Tag Archives: Bacon

A little foodie humor…

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Filed under Ponderings

“Dragon Claw” Appetizers

Dragon Claw BBQ Appetizer

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Baby bell peppers stuffed with a combination of hot (or sweet) Italian sausage, beer brats, or even ground turkey, onions, and peppers, wrapped in bacon, smoked, then glazed with a honey butter barbecue sauce.

Dragon Claws at RibfestThis is one of, if not THE, signature recipes of our BBQ team, Burnin’ Love BBQ, and it never fails to rock our customer’s worlds! I had great fun preparing these as a Sears’s Grilling in Happiness blogger at the Kenmore booth at the 2013 Ribfest in Chicago, with Extreme Makeover: Home Edition host Ty Pennington (who is a awesome, funny, crazy guy, btw!)

Sticky sweet, spicy goodness…with just a breath of fire! And…trust me on this, MUCH easier to make when there isn’t a live audience and 3 television cameras in your face!

Even so, it’s totally worth it, lol!

Oh, sooo good…

Perk’s Dragon Claws
24 whole baby bell peppers
12 slices (thin sliced) bacon
1 lb. Johnsonville Beer Brats
1/2 sweet onion, diced
2 tsp Buffalo-style hot sauce
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp hickory salt
3 tsp of your favorite BBQ rub

1 cup Sweet BBQ Sauce
1/2 cup honey
6 Tbsp butter, melted

Bacon! A Home Chef's Guide

Check out this, and many more awesomely porky recipes in my latest Home Chef Guidebook!

Slice the tops off each baby bell, and remove the seeds and veins from each pepper, and rinse again.

Mix all of the remaining ingredients, except the bacon, and bbq rub.

Let meat mixture rest in the fridge 4-6 hours, then on counter for at least an hour.

Stuff each pepper with sausage, and packing it tightly.

Wrap each pepper with 1/2 slice of bacon, and secure with a pre-soaked toothpick.

Repeat with all remaining peppers.

Fire up your grill and prepare for indirect cooking over medium-high heat. (About 25 briquettes in a Weber Smokey Joe.)

Add a few chips of fruit wood to the fire about 10 minutes before adding the peppers. If you’re using a gas grill, use a smoke box.

Dust each claw lightly with dry rub.

Drgaon Claws grilled peppers

Dragon claw grilled peppersCook the Dragon Claws indirectly, but close to the heat about 15 minutes, turning once about halfway through, until the bacon is crisp.

Mix the glaze ingredients over heat to melt the butter, glaze each pepper on both sides, and cook another 5 minutes.

Repeat, then cook another 5 minutes.

Remove and serve immediately.

Home Chef Tip: To make these on the Traeger:

20 minutes on “Smoke”, then grill 15 minutes at 300F (lid down), brush with glaze and flip, brush with glaze and grill 10 more minutes (lid down).


For a full-meal-deal, try this same recipe using larger Anaheim Peppers!

Sausage Stuffed Anahiem Peppers wrapped in Bacon


– Chef Perry

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Filed under Appetizers & Sides, On The Grill Recipes

National Blueberry Pancake Day

It’s National Blueberry Pancake Day!

Mmm…piping hot pancakes, drenched in your favorite syrup, dripping hot sweet cream butter, loaded with delicious blueberries that burst in your mouth…a haystack of apple-wood smoked bacon on the side…oh, baby!

Here’s my favorite recipe for blueberry awesomeness…what’s yours?


PS – If you missed out this morning, do not despair… the entire month of February is Pancake Month!

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Filed under Misc Recipes

How to Carve a Whole Roast Pig

http://burninlovebbq.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/p6050137b1.jpg?resize=220%2C165Fellow La Caja China fan, Byron, asked:

Perry, I have a HUGE pig roast coming up. Well the pig is going to be average size, but we are tailgating on the river and I ‘ve invited my biggest customer and his family to join me. I have done a lot of pigs in the LCC and I am good with that part.

Do you have or does any of the cook books have some hits or ideas on the process after the pig is done? In the past it was always family and friends so we just cut it up the best we could and ate it. I need to do this more like a catering event with side and things. Thanks…

Okay, so I did some looking around, and couldn’t really find any illustrated carving instructions that I really liked…so I made my own!

Click this link to download the PDF, Carving a Whole Roast Pig

These directions would work nicely with any of the “Pig Roasting Party Themes” included in my free eBook, the La Caja China Guidebook.  And, of course, there are tons of side dish recipes in La Caja China Cooking, and La Caja China World.

Hope this helps!


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Filed under In The Box Recipes, Technique

Bacon Salmon Bites


This recipe is one of those happy circumstances where you get to barter your expertise with a friend in a different field.

My old pal David Johnson happens to be one of the premier fishing guides on the Oregon Coast, and, in fact, in the entire Pacific Northwest.

Needless to say, David ends up with a lot of salmon and steelhead in his freezer!

Dave’s wife Tesha, probably through necessity, has learned how to cook her husband’s finned trophies is various and amazing ways. I had the opportunity to smoke some briskets for Dave’s birthday party this summer, and Tesha prepare these absolutely amazing salmon appetizers.

I ran into Dave about about half-way through the party, to find him packin’ a plate piled high with brisket…while I was working my way through a haystack of grilled salmon bites. Always a good sign when the cooks are eating each others food!

Here it is…try it, you’re going to love it!

Grilled Bacon Salmon BitesTesha Johnson’s Bacon Salmon Bites

1 bottle Lawry’s pineapple teriyaki sauce
1 can of chunk pineapple, juice and all
1lb fresh salmon fillet
1lb thin sliced bacon

Slice salmon into 2in cubes, and marinate overnight in sauce.

Drain salmon, boil remaining marinade 5 minutes, and then keep warm.

Wrap each nugget with half strip of thin cut bacon.


Either skewer the salmon bites, or load 4-5 in each section of a slider grill basket (as pictured), and grill over medium heat until bacon is crispy, basting occasionally.

Add a chunk of pineapple for juice and flavor in each wrap, and put toothpick through pineapple chunk to help anchor it in place.

Serve immediately…and try not to get between your guests and the platter!

-Chef Perry

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Filed under Appetizers & Sides, On The Grill Recipes

Grilled Chicken and Guanciale Bacon Alfredo

Everything’s better with bacon, right?

If you don’t believe that…this recipe will convert you!

Guanciale (gwan-chalie), an Italian-style bacon made from hog jowl, is a prized gourmet delicacy in central Italy. Typically, it’s dry-cured, hand-coated with fresh cracked peppercorns, then smoked over smoldering hickory logs for nearly 24 hours. The result is a meat with a noticeably richer flavor than typical bacon, and is a popular addition to such classic dishes as spaghetti alla carbonara and pasta all’amatriciana.

I found it with the uncut bacon, and smoked hocks, at Fred Meyer, for about 1/2 the price of good bacon (about $2.50/lb).

Here’s what I do with it:

Grilled Chicken and Guanciale Bacon Alfredo

2 pound dried fettucine
1/2 lb chicken tenders, brined and grilled
1/2 lb pork cheeks (jowls) bacon, or Guanciale
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 shallot, minced
1 tsp fresh minced garlic
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup finely grated Asiago cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 eggs yolks
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Pre-heat oven to 350d

Slice guanciale into 1/2 inch thick slices and place on a rack over a a foil-lined baking pan. Bake for 30-40 minutes until bacon appears crisp at the edges. Remove to paper towels to rest.

Cook the fettuccine in a pot of rapidly boiling salted water until al dente. Drain in a colander, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking liquid. NEVER RINSE YOUR PASTA.

While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add shallots and saute until tender, add garlic. Add heavy cream and bring to a simmer. Cook until sauce has reduced slightly, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Roughly chop bacon and chicken (tenders can be re-warmed slightly in microwave).

Return the pasta to the pot it was cooked in, set over medium-high heat along with the reserved cooking liquid. Add the butter-cream mixture, half of the asiago, bacon, and chicken, and toss to combine thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Sprinkle with remaining asiago and garnish with raw egg yolk, if desired.

Serve immediately.

Serves 4

NOTE: We made this recipe again last night, with (at my daughter’s request) tri-color spiral pasta. Turned out very nice, and, for a 4 y/o, a lot less messy!

PS – The raw egg yolk is another Italian thing, and adds an extra layer of richness to the recipe. Once served, break the yolk and gently fold into the dish. Alternatively, you can add the yolks to the pasta along with the sauce and blend it in then.



Filed under Misc Recipes

The aPORKalypse Sandwich

I can tell you, from personal experience, that sometimes the title comes first. A single line so compelling that you know…you know…that there’s a story worth writing, hidden within.

The same can happen, apparently, with barbecue.

A few months ago, a Facebook friend of mine used the word “aPORKalypse” on my Burnin’ Love BBQ Page.  I was instantly besotted. I had to use that word…I had to create a recipe worthy of its awesomeness.  It haunted my dreams.

Since then, I have prepared this dish dozens of times in my mind, tweaking the ingredients, massaging the methods, and expending a great deal of drool, until, finally, it was time to open the roof to the storms, allow the lighting to flash down, and bring my glorious creation to smoky, succulent life.

Long after I’m rolled into that last great fire-pit…this is the recipe I want to be remembered for…

The aPORKalypse Sandwich

Recipe by Perry P. Perkins

2 pub rolls, toasted
2-4 Tbs Texas Pepper Jelly’s Apple Habanero
2 aPORKalypses (see below)
2 slices smoked Gouda cheese
2 slices Black Forest Ham

The aPORKalypse:
1/2 cup favorite BBQ sauce (I like Sweet Baby Ray’s Brown Sugar)
4 tsp dry rub
20 slices of bacon
2 – 2 inch thick boneless pork chops
1 cup leftover pulled pork (chopped)
2 Tbs apple juice
8-10 toothpicks

Flatten pork chops until about 1 1/2 inches thick, and slightly larger than your pub rolls. Brine the chops for 1 1/2 – 2 hours.  Remove from brine, pat dry, and rub with a salt-free dry rub (smoked paprika, garlic, powdered ginger, maybe a touch of chili powder, and brown sugar is my favorite), and set aside.

Sprinkle leftover pulled pork with 2 Tbs of apple juice and, in a covered pan, warm in a 200d oven for 1 hour, or until hot.

Weave bacon into 2 mats, using 10 slices each (5×5)

Cut a deep pocket into each chop, carefully stuff each pocket with hot pulled pork.

Set the stuffed chop in the center of the bacon mat, and fold bacon over the top, until chop is completely covered. Pin bacon in place, using as many toothpicks as necessary.

Over a medium apple-wood fire, grill each aPORKalypse until well marked on each side, moving with necessary to avoid scorching from flare-ups. Once each side is marked, move to indirect heat and close lid, or cover with a disposable pan, or loosely tented foil.

Grill 10-15 minutes, turning and basting with bbq sauce, until aPORKalypse feels firm to the touch. On the last turn top with smoked Gouda cheese, and a slice of lightly grilled Black Forest Ham, each. Cover again, allowing the cheese to melt.

Remove from heat and set on a warm plate to rest 10 minutes.

Split and toast pub rolls.

Place the aPORKalypse on the bottom half of the roll, spread the top of each roll with 1-2 Tbs Apple Habanero pepper jelly (halve for more sensitive palates)…this is the key ingredient to the whole experience, the fiery, sweet apple jelly as counterpoint to the smoky, salty bacon, and savory pork.

You may find this stuff other places, but it won’t be as good as Texas Pepper Jelly’s…just sayin’…

Optional extras (not that it needs any!), that may be added to the bottom bun:

Red onion slices
Pickled okra

Any of the above should be well chilled and crisp, added seconds before serving.

Slice each sandwich into halves or quarters, and serve immediately.

A small dish of complimentary Lipitor tablets is optional, as well.

Thank you, and goodnight.



Filed under On The Grill Recipes

Portland Baconfest 2010

Dropped by the 2010 Portland Baconfest (celebrating all things pork belly) this afternoon. The street party (centered on the 1800 block of E. Burnside street) featured live bands, bacon-themed contests in eating, dancing, and throwing, with vendors including East Burn, BaconSalt, Monster Meatballs, and MacTarnahan’s.

Paid my $5 entrance fee, and then found out that no minors were allowed in…apparently the whole block is the beer garden, so Vic and the girl had to take a neighborhood walk while I checked it out – (BTW, this is the kind of information that would be GREAT to add to the official website. Hint Hint)

So, perhaps I wasn’t in the most congenial of moods to start out with, but I wasn’t especially impressed with the whole event.  Of course, the tattooed 400lb bouncer in the sleeveless t-shirt and wrap-around shades kept me from getting too mouthy about it.

I wasn’t quite so outraged as to risk eating my bacon through a straw for the next year.

Still, two words for the coordinators: Larger Venue

Seriously, the whole “Baconfest” takes place within a single, building-lined short block (18th and Burnside.)

Once they set up vendor booths on both sidewalks, it left about 1/2 of the single lane street to cram in the 300 or so people that were there at the same time as me, and gated at both ends to keep anyone escaping with their beer, or Bacon Vodka (seriously). This left one with the impression of being dropped into the middle of a steaming bacon & armpit scented mosh pit.


Also, the sound system (I apparently AM too old) was cranked to ear bleeding levels, the speakers at head height and pointed directly into the crowd and bouncing off the building walls that seemed to moving closer together, like the Deathstar trash compactor, with every painful moment.

Now, in all fairness, I’m a bit of a claustrophob, so this kind of space issue definitely shaded the rest of the experience, which actually looked like a lot of fun.

My favorite image is this one:

First of all, a guy in a 7-foot bacon suit is just beautiful, the ball cap and beer makes it pure awesomeness!

I’m imagining the job-interview, “So…six bucks an hour AND all the beer I can drink?”

The bacon-wrapped hotdogs looked pretty good, but I wasn’t willing to stand in a 15 minute line (and shell out seven roscoes) for a hotdog. With the long lines (only two food vendors) and my family wandering the streets of Portland, I chose not to partake. I did, however, pick up a bottle of Bacon Salt (apple-wood flavor) that smells lovely, and, of course, a tube of bacon lip balm, because…well…it’s bacon lip balm.

(The girls and I cruised over to Mike’s Drive-in afterward and I celebrated the event with a guacamole bacon burger while listening to Margaritaville. Very nice.)

So, to sum up, the venue…sucked.

However, the vendors had some fun bacon-related paraphernalia, the mood was pleasantly goofy, the bacon-eating contest would have been fun to catch, and the food (one you got past the armpits) smelled delicious. If they can get a larger space next year, I’d go back to check it out again, if only to buy that poor schlep in the bacon suit another beer…and to get some more lip balm.


PS – Oh, I almost forgot…as I was walking back to the van, I noticed the building directly across the street from Baconfest 2010…this explained a lot.


Filed under Reviews