Thursday, March 09, 2017

Atomic Appetizer

Ed made his first appetizer in his pellet smoker.  He found the recipe in his new book, The Wood Pellet Smoker & Grill Cookbook.  Now, the name of the recipe is ridiculous - Atomic Buffalo Turds - and had I known that's what they were called when he made them, I probably wouldn't have eaten them.  But I did, and they were pretty good.

If you're not a fan of jalapeños, know that they get milder as you cook them.  If you're still afraid of the spice, use baby bell peppers.


SERVES:  6-10

PREP TIME:  30 to 45 minutes

COOK TIME:  1.5 to 2 hours

REST TIME:  5 minutes


10 medium jalapeño peppers
8 ounces regular cream cheese at room temperature
3/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack and cheddar cheese blend (optional)

1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
20 Lit'l Smokies sausages
10 thinly sliced bacon strips, cut in half

1.  Put your food service gloves on, if using.  Wash and slice the jalapeño peppers lengthwise.  using a spoon or paring knife, carefully remove the seeds and veins and discard them.  Place the jalapeños on a vegetable grilling tray and set aside.  

2.  In a small bowl, mix the cream cheese, shredded cheese, if using, paprika, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, and red pepper flakes, until fully incorporated.

3.  Fill the hollowed jalapeño pepper halves with the cream cheese mixture.  

4.  Place a Lit'l Smokies sausage on top of each filled jalapeño pepper half.

5.  Wrap half a slice of thin bacon around each jalapeño pepper half.

6.  Use a toothpick to secure the bacon to the sausage, making sure not to pierce the pepper.  Place the ABTs on a grilling tray or pan.

1.  Configure your wood pellet smoker-grill for indirect cooking and preheat to 250°F using hickory pellets or a blend.

2.  Smoke the jalapeño peppers at 250° for approximately 1.5 to 2 hours, until the bacon is cooked and crispy.  

3.  Remove the ABTs from the grill and let rest for five minutes before serving as an hors d'oeuvre.

Ed pulled this appetizer off all by himself.  I was very impressed with his following the recipe, prepping the food, and cooking it.  He methodically filled each jalapeño, skillfully wrapped them in bacon, and gently speared them with a toothpick.

In addition to not knowing the name of them before I tried them, I'm also glad I didn't know they contained a Lit'l Smokie sausage.  I don't eat that kind of stuff.  No jerky, no weenies in a can, no Lit'l Smokies.  I'll eat a Twinkie that can survive the apocolypse, but I draw the line at weird little sausages.

That said, it was a pretty decent appetizer.  Lots of flavor, definite heat spice-wise, and something very different than what we usually have.  I think these can probably be made on the grill, too, since we've used the grilling pan for vegetables in the past.

If you try these - on a smoker or a grill - leave me a message and let me know how they came out.

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