cheesy, salty, tomato-y southern pie that works for an appetizer or side dish to a good southern soul food dish.   My version is adapted from the FoodNetwork kitchens. A few of our guests are GF so I used gluten free crackers in my crust. Great flavor.

3.5 cups of Cheddar Crackers (Goldfish)
3 tbs of butter
1 egg
6 slices of crispy roasted bacon
2.5 cups of shredded cheddar
½ white or yellow onion sliced thinly
4 cloves of garlic (minced)
2 minced jalapenos (seeded)
2 heirloom tomatoes sliced for the top.
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 tbs of black pepper

1. Roast your bacon for about 50mins 400 degrees until crisp.

2. In a skillet take your sliced onions with some olive oil and caramelize them over medium low heat. We are trying to add some sweet into this savory pie.

3. Slice your tomatoes and salt them. Let them sit on a rack to allow the moisture to extract. Takes about 10mins. When done pat them with a paper towel to pull out as much moisture as possible.

4. Pie crust: Add crackers to a food processor and pulse until fine. Add butter, egg and crispy bacon and pulse until all combined.   Put the mixture into a pie dish and press it out.

5. Pie filling: mix the cheddar cheese, mayo, garlic, jalapenos, caramelized onions and seasonings. Pulse until combined.   Pour the mixture on top of the “pie crust”. Smooth it out and top with tomatoes and brush them with olive oil.
Cook in a 375 degree oven until the cheese mixture is melted and the tomatoes are dehydrated.

Sloppy Pig Sandwich

Sloppy Pig Sandwich

Sunday afternoon with nothing planned for lunch.  I bought some ground pork for some ravioli and pot stickers I am going to make.  I had some extra heirloom tomatoes and bread left over from last night.  I was thinking sloppy joe but not going the ketchup route.


1/2 lbs ground pork
4 green onions
8 small heirloom tomatoes
1 tbs of grainy mustard
1 tbs of Sriracha sauce
2 slices of cheddar cheese
2 tbs of Monterrey Jack cheese
Dukes Mayo

Directions: put the copped whites and light green onions in a skillet on medium and then added the pork and browned. Added the chopped tomatoes and cooked for a few minutes until they softened up. I turned down the heat to low and added the rest of the green onions, mustard and Sriracha and finally pinched about 2 tbs of mont. jack and let it melt. Sliced the bread with cheddar on the bottom, mayo on the top and stuffed with the mixture.

“Mr. Jones and Me” Dogs

Mr. Jones and Me Dogs

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Mr. Jones and Me Dogs


It’s fun hearing friends talk about their family traditions and foods they cook. One of our friends Sara, was telling us once about her family’s special hot dogs.   Franks wrapped with bacon and then sauerkraut that was cooked until semi crunchy.     So one holiday we were thinking hot dogs and decided to give her dog a shot. Over time we have taken their version and made it my own.

So I tip my hat to Mr. Jones and give him reference via the Counting Crows song Mr. Jones.   This is a storyteller version of Mr Jones and is my favorite http://vimeo.com/64669615

Sorry the audio on this vimeo version blows but worth a listen and get a hold of one with better sound. That said, I checked the link and listened to again.. Damn, Adam is still one of my favorite singers.

Ingredients (4 dogs)
White hot buns (soft and white) Gotta keep it low brow.
4 bun length dogs (good ones without all the junk)
1 cup of freshly grated cheddar cheese
1 cup of sauerkraut
3 tbs of dice pickled jalapenos
3 tbs of diced Wickles Pickles
2 tbs of spicy mustard
1 Modelo Beer
Condiments (ketchup, mustard, mayo…whatever wets your whistle)
1-2 strips of crispy bacon (cut into chunks)

Really the only directions I would suggest are around the kraut and the hot dog.

1. I butterfly my dog by cutting a slit and opening it up without breaking it into two pieces. In a medium heated skillet and open them up face down with a little oil and a small lid on top of them to keep them flat. We like a little black on our dogs so I get a nice sear on the inside.   Once flipped put the lid on them again but I add a little beer and keep burning it off. It imparts some flavor and also steams them to stay moist.

2. Then in another pan I add my kraut, jalapenos and Wickles pickles and cook on medium to medium low heat. Once it dries out a bit I add beer and about 2 tbs of grainy mustard. I keep adding beer and burning it off.
Roast or microwave your bacon until crispy and break up in to a topping. You could do the bacon first and then the kraut in that same pan to infuse that flavor into the kraut. We had some already roasted so I just reheated it.

Assemble. We are ketchup and mustard hot dog people. Lay down whatever condiment pleases you. Then the dog, cheese, kraut and bacon in whatever order you please.

Jalapeno Popper (Goat Cheese, Cheddar, Salami)

Jalapeno Popper

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Jalapeno Popper
Jalapeno Popper

Jalapeno Popper stuffed with Goat cheese, Salami and sharp cheddar.

I had some extra jalapenos so while roasting my chicken, I decided to make a few poppers.
We had some Texas Goat Cheese and Salami from our pizza experiments so diced the salami up very finely and combined it with a tbs of goat cheese. I also cut a strip of Cheddar cheese the length of the pepper.

Cut the top off the jalapeno and hollow out the insides (remove seed and membrane as they contain most of the heat).
Insert your stick of cheddar and then pack in the goat cheese mixture into the pepper.

Roast until done. As you can see I used the same 400 degree oven I had my chicken in.

Jalapeno Popper
Jalapeno Popper

up close jalapeno popper
up close jalapeno popper