What’s better than spiral ham? Spiral ham glazed with bacon, of course. It’s spiral-ham-sale-time here, so I backed up the truck and grabbed a nice big smoked ham. Of course, they’re easy to reheat. And just as easy to glaze during the last 30 minutes. The bacon glaze adds a bit more smokiness, but also some sweetness, a little tartness and a little tang thanks to two different kinds of mustard. You can substitute pretty much any jelly you want, but I’d stay away from ‘darker’ ones, such as blueberry or the like. Go for lighter colors. And don’t be afraid to use a spicy jelly such as jalapeno pepper jelly. You may also want to double the amount of bacon-glaze, serving any leftover glaze as a drizzle over the sliced ham when you serve it.
I bought a case of Hatch chiles the other day. Most of the chiles ended up being roasted, but I kept a few for these sausage-stuffed Hatch chiles. Now I’m wishing that I’d kept a bunch more of the un-roasted peppers on hand because they sure make some fantastic dishes. I could’ve served this as an appetizer or as a main dish. I went the main dish route, and backed up the truck. I wasn’t shy about how many I put on my plate. There were no leftovers. Sausage and bacon, with a hint of fennel on a grilled chile with just a bit of cheese. Smoked low and slow. Like a fancy jalapeno popper, sort of. For a kicked-up version substitute spicy sausage and add a few good-sized pinches of red pepper flake to the meat mixture. Oh, and use a nice pepper jack or even habanero jack cheese for that extra creamy kick.
For a healthier version, skip the cheese and bacon and use turkey sausage. You might want to up the seasonings though.
You can also make these sausage-stuffed Hatch chiles on your grill, be it charcoal or gas. Just cook them over indirect heat, trying to keep the temperatures fairly low as to not over-cook them.
It had to be done. I was sitting there looking at my Char-Broil Big Easy pondering what I haven’t yet cooked on it and then it hit me. Bacon. I knew I’d have to go vertical with the bacon, so I grabbed a Big Easy kabob rack, some bacon, and proceeded to make bacon ‘curtains’, hanging the bacon down into the cooker. The bacon cooked up quickly and came out super crispy. And oh, did it ever smell soooo good! Since the bacon is hung over the kabob rack I didn’t end up with perfectly flat bacon, but I did get pieces that were perfect for BLT sandwiches. The point at which the bacon is bent cooks up the fastest, as did the bacon closest to the edges of the cooker. It’s easy to over-cook the bacon, so I recommend pulling it out of the Big Easy sooner than you think you should and letting it cool and crisp up. Also, it’s easier to remove the bacon from the rack if it is still slightly soft. Once it cools and gets crispy it will tend to break.
How do you make a great hot dog better? Yes, you wrap it in bacon. Crispy, yummy bacon. But you’re not done yet. Then you add a good helping of a thick, sweet-heat sauce that makes mustard and ketchup boring. These bacon-wrapped hot dogs with Fire-Eater dog sauce are a great way to change up your everyday dogs. You can add more of your favorite toppings if you like, but don’t bury that great bacon flavor. The Fire-Eater dog sauce is also perfect on hamburgers and fries, so make an extra big batch and keep it on hand in the fridge. To make a great smoky version use a hickory BBQ sauce. For an even spicier version use a hot BBQ sauce and add a few splashes of your favorite hot sauce.
Love hot dogs as much as I do? Check out my free eCookbook that is packed with tons of hot dog recipes.
I loved grilled fruit. Anita, not so much. Until now. Grilled maple bacon pineapple rings made a believer out of her with the first bite. Sweet lightly charred pineapple, heavenly real maple syrup and smoky bacon. It’s the perfect simple grilled dessert. Or side dish. I mean, I served it as a side dish. Why not? I bought this really cool pineapple corer from Amazon the other day. I’ve been wanting to use it forever. I picked up a pineapple on sale, got the corer out of the box, and in about a minute I had perfect fresh pineapple rings for these grilled maple bacon pineapple rings. The corer can also be used to make a pineapple ‘bowl’, great for serving things like fried rice and grilled shrimp with pineapple. Click on the picture below if you want to learn more about it on Amazon. It’s a fun little gadget.
These bacon BBQ chicken bombs have been on my to-do list for a while now. I was definitely looking forward to making them on my Char-Broil Big Easy, which is about as fuss-free as you can get. Good doesn’t even come close to describing them. Each bite pops with tender, moist chicken, cheese-stuffed jalapenos, bacon and BBQ sauce.
Don’t fear the jalapenos if you’re not into spicy foods. They mellow out a lot while cooking. If you’re still not sure about using them, you can substitute poblanos. Just halve them lengthwise, remove the seeds, then halve them again depending on how big the peppers are. You’ll still get that great pepper flavor but without any heat. These bacon BBQ chicken bombs may seem to be complicated to make on the Char-Broil Big Easy, but they are not. You’re just pounding out some chicken breast, wrapping it around cheese-stuffed jalapenos, rolling it up and wrapping it in bacon. Then onto the Big Easy until done, basted with BBQ sauce, and devoured. That’s it. They’re highly addicting. I recommend making extra because they’re just as good leftover.
Bacon BBQ Chicken Bombs on the Char-Broil Big Easy
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 10 bombs
Note: You'll need at least one Bunk Bed basket for your Big Easy, or even two, or you might have to cook these bombs in batches.
5 small boneless skinless chicken breasts, butterflied and pounded thin (about 1/4") Note: You can also substitute chicken tenderloins
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
5 large jalapenos, halved lengthwise, seeds removed
20 slices bacon
1 cup your favorite barbecue sauce
Note: You want each piece of chicken to be approximately the width of the length of the jalapenos.
Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
In a bowl, combine the cream cheese and cheddar.
Spoon the cheese mixture into each jalapeno half.
Working in batches, place the jalapenos onto the chicken and roll up. Place seam-side down when done so they don't unroll. If you're chicken pieces are too big you might have to trim them a bit.
Wrap 2 pieces of bacon around each rolled chicken. Tuck ends under the bacon to seal. The first few might not be pretty, but once you get a hang of it they're fun to make. And they'll taste great no matter what when they are done!
Fire up your Big Easy.
Add the chicken bombs to the Big Easy basket (and bunk bed basket(s) if using). Do not let them touch. If you have to, cook them in batches.
Lower the basket into the Big Easy and cook for 20-30 minutes, basting with the BBQ sauce every 10 minutes. Note: I use a very long basting brush to get down inside the basket and get the sauce on all of the chicken bombs. Be careful to not burn yourself. If you can't reach them, just baste them after they are cooked.
Remove and check for doneness (165 F) on all cooking levels.
I love smoked potatoes. Smoking them adds such a fantastic (but not overpowering) smokiness. And it’s cooler than just baking them in the oven. And since I also love sweet potatoes, why not just combine two of my favorite things? Smoked sweet potatoes are sweet (duh) and creamy, and oh so tender. To counter that sweetness just a bit I top them with a nice (also smoky) sour cream and chipotle mixture. And a little bacon for some more smokiness and a bit of crunch. Forget russet potatoes, smoked sweet potatoes are the best! Don’t have a smoker? You can use the technique for my perfect baked potato on sweet potatoes too. You won’t get all that smokiness of course, but the chipotle sour cream and bacon will help make up for that.
One of my favorite Thanksgiving day dishes is my grilled sweet potatoes with pecan butter. Well, my favorite has a new buddy, and it’s these bacon-wrapped sweet potato bites. Packed with fantastic savory flavors, and yes, wrapped in bacon. The bacon not only adds a fantastic smokiness, it keeps the sweet potatoes moist and tender. There is absolutely nothing I would change about this recipe. You can assemble the potatoes ahead of time, refrigerate them, and cook them before enjoying your big Thanksgiving meal. They do reheat well, so you can also cook them ahead of time and just reheat for about 10-15 minutes at 350 F before serving.