Yep, you're in the right place.  This is where we'll post recipes that go a little beyond just cooking really good Q.  We'll change the featured recipe from time to time, but we'll archive them so you can always come back and find your favorites.

Our first featured recipe has been a family favorite for years.  Our kids get to choose whatever they want for their birthday meals, and this is one of the most popular requests.  Of course, you don't have to wait for a special occasion (we don't), because this one is good all the time!

Stuffed Caterpillar (named by my kids the first time they saw one come off the pit).

We start by preparing our fresh ingredients to stuff into the tenderloins.

Below, we are using cherub tomatoes, hard wedges of Asiago cheese and shitake mushrooms.

Okay… next, you start with pork tenderloins that look like this.

After you rinse the tenderloins, slice them three times.

This is called a “butterfly” cut.

Now before you jump the gun, make sure you are slicing them along the “length” of the tenderloin

A single, traditional butterfly is just one long slice.  We will start with one in the center, and then add two additional slices to create a “triple butterfly” cut.  Be careful not to slice all the way through the tenderloins.

Next stuff the tenderloins (within the butterfly slices) with the “special ingredients” of your choosing.

Here, we are using Neufchatel cheese in the first wedge, then basil pesto...

…and then we topped the pesto with the cherub tomatoes and add the shitake mushrooms in the final wedge.

For this caterpillar, we also added tightly rolled fresh spinach leaves.  Note that the spinach leaves will reduce significantly during the cooking process, so be sure to pack them tightly for a nice hint of mellow spinach flavor.

After the tenderloin is stuffed, carefully wrap it with bacon.

We have learned that it is easiest to pre-lay the bacon before stuffing the caterpillar.

Use toothpicks to hold the bacon, but space them so that you can slice the cooked caterpillar between the toothpicks.  The toothpicks also make this an easy-to-eat dish for tailgate parties or as and hors d’oeuvres.

The photo below shows our second caterpillar stuffed with chopped walnuts, apricot paste bordered with sweet peppers and pear slices in the final wedge.  Use your imagination when selecting the internal ingredients.  You will notice that in this version, spinach leaves are added between the bacon and the tenderloin to create a contrasting effect when sliced for serving.

When you’ve wrapped the tenderloins, you should have something that looks like this…

…and they are ready for the BBQ pit!

You’ll notice that we seasoned the outside of the caterpillars differently to compliment the internal ingredients.  The top one is seasoned with garlic and fresh black pepper, while the other is sprinkled with WhitzMix seasoning.

Now, it’s time for smoke and heat!

We cook the caterpillars at about 225 degrees over indirect heat until the bacon is crispy.  With a little practice, you’ll be able to easily tell when the dish is done, but not dried out.

I recommend using an electric knife to slice the caterpillar between the toothpicks.

The end result is an aesthetically pleasing dish which will delight your guests.  This is always one of our most popular dishes despite the nickname “caterpillar” which is really what it looks like when it comes off the pit.


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