January 2018 - The Super Bowl Issue

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This year, we thought it would be interesting to pair up some of our tried-and-true football recipe favorites with flavorful vegetarian alternatives for each. I encourage you to mix and match these recipes to create a football party menu that is sure to have something for everyone on your guest list to enjoy.


Grilled Buttermilk Hot Wings

Grilled Buttermilk Brined Hot Wings

These wings were a spontaneous creation for a party last weekend. They were a huge hit, disappearing in less than ten minutes, so I thought it would be best to share this gem with you. A quick brining in buttermilk and hot sauce yields tender and flavorful meat. The chile rub on the outside finishes the wings off with a perfect crust. I describe the heat-level on these as medium-hot.


For brining

  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 9 ounces hot sauce (I use 1 x 5-ounce bottle of Cholula and 1 x 4-ounce bottle of El Yucateco Habanero Hot Sauce)
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup liquid smoke
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • Cloves from 1 head garlic, grated with a microplane or crushed
  • 3 to 4 pounds chicken wing segments

For the blue cheese dressing

  • 6 ounces crumbled blue cheese
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Zest of 1/2 lemon, finely grated

For the chile rub

  • 1 dried pasilla chile, stem removed
  • 1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon dried chopped garlic (chopped garlic is preferred to granulated garlic or garlic powder because the larger pieces hold their flavor longer)
  • 1 tablespoon dried sliced onions (dried onion slices are preferred to onion powder)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

For garnish

  • 1 handful flat leaf parsley, chopped


Whisk together the brine ingredients in a large bowl. Add the wings, cover and chill for 4 to 6 hours.

Prepare the blue cheese dressing by combining all the ingredients in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or as long as 24.

Combine the rub ingredients in a food processor or spice grinder until a fine texture is achieved. Transfer the wings from the brine to a half-sheet pan. Shake off most of the brine while doing so, minimizing the liquid in the pan. Discard the brine. Sprinkle one side of the wings with half of the rub mixture. Turn the wings over and sprinkle the other side with the remainder. Let the wings rest at room temperature for about 20 minutes before grilling them.

Prepare the grill for direct grilling over a medium fire, about 350°F.

Transfer the wings to the grill grate. Grill them with the hood closed, turning a couple of times along the way, until cooked-through. Total cooking time should be about 20 minutes.

Transfer the wings to a platter, sprinkle with chopped parsley, and serve with the blue cheese dressing.


Tips for Preparing the Recipe on a Kalamazoo Hybrid Grill

You can grill these wings over a gas fire with the main burners on MEDIUM, but a charcoal fire will enhance the chile crust.

Place a thin load of charcoal in the Hybrid Fire Grilling Drawer (single file briquettes in each channel or roughly 1/4 full with lump charcoal). Start the charcoal fire with the main burners, and then turn them to LOW. Wait for the coals to ash over and all visible flame from the charcoal to subside before grilling the wings. Your desired grilling temperature is about 350°F.

Smoked Buffalo Cauliflower

Smoked Buffalo Cauliflower

My all-time favorite game time food is smoked Buffalo wings  ̶  or maybe I should say it used to be. This Smoked Buffalo Cauliflower is a hot contender for the number one spot. Seasoned and then smoked, the cauliflower takes on a more complex flavor and a fantastic crunch. Blis Blast Hot Sauce, which this newsletter has recommended frequently, and a bit of butter make for a quick homemade Buffalo sauce that cannot be beat.


  • 1 dried pasilla chile
  • 1 tablespoon chopped dried shallot
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon turbinado sugar
  • 2 cauliflower heads
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup hot sauce (we recommend Blis Blast)
  • Blue cheese dressing for serving
  • Oak wood chunks for smoke


Prepare the smoker for 225°F smoking with oak wood (see detailed instructions for the Kalamazoo Smoker Cabinet following the recipe). Smoking duration will be 3 hours.

Discard the stem from the pasilla chile. Coarsely chop the chile, seeds and all. Place the chopped chile in a spice grinder, add the dried shallot, and grind to a relatively fine powder. We love the Hario Skerton coffee grinder for this task. It will require a couple of passes through the grinder, but the extra flavor you get from freshly-ground spices is worth the effort.

Combine the ground chile and shallots with the salt, paprika and sugar.

Discard the cauliflower leaves and cut the heads down into bite-size florets. They can be rather large because the cauliflower will shrink substantially while it cooks.

Toss the cauliflower florets with the olive oil and spread out on a baking sheet or cutting board. Season on all sides with the spice blend.

Transfer from the baking sheet into the smoker. If your smoker grates or shelves are too open to support the pieces of cauliflower, use a pizza screen to hold them.

Smoke for 3 hours at 225°F with oak wood for flavor.

Remove from the smoker. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Whisk in the hot sauce. Remove from heat and fold in the cauliflower. Serve with blue cheese dressing for dipping.

Note: Although a dedicated smoker is ideal, this recipe is also good for cooking in a Kalamazoo Hybrid Fire Grill using our wood pellet smoking inserts.

Setup for the Kalamazoo Smoker Cabinet

If smoking only the cauliflower, load the smoker with 2 to 3 pounds of hardwood lump charcoal. Clip the pit temperature probe to the center of the bottom food grate and set the BBQ Guru pit computer to 225°F pit temp (you will not be using the food temp probe). Fully open the chimney, ball valve, and fan shutter. Light the charcoal (see owner’s manual) and preheat the smoker for 1 hour to ensure even heat throughout the heavy stainless steel food chamber. Once the BBQ Guru computer indicates the pit has reached 225°F, about 30 to 40 minutes, reduce the fan shutter opening to 50%. After the first 45 minutes of preheating, add 2 large oak wood chunks to the ash pan below the charcoal fire. The embers from the fire will fall on the wood to create flavorful smoke.

Place the seasoned cauliflower directly onto the center food grate in a single layer. Close the door tightly and smoke for 3 hours, replacing the spent oak wood chunks approximately every 45 minutes.

Cedar-planked Barbecue Shrimp

Cedar-planked Shrimp

Cooking on cedar planks infuses foods with a distinctive, aromatic flavor, and the pizza oven’s intense heat makes it ideal for plank cooking. Because the heat radiates from both above and below, you get maximum flavor from the plank, while also cooking the food quickly using the broiler effect. In fact, when your food is cooked quickly enough, there is no need to soak the plank.

For this recipe, we are keeping things simple, but if you’re looking for an additional dish to add to your plank cooking repertoire, you might want to check out our video with Mexican Street Corn and Macaroni-stuffed Poblano Peppers roasted alongside the barbecue-rubbed shrimp


  • 1 tablespoon chopped dried garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chopped dried onion
  • 1/4 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely-ground black pepper
  • 10 large shrimp, 9 to 12 count, shells on
  • 2 bunches green onions
  • 2 cedar planks, 7 inches X 12 inches X 3/4 inch thick (see tip at the end of the recipe)
  • Metal cooling rack(s)


Preheat the Artisan Fire Pizza Oven with both burners on HIGH.

To make the barbecue rub, combine the onion and garlic in a spice mill and grind to the desired texture. Grinding the chopped spices yourself makes for a more flavorful rub. Add the sugar, salt, paprika and pepper.

Peel and devein the shrimp, leaving the tails on. Partially butterfly the shrimp while you are deveining them.

Season the shrimp liberally with the barbecue rub.

For maximum flavor, you can lightly pre-char the boards quickly on a hot grill. This step is optional.

Arrange the shrimp on the cedar planks. Trim the green onions and arrange them alongside the shrimp.

Shrimp roasting in the pizza oven

Cedar-planked shrimp roasting in the Artisan Fire Pizza Oven

Place the cooling rack(s) in the pizza oven, and position the cedar planks on top of the rack(s). This helps keep the boards from burning too quickly.

Cook for 12 to 15 minutes, rotating the boards several times for even cooking. Keep a spray bottle of drinking water handy to douse any flames that might erupt at the edges or corners of the board.

Cedar-planked shrimp pizza oven video

Tip: Most pre-packaged cedar planks for cooking are thinner than we like to use. For cedar planks (and any other type of wood) we prefer to purchase 1x8 boards (a 1x8 is actually ¾ inch thick and 7 inches wide), and cut them down to the desired length. If you don’t have a saw at home, the hardware store or lumber yard will usually be happy to cut them for you.

Plank Smashed Potatoes with Shishito Peppers

Plank Smashed Potatoes with Shishito Peppers

The subtle perfume of oak infused roasted vegetables really raises the flavor to the next level. The result is a fabulous side dish for the perfect grilled steak. These are similar to our Smash-roasted Red Potatoes recipe, but we’ve added zesty shishito peppers and smashed garlic cloves. Then, instead of roasting them on a sheet pan, we roasted them on an oak board to add a delicious smoky wood flavor. For more information about plank grilling, view our helpful guide.


  • 2 oak planks, about 7 inches by 12 inches, soaked for 90 minutes (we like to use thicker planks than is common, 1 ¼ inches in this case)
  • Oak wood chips or chunks for smoking
  • 4 red potatoes, cleaned
  • 8 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 8 shishito peppers
  • 8 baby bella mushrooms, larger mushrooms cut in half
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Coarse kosher salt
  • Freshly-ground black pepper


Place the potatoes in a large pot. Fill with water to cover the potatoes by 1 inch. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then boil for 20 minutes more. Remove from heat and drain the potatoes.

Prepare the grill for indirect grilling at 400° to 450°F with a little wood smoke.


TIP: On a Kalamazoo K750 Hybrid Fire Grill, you can achieve this temperature by running a single (far left or far right) Dragon Burner on high, and all other burners off. Add two oak wood chunks at a time in the hybrid grilling drawer over the running burner to generate smoke and boost the flavor.

For other gas grills, I suggest a foil smoking envelope filled with oak wood chips.


Smash the potatoes to flatten and break them open. Smash the garlic cloves as well to crack them open. Drizzle the potatoes, garlic, shishito peppers and mushrooms generously with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Place the soaked oak plank directly above the fire for one minute to heat it up. Flip it over and move it to the indirect zone. Place all of the vegetables except for the shishito peppers on the plank in a single layer. Close the grill and roast for 1 hour total cooking time. Add the shishito peppers after the first 20 minutes. Rotate the plank as needed for even cooking. Keep the temperature below 500 degrees to reduce the chances of the plank catching fire. Use a spray bottle of water to douse any flames on the plank should this happen.

Remove from the grill, and place the plank on a heat-resistant trivet to serve. Caution, the plank will be hot. If you would like, you can transfer the roasted vegetables to a platter and remove the hot plank to a safe location. 

Hearty Winter Chili

Hearty Winter Chili

To many, chili is the ultimate “man food” and the ultimate expression of culinary independence. This recipe fits the bill on both counts with smoked pork belly and our own Not-So-Basic Barbecue Rub in place of the traditional chili powder. Despite the long cooking time, the recipe is not a lot of work. Prepare it a day ahead and reheat it for the game. You will need a 5 1/2 or 7 quart cast iron Dutch oven.

As written, I would call this a medium heat chili. For a more mild chili, cut the chipotle and jalapeno amounts by half.


  • 2 pounds pork belly, cut into squares roughly 4" x 4"
  • 4 tablespoons Not-So-Basic Barbecue Rub
  • About 3 cups wood chips, soaked for at least 1 hour (I use maple)
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 3 to 3 1/2 pounds beef tri-tip, cut into 1/4" cubes
  • 1 12-ounce bottle of brown ale (I use Bell’s Best Brown Ale)
  • 2 pounds Roma tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 4 chipotle peppers (canned, in adobo sauce), finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons adobo sauce
  • 2 fresh jalapenos, finely chopped
  • 1/2 large red onion, diced
  • 16 ounces frozen corn kernels, thawed
  • 2 15-ounce cans of chili bean mix (pinto, kidney and black), rinsed and drained
  • 6 to 12 ounces tomato paste
  • Sour cream, shredded cheese and sliced green onions for serving


  1. Prepare the grill for indirect cooking with wood smoke at 325°F.
  2. Rub 1 to 2 tablespoons Not-So-Basic Barbecue Rub into both sides of the pork belly pieces. Add the wood chips to the grill, place the pork in the indirect cooking zone and close the hood to begin smoking. I get this going before prepping all the other ingredients. The pork belly can get about an hour of smoking in while you cut up all the other ingredients. After the pork belly has been smoking for an hour, heat a 5 1/2 quart (or larger) cast iron Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the canola oil. Brown the tri-tip for a few minutes, working in small batches to avoid over-crowding the pot.
  3. Remove and reserve each batch of beef as it is finished.
  4. Remove the final batch and deglaze the pot with the beer. Add the tomatoes to the pot and return to a simmer. Stir in 2 tablespoons Not-So-Basic Barbecue Rub, plus the cumin, chipotles, adobo sauce and jalapenos. Stir in the beef, onion and corn. The beans and tomato paste will not be added until the final hour of cooking.
  5. Place the pot on the grill in the indirect cooking zone without its lid. The lid stays off the pot the entire time the chili is cooking. Close the grill and cook for 4 hours. Keep the wood smoke going the entire time. A skin of smoked chili will form on top.
  6. Stir this in every 30 minutes or so for maximum flavor. After the chili has cooked for 3 hours, stir in the beans. Remove the pork belly from the grill, cut it into 1/4" cubes and stir it into the chili.
  7. If the chili has not thickened most of the way to your desired consistency by this time, stir in 6 to 12 ounces of tomato paste to thicken as needed. (Remember, the chili will thicken as it cools, and it will be thicker the next day, even after re-heating.) Continue cooking for another hour.
  8. Serve the chili with sour cream, grated cheese and sliced green onions on the side.

Smoky Three Cheese Macaroni

Smoky Three Cheese Macaroni

This is not kids' macaroni and cheese. The mahogany-colored top says it all -- this is a smoky and flavorful side dish for grown-ups. The creative approach to smoking can be applied to almost any baked dish you desire… even on a gas grill.


  • 1 pound dry Conchiglie pasta, cooked (you can use elbow macaroni, but I like the bigger Conchiglie)
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 16 ounces aged gouda cheese, shredded (I like a 9 month old Robusto for this recipe)
  • 4 ounces Maytag blue cheese, crumbled
  • 8 ounces medium-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 cups wood chips (I like apple for this recipe)
  • You will also need two aluminum turkey roasting pans and a 3-quart earthenware or cast iron casserole dish


Prepare the grill for indirect grilling at 400°F.

Cook the pasta to al dente in salted water. Drain, rinse under cold water to stop cooking and drain again.

Baked macaroni and cheese uses a classic béchamel sauce as its base. For this recipe, we are omitting the bay leaf and garlic, but sticking pretty close to this tradition.

While the water for the pasta is coming to a boil, begin by making a light roux. Melt the butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add the flour and stir constantly with a whisk until the color is golden brown, about 5 minutes. At this point, the flour is cooked and the starchy flavor is gone.

Whisk in the milk and sour cream to thoroughly combine and simmer for 5 minutes.Beat the eggs in a small bowl (about the size of a cereal bowl). Temper the egg by adding a couple of ounces of the milk mixture to the egg bowl and stirring. Repeat several times to slowly raise the temperature of the eggs.

Add the tempered eggs to the milk mixture along with the gouda, blue cheese and 4 ounces of the cheddar. Stir until melted in.

Transfer the drained pasta to a 3-quart casserole dish. Pour in the cheese sauce. Top with the remaining cheddar cheese.

To create the smoking chamber, place one turkey roasting pan on the grill grate directly over the fire. Place the wood chips around the perimeter of the inside of the roaster. Close the hood and let this get started smoking for about 5 minutes. Place the casserole dish inside the aluminum roaster with the wood chips.

Place the second aluminum roasting pan upside down on top as a lid, trapping in the smoke. Close the grill hood and cook for 5 to 10 minutes with the contraption still in the direct grilling zone (making sure the wood chips only smoke and do not ignite). Move the smoking contraption to the indirect zone and continue cooking for a total cooking time of 30 to 40 minutes.

The top of the dish should be a deep brown color from the smoke, and the sauce should be bubbling when it is heated through. Remove the casserole dish from the roasting pans, cover tightly with foil, and wrap with towels until serving time. It should stay warm for at least 45 minutes.

Note: This smoking process will stain the outside of your casserole dish. Cast iron is your best bet, or you can use a disposable aluminum pan.

Loaded Baked Potato Pizza

Loaded Baked Potato Pizza with Bacon, Cheese, Sour Cream and Chives

If you love potato skins, that classic pub appetizer, then you’ll love this pizza. Potatoes are smashed and roasted until crisp on the grill, then joined by bacon and cheese on a hearty whole wheat ale pizza dough. Given the time involved in making the smash-roasted potatoes, we recommend doubling or tripling the recipe and making a few of these pizzas.


  • 1 10-ounce Two Hearted Ale Whole Wheat Pizza Dough ball
  • 1 medium-sized Yukon Gold potato
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Fine sea salt
  • 5 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 cup grated Manchego
  • 1/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar
  • 2 slices thick-cut bacon, fully cooked and roughly chopped
  • 1 heaping teaspoon chives, chopped


First, cook the potato using the same basic method as our Smash-roasted Red Potatoes recipe. We suggest making extra potatoes to enjoy later as leftovers.

Prepare the grill for indirect grilling at 450° to 500°F.

Place the potato in a large pot. Fill with water to cover the potato by 1 inch. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then boil for 20 minutes more. Remove from heat and drain.

Place the potato on a heavy, grill-safe baking sheet. We like to use a Silpat mat placed inside the sheet pan. Smash the potato to flatten and break it open. Drizzle with olive oil and season generously with salt.

Place the pan in the indirect grilling zone, and close the hood. Roast in the indirect zone until browned and crispy at the edges, about 45 minutes total time. Rotate the pan halfway through cooking. Remove from the grill and reserve.

Working on a lightly-floured surface (we use Caputo ’00 flour), form the dough ball into a 10-inch pizza. Spread 3 tablespoons of sour cream evenly onto the dough. Add the Manchego and cheddar. Distribute the bacon and potato, breaking the potato into smaller pieces.

Place the pizza on a pizza peel and then transfer to the oven or grill.  Cook until the cheese is melted and the crust is nicely browned.

Cooking in a hot pizza oven will take less than 3 minutes. Cooking in a conventional oven at 500⁰F or on a grill will require closer to 10 minutes.

Remove from the oven. Top with 2 tablespoons of sour cream and the chopped chives before serving.

Grilled Vegetable Pizza

Grilled Vegetable Pizza

Celebrate summer produce with a delicious vegetable pizza. Zucchini, yellow squash and red onions all take on a roasted flavor over the open flame of the grill. A quick red sauce brings fresh tomatoes to the party.


  • 1/2 zucchini squash
  • 1/4 yellow squash
  • 1/4 red onion
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 batch White Wine Pizza Dough, about 14 ounces
  • 2 ounces (1/4 cup) fresh tomato red sauce (recipe follows)
  • 3 ounces Scamorza cheese, shredded

Fresh Tomato Red Sauce

Yields about 1 1/2 cups


  • 2 1/2 pounds Roma tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


Combine the tomatoes, garlic, sea salt and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a blender or food processor. Thoroughly process until the liquid is smooth and frothy. Transfer to a large sauce pan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and reduce to a thick sauce. Store any extra sauce in the refrigerator in an air-tight container for up to 4 days.


Prepare the grill for direct grilling over a hot fire. A charcoal fire is preferred for grilling the vegetables because of its drier heat characteristics.

Quarter the squash lengthwise. Slice the onion into narrow wedges. Pierce toothpicks through the layers of the onion to help keep the wedges together on the grill. Brush all with olive oil and sprinkle generously with kosher salt.

Grill the vegetables over the hot fire until nicely marked. The pieces will continue to cook on the pizza, so pull them off the grill before they are fully tender. Slice the squash into smaller pieces for the pizza. Separate the layers of the onion wedges. Prepare the pizza oven or grill for baking pizza (see our online guide for perfect pizza on the grill).

Roll out the pizza dough to about 14″ and transfer to a pizza prep peel lightly dusted with corn meal. Spread on the sauce (a 2 ounce ladle is a handy tool if you make pizzas often), sprinkle on the cheese and distribute the vegetables.

Bake the pizza until the crust is golden brown and the toppings are hot. At 500 degrees it should take about 10 minutes. At 750 degrees it will take only about 3 minutes.

Innovation is at the heart of every Kalamazoo product. Each part of the collection – from grills and pizza ovens to refrigeration and cabinetry – represents a significant departure from the established norm. Our passion for outdoor cooking and our fiercely independent design philosophy drive us to establish new industry benchmarks. Consequently, our list of exclusives and innovations speaks for itself.

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