Blog

Jalapeños Muy Caliente? Try These Bacon Wrapped Green Chili’s!

 

I love jalapeños, but some people find them a tad “warm”, shall we say. You know the type. One bite, and their eyes swell shut, they start sweating profusely and waving their hands in front of their mouth to put out the 5 alarm fire inside. That’s fine, they’re not for everyone. To accommodate your friends and family who would prefer something milder, try these green chili’s, or Anaheim chili’s, instead! Green chili’s have almost no heat, so they are a great option if you are looking for an appetizer that will appeal to a wider audience.

Simple ingredients, and the prep time is less than 15 minutes, not including oven time.

 

 

Jalapeños Too Hot? Try Bacon Wrapped Green Chili’s!
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 16
 

Ingredients
  • 8 Anaheim Chili Peppers (large, fresh from your grocers produce section)
  • 1 Package of Cream Cheese (8 oz. at room temperature)
  • 2 Tbsp. Salsa (your favorite)
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Bacon (16 strips of regular bacon, NOT the thick sliced)*

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. In a bowl, combine cream cheese with a few heaping tablespoons of the salsa and a few heavy pinches of salt & pepper then mix well to combine then set aside.
  3. Slice the stem side of the pepper off. Now slice pepper in half lengthwise. Spoon out and discard the seeds and stems.
  4. Use a piping bag or zipper bag** to spread about 2 tablespoons of cream cheese mixture in the hollowed out portion of pepper.
  5. Wrap entire pepper with strip of bacon.
  6. Place on a baking rack inside a baking pan so that the bacon fat can drain away. Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until bacon has browned.

Notes
*Your bacon will cook more thoroughly if you buy the regular bacon rather than the thick slices. Also, allow bacon to sit out of the fridge for about 15-20 minutes so it will be easier to stretch around the pepper. ** Put cream cheese mixture in a plastic zipper bag and snip off a small corner with scissors then “pipe” the cream cheese into the chili.

 

Slice the stem side of the pepper off.

 

 

Cut the chili’s lengthwise to create two chili “canoes”, scrape out the seeds and pipe in the cream cheese/salsa mixture.

 

 

Wrap the chili’s with bacon, and place on a cooking rack inside a baker’s half sheet. Bake in the oven at 425 degrees for 25 – 35 minutes, depending on the thickness of the bacon.

 

 

Serve with salsa, and you’re ready to go! Tasty! And no trips to the ER for your pepper challenged friends and family!

 

I’ll Take Those Odds Any Day.

OK, I fasted for two days before making the trek to Slater’s 50/50, because I knew that I would order the 50/50 Burger. The restaurant’s signature burger is a hamburger patty of 50% Sterling Silver ground beef, and 50% bacon, topped with an egg – sunny side up – avocado mash, pepper jack cheese and chipotle mayo served on white brioche. Amazing. Throw in a strong shake or two of bacon salt, and now you’re playing with house money!

Pretty damn delicious.

 

 

Then, on to just plain decadence.  A warm Ghirardelli chocolate and chopped bacon brownie served à la mode.  This was bliss. Even Wife ate some, so you know it was not your run-of-the-mill dessert.

 

 

I know…you’re thinking you’ve just put on two pounds staring at the photograph. That’s alright, you’re welcome to join me on another two-day fast, but can we please start the day after tomorrow?

Portland, Oregon & the International Food Blogger Conference (con’t)…

An amazing weekend. Portland is a cool city — I always have a great time when I visit, and it was the perfect venue for the 300+ foodies that descended upon it. To be surrounded by all the talented bloggers, food writers, cookbook authors, publishers, agents, editors, industry types and PR professionals was an awesome experience. I met many  interesting people, and everyone was extremely eager to share their wealth of knowledge. I learned a lot — immersion is a powerful teacher. The food blogging community is a passionate, fun-loving and caring group, and it was an honor to mingle in their midst. Thank you for welcoming me into the club.

Thanks also to Foodista.com and Zephyr Adventures for organizing a fantastic conference. And…thank you to all the sponsors for their generous support of the food blogging family — great swag — who knew a carry-on bag could weigh 60 pounds!

To close the conference, Chef John conducted a cooking demonstration as part of a food photography workshop led by Andrew Scrivani, food photographer for the New York Times. It’s all about eating with your eyes, right? This photograph is my image — not Andrew’s — of Chef’s sautéed shrimp dish. Andrew’s shot would be better, of course…

 

 

OK…so you’re wondering why there is a (mediocre) photograph of sautéed shrimp in The Bacon Hunter’s blog post. Come on, everyone knows that it’s not really shrimp… it’s…bacon-of-the-sea!

Portland, Oregon & the International Food Blogger Conference

In town for IFBC, and hit up ¡Oba! Restaurante in the Pearl District for dinner last night. It was my first visit to this long time Portland favorite, and what a treat! ¡Oba!‘s menu is where bold Latin traditions, spices and preparations meet seasonal, local ingredients. The innovative cuisine explores vibrant flavors from Spain, Portugal, the Caribbean and across the Americas. Definitely worth checking out!

Here’s a look at some of the Tapas featuring bacon and pork — all were excellent!

Bacon – Wrapped Stuffed Jalapeños. Stuffed with chorizo and cream cheese, with apple demi glaze….

 

 

Yucatan Pork Arepas. Columbian corn cakes topped with braised pork, cabbage and onion…

 

 

Tacos Dorados. Crispy braised pork tacos with salsa borracha and queso fresco…

 

 

More on the International Food Blogger Conference later…

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Onion and Shallot

It’s late August, and most of you have probably endured a brutally hot summer. I thought we would take a trip into the future where it’s cooler, so imagine the changing of the season…the days getting shorter, the leaves starting to turn, the air getting crisp. The Fall Equinox is time for heartier fare, and this side dish is so right for the season. The taste characteristics work really well together — the sweet caramelized onion and shallot, the salty bacon and the slightly bitter sprouts combine to create an amazing medley of flavor. There are countless meal combinations that entice…grilled chicken breast (on the bone, of course), roast turkey (Thanksgiving, anyone?), grilled pork tenderloin (drizzled with a balsamic reduction), prime rib (Ho! Ho! Ho!), lamb….the possibilities are limitless!

I use a wok to prepare this side, but go with a sauté pan if  you prefer. Here are the ingredients and instructions you’ll need to make this simple, but tasty dish:

 

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Onion and Shallot
Author: 
Recipe type: Side Dish
 

Ingredients
  • 1.5 – 2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half
  • 4-6 slices of bacon, cut crosswise in 1-inch pieces
  • 1 Tablespoon EVOO (Extra-Virgin Olive Oil)
  • 1 Onion, diced
  • 1 Shallot, diced
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Juice from ½ lemon

Instructions
  1. Bring large pot of water to boil. Add Brussels sprouts to water and cook until just tender, 4-6 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. In wok over medium heat, add sliced bacon, stirring until brown but not yet crisp (5-6 minutes). Remove with slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. Discard all but 1 tablespoon of bacon fat.
  3. Add EVOO to the reserved bacon fat and heat over medium heat. Add onion and shallot, stirring often until soft, but not browned. Season with salt and pepper, and add Brussels sprouts, now over medium-high heat. Toss or stir occasionally, until the Brussels sprouts are tender and warmed through — about 5 minutes. Add lemon juice, toss or stir. Add bacon, toss or stir.
  4. Serve immediately.

 

Ahhh, bacon….

Brussels sprouts, let’s go for a little wok…

Served up with a juicy grilled pork tenderloin, mashed potatoes and a nice Oregon Pinot Noir — now we’re talking!

 

 

 

A Communiqué from the infamous Midwest Correspondent …

I just received this note from the blog’s Midwest Correspondent, and I had to share it with you…

A birthday is always a wonderful occasion to CELEBRATE BACON! How did Midwest Correspondent get his bacon on?  TWO WAYS:

1)  A sushi dinner created by my number one son!  And what made the sushi gods smile?  A BLT sushi roll!  Oh YES!  On the second round, it became a BLTA…with avocado! Both served with basil aioli…YUM!

And…

2) What better birthday present than THE BACON HUNTER APRON?  I can’t wait to get some bacon grease splatters on it!”

It sure looks like everyone treated Midwest Correspondent kindly on his birthday! Remember…the older the violin, the sweeter the music — Happy Birthday, MC!

Southern Style Pulled Pork!

I’ll dedicate this video to bacon’s first cousin, pork loin. I love good barbecue, and this slow cook  method is super easy to do. Slow cookers are great because you can “set it and forget it” — the units are foolproof. It’s a versatile, inexpensive appliance to have in your kitchen, so consider buying one if you don’t already have one on hand.

A key for these pulled pork sandwiches is to use a bun that can stand up to the BBQ sauce, pork and cole slaw, because it’s downright frustrating to have your bun disintegrate two bites into the meal! Adjust the brown sugar, the hot sauce and red pepper flakes to your liking, and…don’t forget to add smoked bacon to your beans to finish off this dish!

 

I May Have To Hide This…

A pretty cool bacon fat strainer/grease keeper that I just picked up. Wife will not approve — shhhhhhhhh, let’s just keep this to ourselves for now, shall we? You may learn more about it here.

These strainers/grease keepers are popular, replacing the old coffee can as the repository for bacon grease and meat drippings. People routinely kept bacon grease and drippings through the 60′s  — although the die-hards never gave up the practice, bless ‘em.  For most folks, more advanced cooking choices and healthier eating habits eventually relegated those old Folger’s cans to the landfill. Now, with meat candy’s resurgence, the need for such containers is growing!

Here’s an interesting aside… Did you know that during World War II, the government requested that citizens save their bacon grease and meat drippings for contribution to the war effort? The drippings and grease make  glycerine,  which makes dynamite. One pound of grease/drippings equals one pound of explosive. Who knew that extra strip of bacon or two made you a patriot!

Check out this 1940′s Disney cartoon — even Pluto understood the sacrifice…

 

 

 

 

 

Bacon. Brown Sugar. Nutella. Heaven!

Wow! This is just too good to be true!

You’ll need a baker’s half sheet for this, as you weave the bacon together to form a mat and bake it in the oven — adding brown sugar during the process. When it’s finished, let it cool and then break off chunks and dip in Nutella for a delicious — and dare I say — sinful treat!

I discovered this over at Food on the Food , a really well written and witty blog where author Tammy Donroe writes about food, foolishness and life. Check it out, and allow her to walk you through how to assemble this amazing celebration of flavors!

(Photo courtesy of Tammy Donroe, www.foodonthefood.com)

Sea Scallops with Spicy Bacon! Smoked on the Grill!

Bacon and scallops always pair beautifully. In this recipe orchestrated by The Bacon Hunter’s midwest correspondent, “Bajan D”, it is the mixture of sugar and spice that transforms these easy-to-make hors d’oeuvres into something very special. Finished over charcoal and cherry wood for a sensuous, tasty treat and paired with an amazing Spanish Cava…Wow! Easy to make — you must give this one a go!

Sea Scallops with Spicy Bacon! Smoked on the Grill!
Recipe type: Appetizer
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 20
 

Ingredients
  • 6 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder (preferably Madras)
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne
  • 5 bacon slices (center cut, thick cut)
  • 10 large sea scallops (1 lb), tough ligament removed from side of each if necessary and scallops halved crosswise (edge to edge)
  • Special equipment: wooden toothpicks

Instructions
  1. Fire up charcoal grill, coals placed in barbecue for direct heat.
  2. Stir together brown sugar, curry powder, and cayenne in a bowl until combined well.
  3. Cook bacon in a heavy skillet over moderate heat until some fat has rendered and edges begin to brown but bacon is still flexible, about 2 minutes.
  4. Transfer bacon to paper towels to drain and cool.
  5. Cut bacon slices in half lengthwise and then crosswise, so you have 20 small strips.
  6. Divide sugar mixture among slices, spreading evenly on bacon slices and lightly pressing to help it adhere.
  7. Place 1 scallop half, cut side down, on a slice of sugar-coated bacon, then wrap bacon around scallop. Repeat in cross pattern and secure with a toothpick.
  8. Transfer to lightly oiled BBQ rack.
  9. When coals are hot, add cherry wood chips and allow chips to ignite before placing BBQ rack directly on grill.
  10. Close barbecue lid and smoke until bacon is browned and scallops are opaque, about 6 minutes total.
  11. Serve immediately!

 

Pre-cooked bacon wrapped scallop ready for its closeup!

It ain’t nothing but a grill party!

The cherry wood adds a very mild smoke flavor, and allows the spicy bacon to shine. Check out those browned scallops — so good! Just watch your grill time closely so the scallops don’t over cook.
Serve with champagne, sparkling wine or a nice sauvignon blanc, throw in a foreign accent, and your friends and family will swear you’re Wolfgang Puck!