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Crispy Colossal

Jalapeño Corndogs

Serves 4

Cook Time 20 Minutes

  • 1 (20 ounce) bag cornbread mix, such as Bob’s Red Mill
  • 1 cup crisp rice cereal, such as Rice Krispies
  • Kosher salt, for seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) salted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 medium jalapenos, finely chopped
  • 4 hot dogs
  • Special equipment: wooden skewers
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 quarts peanut oil, for frying

For the Chipotle crema drizzle

  • 1 cup crema, also labeled Mexican Table Cream
  • 2 Chipotles in Adobo
  • 1 tablespoon adobo sauce, from the canned Chipotle
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice

Make the batter for the corn dogs by whisking together the cornbread mix, Rice Krispies, two heavy pinches of salt and the baking powder in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk up the eggs until frothy. Add the milk, buttermilk, and butter to the eggs. Combine the wet with the dry and mix until well combined. Add the olive oil and jalapeno and set aside while you set up for frying and make the crema.

Thread a skewer into each hot dog and roll the hot dogs in a bit of flour (this helps the batter stick). Pour the oil into a large heavy bottomed pan and heat to 375 degrees F over medium high heat.

Make the crema by combining the crema, chipotles, adobo, and lime juice in a small bowl and whisk to combine.

When the oil is hot, work one hotdog at a time to coat the hotdog with the batter (you may need to use clean hands to press the thick batter onto the dog). Gently add the corndog to the hot oil. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes before flipping and cooking for an additional 2 to 3 minutes or until the corndog is deeply browned and the batter is cooked through. Repeat with the remaining hotdogs.

Serve the corn dogs with the Chipotle drizzle and fresh cilantro, if desired

White Tuxedo Western Chipotle Chip Dip



  • 2 to 3 teaspoons White Tuxedo Rub, from Spiceology
  • 3/4 cup mayo
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro with stems
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 to 3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 1 tablespoon adobo sauce from the can (you can add more if you like a lot of heat)

The Grill Dads know how to tailgate. And this dip is one of their tailgate staples. It’s as easy as it is addictive. Seriously, it’ll be hard to save room for dinner when this hearty dip (with just a kick of heat) is around.


Place all ingredients into a mixer and blend until smooth but still a bit chunky. Serve with potato chips (obviously with ruffles and ridges), tortilla chips, popcorn . . . hell, we’d slather this business on everything! Whooweee! Get on yer mule!

play video Tyler Essary / TODAY

Grilled Tri-Color Fingerling Potato Salad

Cook Time 40 Minutes

Servings: 6-8 Servings


  • 5 strips thick-cut bacon, coarsely chopped
  • 1½ pound bag tri-colored fingerling potatoes, washed and scrubbed
  • Four hard-boiled eggs, coarsely chopped
  • 1 bunch fresh chives, chopped (approximately 5 to 6 tablespoons)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to finish
  • 1 tablespoon horseradish mustard
  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Everybody loves potato salad at a backyard barbecue. But, using tri-colored potatoes and a dressing without the traditional mayo, makes it a more colorful and lighter option!


Technique tip: Par cook the potatoes then half lengthwise to increase surface area for grilling and use some of the bacon fat on the potatoes when grilling for extra flavor.


Swap option: You can swap lardons or pancetta for the thick cut bacon, or leave out for a vegetarian option.


For the potatoes:
In a large skillet cook bacon over medium heat until crispy (save a few tablespoons of the rendered bacon fat for coating the potatoes when grilling). Cool bacon and drain on paper towels.


Put enough water into the pot to completely cover potatoes. Add a pinch of salt. Once water begins to boil, par cook potatoes for approximately 6-8 minutes (or until tender when sticking a knife into the potato). Drain and set aside to cool in a single layer.


Preheat grill to medium-high heat.


Halve potatoes lengthwise when cool and rub with olive oil (or bacon fat), salt and pepper. On medium-high heat, place potatoes on grill pan, cut side down, to get a nice color and char (approximately 3 minutes). Flip potatoes if desired and repeat.


Remove cooked potatoes from grill, cool slightly.


For the dressing:


In a large bowl, combine mustard, shallot, garlic, lemon juice, vinegar, zest, salt and pepper. Carefully add in olive oil while whisking until blended.


To serve:


In a large bowl, combine the potatoes with the dressing, eggs and bacon. Mix together carefully so not to break the potatoes. Plate and top with chives, salt and pepper.

play video Tyler Essary / TODAY

Pork Carnitas Quesadillas

Serves 6 to 8

Cook Time 1 1/2 to 2 hours

Prep time: 20 minutes


  • one 4-pound pork shoulder
  • 1 strip orange zest
  • 1/4 cup chopped white onion
  • 5 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 12 ounces Mexican lager beer
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons Mexican oregano
  • 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 16 flour tortillas
  • 4 cups shredded Oaxacan or mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup diced white onion
  • 1/2 cup finely diced red jalapeño
  • 6 lime wedges
  • Tomatillo salsa
  • Crema

Nobody likes to be stuck cooking while guests are at the house. We love this recipe because you can make the pork the day before and even pre-assemble the quesadillas.


Technique tip: Cook the quesadilla over charcoal for an extra smoky flavor.


Swap option: You can swap in queso fresco for the cheese, sour cream for crema and use pico, or any other salsa that you love, in place of the tomatillo.


For the pork:
Preheat oven, grill or pellet smoker to 300 degrees.


Slice the pork into 2-inch chunks and trim off excess fat. Arrange in an ovenproof pan or Dutch oven and top with zest, onion, garlic and bay leaf. In a mixing bowl combine the beer, stock, salt, oregano, pepper and cumin. Pour the mixture over the pork and add water to cover the meat by one inch.


Place the pan on the stovetop on medium-high and bring to a simmer. Place the pan in the oven, grill or pellet smoker until it becomes tender and falls apart, 1½-2½ hours (add hot water if needed to keep covered).

Remove zest and bay leafs, pour off most of the braising liquid, and shred with a fork. Set aside.


For the quesadillas:
Lay out eight tortillas on a sheet tray. Place a 1/4 cup of cheese on each tortilla. Top them with the shredded pork, a few tablespoons of onions, chiles to taste, another 1/4 cup of cheese and then the second tortilla.

Heat a grill to medium direct heat. You can also use a grill pan or cast iron skillet.

Brush the grill with a little oil and place the quesadillas on the grill. Cook on both sides until the tortilla gets crisp and cheese is melted.

To serve:
Cut the quesadillas into wedges and serve with crema, salsa and limes on the side.