Finger foods and appetizers are a must for any large gathering, sporting event, and holiday. My Smoked Cream Cheese Stuffed Meatballs are always at the top of the request list, and I am sure they'll be a hit for any occasion you have planned. From prepping, to cooking, to serving, the process is relatively simple and timely. The blend of beef, pork, cream cheese, and Jalapenos is spectacular and I guarantee you can't just stop at one! Stuffing the meatballs with cream cheese is only one of endless varieties you can go with; so, use your imagination and taste buds as your guide to what will become "THE" party favor of your get-togethers!
- 1/2 lb ground beef
- 1/2 lb ground sausage (breakfast)
- 3-4 Jalapenos; diced
- 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese; shredded
- 2 tbsp. crushed red pepper flakes (add more to crank up the heat)
- 2 tbsp. of your favorite seasoning
- 4 oz cream cheese
In a large bowl, mix all ingredients thoroughly. Make small one inch meatballs, flattening the first to place 1/4 inch of cream cheese in the middle. Roll meatballs ensuring cream cheese is covered. Place the meatballs on a cooking sheet that is designed for direct cooking (holes or slats); you can find disposable ones at your local grocer.
The recipe should yield approximately 30 meatballs; depending on the size. Double or triple the recipe for larger parties.
Configure your smoker for indirect heat and set your temperature to 225-250 degrees; heat range is dependent upon how long you want to cook for. Smoke the meatballs until internal temperature is 160 degrees. Remove from smoker and serve! Use your favorite BBQ sauce for dipping; or if you wish, baste the meatballs with BBQ sauce prior to completing your cook. ENJOY!
Some call these "Onion Bombs"; others may say "they are a twist to Moink Balls." Call them what you will; but, no matter the name, they are delicious! My family named these "Bacon Wrapped Onion Grenades". Why a grenade for the name? For you non-military type: A grenade is a small bomb typically thrown by hand. Generally, a grenade consists of an explosive charge, a detonating mechanism, and firing pin to trigger the detonating mechanism. Once the soldier throws the grenade, the safety lever releases, the striker throws the safety lever away from the grenade body as it rotates to detonate the primer. The primer explodes and ignites the fuse (sometimes called the delay element). The fuse burns down to the detonator, which explodes the main charge.
The "fuse" in the Bacon Wrapped Onion Grenades is a combination of brown sugar, soy sauce, and Worcestershire sauce; the "main charge is red pepper flakes! You can take this recipe and adjust the seasonings to your preferences; but you've got to try these!
- 3-4 Onions (depending on size)
- Thin bacon; enough slices to cover each onion thoroughly; about 4-5 slices each; again, depending on onion size.
- 1 lb ground sirloin
- 1/2 lb ground pork sausage
- 1 egg
- 2 tsps. Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 cup seasoned Italian bread crumbs
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (or more.... or lots more)
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (or more...)
- 1 tbsp seasoning mix (your favorite blend; ours is Fagundes Famous Seasoning Mix)
- Peel away and discard skin.
- Cut each onion to the middle and remove the center (smaller pieces)
- Separate the larger layers
- Depending on the size of your onion, you will wind up with 3-4 layers. Each layer should still be intact with one open side.
- Using a large size bowl, mix all ingredients thoroughly.
- Roll the mixture into balls that meet or slightly exceed the size of each layer.
- Wrap each layer around; be careful not to break the layers.
- Wrap onion/meatballs with bacon strips; alternating directions and secure with toothpicks.
- Preheat your pellet grill to 225 degrees.
- Place Onion Grenades on smoker and smoke until they reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees.
- For crispier bacon, towards the end of your cook, increase your grill temperature to about 300-350 degrees.
Smoked Tri Tip and Broccoli Stir Fry
Smoked Tri Tip and Broccoli Stir Fry - Always working for new recipes to use leftover smoked Tri Tip. With just the two of us there are always plenty of leftovers needing to be used in imaginative ways. Took out a frozen vacuumed sealed package of Hickory smoked Prime grade sliced Tri Tip roast to use for this recipe. The Tri Tip was smoked, vacuum sealed and frozen about 9 months ago ... yup!! 9 months and it was just as good if not better than the day I cooked the Tri Tip. It was so tender that I was able to easily tear it apart with my fingers. Vacuum sealing really keeps the meat fresh.
When ordering Chinese I usually select Beef & Broccoli so it's no surprise that I decided to put my own twist on a Beef & Broccoli Stir Fry recipe. I didn't know what to expect but it turned out simply marvelous!! The key was waiting till the last minute to put the meat in the stir fry ...
I used a Beef & Broccoli dry mix for the sauce mixed with ¾ of a cup of water and 2 Tablespoons of Soy Sauce. Used my wok to stir fry the broccoli florets, mushrooms, onions, and some zucchini squash. Throw in your favorite veggies but remember that the main dish is broccoli based. Stir fried the vegetables until al dente. Poured in the sauce and cooked for a minute or two allowing the sauce to thicken. As previously stated, add the smoked tri tip meat, broken up into bite sizes, and finish the thickening of the sauce. Serve right away over steamed white rice. Enjoy ... I will definitely be doing this again! I have lots of vacuumed smoked tri tip, chicken, pork roast, etc in my freezer and I'll be looking into using some of it for other stir fry recipes.
Smoked Turkey Thighs with Loaded Cauliflower Bake
Smoked Turkey Thighs - I personally love turkey anytime of the year. So to my surprise I was elated to find a Manager's Special at my local grocery store of turkey parts - Wings and Thighs. I'm not a big fan of turkey/chicken wings so I opted for the bone-in/skin-on thighs. I really prefer the turkey dark meat. Not only is the dark meat extremely tasty but it's very forgiving when smoked/cooked. Unlike the turkey breast white meat, which must be cooked to an internal temperature of 165º - 170ºF, the turkey dark meat needs to be taken to an internal temperature of 180ºF. But if your thighs go a bit beyond the 180ºF range it won't dry out the meat and will still be very tender.
It's very important to use bone-in/skin-on thighs versus boneless/skinless thighs. When smoking poultry/turkey the surface of the meat will become very though and leathery. Cooking bone-in/skin-on poultry/turkey prevents this and keeps the meat moist. Make sure to season under the skin for maximum flavor profiles.
Not only will you, your family, and friends enjoy a wonderful meal but you'll also find that it's very economical. These turkey thighs were not only huge but they were 99¢ per pound. When was the last time you paid 99¢ per pound for any kind of protein? Picked up 4 thighs and one hickory smoked thigh was more than enough for the two of us. Vacuum sealed the other 3 thighs for future use in a casserole, salad, or as a main dish. For under $5 we have enough turkey dark meat for 4 meals ... It doesn't get any better than this!!
Trim any excess fat and skin from turkey thighs. Peel back the skin and rub extra virgin olive oil under and on the skin. Season under and on the skin of the turkey thighs with Pete's Western Rub (you can find the rub recipe in my cookbook The Wood Pellet Smoker & Grill Cookbook) and McCormick Montreal Chicken seasoning or use your favorite poultry/turkey seasoning. My Pete's Western Rub is a great compliment to the Montreal Chicken seasoning. Wrap the seasoned turkey thighs in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours.
Preheat your wood pellet smoker-grill to 200ºF using Cookinpellets.com 100% Hickory pellets. Smoke the turkey thighs for 2 hours. Increase the grill temperature to 330ºF and pull the thighs when their internal temperature reaches 180ºF (about another hour). Rest the thighs loosely under a foil tent for 10 minutes before serving.
Loaded Cauliflower Bake Recipe -
Loaded Cauliflower Bake Ingredients:
- 1 large head of cauliflower (broken into florets)
- 2 Tbsp Butter
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 Tbsp All Purpose flour
- 1cup of whole milk
- 1cup of heavy cream
- 3 oz cream cheese (softened)
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 6 slices of bacon, cooked & crumbled
- ½ diced red onions
- Salt & black pepper to taste
Loaded Cauliflower Bake Directions:
- Preheat oven to 350ºF while steaming florets for 10-13 minutes until florets are al dente
- Cheese Sauce:
- Melt butter, add garlic, and flour over medium high heat.
- Stir until golden brown - about 2 minutes and add milk & heavy cream. Bring to a low simmer
- Add cream cheese and diced red onions , whisking until combined
- Stir in 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese and whisk until cheese is melted
- Season cheese sauce with salt & pepper to taste
- Build casserole:
- In a casserole dish, spray with with non-stick cooking oil
- Add steamed cauliflower florets, add bacon, pour cheese sauce over florets, and stir ingredients
- Top with remaining shredded cheddar cheese
- Bake the loaded cauliflower bake casserole for 30 - 45 minutes until cauliflower is tender, sauce has thickened, and cheese is bubbly. Rest casserole for 10 minutes before serving
Here's a great twist to your standard or ordinary Pork Chop dinner! Served with Fried Rice, Chow Mein, or Stir Fry, these deep fried, Spicy Honey Pork Chops will delight one and all! A perfect blend of flour and spices coat the chops with a flavor explosion. This, combined with a honey garlic glaze will send your taste buds into overload!
- 6 center loin pork chops; well trimmed. Bone-in or boneless. (size the chops to your preference)
- 1 cup flour
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp black pepper
- 1 1/2 tbsp. ground ginger
- 1 tbsp. ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp ground thyme
- 1 tsp ground sage
- 1 tbsp. paprika
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup evaporated milk
For the honey garlic glaze:
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 1 cup honey
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper (or more if you are brave)
- Mix together the flour, salt, black pepper, ground pepper, ground ginger, nutmeg, thyme, sage, paprika, and cayenne pepper; mix in a bowl large enough for coating the chops. In a second bowl, beat the egg and evaporated milk until blended well.
- Season the chops with a light sprinkle of salt and pepper, then submerge in egg mix; then place in flour/spice mix and cover (pack) seasoning well.
- Heat a skillet on the stove with enough canola oil to cover the chops. Place coated chops into oil and fry until golden brown and crispy.
- Remove from skillet and let them drain on a wire rack.
Make your glaze!
- In a medium saucepan, add the olive oil and minced garlic; cook until garlic is softened; but, not browned
- Add the honey, soy sauce, and black pepper
- Simmer for 5-10 minutes; remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes. (Keep an eye on the simmering; because it will boil over if you are not careful)