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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
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!
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.
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!
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.
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
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.
Very excited, my 4 y/o is sleeping and I had to tell someone, lol!
Got our new marketing cards for hautemealz.com today!
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.”
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
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.
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:
If you have any questions, please feel free to call me, I’m available all night at 503-816-5937