Italian Wedding Soup

Traditional Italian Wedding Soup with a smoked kick.

First make the meatballs:

  • 1/2# mild Italian sausage
  • 1/2# hamburger
  • 1 egg- beaten
  • 1/8C milk or cream
  • 1/4C panko breadcrumbs
  • 1t Italian seasoning
  • 1/4C shredded Parmigiano
  • 1/2t salt
  • 1/2t onion powder
  • 1/2t pepper

Mix everything together and roll into 1″ balls. Smoke on your smoker at it’s lowest temp for 45 minutes. Then, turn the heat up to 300F and let go another 15 minutes, or until meatballs get to 165F.

While the meatballs are smoking, prepare the soup:

  • 1/4C olive oil
  • 3C diced carrots (about 6 carrots)
  • 3 stalks celery diced
  • 1 sweet onion diced
  • 3 quarts chicken broth
  • 1T beef bouillon or soup base
  • 1/2C dry white wine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1C ancici de pepe pasta
  • 3C fresh baby spinach
  • Parmigiano for serving

Sauté the trilogy on med/high heat in the olive oil for 5 minutes. Add broth, bouillon, wine and bay leaves. Bring to a simmer and add the meatballs into the soup. Cook for 10 minutes, then add pasta and cook for another 10 minutes. Toss the spinach into the pot during the last 5 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmigiano when served.

Hard Smoked Eggs

These are basically hard boiled eggs, but with a touch of smoke.

I let these go for 3 hours on smoke, flipping the eggs every hour, and then 30 minutes at 225.

Remove from the smoker and dunk in a bowl of ice water for 15 minutes. Peel and eat. That simple.

Sneaky Heat Hotsauce

A very flavorful, smoked chipotle hot sauce where you can control the heat based on the style and amount of peppers you use. Complements all Mexican and eggs by adding flavor, with a touch of heat that grows on you after tasting. This recipe will easily make 1 quart of hot sauce.

Start with about 1# of hot peppers after removing the seeds and the stems. These can be anything you choose, but one suggestion is the following:

  • 1 sweet, red bell pepper (about 1/2#)
  • 1/4 pound of habenero peppers
  • 1/4 pound of jalapeno peppers
  • 1/4 pound of cayenne peppers

Using gloves, slice the peppers in half and remove the stem and seeds. The white veins can remain. Rinse them inside and out. Smoke for 30 minutes. Chop into smaller pieces and drop into a food processor with 1/3C of Sweet Baby Rays BBQ sauce. Puree the crap out of the mix until slushy, about 3 minutes.

Place the pepper/sauce concoction in a pot and add 1C white vinegar, 1/8C balsamic vinegar and 1/4C of triple sec. Set this aside.

Back to the food processor, puree the following:

  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 ea 4oz can of chipotle peppers in adobe sauce (include the sauce)
  • 1T grated ginger
  • 1/2T black pepper
  • 2t kosher salt
  • 1t dried oregeno
  • 1/4t mustard powder
  • 1/2C pineapple juice
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2t of vanilla

Once pureed, add the above mix to the pepper mix and cook over medium heat. Cover, bring to a boil, and let simmer while covered for 30 minutes. Once it cools off a bit, enjoy what may be the best hot sauce you’ve ever had!

Fresh Ham- Uncured and Pulled

When you just need a delicious pulled pork option, start with a fresh ham (pig leg).

If you brine a fresh ham, it becomes ham. That recipe is here, and it is delicious. But if you like the idea of a pig roast but don’t have the room or patience for it, this is the next best thing.

A fresh ham will typically be about 20-22 pounds. When you get it home from the butcher, there is nothing you need to do to it. Just leave the fat and skin on as-is. Rub it with equal parts of salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder.

Place in your smoker at 250F until the internal temp reaches 200F, usually about 8-10 hours. You don’t need to do a damn thing to it while cooking, but if you feel adventurous, spritz the skin with apple cider vinegar ever hour after the third. This can lead to a golden brown, crisp skin you can serve on it’s own.

When done, separate the fat, skin and bones from the meat. Pull the meat hit with some additional rub from above. Simply wonderful!

Stuffed Onion Bombs

Big ‘ol onions stuffed with hamburger, bacon and cheese, wrapped in more bacon, and sauced to perfection. Yum yum!

Start with 3 of the largest sweet onions you can find. Peel them and half them. Dig out all the rings except the 2 most out rings.

Mix 1# hamburger, 1/2# chopped bacon (uncooked), 1/4C Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Fill each onion half, making a dimple in the center of each half and dropping in 3 mozzarella balls.

Place the two halves together and wrap with 4 slices of bacon, positioning them on the cutting board in an asterisk pattern. Fold up each side to the top center and pin with a tooth pick or two. Sprinkle with your favorite BBQ rub.

Put on your smoker at 275F for 2 hours. Turn the heat up to 350 and go another 20-30 minutes, or until the bacon is crisp. Hit it with your favorite BBQ sauce, let it go for another 10 minutes then rest for 10 minutes. Delicious!

Bacon Bombs

Delicious morsels of beef and pork, wrapped around a mozzarella ball, wrapped in bacon and smothered in BBQ sauce.

Start with my meatball recipe. Tuck a 1″ mozzarella ball into the center of each meatball and wrap the meat securely around it. Wrap each ball with 2 slices of bacon, using a toothpick to hold it in place.

Smoke for 3 hours at 165F right on the grill grate. Turn the grill up to 400F and cook until meat gets to 165F, about 20-30 minutes depending on the size of your balls. Once they are done, check the bacon. If it doesn’t look crisp enough for your liking, put the balls on a cookie sheet and place under the broiler for a couple of minutes.

Turn the grill back to 165F and brush each ball with your favorite BBQ sauce. Place back on the smoker for 15-20 minutes, remove and enjoy!

Bacon Jerky

A different take on Chronic Bacon, low and slow allows the seasonings to remain in place and crisps up the bacon nicely. Sweet & Spicy is on the left, Sweet & Bourbon in on the right.

Start with thick cut bacon. I cut 1/4″ slices out of my own homemade bacon.

Make up a sugary slurry to brush across each slice. For a sweet tooth, use 1C brown sugar with 2T bourbon and 1T black pepper. For a sweet and spicy alternative, use 1C brown sugar with 2T Siracha and 2T hot sauce. Whichever you choose (both in the case above), mix it together and then brush on each slice of bacon, top and bottom.

Place bacon on a 200F grill for about 6 hours. No need for a cookie sheet as you would in a hot oven. You can test it after 4-5 hours by removing a piece, let it sit for 10 minutes to crystalize the sugar, and see if you have the texture you want.

Smoked Breakfast Enchiladas

A tasty breakfast dish made the night before with a nice balance of eggs, Chorizo, cheese and onion to get your day started off right!

You will need the following ingrediants:

  • 1# Chorizo
  • 1 diced onion
  • 1 ea 10oz can green enchilada sauce
  • 8 flour tortillas, taco size
  • 4C shredded cheese, Mexican blend
  • 6 eggs
  • 3/4C milk
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Fresh cilantro for garnish

Start with browning the Chorizo by cooking in a skillet over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add the diced onion and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add half the can of enchilada sauce and cook another 3 minutes.

Beat the eggs, milk and remaining enchilada sauce in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

Grease a 13×9 pan. Spread 2C of the cheese across the 8 tortillas. Put a couple of spoons of the sausage mix on top of the cheese. Roll the tortilla up, leaving the ends open, and place seam side down into pan. Getting 8 enchiladas into the pan will be challenging, but they will fit! Pour the egg mixture over the top, cover and let refrigerate over night.

Preheat your grill to 350F. Cook for 45 minutes before adding the remaining 2C of cheese. Cook another 15 minutes. Remove from grill and let rest for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and salsa, serve and enjoy!

Smoked Ruben Sliders

Delicious little morsels of love. Smoked Ruben Sliders can be a meal or just an appetizer to get the juices flowing.

Start with a smoked cornedbeef. If you haven’t found it already, my recipe is here.

Take a tray of King’s Hawaiian Sweet Dinner rolls. Split them down the side and place the bottom half in a buttered pan. Brush Thousand Island dressing over the rolls, then layer with the sliced smoked corned beef. Top with sour kraut and slices of Swiss cheese. Brush Thousand Island on the cut side of the roll tops and place on sandwiches. Melt 1/4C butter and mix in 1t garlic powder and 1t onion powder. Brush over the tops of the rolls and sprinkle with Italian Seasoning or a garlic and herb seasoning. Bake for 15-20 minutes at 350.

Remove sliders from pan, separate with knife, and enjoy the best little slider you’ve ever tasted!