It’s Hatch chile season and to celebrate Grillocracy is putting a new spin on Armadillo eggs, an appetizer that is usually made by stuffing sausage with jalapeno slices and cheese then smoked.
Grown in the Hatch Valley region of New Mexico, the medium heat Hatch chile is only available from August to early September and is traditionally roasted over an open flame to really bring out their flavor.
While they were once quite difficult to come by outside of New Mexico, Hatch chiles are becoming increasingly available across the country. For this recipe, we roast the chiles, remove the charred skins, then stuff them along with a cheddar and cream cheese mixture in an egg shaped sausage shell that has been rolled in crunchy Panko bread crumbs. Enjoy!
SMOKED HATCH CHILE ARMADILLO EGGS
4 hatch chiles (note: if Hatch chiles are not available, substitute poblano peppers)
½ cup cream cheese
½ cup grated sharp cheddar
½ tsp. granulated garlic
½ tsp onion powder
½ tbsp. smoked paprika
¼ tsp. Kosher salt
2 lbs. ground pork breakfast sausage
2 cups panko breadcrumbs
¼ cup of your favorite BBQ sauce
Prepare grill for 2-zone cooking, placing pre-heated Kingsford charcoal briquets on one side of the charcoal grate, leaving the opposite side cool for indirect heating. Add 2-3 chunks of your favorite smoking wood to the pre-heated charcoal briquets for maximum smoky flavor.
Place the Hatch chiles on the hot side of the grill and roast them until charred on all sides, approximately 10 minutes. Remove the chiles, cover the grill, and adjust the grill’s bottom vents to bring the temperature to approximately 300 degrees. Seal chiles in a large re-sealable bag for 5 minutes until the skins peel off easily. Remove the skins, seeds, and ribs from the chiles then cut the flesh into sections that are approximately 1x1-inch.
In a small bowl, combine the cream cheese, cheddar, granulated garlic, onion powder, smoked paprika, and salt then blend well. Take approximately 1 ½ oz. of ground sausage and flatten it into a disk in the palm of your hand. Lay an piece of Hatch chile in the center of the sausage then top the chile with ½ tbsp. of the cheese mixture.
Place more sausage on top of the cheese mixture then form the sausage into an egg shape, making sure that it entire covers the chile and cheese.
Place the panko breadcrumbs in a shallow bowl and roll each of the “eggs” in the breadcrumbs until completely coated. Set the “eggs” on the cool side of the grill, cover, and allow them to smoke for approximately 45 minutes until cooked through.
Plate and either drizzle with BBQ sauce or serve with BBQ sauce on the side.