Chili-Stuffed Mushrooms on the Char-Broil Big Easy

Well now, these were different! I’d never thought of stuffing mushrooms with chili. Not even in my dreams, where sometimes odd food things can happen. I have to say, they’re quite the addicting little bites. Further proof that the Char-Broil Big Easy isn’t just for poultry (but let’s face it, it does one heck of a good job at that!).

You could definitely spice up your version of chili-stuffed mushrooms. Use a spicy chili (you probably saw that coming) and shredded habanero jack cheese. Top the mushrooms with jalapeno just before serving. That’ll get the party going!

Love your Big Easy as much I love mine? Check out my Big Easy Add-Ons page and my free Big Easy eCookbook!

Chili-Stuffed Mushrooms on the Char-Broil Big Easy
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 16 bites
 
Ingredients
  • 16 cremini mushrooms, stems removed
  • 1/2 cup chili
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese, plus a bit more for topping
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. to taste
Instructions
  1. Fire up your Big Easy.
  2. Combine the chili, cream cheese, and 1/4 cup of cheddar. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. Spoon mixture into the center of the mushrooms. Push it in (gently) to fill the cavity. It's ok to mound it up a good bit too.
  4. Transfer the mushrooms to the Big Easy basket and the Bunk Bed Basket.
  5. Place into the Big Easy and cook until the mushrooms are starting to soften, about 15 minutes.
  6. You can add the cheese now and return the mushrooms to the Big Easy to melt it, or remove them, transfer to a platter and sprinkle with more cheese.

Cajun Stuffed Chicken Breast

I thought this Cajun stuffed chicken breast came out absolutely fantastic. Pounding the chicken out to a nice consistent thickness was a bit challenging, but I’m sure with more practice I’ll have it down pat. The filling is super-simple, just a few diced and sliced vegetables and a bit of cheese. The stuffed chicken is seasoned with Cajun seasoning, browned quickly on the stovetop, then transferred to the oven to finish cooking. Done and yum!
Cajun Stuffed Chicken BreastI prefer to use my own Cajun seasoning in this and other recipes. I grind it myself so I get the consistency that I want. For this dish I ground the seasoning very fine.

Cajun Stuffed Chicken Breast
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 4 large chicken breasts (boneless and skinless), sliced in half horizontally then pounded out to 1/4" thickness
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1/2 cup shredded pepper jack cheese, divided
  • 4 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 sweet onion, diced
  • 4 teaspoons (or more, to taste) Cajun seasoning
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Spray a 9" x 13" baking dish with non-stick spray.
  3. Heat oil in large skillet.
  4. Divide half of the cheese between the chicken breasts, placing in the middle as you would prepare a burrito.
  5. Divide mushrooms, peppers and onions between the breasts in the same fashion.
  6. Top with the remaining cheese.
  7. Roll chicken up and secure with toothpicks. Try to push the toothpicks in far enough that they barely stick out.
  8. Season outsides of rolled up chicken with the Cajun seasoning.
  9. Working in batches, brown the chicken on all sides in the skillet. Remove to the baking dish, seam side up.
  10. Top each breast with a tablespoon of the butter then transfer baking dish to the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes or until the chicken is done.
  11. Remove toothpicks, slice and serve.

Bacon Cheese-Stuffed Peppers

I absolutely loved these bacon cheese-stuffed peppers. Every bite was full of my favorite things, like cheese and bacon. And a bit of sharp onion and sweet roasted bell pepper. I left the onions fairly crunchy because I was looking for a great crunch (along with the crunch of the bacon) to contrast the soft pepper and gooey cheese. You can cook yours further if you want but don’t go overboard. Crunch here is a good thing.
bacon-cheese-stuffed-peppersFor a spicier version, substitute habanero jack cheese for the cheeses, and use poblano peppers instead of red bell peppers. A sprinkle or two of red pepper flake on top isn’t going to hurt anything either. You can’t go wrong with bacon cheese-stuffed peppers no matter how you change them up (if you do).

Bacon Cheese-Stuffed Peppers
Author: 
Recipe type: Side
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 1/2 pound thick cut bacon
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Beer
  • 1/4 cup white onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup (more or less) Monterey jack cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 cup (more or less) mozzarella cheese, shredded
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with foil and add the bacon.
  3. Bake for 30-40 minutes until crisp, turning once. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
  4. Cut peppers in half vertically. Remove any seeds.
  5. Place peppers on a baking dish and fill the halves with the beer. Cover with foil and place in the oven for 20-30 minutes or until tender.
  6. Meanwhile, crumble the bacon into a bowl and add the onion and cheeses.
  7. Uncover the peppers and pour off any remaining beer. Fill cavities with the bacon mixture and return to the oven, uncovered, until the cheese is melted.

Sausage-Stuffed Hatch Chiles

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.

Sausage-Stuffed Hatch Chiles
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10 chiles
 
Ingredients
  • 10 large Hatch green chiles
  • 2 pounds Sweet Italian pork sausage (casings removed if using sausages)
  • 1 teaspoon ground fennel seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 pound bacon, cooked, chopped
  • Shredded cheese, if desired
Instructions
  1. Fire up a smoker for smoking at 250 F. Use any wood you desire.
  2. Slice the chiles horizontally. Remove the membrane and seeds.
  3. Combine the sausage, fennel, pepper and garlic in a bowl.
  4. Divide the sausage between the peppers, gently pushing down to fill them completely.
  5. Sprinkle the peppers with the bacon.
  6. Smoke for 1 1/2 hours.
  7. Sprinkle with cheese (if using) and smoke until the cheese has melted.

Crab-Stuffed Shrimp

It was one of those days where I wanted to seriously up my game. I figured (correctly) that a stop at our local fish mongers, Caplinger’s, would inspire me even more. And so I set off to make crab-stuffed shrimp on the grill. Large shrimp are butterflied, the meat separated from the shells but still connected, and then stuffed with an absolutely delightful mixture of crab and seasonings that reminds me very much of crab cake. I cooked the shrimp over charcoal in a cast-iron skillet, giving the shrimp a light smoky flavor. The end result was out-of-this-world delicious.
For appetizer-sized crab-stuffed shrimp use smaller shrimp, like the 16 count shrimp I used. For main dishes, get some 6-8 count shrimp. The larger the shrimp the easier they are to butterfly and the easier it is to separate the meat from the shell, which is definitely the most difficult part of making these shrimp. The rest is easy peasy.

As I sit here and remember just how fantastic the crab stuffing was in these shrimp, I recall back to the best crabcakes I’ve ever had, at Timbuktu’s in Hanover, Maryland. Their crabcakes have the largest and most delicious chunks of crab in them… mmmmmm….

Crab-Stuffed Shrimp
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 1 pound jumbo (6-8 count) shrimp (I used smaller, 16 count shrimp)
  • 1/2 pound unsalted butter (plus more for the skillet)
  • 1/2 sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 sleeves Ritz crackers, crumbled
  • 2 slices white bread, crusts removed, cubed
  • 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • Fresh parsley, chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise, plus more if needed
  • 1/2 pound lump crab
  • 1 lemon,halved
Instructions
  1. Fire up your grill for two zone (direct and indirect cooking). Alternatively, you can cook these shrimp in the oven at 350 F.
  2. Cut a slit down the backs of the shrimp. Do not cut all the way thru.
  3. Butterfly the shrimp and remove the vein.
  4. Separate the shell from the meat but do not remove it. The shell will still be attached at the tail, but the meat will not be attached to the shell.
  5. Lightly butter a 7" cast iron skillet. Add the shrimp, butterflied side up.
  6. Melt 1/2 pound of butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  7. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes.
  8. Reduce the heat to low and add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Remove from heat.
  9. Crumble the crackers into a large bowl. Add the bread, Old Bay seasoning, parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well.
  10. Add most of the melted butter. Do not add any of the onion or garlic, you just want to add the liquid.
  11. Mix and add the mayonnaise. Try to squeeze the mixture together. If it holds together, it's ready. If it's too dry add more of the melted butter and a little bit of mayonnaise and mix and try again. Keep adding more butter/mayonnaise until the mixture holds together.
  12. Lightly chop the crab and fold into the cracker mixture.
  13. Working in batches, squeeze a tablespoon or two of the stuffing into a small log shape and place inside the butterflied shrimp. Don't be shy with the stuffing, you'll have plenty.
  14. Place over indirect heat or in the oven and cook 20 minutes or until the shrimp is done. The shrimp will be pink in color on the outside and the flesh is opaque. If cooking on the grill rotate your skillet once to achieve consistent cooking.
  15. Place the lemon halves over direct heat on the grill and grill until seared. If cooking in the oven, just use the halves as is - don't cook them.
  16. Remove skillet and serve with lemon wedges.

Kraut-Stuffed Sausages

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.
kraut-stuffed-sausagesYou 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.

Kraut-Stuffed Sausages
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 5 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 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 (Monterey Jack, mozzarella, any good white melting cheese will work)
  • 5 fresh sausage buns
  • Your favorite mustard
Instructions
  1. Using your fingers, make a hole down the center of each sausage, creating a cavity that runs the full length of the sausages.
  2. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
  3. Add the onion, kraut, and a bit of the juice from the kraut jar.
  4. Stir and let cook until the onions are softened.
  5. Remove from heat and let cool completely.
  6. Stir in the cheese. It won't melt but it will help bind the kraut mixture together.
  7. Fire up your grill for indirect cooking.
  8. 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!
  9. Place sausages over indirect heat on the grill and cook for 30 minutes until nice and dark and done.
  10. Toast the buns.
  11. Add cooked sausages to the buns and top with plenty of mustard.

Cajun Shrimp-Stuffed Poblano Peppers

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?
cajun-shrimp-stuffed-pobalno-peppersYou 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.

Cajun Shrimp-Stuffed Poblano Peppers
Author: 
Recipe type: Side
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 2 large poblano peppers
  • 1/2 pound shrimp, raw or pre-cooked, 24-30 count, peeled, deveined
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil (if you are using raw shrimp)
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
  • 1/4 cup ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil, crumbled
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce
  • Cilantro, chopped, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Note: You can use pre-cooked shrimp if you desire. Just toss the shrimp with the Cajun seasoning and do not cook.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  3. Cut the peppers in half lengthwise. Remove any stems or seeds.
  4. If using cooked shrimp, toss the shrimp with the Cajun seasoning in a large bowl.
  5. If using raw shrimp, heat the oil over medium-high heat in a skillet. Add the shrimp, sprinkle with the seasoning, and cook, turning, until done, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  6. Add the cheeses, basil and hot sauce to the shrimp Stir.
  7. Transfer shrimp mixture to the poblanos and place on a baking dish.
  8. Place in oven and bake 30 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the peppers are softened.
  9. Serve garnished with chopped cilantro.

 

Roasted Vegetable Stuffed Mushrooms

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 smoky before adding my food). And it looks cool. And it makes the deck area smell great.
Roasted Vegetable Stuffed MushroomsI 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.

Roasted Vegetable Stuffed Mushrooms
Author: 
Recipe type: Side
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-4
 
Ingredients
  • 1 small cedar plank (optional)
  • 1/2 medium red bell pepper
  • 1/2 medium orange bell pepper
  • 1 ear sweet corn
  • Vegetable oil
  • Dried oregano, crushed (optional)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Two large portobello mushroom caps
  • Queso blanco, shredded (or mozzarella)
  • Chopped cilantro for garnish
Instructions
  1. Soak the cedar plank in water, if using.
  2. Fire up your grill for high-heat cooking.
  3. Lightly brush the peppers (I used whole peppers and saved the rest for later use) and corn with oil.
  4. Place over high heat and roast, turning often, until lightly charred and just tender.
  5. Remove from heat, let cool slightly, then chop the peppers and cut kernels from the ear of corn.
  6. Place vegetables into a bowl and season with oregano (if desired) and salt and pepper, to taste.
  7. Add the cedar plank and let it get hot and smoky, about 20 minutes.
  8. Reduce grill heat to medium.
  9. Using a spoon, gently scrape out the gills from the mushrooms.
  10. Lightly brush both sides of the mushrooms with oil.
  11. Place mushrooms on grill cap side up and grill 3 minutes. The mushrooms will start to sweat, but do not overcook them.
  12. Remove from heat and place onto the cedar plank.
  13. Spoon the vegetable mix into the mushrooms and place onto the grill.
  14. Grill for 20 minutes or until the mushroom is almost tender, watching to make sure the plank doesn't catch on fire. If it does, spray it with water from a spray bottle.
  15. Add cheese and cook another 3-4 minutes until melted.
  16. Remove from heat, garnish with chopped cilantro, and serve.