I’m a big fan of poutine. It’s definitely one of my favorite dishes. I’ve made it the classic way (fries, curds, gravy) many times. This time I thought I’d try a totally different approach to poutine and top the fries with smoked BBQ pulled pork instead. A handful or two of curds and a pickle garnish and I was in poutine heaven again. There’s really no way to improve on this BBQ pulled pork poutine. Every bite was flat-out delicious. I used spicy hot pepper cheese curds, but I think any flavor (other maybe curds infused with herbs such as rosemary or thyme) would work perfectly.
As an aside, on the off chance that you have a little leftover pulled pork and curds, make a few baked potatoes and top them with the meat and cheese. You won’t be sorry.
For years and years I have grilled my sausages after they spent some quality time in a ‘bath’ of beer and peppers and onions. And they are great, I admit it. But these kraut-stuffed sausages, well, they’re really beyond great. Tender, moist, and just packed with flavor. Such a wonderful texture in every single bite. I couldn’t stop eating them. Topped with plenty of mustard, these are now my only go-to grilled sausages. You have to use the right kind of sausages to make these kraut-stuffed sausages. Get the fresh sausages, with casings. You need to be able to poke your finger inside to make a cavity for the fantastic (but easy) filling. And unless your fingers are really, really long, don’t get really, really long sausages!
I suggested to Anita that we try adding other things to the stuffing, such as chopped roasted jalapenos, or poblanos or the like and she gave me a dirty look. The “don’t mess with this” look. So I won’t.
1 pound fresh sausages (Italian, Kielbasa, whichever you prefer, just make sure you get the sausages in casings). I used Johnsonville Italian sausages which come 5 to a pound
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large sweet onion, cut thin
1 pound kraut plus some of the juice
1 cup shredded cheese (Monterrey Jack, mozzarella, any good white melting cheese will work)
5 fresh sausage buns
Your favorite mustard
Using your fingers, make a hole down the center of each sausage, creating a cavity that runs the full length of the sausages.
Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
Add the onion, kraut, and a bit of the juice from the kraut jar.
Stir and let cook until the onions are softened.
Remove from heat and let cool completely.
Stir in the cheese. It won't melt but it will help bind the kraut mixture together.
Fire up your grill for indirect cooking.
Using your hands, grab some of the kraut mixture and force it into the cavity in the sausages. Just keep packing it in. Don't worry about being all pretty and what-not, just get it in there. But don't shove so hard that you have a blowout!
Place sausages over indirect heat on the grill and cook for 30 minutes until nice and dark and done.
Toast the buns.
Add cooked sausages to the buns and top with plenty of mustard.
I love smoked potatoes. Smoking them adds such a fantastic (but not overpowering) smokiness. And it’s cooler than just baking them in the oven. And since I also love sweet potatoes, why not just combine two of my favorite things? Smoked sweet potatoes are sweet (duh) and creamy, and oh so tender. To counter that sweetness just a bit I top them with a nice (also smoky) sour cream and chipotle mixture. And a little bacon for some more smokiness and a bit of crunch. Forget russet potatoes, smoked sweet potatoes are the best! Don’t have a smoker? You can use the technique for my perfect baked potato on sweet potatoes too. You won’t get all that smokiness of course, but the chipotle sour cream and bacon will help make up for that.
These Buffalo wing burgers are further proof that chicken or turkey burgers do not have to be boring or bland. These are definitely our go-to no-beef burgers. A little spiciness, tender patties, and oh, my favorite, Buffalo wing flavor. Topped with a dressing that is both sweet and spicy. Perfect! I’ve already made these Buffalo wing burgers several times. We absolutely love them. So far, I have only made them with ground turkey, since we prefer the texture of ground turkey over chicken. Well, that and ground turkey has been on sale lately!
The tastiest burgers are cooked on a flat-top griddle or in a hot skillet. Unlike a grill, the fat doesn’t drip down into the fire below. Instead, it stays on the burger, keeping it moist. And the added plus of a griddle is that you get that wonderful char. These Oklahoma fried onion burgers would be your standard fantastic griddle burgers, but they have a very tasty twist: onions that are griddled into the patties. The result is divine. I use a griddle insert that fits into my Weber charcoal and gas grills to griddle burgers like Oklahoma fried onion burgers. It not only gets super hot, it gets hot consistently across the entire griddle. This ensures that I get nice evenly cooked burgers no matter how many I am cooking at once.
Toss with 1 teaspoon of salt and let rest for 30 minutes to extract as much liquid out of the onions as possible.
Transfer the onions to a towel or a few sheets of paper towels, roll up tightly and squeeze to remove as much liquid as you can.
Divide the onion slices into 4 equal piles on a cutting board or flat surface.
Divide the beef into 4 patties and form into balls.
Place beef on top of the onions and, using the palm of your hand or the bottom of a small skillet, flatten the beef into patties. The onions will stick to the bottom of the patties. That's what you want.
Season patties with salt and pepper.
Heat up a griddle or cast iron skillet on your stove top or grill over medium-high heat.
Add the butter and swirl it around to coat the griddle or skillet.
Add the patties, onion side down, and cook for 6-8 minutes. You'll see the onions starting to turn golden brown and get crispy around the sides.
Flip and continue cooking until the burgers are done, about 2 more minutes.
Top with cheese and remove.
Toast the buns, if desired.
Add the patties, mayonnaise, mustard, and pickles.
There are some things were self-control just doesn’t happen for me. This smoked Chex™ mix is one of them. Put a big bowl of it in front of me and it’ll be gone soon. Specially the bagel chips. There’s something about the bagel chips in Chex™ mix, specially after they’ve been smoked. The smoke flavor is not overwhelming, but it’s there, and it’s different in a wonderful way. The smoke compliments traditional Chex ™ mix flavors perfectly. The cereal in this smoked Chex™ definitely soaks up the smoke, so do not go crazy with the wood in your smoker. Use a very small chunk, smaller than would fit in your palm, and use only a lighter wood. No mesquite or hickory here, go for the lighter fruit woods.
1 1/2 teaspoons seasoned salt (I used some of my homemade mix, see below)
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
Homemade seasoned salt (makes more than you'll need for the Chex mix)
1/2 cup Kosher salt
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
Fire up your smoker for cooking at 250 F. Add only one small piece of light wood, such as apple or peach. If you are using a smoker that has a water pan, such as the Weber Smokey Mountain, do not fill the pan with water.
Combine the cereals, pretzels, nuts and bagel chips in a large bowl.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add the Worcestershire sauce and stir.
Combine the seasoned salt, garlic powder and onion powder and slowly whisk into the melted butter.
Drizzle the butter mixture over the cereal and gently toss to coat.
Place into a disposable 9" x 13" deep aluminum pan and place on the top rack of the smoker.
Smoke for 1 hour or until the mixture turns golden brown, stirring every 15 minutes.
Remove and let cool completely before serving, or store for up to 2 weeks.
Homemade seasoned salt
Combine all ingredients. Store in an air-tight container.
Sure, I’ve made ABTs (atomic buffalo turds) on my smoker before. They’re a great appetizer, great cook’s snack, and a great way to use up any free space you might have on your cooker when smoking ribs, pork, or whatever. These Hawaiian ABTs bring a really nice sweet twist to the classic recipe. Bacon and a bit of heat tamed by cream cheese and pineapple. Perfect! You can sprinkle the ABTs with your favorite rub before placing them on your smoker if you wish, but I’d do so sparingly. You really don’t want to hide the great flavors in these little morsels.
If you by chance end up with leftover ABTs the next day, chop them fine and use them as the filling for the best grilled cheese sandwiches you’ve ever had. Or add to the tops of hot grilled burgers. You’ll thank me.
12 Whole Jalapeno Peppers, sliced in half lengthwise
8 Oz Cream Cheese, softened to room Temperature
24 Slices Thick Cut Bacon
24 Small long Pieces of Fresh Pineapple, cut to be slightly smaller than the size of the split Jalapenos
Half the jalapenos leaving the stem.
With a spoon scrape out the seeds and veins, then rinse with water. NOTE: It is the seeds and the white veins that are the most SPICY. Remove as much as possible to make a milder version of this if you are serving a large crowd.
Fill each jalapeno half with cream cheese, making sure to not overfill past the rim.
Place a slice of pineapple in each.
Starting at the bottom, wrap each stuffed jalapeno with bacon, add a toothpick to hold it together.
Place ABT’s on the grill, indirect heat (Coals pushed to the side, peppers placed where there are no coals under the peppers.
Grill until bacon is crisp about an hour to an hour 15 minutes. They can easily be done in a oven. (Not recommended: you will lose that wonderful smokey flavor)
Probably no one besides me remembers McDonald’s Arch Deluxe burgers. They were a more grown up burger, launched in the 1990s. They were a flop, but honestly, I’m not sure why. I love making copycat versions of the burger at home. They are your pretty-much-standard burgers, but with a sauce that is totally different than the special sauce you find on a Big Mac. The star of the show is definitely the sauce and the special seasoning that McDonald’s uses on all of their burgers, from the Arch Deluxe of old to the classic Quarter Pounder. I always thought that the Arch Deluxe should’ve been a hit (along with the McDLT). Well, I guess I can’t call them all correctly!