Why This Recipe Works
- Mix your favorite ingredients into the cream cheese stuffing, like cheese, herbs, or bacon.
- Armadillo eggs can be made ahead of time and grilled when you are ready.
While I've been doing moderately well in my new career in competitive barbecue, I have found a weakness I must correct before the next competition—feeding my team, friends, and family. These events often span multiple days and the excess of available barbecue only comes in the last few hours. That leaves extra meals and snacktimes to fill up on great grilled goods, but the measly hot dogs I've been toting around aren't ceremonious enough to fit the bill.
What other foods can be made ahead and easily grilled? These armadillo eggs.
"So what are armadillo eggs? The question should instead be: What aren't they?"
So what are armadillo eggs? The question should instead be: What aren't they?" These little balls of excellence hold so much flavor, it's incredible.
They start with a half of a jalapeño stuffed with cream cheese combined with your favorite mix-ins. I did cheddar cheese and cilantro. Then the entire thing gets wrapped in sausage, sprinkled with a barbecue rub, and smoked over a hot fire until cooked through and nicely browned.
What you get is a powerhouse of flavor. The sausage is meaty, smoky, and moist, with a great caramelized crust. That alone is enough, but bite into one and out comes an explosion of fruity heat that's tempered by the oozing, creamy stuffing.
In all of these layers of flavor and meatiness, I think I found the perfect item to feed a hungry team. I'll be grilling up a bunch at the next competition.
Armadillo Eggs (Cheese-Stuffed, Sausage-Wrapped, Grilled Jalapeños) Recipe
This make-ahead, easy to grill appetizer is full of flavor.
4 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
6 large jalapeños, halved and seeded
2 pounds loose breakfast sausage
1 tablespoon favorite barbecue rub
1 small piece light smoking wood, like apple or cherry
In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and cilantro.
Place one spoonful of cream cheese mixture into each jalapeño half. Cut each jalapeño into two equal pieces.
Break off a ball of sausage about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Flatten sausage into a 1/4-inch thick disc and place stuffed-jalapeño piece in the center. Wrap sausage around jalapñeo, pinching sausage closed to completely encase jalapeño. Gently roll sausage in your hands to create a smooth egg shape. Repeat with remaining sausage and jalapeños.
Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and arrange the coals on one side of the charcoal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill, and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate. Place smoking wood directly on top of coals. Sprinkle barbecue rub all over armadillo eggs, then place eggs on cool side grill and cover, with top air vent positioned over cool side of grill. Cook until sausage is cooked through and browned all over, about 30 minutes, flipping eggs halfway through. Any eggs not thoroughly browned can be quickly seared on hot side of grill, about 1 minute per side. Transfer to a platter, let rest for 5 to 10 minutes, then serve.
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 13g||16%|
|Saturated Fat 5g||24%|
|Total Carbohydrate 1g||1%|
|Dietary Fiber 0g||1%|
|Total Sugars 1g|
|Vitamin C 1mg||4%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|