Spicy Bacon Burger

Messy and spicy. That’s all I need to know. Plenty of crispy bacon too. And a little of ‘garden’. Nothing really that fancy, just a good juicy spicy bacon burger with plenty of kick. Thanks to the spicy cheese and a very spicy sauce.
spicy-bacon-burgerI usually cook my burgers on the grill, but not on the grates. Instead I use a griddle insert that is made of cast iron. The insert gets screaming hot, like a griddle from a diner. You know, the diners that make great burgers. When you cook on grates the juices drip down into the grill, lost forever. When you cook on the griddle the juices hang out, flavoring the patties and keeping them moist. You can’t go wrong griddling burgers in my opinion.

Also try my Louisiana burgers. They’re seriously good.

Spicy Bacon Burger

Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 3 servings

Ingredients

For the burger

  • 1 pound ground beef I prefer a 85/15% mix
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 slices smoked bacon
  • 3 sesame seed hamburger buns
  • 3 slices extra sharp cheddar cheese
  • 3 slices habanero jack cheese
  • Green leaf lettuce
  • 6 thin slices tomato
  • 6 thin slices red onion

For the sauce

  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha or your favorite hot sauce

Instructions

For the burger

  • Preheat oven to 380 F.
  • Divide the ground beef into 3 equally sized patties. Season well with salt and pepper.
  • Place bacon slices on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Bake for 40 minutes, flipping once, until done but not overly crispy. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
  • Fire up your grill and cook the burgers until the desired doneness is reached.
  • Toast the buns if desired.
  • Top patties with cheese and melt.
  • Slather the buns with the sauce. Add the patties, lettuce, tomato, red onion and cooked bacon.

For the sauce

  • Whisk together all ingredients until smooth.

Grilled Marinated Asparagus

Whoa. I was not expecting greatness from this grilled marinated asparagus. I was expecting to think “well, they’re vegetables… just try to get through this moment.” But heck no! These are fantastic! The marinade doesn’t drown the asparagus. It enhances that mild earthy flavor. Quite frankly, this may be the perfect grilled side dish.
Grilled Marinated Asparagus

The key to great grilled marinated asparagus is of course the asparagus. Fresh is best. If it’s a bit past it’s prime it might taste a bit sour. So grab the best you can find and you’ll enjoy the heck out of this dish. We sure did.

Grilled Marinated Asparagus

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch of asparagus
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  • Fire up your grill for indirect cooking. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil and prepare an ice bath. I fill a large bowl with cold water and add ice. When I'm ready to use the ice bath I put whatever I am shocking (asparagus in this case) into a colander that fits into the bowl. This allows for the cold water to stop the cooking process. I can then lift the colander up and drain the vegetables.
  • Add the asparagus to the boiling water and boil for 3-4 minutes. Immediately drain and transfer to the ice bath until cooled. Drain well then dry on paper towels.
  • Combine  the vinegar, orange juice, oil, soy sauce and pepper in a shallow baking dish with a whisk. Add asparagus, toss to coat, and marinate for 30 minutes.
  • Grill asparagus for 3-5 minutes on each side or until done. I prefer to use a grill basket since it keeps the asparagus from falling thru the grates.

Smoked Tomato Pimento Cheese Polenta

Smoked tomato pimento cheese polenta. I think I’ve whispered those words 20 days since I made this dish, smiling and remembering. Without a doubt, this was one of the best tasting sides I’ve ever had. Just a hint of smokiness from the smoked tomatoes and tons of cheesy creaminess. And polenta, my favorite thing no matter what it is mixed with. This makes a big huge batch of polenta, but you’ll find you won’t have any trouble making it disappear. This is a fantastic recipe, one we’ll be making time and time again.
Smoked Tomato Pimento Cheese PolentaI like my polenta very creamy and a little on the thin side. As opposed to thick and dense. You can cook your smoked tomato pimento cheese polenta a little longer than I did if you want yours thicker. If you get it too thick, stir in a bit more cream to thin it. When reheating polenta I stir in a bit more cream to get it back to it’s original wonderfully creamy state.

Also try my smoked grits.

Smoked Tomato Pimento Cheese Polenta

Course Side
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Servings 12 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 large tomatoes
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 3 cups stone ground grits or polenta
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 3 cups pimento cheese I used our Easy Pimento Cheese recipe
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Fire up your smoker for 250 F. Use a light fruit wood such as apple or peach.
  • Use a knife to cut a small slit in the bottom of each tomato and place on the smoker, step side down.
  • Smoke for 1 hour or until tender. Remove and let cool.
  • Rough chop the tomatoes, removing any hard pieces or stems, and place into a blender or food processor and puree. Add to a large pot over medium high heat.
  • Stir in the broth and bring to a boil.
  • Stir in the polenta. Reduce heat to a simmer and keep stirring until the liquid has boiled away.
  • Stir in the cream and pimento cheese. Keep stirring until the cheese has melted.
  • Season with salt and pepper and let simmer until the polenta reaches the desired thickness.