Try this Pig & Whiskey-inspired BBQ jalapeno popper dip and sandwich spread recipe

Posted By on Mon, Jul 13, 2015 at 12:26 pm

If you want to prepare for the Metro Times’ gut-busting, boozy Pig & Whiskey Festival in Ferndale this weekend, or you’re unable to make it but still want to experience a bit of it at home, check out this inspired recipe from Zeke’s Rock & Roll BBQ. Tested out over the weekend on 7 Action News This Morning, this BBQ jalapeno popper dip and sandwich spread incorporates the creaminess of a cheddar and cream cheese spread with the kick of the spicy peppers and applewood smoked bacon.

What you’ll need:
12 jalapenos
1 lb cream cheese
1/3 cup milk
1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
6 stripes applewood smoked bacon
Panko bread crumbs

Roast 12 jalapenos, remove skin, dice
Add 1 pound of soft cream cheese in a pot with 1/3 cup milk on low heat.
When creamy, add 1/3 lb shredded cheddar cheese. Fold in until creamy.
Remove from heat, add diced jalapenos.
Cut up six strips applewood smoked bacon and mix with cheese and jalapenos.
For the dip, top with panko bread crumbs, then heat in oven for 20 minutes at 350-degrees.
for a spread, skip the bread crumps and oven process and simply apply to a bun.

Wait, don’t throw out that watermelon rind; use it to make some tasty pickles: David’s Daily Dish

By David Holloway | ;
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on July 08, 2015 at 7:27 AM, updated July 08, 2015 at 1:35 PM
In particular, I don’t think I expound enough on the tremendous joys that can be derived from the simple joys of selecting, slicing and eating a locally grown watermelon.  It occurred to me the other day that I don’t write nearly enough about the stuff that’s going on around me.

I hear you, I realize that it doesn’t take much to actually amuse me or get my attention. I’m a sucker for a seal playing a song, for instance.

But when it comes to watermelons I confess to a certain myopia when it comes to watermelons. I tend to look past them until it’s too late.

Coastal Alabama, where I hang my hat, is home to some of the finest, sweetest melons to found anywhere. Right, I hear you again say that just about every section of every state can also claim to raise the best watermelons.

Everybody claims to have the right mixture of soil – some say acidic, some say alkali – and climate – some claim rain is the key, others say drier is better. But whatever the reason, good watermelons abound in just about corner of this great nation.

The right and proper method of eating a melon is the tried-and-true method of slicing it open and eating it on the porch. It also makes wonderful salads and the juice is a marvelous base for a number of tasty (ahem) beverages.

But one aspect of the watermelon-eating experience that is often overlooked, that being the part of the melon you come in contact with first – the rind.

Somebody a long, long time ago figured out that with a little bit of finagling you could take the outer layer of the watermelon and turn it into something really special, namely watermelon rind pickles.

Watermelon rind pickles are, to me, the epitome of old-school thriftiness and frugality. I can’t say for certain who was the first person to repurpose the green hide of the melon into a topping for biscuits, toasts or just about anything else that need a sweet topping. But whoever it was was very smart and resourceful and I thank the Lord for them.

So the next time you bring home a watermelon for the family to enjoy on one of these unbearably hot July afternoons, make sure you don’t throw out the rind. You will thank me for it later.

Watermelon Rind Pickles

8 servings


1 pound watermelon rind (from a 3-pound piece watermelon)

3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon coarse salt

1½ cups cider vinegar

1½ cups sugar

2 tablespoons pickling spice


Using a vegetable peeler, peel outer skin and tough green layer from watermelon rind; cut rind into 2-by- 1/2-inch strips.

In a medium saucepan, combine 5 cups water with 3 tablespoons salt; bring to a boil. Add rind. Cook at a rapid simmer over medium-high until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Drain, and transfer to a heatproof bowl (reserve saucepan).

In reserved saucepan, combine vinegar, sugar, pickling spice, remaining teaspoon salt, and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar and salt; pour hot liquid into bowl with rind. Use a small plate to submerge rind into liquid. Let cool to room temperature. Transfer to a container; cover and refrigerate in liquid at least 2 hours and up to 2 weeks.


Great for your grilling parties as an appetizer or to accompany your steak, chicken or fish! The glazed sweet jalapenos and crispy sweet onions are a great steak topper as well. This recipe is full of the amazing marriage of heat and sweet flavors! Great opportunity to add some new flavors to your weekend cook out! Enjoy!

Sweet Jalapeno Stuffed Mushrooms


2 lb medium mushrooms or Monterey mushrooms, stems pulled and washed

2 Tblspn extra virgin olive oil

2 Cups berry jam or Smuckers Simply Fruit

1 Cup sweet pickled jalapenos

1 ea sweet onion, sliced thin

1 C flour, seasoned with 1 Tblpsn of McCormick Pepper Supreme

3 C canola oil



Preheat your grill to medium high

In a saute pan over medium heat, combine the fruit jam and jalapenos. Bring to a boil, and glaze the sliced jalapenos. Add a Tblspn of the pickled jalapeno juice to thin it out a bit.

Preheat the canola oil in a small pan. Dredge your sliced sweet onion in the seasoned flour. When the oil is hot, add the onions to the oil and let crisp, should only take a minute or less. Pull them out and drain on a paper towel when they are golden brown.

Toss the mushrooms in the extra virgin olive oil, place on the heated grill for 1-2 minutes a side. Until the mushrooms begin to soften. You want them grilled, softened with a bit of texture left. Remove from grill and place on your serving dish cavity side up. Spoon in a glazed sweet jalapeno slice, a bit of the fruit glaze and top with crispy sweet onions for a magnificent texture break.

Jalapeno Cheddar Pretzels

Recipe adapted from Alton Brown

Cooking time: 2 hours

Yield: 12 pretzels



1 1/2 cups warm water (105-110 degrees F)

1 tbsp sugar

2 tsp kosher salt

1 package active dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp)

22 oz (4 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour

2 ounces unsalted butter, melted

10 cups water

2/3 cup baking soda

1 large egg yolk whisked with 1 tbsp water for egg wash

6 packages of Texas Tito’s Sliced Jalapenos (4.2 ounces)

8 ounces mild cheddar



  1. Combine the warm water with the sugar, salt and yeast. Let stand 5 minutes or until foamy. Add the flour and butter and mix until a rough dough forms. Use the dough hook of a kitchenmixer and knead on medium speed until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. The dough should be smooth and elastic.
  2. Lightly oil a large bowl. Transfer the dough to the bowl and cover. Let rise in a warm area for 50 – 55 minutes or until doubled in size.
  3. Preheat ovento 450 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and lightly brush with vegetable oil. Set aside.
  4. Combine the 10 cups of water with the baking sodain a large pot or roasting pan. Bring to a boil over high heat.
  5. Lightly oil work surface. Transfer the dough to the work surface and portion into 12 equal balls. Roll out each portion into a 24-inch rope. Shape the rope into a U-shape, hold the ends of the rope and cross them over one another, bringing them back down to the bottom of the U to form a pretzel. Repeat with the remaining portions.
  6. One by one, carefully drop the pretzel into the boiling water. Let sit in the water for 30 seconds. Remove with a large flat spatula and lay on the prepared baking sheets. Brush with the egg wash, top with the sliced jalapeno and sprinkle the cheese. Repeat with the remaining pretzels.
  7. Bake the pretzels for 12-14 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the pretzels are dark golden brown. Cool on wire rackfor 5 minutes. Serve.

Homemade Pickles Two Ways

Pickles Two Ways

The process is precisely the same with just a variation in seasonings. This same pickling recipe works for other vegetables such as okra, radishes, cauliflower, carrots and sweet onions.

Once you master the basics you can make flavor variations to suit your own pickled preferences.

12 large cucumbers, cut into 1/4-inch rounds

1 onion, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds

7 1/2 cups white distilled vinegar

4 cups water

2 cups granulated sugar

1/4 cup kosher salt

Seasoning mix for bread-and-butter pickles:

2 tablespoon turmeric

1 tablespoon celery seed

1 tablespoon mustard seeds

1 tablespoon grated fresh horseradish

1 jalapeno, thinly sliced

Seasoning mix for garlic-dill pickles:

1/2 cup garlic cloves, smashed (about 10 cloves)

1 tablespoon celery seed

1 tablespoon dill seed

1 tablespoon black peppercorns

5 sprigs fresh dill

In a large bowl, toss cucumbers and onion together. Divide mixture between quart canning jars, or other heatproof sealable containers.

Make pickling liquid: In a large saucepan, combine vinegar, water, sugar, salt and seasoning mix. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes or until sugar and salt have dissolved. Turn heat off and let sit 5 minutes. Pour pickling liquid over cucumbers and onions in jars. Seal shut and cool. Store pickles in refrigerator for seven days before serving. Makes: 6 quarts

Bread-and-butter pickles – makes 6 quarts

Per 1/4-cup serving: 29 calories (percent of calories from fat, 3), trace protein, 7 grams carbohydrates, trace fiber, trace fat (no saturated fat), no cholesterol, 236 milligrams sodium.

Garlic-dill pickles – makes 6 quarts

Per 1/4-cup serving: 25 calories (percent of calories from fat, 2), trace protein, 6 grams carbohydrates, trace fiber, trace fat (no saturated fat), no cholesterol, 236 milligrams sodium.

Jalapeno Blackened Shrimp with Potatoes

 Prep time: 15 minutes  Cook Time: 15 minutes  Yield: 2 servings

  • 12 jumbo gulf shrimp, peeled & deveined
  • 8 small potatoes, diced into 1” cubes
  • 2 packages of Tito’s Sliced Jalapenos (1.4 oz total)
  • 1 Tablespoon blackened seasoning
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ¼ white onion, minced
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro


In a large bowl toss the shrimp and jerk seasoning.  A plastic baggie also works.

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the olive oil.  When hot, add the potatoes.  Cook, stirring for about 10 minutes or until potatoes begin to soften.  Add the shrimp and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until shrimp are pink on both sides.  Lower the heat and add the jalapenos, garlic and onions and continue cooking stirring constantly for one minute.  Add the orange juice and let simmer for 30 seconds.  Add the cilantro at the very end and serve.  Great served over rice.

Sweet Pickle Pie

  • 3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
  • 2 5-ounce jars sharp Old English pasteurized process cheese spread
  • 1 5-ounce jar blue cheese spread
  • 3/4 cup sweet pickle relish
  • 3/4 cup sweet cucumber slices


Measure 3/4 cup cream cheese. Set aside. Combine remaining cream cheese and cheese spreads in a large bowl. Add sweet pickle relish. With electric mixer, beat until well-blended. Spoon into 9-inch pie plate. Spread into an even layer. Chill about 4 hours. To decorate, put the 3/4 cup cream cheese in pastry bag with shell or other decorative metal tip. Pipe border around edge. Garnish with sweet cucumber slices. Serve with crackers.

Fried Dill Pickles

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup ice water
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons dill pickle juice
  • 4 cups drained dill pickle slices or equivalent amount of medium to large pickles, sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • Vegetable oil for frying

Stir flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt into large bowl. Make a well in center; add water, egg yolk and pickle juice, all at once. Stir with wire whisk to make a smooth batter. Cover bowl and refrigerate 30 minutes.

Heat at least 2 inches of oil in deep fryer or large saucepan to 375 F. In batches, dip pickle slices in the batter to coat evenly and lightly. Fry without crowding in hot oil until golden and crisp, 1-1/2 to 2 minutes. Drain on paper towels and serve at once. Makes about 8 servings as an appetizer or side dish.

Dill Pickle Salsa

  • 1/3 cup finely diced dill pickle
  • 1 large tomato, finely diced
  • 1 medium pickled jalapeno pepper, cored and finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup red onion, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste


Combine all pickle, tomato, jalapeno pepper, cilantro, red onion, red vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Tacos with Pickled Pepper Salsa

  • sliced-jalapenos-tub1 medium onion, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup pickled pepper juice
  • 1 pound ground turkey breast
  • 8 ounces pickled pepper rings, diced
  • 12 ounces chunky-style salsa
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 8 taco shells, warmed
  • Alfalfa sprouts or shredded lettuce
  • Serves 4

Over medium heat, cook the diced onion in pickled pepper juice until juice evaporates. Add ground turkey and stir as it cooks. When turkey is no longer pink, add diced pickled pepper rings and salsa and heat through. Stir in cheese. Spoon mixture into taco shells. Top with sprouts or lettuce.

Per serving: 460 calories, 32 g protein, 28 g carbohydrate, 25 g fat, 105 mg cholesterol, 1470 mg sodium.