Armadillo Eggs

March 29, 2007

     I had a few request on what exactly is an armadillo egg.  An armadillo eggs is breakfast sausage stuffed with a jalapeno that is stuffed with cheese.  I make mini versions.  I make about 10-12 per pound of sausage.  I stuff the sausage with a cube of cheddar cheese and a slice or two of jarred jalapeno slices.  I smoke the mini eggs for about an hour or so until the sausage firms up.  Here are a few pics:

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March 23rd Cook

March 25, 2007

     Nice day here in North Texas, so I decided to light up the smoker.  I rubbed some country style pork ribs, which are just sliced pork shoulders(butts).  I pulled the “ribs” into pulled pork.  And I threw of a package of Slovacek beef sausage.  I also made up a few armadillo eggs.  Half of the eggs had cheddar and jalapeno slices, and the other half just had cheddar.  They were seasoned with Spicewine Hen & Hog Dust.

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Quick sausage smoke

March 12, 2007

     After church, it was too nice outside to pass up some outdoor cooking.  So I fired up the smoker.  I grabbed a pack of chicken thighs and some various smoked sausages.  I had some Elgin, TX links from Southside Market, and some venison sausage that I had made.  The chicken thighs were rubbed with Dave Klose’s Championship Poultry Rub.  I used pecan and hickory wood for the smoke.  I ran the pit closer to 300 degrees for this cook since I was wanting a crisper skin on the chicken.  The Elgin links were done in about 45 minutes.  The venison links were bigger so the went about an hour and a half.  All the sausage came out juicy and with a nice snap to the skin.

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Paula Deen Hummingbird Cake

February 26, 2007

     I still think this is one of the best cakes I’ve ever eaten.  This is from her book Paula Deen Celebrates!

3 Cups self-rising flour

2 Cups granulated sugar

3/4 Cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup chopped pecans

2 very ripe large bananas – mashed

1 can (8oz) crushed pineapple

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp ground cinnamon

4 large eggs, beaten

ICING RECIPE

1 pound box confectioners’ sugar

8oz package cream cheese- room temp

6 tbs butter, softened

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tbs milk, more if needed

1/2 cup finely chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 325*

Grease and flour three 8 inch round cake pans.  In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, oil, 1/2 cup pecans, bananas, pineapple, vanilla, cinnamon and beaten eggs.  Stir well until smooth.

     Pour batter into the 3 pans and bake for 26-28 min, or until tops spring back.  Let cool in pans for 10 min.  Then cool on racks completely. 

     Make the icing by mixing the sugar, cream cheese, butter, vanilla and 1 tbs milk in a large bowl with an electric mixer.  Mix until smooth.  If needed add more milk, 1 tsp at a time for proper spreading consistency.  Ice between each layer and on the top and sides.  Sprinkle the top with pecans.  Keep refrigerated.

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Smoked Chicken Drumettes

February 12, 2007

     These are easy to smoke, easy to experiment with and taste great.  I took a package of fresh wing drumettes and seasoned them with Stubb’s Chile Lime Rub.  These were smoked at about 250* with a combination of pecan and hickory.  They were placed on the hot spot closest to the firebox.  Since they’re small, it only took about 45 minutes or so.  They came out great.

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Finally Decent Weather

January 30, 2007

     Finally had some days off that were rain free.  Set the alarm for 4:30 AM.  I fired up the pit by 4:45 and started prepping meat.  I mixed the injection for the pork shoulder and started unwrapping meat.

     I injected the shoulder with Chris Lilly’s injection recipe.  Then I rubbed it down with Bad Byron’s Butt Rub.  Then I rubbed down a 12 pound brisket with brisket rub from Dave Klose.  Brisket and butt were on the grates by 5:15 and I went back to bed.  I kept the pit temp about 225* and threw some Meyer’s regular and Opa’s jalapeno cheese sausages on for lunch.  I also made about 2 dozen armadillo eggs.  Half of the eggs were stuffed with a jalapeno slice and a cube of cheddar cheese.  The other half only had the cheese.  They were all dusted with Hen & Hog Dust.  And I threw on a maple fatty to round it out.

     Armadillo eggs took about 60-90 minutes.  The sausages took about 2 hours.  Pork butt was on for about 14 hours and the brisket about 18 hours.

Here’s the finished products minus the pulled pork: 

Opa’s on the top left, Meyer’s on the top right.  Fatty on the bottom left and armadillo eggs.

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Here’s the brisket flat being sliced.  The point was chopped.

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Grilled Tri Tip

January 23, 2007

     Tri Tip isn’t a very common cut of beef in Texas.  The majority of its popularity is in California.  It’s mainly grilled Santa Maria style.  This involves basic seasoning and searing over high heat and cooked until rare to medium rare.  It is then thinly sliced across the grain for sandwiches. 

     I fired up my Weber kettle.  I made a 3 zoned fire by having most of the coals on one side and thinning out towards the other side.  This gives me hot, warm and cool cooking areas.  I seasoned the tri tip with the rub mixture (recipe follows).  Then it was seared over the hottest coals for 10-15 minutes flipping often.  Then I inserted a remote probe thermometer and set the roast over the cooler coals to finish the cook.  The internal temperature is brought up to about 135*.  Place the meat on a grate over a plate and loosely tent with foil.  This will catch all the juices and keep the nice charred crust from getting soggy.   Allow to rest 15 minutes while carryover heat brings the internal temp up to 145*.  After resting, thinly slice against the grain.  The thinner the slices the better.  Pile a stack of sliced meat on a good crusty bread and pour a little of the reserved juices on and enjoy.  I like to add a little prepares horseradish to mine.  Sometimes we even grill up some onions to add to the sandwich.

 Santa Maria TriTip Rub (enough for 2-3 tri tips)

2 Tbsp. Kosher Salt
1 Tbsp. fresh cracked Black Pepper
1 Tbsp. Ground Cumin
1 Tbsp. Garlic Powder
1 Tsp. Onion Powder

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Phil’s Italian Pulled Pork

January 21, 2007

     I got this recipe from Phil over at his BBQ Brethren site.  Phil is the founder and our leader of sorts over at Brethren site.  It truly is the best group of guys an gals to talk BBQ with.  Great info mixed with a little joking around.  His dish  sounded good and like a good thing to try on a bad weather day. 

     It starts with a tomato sauce.  Phil urged against jarred stuff, so he posted his basic recipe for the sauce(recipe to follow).  I gathered all the ingredients in advance so I could get an early start. 

     Put the tomato sauce in a large crock-pot and turned on low.  Sear the country ribs in a cast iron skillet.  Then place them into the sauce.  Cover and let simmer for about six to eight hours.  Remove the meat from the sauce and shred.  Serve meat on Italian bread topped with sauce.  Cheese can be added as well.  You could easily used leftover pulled pork or chopped sausage to the sauce and be done in about 30 minutes.

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Phil’s 20 Minute Pasta Sauce

2 35 oz Cans Whole Tomatoes(prefer imported)
1 can tomato paste
7-10 cloves garlic chopped fine to make 3-4 tablespoons.(more/less to taste)
Medium Onion diced.
Olive oil
Heavy Tablespoon Dried Oregano
2 cups fresh basil, Either chopped into ribbon or torn into small pieces. chops to about 3/4 cup.
3/4 tablespoon dried parsley(or fresh, a little more)
2 Dry bay leafs. Salt & Black pepper to taste.

Add olive oil to pot and saute onions until they begin to caramelize, add garlic. DO NOT BROWN. Saute on low 1-2 minutes. DO NOT BROWN.
Add juice from tomatoes and crush tomatoes by hand into pot. Add all herbs and stir. . Medium heat until sauce starts a low simmer. DO NOT LET IT BOIL. I add a few shakes black pepper here and add 1 can of tomato paste and continue to stir until paste is mixed in well. DO NOT BOIL! Allow to simmer ON LOW uncovered for about 10-15 minutes.. Oh yeah.. DO NOT BOIL!.

If you want a thicker sauce, add another paste, or use a combination of crushed and whole tomatoes.
Thyme gives it a slightly sweater/aromatic flavor.. goes well if your using it for chicken parm… and especially if your making cacciatore.

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Tri Tip Sandwhiches

January 17, 2007

     We got about 2 inches of sleet and snow here in North Texas this morning.  So for lunch I dug in the freezer.  I pulled out a vacuum sealed serving of grilled tri tip. 

     I brought some water in a pot to a simmer.  I placed the sealed tri tip in still frozen.  Heating this way is a quick way to defrost and heat without over cooking the meat.  Meanwhile, I put a 6 inch section of a baguette in the oven to warm and crisp the crust.  After about 10 minutes, the tri tip was thawed and heated through. 

     I sliced the bagette and placed the thin slices of meat on one side.  I poured the juices from the vacuum bag onto the top half of the sandwich.  I added some prepared horseradish and had a great quick lunch.

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Grilled Berkshire Porterhouse Chops

January 12, 2007

     My buddy Todd over at Plowboys sent me some of his spice rub to try out along with my order of Blues Hog BBQ sauces.  I wanted something different so I picked up some Berkshire Porterhouse Chops.  These are the equivalent to t-bone steaks. 

      I started by dusting the chops with Plowboy’s rub.  Then I fired up a half chimney of Royal Oak lump charcoal mixed with hickory chunks.  Once lit, the coals were poured into the Weber Smokey Joe grill.  I had to use the portable grill under the cover of the back porch due to rain.

     I seared the chops on both sides then moved to the cooler side of the grill and covered.  I started checking internal temperatures after about 10 minutes.  When the internal temps hit 145*, I pulled them from the grill and allowed them to rest about 10 minutes.

     These turned out to be the best pork chops that I’ve cooked.  They were very tender and extremely juicy.  I’ll definitely be getting some more.

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