Pellet Smoked Poblano Chorizo Dip

Pellet Smoked Poblano Chorizo Dip

Nothing beats a smokey cheesy meaty dip and this recipe brings all these delicious flavors together perfectly. This recipe requires a little bit of work and it yields a large amount but that’s a good thing right? Be sure to buy an extra bag of tortilla chips!

Ingredients

  • 4 poblano peppers
  • 1 white onion
  • 1 jalapeno pepper
  • 20 oz chorizo (5 links)
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 8 oz cheddar cheese
  • 8 oz colby jack cheese
  • 8 oz pepper jack cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream or greek yogurt
  • 2 cans refried beans
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin


First, fire up the grill and allow it to heat on low. Peel the onion and cut it into 3 thick slices. Rub a light coat of olive oil on the onions and poblano peppers. When the grill reaches temp, add the onion, poblanos, and chorizo. Cook for about 6 to 10 minutes then flip everything to the other side and continue cooking. The poblanos will finish first, and should be removed when the skin on both sides is browned. After removing the peppers, place them in a plastic bag to steam off the skin. The onions will finish next followed by the chorizo when it reaches 165 F in the center.


While you are grilling, shred the cheddar, pepper jack, and colby cheeses and add it to a large bowl. Slice up the cream cheese into small chunks and add to the bowl. Add the greek yogurt / sour cream to the bowl and stir the contents until mixed.


After the peppers have steamed for 10 minutes, remove the outer skin layer from the peppers and discard. Remove the pepper stems and seeds, then dice the peppers and add them to the bowl. Dice the cooked onion and add it to the bowl. When the chorizo is done cooking, let it cool for a few minutes then remove the casing and chop the meat. Add the chorizo to the bowl and mix the contents of the bowl thoroughly.


Next spread around the 2 cans of refried beans on the bottom of a 13 inch skillet or foil lasagna pan. Spread the cheese poblano chorizo mixture on top of the refried beans. Slice the jalapeno thinly and place the slices on top of the cheese.


Preheat your pellet smoker at 250F using apple or pecan wood. Smoke the cheese dip for at least 1 hour. You can smoke longer if you like, just pay attention to the top layer of browning cheese and make sure it does not get too tough and overcooked.

https://youtu.be/aLQ2KiX-Vn4





Pellet Smoked Mac and Cheese

Pellet Smoked Mac and Cheese

Most people love mac and cheese, but have you ever tried smoked mac and cheese? If you have then you know how much better it is over traditional oven baked versions. With this recipe you get a unique flavor with this blend of cheeses and the optional jalapeño peppers. It’s super easy to cook on your pellet smoker, but if you must, you can bake it in the oven too. For a topping, this recipe uses buttery browned panko breadcrumbs. If you’re not a fan then simply apply more shredded cheese on top and follow the last broiler step. Now with that said, this recipe is NOT for the gooey runny melty style mac and cheese. If that’s what you are after, use more soft cheeses such as mozzarella or maybe even ricotta or mascarpone.

Ingredients

  • 16 oz package elbow macaroni
  • 4 tablespoons butter + 2 tablespoons for bread crumbs
  • 3 cups milk or half and half
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 8 oz cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 8 oz cup shredded gouda cheese
  • 8 oz cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 2 jalapenos (optional)


Bring the 8oz of cream cheese to room temperature and slice it into smaller blocks.


Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the macaroni to the al dente firmness which is usually 6-8 minutes (follow the packaging instructions). When ready, pour the macaroni into a colander and run cold water over it to stop the cooking process. Mix the macaroni around to cool down all bits. Now you have partially cooked macaroni and it will finish cooking when you put it on the smoker.


Next, hand shred the cheeses and set it aside in a large bowl. Following this, remove the seeds from 2 jalapeno peppers and dice them up.


Next start the cheese sauce by melting 4 tablespoons of butter in a pan on medium heat. When the butter is melted, whisk the flour into the butter until the sauce thickens (about 2 minutes). Whisk in the milk (or half and half) and raise the heat to medium high and bring to a boil. Cook for about 2 minutes then whisk in the salt, pepper, and mustard ingredients. Turn the heat down to medium low and start adding the cheese. First start with two chunks of cream cheese and stir with a wooden spoon until fully melted. Continue to add cream cheese until it is fully incorporated into the sauce. Next add the shredded cheese about 1 cup at a time and stir into the sauce. When all the cheese is added, stir in the chopped jalapenos. Next add the macaroni into the sauce and stir until it is fully coated with cheese sauce.


Next pour the mac and cheese into a large cast iron skillet or a lasanga foil pan. Have your pellet smoker running at 250 F with pecan or apple pellets. Place the skillet or pan on the smoker and cook for 2 – 2 1/2 hours. Use a toothpick and test for doneness. When it slides in with no resistance, the mac and cheese is ready.


Next melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a small saucepan and stir in the panko breadcrumbs. Cook for about 3 minutes until all the butter is absorbed but try not to brown the breadcrumbs. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs on top of the mac and cheese. Set your oven broiler on low, then cook the mac and cheese for 1 minute. Be careful not to burn the breadcrumbs, you just want them brown. Let it cool for a few, then serve and enjoy!





Baked Zucchini Lasagna

Baked Zucchini Lasagna

Need a break from meat? Yes you do and it’s okay because we’ve got you covered with this meat free Monday masterpiece! Not going to lie, this recipe takes a bit of time to prepare but you will thank your past self on the first future bite. For this recipe we add onion, artichoke and portobello mushrooms to the cheese stuffing. This elevates the flavors well above other similar recipes. Give this recipe a try, you will love it!

Ingredients

  • 3 /12 lb green zucchini
  • 25 oz cento marinara
  • 1 can artichoke hearts
  • 1 white onion
  • 1 package portobello mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil
  • 1/2 lb shredded parmesan
  • 15 oz ricotta cheese


First, wash and cut the ends off of the zucchini. Use a mandolin with the thin blade (approximately 1/8 inch thickness) and slice the zucchini and discard any small slices that come from the outer edges. Place several paper towels on a baking sheet then put one layer of zucchini slices on the paper towels. Sprinkle kosher salt on both sides of the zucchini slices, then apply another layer of paper towels. Repeat the process until you have stacked all zucchini slices salted in paper towels. This will draw out moisture in the slices and make them more flexible and better for cooking. Let them sit for at least 30 minutes.


Next dice the white onion and place it in a 10in skillet on medium heat. Wash and dice the mushrooms and add them to the skillet. Finally drain the liquid from the artichoke hearts, dice them and add them to the skillet. Fry the vegetables for about 15 minutes until the onions are translucent and the mushrooms are brown.


Next, pour a thin layer of marinara sauce and spread it around on the bottom of a 12 inch cast iron skillet. Remove the zucchini slices from the paper towels and wipe off any salt. Take a zucchini slice and spread about 1/2 teaspoon of ricotta cheese on the zucchini. Add the vegetables to the cheese, then top it with the shredded parmesan cheese. Add some chopped basil if desired. Roll up the zucchini from the wide end to the small end and place in the skillet. Start from the center of the skillet and work your way outward with the placement of the rolls. When all the zucchini slices are used up, sprinkle any leftover vegetables and cheese on top of the rolls. Gently pour the rest of the marinara sauce on top of the rolls.


Bake in the oven on at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes (the cheese will be very hot) then serve and enjoy!





Grilled Onion Cheese Dip

Grilled Onion Cheese Dip

Cheese, onions, and bacon… yes! bacon! Everyone needs a few go to cheese dip recipes and this is one of them. This has a very rich addicting cheese flavor that you won’t want to stop eating. And you can cook this dip on the grill if your oven is full with a holiday ham or turkey. You can also just cook this dip in the oven but that’s not as fun as standing outside by the grill with a beer.

Ingredients

  • 8 oz shredded gruyere cheese
  • 8 oz shredded gouda cheese
  • 1 8oz package of cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 1/2 pound of bacon
  • 2 large vidalia onions
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 French baguette
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 tablespoon herbes des provence


First, slice 1/2 pound of bacon into bits, then cook the bacon on medium heat for 10 minutes or until done. Remove the bacon from the skillet and place it on paper towels to absorb the grease. Keep the grease in the pan.


While the bacon is cooking, thinly slice 2 vidalia onions. After removing the bacon, add the onions to the pan and cook it in the hot bacon grease for 10 minutes or until browned. Remove the onions and place them on paper towels to absorb the grease.


While cooking the onions, hand shred the gruyere and gouda cheese. Add softened cream cheese and sour cream to a mixing bowl. Add Worcestershire sauce, garlic salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and dried thyme. Mix thoroughly with an electric mixer or a large spoon. While mixing, add the shredded cheese, bacon, and the onions. Transfer the mixture to a 13 inch cast iron skillet. If you want to prepare this dip a day before cooking, you can cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap and store overnight in the refrigerator.


Preheat your grill (or oven) to low (350F) and when it reaches temp, add the skillet directly over the fire. Cook for 20 – 30 minutes, or until brown on the surface.


Slice the French baguette in 1/2 inch thick slices. Place the slices on cooling racks to make things easier for moving the bread in and out of the grill. Melt the butter and brush it on both sides of the bread. Season both sides of the bread with herbes des provence. Place the cooling racks with bread in the grill and cook for 10 minutes.


Remove the cheese dip and bread from the grill, then allow the dip to cool for 10 minutes before serving.