The Ultimate Tailgate Recipe: Spicy Stegosaurus Balls

In 2014 Robert Simon was a finalist on Spike TV’s Frankenfood, a network television competition cooking show. He rose above 400 other would-be contestants who were home cooks and food industry professionals. His premier was episode “A Taste of the Turnpike” and can still be viewed on Spike TV’s website

Can you take the heat?  This is a great way to feed a hungry football or basketball crew. This recipe is incredibly versatile and can be tweaked to taste. Ask everyone to arrive a couple of hours early, sip on a cold brew and have your guests stuff their own Stegosaurus Balls with their favorite flavors.

The recipe calls for a delicious fresh sauce, using crème fraîche. We have also found that a deep, spicy brown mustard sauce for dipping is tasty as well. Mix it up a few different sauces you love, to give you and your guests a variety of flavors.

Spicy Stegosaurus Balls

  • Difficulty: Involved and worth it
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Makes 20 Spicy Stego Balls

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 20 ounces Hot Italian Turkey or Chicken Sausage links or bulk ( each link, makes 2 balls )  4 packages of links or 3 16 ounce packages of bulks
  • 10 Jalapeño Peppers ( each pepper makes 2 balls )
  • 2 Poblano Pepper
  • 1 5 ounce container Gorgonzola, crumbled
  • 1 8 ounce container crème fraîche
  • Chef of the Future (COF) Brand Floribbean Seasoning
  • Twizzlers Black Licorice Twists, cut into 20  1 inch pieces
  • Tabasco Brand Green Jalapeno Pepper Sauce
  • Cooking Spray, Canola

Chicken: Remove visible fat and connective tissue from chicken and liberally coat each side with COF Floribbean rub. Coat chicken with cooking spray. Grill chicken until cooked through, let cool. Cut into 1″ pieces, set aside.

fullsizerender-2Jalapeño and Poblano Peppers: Cut off tops and slice lengthwise on one side. Remove seeds. Fire roast peppers and place in bowl. Cover with plastic wrap to let the peppers “sweat” until cool enough to touch. Remove skin with a paper towel. Do not run peppers under water.

Cut jalapeño peppers crosswise into 1″ sections to prep for stuffing the chicken. Liquefy the poblano pepper, set poblano mixture aside.

Open 1″ section of jalapeño and put gorgonzola inside. Add 1″ sliced piece of chicken, 1″ piece of licorice, and a bit more cheese to surround the chicken. Compress the pepper lightly to re-form. Do this for all of the jalapeño pepper pieces, set aside.

If using sausage links – remove casing from sausage, throw casing away and put sausage in large bowl. If using bulk sausage, remove meat from package, add to bowl.

Crème fraîche: For each cup of crème fraîche add 8 tsp of the Poblano puree and 4 tsp of Green Tabasco Sauce. Blend together for finishing drizzle or use as a dipping sauce.


For this recipe we used Johnsonville ~ Scoop some sausage out of the bowl and form into a round patty 1/4″ thick and 5″ around. Place the filled pepper, cut side down in the center of the patty and seal all edges so it forms a round ball, with the stuffed pepper inside.

Coat the balls liberally with COF Floribbean Rub and spray with cooking spray.

Grill the balls, elevated off of the grill grate, over a low flame/heat to prevent flare-ups for about 15 minutes or until center is 165 degrees F. Turn balls frequently while grilling. Plate the balls, either whole or halved. Drizzle Poblano Creme or serve in the side for dipping. Serve immediately.


As you become acquainted with this recipe, you may find yourself switching out ingredients to blend other flavors. Chef of the Future Seasonings come in a variety of options to compliment all of your gameday and grilling ideas. COF rubs and seasonings are now available online and coming soon to a retailer near you.

You can also find Chef of the Future on RealTree ,  Date Night Doins. Paige Daily, The Dutchess Cooks, Barbecue Master, The Sauce Shop App on iTunes, ViewsNewsBBQ’s, and Your Home with Karie Engels

Follow Chef of the Future on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and website COF.Rocks




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