Cherchies Blog

pretty hot peppers

Mexican Stuffed Shells Recipe

entreesSheri SpalloneComment
Mexican Stuffed Shells Recipe

Mexican Stuffed Shells Recipe

Raise your hand if Mexican food is one of your favorite ethnic dishes!  How about Italian food?!  I was torn last week on what to make for dinner, so I combined our family's two favorites (Italian and Mexican) and created these mouth-watering, Mexican-inspired stuffed shells.  

As you know, traditional stuffed shells are filled with Italian cheeses and meat, and are lovingly bathed in a savory marinara sauce.  For this zestier version, we stuffed taco meat (seasoned with Cherchies® Select Grilling Rub & Seasoning Blend), black beans, Cherchies® Pretty Hot Peppers,  and cheese into jumbo pasta shells, and steeped them in salsa for a meal bursting with Mexican flavors.

Add a twist to Taco Tuesday by creating this easy, Mexican dish full of zippy flavor, and serve a meal your family is going to love!  

You may want to make a second batch to freeze for later!

Comment below to let us know how you liked the recipe.

Thank you again for visiting!


  • 1 yellow (sweet) onion, diced
  • 1 Tablespoon (Tbsp) olive oil
  • 1 pound (lb) ground turkey or beef
  • 3 generous Tablespoons (Tbsp) Cherchies® Select Grilling Rub & Seasoning Blend
  • 1 Tablespoon (Tbsp) Minor's Beef Base, dissolved in 1/4 cup of water (could substitute 1 beef bouillion cube dissolved in 1/4 cup water or 1/4 cup prepared beef broth)
  • 2 cups of your favorite salsa or pico de gayo, divided in half (Cherchies® Black Bean & Corn Salsa or Cherchies®Vidalia Onion Peach Salsa are our favorites)
  • 1 jar Cherchies®Pretty Hot Peppers
  • 1 15.5 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup shredded Mexican Cheese blend, plus another cup for topping
  • Jumbo Pasta Shells (enough to fit in 8x 11 baking dish), cooked according to package directions, 5 minutes under cooking time.
  • 1/4 cup Taco sauce (found in Mexican isle of grocery store)
  • small can sliced black olives, drained
  • 4 green onions, sliced (optional for garnish)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large skillet, sauté onion in olive oil on medium-low heat until translucent.  After onion has cooked, add ground meat, Cherchies® Select Grilling Rub & Seasoning Blend, and beef base or bouillon mixed in water.

Turn heat to low and simmer meat until no longer pink.  While meat is cooking, cook pasta according to package directions minus 6 minutes, and drain and set aside.  (Shells are easier to fill when they are al dente, plus they won't get mushy when cooked in the oven).

As meat finishes cooking, add Cherchies® Pretty Hot Peppers, 1 cup of salsa/pico de gayo, and the can of black beans to the mixture, stir, and cook for a few more minutes.  Next, add 1/2 cup shredded cheese to the meat mixture and stir until melted.  Turn off heat and allow the meat to cool for ten minutes.  (This will make filling the shells easier).  

To a 9x13 baking dish, add the other cup of salsa/pica de gayo, and spread evenly in the pan.  After meat and shells have cooled slightly, hold individual shells in hand and fill shells with meat mixture and carefully place in baking dish.

Drizzle Taco sauce over shells, then sprinkle remaining 1 cup of cheese over shells.  Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until bubbly and cheese is melted.

Garnish with chopped green onions and olives (optional) and serve!


shells 3470 (1 of 1).jpg
shells 3471 (1 of 1).jpg




Homemade Potatoes O'Brien Recipe

breakfast, side dishesSheri SpalloneComment
Homemade Potatoes O'Brien Recipe

Homemade Potatoes O'Brien Recipe

Cook Time: About 20 minutes  
Difficulty: Easy

Are you a leftover lover or hater? Personally, I love them; they are kind of my thing!  Leftovers are the perfect medium for recreating new culinary masterpieces (something I am well-known for in our household), and although it takes a bit of planning, the best part is you save money because you waste less. Who doesn't love saving money?

Potatoes O'Brien is a deliciously easy recipe to use extra peppers and our Cherchies Garlic Seasoning.  Traditionally this dish is made with potatoes, onions, and green and red peppers, but use what is available.  It's okay, I give you permission, cooking is about improvising, and since I had a plethora of green, yellow and orange peppers leftover from a neighborhood potluck, I used them instead.  

Make a large batch of these potatoes and divide them!  Use one part for dinner as a side dish, and freeze the rest to later add to eggs for a casserole or quick breakfast burritos.  Either way you "dice" it, you will have a quick and easy tasty side dish in under 30 minutes that your family or guests will devour!

Thank you for stopping by:)


  • 1 Tablespoon (Tbsp.) olive oil, divided
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 green pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 teaspoon (tsp) Cherchies Garlic Seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon (tsp) ground pepper
  • 6 gold potatoes (or your favorite potatoes), chopped into 1 inch chuncka (feel free to leave the skins on)
  • 1 large clove of garlic, minced
  • Cherchies Pretty Hot Peppers (optional)

Chop up onions, peppers, and set aside.  Wash and chop the potatoes (no need to remove the skins).  Add the potatoes to a medium bowl of cold water until ready to use, otherwise potatoes may turn grey, which may not go over well with semi-picky eaters;)  Trust me.

In a large skillet, cook the onions and peppers in 1 Tablespoon olive oil and Cherchies Garlic Seasoning until the onions are translucent.  Remove them from the skillet and set aside. 

In the same skillet, add remaining olive oil, potatoes, pepper and and garlic and cook on low until potatoes are soft, about 10 minutes.  Stir occasionally to prevent potatoes from sticking to the bottom of the pan.  After potatoes have cooked, add back in the pepper and onion mixture to the skillet.   (*Optional- for a twist to this dish, add the Cherchies Pretty Hot Peppers (spicier) or Pretty Peppers).  Cook for 5 minutes.  Serve this savory dish with our Savory Champagne Meatloaf Recipe and our Best Darn Garlic Bread Recipe for a complete meal. Enjoy!

Homemade Potatoes O'Brien Recipe

Homemade Potatoes O'Brien Recipe


Cajun Mac and Cheese Recipe

entrees, side dishesSheri SpalloneComment
Cajun Mac and Cheese Recipe

Cajun Mac and Cheese Recipe

Prep Time: 15 Minutes

Cook Time:  15-20 minutes

Difficulty:  Easy
Servings: 6 Servings

It is hard to imagine life without creamy, gooey, intoxicating macaroni and cheese. It's that golden, quintessential comfort food; but add Cajun seasoning and Andouille sausage to the mix, and you've just transported yourself into the heart of Bayou Country!  Hello!

Variety is the spice of life, friends!  This easy peasy spicy rendition features our Cajun Seasoning, Cherchies® Champagne Mustard, Cherchies® Pretty Hot Peppers, and savory Andouille sausage, the perfect combination to tantalize your taste buds and wow your family.

The next time your family has a hankering for Mac and Cheese, spice things up by surprising them with your culinary, Cajun creation!  They will thank you!



Prepare macaroni according to package directions, drain.  While the macaroni is cooking, in a medium skillet, cook the sliced sausage and chopped onion in olive oil on medium heat, turning occasionally, until sausage is cooked through and onions are translucent.  Add the drained Pretty Hot Peppers. Turn the heat off and set mixture aside.

In a small pan, combine the flour and melted butter.  This will be your roux to thicken the sauce. Cook for a few minutes on low, then slowly add the warmed milk to the roux.   Add the champagne mustard and dry mustard to the mixture, stir, and then for the best part...the CHEESE!   Add the glorious cheese to the flour mixture and stir until smooth.  I tend to use whatever cheese we have on hand, but cheddar and Monterey Jack work nicely in this dish.

Pour the cheese sauce into the skillet with the sausage and mix to combine.  Add the drained macaroni noodles and Cajun Seasoning and cook on low until warmed through.

Serve with our Cajun Cornbread Recipe and our Strawberry Spinach Salad for a complete meal!  Enjoy!

cajun mac and cheese3 (1 of 1).jpg

Cajun Cornbread Recipe

breakfast, side dishes, gluten freeSheri SpalloneComment
Cajun Cornbread Recipe

Cajun Cornbread Recipe

Cook Time: 20-25 Minutes                             Difficulty:  Easy

No matter how you slice it, moist, flavorful sweet cornbread is undeniably one of the best and most versatile side dishes, because, it goes with just about anything, chili, soups, casseroles, Mexican, Southern or Cajun dishes, and so much more. With so many variations of cornbread out there, this spicier version may soon become your new favorite.

Our family goes nuts over this recipe, simply because it is awesome, but with a husband, two teenagers, and a young adult, this cornbread disappears as quickly as it comes out of the oven, so I usually need to make a double batch.  

This time, I wanted to create a Cajun version, so I snuck in our NEW Cajun Seasoning and our Pretty Hot Peppers, sweet green peppers with a little kick, a sure no-no for our middle child, Nicholas, who usually runs for the hills at the mention of peppers.  

So why would I even tamper with my family's precious cornbread recipe? That is what I do, I experiment and challenge my family's palate and watch their faces contort as I serve them something new (which is quite often). I find it quite humorous, but I am confident in most situations that my family will enjoy my creations.  When I was their age, I would never have been that accepting as a teenager, but our kiddos politely abide by the "One-Bite Rule" we have in our family.  They don't have to like what I make, but they have to at least try it!  Luckily, this recipe was a success. They liked the subtle spicier version almost as much as the original version, and it too was gobbled up. 

So, if you are looking to spice things up, this version of my family's favorite cornbread recipe is perfect for even the most discerning family members. It complements most dishes and will soon become your favorite cornbread as well.  Serve this cornbread with our Slow Cooker Peach BBQ Pork Recipe and our Best Darn Coleslaw Recipe for a complete meal.

Thank you for stopping by!

*Note-This recipe was adapted from Indian Head Brand Cornmeal.


  • 1 cup of yellow corn meal (we used Indian Head Stone Ground Yellow Cornmeal).  
  • 1 cup all purpose flour (to make it gluten free, substitute your favorite gluten free all-purpose flour)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 teaspoons (tsp.) baking powder
  • 1-2 teaspoons (tsp) Cherchies® Cajun Seasoning
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 jar of Cherchies® Pretty Hot Peppers, drained


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  In a medium bowl, mix together the corn meal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and Cherchies Cajun Seasoning.  In a separate small bowl, beat the eggs and add the oil and milk.  Mix.

Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients and add the Cherchies Pretty Hot Peppers.  Mix to combine.

 Pour the cornbread mixture into a greased 8x8 baking dish. and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown.


Cajun Cornbread Recipe

Cajun Cornbread Recipe