BACON WRAPPED JALAPENO CHICKEN BITES

Chicken and cream cheese spread stuffed into jalapenos, rolled and wrapped with bacon and then grilled. YUMMY!

BACON WRAPPED JALAPENO CHICKEN BITES adapted from Trisha Yearwood

4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 tablespoon butter
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
3-ounce package cream cheese (I use herbed cream cheese spread), softened
8 LARGE jalapeno peppers, halved and seeded
8 slices bacon

  • Generously season chicken thighs with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Saute chicken pieces until browned and cooked through.
  • Move chicken to cutting board and dice small or shred.
  • Stir chicken pieces into softened cream cheese.
  • Wrap each roll with one piece of bacon and secure with a toothpick. (These look a bit odd today because I only had half slices of bacon).
  • Grill until bacon is brown and crispy on both sides.

NOTE: Be sure to wear plastic gloves when handling fresh jalapenos. The oil will attach itself to your hands and is not easily washed away. Even an inadvertent swipe of the hand close to your eyes could be a VERY unforgettable and unwelcome experience.

COWBOY SMOOCHES

Whether you use a grill or the oven these are a HUGE hit with the guys and a perfect appetizer for ANY sporting event!  They are quick, easy and can easily be prepared in advance!  If you want something with a little less punch try my COWGIRL KISSES with their raspberry chipotle sauce.

COWBOY SMOOCHES

8 ounces chive and green onion cream cheese
2 tablespoons Frank’s Hot Sauce
4 slices bacon, diced and browned crisp
1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Jalapeno Peppers

  • Mix cream cheese and hot sauce until well blended.
  • Fold in half of the cheese.
  • Clean and remove seeds from peppers.
  • Fill peppers with cream cheese mixtures.
  • Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and bacon pieces.
  • Bake or grill over low heat 15-20 minutes.

or try my COWGIRL KISSES

BACON MUSHROOM CHICKEN

BACON MUSHROOM CHICKEN adapted from THE RECIPE CRITIC

CHICKEN
4 bone in, skin on chicken thighs
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat.
  • Generously season the chicken thighs with the salt, pepper and Italian seasoning.
  • Pan Sear each side of the chicken for 1-2 minutes until brown and place skillet in oven.
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked throughout.
  • Transfer chicken to a platter.

SAUCE
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 bunch green onions, sliced thin
1 clove garlic, minced
8 ounces white beech mushrooms
6 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
1 cup heavy cream
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, stems removed

  • Add avocado oil to the skillet and saute the mushrooms until soft.
  • Add the heavy cream, salt, pepper, garlic powder and thyme.
  • Bring to a simmer until the sauce starts to thicken.
  • Add the bacon pieces.
  • Add the chicken back to the skillet, turning to coat in the sauce.
  • Serve immediately.

SWEET SOY PORK CHOPS, CURRANT SCALLION RICE & BACON SHALLOT SNAP PEAS

SWEET SOY PORK CHOPS, CURRANT SCALLION RICE and BACON SHALLOT SUGAR SNAP PEAS

MARINADE
2 tablespoons Bragg’s liquid aminos
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sriracha
4 boneless center cut pork loin chops

  • Whisk together the liquid aminos, vinegar and sriracha.
  • Place pork chops in a large Ziploc bag.
  • Pour marinade into bag.
  • Press the air out of the bag and seal tightly.
  • Turn chops to coat well with marinade.
  • Marinade at room temperature for 30 minutes, turning bag half way through.

 

  • Heat grill to medium heat.
  • Prepare glaze while grill is heating.
  • Remove chops from bag and discard marinade.
  • Generously season pork chops with salt and pepper.
  • Brush each side with glaze.
  • Grill about 6 minutes per side.
  • Brush with additional glaze and serve immediately.

GLAZE
2 tablespoons Bragg’s liquid aminos
1 tablespoon QUALITY honey
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Hoisin sauce
1/2 teaspoon sriracha sauce
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder

  • Whisk together all the ingredients in a small bowl.

RICE
1 cup long grain rice
1 cup water
1 cup chicken consomme
1 small bunch green onions, sliced thin
1/3 cup currants

  • Combine water and consommé in sauce pan.
  • Add rice, stirring to coat.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes or so until tender and moisture is completely absorbed.
  • Fold in currants and green onions.

SNAP PEAS
4 slices thick bacon, diced and cooked crisp
1 large shallot, sliced thin
1 pound sugar snap peas, trimmed
1/4 cup chicken consomme
FRESH ground salt and pepper
1 teaspoon lemon zest
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon bacon grease

  • Heat bacon grease over medium high heat.
  • Add shallots and cook 3-5 minutes until browned.
  • Add snap peas, consommé and season with salt and pepper.
  • Saute’ covered 2-4 minutes until crisp tender.
  • Uncover and continue sautéing until all liquid has been absorbed.
  • Stir in lemon zest, lemon juice and bacon pieces.

CHICKEN in BACON RANCH GRAVY ala SLOW COOKER

This is a wonderful fall or winter recipe!

SLOW COOKER CHICKEN with BACON GRAVY serves 4
adapted from Sarah Olson

1.5 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
FRESH ground pepper, to taste
4 sprigs FRESH thyme
2 bunches green onions, sliced thin
2-4 cloves garlic, minced
6-8 slices bacon, diced and cooked crisp
1 Pioneer country gravy packet dry mix DO NOT PREPARE PER PACKAGE
1 Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing packet dry mix DO NOT PREPARE PER PACKAGE
2 1/4 cups water
1 cup heavy cream

  • Spray slow cooker with non-stick spray.
  • Add the chicken to the slow cooker.
  • Generously salt and pepper the chicken breasts.
  • Add the garlic, green onions and bacon.
  • Lay thyme sprigs on top.
  • Whisk together the gravy mix and ranch dressing packets water until smooth.
  • Pour the gravy mixture over the chicken.
  • Cover and cook on HIGH for 3 hours without opening the lid during the cooking time.
  • Remove the chicken and shred with 2 forks.
  • Stir heavy cream into gravy mixture until well blended.
  • Return chicken to gravy mixture and stir to coat well.
  • Serve over mashed potatoes.

 

MAPLE GLAZED BACON WRAPPED ROASTED CARROTS

MAPLE GLAZED BACON WRAPPED ROASTED CARROTS serves 6

The crisp carrot meets the salty bacon and is glazed in sweet PURE maple syrup to become the new family favorite!

2 pounds carrots (not too thick), peeled
1 pound bacon
1/4 cup PURE maple syrup

  • Pre-heat oven to 400°.
  • Wrap the carrots evenly in the bacon slices.
  • Arrange on a wire rack on a baking sheet and roast in oven until the bacon is crispy and the carrots are tender, about 20-30 minutes until carrots are tender and bacon is crisp.
  • Start glazing with the maple syrup at the 10 minute mark and glaze every 5 minutes.

NOTES:

  • OPTIONAL: Mix some Dijon mustard into the maple syrup.
  • Depending on your carrot sizes you might want to halve your carrots for easier cooking.
  • Using pre-cooked bacon (to the point where it is still easily wrapped but a lot of the fat has cooked out) makes the process quicker.

BLUE CHEESE RANCH WEDGE with SWEET & SPICY BACON

With all the recent E. Coli scares with Romaine lettuce I decided to go back to good old iceburg lettuce.  A change in lettuce brings with it a change in dressing. Here is a favorite from Damaris Phillips with very few changes. This is a PERFECT recipe for us – hubby loves blue cheese more than I do so it’s a compromise that works. I love to top it with my swwet & spicy bacon – YUMMY!

BLUE CHEESE RANCH WEDGE with SWEET & SPICY BACON
DRESSING
1 cup creme fraiche
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup FRESH basil leaves, chopped
1/4 cup FRESH parsley leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons sliced FRESH chives
1 teaspoon FRESH thyme leaves, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 lemon, juiced (about 1 tablespoon)
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese (ALSO great with Gorgonzola)
FRESH coarsely ground sea salt black pepper
FRESH coarsely ground black pepper

  • Combine the creme fraiche, buttermilk, basil, parsley, chives, thyme, garlic, lemon juice and onion powder with a whisk in a medium bowl.
  • Fold in the blue cheese, season with salt and pepper.
  • Refrigerate until ready to serve.

SALAD
1 head iceberg lettuce, quartered and core removed
1 cup halved grape tomatoes
1 bunch green onions, sliced
1/4 cup grated sharp cheddar

  • Divide the lettuce wedges among 4 plates.
  • Top each with 1/4 cup of the dressing, the tomatoes, sliced green onions, sweet and spicy bacon.
  • Serve the remaining dressing on the side.
  • Eat right away!

SWEET & SPICY BACON adapted from GIADA
1 pound slab bacon, cut into 1-by-1/2-inch pieces **
1/4 cup PURE maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon FRESH ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper 2 tablespoons FRANK’S original hot sauce

  • Place the bacon in an even layer in a large skillet.
  • Cook over medium-low heat, stirring often with spatula until the bacon is light golden brown, about 20 minutes.
  • Whisk together the maple syrup, black pepper and Frank’s in a small bowl.
  • Pour off some of the rendered bacon fat, leaving just a small amount.
  • Return the skillet to the heat and pour the maple syrup mixture over the bacon.
  • Braise gently until the syrup thickens and glazes the bacon and the bacon is deep golden brown, about 15 minutes.
  • Serve warm.

SWEET & SPICY BACON DUTCH BABY PANCAKE

Giving up sugar is the HARDEST thing I have ever had to do. And since it will NEVER change I’m still working to take some favorite recipes and rework them into less sugary meals so I can eat them.

SWEET & SPICY BACON adapted from GIADA
1 pound slab bacon, cut into 1-by-1/2-inch pieces **
1/4 cup PURE maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon FRESH ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper 2 tablespoons FRANK’S original hot sauce

  • Place the bacon in an even layer in a large skillet.
  • Cook over medium-low heat, stirring often with spatula until the bacon is light golden brown, about 20 minutes.
  • Whisk together the maple syrup, black pepper and Frank’s in a small bowl.
  • Pour off some of the rendered bacon fat, leaving just a small amount.
  • Return the skillet to the heat and pour the maple syrup mixture over the bacon.
  • Braise gently until the syrup thickens and glazes the bacon and the bacon is deep golden brown, about 15 minutes.
  • Serve warm.

DUTCH BABY PANCAKE
3 tablespoons butter
3 eggs
3/4 cup milk
2 teaspoons PURE vanilla
3/4 cup flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon lemon zest, from 1 lemon
OPTIONAL
2 tablespoons powdered sugar, to garnish
Berries, whipped cream, jam or maple syrup if desired

  • Preheat the oven to 400°.
  • Place butter in a 10-12 inch enameled cast iron skillet and place skillet in the hot oven to heat up while you mix the batter.
  • In a small bowl whisk together the eggs, milk and vanilla until smooth.
  • In a separate medium bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, salt and lemon zest.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and use an electric beater to fully incorporate the wet and dry together until smooth.
  • Allow the batter to rest for 5 minutes.
  • Remove the pan from the oven and swirl butter over all sides.
  • Pour the batter into the center of the pan and place the pan in hot oven.
  • Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until puffed and brown around the edges and set in the center.
  • Remove from the oven and dust with powdered sugar. The pancake will immediately start to collapse.
  • Top with bacon pieces or berries and whipped cream.
  • Dust with powdered sugar and add berries if desired.

NOTES**

  • Any leftover bacon is PERFECT in a homemade baked BBQ bean recipe.
  • SLAB bacon can be hard to find. When I can’t find it, I use thick sliced and cut it into 2 inch pieces.

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BACON CHEDDAR PANCAKES

With my current health issues I have been trying very hard to come up with savory meals that have ZERO sugar.  We make these occasionally, but they are going to become the go to pancake recipe in the future.

I found this recipe in a magazine and found it just intriguing enough to try. I made just a few very small changes (the first time):

  • It called for regular cheddar and I used white cheddar.
  • It called for 3 slices of bacon and I used 4.
  • It had you serving with just butter which we tried and then we added maple syrup which was a serious plus in our book.
  • It also said it would make 8 pancakes and I got 11.

Then, this last time I amended it a little more for flavor.

BACON CHEDDAR PANCAKES
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup corn flour
1 tablespoon cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon FRESH ground pepper
1 cup + 2 tablespoons buttermilk
1 LARGE egg
4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled – 3 crumbled into batter, 1 crumbled for garnish
2 green onions, sliced thin, save a little for garnish
1/4 cup grated white cheddar cheese + a little for garnish
Sour Cream

  • Preheat skillet and spray with non-stick cooking spray or melt butter**.
  • Sift together the flours, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pepper until well blended.
  • Whisk together the egg and buttermilk.
  • Add wet ingredients to dry, whisking only until incorporated well.
  • Fold in bacon, green onions and cheese.
  • Using 1/4 cup measure scoop batter onto prepared skillet.
  • Turn when you see bubbles on the entire pancake surface.  If you wait for the bubbles you will need to only flip once and pancakes should be golden.
  • Cook until golden.

**NOTE: I prefer butter for a little extra flavor.

BACON PICKLE FRIES

BACON PICKLE FRIES – yields 12 “fries”

12 pickle spears
12 strips of bacon
1/4 cup ranch dressing

  • Preheat oven to 425°.
  • Wrap each pickle spear in bacon.
  • Place the bacon-wrapped pickles on a baking sheet, seam side-down.
  • Bake until the bacon is cooked through and crispy, 12-15 minutes, turning halfway.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature with ranch.

Linking to FULL PLATE THURSDAY at Miz Helen’s Cottage.

CONEY ISLAND TATERS

I’ve been making a recipe similar to this for years, but recently found a name for them on a package of ground beef from my grocer. It’s a cute name and really fits the recipe – it’s so country fair or carnival like! If you have left over Sloppy Joes they substitute well for the ground meat mixture also to make a quick weeknight meal.

CONEY ISLAND TATERS
1 pound ground beef (I use ground chuck)
1 medium Vidalia onion, chopped small
1 cup favorite BBQ sauce
2 large Russet potatoes (BAKED)
FRESH ground salt and pepper
1/2-3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese (to taste)
1 bunch green onions, sliced thin
1/2 cup bacon pieces
1/2 cup sour cream

  • Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Use non-stick if you have it, but if using cast iron oil it slightly before adding ground meat.
  • When pan is hot add ground beef and onion, sauteing 8-10 minutes all the while breaking meat into small crumble sized pieces.
  • Pour off excess grease. I actually pour it into a stainless steel colander over a paper towel lined paper plate so it can drain REALLY well. I can also use the spatula to break the meat apart even more into that small crumble.
  • Add BBQ sauce, mix well, cover and simmer on ow 10 minutes.
  • Starting lengthwise slice potatoes into quarters and theft each quarter ion half.
  • Arrange 4 pieces of potato on each plate.
  • Generously salt and pepper potatoes.
  • Top with a spoonful of beef mixture.
  • Top beef with shredded cheese, bacon pieces, green onions and sour cream to taste.

CHICKEN with CHARRED POBLANO CREAMED CORN & BACON

CHICKEN with CHARRED POBLANO CREAMED CORN & BACON – serves 4
4 chicken legs **
2 tablespoons avocado oil
6 slices bacon, diced
1 LARGE Vidalia onion, chopped
4 LARGE cloves garlic
1 cup whole milk
4 sprigs FRESH thyme, reserve 1 sprig to chop small
2 cups frozen corn, thawed
Juice of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lime
1 Poblano pepper
FRESH ground salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon chopped basil leaves
1/4 cup sour cream

  • Broil pepper to blister.
  • Place pepper in a sealed ziploc bag for 5-10 minutes to loosen skin.
  • Remove skin and seeds.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium high heat with 1 tablespoon of avocado oil.
  • Season chicken with salt and pepper. (Dredge with egg wash and Wonder if using skinless, boneless pieces)
  • Brown chicken pieces until golden and JUST cooked through.
  • Remove chicken to drain off excess fat. Keep warm.
  • Add bacon to pan and cook until crisp.
  • Remove bacon with slotted spoon.
  • Add onion and garlic cooking 2-3 minutes.
  • Add corn.
  • Add milk and 3 of the thyme sprigs and bring to a SLOW boil, immediately reducing to a simmer.
  • Add chicken pieces, cover and simmer 30 minutes if using bone in, 10-15 if using skinless boneless pieces.
  • Add corn and cook another 15-20 minutes until liquid is completely absorbed.
  • Plate creamed corn, and top with chicken.
  • Drizzle with lemon juice and sauce before serving.
  • Garnish with thyme leaves and crisp bacon.

NOTE:** This recipe can be made with boneless skinless thighs for easy eating, BUT having the skin that gets crispy and golden does add a layer of flavor and texture that makes a GREAT presentation. When I use skinless, boneless chicken I dredge the chicken in an egg wash and Wonder flour to give the illusion of a crusty skin.