BBQ Chicken Calzone

IMG_20150322_171204126Had some ingredients in the fridge like a half an onion and green pepper and thought I could really go for that sauteed onion and pepper flavor in something. But what? So I scraped up some other ingredients from the freezer. A ball of frozen dough, Tyson crispy chicken tenders, my mind was on a roll.

Roll out dough thin on counter

brush with Olive Oil, salt pepper and garlic, a bbq sauce of choice

Top with cooked chicken sauteed onions and pepper, mozzarella and cheddar cheese

fold, seal and tear some holes on top from steam release

Bake at 400 degrees for 15-18 minutes

It is sooooooo Goood!

IMG_20150322_163519266 IMG_20150322_164827936 IMG_20150322_164919682 IMG_20150322_165217472 IMG_20150322_171019706


Light and Flaky Onion Rings…



When most people hear the words Onion Rings they thing of that thick batter dipped concoction that most restaurants serve on their menu.  Most of the time they are pre-bagged frozen rings and all they do is fry and put them on a plate. These are  hand made  and dry coated…

I used to work at a charbroiled hot dog joint in western New York that served rings such as these.  I won’t say the name of the place but you people in Buffalo know what I’m talking about. I do not know the exact recipe but over the years I have perfected my own version and you lucky people get to try the best rings ever. In my opinion…

Here’s what you need:

1 cup of milk

1 cup of all purpose flour

1 teaspoon of black pepper

1/2 teaspoon of paprika

1 teaspoon of garlic powder

2 medium to large Vidalia onions


Slice the onions into rings. About a 1/4 in thick.  Pour milk into a bowl and flour mixture into a bowl with a lid. Dip the onion rings in the milk a handful at a time just to get them damp so the flour sticks. Then place in the flour mixture, put the lid on and shake till coated.  pick out the the rings and place on a plate. Repeat till all rings are coated. If you have a lot of onions you may want to add to the ingredient volume.


Heat oil to 375 degrees In a deep fryer or small sauce pot and deep fry till golden brown and flaky.   Drain on paper towels salt to taste… Enjoy !!!

Breakfast Pizza!

Breakfast is still considered the most important meal of the day. I like a hearty breakfast. And why not make it a pizza? Anything you can put in an omelette, you can put on your pizza. it’s open to the personal taste of the chef.


Basic ingredients:

Pizza dough, store bought or make your own.
6 eggs scrambled.
Cheese, 4 ounces of cheddar, 4 ounces of pizza blend.
2 cloves of garlic chopped.
1/2 stick of butter softened.
Pinch of salt.

Whatever suits your taste.
I used 2 strips of bacon and 4 slices of black forest ham. I fried it till crisp before putting on the Pizza.

Place dough on a cookie sheet or pizza pan that had been brushed with oil. Crush the chopped garlic, salt, butter and parsley together and spread over the Pizza. Spread scrambled eggs out, top with cheese and desired toppings.  Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes. Enjoy…


Restaurant Style Calzones !!!

IMG_20140208_174613_910 IMG_20140208_174259_238

Oh Man !!! These were good… Talk about a dish that would make your mom proud, this is one of them. The best thing about Calzones is that there are so many possible ways to stuff them. The traditional Calzone has mozzarella and ricotta cheese. Then add what ever to it. I omitted ricotta and I used chicken, spinach, onion, garlic, pepperoni, and mushrooms for these.  I sauteed the onion and garlic in olive oil and butter, then added fresh spinach and cooked it down. In another frying pan I sauteed the mushrooms in butter oregano, salt, pepper and some cooking sherry. I seasoned one chicken breast in salt, pepper, and garlic and grilled it separately. Use a store made pizza dough or make your own. I made my own but there are pretty standard recipes for dough on the internet.

Here’s what you do when you decide what you are gonna fill this monster with. Roll out your dough and stretch it like you were making a small to medium size pizza. Or go large. Why not? Then place on a pan or cookie sheet and on one half spread out cheese and whatever toppings on top of the cheese. Fold over the other half and from the bottom fold the edge over and pinch to seal. Make sure you cut a few vent holes on the top so steam can escape while cooking. Bake at 425 degrees for 15-18 minutes. when done brush with melted butter and sprinkle with parsley. Sometimes I would go as far as sprinkling garlic salt and Parmesan cheese once buttered. Do always what your taste buds desire…

IMG_20140208_173332_159 IMG_20140208_174316_537

Brined Smoked BBQ Chicken Leg Quarters!!!



Who Doesn’t Like the taste of a moist juicy fall off the bone piece of BBQ Chicken. If you’ve never had smoked BBQ Chicken, your missing somthing out of your life. I tell you what. I didn’t know jack squat about bbq 3 years ago. I had a gas grill. I cooked direct over the flame and chicken would flame up and char the outside while the inside would be under cooked.  Here’s the secret. Indirect cooking. It’s like baking in the oven. What I did for this recipe is I brined the chicken in a saltwater sugar brine for 24 hours and I smoked the chicken “Low and Slow”.

To brine is to soak you meat in a saltwater sugar solution to moisture infuse.  When the saltwater and sugar come in contact with the meat, the meat draws the moisture and flavors inside. When you cook it it stays moist. You can add all kinds of spices our use some chicken stock. Many recipes for brine can be found online. In this case I used 1/2 cup coarse salt and 2/3 cup brown sugar to a gallon of water. If you use regular table salt only use a 1/4 cup.  After 24 hours rinse chicken and pat dry.

The definition of Low and Slow is a low temperature ( 225-275 degrees) and a slow cook. Cooking at this temperature slowly breaks down the connective tissue in the meat and leaves it moist and tender.  I cooked this chicken about 250 for 4 hours with my Char-griller offset smoker.  Then I brushed it with BBQ Sauce and moved it over to a direct grill to crisp up the skin. I like a crispy skin on my chicken.  Enjoy…




IMG_20140123_133831_783 IMG_20140124_142458_333 IMG_20140124_153908_932

Deer Meat Ravioli



I can’t take the credit for this amazing dinner. All I did was make the garlic bread and sauce. This one goes to my Guest and good friend Mike for going through the pain staking job of making the ravioli from scratch.

Deer burger mixed with some pork sausage and spices went into this amazing Ravioli.  Along with the meat ravioli he made some with ricotta cheese.  I never thought about deer meat in ravioli.  It was so tasty.  Combined with a home made tomato sauce, salad and fresh baked garlic bread, it was all and better than you would expect to get from a top notch Italian restaurant. We had The Three Tenors playing in the background and enjoyed a nice evening with good spirits and good friends.  Thanks Mike for the wonderful tasting ravioli…

Italian Meat Sandwich


Subway and Blimpie don’t have anything on this sandwich.  I grew up in a town where this kind of sandwich is available in every corner mom and pop pizzeria. It’s a sandwich full of Italian meats, lettuce, tomato, onion and a seasoned sandwich oil. Imported Italian meats are best. I’ve lived here in the southern United States for some time and good imported meats are hard to find. Today I tried a place called The Fresh Market and though it was a little pricey, I was giddy as a kid on Christmas morning. They had fresh market bacon, fresh meats, seafood, bulk nuts, candies, WOW! The best part of it is I found Imported Mortadela, Salami, and Hot capicola. I was happy. This sandwich was Awesome. I hope you enjoy it as much as i did…


A good chunk of crusty chewy bread


Hot capicola



provolone cheese

lettuce, tomato, onion

Sandwich oil:

1/4 cup Olive Oil

1/4 Vinegar

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1 teaspoon garlic powder or 2 cloves minced fresh garlic

1/2 teaspoon sugar

salt to taste

IMG_20140111_143210_688 IMG_20140111_143347_530 IMG_20140111_143517_593