Stuffed Peppers

Bought some banana peppers for chili and had a few left over, so I added some hot Italian sausage and had a feast!

All you need are 4 banana peppers, 1/2 pound of hot Italian sausage, about 1 cup of marinara and some shredded parmesan.

Cut the top of the pepper off and hollow out the inside. Dived the sausage into quarters and stuff each quarter into a pepper. Place on a baking sheet and smoke at the lowest setting on your grill (about 165F) for about 2 hours. Heat the marinara to low simmer.

Move to direct heat on a BBQ grill and finish for about 8 minutes, flipping after 4 minutes. Move the sausage to a serving tray, cover in marinara, and sprinkle on cheese. Serve hot.

Stuffed banana peppers with a few Ribeyes on the side!

Cheesy Potato Casserole

A great side dish for….anything! Hash brown potatoes tossed in a wonderful cheesy goodness makes this a hit every day. To make, you will need:

  • 1 can condensed cheddar cheese soup
  • 2C sour cream
  • 1t salt
  • 1/4t pepper
  • 4C shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/3C sliced green onions
  • 30oz frozen shredded hash brown potatoes
  • 2C crushed corn flakes
  • 1/4C butter, melted

Setup smoker for maximum smoke at lowest temp possible, around 165F.

Spray a 13X9 pan with nonstick spray. Whisk together sour cream, soup, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Stir in 3C cheese, green onions and hash brown potatoes until well mixed. Spoon evenly into the prepared baking dish.

Smoke for 1 hour, stirring after 30 minutes. After 1 hour, turn heat up to 350F. Mix crushed cereal and melted butter together in a medium bowl. Sprinkle evenly over the casserole, along with remaining 1 C of cheese.

Bake uncovered until hot and bubbly, 50-60 minutes. Remove from smoker and let rest for 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with additional green onions if desired.

Bread Pudding Soufflé with Bourbon Sauce

This is my most favorite dessert in the entire world. It is the signature dish at Commander’s Palace in New Orleans. The recipe comes direct from their kitchen, with a bit of improvisation for the smoker. You will note there are 3 distinct steps to making this. Both the bread pudding and the bourbon sauce can be made ahead of time, as they need to cool to room temp after cooking. These two steps, from prep to cook, will take about an hour. The meringue and the building and baking of the soufflé should be done right before you want to serve (that step will take about 30 minutes).

Start with making the bread pudding. You will need:

  • 3/4C Sugar
  • 1t Cinnamon
  • Pinch of Nutmeg
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1C Heavy Cream
  • 1t vanilla
  • 5C New Orleans Style French Bread cut into 1″ pieces
    • This amounts to an approximate 18″ loaf. New Orleans style French bread is very light and tender. If your bread is too dense, it will soak up the custard and the recipe will not work.
  • 1/3C raisins
Make sure the bread soaks up all the custard before placing in pan

Preheat your smoker to 350F. Butter an 8″ square baking pan. Combine sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Beat in the eggs until smooth, then work in the heavy cream. Add the vanilla, then the bread cubes. Allow the bread to soak up the custard, while stirring/folding every so often. Takes about 10 minutes.

Place the raisins in the greased pan. Top with the bread/egg mixture. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the pudding has a golden brown color and is firm to the touch. A toothpick inserted in the pudding comes out clean when it is done. Cool to room temp.

When a toothpick comes out clean, the bread pudding is done

Next, make the Bourbon Sauce:

  • 1C Heavy Cream
  • 1/2T Corn Starch
  • 1T Water
  • 3T Sugar
  • 1/4C Bourbon
Any bourbon, rye or whisky will work for the sauce, but don’t go cheap. This is the highlight of the dessert.

Place the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Whisk corn starch and water together, and add to cream while whisking. Bring back to a boil and whisk/simmer for a few seconds, taking care not to burn the mixture on the bottom. Remove from heat and stir in the sugar and bourbon. Taste to make sure the sauce has a bit of a thick consistency, a sufficiently sweet taste, and a good bourbon flavor. Cool to room temp.

Now, make the meringue:

  • 9 Egg Whites
  • 3/4C Sugar
  • 1/4t Cream of Tarter

Keep the smoker at 350F. Butter 4 nine ounce ramekins. In a mixer, whip egg whites and cream of tartar until foamy. Add the sugar gradually and continue whipping until shiny and thick. Test with a clean spoon. If the whites stand up stiff, like shaving cream, when you pull out the spoon, the meringue is ready. Do not overwhip, or the whites will break down and the soufflé will not work.

In a large bowl, break half the bread pudding into pieces using your hands. Gently fold in one-quarter of the meringue. Add a portion of this base to each of the ramekins.

Place the remaining bread pudding in the bowl, break into pieces, and carefully fold in the rest of the meringue. Top off the soufflés with this lighter mixture. Smooth and shape tops with spoon into a dome over the ramekin rim. Place in the smoker for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Using a spoon, poke a hole in the top of each soufflé and pour the bourbon sauce inside the soufflé. Serve immediately and enjoy the sweetest treat to ever come off your grill!

Rib Mop

A very simple, yet effective mop for pork ribs.

Mix 12oz of pineapple juice (2 small cans) with 1 can of water and 1/2 can of white vinegar. Let the bark form for the first 3 hours, then spray on ribs every hour thereafter. Makes enough for 4-6 racks of ribs.

KC Dry Rub

This is my favorite rub to use on jerky and all things beef. Just mix everything together and store in an airtight container.

  • 1C Superfine Sugar
  • 1/2C Paprika
  • 1/4C Seasoning Salt
  • 1/4C Garlic Salt
  • 1/4C Celery Salt
  • 1/4C Onion Salt
  • 3T Chili Powder
  • 2T Black Pepper
  • 1T Lemon Pepper
  • 1t Sage
  • 1t Dry Mustard
  • 1/2t Thyme
  • 1/2t Cayenne pepper (or more to taste)

Makes 3 cups

Smoked Biscuits & Sausage Gravy

Taking a southern staple to the smoker, with this rich, thick sausage gravy and homemade biscuits. Serve along side with scrambled eggs for a breakfast feast!

This recipe will make about 2 dozen biscuits and enough gravy to smoother them all (call it breakfast for 12). Let’s start with the gravy. Take 1 pound of regular breakfast sausage, the stuff in a tube, and 1 pound of hot breakfast sausage. Spread out, either on a hard surface or a cookie sheet, about 1/2″ thick. Place on a wire rack and smoke for 30-60 minutes.

When you get the desired amount of smokiness into the sausage, brown it in an large frying pan or cast iron pan. Once browned, remove sausage from the pan, but leave about 2T of the drippings. Melt 6T butter and whisk in 1/2C of flour. Cook until light brown, about 3-5 minutes. Whisk in 6C whole milk and cook over medium heat until bubbling. Return the sausage to the pan. Add salt & pepper to taste. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, until thick.

While the milk is coming up to temp, make your biscuits. First, set your smoker for 450F, all indirect heat. Mix together 4C flour, 6T backing powder and 1T salt. Cut in 1C of cold butter, chopped in small pieces, until the mixture looks like rough bread crumbs. Mix in 1 1/2C of whole milk and stir until you have a soft dough. Kneed for 5 minutes and spread out into a flat layer about 1/2″ thick. Use a pint jar and cut dough into biscuits, then place on a cookie sheet. Reroll dough until it is all cut into biscuits. Should make 20-24 biscuits.

When you turn the gravy down to a simmer, place the biscuits in the smoker for 10-14 minutes, or until golden brown. Make sure you don’t burn the bottoms. Serve everything hot and enjoy!

Smoked Breakfast Casserole

You can either make this the night before, or morning of. What you will need:

  • 1# breakfast sausage
  • 1# bacon
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 12oz shredded, frozen hashbrown potatoes
  • 4C shredded cheese
  • 6 eggs
  • 2C milk
  • 1 bunch Cilantro
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Break or cut the sausage into small pieces and cook until done. Reserve grease and set sausage aside. Cut bacon into small pieces and cook until done. Reserve 2T bacon grease and add sausage grease. Set bacon aside with sausage.

Preheat smoker to 375F.

Chop peppers and onions into small pieces. Sauté in bacon/sausage grease until soft, about 5-8 minutes.

In a large bowl, mix vegetables and meat together with hashbrown potatoes and 2 cups of cheese. Place in an 11×13 roasting pan. Beat eggs with milk, salt and pepper. Add to roasting pan with vegies and meat.

Bake in smoker for 40 minutes. Sprinkle remaining 2C cheese on top and continue cooking for another 20 minutes (total of 60 minutes in smoker). Remove from grill and let rest for10-15 minutes. Chop and sprinkle cilantro on top of casserole and enjoy!

After 40 minutes, before adding final cheese

Smoked Tacos on Fry Bread

Huh, what’s fry bread you ask? Saw some program on the Food Network where the restaurant was serving tacos on fry bread rather than traditional tortilla shells. Basically, it’s exactly what it sounds like. Chunks of bread dough, rolled thin, then deep fried like an elephant ear. Stays flexible enough to create a Chalupa style taco.

For this dish I smoked 2 pounds of ground beef for about an hour before browning it and seasoning with a store bought taco seasoning.

For the fry bread, mix 4 cups of all-purpose flour with 2T of baking powder and 1T of salt. Add 2C of milk and mix with a bread hook until combined. Continue to knead for another 5 minutes and let rest for 10 minutes.

Break off 1/2C chunks of dough and roll into a thin round disk, no more than 1/4″ thick (thinner the better). Deep fry for 90 seconds/side. When the dough fist hits the oil, it will puff up with air pockets. Pop those with a knife or you end up with something that resembles a puffer fish. Drain on paper towels.

Top with refried beans, taco meat, lettuce, cheese, salsa, hell- any fixings you like.

Chicago Style Italian Beef

You can choose to have an all beef sandwich, or drop an Italian sausage on the bottom of the role and call it a combo. To make, get yourself the following:

  • 3 lbs of top round roast
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon onion salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 cups of beef stock
  • 10 sub rolls

Combine the dry ingredients. Rub the roast with 1 garlic clove and then sprinkle with half the rub. Smoke at the lowest temperature on your grill for 2-3 hours. Heat the beef stock to a simmer and add the rest of the dry ingredients and 1 additional garlic clove, as well as the bay leaf.

Place the beef in a 13×9 pan and pour beef stock on top. Cook at 400 until you get to an internal temperature of 135F (about 2-3 hours). Remove roast from pan and let rest. Reserve the gravy/juice. After about 30-60 minutes, wrap roast with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Slicing cold meat is much easier than hot, plus it keeps the juices in the meat. But if you’re in a pinch, just slice and go for it.

Slice as thin as you can. Warm gravy/juice to a simmer and place a serving of beef in the gravy to warm for about 5 minutes. Remove beef from gravy, place on rolls, and top with giardiniera . Add a bit more gravy for a nice, wet sandwich.

Smoked Cream Cheese

Super easy to make. Just a block of cream cheese dusted with your favorite rub. Tried a couple of Meat Church rubs here, Deez Nuts and Holy Voodoo. Smoked for 2 1/2 hours on foil at 160F. Make sure you lay the blocks on foil or you’ll end up picking cheese out of your grill for a very long time.