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Entries in recipe (9)


How to: The Bacon Explosion

The buzz around the Bacon Explosion has died down a bit since it first became a thing a couple of years ago.  I haven't done one of these in awhile, but with the Daytona 500 coming up I thought I'd dust off this recipe and put it on the menu.

Just as a refresher, here is the process for building your very own Bacon Explosion.

First, create a weave of bacon strips.  For this attempt, mine is 5x5.

I brushed lightly with sauce and rub before adding a layer of pork sausage.

In the middle, I snipped some pre-cooked bacon into pieces and added a little BBQ sauce.

Then roll the sausage into a log.

And, roll the weave around around sausage.

I cooked this one indirect at ~275* and hit with a little sauce to finish.  Sliced it up and served it hot of the smoker!

I've seen variations on this recipe.  Drop me a note and let me know how you've tweaked this to your liking.





Recipe - Prosciutto Involtini

There's a local pizza joint/brew pub that makes a killer appetizer called Prosciutto Involtini.  In fact, when my bride and I eat there, we often have a salad and this appetizer and call it a meal.  This dish is basically pizza dough topped with, mozarella cheese, and prosciutto.

A few weeks ago, she came up with the notion to try to make these at home.  Her first attempt was a homerun, so I decided to make a batch for the Superbowl.  We cheat a little a use a premade mozarella & prosciutto roll that we slice and lay over a ring of pizza dough.

Here'a a photo journal of the process.

Pizza dough laid out sort of like a pretzel

The Prosciutto and Mozarella Roll

A slice on each loop of pizza dough

The final result I didn't get a shot of these on the grill.  But I setup my Big Green Egg for pizza cooking/baking and grilled these at 425 degrees until the pizza dough began to get brown.

These were a big hit at the Superbowl party and are great with marinara suace for dipping.  I'll definitely do these again (and again).



Recipe: Pig Shots

With football playoffs underway, I wanted to try something different to share with friends while watching the NFC playoffs on Saturday.  I'd seen this appetizer a couple of different times recently, so I decided to give it a shot.

Basically, pig shots are formed with a slice of sausage wrapped in a piece of bacon on it's edge.  This forms a "shot glass" that you then fill with whatever you choose.  I used a mixture of cream cheese and green chillies.  I applied a spicy BBQ rub and also topped them with brown sugar.

Here are a few pictures of the process:

Kielbasa & Bacon

"Shot Glasses"

Filled with cream cheese, green chillies, and topped with brown sugar 

The finished product

Here is the stey by step process:

  • cut sausage (I used Kielbasa) into 3/8" discs
  • wrap 1/2 piece of bacon (on edge) around each disc and secure with a toothpick
  • combine 8 oz. block of cream cheese (softened) with 1/2 can of green chillies
  • apply bbq rub
  • pipe or spoon cream cheese mixture into "shot glasses"
  • top with brown sugar
  • cook indirect at ~300* for 45-60 minutes or until the bacon is finished to your liking

*Note:  I cooked indirect on the Big Green Egg with platesetter in place (wrapped in foil of course)

If I do these again, I think I'd add some grated cheese to the cream cheese mixture and experiment with a different type of sausage, Boudin maybe?

What's on your menu for football playoff season?  We all need a killer dish for the big game in a few weeks.  



Recipe - Bacon Wrapped Chicken Bites

It's playoff time in the NFL and that means I have a lot of chances to get together with friends for football on the weekends. I don't do this all that much during the regular season, but after the holidays it seems like folks aren't as busy and we enjoy getting together.

But I digress. I get tired of the same old snacks that I've done for gatherings like this. So, I was looking for something different when I came upon a reference to bacon-wrapped chicken bites. Sounded good to me, so I gave it a shot on Sunday.

I cubed 2 large chicken breasts and wrapped each cube in a half a strip of bacon. I then rolled them in brown sugar and hit them with a little bit of spicey rub. That's all there was to it.

I fired up the Big Green Egg and set it up for indirect cooking. However, I ran the temp up to about 350 degrees. The chicken cooked for 45 minutes to an hour. The only problem I had was judging the doneness of the chicken, as I couldn't really see the chicken through the bacon.


There are a couple of things I'll do differently next time.  First, I won't panic and switch to direct cooking half-way through.  That was a mistake (and why there are no "after" photos).  Second, I think a little more brown sugar and a little more heat would be good.  I will try to punch up the flavor next time for sure.

Conference championships are coming up this weekend so you've got time to perfect your game time grub before the Superbowl.   Leave a comment and let me know what you're going to cook for the big game.



Recipe: Grilled Pork Tenderloin Appetizer


Awhile back, we attended a social gathering where they served drinks and appetizers.  One of the appetizers was toasted baquette pieces topped with a small piece of beef and horseradish.  I filed that away as something that I wanted to try to put a BBQ spin on.


So last Saturday night, I had a chance to do just that.  I grilled a couple of pork tenderloin on Saturday morning.  I then wrapped them and placed them into the refrigerator to chill.  It's much easier to slice them thin when they are chilled than it is when they are warm.


I then placed a piece of tenderloin on toasted baguettes, and topped each with a slice of a Harvati Dill cheese that my bride is fond of.  They make a great finger food and were a big hit at the gathering that we took them to.

Feel free to experiment with this.  I think these would be good with a dollop of a spicy or flavored mustard or something simialr as well.



Recipe: Grill Fried Chicken Wings

At Thanksgiving, I was visiting family in Pittsburgh and met the owner of Cafe Fifth Avenue.  It's a bar and restaurant that's right next to Consol Energy Arena where we always take in a Turkey Day Pittsburgh Penguins hockey game.  He serves up some mighty tasty chicken wings and through the course of the conversation (and a couple of cold beers), he sent me home with a bag of the seasoning that uses for my very own.  If you're in Pittsburgh, please stop by and try his chicken wings.  They were awesome!

I'd been itching to try this on fried chicken, but due to life circumstances in and around the holidays I've been trying to eat a little better and fried chicken just hasn't been on my list.  But Sunday, I deciced to try and adapt a recipe for "oven fried" chicken to the grill.

So I soaked a package of chicken wings in buttermilk, seasoned the flour with my new chicken seasoning, and placed the wings in a disposable pan.  While this seemed like a reasonable approach, I don't think my fire was every really hot enough.  Towards the end I finally got it where it should have been all along, around 425 degrees.

I did pull the wings out of the pan and crisp them a little directly over the fire at the very end.  All in all, the wings were tasty and preferred by my kids over the chicken breasts that I was also grilling.  I'll probably give this another try soon and I'll use a little more of the seasoning on the chicken.  Heck, the Super Bowl is coming up and you can't go wrong with chicken wings at a football game, now can you?



Recipe: Dr. Chicken's Double Smoked Ham

Each year at holiday time, my folks at work put together quite a spread for a holiday luncheon.  Since I joined the team, BBQ has become a mainstay at these (& other) office gatherings.

To mix it up a little this year, I decided I'd try something different.  I stumbled on  this recipe on the BBQ-Brethrren Forum.  Basically, it's a way to really spice up a store bought ham.

The long & the short of it is this;  you slowly reheat a ham on your smoker (or in the oven) to an internal temp of 145 degrees.  By doing this slowly at a temperature of 250 degrees, you impart some additional smoke flavor to the meat.  But the real kicker is the glaze that you baste the ham with during the last hour of the process. 

Here's the glaze recipe:

  • 1/2 Cup of Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup of Maple Syrup (the real stuff, Grade B is even better)
  • 1/4 Cup of Honey
  • 2 Tbsp of Cider Vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp of Instant Coffe
  • 2 Tbsp of Orange Juice Concentrate
  • 2 Tbsp of Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp of Dry Ground Mustard

Combine these ingredients in a sauce pan under a low heat until you have a smooth glaze.  Then, apply to the ham every 15 minutes for the last hour. 

Plan for 30 minutes per pound to finish the ham.  I had to bump my temp to 275 towards the end to finish on time, but I didn't notice any negative side affects to doing so.

It was a hit, and I received at least one comment that it was the "best ham I've ever eaten".  Some people will say just about anything to the boss, but I agree it was pretty darned good.




Recipe: Bacon Explosion

I've seen this recipe from BBQAddicts floating around the interwebs over the past couple of weeks and hadn't gotten around to trying it out yet.  However, some friends of mine over at Phydeaux-Deauxmayne gave it whirl and sent me a nice write up and some pics.

Bacon Explosion

After seeing a recipe for the "Bacon Explosion," We figured we had to try it. How can you avoid something that contains two pounds of sausage and nearly two pounds of bacon?

Basically, we followed the recipe. We wove a pound of bacon into a placemat-like square weave. Since the bacon is cut with a waviness to it, we wove the bacon by inverting every other piece. This created a tighter weave. We spread a little Plochman's on the weave as "glue", and seasoned it with Butt Rub. Then we spread two pounds of sausage over the bacon, covering edge to edge. We fried up a half-pound of bacon and crumbled it on top of the sausage, and dappled the innards with Sweet Baby Ray's original barbecue sauce. We rolled up the sausage, and then rolled the sausage roll in the bacon weave. It's like a bacon coat! Then we added a coat of Butt Rub on the bacon coat.

It's supposed to cook at 250, but the grill temperature was all over the place. However, we tried to stay around 250 as best we could. We cooked the roll to 165 degrees, and pulled it off the grill. We coated the roll in a mixture of Sweet Baby Ray's and brown sugar, heavy on the brown sugar, and then cooked it for another 15 minutes.

So how'd it taste? Well, it's definitely an explosion of flavors. Every time your taste buds think they have it figured out, some new flavor pops up.

And now for the improvements.

The recipe calls for two pounds of sausage. For mine, it seems like a pound and a half would've been a better quantity of sausage. It really makes a lot of food, so less sausage would probably help.

Next time, we'll use thick bacon. The regular sliced bacon worked well, but thicker would've been better.

Also, we would've rolled the sausage tighter. When we cut into the roll, it kinda fell apart.

In all, this was probably the most unique thing we've tried on the Egg. The flavor was great, and was really tasty on a biscuit -- it beat the stuffings out of fatties. Of course fatties don't have stuffings, so that's probably not too hard.







Recipe: Cedar Plank Salmon

Barbecue to me is as much a process as it is a particular dish.  It’s the process of cooking something slowly at a fairly low temperature.  I’m picky about my barbecue, whether it’s pulled pork, ribs, brisket or something a little less traditional.  As much as I enjoy pork & beef on the smoker, I like to break it up with chicken & fish from time to time.

I recently did cedar planked salmon with stuffed poppers and it turned out great.  In keeping with the requirements for all card carrying members of this cult of Big Green Egg owners, I took before and after pictures and felt compelled to share them and the recipe.

  • I prepped the egg and got her up to ~300 degrees with an indirect setup.  I didn't use any wood chips or chunks with the Salmon.  It's a pretty delicate meat and you can over smoke it.  The smokey flavor from the burning lump is enough for me.

  • I hit the salmon fillets with some Shakin' the Trees from Dizzy Pig BBQ. This is a pretty versatile rub that I like on chicken, fish, & veggies.

  • I placed the salmon on cedar planks that I'd soaked for about a half an hour

  • The salmon cooked on the Big Green Egg for ~ 1 hr.  Don't turn it.  It's so flaky it would come apart if you tried.

Here it is going on the Egg.

And here it is about an hour later.

And one more.



So go ahead and mix up your menu a little.  I think you'll find this a tasty diversion.