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The Chile Grill and Stuffed Jalapeno Chiles

Awhile back I ordered a Chile Grill and had this to say about it:

"You've got to see this Web site,  These folks have designed a jalapeño holder/rack that they call The Chile Grill.  It's a metal plate, with one-inch holes drilled through it, welded to a stand.  The idea is to find big jalapeños, cut off the tops, core out the insides, remove the seeds, stuff them with whatever, plop them in a hole and then cook 'em off on the barbecue or in the oven to present and serve as appetizers.

The Chile Grill comes in base metal, coated metal or top-of-the-line stainless steel and in various shapes-- round ones for a Dutch oven and square ones for the sheet pan and barbecue.  And for us cooks, what also collect art, they got pretty ones too.  I passed on the Texas- and Arizona-shaped Chile Grills, but had to go for the genuine stainless steel 12 hole armadillo.  Of course, they provide a couple pages of recipes including cream cheese and sausage and peanut butter."

The Chili Grill finally arrived.  It's 10x6x2 inches high, weighs a hefty 1¼ pounds and is made of 3/16-inch stainless steel plate precisely laser cut in the outline of an armadillo, welded to a stand. 

The thing is built as rugged as the custom grill Furlon bought for his GMC Yukon.  Upon close inspection, I noticed that the eye of the armadillo is cut in the precise outline of the state of Texas.  Now, what do you say that?!  Neato, eh?  Well, what to do with it? Admittedly this culinary tool has rather limited uses, though it may have potential in the garage as a car stand.  But I'm a gadget nut and I have to write about something.  The box arrived with the grill, general instructions and a number of recipes.  The folks that make the grill rightly state that just about anything can be used as a filling with tasty results, though I’d draw the line short of peanut butter or smoked oysters.

The Chile Grill folks suggest you wear rubber gloves to handle chile peppers, “if you have real sensitive skin.”  Forget that criterion.  Wear rubber gloves.  If for no other reason than to discourage you from rubbing your eyes, nose or other body parts after handling hot chile peppers.  Capsaicin oil is caustic!

The second photo shows it with cored-out jalapeño peppers, stuffed with andouille sausage and capped with bacon--all uncooked--ready to fire.

Buy jalapeños bigger than an inch around so they won't fall through the holes of the Chile Grill. I grilled the first batch and oven-baked a second.  Grilling is best in that the pepper skins charred and loosened and the whole mess looked most appetizing.  The oven batch didn't look as nice and retained more pepper heat.  The Little Woman says, “grill’em from now on.”

My chile pepper preparations followed essentially those recommended by the Chile Grill people.

1.  With a sharpened paring knife cut off the tops of each pepper
2.  Clean out the inside of the pepper with a small paring knife and 1/4" teaspoon scoop
      removing all the seeds and white ribs
3.  Turn the pepper over and cut a small hole through the bottom pointy end to 
      enable the filling to drain as it roasts
4.  Stuff the peppers with the filling of choice
5.  Cap each pepper with a small piece of good quality bacon
6.  Push a toothpick through the bacon and out the side of the pepper
7.  Spray the Chile Grill with Pam, to ease cleaning (it's difficult to clean)
8.  Fit the peppers into the holes of the Chile Grill
9.  Grill on indirect heat for about 55 minutes (the bacon should be well done), or, 
      bake in the oven for about 60 minutes at 350F. For the oven, I placed the 
      Chile Grill on a sheet pan (lined with parchment paper)

For the grilled batch, I stuffed them with uncooked andouille sausage, that I got from Henri, my butcher at Balducci's, and capped them with a square of Nueskes smoked bacon. They tasted great:  a little heat, spicy with crisp bacon.

For the oven batch, I prepared the ground beef filling I use in my Chiles Rellenos and in my Stuffed Poblano Chiles.  I had this in mind all along and that is why I bought the Chile Grill in the first place.   FYI, Rick Bayless devotes nine pages to Chiles Rellenos.  They are a real hassle to make, so I haven't posted my versions to the site. 

It takes only about a ¼ lb of meat to fill 12 big jalapeños, so there will be leftovers—enough for a barbecue burger for lunch, perhaps.

Here's how:
·   12        large jalapeños chiles
·   ½         onion, diced finely
·   1 T       extra virgin olive oil
·   1/3 C    tomato sauce
·   1 t         fresh ground cinnamon
·   S/P       to taste 
·   ½ lb      ground beef sirloin (pork shoulder will do, as well)
·   ¼ C      raisins
·   1 T       balsamic or red wine vinegar

1.  In a skillet, sauté diced onions in olive oil to translucent
2.  Add the tomato sauce
3.  Grate in the cinnamon and add the S/P
4.  Bring to boil and simmer for about 2 minutes or until thickened
5.  In another skillet, sauté the meat to rare
6.  Remove the meat from the skillet, drain and add to the sauce
7.  Add the raisins and the vinegar
8.  Simmer again to thicken
9.  Cool and stuff into the prepared chile peppers

   Use this filling for any pepper dish or barbecue sandwich, or add a little more tomato sauce and make a casserole with it. 



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