What goes well with beer? Good BBQ and snacks.
In the BBQ world, these are generally called ABT's, or Atomic Buffalo Turds. Not sure how they got the name, but they're quite delicious. Since we forgo the sausage or lil smokie, like most ABT recipes, I'm not sure what to call them, so we'll say bacon wrapped awesome for now.
"So, they're just jalapeño poppers then, what's the big deal?"
It's all in the preparation. It takes about 2+ hours to cook these in a smoker, the whole time the bacon is turning into wonderful pig candy and the cheese mixture is toasting up just right while the jalapeño gets cooked to perfection. Deep fried poppers these aren't -- these are much more.
- Jalapeños, halved and cored.
- Cheese Mixture.
A cream cheese base works best, with equal parts shredded mozzarella provolone or jack mixed however your preferences work. I also throw in some Frank's Red Hot, sugar, and a little bit of pepper. Be creative here, add shallots, garlic, whatever you'd like to fancy it up. A bit of the rub from whatever your main cook item is could tie them into the rest of the BBQ nicely.
- Half a slice of bacon (or a full slice if your bacon is really thin).
- A 225 degree smoker.
- A cardiologist on speed-dial.
A few tips:
- Always wear gloves with handling large amounts of hot peppers. One or two, sure, but after awhile the oils saturate the skin and you'll touch things much later that you'll regret.
- Let the cream cheese warm up to near room temp to make it easier to mix. I use my stand mixer to get a good blend going, but you can just fold it together too.
- I've found its a good idea to stick them in a fridge for a bit after assembly and before going on the cooker. If the peppers are room temp, they'll cook faster and may get a bit soft. It may take a bit longer (these are not a quick snack) but it's worth it.
- Frogmats work great to put them on and off the grill, highly recommended.
These have always been a hit at summer BBQ's -- timing them to come off while your shoulder or brisket is resting can be tricky, but will satiate the horde pretty nicely. Make more than you think you'll need, because these will go fast.