Perhaps ‘carrot candy’ would be a better name for these maple bacon carrots, done up right using the Char-Broil Big Easy. Who knew that carrots could be so addictingly good? Slightly sweet, slightly smoky with a little crispy bacon, these treats disappeared in no time. Fortunately you can fit up to two bunk bed baskets into a Big Easy so you can actually make a pretty good sized batch at once. You’ll want to make as many as you can. I used baby carrots, but you can also use full-sized carrots. Try to pick ones that are all roughly the same size or your cook times will vary. That’s why I went with the baby version. They’re all roughly the same size so they all got done at the same time.
For a little kick, sprinkle the carrots with a little bit of cayenne pepper or chipotle pepper powder just before serving.
Carrots (baby carrots or equally-sized big carrots, peeled and cut down to fit into a Big Easy)
Thin-sliced bacon (cut into thirds for baby carrots, use full-sized pieces if using large carrots)
Freshly ground black pepper
Maple syrup (use the Grade A real stuff, not the fake syrup)
Fire up your Big Easy.
Wrap carrots in bacon and sprinkle with pepper.
Transfer carrots to the Big Easy basket, bacon seam side down.
Place into the Big Easy and cook until the bacon starts to brown and shrink and the larger of the carrots is slightly tender, 25-30 minutes. I lifted the basket out and poked them with a long bamboo skewer.
Brush the carrots with maple syrup. I use a long brush for this. Just lift the basket up, holding it with one hand, and brush with the other. Return to the cooker and cook another 3 minutes.
Remove the basket from the Big Easy and remove the carrots to a platter to cool a bit. The bacon will crisp while they cool.
Baby potatoes have such a wonderful creamy sweetness to them. I love them roasted so the skin gets just a bit crispy. They pop when you bite into them. The Char-Broil Big Easy is the perfect cooker for making a lot of things, and these Fire-Eater potatoes are one of them. Roasted potatoes hit with a nice seasoning mix that brings a little heat to offset the sweetness. You can substitute any rub or seasoning mix you desire, but you might want to shy away from any that contain a lot of sugar which might burn in high heat. These Fire-Eater potatoes do cook quickly since they are smaller, but keep an eye on them if you do use a sweeter spice mix. For a little more mellow (but still super yummy!) potato using the Big Easy, try my roasted baby potatoes.
Woo hoo! French fries on the Char-Broil Big Easy! Crispy, hot French fries! Perfection in a pan, and ready in only minutes. Don’t want to heat up the house with the oven making fries during the warmer months? Just toss some (frozen) fries into the Big Easy! I found the cook time on the fries to pretty much match the times on the package, so it’s about as no-brainer as you can get.
These fries would not have been possible without Char-Broil’s Big Easy Cooking Rack. It adds a ton of cooking area to the fryer. And best, you can add 9″ pie pans, giving you the ability to cook a whole bunch of things, like fries! Check out my post on the rack for tips and tricks.
Nothing beats fresh, in-season corn-on-the-cob. Although there’s lots of ways to cook up sweet corn, I love to add just a bit of flavor, wrap it in foil and toss it into my Char-Broil Big Easy. In no time I am enjoying delicious, sweet, juicy corn. There’s nothing wrong with eating corn with nothing added, but sometimes I like to add a little twist, from Mexican- or Italian-inspired flavors or a bit of smokiness. You can’t go wrong no matter what you add. Or don’t add. Char-Broil makes a few different racks that make it easy to add more cooking space to your Big Easy, so you can cook chicken (or whatever) down below and corn in packets up top. Try out the Big Easy bunk bed basket, for example. Double the space, instantly.
These mushrooms were stuffed with what may be the perfect combination of ingredients. Herby pesto. Sweet acidic tomatoes. Crunchy Panko breadcrumbs. And cheese. Parmesan and Asiago. I made the mushrooms on my Char-Broil Big Easy, but you can do them in the oven (at 350 F) or on your gas or charcoal grill just as easily. I used medium-sized portobello mushrooms, but if you want to serve these as appetizers you can use mini-bellos instead. They’ll disappear off the plate, that’s for sure! If you don’t have sun-dried tomatoes you can substitute diced roasted red bell peppers or pimentos. I really liked the nuttiness of Asiago cheese, but if you find it to be too strong, a nice shredded Mozzarella will work just fine instead.
Wow. When I set out to make these southwestern stuffed peppers on the Char-Broil Big Easy (you can make them just as easily in the oven) I admit, I had high expectations. The recipe came from Chile Pepper magazine, and past experience has shown that everything I’ve made from the magazine has been outstanding. These peppers were no exception. They were just unbelievably good. Spicy salsa, hot cheese, roasted peppers and southwestern spices all came together in one of the best dishes I’ve made (or had).
I served our southwestern stuffed peppers as a side dish, but you could easily change this recipe to add some browned ground beef (or better, Mexican chorizo!) and serve them as a main dish. You can’t go wrong with these peppers. They are great.
Don’t let the fact that the recipe for these peppers came from a magazine geared towards chileheads scare you off if you aren’t into spicy foods. Chile Pepper magazine isn’t just about scary hot dishes, not by any stretch. It’s about flavorful foods. And you can always (easily) modify the recipes to tone down the spice. For these stuffed peppers, use mozzarella cheese instead of habanero jack, leave out the hot peppers, and use a mild salsa.