Smoked Armadillo Eggs is another easy to make appetizer or side that looks difficult to make and is so impressive looking when you slice them open - but the best part is - they taste fantastic! A perfect blend of jalapeno, cream cheese, sausage, and the secret ingredient - hard salami!
There are only a few ingredients for this recipe. The following quantities will make about 6 armadillo eggs:
6 large jalapenos
1/2 block of cream cheese
6 slices of hard salami
2lbs or so of Italian Sausage
Your favorite dry rub - I would choose something on the sweeter side to offset the heat from the peppers and the sausage. It will help create a great blend of flavors.
First scoop a small spoonful - or about a teaspoon - of cream cheese onto a slice of hard salami.
This process is identical to the first part of making ABT's (Atomic Buffalo Turds).
Next - core the jalapenos. You can use an infant spoon - this works perfect to core out the peppers because the spoon fits into the pepper and is rigid enough to scrape all the seeds out. Lay the pepper on the cutting board and slice along the length. Slip the spoon in and scrape the seeds out.
You can hold the pepper in one hand and it will pop open so it is easier to get access to the seeds.
Next, fold the hard salami into a taco shape and it will slip right into the pepper. This is easier than trying to spoon in the cream cheese and a lot less messy. This trick not only makes stuffing the pepper easier but adds a little flavor layer inside the pepper.
After the pepper is stuffed they are ready to be wrapped in bacon for ABT's or surrounded in a layer of sausage for Armadillo Eggs.
The trick to getting an even layer of sausage around the pepper is starting out with an even layer of sausage. I used Italian Sausage so I slit the casing and squeezed the meat out and into a 1 gallon zip lock bag. If you use a sausage chub - a tube of sausage meat available near the breakfast meats at your supermarket. Flatten out the meat inside the gallon zip lock while getting all the air bubbles out.
You now have a perfect, even layer of sausage meat. Open the zip lock and cut the two sides to expose the flattened layer of sausage meat.
Cut the stem off the pepper and lay the pepper onto your layer of sausage meat. Cut the sausage meat in a large enough piece so that you can wrap it around the pepper. Try and keep the sausage meat as even as possible around the pepper.
Finally - sprinkle a heavy does of your favorite dry rub over the entire egg. I used Simply Marvelous Sweet Seduction. The great thing about this rub is it is slightly sweet and adds some savory flavors that creates a nice flavor layer that blends perfectly with the rest of the ingredients.
I smoke these on the smoker or on a charcoal grill by cooking indirect at 225F for about 60 minutes. Since the ingredients on the inside do not require cooking, you only have to make sure the sausage meat is fully cooked. Since it should be a fairly thin layer, it shouldn't take too long. If you want to be sure, then you can make sure the internal temperature is at least 165F.
DO NOT cook these over a direct flame! The fat rendering out of the sausage will cause flare ups. If you are using a gas grill, turn the burners all the way to one side on low and cook the eggs on the opposite side. You can bake these in the oven too!
Your rub should give the outside of the eggs a nice color. You can glaze them with a sauce if you want but they probably don't need any.
The final result is really quite stunning looking. They are called Armadillo Eggs probably because they were developed in Armadillo country - otherwise known as Texas - and when you slice them open, the appearance of yolk from the jalapeno and cream cheese is obvious.
You can see the Scotch Eggs cooked at the same time in the background.
These were incredible tasting! Now - Let's eat!