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Spicy Appetizer: Atomic Buffalo Turds

Atomic Buffalo Turds. What on EARTH could they possibly be? Mouth wateringly good, as it turns out - not to mention simple to make! You'll definitely win appetizer competitions with these, as long as everyone loves spicy food.

I saw these done on a BBQ-centric web site, and the recipe called for them to be smoked. Not having a smoker, or toothpicks, or some of the spices called for in the recipe, I decided to just wing it. What's life without a little adventure?

Firstly, I gathered basic ingredients:

  • Bacon - defrosted
  • Cream Cheese - room temperature
  • Jalapeño Peppers - 6 of 'em
  • 6 Hot dogs

Past that all that's required is a sharp knife, patience, and remembering to keep your hands away from your eyes. Do not forget this.

I repeat: Keep your hands away from your eyes when making this dish. Failure to do this will leave you feeling like you've been pepper sprayed.

Enough with the warnings - let's get down to business. Start by cutting your jalapeños' tops off, and then slice them down the long way, making a pair of seed-filled boats. The seeds and white material inside the jalapeño are what contains most of the heat, so either scoop out most of it as I did, or keep lots of it in place if you prefer to have something with a little kick!

Normally I love spicy food, but I want to see if these could be tamed down enough by the cooking process for them to be served to anyone, or if they'd have to be served with a little warning flag on each one.

Once you have the peppers all halved and the evil spicy stuff cut out - make sure you save the jalapeño seeds and innards, they will make a fantastic surprise for the raccoon that's been invading your green bin! - start filling them with cream cheese. No need to be super accurate with how much you're putting in, just fill them up so the cheese is at least level with the sides of the jalapeño.

Slice your hot dogs in half at about the center point so that each half is somewhere around 3/4ths as long as your cream cheese filled jalapeños. Place a hot dog half on each pepper, pressing it into the cream cheese slightly so the sides of the pepper stretch outwards, and the hot dog is down in the cream cheese a little. Ideally the hot dog should not be able to roll out of its jalapeño crib with cream cheese bedding.

You've now bedded down 12 half hot dogs. If you feel brave at this point, lick one of your fingers. Don't say I didn't warn you. Milk helps.

Take the end of your first pepper, hold it in your thumb and forefinger. Starting at your thumb, wrap a whole strip of bacon around it until you've got the pepper, hot dog and cream cheese completely swaddled. It should go around twice, or at least mine did. Different sized peppers, hot dogs or bacon strips will obviously change this. Once you've got the hang of wrapping your pepper, repeat for the other 11.

To cook these, you can use pretty much anything you'd like - I used my toaster oven. I put the first batch of 6 in for 75 minutes at 275 on the tray that comes with the toaster oven, they came out nicely done with everything just the right level of browned. The second batch I decided to try for a full 90 minutes at 250 - this seemed to work a lot better. When you take them out of the oven, they'll likely be stuck to the foil / pan / etc, just use a sharp knife to separate them from the pan gently. Don't pull them off the pan by force! the bacon will tear and the jalapeño will fall out of the bottom, leaving you with a bacon wrapped hot dog. Wait, that sounds good...

So, you ask, what's the verdict? Are these as awesome sounding as they look?

Oh yes.These are awesome little spicy devils. The bacon ends up being just a little crispy but not crunchy, the cream cheese gets a nice texture change from the inside to the outside, and the peppers are just the right texture to keep things snappy. However, the original site where I saw the recipe said that "The cream cheese will ultimately counteract the burn from the peppers, so leave a good amount of the inner membrane in tact if you want to feel the heat." My response to that is bullcrap. The cream cheese does nothing to counteract the spicy peppers at all, I had to switch from drinking Pepsi alongside these to polishing off nearly half a litre of milk! And I still plan on grabbing some ice cream in a bit.

While these are fantastic, and you can definitely play with flavors between the cream cheese and the hot dog (spicy sausages might work well, if you're a heat lover) - they are definitely not something I'd suggest if you don't like spicy food, and definitely not something to serve to the uninitiated. But if you like the heat, you'll love these. I plan on making them again with some different spices in the cream cheese, and with different kinds of hot dogs / sausage. Perhaps some fresno peppers, which are a step down from Jalapenos, or even with boring old green peppers if I can find ones small enough, perhaps when cut into quarters instead of halves.

If you make these I want to hear about it! Drop us an email - it-looked-good-so @ iatethat.ca. Give us a Facebook Like if you want to see us keep doing more food fun!

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My mouth has finally returned to its non-fire alarm state, for those who are curious.

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