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Crispy Chicken Thigh Biscuit Sliders

Posted by Mary M. on February 17, 2014

Crispy Chicken Thigh Biscuit Sliders

In the book of heavenly culinary masterpieces one of the top most incredible bites is when you sandwich a crackling piece of fried chicken between southern bread perfection, a buttery biscuit, and dunk that goodness in honey. We wanted to find an easier to way to get that transitive bite with the crunchy, juicy, saltiness of fried chicken without so much effort AND perhaps save a few calories while we're at it.

Perfection achieved. We made a "Grillocratic Oath" (it's kinda similar to the Hippocratic Oath), so we can't lie. You need to taste this.

CRISPY CHICKEN THIGH BISCUIT SLIDERS

PREP TIME: 5 minutes
COOK TIME: 45 minutes to 1 hour
RECOMMENDED PELLETS: Any
SERVES: 6

INGREDIENTS

6 boneless skinless Chicken Thighs
2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Traeger Cajun Shake
Ancho Chile Powder
6 refrigerated Biscuits
6 slices Cheddar Cheese
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1/2 cup mayonnaise
Bread and Butter pickles, for serving
Honey, for serving
Hot sauce, for serving (optional)

PREPARATION

Start Traeger on Smoke with the lid open until fire is established (4 to 5 minutes). Preheat to 350 degrees F, lid closed, for 10 to 15 minutes.

Cook the biscuits on a baking sheet on the Traeger according to the package directions. (Should be 14 to 16 minutes.)

Turn heat up to High and let preheat. Meanwhile, drizzle the chicken thighs with olive oil and season generously with the Cajun Rub and ancho chile powder on both sides. (Use as much ancho chile powder to suit your heat preference)

Place chicken thighs directly on the grill grate and cook for 30 to 45 minutes or until they're crispy. (Chicken thighs are very forgiving so you can cook them until you reach the perfect crunchiness.)

During the last couple of minutes of cooking top each thigh with a slice of cheddar cheese.

Meanwhile, make the spicy chipotle mayo by chopping up the chipotle chile peppers and whisking them along with any adobo sauce with the peppers into the mayo until incorporated.

Cut biscuits in half and drizzle the bottom of the biscuit with honey.

Top with a piece of chicken. Stack on some bread and butter pickles on top of the chicken and spread the top of the biscuit with spicy mayonnaise.

Crispy Chicken Thigh Biscuit Sliders

Top that biscuit and compile the whole perfect bite together. If you want more heat, add a few dashes or hot sauce. Enjoy!

Crispy Chicken Thigh Biscuit Sliders

PRINTABLE RECIPE:

Crispy Chicken Biscuits Recipe.docx (12.46 kb)

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Charred Hoisin-Soy Grilled Tofu and Roasted Asparagus

Posted by Mary M. on February 16, 2014

Charred Hoisin-Soy Grilled Tofu and Roasted Asparagus

Skeptics be warned! We are talking about grilling tofu. Seriously. We don't joke about grilling...unless it's a really good joke.

You might think that tofu is a tasteless cube of who-knows-what. But really it's a silky block of the true chameleon product - soy beans, or really soy milk curds - just waiting for you to give it your own flare and favorite flavors and of course give it an even meatier texture by throwing it on the grill so it earns some smoke and a few char marks. We're not going to pretend like it's pulled pork but it is pretty darn tasty - especially with a sticky-sweet hoisin and soy sauce marinade - and it's perfect to please any vegetarians or vegans that you might have coming to your barbecue.

We know, it's a little "out-of-the-box" (ironically considering it's rectangular shape) but open your barbecue menu a little and give tofu a chance.

CHARRED HOISIN-SOY GRILLED TOFU with ROASTED ASPARAGUS

PREP TIME: 10 minutes, plus marinating overnight
COOK TIME: 20 minutes
RECOMMENDED PELLETS: Hickory, Mesquite, Apple or Cherry
SERVES: 2 to 4

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 green onion, thinly sliced
1 block of extra firm tofu (make sure that it's extra firm tofu so that it holds up well)
Toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
Additional sliced green onions, for garnish
1 bunch of asparagus, rinsed and stalk-ends trimmed
Olive oil
Kosher salt and pepper, to taste

PREPARATION

Start by pressing your tofu to remove as much liquid as possible. Do this by placing the tofu between two cutting boards and weighing the top one down with a couple of heavy cans.

You'll see the liquid pooling around the tofu. Let it sit for an hour or two, periodically tipping the liquid into the sink. This will make the tofu denser and even meatier and more absorbent to any flavors you want to infuse in it.

Now you're ready to marinate it. Mix together the hoisin, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, lime juice, sesame oil, minced garlic clove and green onion.

 

Carefully slice tofu into 1-inch thick cubes or strips. If you're using skewers, cubes are best, but if you'll be placing your tofu directly on your grill, larger strips are better.

Place the marinade and the tofu in a shallow dish, tossing to cover all of the tofu evenly, and allow to marinate for at least one hour, preferably overnight. Occasionally gently mix up the tofu or spoon the marinade over the top to allow the marinade to evenly flavor all of the cubes of tofu. You can also use a zip-lock bag instead of a dish.

On the day of cooking, start the Traeger on Smoke with the lid open until the fire is established (4 to 5 minutes).

Thread the tofu onto the skewers and prep the asparagus.

Spread the asparagus onto a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and season generously with kosher salt and pepper.

Smoke the skewers of tofu on the Traeger for about 10 to 15 minutes. They won't need much time to absorb a good smoke taste. After they've smoked, remove the skewers from the Traeger and turn the heat up to High and preheat, lid closed, for 10 to 15 minutes.

Place the skewers and the asparagus on the grill and cook for about 20 minutes, rotating the skewers every 5 minutes and brushing with the marinade. Give the asparagus a good turn about halfway through. (Because the stalk-ends of asparagus are more fibrous and take longer to cook, we suggest placing the asparagus so that the tips face in and the ends face out, where it tends to be hotter. This will help them cook more evenly.)

You'll know the tofu is done when you can see those lovely grill marks. See! Even tofu can have grill marks!

Charred Hoisin-Soy Grilled Tofu and Roasted Asparagus

Remove from the grill and top the tofu with some toasted sesame seeds and more green onions. Just taste it! It cleans up pretty good and is quite yummy.

Charred Hoisin-Soy Grilled Tofu and Roasted Asparagus

PRINTABLE RECIPE:

Hoisin Soy Grilled Tofu Recipe.docx (12.63 kb)

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Roasted Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus

Posted by Mary M. on February 13, 2014

Roasted Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus

Sometimes pork can be a bit confusing - not that we're going to complain because as long as it comes from a pig and is cooked on the Traeger, we'll eat it with a big smile. When it comes to bacon, pancetta and prosciutto, sometimes you scratch your head and think, "What's the difference between these again??" They certainly all taste delicious!

Here is your "Cliff Notes" explanation: Bacon and pancetta have quite a bit in common. They are both made from pork belly and endure a curing process but still need to be cooked before they are considered safe to eat. Bacon, however, is additionally smoked after it has been cured. So if you like a smokier flavor, use bacon instead of pancetta. Now, prosciutto is actually made from the hind leg of the porker. The curing process for prosciutto is longer and can take anywhere between months and years. After the long cure it's sliced thinly and good to eat! And there you have it!

We noticed several of you commented that you like to wrap your roasted asparagus in prosciutto. We couldn't agree more! You can snack on it while your asparagus is cooking and it's sliced paper-thin so it doesn't need to cook for very long to get crisp.

ROASTED PROSCIUTTO-WRAPPED ASPARAGUS

PREP TIME: 10 minutes
COOK TIME: 15 to 20 minutes
RECOMMENDED PELLETS: Hickory, Oak or Mesquite
SERVES: 9

INGREDIENTS

36 medium asparagus spears (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 tablespoon olive oil
Traeger Veggie Shake
9 thin slices prosciutto

PREPARATION

Trim the fibrous ends off the asparagus and cut each piece of prosciutto in half lengthwise.

Lay the asparagus out on a pan and drizzle with olive oil and season generously with the Traeger Veggie Shake.

Make bundles of about 4 spears out of the asparagus and wrap 2 halves of prosciutto around each bundle. The prosciutto should stick to itself but if not, secure it with a toothpick. Give the prosciutto on each bundle a little drizzle of olive oil to keep it from over-crisping.

Start the Traeger on Smoke with the lid open until the fire is established (4 to 5 minutes). Close the lid and preheat to 375 degrees F for 10 to 15 minutes.

Lay the bundles of asparagus directly on the grill grate and cook for 15 to 20 minutes (depending on the thickness of your asparagus spears) or until the asparagus is done to your liking.

Roasted Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus

Pull the asparagus off and enjoy your pork-wrapped veggies!

Roasted Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus

PRINTABLE RECIPE:

Roasted Prosciutto Asparagus Recipe.docx (11.18 kb)

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Bloody Mary Flank Steak

Posted by Mary M. on February 13, 2014

Bloody Mary Flank Steak

There are some "love children" that were simply meant to be. Others, not so much. (Pickles and peanut butter, anyone?) We think you'll unanimously agree that one of the former is the union of flank steak and bloody marys. With the combination of a spicy, acidic tomato base, some savory seasonings and vodka, it makes for a tenderizing and delectable marinade and sauce.

Although this recipe calls for flank steak, you could easily substitute skirt steak, hanger steak, flat iron steak, top round, sirloin, etc. (Keep in mind thinner cuts willl take less time to cook.) Just don't forget to slice the meat diagonally across the grain. As most of you seasoned carnivores know, this slicing technique shortens the meat fibers, making the difference between rubber and melt-in-your-mouth tenderness.

This meaty delight is in our From Pulled Pork to Peach Pie cookbook.

BLOODY MARY FLANK STEAK

PREP TIME: 10 minutes, plus marinate overnight
COOK TIME: 15 minutes
RECOMMENDED PELLETS: Oak
SERVES: 4 to 6

INGREDIENTS

2 cups of your favorite bloody Mary mix or V-8 juice (we recommend the spicy version)
1/2 cup cheap vodka (optional)
Juice of 1 lemon or lime
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. coarse black pepper
1 tsp. celery salt
Tabasco® Sauce or your favorite hot sauce, to taste
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1-1/2 pounds flank steak

PREPARATION

Make the marinade (divided use): In a mixing bowl, combine the bloody Mary mix, vodka, if using, lemon juice, garlic, Worcestershire, pepper, celery salt, and Tabasco®. Whisk in the oil.

Put the flank steak in a resealable plastic bag and pour half the marinade over it. Marinate overnight (up to 24 hours). Put the remaining marinade in a covered container and refrigerate.

When ready to cook, start the Traeger grill on Smoke with the lid open until the fire is established (4 to 5 minutes). Set the temperature to 450 degrees F (High) and preheat, lid closed, for 10 to 15 minutes.

Pour the marinade from the container into a small saucepan and simmer over medium heat until reduced by half. Keep warm.

Drain the flank steak and discard the marinade that covered the meat. Pat the meat dry with paper towels. Lay the meat directly on the grill grate and grill, turning once, for 7 to 10 minutes per side.

(Flank steak is best when cooked to medium-rare, about 135 degrees F.)

Transfer the steak to a cutting board and let rest for 3 minutes before carving on a sharp diagonal against the grain.

TRAEGER TIP: For the juiciest result, always let meat, poultry, and seafood rest before serving: 1 to 2 minutes for chicken breasts, burgers, and fish fillets, 3 minutes for steaks, pork tenderloin, and chops, 10 minutes for pork loin roasts, prime rib, and whole chickens, and up to 30 minutes for a whole turkey, pork shoulder, or foil-wrapped brisket.

Bloody Mary Flank Steak

Drizzle some of the reduced marinade over the top.

Bloody Mary Flank Steak

PRINTABLE RECIPE:

Bloody Mary Flank Steak Recipe.docx (11.88 kb)

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Buffalo Chicken Deep Dish Pizza Bites

Posted by Mary M. on February 12, 2014

Buffalo Chicken Deep Dish Pizza Bites

Pizza is one of the favorite football-watching snacks. Now, it may not have won a Vince Lombardi trophy...at least not yet. But we'll come back to that. Right up there, also at the top of the list are buffalo wings. You get where we're going with this. Mash-up time! Bite-sized pizza with spicy buffalo chicken, cooling blue cheese and crispy bacon. And yes, we daresay that these are trophy-worthy.

BUFFALO CHICKEN DEEP DISH PIZZA BITES

PREP TIME: 20 minutes
COOK TIME: 12 to 15 minutes
RECOMMENDED PELLETS:
SERVES: makes about 18 pizza bites

INGREDIENTS

1 pizza dough, store-bought or your favorite recipe
2 cups diced cooked chicken (Chicken Challenge chicken is perfect, as is any leftover cooked chicken)
2 teaspoons olive oil, plus more to prepare the dough
2-4 tablespoons hot sauce, to taste
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 cup crumbled blue cheese, such as Gorgonzola
8 cups raw baby spinach
1/2 cup cooked crumbled cooked bacon
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

PREPARATION

Roll out the pizza dough and use a round cutter (or even a glass) slightly larger than the holes in the muffin tin to cut out 18 rounds or as many as you can fit.

Use your fingers to stretch the dough but without tearing it press them into a muffin tin.

Meanwhile, in a medium-sized skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, and sauté for 1 minute. Add the spinach in handfuls and sauté for about 3 minutes until slightly wilted.

(Don't worry, the amount will reduce drastically.) Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Remove from the heat. In a medium-sized bowl toss the chicken with the hot sauce.

Start the Traeger on Smoke with the lid open until the fire is established (4 to 5 minutes). Preheat, lid closed, to 375 degrees F for 10 to 15 minutes.

Drizzle each round of dough with olive oil and layer some of the chicken, sautéed spinach and blue cheese in each of the muffin cups.

Put the muffin tin on the grill grate and cook them for 12 to 15 minutes or until the crust is lightly browned.

Buffalo Chicken Deep Dish Pizza Bites

Take the pizza bites off the grill and finish with the crumbled bacon. Game time!

Buffalo Chicken Deep Dish Pizza Bites

PRINTABLE RECIPE:

Buffalo Chicken Pizza Bites Recipe.docx (12.26 kb)

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Bacon-Wrapped Elk Steaks

Posted by Mary M. on February 11, 2014

Bacon-Wrapped Elk Steaks

Game meat is a tasty commodity that, unfortunately, rarely comes across our plates. Rarely, except for those avid hunters out there. Luckily for us, Traeger owner, John Butterfield, wrangled us up some tasty elk steaks which we couldn't wait to turn into tender game perfection.

Elk is a lean meat that could most definitely benefit from a bacon blanket. (...well, what couldn't?!) We also marinated it to help tenderize it and load the elk up with flavor.

BACON-WRAPPED ELK STEAKS

PREP TIME: 5 minutes, plus marinate overnight
COOK TIME: 10 to 15 minutes
RECOMMENDED PELLETS: Any
SERVES: 4

INGREDIENTS

2 lbs fresh elk steaks
1/4 cup red wine
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons honey
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
A pinch or two of red pepper flakes
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
1/2 lb thin-cut bacon

PREPARATION

Make the marinade by whisking together the wine, soy sauce, honey, minced garlic cloves, black pepper, chopped rosemary and red pepper flakes.

Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while whisking.

Add the elk steaks into the marinade and marinate overnight, up to a day or two.

When you're ready to cook, start the Traeger grill on Smoke with the lid open until the fire is established (4 to 5 minutes). Preheat to High for 10 to 15 minutes, lid closed.

Take the steaks out of the marinade and wrap each steak with several pieces of bacon (however many will fit comfortably) and secure them with toothpicks.

Place the elk directly on the grill grate and cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until the elk is medium rare about 135 degrees F, rotating halfway through to get some good caramelization.

Bacon-Wrapped Elk Steaks

Slice it up and enjoy that perfectly pink center.

Bacon-Wrapped Elk Steaks

PRINTABLE RECIPE:

Elk Steaks Recipe.docx (11.56 kb)

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Valentines Heart-Shaped Pulled Pork Pizza

Posted by Mary M. on February 7, 2014

Heart-Shaped Pulled Pork Pizza

One of the best expressions of love is a steaming, stringy slice of pizza dripping with barbecue sauce and Traeger'ed pulled pork. It's completely worth the extra napkins and spare t-shirt. Plus it's common knowledge that a good wet nap or two sets the mood.

This pizza is the perfect way to share a meal of love with the whole family. Feel that sweet pulled pork love.

PULLED PORK PIZZA

PREP TIME: 1 1/2 hours for pizza crust to rise
COOK TIME: 8 to 10 minutes
RECOMMENDED PELLETS: Hickory, Alder, Oak or Pecan
SERVES: about 6

INGREDIENTS

1 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees F)
1 (1/4-ounce) envelope active dry yeast
1 teaspoon honey
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
Yellow cornmeal, for sprinkling the pizza stone
2 cups or more pulled pork (more or less depending on your taste)
Favorite Traeger BBQ Sauce
1 can diced green chiles
1 squirt or two hot sauce
1/2 red onion, diced
2 cups mozzarella cheese

PREPARATION

You can just use your favorite pizza dough recipe or even store-bought pizza dough or here is one that we love:

In a large bowl, combine the water, yeast, honey, and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, stirring to combine. Let sit until the mixture is foamy, about 5 minutes.

Add 1 1/2 cups of the flour and the salt, mixing by hand until it is all incorporated and the mixture is smooth. Continue adding the flour, 1/4 cup at a time, working the dough after each addition, until the dough is smooth but still slightly sticky. You might not need all of the flour. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until the dough is smooth but still slightly tacky, 3 to 5 minutes. Oil a large mixing bowl with remaining olive oil. Place the dough in the bowl, turning to coat with the oil.

Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place, free from drafts until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface and shape into a heart. (It doesn't have to be exact. The love is in the effort, not the perfect geometry.)

Move the pizza dough to a pizza peel or cutting board dusted with cornmeal. Mix the leftover pulled pork with a generous amount of the BBQ sauce, the can of diced green chiles and the diced red onion.

Spread the pulled pork evenly on the pizza dough.

Finish the top with as much mozzarella cheese as you like.

Start the Traeger on Smoke with the lid open until the fire is established (4 to 5 minutes). Set your pizza stone onto the grill grate and preheat the Traeger to High for about 20 minutes or longer, lid closed.

Dust the pizza stone with cornmeal and gently slide the pizza onto the pizza stone and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the crust is golden, brown and delicious.

Heart-Shaped Pulled Pork Pizza

Remove the pizza from the grill and slice and serve!

Heart-Shaped Pulled Pork Pizza

PRINTABLE RECIPE:

Pulled Pork Pizza Recipe.docx (12.73 kb)

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Spiced Cocoa-Crusted Flank Steak

Posted by Mary M. on February 7, 2014

Spiced Cocoa-Crusted Flank Steak

If chocolate is the doorway to a woman's heart and meat to a man's, a cocoa-crusted flank steak should end the battle of the sexes and bring world peace, right? Sounds like the perfect kind of mission for Traeger to undertake!

Cocoa is often mistakenly relegated to the realm of desserts. By itself cocoa seeds, or cacao as it's known in Spanish, is bitter and has its own inherent richness. This makes it a surprisingly tantalizing pairing with a little heat and also works a lot of flavor into a cut of meat, like flank steak, that should be cooked quickly at a high heat. And it's always good to put your heart and saliva glands to good use with a healthy dose of some of your favorite smoky and sweat-inducing spices.

SPICED COCOA-CRUSTED FLANK STEAK

PREP TIME: 5 minutes
COOK TIME: 6 to 10 minutes
RECOMMENDED PELLETS: Hickory, Mesquite or Maple
SERVES: 6 to 8

INGREDIENTS:

1 2-3 lb. flank steak
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
Olive oil

PREPARATION

In a bowl whisk together the cocoa powder, chili powder, chipotle chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, brown sugar, kosher salt, black pepper, cumin and smoked paprika.

Lightly drizzle the flank steak with olive oil and rub the cocoa rub on both sides.

Start the Traeger on Smoke with the lid open until the fire is established (4 to 5 minutes). Preheat to High for 10 to 15 minutes, with the lid closed.

Cook the flank steak directly on the grill grate for about 3 to 5 minutes per side, or until the internal temperatures registers 135 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer, for medium-rare (or longer if you like it more done).

Spiced Cocoa-Crusted Flank Steak

Remove the flank steak from the grill and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute. Slice against the grain on a sharp diagonal and serve.

Spiced Cocoa-Crusted Flank Steak

PRINTABLE RECIPE:

Cocoa crusted flank steak 2.3.docx (661.29 kb)

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Prosciutto-Wrapped Shrimp with Peach & Jalapeno Salsa

Posted by Mary M. on February 6, 2014

Prosciutto-Wrapped Shrimp with Peach & Jalapeno Salsa

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Oh, and did we mention that it's absurdly delicious? Like we're thinking, prosciutto chips instead of potato chips. And the best part is you can sneak a few pieces of it before cooking.

PROSCIUTTO-WRAPPED SHRIMP with PEACH & JALAPENO SALSA

DIFFICULTY: 2/5
PELLETS: Alder or Oak
PREP TIME: 20 min.
COOK TIME: 25 min.
SERVES: 4

INGREDIENTS

For the shrimp:
2 pounds cleaned jumbo shrimp (about 24 shrimp)
8 paper-thin slices prosciutto, each cut into 3 pieces

For the salsa:
2 ripe freestone peaches, peeled, pitted, and finely diced (or use good quality jarred or canned peaches)
1 to 2 tbsps. balsamic vinegar
2 tsps. honey, or to taste
1/2 to 1 serrano or jalapeno chile, seeded and finely diced
2 tbsps. chopped fresh basil or mint leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Thinly sliced jalapenos and basil leaves for garnish, if desired

Rinse the shrimp under cold running water and dry thoroughly on paper towels. Spiral a piece of prosciutto around each shrimp; the ham is fairly tacky and should stick to itself. But you can secure it with a toothpick or skewer if you wish.

Make the salsa: In a mixing bowl, combine the peaches, 1 tablespoon of the vinegar, the honey, 1/2 serrano pepper, basil, and salt and pepper. Taste, adding more vinegar, honey, chile, or salt and pepper as desired.

TRAEGER TIP: To peel peaches, make a shallow cross with a paring knife on the bottom of each peach. Submerge in boiling water for 30 seconds or so: The skin should come off easily.

When ready to cook, start the Traeger grill on Smoke with the lid open until the fire is established (4 to 5 minutes). Set the temperature to 400 degrees F and preheat, lid closed, for 10 to 15 minutes.

Arrange the prosciutto-wrapped shrimp on the grill grate and grill for 4 to 6 minutes per side, or until the shrimp is opaque.

Serve the shrimp warm topped with the peach salsa and garnished with slices of jalapenos if you like a little extra heat.

Prosciutto-Wrapped Shrimp with Peach & Jalapeno Salsa

PRINTABLE RECIPE:

Prosciutto Shrimp Recipe.docx (12.21 kb)

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Sweet Pepper Crab Cakes

Posted by Mary M. on February 6, 2014

Sweet Pepper Crab Cakes

Why can't we have the best of both worlds? Who's the boss telling us that we can't eat incredibly tasty food that's also good for us? Well, we hate to disappoint you but we don't know. BUT we do know that they're wrong.

After several holidays-worth of irresistible indulgence (totally worth it!) it's time to incorporate a few lighter, still mouth-watering, recipes. And that's exactly why we have our Guilt Free - Love, Laugh, Grill Cookbook. The recipes, like our Sweet Pepper Crab Cakes, walk that line between health and flavor.  We loaded the cakes with generous amounts of crab meat plus sweet peppers to bring out the sweetness in the crab and a fresh pepper sauce to finish! The Traeger is the perfect tool to replace the typical oil used to fry the cakes and still get that golden exterior and moisture-sealed flavor.

So go ahead, indulge and feel good about it!

SWEET PEPPER CRAB CAKES

PREP TIME: 15 min
COOK TIME: 8-10 min
RECOMMENDED PELLETS: Any
SERVES: 4

INGREDIENTS

5 slices of day old whole wheat bread, or toasted bread
¼ red bell pepper – seeded and diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3 tbsp fresh basil (or parsley), chopped
2 cups precooked fresh crab meat - we like using 1 c. lump and 1 c. claw meat
1/2 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
2 tsp chili sauce (or hot sauce)
2 large eggs
1 tbsp olive oil

SAUCE:
5 small red sweet peppers – seeded and diced
2 cloves of garlic – chopped
3 tbsp red onion – diced
1 tbsp olive oil
¼ cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper

DIRECTIONS:

Start the Traeger on Smoke with the lid open until the fire is established (4 to 5 minutes). Preheat grill to High setting with lid closed for 10 to 15 minutes.

Meanwhile make the crab cakes by combining the bread, peppers, garlic, and basil in food processor, pulse 20 seconds.

Transfer to mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the chili sauce, eggs, salt, black pepper and oil. Add that along with the crab meat into the bread mixture and gently mix it together, being careful not to break up the crab meat too much. (Those big chunks make for a tasty find!)

If too moist add a little whole wheat flour, or too dry add a little water.

Create small disks/patties out of the mixture and place on a foil-covered baking sheet sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.

Cook on the Traeger for 8-10 minutes, or until crust is golden brown (turn crab cake over half way though cooking time).

For the sauce, drizzle a little bit of oil into a pan and sauté the sauce ingredients, except for the oil and water, for 5 minutes over medium-low heat.

Sweet Pepper Crab Cakes

Transfer to food processor, add 1 tbsp of oil and 1/4 cup water and puree until smooth.

Serve the crab cakes warm with the red pepper sauce and a sprinkle of fresh chopped parsley.

Sweet Pepper Crab Cakes

PRINTABLE RECIPE:

Sweet Pepper Crab Cakes Recipe.docx (12.26 kb)

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