There’s no denying that the Char-Broil Big Easy makes mighty fine chicken. Mighty tasty, mighty moist and mighty pretty. This Colombian-style chicken sets the bar really high when it comes to poultry on the Big Easy. Every bite is packed with a fantastic combination of spices and vegetables. I was reminded of the roasted chicken you could buy on the streets in South America. Whenever I make a perfect chicken like this Colombian-style chicken on my Big Easy I laughingly ask myself: should I hire security to guard the patio? It’s just so good that I wouldn’t be surprised if some passerby jumped the fence to grab a taste! The aroma alone while the chicken is cooking is enough to drive you crazy!
I (obviously) used a whole chicken for this recipe, but pieces would work just as fine. Just don’t overlap them in the Big Easy or they won’t cook evenly.
I’ve made ‘normal’ jalapeno poppers on my grill, smoker and using my Char-Broil Big Easy many, many times. These scorpion tales are like jalapeno poppers, but they’re a bit more fru-fru shall we say. Instead of cream cheese I used velvety smooth Havarti cheese (the favorite cheese in our household, often found on our sandwich wraps and grilled cheese sandwiches). Instead of smoky bacon I used prosciutto. You still get that same wonderful pepper flavor, and a little kick, and pork yummy-ness. Just a bit more special, and definitely something different to amaze and wow your guests! I often dust my jalapeno poppers with my favorite rub before cooking them. I decided to skip doing that with these scorpion tales. I didn’t want anything to mask the flavors of the cheese and prosciutto. You can certainly add some rub or seasoning if you wish. But if it was me, I’d skip it or keep it very light.
Fire up your smoker for smoking at 250 F. Use a medium wood such as hickory.
Fill the jalapeno halves with the cream cheese. Iv'e found that I can spread the cheese in with a knife if it has softened enough. If not, just cut the cheese into thin slices and then fill the peppers.
I’m a huge fan of spareribs trimmed St. Louis-style and smoked low-and-slow. I have to admit, my favorite part are the rib tips that come from trimming the spareribs. And that’s why, until recently, I haven’t really smoked a lot of baby back ribs, which have less fat and no tips. Well, now I cannot stop making them. This is my go-to method for making the most tender, juicy, flavor-packed baby back ribs in around 5 hours. They’re truly easy to make and are about as fool-proof as you can get, and you get the same results time after time. Don’t be afraid of the mustard on these smoked baby back ribs. It’s there to help the seasoning adhere to the ribs. Trust me, you won’t taste it a bit when the ribs are done.
So why are they called 2-2-1 ribs? Because you smoke them uncovered for 2 hours, then smoke them wrapped in foil for another 2 hours, and finally finish them off uncovered for another hour. Now, depending on the size of the ribs and the temperature of your smoker, they might be done a bit earlier or later, but a minute here or there won’t make a big difference. Just make sure they’re nice and tender before removing from the foil.
Chef John Besh’s book, Besh Big Easy, is full of easy-to-make recipes. The kind that I like. Southern- and Lousiana-inspired. Take this wonderful country coleslaw. It has your ‘usual’ ingredients, but with a twist (to me, at least). I’ve never had sweet pickle relish in a slaw, and I found it to be absolutely fantastic. So is the addition of rice wine vinegar. Great flavors out of such a simple dish. That’s key.I wouldn’t be afraid to add fresh jalapeno rings to this country coleslaw. Anita would tell me to not do it, though. I’d have to add it to my bowl and just enjoy the heat on my own.
Boy was I ever happy that I bought a sampling of the seasonings, sauces, and jellies from AlbuKirky Seasonings. Everything in the online store looked and sounded so good. I anxiously awaited the day my package arrived (which was very soon after I clicked ‘Check out’). I knew exactly what I was going to do first: chicken wings made with Kirk’s red chile rub and sauced with his red chile BBQ sauce. The perfect combination of southwestern flavors and a little kick of heat, the rub and sauce made for fantastic wings. I’ve used the red chicle rub and BBQ sauce on many things since making these wings. Ribs, burgers, chicken, you name it, all came out great. But, oh, how I do love the wings. There’s no flavor like it to be found in any wing place around here, that’s for sure. There should be.
I absolutely love chicken wings, cooked any way, with any sauce (or without). I love them so much that I created a free eCookbook that is full of my favorite wing recipes.
I go thru a lot of chipotles in adobo sauce. I have an entire section of one of my pantry shelves devoted to cans of them. So it occurred to me that I should try my hand at making them at home. These chiptoles in adobo came out fantastically. Great smoky flavor and a bit of heat. They do take a bit of time to prepare, but they are oh so worth the trouble. I dried my smoked jalapenos in my Nesco Snackmaster Pro dehydrator. If you don’t have a dehydrator you can place the jalapenos on a baking sheet and place in the oven at the lowest temperature setting. Rotate the jalapenos every few hours until dried.
You can also skip the smoking and drying of the jalapenos and buy dried chipotles at your marketplace. In our grocery store the dried peppers can be found by the produce section.
I bought a case of Hatch chiles the other day. Most of the chiles ended up being roasted, but I kept a few for these sausage-stuffed Hatch chiles. Now I’m wishing that I’d kept a bunch more of the un-roasted peppers on hand because they sure make some fantastic dishes. I could’ve served this as an appetizer or as a main dish. I went the main dish route, and backed up the truck. I wasn’t shy about how many I put on my plate. There were no leftovers. Sausage and bacon, with a hint of fennel on a grilled chile with just a bit of cheese. Smoked low and slow. Like a fancy jalapeno popper, sort of. For a kicked-up version substitute spicy sausage and add a few good-sized pinches of red pepper flake to the meat mixture. Oh, and use a nice pepper jack or even habanero jack cheese for that extra creamy kick.
For a healthier version, skip the cheese and bacon and use turkey sausage. You might want to up the seasonings though.
You can also make these sausage-stuffed Hatch chiles on your grill, be it charcoal or gas. Just cook them over indirect heat, trying to keep the temperatures fairly low as to not over-cook them.
It had to be done. I was sitting there looking at my Char-Broil Big Easy pondering what I haven’t yet cooked on it and then it hit me. Bacon. I knew I’d have to go vertical with the bacon, so I grabbed a Big Easy kabob rack, some bacon, and proceeded to make bacon ‘curtains’, hanging the bacon down into the cooker. The bacon cooked up quickly and came out super crispy. And oh, did it ever smell soooo good! Since the bacon is hung over the kabob rack I didn’t end up with perfectly flat bacon, but I did get pieces that were perfect for BLT sandwiches. The point at which the bacon is bent cooks up the fastest, as did the bacon closest to the edges of the cooker. It’s easy to over-cook the bacon, so I recommend pulling it out of the Big Easy sooner than you think you should and letting it cool and crisp up. Also, it’s easier to remove the bacon from the rack if it is still slightly soft. Once it cools and gets crispy it will tend to break.