A good friend of the family, the late Max Carson, first introduced us to Armadillo Eggs some 30 years ago.
No, they are not actually eggs from an armadillo (they give birth). The name has to do with the egg-like shape of the cheese-sausage-jalapeno appetizers before you slice them.
Max called them Texas Armadillo Eggs, but my husband, Jay, has made them for so long now that we dropped Texas from the title long ago. After all, Louisiana has armadillos, too. We had a quartet born under a house we lived in years ago.
Unlike other stuffed jalapenos which use cream cheese, these are stuffed with Monterey Jack cheese. The cheese also goes into the sausage and Bisquick dough, with Shake 'n Bake providing a crusty outer layer. Warning: It makes quite a mess when you slice them.
The level of heat in the dish is determined by the jalapenos. Sometimes, they're mild; sometimes not. But, in our experience, every one of them gets eaten every time.
Makes 20-24 whole eggs. Recipe is by Max Carson.
16 ounces grated Monterey Jack cheese (divided)
1½ cups Bisquick
1 pound Jimmy Dean sausage
1 can (26 ounces) whole jalapenos (20-24 peppers)
2 boxes Pork Shake 'n Bake
2 eggs, beaten
1. Mix 8 ounces cheese, Bisquick and sausage until pliable, not crumbly, dough forms.
2. Cut top off jalapenos and remove seeds and veins. Stuff jalapenos with remaining cheese.
3. Pinch off a piece of dough (how much you need depends on the size of the stuffed pepper). Flatten dough in your hand, place stuffed pepper on dough, wrap it and seal completely.
4. Put Shake 'n Bake in shallow bowl and roll pepper in it. Dip in eggs, then roll again in coating mix.
5. Bake in 350 F oven for 25-30 minutes. Allow to cool slightly then slice and serve.