Grilled Pineapple Bacon Bites

The holiday season is here at last; time for family, for friends, and for food.
I wanted to try something a bit different for this post, a twist on a traditional thanksgiving dish. Pig candy came to mind (bacon caramelized with brown sugar, something I’ve wanted to try for awhile), and candied yams. Now that sounded like a fantastic combination.

 

And it was. Unfortunately I got too excited and forgot to take pictures before the sticky goodness was scoffed by my family. There were no yams left for a second round, but I did have a jar of pineapple chunks, and another pack of bacon. Salty-sweet caramelized bacon wrapped around the juicy bite of pineapple? Oh yes, it was meant to be.

 

I used a grill of course, but I imagine you could cook these in a frying pan (or even in the oven) just as well.

 

Ingredients

1/2 pound of bacon
Pineapple chunks (fresh or canned)
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon (optional)

 

Step 1

If you’re using a fresh pineapple, cut and prepare the pineapple into chunks.

 

Step 2

Preheat the oven, and cook the bacon at 350 degrees for approx 20 mins. The bacon should be cooked, but still soft.

Step 3

Wrap each chunk of pineapple with a strip of bacon (cut the bacon if it’s too long), and skewer this bundle with a toothpick. Now rub thoroughly with brown sugar.

Step 4

Preheat grill to low, and cook.

Because your bacon is already cooked, the grilling step only really involves caramelizing the brown sugar and crisping bacon. What you don’t want to do is burn the sugar so watch vigilantly and move them to a cooler spot on the grill or remove them entirely, if needed.
(Be forewarned that grilling any sugar makes a mess, be prepared for a little clean up afterwards. It should not be more than a little elbow grease.)

 

Grilled Shrimp Scampi

Scrumptious and garlicky; these shrimp are perfect as an appetizer or the feature in a fantastic salad.

If you really want to splurge, get enough to fill up on –you won’t find a tastier meal.

 

Serves 4

 

Ingredients:

 

12 large shrimp or prawns
1/4 cup butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley
Sat and freshly ground pepper
Minced red chili or red pepper flakes (optional)
Lemon wedges

 

Directions

 

1. Preheat grill to medium heat.

 

2. Shell and de-vein the shimp, leaving the tails on if desired.Put them in a large zip lock bag.

 

3. Melt the butter and mix in the rest of the ingredients, except the lemon wedges. (If you like things extra garlicy, go ahead and add another clove) Don’t forget to season with salt and pepper!

 

4. Pour the butter mixture into the bag with the shrimp, push out as much air as you can, and leave to marinate for about half an hour in the fridge.

 

5. You can either grill them directly separatly, or by threading them onto a skewer for less tedious turning. If using a skewer, curve the shrimp around and push it through both the tail and near the head.

 

6. Grill for a couple minuts on each side. Serve with lemon wedges and gobble them up. :)

 

 

 

Grilled Cheesy Cajun Garlic Bread

One of the things I like about grilling is being able to make simple recipes fantastic. You can hardly get easier or quicker than this one, but it never ever gets old. All the ingredients should either be on hand or readily available. Who doesn’t like buttery garlic bread?

Ingredients

1 French bread stick

1 1/2 stick salted butter, room temperature

3-4 cloves of garlic, minced

1/4 cup minced fresh parsley

1/2 tsp black pepper, ideally freshly ground

1/4 cup parmesan, grated (fresh if possible, it has much more flavor)

Cajun Seasoning – We used their fantastic Slap Ya Mama – White Pepper Blend

Directions

 

1. Preheating the Grill

Preheat the grill with one burner on high and another on low.

 

2. Prepare the Bread

Cut the bread stick as you would like, rounds, diagonal slices, fingers; about 1/2 thick. Place these pieces on a tray for transporting to the grill.

 

3. Make Garlic Butter

In a medium sized bowl, beat the butter until creamy with a whisk, food processor or mixer. Add the garlic, parsley, pepper, and cheese. Continue beating until it’s fluffy.

Now you need to season the fluffy mix with your cajun seasoning. Add a little at a time, mix, then taste. Create a nice warmth, but don’t overpower the garlic and cheese flavors.

Spread the mixture on both sides of the bread.

 

4. Cooking the Garlic Bread

Place the prepared bread on the grill and cook until both sides are golden. Watch very carefully! And move the bread to a cooler area of the grill if it starts to burn. It should take around 1-3 minutes for each side.

3 Quick ‘N Easy Quesadillas on the BBQ

 

Always a popular appetizer, don’t the fancy name put you off, quesadillas are just tortilla sandwiches. And as we all know, sandwiches are quick, easy, and versatile. Your choice of fillings is only limited by your imagination (and what your taste buds can handle).

The technique couldn’t be simpler: Fill the tortillas, grill for a few minutes to brown and melt the cheese, cut into wedges, and eat.

Here are three ways I like quesadillas. These combinations are delicious, but don’t hesitate to change them in any way you want. Experimenting is all part of the fun.

 

Combination 1 – Avocado, Bacon and Cheese Quesadillas

8 Flour tortillas
1 Cup shredded cheese
2 Tomatoes, thinly sliced
2 Avocados (make sure they are ripe!), sliced into thin wedges
8 Bacon slices, cooked and roughly chopped
2 Tablespoons toasted cumin seeds (seeds are ideal but you can use a couple of teaspoons of ground cumin instead)
16 Fresh cilantro sprigs
Salt and pepper, to taste

Combination 2 – Smoked Meat, with Pineapple, Jalapenos, and Green Onion Quesadillas

8 Flour tortillas
1 Cup cheese
4 Pineapple rings, thinly sliced
1/2 Pound smoked meat (duck, beef, pork, venison, chicken, etc)
2 Jalapenos, diced
1/4 Sliced green onions, green and white parts
1/4 Fresh oregano, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste

 

Combination 3 – Shrimp, Corn and Tomato Quesadillas

8 Flour tortillas
1 Cup cheese
1 Tomato, diced
1/2 Pound cooked shrimp, diced
1/4 Cup corn
2 Tablespoons Coriander seeds (seeds are ideal, but you could use a couple of teaspoons of coriander powder instead)
1/2 Cup fresh cilantro, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

1. Preheat the grill to medium to low temperature.

2. Lay four tortillas on a baking sheet and put the ingredients from the combination you are using on them, in the order listed. Top each of these with another tortilla and press down, so that it all stays together (it helps if the mixture is a little wet).

3. Carry the quesadillas to the grill using the baking sheet and carefully transfer them to the grill. Cook until the bottoms are crips and the cheese is melted. Approximately 3 minutes. Then turn them over (carefully!), cover and toast the other side.

4. Cut into quarters and serve on their own or with some tasty salsa

Grilled Quesadillas


Quesadillas on the BBQ? Yes it is as good as it sounds! Crispy on the outside, cheesy and peppery on the inside – it doesn’t get much better. They’re good on their own, but for a real treat try them with our Cheesy Tomato Dip, yum.

If you want to make the recipe even simpler, you could just use salsa and cheese for the filling, it is still delicious.

This recipe is part of our Memorial Day Menu.

Serves: 6-8

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup roasted red peppers, about an 8 ounce jar
  • Either 1 small can of chipotle chile in adobe sauce or salsa of your choice
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • A small bunch of cilantro leaves
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 6 (8 inch) flour tortillas
  • ½ red onion
  • 2 cups cheese, grated, preferably Monterey jack
  • Olive Oil

Step 1: Starting the Grill

- Preheat your grill to medium low heat.

Step 2: Preparing the Filling


- Mince the roasted red peppers, chipotle chiles (if using), garlic cloves, and cilantro.

- Put them all into a small bowl and mix together with some salt and pepper to taste. (If you’re using salsa, add this now)

- Grate your cheese if it’s not already done.

- Slice the red onion into thin half moons and separate the segments.

Step 3: Assembling


- Place on tortilla on a plate and brush the top of it with olive oil.

- Flip the tortilla over and spread a third of the pepper mixture onto it, leaving a border of around 1 inch clean on all sides.

- Place some slices of onion on top of the peppers.

- Top with a third of the grated cheese.

- Put a second tortilla on top and press down slightly. Brush oil onto the top of this tortilla.

- Prepare the rest of the tortillas in the same way.

Step 4: Grilling


- Bring the quesadillas out to the grill on a plate. Also take a heavy frying pan or smilar (without a plastic handle).

- Slide the quesadilla onto the grill (as you can see we could only fit on one quesadilla at a time), and carefully put the frying pan on top of it to weight it down. If you’re cooking more than one quesadilla at a time, just move the frying pan around, it doesn’t have to be on them all the time.

- After a few minutes the bottom tortilla will go crispy, flip the quesadillas over now and brown the other side. Replace the frying pan to make sure they’re nice and flat.

- They’re done when both sides are crispy and the cheese has melted. This should only take a few minutes.

Step 5: Serving

- Cut each tortilla like a pie, into 8 pieces.

- They’re yummy on their own, but even better with a dip. I particularly like them with our Cheesy Tomato Dip and Creamy Guacamole.