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.
Wow, talk about amazingly good. The heck with the main dish, just load me up on some of these Cajun shrimp-stuffed poblano peppers. A slight kick of heat, perfect shrimp and creamy melted cheese. What’s not to love? You could use green bell peppers instead, if you want. I love poblanos because they are a little spicier than a bell pepper without just completely drowning out a dish in heat.
For extra kick, substitute shredded pepper jack cheese for the feta and mozzarella and add a few diced roasted jalapenos into the shrimp mixture. That’ll definitely liven up the party.
This may be one of my favorite summertime vegetable grilling ideas. It doesn’t really matter what vegetables you use, either. Just grab whatever vegetables are in season at the store, roast them on the grill, then spoon them into large mushroom caps. Add a bit of seasoning, a little cheese, place onto a cedar plank over a hot fire, and in no time at all you’ll have a great side dish.
Grilling on cedar planks can be a sensitive subject. Some folks really don’t care for it, others, like me, love it. I like the light flavor the planks can add (I tend to not get my planks super smokey before adding my food). And it looks cool. And it makes the deck area smell great. I have to admit that I’m cheap, so I re-use planks as much as I can. As long as you don’t burn them too much on one side, you can get a few uses from them.
Very few things are as addicting as chorizo-stuffed Fritos. These little bite-sized snacks disappear in no time. As an added bonus, they are incredibly easy to make. I made a batch on my Char-Broil Big Easy. You can fit a whole bunch of stuffed Fritos on the Big Easy, making it perfect for cooking for a crowd, if you have the available cooking rack. Just about anything you put in the Fritos is going to taste great. I used Mexican chorizo because I love the spiciness that is brings to dishes, but ground breakfast sausage would also be fantastic.
Be careful when pulling these chorizo-stuffed Fritos off your Big Easy. In no time the chips get mighty hot, so use tongs or let them cool a bit first before handling and eating.
I absolutely loved this stuffed deli sandwich. It’s a great way to make a big ole sandwich with little trouble. Sure, there’s meats and cheeses, but the star for me was the simple mix of cabbage and Thousand Island dressing. I was a big fan of the crunchiness of the cabbage. So much so that I used the same combination in a lunch wrap the next day. The stuffed loaf really needs to ‘get happy’ in the fridge overnight. If you’re looking for a way to feed a crowd, this is a great way to do it. Just make a bunch of them, toss them in the fridge, then slice and serve the next day.
If you want really, really kick up this stuffed deli sandwich, use my 18000 Island dressing. It brings the heat.
I made a nice big ole batch of Buffalo chicken on my Char-Broil Big Easy the other day. Nothing beats the kick of moist, shredded, Buffalo chicken. Besides using the chicken in sandwiches, on pizzas, and in wraps, I also used it in a wonderful stuffing for mushrooms. Although I ended up serving this as a main dish using large mushrooms, the stuffing is perfect in smaller button mushrooms, served up as bite-sized appetizers. They’re full of creamy cheese, celery, carrot and onion, all with the kick of Buffalo wing sauce. Of course, you don’t have to make Buffalo chicken on the grill to make these delightful mushrooms. Any ole Buffalo chicken recipe will do, like my slow cooker version!
These mushrooms were stuffed with what may be the perfect combination of ingredients. Herby pesto. Sweet acidic tomatoes. Crunchy Panko breadcrumbs. And cheese. Parmesan and Asiago. I made the mushrooms on my Char-Broil Big Easy, but you can do them in the oven (at 350 F) or on your gas or charcoal grill just as easily. I used medium-sized portobello mushrooms, but if you want to serve these as appetizers you can use mini-bellos instead. They’ll disappear off the plate, that’s for sure! If you don’t have sun-dried tomatoes you can substitute diced roasted red bell peppers or pimentos. I really liked the nuttiness of Asiago cheese, but if you find it to be too strong, a nice shredded Mozzarella will work just fine instead.
I have to admit, zucchini isn’t something you often see around our kitchen. But now that I’ve discovered grilling them and wrapping them around cheese, zucchini are going to be seen and seen often.
These grilled zucchini roll-ups are stuffed with a wonderful mixture of feta, plain crumbled goat cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, chives and basil, and red pepper flakes. You can omit them, but the sun-dried tomatoes are what makes these bites really delicious. Don’t omit the red pepper flakes. They don’t make the roll-ups particularly spicy, but just add enough heat to compliment the creamy sweet goat cheese. I used a very sharp Wusthof knife to cut the zucchini into thin strips, but you could also use a mandolin (you might have to cut the zucchini into halves so they aren’t so long). Make sure you sharpen your knives regularly. Not only will they obviously work better, they’re safer when sharpened. I recently picked up an electric sharpener that I absolutely love. I found that my manual sharpening skills weren’t doing the job. This sharpener does an amazing job, and it works on 20 degree (European) and 15 degree (Asian) knives, so it handles everything in my knife block without a problem.
Also check out my very popular cucumber roulades. They don’t require grilling, are easy to make, and taste fantastic.