Jalapeno poppers, once exotic in many parts of the United States, have become so routine in Randy Bishop's corner of Texas that he wanted to try something different. He was sitting in his kitchen one day when he hit on the idea of combining his homemade pork sausage with jalapenos, cream cheese, and cracker crumbs. His so-called "armadillo eggs" have become a hit at his catering jobs. Serves 75 - 100.
1 box (1 pound) saltine crackers
50 jalapeno chiles, seeded and halved lengthwise
5 pounds cream cheese, at room temperature
40 pounds ground pork sausage
Build a fire in a smoker/grill and bring to 325 degrees F.
Empty the crackers into a bowl and crush very finely.
Fill each jalapeno half with about 1 tablespoon cream cheese.
Form the sausage into 100 small, flat patties; each should be about ¼ pound, the size of a small hamburger.
Wrap a sausage patty around each jalapeno half. Dredge each in the bowl of cracker crumbs to coat thoroughly and arrange on backing sheets.
Place on the grill and cook for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the "eggs" are golden brown.
Excerpted from Extreme Barbecue: Smokin' Rigs and 100 Real-Good Recipes by Dan Huntley and Lisa Grace Lednicer Copyright © 2007 Chronicle Books. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission from the publisher.