John McLemore's Smokin' Christmas

This holiday, why not bring a little Southern flavor to the table with these recipes from John McLemore chef and author of the new cookbook "Dadgum, That's Good, Too!"

Fried Wings

Ingredients

1 gallon cooking oil

2 lbs. chicken wings

1 cup soy sauce

1 tablespoon black pepper

1 teaspoon garlic powder

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Method

1. Fill Butterball® or Masterbuilt Fryer with oil to the MAX line. Heat to 375° F; this will take approximately 15 to 20 minutes.

2. Place wings in a large bowl. Pour soy sauce over wings, cover and chill in refrigerator for 1 hour. Drain and pat dry with paper towels.

3. Place wings into the fryer basket and carefully lower into the fryer; cook for 10 to 12 minutes, turning occasionally. Be careful not to overcrowd or stack wings in the basket. Using a metal spatula or slotted spoon, remove wings from fryer and place in a single layer on paper towels.

4. In a small bowl, combine pepper, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper. Sprinkle mixture over wings, turning to coat both sides.

Deep-Fried Mac n' Cheese

Ingredients

1 gallon cooking oil

½ lb. (1 cup) uncooked elbow macaroni

3 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon dry mustard

2 cups milk

1 cup heavy cream

½ cup chopped yellow onion

1 lb. Andouille sausage (casing removed), diced

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon sweet paprika

1 large egg, beaten

14 ounces (4 cups) sharp white Cheddar cheese, shredded

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

2 tablespoons hot sauce

3 tablespoons butter

1 cup panko (Japanese-style breadcrumbs)

Breading

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

5 eggs, beaten

2 cups panko (Japanese-style breadcrumbs)

Method

1. Cook pasta according to package instructions until al dente; don't overcook. Drain in a colander and rinse under running water until slightly cooled. Set aside.

2. Melt butter in a 6-quart pot over medium-high heat. Add flour and mustard and whisk constantly for 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Stir in milk, cream, onion, Andouille, bay leaf, and paprika, then cook, stirring constantly, until sauce thickens (about 5 minutes). Reduce heat and simmer 5 additional minutes.

3. Gradually stir about 1 cup of the sauce into a beaten egg, then add the egg mixture back to remaining sauce in the pot. Add 3 cups cheese, salt, pepper, and hot sauce, stirring until cheese is melted. Remove from heat and stir in the macaroni. Pour into a greased 2-quart rectangular baking dish.

4. To make the topping, combine melted butter and panko in a small bowl. Sprinkle remaining 1 cup cheese evenly over macaroni, then sprinkle with panko mixture. Bake in a 350° F oven for 30 minutes. Let cool completely, then cover and refrigerate overnight.

5. Fill Butterball® or Masterbuilt Fryer with oil. Heat to 350° F; this will take approximately 15 to 20 minutes.

6. Cut the refrigerated casserole lengthwise down the middle, then across into 1-inch bars. For breading, set up three bowls: in the first bowl, combine flour and cayenne; beat eggs in the second bowl; and place panko in the third. Dredge the macaroni bars first in flour, then the egg, then the panko, and place on a baking sheet. Work quickly; don't over-handle. Let bars rest in refrigerator for 20 minutes to set.

7. Fry bars, three at a time for 3 to 4 minutes or until golden brown. Season hot bars with additional salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Dadgum Good Smoked Turkey

Ingredients

50/50 mixture apple juice and water

1 whole turkey (about19 pounds), thawed if frozen

Butterball Buttery Creole Injection Marinade or your favorite marinade

Butterball Cajun Seasoning or your favorite Cajun seasoning

Method

Option 1 (shorter cook time)

1. Fill water tray 1/2 full with a 50/50 mixture of apple juice and water. Preheat smoker to 275°F.

2. Rinse and dry the thawed turkey. Using a marinade injection syringe, inject turkey with one jar of Butterball Buttery Creole marinade. Season outside and inside of turkey with Butterball Cajun Seasoning, rubbing it into the skin.

3. Place turkey on middle rack in smoker and close the door. Smoke for 5 1/2 hours or until internal temperature in breast reaches 165°F. (This total cooking time is fora 19-pound whole turkey. Based on the weight of your turkey, you will need to adjust the total cooking time. Estimated time at 275°F is about 18 minutes per pound. Make sure your internal temperature in the breast reaches 165°F.)

Option 2 (longer cook time)

1. Fill water pan 1/3 full with a 50/50 mixture of apple juice and water. Preheat smoker to 225°F.

2. See Step 2 above.

3. Place turkey on middle rack in smoker and close the door. Smoke for 9 1/2 hours or until internal temperature in breast reaches 165°F. (This total cooking time is fora 19-pound whole turkey. Based on the weight of your turkey, you will need to adjust the total cooking time. Estimated time at 225°F is about 30 minutes per pound. Make sure your internal temperature in the breast reaches 165°F.)

Sweet n' Spicy Smoked Ham

Ingredients

¼ cup honey

¼ cup packed dark brown sugar

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 pre-cooked butt-portion ham (10 pounds)

2 tablespoons whole cloves, approx. (optional)

1 (8-ounce) Cajun butter marinade injection kit, divided

Method

1. Preheat smoker to 225°F.

2. In a small bowl, combine honey, brown sugar and mustard and rub over entire ham. On top of backside of ham, score an area about 5 inches wide and 3 inches deep. Push whole cloves, if using, into this area. Using a marinade injection syringe, inject ham with 4 ounces of the Cajun butter marinade. Place in a deep disposable aluminum foil pan, and pour remaining 4 ounces of marinade in bottom of pan.

3. Place pan on middle rack of smoker and smoke, uncovered, for 45 minutes. Remove from smoker and cover. Return to smoker and smoke for an additional hour or until internal temperature reaches 160°F. Remove from smoker, ladle some of the marinade over and slice. If the cloves are in the way, remove and slice remaining ham.

Oink 'n' Gobble

For Oink 'n' Gobble use the Dadgum Good Smoked Turkey recipe and the Sweet 'n' Spicy Smoked Ham recipes above.

Method

1. Fill water pan 1/2 full with a 50/50 mixture of apple juice and water. Preheat smoker to 225°F.

2. Follow the recipe instructions for Dadgum Good Smoked Turkey (page 69). Place the turkey in the smoker. Proceed to Step 3 when turkey is on the last hour and 45 minutes of cooking time.

3. Follow the instructions for Sweet 'n' Spicy Smoked Ham (page 70) and place ham above the turkey inthe smoker. Smoke ham for 45 minutes, uncovered, and then cover with aluminum foil and smoke for an additional hour or until internal temperature reaches 160F. For the Dadgum Good Smoked Turkey the internal temperature should reach 165F.

Smoked Mac & Cheese

Serves 6

Ingredients

1 (8 ounce) package elbow macaroni

1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

4 ounce Velveeta Cheese, grated

4 cups sharp Cheddar cheese, grated

1 cup sour cream

1 cup Hellmann's mayonnaise

1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder

1/2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning

1 1/2 cups crushed cheese crackers

suggested wood -- Hickory

(It's not necessary to use wood chips if your smoker is well seasoned, and you would like a lighter smoke flavor.)

Instructions

1. Preheat smoker to 275°F.

2. Cook macaroni according to package directions, adding olive oil to the water before boiling to avoid sticking. Drain and rinse with warm water. Add Velveeta and Cheddar cheeses, sour cream, mayonnaise, onion powder and Cajun seasoning, and stir together well.

3. Place mixture in a greased 11- by 7-inch disposable aluminum foil pan, and top with crushed cheese crackers. Place in smoker and smoke for 1 hour. Remove from smoker and enjoy.

4. Add wood chips the last 10 to 15 minutes of cooking time (do not over smoke).

Smoked Sweet Potatoes

Serves 8 to 16

Ingredients

8 large sweet potatoes

2 1/3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 1/2 tablespoons sea salt

1 cup butter

1 cup packed dark brown sugar

1 cup smoked or toasted pecans, coarsely chopped

suggested wood -- Apple

To smoke pecans -- place pecans in a disposable aluminum foil pan. Smoke at 225°F for 10 minutes.

You know a side dish recipe is dadgum good when you would serve it as the main dish, and even for dessert! These smoked sweet potatoes fit that bill. The recipe calls for slicing the potatoes in half to serve two people. For my hungry crowd, we serve one potato per person. Want to take them to the next level? Drizzle lightly with caramel sauce and add a few small marshmallows.

Method

1. Preheat smoker to 275°F.

2. Wash and scrub each sweet potato well. Baste each with 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Sprinkle outside of each potato with 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt. Place sweet potatoes in smoker and smoke for 1 hour. Remove from smoker, double-wrap each potato securely with heavy-duty aluminum foil and place back in smoker for an additional hour.

3. Remove potatoes from smoker and unwrap from foil. Slice potatoes in half and score flesh with a fork. Top each potato half with 1 tablespoon of butter, 1 tablespoon of brown sugar and 1 tablespoon of chopped pecans.

Honey-Glazed Roasted Pecan Deep-Fried Turkey Breast

Ingredients

2 gallons peanut oil

1 (5 to 7 lb.) turkey breast, bone-in

1 cup chicken broth

Pecan Glaze

1 cup pecans, halved

1 cup honey

¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) butter

Method

1. Fill Butterball® Indoor Electric Turkey Fryer with oil to the MAX line. Heat to 375° F; this will take approximately 20 to 25 minutes.

2. To properly thaw a frozen turkey breast in the refrigerator allow approximately 24 hours for every 4 pounds. If present, remove and discard pop-up timer. Rinse turkey breast thoroughly with warm water, or cover with warm water and soak for no more than 30 minutes to ensure cavities are free of ice. Pat turkey breast completely dry with paper towels, inside and out. Using injector syringe, inject cup (4 ounces) of chicken broth into each side of breast.

3. Place turkey in fryer basket and slowly lower basket into hot oil; be cautious of splattering. Cover and reduce heat to 325° F. Fry turkey breast for 7 minutes per pound. After calculated cooking time is complete, lift the basket from the hot oil slowly, hooking the drain clip of the basket into the drain clip mounting hole. To check doneness, insert a meat thermometer into the meaty part of the breast; it is done when it reads 165° F. If turkey breast is not done, lower it back into the oil for an additional 5 minutes. Repeat basket procedure to check temperature again. Once turkey breast reaches a minimum temperature of 165° F, turn the turkey fryer to MIN and unplug it from the outlet. Allow the turkey breast to rest and drain in the fryer basket for 5 minutes before removing and applying glaze. Carve and serve.

Pecan Glaze

1. Preheat oven to 375° F. Spread pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake 8 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from oven, let cool, and chop coarsely.

2. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine honey and butter. Stir in toasted, chopped pecans and cook for 8 minutes to infuse the flavors. Remove from heat and keep warm.

3. Once turkey breast has rested, place onto a serving platter and pour glaze over top of turkey breast.

Low Country Boil

Ingredients

½ cup Butterball® Cajun Seasoning (or your favorite seafood boil seasoning or bag)

2 lbs. of whole new potatoes

8 to 12 pieces of short-ear corn

2 lbs. pre-cooked smoked sausage (1/2 to 1-inch thick slices)

2 lbs. shrimp, preferably split and deveined

Method

1. Fill Butterball® or Masterbuilt Fryer to the MAX fill line with water. (NOTE: If using a seasoning bag, place bag in basket.) Set heat to 375° F and bring to a boil. This will take approximately 20 to 25 minutes.

2. Add whole potatoes to basket and lower carefully into boiling water; boil for 12 minutes.

3. Add corn to the potatoes, and boil an additional 9 minutes.

4. Add sausage to the potatoes and corn, continuing to boil for 9 more minutes.

5. Lastly, add shrimp. Boil for an additional 3 to 5 minutes until shrimp are pink. Total cooking time for the boil is 33 to 35 minutes. Lift the basket from the hot water slowly, hooking the drain clip on the basket into drain clip mounting hole. Allow Low Country Boil to drain, and serve hot.