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Sweet & Savory Bacon Wrapped Dates

Heyya Peeps!

Today, because I love you, I’m gonna share my numero-uno, all-time favorite, git ‘er done grilled apptizer…Sweet & Savory Bacon Wrapped Dates.

I make these fairly often and I’ve had lots of folks tell me that they “weren’t fans of” bleu cheeses, or dates, or both…but I’ve never had a single person, who tried one, not come back for more.

Not one. T

here’s something about this recipe that results in a final tidbit that is truely more than the sum of its parts. The three distinct flavors meld into something completely unique…and awesome.

And, c’mon…everything tastes better with bacon, right?

Be warned, we serve these babies while the pig or lamb is roasting, and they go fast!

Sweet & Savory Bacon Wrapped Dates

1 lb thick-sliced bacon, cut in half
1 lb pitted dates (small)
4 ounces gorgonzola cheese, or your favorite bleu.
32 toothpicks

Slice dates up one side, and open them up. Pinch off a marble-sized piece of cheese, and place it into the center of the date. Kitchen shears work great for this!

Close the halves of the dates, and wrap a half-slice of bacon around the outside, secure with a toothpick.

Lay a single sheet of foil over La Caja China grill grates, and add the wraps in a single layer. This keeps the dripping grease from starting an inferno. I usually cut a few small slits in the foil, and then cover everything with an inverted turkey pan to catch a little smoke flavor.

Oh, and a few apple wood-chips on the fire is mighty nice, too.

Grill until bacon starts to crisp, then flip each wrap over. I pair of long tongs is invaluable here.

When the second side is crisped, remove the whole rack to a platter lined with paper towels, allow to cool slightly, and then get the heck outta the way, ‘cause folks will trample you to get them!

– Perry

PS – If you’re one one those people who won’t grill just because there’s a little monsoon or blizzard activity outside (it’s okay, we still love you)…preheat your oven to 350, place a rack (like a cookie-cooling rack) on a foil-lined cookie sheet, arrange wraps evenly, and roast until bacon looks crispy.

Remove the whole rack to a platter lined with paper towels and cool 10-15 minutes before serving. Almost as good.

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Thank you, Veterans!

Veterans-Day-2013-715x360

To all who have served, and their families…we thank you!

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New Burnin' Love BBQ Site

Hey all, just a heads up…we’re comin’ up on 8 years of the Burnin’ Love BBQ blog, and we’ve had a wonderful time q’ing and grilling with ya’all!

This week we migrated the blog to a self-hosted platform and, unfortunately, the techs managed to permanently delete our entire subscriber list (that horrible sound you heard around midnight was me shrieking at my monitor…)

SO…as I know that a LOT of  you were subscribers, I’m posting to ask you to please go to the “Get some Burnin’ Love via Email!” subscription box in the right-hand column, and enter your current email to subscribe again.

If you’re already subscribed, nothing will happen…so don’t worry about getting double posts. :)

We have some great grilling videos and recipes in the works, don’t miss ’em!

Chef Perry
http://burninlovebbq.com/

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Not Forgotten

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Cigar del pinar with Yellow Sriracha Sauce

Here’s an awesome appetizer to keep the zombie hordes away from your grill at the next cook-out. I’ve made this recipe a couple of times this month, first for out G.R.U.N.T.S. inaugural dinner, and – because it was so good – again for an appetizer for out hautemealz.com Easter feast.

The first gig was a Cuban theme and that’s how I found this recipe…well, actually, I never did find a recipe, just this description:

“Cumin spiced ground beef it mixed with olives as well hard-boiled egg and other spices then its rolled in light pastry and deep fried till golden and crunchy, its served with a habanero sauce, that is just slightly spicy and compliments the dish really nicely.”

With those in-depth instructions, I decided to use egg-roll sheets (big won-ton wrappers), Roberto Guerra’s Cuban hamburger recipe for the meat, and make my yellow sriracha sauce for dinner.

Perfect storm, baby.

Cigars del Pinar

1/2 lb ground sirloin (15% fat)
1/2 lb ground pork
1/2 lb pork/beef chorizo
1 Tbs each cumin, salt, ground pepper
1 cup black olives, chopped
1 lg yellow onion, diced
5 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
2 cups cabbage, shredded
20 egg-roll wrappers (1 pkg)
Peanut oil for frying

In a large skillet, cook meats with onion and spices, until cooked through and finely crumbled. Drain most of the excess oil and mix (still hot) with the cabbage. Add in the olives and eggs, and toss until well combined.

Place 2-3 Tbs of this mixture onto a egg-roll wrapper, and roll up (see slideshow, below) wetting the ends with a brush of warm water, to seal.

Bring 2 inches of oil to medium high heat in a large, heavy skillet. Using long tongs, add the egg-rolls in batches, leaving plenty of cooking room around each. Fry until golden and crispy (it goes quick 1-2 minutes per side, max). Remove to paper towels to drain.

Serve warm with cold Yellow Sriracha Sauce

Note: Plan to finish these up at least 15 minutes before you intend to serve them, the interiors stay freakin’ hot for a long time!

How to Roll a Cigar (del Pinar, that is…)

Yellow Sriracha Sauce

4 yellow bell peppers, diced
1 hot yellow pepper*, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup distilled white vinegar
1 Tbs light brown sugar

Chop the peppers and place in a bowl. Add garlic, salt & vinegar. Cover and let set on the counter overnight or 8 hours.

In the morning, remove peppers & garlic from bowl and place in saucepan. Add 1/4 cup of the vinegar mixture, 2 Tbs of water and the brown sugar.

You can add more vinegar if you want it more tart and a thin sauce. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 5 min. Remove from heat and cool slightly.

Puree until blended but it still has texture.

*For more heat, replace with a habanero, minced.

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Being a food blogger…

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Woo-Hoo! Got our new postcards!

Very excited, my 4 y/o is sleeping and I had to tell someone, lol!

Got our new marketing cards for hautemealz.com today!

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Dad Perkins’ Clam Chowder

So, in case you didn’t already know, my dad, Frank Perkins, was a professional chef (as was his dad).

Growing up with a chef as a parent is a mixed blessing. On one hand, my old man could throw down some amazing food. On the other hand, after putting in 60 or 70 hours a week on the line…the last thing he wanted to do at home, was cook.

That meant that if I wanted in on the good stuff, I had to go to the restaurant, which meant that my dad got free slave labor, and a grunt that couldn’t hire a labor-lawyer when he’d smack me in the head with a ladle for not having enough “hustle.”

Still, it must have been pretty epic food, ’cause I kept coming back for. more Maybe I just wasn’t too bright.

Let’s say it was the food.

That little rant has absolutely nothing with today’s post or recipe, but it’s my blog and if I want to whine about my childhood once in a while, I can.

One of the recipes that brought me back, time and again, was Dad’s clam chowder. This stuff was freakin’ famous. Dishwashers would work a second shifts, and owners would come in of their day’s off just  to get a couple of bowls. A steady stream of compliments and tips always flowed from the front of the house, on chowder night.

Dad’s workin’ that big six-top in the sky now…so the threat of getting smacked with a kitchen implement has somewhat lessened, and I’ve worked up the courage to post his extremely popular and guarded recipe.

Just a note: it wasn’t a standard part of the recipe, but when the mood would take him, dad might add some saffron, a pinch of cayenne chili powder, to the mix, and maybe even finish the bowl with a sprinkling of crisp-fried cracklins. If he tossed in some fresh steamed baby oysters and green mussels, it became seafood chowder.

FYI…nothing even remotely healthy about this recipe, and if you try to substitute olive oil for the butter, low-fat milk for the 1/2 & 1/2, or some other act of sacrilege and profanation, I hope the old man comes back and smacks you with a ladle.

To quote my sweet old father…”You want healthy? Go home and make a ****ing salad.”

Enjoy!

-Perk

Dad Perkins’ Clam Chowder

1 1/2 lbs Yukon gold potatoes
2 cups chicken broth
1 lg onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, diced
1/2 cup of butter (1 stick)
2 teaspoons coarse black pepper
dash of red pepper flake
4 anchovy fillets, diced
1/2 lb fresh bay scallops
1/2 cup flour
2 cups bottled clam juice
32 oz chopped clams
1 cup 1/2 & 1/2
1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped

Gen 4, gathering ingredients

Rinse potatoes, halve, cover with chicken broth, and bring to simmer. (Add water to cover, if necessary).

Melt 1/2 cup of butter in a large skillet over medium heat, and saute garlic and onion until softened. Add red and black pepper, scallops, and anchovies, and continue to cook, stirring, until scallops are just done, about 5 minutes.

Remove scallops and set aside. Increase heat and add flour to skillet, stirring to create roux. Allow flour to cook, stirring often, until four begins to brown and smells nutty.

Slowly add 2 cups of clam juice, stirring constantly to keep the roux smooth, next add 1/2 & 1/2, again stirring.

If you’re using canned clams, reserve the liquid and add it now, to bring broth to desired consistency. If not, add enough water to do so. Add parsley, and cook at a bare simmer, 10-15 minutes.

While broth is simmering, remove cooked potatoes from water, and allow to cool slightly. Quarter.

Add cooked potatoes, scallops, and clams to broth and stir. Cook 5 more minutes, and serve hot with hot baguette slices.

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I need your help…

Okay peeps…my dear friend, and sister-in-Christ Linda Barr Batdorf needs our help. Her momma just passed away yesterday morning and they’re trying to bring her brother home from Alaska for the funeral on Sunday.

We need to get him home to say good-bye to his mom.

The round trip is around $1200.00, and  I’ve set up a PayPal link (below). I need 100 of you to kick in $10, $20…whatever you can give. If you can’t give (and believe me, I understand that) please, PLEASE pray that we are able to raise the funds in time!

Here’s the link:

https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin​/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_b​utton_id=Z4LXJDB9T9B2S

If you have any questions, please feel free to call me, I’m available all night at 503-816-5937

Blessings,

-Perry

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What’s your favorite cookbook?

I own a lot of cookbooks…a LOT of cookbooks, and the list is growing at a rapid rate. However, if I were told I had 5 minutes to get out of my house and leave everything behind but an armload of my favorite cookbooks…there are five or six that would immediately pop to mind.

Besides my own cookbooks, or course (wink wink), these would top the list!

The Barbecue Bible by Steven Raichlen

A fascinating look at live-fire cooking around the world. Lots more than just a cookbook!

A 900,000-copy bestseller and winner of the IACP/Julia Child Cookbook Award, The Barbecue! Bible includes full-color photographs illustrating food preparation, grilling techniques, ingredients, and of course those irresistible finished dishes. A new section has been added with answers to the most frequently asked grilling questions, plus Steven’s proven tips, quick solutions to common mistakes, and more.

And then there’s the literal meat of the book: more than 500 of the very best barbecue recipes, inventive, delicious, unexpected, easy-to-make, and guaranteed to capture great grill flavors from around the world.

Holy Smoke: The Big Book of North Carolina Barbecue By John Shelton Reed, Dale Volberg Reed

Lots of strong opinions, family histories, and great bbq recipes!

North Carolina is home to the longest continuous barbecue tradition on the North American mainland. Authoritative, spirited, and opinionated (in the best way), Holy Smoke is a passionate exploration of the lore, recipes, traditions, and people who have helped shape North Carolina’s signature slow-food dish.

Three barbecue devotees, John Shelton Reed, Dale Volberg Reed, and William McKinney, trace the origins of North Carolina ‘cue and the emergence of the heated rivalry between Eastern and Piedmont styles. They provide detailed instructions for cooking barbecue at home, along with recipes for the traditional array of side dishes that should accompany it. The final section of the book presents some of the people who cook barbecue for a living, recording firsthand what experts say about the past and future of North Carolina barbecue.

Filled with historic and contemporary photographs showing centuries of North Carolina’s “barbeculture,” as the authors call it, Holy Smoke is one of a kind, offering a comprehensive exploration of the Tar Heel barbecue tradition.

Sam Choys Sampler: Hawaiis Favorite Recipes by Sam Choy

Picked this one up on a whim, in Oahu…and fell in love with it. My daughter’s birthday luau each year is a big hit, largely due to the great recipes and info in this cookbook!

Sam’s recipes reflect a melding of East and West, with distinctive Polynesian flourishes and some highly innovative twists that could have been conceived only in the creative and original mind of Chef Choy.

Here are over 80 recipes including both Sam’s innovations as well as his renditions of Island favorites. They range from simple preparations like poke, an addictively delicious raw seafood appetizer, to elaborate and beautiful dishes like Sautéed Island Fish Trio, sure to dazzle the table and palate at your next dinner party.

All the recipes use readily available ingredients. Where hard to find ingredients are involved, a guide to mail and Internet sources will give mainland readers access to poi, tropical fruits and even fresh fish.

White Trash Cooking II: Recipes for Gatherins (Vol 2) Ernest M. Mickler

I found this treasure several years ago at a school book sale in Portland. Not only are the recipes and back-stories great, but the photographs from the autor’s “tour de white-trash” will have you howling or cringing depending on just how much your family tree forks (or doesn’t!)

From Oleen’s Stuffed Pepper Slippers and Franceen’s Good Ol’ Meat to Mrs. Tooler Doolus’s Oven Spaghetti and Bobbie’s Lemon/Lime Jell-O Cake Supreme, Ernie Mickler has collected another whopping batch of the“most magnannygoshus” recipes of the Very Deepest South. Previously known as SINKIN SPELLS, HOT FLASHES, FITS AND CRAVINS, this collection has a new name and a new cover that calls to mind its best-selling brother, WHITE TRASH COOKING. Same good eatin’, though.

The Joy of Oysters By Lori McKean, Don Smith, Bill Whitbeck

Oysters being my favorite food, this cookbook was recommended to me by “Dan the Oysterman” in Oysterville, Wa. If you think you’ve had oysters every possible way…you’re wrong…by several dozen recipes, lol. A great, and comprehensive cookbook.

The Joy of Oysters tells the story of oysters in North America from the first settlers to the latest harvests of these delectable morsels by dedicated oystermen and women on every shoreline. Discover the details of each oyster species, how they are grown and how the most famous oyster restaurants prepare them for their customers. Join in the fun with tales of oyster festivals from Florida to New England to the Pacific Coast.

The Joy of Oysters is the perfect gift for that friend who can’t get enough Bluepoints or Belons, Hog Island Kumamotos or Westcott Bay Petites. Whether you like your oysters live on the half shell, baked, fried, curried or served up plump in a traditional oyster stew, The Joy of Oysters will fill your need for all things oyster.

The Wise Guy Cookbook: My Favorite Recipes From My Life as a Goodfella to Cooking on the Run By Henry Hill

If you want an American’s guide to real Italian food…this is the book for you. Liking the movie, “Goodfellas” doesn’t hurt either!

Henry Hill was a born wiseguy, and his love of food got him through both the good and bad times. Even cooking on the run in the Federal Witness Protection Program-where prosciutto was impossible to find and gravy was something you put on mashed potatoes-he managed to keep good Italian food on the table. He still brings this flair for improvisation to his cooking. No recipe is set in stone. And substitutions are listed just in case.

Now, in his inimitable style, Hill tells some spicy stories of his life in the Mob and out, and shows readers how to whip up his favorite dishes, Sicilian-style-recipes to make even the toughest tough-guy beg for more…

Mom’s Antipasto € Sunday Gravy (Meat Sauce) € Cheaters Chicken Stock € Striped Bass for Paulie € Fat Larry’s Pizza Dough € Henry’s Kickback Antipasti Hero € Sicilian Easter Bread with Colored Eggs € Clams Casino € Osso Bucco € Oven Penitentiary Sauce with Sausage € Michael’s Favorite Ziti with Meat Sauce € and many others

***

A couple of others that must at least get a nod would be Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book (Thanks, Mama!) , and Mastering the Art of French Cooking by my all time favorite chef…Mrs. Julia Child

So, there you have it…a bit eclectic perhaps, but I’d feel pretty well armed with this stack.

What about you? What book, or books rise to the top of your gastronomic library?

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