Categories
Appetizer Main Dish Side Dish Snack

Kick football season off with a bang by making shotgun shells

Smoked Shotgun Shells
These smoked shotgun shells are made with seasoned sausage stuffed into manicotti shells and wrapped in bacon. They are a fantastic dish for a football snack table.

As soon as the weekly forecast came out, telling us that the opening weekend of football would be perfect for spending some time outside, Joey announced we were going to invite some folks to watch the games and throw some food on the smoker.

Of course, I had to stick my nose in and announce to him that I already found the perfect recipe to try, and being completely used to me regularly doing this to him, he immediately agreed—even though the name caught him off guard for a second.

I wanted to make shotgun shells.

The recipe is actually aptly named, considering it consists of stuffed manicotti shells. I suppose it sounds a little more macho than calling them stuffed tubes.

Also, I know I have given you a couple smoker recipes of late, but these can also easily be made in your oven or on a normal grill (as long as you watch your temperature).

This comes from the website “Or Whatever You Do” by Nicole Johnson. You can find the original post at https://www.orwhateveryoudo.com/2022/05/traeger-smoked-shotgun-shells.html. I added garlic and extra spices to my version and used sausage instead of ground beef.

Smoked Shotgun Shells
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Smoked Shotgun Shells

These smoked shotgun shells are made with seasoned sausage stuffed into manicotti shells and wrapped in bacon. They are a fantastic dish for a football snack table.
Course Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish
Keyword bacon, barbecue rub, barbecue sauce, barrel smoker, Big Green Egg, football snack, garlic, ground sausage, Kamado Joe, manicotti, shredded cheese, smoker, Traeger

Ingredients

  • 1 pound sausage
  • 1 cup shredded cheese I used Mexican blend
  • 2-3 tablespoons barbecue seasoning
  • 4 to 6 cloves garlic minced
  • 12 manicotti shells uncooked
  • 12 slices bacon not thick sliced
  • about 1/4 cup barbecue sauce

Instructions

  • At least six hours before you want to start cooking, prepare your shotgun shells.
  • In a large bowl, mix the sausage with the cheese, seasoning and garlic. Once it is well combined, stuff each manicotti shell with the sausage and wrap each one with a strip of bacon.
  • Place the assembled shells in an airtight container or on a plate wrapped in plastic wrap and refrigerate for six hours or overnight.
  • To cook them, preheat your smoker or oven to 250 degrees. Place the shells about an inch apart on the grill and let them cook with the lid closed for at least one hour before opening to check the temperature (you’re looking for 160 degrees for done sausage) and turning them on the grill to make sure they cook evenly.
  • Just before the shells are finished cooking (ours took about one and one-half hours), baste them with barbecue sauce on all sides.
  • Once the sausage in the center of the shells is cooked through and the bacon is crispy, remove them from the grill and serve.

These were absolutely fabulous. We didn’t have a single shotgun shell left by the time Sunday Night Football came on TV—and I made a double batch. It was absolutely perfect, both for lunch and for snacking during the later afternoon games.

And in case you’re wondering, yes, the manicotti cooked all the way through on the smoker. Joey and I were both really skeptical and almost par-boiled the shells just in case, but I decided to trust the process, and they were perfectly al dente by the time the sausage and bacon was done. It was a strange sort of magic that I don’t understand but definitely appreciate.

Hopefully we’ll have a few more weekends of dragging our TV outdoors for football and enjoying good food with good people in our backyard. But even if winter comes quickly and drives us indoors, I think shotgun shells will remain a regular on the menu.

This piece first appeared in print on Sept. 15, 2022.

Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas. If you are interested in sponsoring this column, please contact us through the “Contact Lindsey” link at the top of the page.

Categories
Appetizer Breakfast Main Dish

You have ‘Scotch’ to try these tasty smoked eggs

This twist on Scotch eggs is made on a smoker, using barbecue seasonings and sauce and wrapped in bacon. They can also be baked in an oven.

Just as French fries are from Belgium and Hawaiian pizza was invented in Canada, Scotch eggs are actually a British creation.

Traditionally, a Scotch egg is “a shelled hard-boiled egg that is wrapped in sausage, covered in breadcrumbs, and then deep-fried or baked until crispy,” according to the Encyclopedia Britannica.

They’re often served cold in pubs, but in the U.S., people most often serve them hot instead.

Joey has been hinting—strongly—for a few weeks that he would really like to try making Scotch eggs on his smoker, so on a recent day when the heat lifted for a bit, we finally decided to give them a try.

I will tell you that these are not traditional—they lack the breadcrumbs, have barbecue flavors, and we added bacon to ours, too. But they were very, very good.

This comes from Susie Bulloch at the blog “Hey Grill Hey.” You can find the original post at https://heygrillhey.com/smoked-scotch-eggs/. I added bacon to my version.

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Smoked Scotch Eggs

This twist on Scotch eggs is made on a smoker, using barbecue seasonings and sauce and wrapped in bacon.They can also be baked in an oven.
Course Main Course
Cuisine British
Keyword bacon, barbecue rub, barbecue sauce, barrel smoker, Big Green Egg, breakfast sausage, ceramic grill, hard-boiled egg, Kamado Joe, Scotch egg, smoker

Ingredients

  • 6 eggs
  • 1 pound ground breakfast sausage
  • 1-2 tablespoons sweet barbecue rub
  • 12 slices bacon
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup barbecue sauce

Instructions

  • Preheat your smoker or oven to 225 degrees. (Use a lighter flavored wood; we used pecan in ours.)
  • Place the eggs in a saucepan large enough for them all to fit in a single layer and fill with cold water until they are all just covered.
  • Place the saucepan on the stove over high heat. Once the water boils, turn off the heat (leave the pan on the burner), cover with a lid, and let the eggs sit for five minutes. Meanwhile, prepare a large bowl by filling it with ice and cold water. Carefully remove the eggs from the pan with a slotted spoon and submerge them in the cold water for another five minutes before peeling them. Set them aside.
  • Divide the pound of sausage into six even balls.
  • To assemble, flatten one of the balls of sausage into a disc in your palm. Carefully place the egg in the center and then wrap the sausage evenly around the egg, making sure it is completely covered. Sprinkle a healthy amount of barbecue rub onto the sausage-wrapped egg, and then finish off by wrapping two slices of bacon around it. Set the finished Scotch egg aside and repeat to complete all six eggs.
  • Place the eggs in the refrigerator until the smoker/oven is ready. When ready, place the eggs onto the grates of your smoker or on a aluminum-foil-lined baking sheet in your oven. Let the eggs cook for about one hour, turning them at least once during the cook time to let them evenly crisp. (They’re done when the sausage reaches 160 degrees.)
  • During the last 10 minutes, glaze the eggs with the barbecue sauce.
  • Serve with additional barbecue sauce or along with breakfast fixin’s.

These turned out great. They’re extremely filling, because they’re packed with a ton of protein between the eggs, sausage and bacon. We did try them both with and without the barbecue sauce, and I recommend using it. The glaze was really nice and added a great flavor to the eggs.

Also, these did reheat OK from the fridge later in the week, but they were much better fresh off the smoker. You could also accomplish these in your oven, although you’ll really be missing out if they don’t have that smoked flavor.

I’m not sure the Brits would approve of this Americanized version of Scotch eggs, but I’m not going to lose sleep over it. I figure we stopped paying attention to British judgement a long time ago.

This piece first appeared in print on Sept. 1, 2022.

Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas. If you are interested in sponsoring this column, please contact us through the “Contact Lindsey” link at the top of the page.

Categories
Dessert

Baking cobbler outdoors can be ‘berry’ satisfying

This cobbler, made from fresh peaches and blueberries, is a perfect summer dessert that can be made in the oven or out on the grill or smoker.

Thanks to the Newton Rotary Club’s annual peach fundraiser and my three-year-old niece insisting that I buy blueberries for our recent fun day, I had quite a bit of fruit in my refrigerator this week.

That, combined with Joey itching to use a cast iron Dutch oven he recently got for his smoker, meant we were going on a new adventure of baking outdoors.

After a fruitless (pun intended) search for a recipe that I liked using both peaches and blueberries, I finally decided to combine two in my search for the perfect smoked cobbler, and the final product definitely did not disappoint.

One recipe I used is from “The Grateful Girl Cooks” (https://www.thegratefulgirlcooks.com/berry-cobbler-traeger-grill-style/), and the other is Steven Raichlen’s “Barbecue Bible” site (https://barbecuebible.com/recipe/smoky-bourbon-peach-cobbler/). I added extra vanilla and cinnamon to my version.

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Smoked Blueberry Peach Cobbler

This cobbler, made from fresh peaches and blueberries, is a perfect summer dessert that can be made in the oven or out on the grill or smoker.
Course Dessert
Keyword blueberry, bourbon, brown sugar, cinnamon, cobbler, grilled, peaches, smoker, vanilla

Ingredients

Topping Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons butter cold
  • 1 1/3 cups buttermilk I used skim with a dash of vinegar
  • cinnamon for sprinkling

Peach Filling Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 6 cups peaches cut into one-inch pieces

Blueberry Filling Ingredients

  • 18 ounces blueberries
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

Instructions

  • Preheat your grill, smoker or oven to 350 degrees. If you’re using a grill, you’ll want to bake over indirect heat.
  • For the grill or smoker, prepare a cast iron skillet or Dutch oven and for the oven, a 9×13-inch baking dish, by coating the inside with butter and set it aside.
  • For the topping, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt in a bowl and then cut in the butter with a fork until the mixture is crumbly. Stir in the buttermilk and set the topping aside.
  • In another bowl, combine all the ingredients for the peach filling, except the peaches. Once they are all incorporated, fold in the peaches.
  • Finally, for the blueberry filling, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and stir gently until the blueberries are well coated in the mixture.
  • To assemble the cobbler, start with about half of the peach filling, layer in the blueberries and then finish off with the rest of the peaches. Using a spoon or ice cream scoop, drop the topping by the spoonful evenly over the top of the fruit. Don’t worry if there’s still some fruit visible. Sprinkle cinnamon over the top of the cobbler.
  • Bake on your smoker/grill/oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the topping comes out clean. Ours ended up going quite a bit longer on our smoker, so be ready for the time to vary.

This was absolutely delicious. The topping took on a subtle smoky flavor that was majorly complimented by the cinnamon, syrup and brown sugar, not to mention the bourbon, which added a nice, subtle flavor to the background.

Actually, speaking of the bourbon, if that’s not your cup of tea, you might try adding a combination of water and more vanilla extract instead.

We ate our cobbler with scoops of vanilla ice cream and enjoyed our dessert outdoors until the mosquitos drove us back inside. There are few flavors like peaches and blueberries to really help you enjoy a summer evening, and being able to cook it right on the grill makes it even more special.

This piece first appeared in print on Aug. 26, 2021.

Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas. If you are interested in sponsoring this column, please contact us through the “Contact Lindsey” link at the top of the page.

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