Tuesday, September 7, 2010

bacon makes everything better!

Meat Candy!
Lately a lot of people I know have been doing jalapeno poppers with various fillings - and all wrapped in bacon. And grilled. Can it get much better than that?

The usual fillings seem to be cheese, and the usual "fillee" seems to be jalapeno peppers. Well, the Lonesome Road garden had an overabundance of beautiful, mild Cubanelle peppers recently, so I decided to make stuffed, bacon-wrapped grilled peppers as a main dish.

Cubanelle peppers are similar to "Italian Frying Peppers" and are perfect on the grill. To begin with, cut a "T" shape on one side of the pepper; the horizontal cut at the top near the stem, and then straight down but not through to the other side of the pepper. Carefully clean out the seeds and trim off excess ribs, then stuff them!

I stuffed mine with pre-cooked hot turkey Italian sausage halves cut to fit the length of the peppers, plus mozzarella cheese (they don't have to be stuffed until bulging, just comfortably enough to get them back together again). Wrap each pepper with a slice of bacon and secure with at least two toothpicks, one at the top, one towards the bottom. I did soak my toothpicks in water for a while first, even after I heard grill guru Steve Raichlen say that it really makes no difference if you soak wooden skewers or not; they burn anyway. And um, yeah. He was right. That's why he's the guru and I'm not. Anyway.....
Grill over a medium-hot fire until the bacon is thoroughly cooked, watching carefully and turning often (this takes around 20 minutes but can take longer depending on the heat of your fire). By the time the bacon is fully cooked, the peppers will be perfectly cooked; firm, not mushy, with a wonderful full flavor.

Count on two peppers per person, more (of course) if the peppers are small. Be sure to try them stuffed with chorizo and Cheddar cheese as well, for more of a south-of-the-border flavor. In fact, let your imagination run wild... why not pre-cooked meatballs and provolone, then serve with marinara sauce; or shredded chicken breast, marinated tofu (facon-wrapped, of course!), Middle-Eastern-inspired ground lamb and feta cheese... oh, I could go on and on.
(But first I should check the garden and see how many more Cubanelles we have left!)


Jennifer said...

Oh my. This and your additional options sound devine! I must tell the Mr. asap. He has done stuffed pablano peppers a few times, much to my delight :) I wonder how they'd tase wrapped in bacon?

Lonesome Road Studio said...

I think poblanos would be absolutely perfect - they have a kind of "smoky" taste even without grilling. Love the idea!


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