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Buffalo Shrimp Tacos with Smoked Bacon and Blue Cheese

Buffalo Shrimp Tacos with Smoked Bacon and Blue Cheese

What I’m about to give you is what might quite possibly be the quickest and easiest recipe I’ve done in a while. However don’t let the quickness and ease fool you, this recipe is big on flavor and quite fun to serve to your guest.

What to expect: There are few things that play better together than buffalo sauce, bacon, and blue cheese. Add some shrimp and you have yourself nothing short of Nirvana (the legendary place, not that weird rock group)I truly believe the beauty of the sauce lies in the balance of Tabasco, butter, and a pinch of garlic. I like the balance that the vinegar base of the Tabasco brings when paired with heavier flavors like blue cheese and bacon. And the shrimp? Well you wouldn’t be reading this if you didn’t like shrimp. However I tend to think it carries buffalo sauce as well as any wing.

Yield: 6 tacos

Mulitply the bacon, shrimp,and blue cheese as needed. The sauce will make easily enough for a triple batch.

* The yield will depend greatly on how much “snacking” you do while preparing this. It is FAR too easy snatch a shimp here, a slice of bacon there. So plan accordingly. But come on, if you don’t dip at least one shrimp and one bacon in the sauce while your grill side…… well YOU JUST AINT HUMAN.

What you will need:

1/3 cup Tabasco

1 cup unsalted butter

3 Tbls white vinegar

½ tsp Worcester sauce

1 Tbls chipotle powder

*Cayenne will work, I just prefer the smokey flavor chipotle brings. The pepper powder is what controls the heat of the sauce, so add or subtract according to your tolerance.

¼ tsp garlic powder

1 lb 30/40 shrimp, shelled, deveined, and tails removed.

6 or so bamboo or metal skewers

Salt and pepper

1 lb bacon

½ lb quality blue cheese

6 flour taco shells

How we did it:

Begin by placing all of your ingredients for the sauce in a “grill proof” pan and set aside.

Skewer the shrimp. Season well with salt and pepper and set aside in the refrigerator.

Set grill up of for indirect grilling. Add a couple of chunks of your favorite smoking wood. Place lid on, check and turn every 5-6 minutes, cooking to your prefered doneness.

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Arrange coals for direct grilling, adding more if necessary.

Oil grates, and place shrimp and sauce pan on grill.

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Stir the sauce until the butter is melted, then remove.

Cook the shrimp until it’s opaque and begins to turn pink.

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Once the shrimp is done gently toast the taco shells over the direct coals.

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Toss the shrimp in the sauce, I mean that both figuratively and literally.

All that’s left is to chop the bacon, crumple the blue cheese, and assemble.

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Now gather friends, family, and love ones around and enjoy!

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

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Posted by on February 2, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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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.

 

 

 
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Posted by on August 31, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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A Talegate Town Approved Buffalo Chicken Sandwich

A Talegate Town Approved Buffalo Chicken Sandwich

You should be able to knock these out in about 60-90 minutes making them the PERFECT Talegate Town cook.

The down side to blogging about BBQ or any cooking you do yourself is that first you plate your food, give thanks, then as the rest of the family and/or guest dig in, you haul your plate off somewhere and take pictures of it. So if my feature picture is a little iffy, that’s because as Pooh Bear would say “I had a rumbley in my tumbley.” Let’s also keep in mind I’m a BBQ’r NOT a photographer or food stylist.

This sandwich has an amazing flavor and a nice little burn. The decision you make early on will determine if it’s going to have a true authentic Buffalo flavor and rather low heat, or if your going to go for a very close Buffalo flavor and get a very nice burn to go with it.

Let me explain. We made this recipe twice in two days (told ya it was good), once with Franks hot sauce and once with Tabasco. Having spent a small amount of time in the great state of NY near the Buffalo area, I can tell ya Franks is about all you can get up that way. You have about as much chance of finding Tabasco sauce in that area, as you do of finding a vegetarian at Memphis in May. As for me I tend to opt for that Avery Island gold known as Tabasco sauce. I really believe this is a North/South thing.

The first time we made it with Tabasco sauce, the sandwich had a wonderful full flavor and a nice heat that smacked ya up side the head and said “I”m here, enjoy me.”

The second time we made it with Franks hot sauce. It had a MUCH milder heat but a truly amazing flavor. My son-in-law who grew up just outside of Buffalo got a little smile on his face when I slipped him a taste straight from the pot and quickly gave it a nod of approval. Though in discussions with him and my son we all agreed it needed more heat.

So my advice to you is if you want a GOOD heat go with the Tabasco, if you’re looking for a milder sauce go with franks, BOTH will give you a great flavor profile.

What you will need:

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Recipe makes enough for sauce for 4-6 full  chicken breast shredded

  • 2-6 chicken breast, washed, trimmed and dryed (I prefer bone in with skin)
  • 2-4 tablespoons of vegetable oil for oiling the chicken and grill before cooking
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 2/3 cup hot pepper sauce
  • 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper 
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

How we did it:

Begin as usual by washing and trimming any lose or tough parts off your chicken breast. If you’re using bone in, trim the ribs off too and discard. With that done, place your chicken in the the fridge, and CLEAN EVERYTHING that the chicken may of came in contact with. We prefer a tablespoon bleach to a quart of water mix in a spray bottle. A couple of caps of bleach in the dishwater doesn’t hurt either.

While your chicken is drying and resting in the fridge, set your grill up for INDIRECT grilling or fire up your smoker.

Once your coals are up to temperature, add wood chunks of your choice, oil your grates as well as  your chicken.

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Now place your breast (chicken) on the grates, give ’em a little salt and pepper then settle in for a nice little smoke.

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We ran the UDS at about 300f and it took us about 1/2 an hour to hit the magic mark of 165f internal on the chicken breast. If you’re using a grill you may want to check their temperature after about 20 minutes. If you don’t have a meat thermometer cook until the juices run clear.

Once they hit 165 and the juices run clear remove them from the grill.

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While the chicken rest, begin making your sauce.

Combine the hot sauce, butter, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and salt in a pot and place over medium heat. Bring to a simmer while stirring with a whisk. As soon as the liquid begins to bubble on the sides of the pot, remove from heat, stir with the whisk, and set aside for use.

Now shred your chicken, and add your sauce. The sauce will separate so give it one final stirring before pouring over your chicken.

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All that’s left to do now is enjoy, add a little coleslaw on the side, to temper the heat from the sandwich, maybe a a little blue cheese crumbled on top, and your favorite beverage and you’re set for game day.

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So go ahead and whip these babies up in your favorite teams Talegate Town, make a few extras for the poor guys stuck at parties serving hot dogs and hamburgers.

 
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Posted by on September 2, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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A quick simple chicken breast recipe for any night.

A quick simple chicken breast recipe for any night.

If you like quick and easy on a week, then this recipe is for you. I’m actually giving you more of a technique then a recipe. This will practically guarantee you moist, tender, juicy chicken breast. It’s so simple you can whip it up in less than 10 minutes or as many (if you want to spend some time) as 20 minutes.

Quick look:

Mix 1/4 cup honey, thin with your choice of liquid to basting consistency, grill.

The 4 things you will need:

Chicken breast

Honey ( 1/4 cup will quite fine for 2 breast, you can adjust to your needs)

Tabasco sauce (MUST BE TABASCO)

Limes (about 1/2 a lime to quarter cup of honey)

Begin by rinsing the chicken breast under cold running water and drying thoroughly. We do this first to give it a little extra time to dry.

 

Then trim out the breast meat, cutting all the scrap pieces and fat away from it.

 

 

Chicken breast tends to be thicker on one end than the other. So in order to get a nice even cook, we will “flatten” it out slightly. Just enough to get a nice even piece of breast meat so one end doesn’t cook faster than the other and dry out.

 

 

The easiest way I’ve found to do this is by placing it into an unsealed freezer bag and gently hitting it with a cast iron skillet. Remember we’re only looking to even it out. If you don’t have a freezer bag, cover it with plastic wrap. This is to keep those raw chicken juices from flying all over your kitchen. I prefer the cast iron skillet because of the nice even surface. A rolling pin or the palm of your hand will work quite fine in a pinch.

Now while the chicken breast continue to dry, make your magic mixes.

I’m showing you two here but with a little imagination there are lots of other possibilities.

Simply start with a 1/4 cup of honey, and whisk in the Tabasco sauce until the honey thins out to a nice basting consistency. Don’t fear the heat, once you spread it on the chicken and add a little flame to it, it will temper nicely. That’s it, that’s all there is to it.

 

 

We’re going to add an extra step to the next recipe.

Again begin by starting with a 1/4 cup honey.

Then add about 2 tsp of lime zest.

Then the juice of the lime until you again get a nice basting consistency.

With your grill good and hot, OIL THE GRATES THOROUGLY. The honey will want to caramelize almost on contact so oiling is  ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL.

Drop your breast on the hot grill and brush one side with your mixture, flip and brush the other side. This can also be done on a plate before grilling but I find it just as easy to do it on the grill.

Cook about 6 minutes, then flip and cook an additional 4-6 minutes.

There you have it. It probably took you longer to read this then it will to prepare it, outside of the actual cooking time.

Other liquid ideas:

Lemon juice

Tequila

Apple juice

Meat suggestions:

Wings

Pork chops

 

Why it works.

The lime, Tabasco, or any other liquid you choose is only a flavor modifier and helps to thin the honey. The honey, by caramelizing seals the chicken on contact locking in the juices. Also the caramelizing of the honey will give you that nice deep color and those great grill marks you want that will impress family and friends.

 

 

 
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Posted by on September 16, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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