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Buffalo Bacon BLTs

Buffalo Bacon BLTs

Bacon has been raging across not only the BBQ world but the culinary world for some time. There’s pretty much bacon EVERYTHING. Bacon burgers, bacon donuts, bacon jam, bacon wrapped anything edible, and yes I’ve even had a caramel bacon Sunday (it was quite good by the way). In the other sphere there’s Buffalo everything. Buffalo wings, Buffalo shrimp, Buffalo hamburgers, Buffalo beef jerky….. Well you get the idea. But, what if? Is it possible? Am I crazy? Dare I take two great worlds and join them together? Who am I to play culinary god? Then I realized the Harry Burnete, the chap who came up with the Reese cup must have had the same questions. I’m sure some called him crazy. But ol’ Harry dared to do it. Dared to step outside the box and push the limits. Because of that the world is a slightly better place. So tongs in hand, sidekick at my side, I stepped out. Thus I give to you a union of two amazing worlds…… (enter Space Odyssey 2001 music) BUFFALO BACON!!!!

What to expect: A slight burn, with that wonderful Buffalo tang, mingled with hickory smoke and the deep rich savory flavor that only bacon can bring. The blue cheese dressing will elevate the flavors of the bacon and the buffalo sauce.

Yield:  6 nice size sandwiches.

What you will need:

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15 minutes to make the sauce, plus additional time to let it cool.

20-30 minutes total cooking time for the bacon.

  • 2/3 C Tabasco
  • 6 Tbls white vinegar
  • 1 tsp Worcester sauce
  • 1 lb butter
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbls chipotle pepper  (cayenne pepper works well too)
  • 2 lbs bacon
  • Tomatoes
  • Lettuce
  • Blue cheese or ranch dressing
  • 6 Nice hoagie rolls

How we did it.

First make the Buffalo sauce.

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Combine the 2/3 cup Tabasco, 6 Tbls white vinegar, and 1 tsp Worcester sauce in a medium sauce pan over medium heat.

Add the 1 pound of butter.

After the butter is melted, stir in the ½ tsp garlic powder and Tbls chili powder.

Set sauce aside and let it cool to room temperature.

Once the sauce is cooled to room temperature, divide in half.

Place bacon in freezer bag or large non reactive bowl.

Stir the sauce very well because it will have separated by this time.

Pour half the sauce over the bacon. DO NOT REFRIGERATE! If you do your butter will solidify and you will end up with a massive chunk of butter and bacon. Assuming you let your sauce come down to room temperature, your bacon will be safe for the 30-40 minutes it takes to light your grill and start cooking.

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Set your grill up for INDIRECT cooking.

Add hickory.

Cook bacon covered, in the void between the coals checking after 5 minutes.

Just a note here, if you try to cook your bacon over direct coals you will end up with bacon flambe’. Butter and bacon drippings falling onto hot coals could make for a very interesting cook, tasty no, but definitely interesting.

Once the bacon is done, add what you HAVEN’T ate to a large bowl and toss with the reserve sauce.

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All that’s left to do now is build those BLTs. It just doesn’t get much better on a warm summers evening than BLTs with home grown tomatoes (matters around this house) and lettuce. Top it with a little blue cheese dressing and you’ve got yourself some foot stomping good eats.

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Remember what you cook isn’t nearly as important as who you cook it with!

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My wing man and son. The “who” my closing line refers to.

 

 

 
2 Comments

Posted by on August 31, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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BBQ Bourbon Sliders


It seems as though when the rest of the world is swimming up stream, I’m merrily floating down stream. While everybody marches to the beat of a different drummer, I’m always in step with the tubas. It’s not by choice, for the most part. It would only make sense in writing a BBQ blog that I would want to go with what’s trending. And though I do put forth an honest effort, a lot of times I fail. Well this is one of those cases. A year or so ago when sliders were all the rage I was cooking and blogging GIANT burgers. Now that the big “steak house” and “stuffed burger” are all the rage, I’m going smaller. But let me tell ya, in style or out, these things were an EPIC hit in Tailgate Town this year. In fact other than a taster, my son and I got none and had to settle for a stadium hot dog. They were THAT good and went THAT fast.

What to expect: Let’s begin with the beef. A nice deep smoky flavor enhanced by the bourbon that does double duty by keeping the patties moist while smoking and adding a nice boozy flavor. Add a healthy dose of a slightly sweet BBQ sauce. Combine that with grilled bacon that is going to give you yet another layer of flavor. Top with a FRESH jalapeno that not only brings a little heat, but freshness, and texture Tie it all together with a quality slice of Swiss cheese, and add a world renown King’s Hawaiian roll.

* Some notes on this recipe.

It can be multiplied indefinitely for however many you are feeding.

4 per person is a good number to figure. They are rather filling.

ALL of our recipes, and cooking are ALWAYS done lid closed unless otherwise stated.

Yeild: 12 sliders.

What you’ll need:

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About an hour or less. The patties can be made while the coals catch fire.

Grill set up for indirect cooking

1 lb 80/20 ground beef (80/20 is the ideal meat to fat ratio for great burgers, leaner makes them dryer, more fat and they shrink on the grill)

2 Tbls of bourbon

4 tsp Worcestershire sauce

4 tsp steak seasoning/rub

1 tsp garlic salt

1/2 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce

3 slices Swiss cheese

6 or so slice of bacon, cooked and cut into thirds. (I say “or so”, because you and I both know you’re going eat some while cooking it. It’s the birthright of the Pitmaster.)

1 jalapeno sliced (optional)

12 King’s Hawaiian rolls (It MUST be King’s Hawaiian sweet rolls. We did many test cooks with different rolls for a contest. King’s were the perfect texture, balance of flavor, and gave us the best meat to bun ratio.)

How we did it:

Begin by mixing the 2 Tbls of bourbon, 4 tsp Worcestershire sauce, 4 tsp steak seasoning/rub, and1 tsp garlic salt in a bowl and whisk until thoroughly mixed.

Add your ground beef, and work into mixture.

At this point the meat will be very wet. If you feel that it’s too wet to work, with place it in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes this will “firm” it up.

Make your patties.

The best way we found to do this is by using a 2 1/2 inch cookie cutter.

Roll you beef into ball slightly larger than a golf ball. Place inside cookie cutter and gently press down with the bottom of a beer bottle. (Told ya we made A LOT of these in the test kitchen.)

If the beef wants to stick to your hands and/or the bottle, just apply a little oil.

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Set your grill up for indirect grilling, add a chunk of your favorite smoking wood, and place the little patties in the void between the coals.

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Let smoke for about 10 minutes, when they have taken on color and are soft to the touch, add your BBQ sauce, bacon, and jalapeno.

Let cook 5 minutes more.

Add cheese, cook one minute more covered until the cheese is melted.

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Plate, serve, enjoy.

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Remember what you cook isn’t nearly as important as who you cook it with.

 
3 Comments

Posted by on January 20, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Bacon Wrapped Buffalo Chicken Bites

Bacon Wrapped Buffalo Chicken Bites

It always strikes me funny how fickle inspiration is. Try and try to come up with a new idea, and nothing. Then one morning the alarm clock goes off, waking me from a deep sleep, and before I can hit the snooze button not only do I have an idea, but most of the logistics worked out and the ingredient list made. This was one of those times. Going to a New Year’s Eve party, I said I would bring wings. But I’d done wings for these people before, and I don’t like doing the same thing over and over. I thought to myself, hmmmmm moink maybe? Nah, I’m sure somebody else is bringing meatballs. My waking thought was “There needs to be a chicken moink.” And as quickly as that this recipe was born.

What to Expect:

The bacon will help keep the chicken moist while doing what bacon does best, by adding flavor. The sauce will give you that wonderful Buffalo heat and flavor that we all love.

Yield: About 24 nice size chicken bites (minus whatever you “taste test” coming off the grill.)

What You Will Need:

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About an hour of time from beginning to end.

A grill setup for DIRECT grilling.

24 or so small wooden skewers (you can find these in the cooking supply aisle of most stores)

4 boneless skinless chicken breast rinsed and trimmed

1lb bacon

Salt and Pepper

1 1/3 cup hot pepper sauce

1 cup cold unsalted butter

3 tablespoons white vinegar

1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (more or less depending on how spicy you want this)

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

How We Did It:

Begin by soaking your skewers for 30 minutes in a glass of water.

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Rinse, dry, and trim the chicken breast of any unwanted fat, or loose meat.

Season meat with salt and pepper.

Slice into about 1/2 inch strips, crosswise.

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Wrap the chicken breast with the bacon, running your skewer through the bacon and chicken breast length wise and top to bottom to secure the bacon to the chicken.

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Grill over direct heat turning every 4 minutes to cook evenely on all sides. This took us about 30 minutes (lid on) but it was in the low 20’s and there was a breeze. In good weather they should cook much faster.

When they’re done the bacon should be browned and the chicken will be firm to the touch. If in doubt slice into one and check.

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While they rest, place the: 1 1/3 cup hot pepper sauce, 1 cup cold unsalted butter, 3 tablespoons white vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (more or less depending on how spicy you want this), 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder in a small sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Cook until the butter is melted and everything is well blended.

Place wings in a large bowl, pour sauce over the top and toss.

Serve with traditional Buffalo wing dipping sauces such as Ranch and Blue Cheese.

Sorry I don’t have any finished, and platted photos. My phone froze, and by the time I was ready to take pictures…… well…… they were gone.

Have fun and happy New Year!

Remember: What you cook isn’t nearly as important as who you cook it with.

 
3 Comments

Posted by on January 1, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Cherry Smoked Pork Chops with Apple and Bacon Stuffing

Cherry Smoked Pork Chops with Apple and Bacon Stuffing

Well, it’s here. It has finally arrived, fall. There’s a chill in the air, the days are getting shorter, the leaves are turning, and apple and pumpkin are the first ingredient on every body’s mind. What better day to take advantage of fall’s bounty than on a cool overcast day. A day you want something that not only sticks to your ribs, but knocks the chill off. These pork chops are both filling and rustic, they practically scream fall.

What to expect:

The Redd’s Apple Ale marinade keeps the chops moist during the cooking process and adds a nice hint of sweet apple. The stuffing made with bacon and Granny Smith apples gives you a nice balance of savory and tangy. While the cherry smoke gives it that ever so subtle yet wonderful hint of smoke with out overpowering the other ingredients.

What you’ll need:

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About 2 hours of time (Over night for marinating)

Grill set up for indirect cooking.

4- 1 to 1 1/4 inch thick bone in pork chops

2 12 oz cans of Redd’s Wicked Apple Ale

6 thick strips of bacon

1/4 cup  chopped onion

1/4 cup chopped celery

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1/4 cup butter

3 cups fresh bread crumbs

2 tbls chopped fresh parsely

1 chopped jalapeno (optional)

Salt and pepper to taste

Begin

Begin by cutting a large pocket into the pork chops.

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Then place them in a large bowl or resealable freeze bag and pour the two cans of Redd’s Apple Ale to cover. Refrigerate over night.

Fry the bacon.

After the bacon is done add your celery and onion using the bacon grease for cooking. Cook until almost tender, then add your garlic and cook about another 30 seconds.

Chop bacon

Add the 1/4 cup butter to the cooked onion, celery, and garlic (nobody said this was healthy).

In a bowl mix the bread crumbs, parsley, jalapeno, onion, celery, garlic, butter, and  bacon drippings.

Set aside. (Recipe up to this point can be made one day ahead and refrigerated, if you don’t add the apples).

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Peel and chop apples in a medium to small dice just before stuffing the chops.

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Add apples to mixture. Taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper as needed.

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Drain pork chops, blot dry with a paper towel.

Salt and pepper both sides thoroughly.

Stuff pork chops as full as you can get them.

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Set grill up for indirect cooking.

Add smoking wood of your choice.

Place pork chops in the void between the coals.

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Cook for about an hour or until the stuffing reaches 165f.

Now enjoy with your favorite beverage, your favorite people, and maybe some foil pack roasted cheesy potatoes.

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Remember what you cook isn’t nearly as important as who you cook it with.

 

 

 

 
4 Comments

Posted by on October 5, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Grilled Corn Salad

Grilled Corn Salad

STOP!!!! WAIT!!!! Summer is NOT over!!!! The other day I woke up and noticed kids were going back to school, the flyers in my paper was advertising the new fall line, fantasy football players were all talking about their draft, and horror of horrors, breweries were touting their fall lines, pumpkin this and pumpkin that. There was even Halloween candy in my store aisles. Hold up there Hoss, it’s STILL AUGUST!!!! It’s STILL summer and I won’t let go of it until Jack Frost pries it from my hands. Don’t get me wrong, I love fall, but I still have summer in me. Out door concerts, BBQ and Blues fest, and things to cook, but more to the point, all the fresh produce is just now coming into it’s own. So seeing as it’s still summer and at least the thermometer in my back yard is inching into the 90’s, I’d say it’s “the salad days of summer.”

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This is a wonderful little salad, that’s actually best if made ahead. It’s great for carry ins, or as a simple side to hamburgers.

What to expect: It’s the basil that really pulls it together and brings out the freshness. The corn and onion will give you a nice sweetness, the tomatoes will lend a hit of acidity, while the bacon will add a slight savoriness  as well as a crunch to the texture.

Yeild: 6-8 cups

What you’ll need:

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About 1 to 2 hours of time.

1/2 cup of fresh basil Chiffonade  (divided)

1/4 of extra virgin olive oil

2 Tbls of white vinegar

8 slices of thick cut bacon

6 ears of corn

1 pint of cherry tomatoes (cut in 1/2)

1 large sweet onion, sliced thick (I prefer candy for this recipe)

4 or 5 bamboo skewers soaked in water

2 sweet bell peppers

Salt and Pepper

1 jalapeno (optional)

How we did it:

Begin by making your dressing. Mix the 1/4 cup oil and vinegar with 1/4 cup of the the fresh basil.

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Set the grill up for indirect cooking. Place the bacon between the void of the coals. You may need to fold or cut the bacon in half. We folded it and had no problems. Cook with the lid on for about 15 minutes turning once.

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Once the bacon is done set add some fresh coals and set the grill up for direct cooking. Place your corn on the grill and cook until the husk are charred, about 15-20 minutes turning once.

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After the corn is finished, remove and add the onion and sweet peppers. And cook with the lid on.

 

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Once the onion is charred on both sides and the pepper   is charred all the way around remove about 20 minutes     turning the onions once and the peppers about 4 times.

 

 

 

 

 

**Trick to grilling sliced onions** Insert soaked bamboo skewers into them to hold them together. I’ve found it very easy to insert the skewers BEFORE slicing the onion. This will help hold the onion together on the grill.

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Remove the done peppers and onions from the grill.

Dice the onion into 1/2 inch dice.

Dice the peppers into 1/2 inch dice being sure to remove the tough skins. It should just peel off .

Remove corn from the cob.

.**Trick to removing corn from the cob**

Place a smaller bowl in a large bowl, place corn on small bowl. All the cut corn will fall directly into your larger mixing bowl. A paper towel will help hold the cob in place.

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Now it’s just a matter of mixing your ingredients together.

Coarsely chop the bacon, and add it along with the onions, peppers, tomatoes, and your dressing. Taste adding salt and pepper as necessary.

Remember that other 1/4 cup of fresh basil we held back? Well now’s the time to add it if you feel it still needs a little “something.”

Now get out there and dodge a few water balloons, eat an ice cream cone, have a pic-nic, ride a bike, take in a ball game, because SUMMER IS NOT OVER YET!!!!!

Remember what you cook is not nearly as important as who you cook it with. LONG LIVE SUMMER.

 

 

 

 

 
6 Comments

Posted by on August 24, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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To Build a Better BLT

To Build a Better BLT

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As I have stated in previous post NOTHING gets me more jazzed than fresh summer produce. It’s not just the fruit and vegetables, it’s the people, it’s the open air shopping, the farmer’s markets, the little gems you find along the highway and in the produce stands. I found a SOLID WINNER just a few miles down the road from my house. A little place called Jazzi’s Flower Center. The produce was full and well stocked, but more importantly the man who was running the place at the time was very eager, helpful and pleasant to deal with. When I asked if he had fresh basil, he quickly grabbed his scissors walked around and snipped me some. You just can’t get much fresher than that. That’d be his hand in the picture below.

*Note: we enjoyed these with our Habanero Aioli. I highly recommend it.

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And boy did they have Indiana home grown tomatoes.

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Now back to what I was there for. A trademark summer meal is the classic BLT, I wanted to pull as much of the fresh taste of summer out of it as I could while combining it with my passion for grilling and BBQ.

What to expect: By grilling the tomatoes you reduce the moister and intensify the tomato flavor. The fresh basil really pops, bringing the freshness to a whole new level. The onion will gain you some depth in flavor while the provolone cheese pulls it all together. A hit of light fruit wood smoke gives it a wonderful outdoor flavor and leaves no mistake about where it was cooked. Of course bacon does what bacon does…… just taste GREAT.

What you’ll need: yield 6 great sandwiches.

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1lb thick cut bacon

3 large ripe firm tomatoes

2 large sweet onions (like candy onions)

1 large handful of fresh basil

1 stick of unsalted butter

1 loaf of firm bread of your choice

6 slices of provolone cheese

Salt and pepper

Begin by setting your grill up for indirect cooking.

While your coals are coming up to temperature finley slice your basil using the chiffonade technique.

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Slice your tomatoes and onions into at least 1/8 inch thick slices.

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On top of each onion slice add basil, then top with the tomato. Season it well with salt and pepper, then add a little more basil.

Place on the grill in the void between the piles of coals.

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Let cook with lid on until the onion is soft and the tomato has began to take on a deeper red color. About 20 minutes.

Place the cheese on top of the tomatoes cover and let cook another minute, until cheese is melted.

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Spread coals for direct cooking. Butter one side of the bread and place it on the grill, while it’s searing butter the other side.

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Once the bread is done add your bacon, the grilled tomatoes, lettuce and your choice of dressing. Set back and enjoy the wonderful bounties that these long summer days have to offer.

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Remember what you cook is not nearly as important as who you cook it with.

 
7 Comments

Posted by on August 17, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Smoked Chicken Stuffed Bell Peppers with bacon and sharp cheddar

Smoked Chicken Stuffed Bell Peppers with bacon and sharp cheddar

For the second Sunday in a row my son and I spent the weekend mastering the art of parting out a full chicken. A skill he will need for his culinary classes. So….. for the second weekend in a row we cooked with chicken. Like I said in my last post, you’re going to be seeing A LOT of chicken recipes over the next few months.

A side note the chicken stuffing can be made 2 days in advance.

Also, you can use leftover rotisserie chicken from your deli, but don’t expect it to be as good or as fun.

What to expect:

The nice smokey flavor of smoked chicken and bacon, a slight kick from the jalapeno, a little texture and flavor from the onion, and of course the creamy bight from the sharp cheddar.

Yield:

4 stuffed peppers (this recipe can be doubled easily)

What you’ll need:

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About an hour more or less of time.

1 bone in skin on chicken breast

4 bell peppers any color

1 medium onion

1 lb sharp cheddar cheese

12 strips bacon, cooked and coarsely chopped

1 medium onion (small dice)

1 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce

3 jalapenos (optional)  2 finely chopped with seeds, 1 sliced, reserved for garnish

salt and pepper

vegetable oil

How to do it:

Begin by setting your grill up for INDIRECT cooking.

Oil the chicken breast thoroughly, then season well with salt and pepper.

Place chicken in the void between the coals, add 1 wood chunk of your choice to each side.

Let cook for about 30 minutes, or until the it reaches 165f and the juices run clear.

Although the recipe calls for only one chicken breast, why waste coals? We tossed on a few extra for latter in the week.

Although the recipe calls for only one chicken breast, why waste coals? We tossed on a few extra for latter in the week.

While the chicken is cooking prep the rest of your ingredients.

Fry the bacon,  and coarsely chop it.

Chop the onion and jalapenos.

Shred the cheese.

Prepare your peppers for stuffing, by cutting off the tops and removing the seed pod and as much of the inner membrane as you can.

If the peppers bottoms are uneven you can make little stands for them out of aluminum foil.

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Once the chicken is done pull it into shreds.

Mix one cup of cheese, the bacon, the onion, and the jalapeno (if using) in a bowl.

Add BBQ sauce and mix thoroughly,

Place in peppers, topping with remaining cheese and jalapeno slices.

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Place on a grill that’s been set up for INDIRECT cooking.

Cook for 15 minutes or until the peppers are soft and the cheese is melted.

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All that’s left to do now is plate, serve, and ENJOY.

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2 Comments

Posted by on March 16, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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