Tuesday, March 30, 2010

WARNING!!! The Hazards of BBQing Bacon...

Mmmm bbq'd bacon, that extra smoky flavour, perfectly crisp caramelized fat, oh it's a beautiful sight to see, taste and smell...Ok so yes it was delicious and everything, but it can be a bit of a hazard.

I was baking Tin Foil Potatoes & Peppers on the bbq this weekend, days after bbq'ing the bacon, and was in the house preparing more goodies to go on the grill. My daughter pipes up and says "Mommy the bbq's on fire" and I was like "yeah it's fine, I just put the potatoes on, they can't be burning yet"...pffft kids, what do they know about bbqing? So not more than 2 minutes later I go out there and HOLY CRAP THE BBQ'S ON FIRE!!! The needle was buried at 800 degrees, smoke billowing out the sides and back in large black clouds, so of course I whip open the lid, just in time to see my entire bbq in massive flamage.

God dammit!

So like a genius, a very lucky genius, I reach underneath the bbq, turn off the propane, and let the fire burn itself out. Holy Christ on a cracker I have never seen a fire that big. The bbq wasn't exactly clean before I cooked the bacon, so I really should have know better and cleaned it out before doing any other cooking. But for the love of Jebus, what a mess! Needless to say I turned the bbq back on after the flames had gone out and kept a very close eye on it...no I did not clean it at that point, but I think all the fat/grease/rocket fuel had burned off.

Anyways, we're all adults here and we know that bbqing high fat content foods is dangerous, but I just wanted to share my experience because although it is very funny, it could have gone very sideways.

So here is what I was cooking that night when hell showed up on my patio.

Grilled Lemony Chicken Thighs, Tin Foil Roasted Potatoes & Peppers and Tomato Cucumber Salad

Chicken Marinade:

- 2 lemons zested and quartered
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- 1 small onion quartered
- 2 cloves garlic smashed & rough chopped
- 1 whole dried chili pepper chopped & seeded
- about 3tbs olive oil
- fresh cracked pepper
- kosher salt
- Chicken thighs - boneless, skin on
** If you can't find them de-boned, it's very easy to remove it yourself. Just pull the meat away from the bone till you can get your knife right along side and with small strokes cut meat away, or as I do, just pretty much rip it off with your hands. There's only one straight bone, it's very easy to find and remove. You can use skinless, but I love crispy chicken skin almost as mush as I love bacon so I almost always use skin on. Plus it keeps the meat from drying out when bbqing. Another little nugget o' wisdom, I'm feeling generous today...

Layer a few sheets plastic wrap over your work surface and place the chicken pieces on it, spaced out a bit, top with more plastic wrap and gently pound the meat to even out the thickness...good God Paco, your mind is disgusting...ok fine, gently pound the chicken with a meat mallet to even out the thicknes...is that better?

Throw chicken, rosemary, onion, garlic, chillies and lemon zest into a large ziploc bag. Squeeze in lemons and throw them in too, drizzle olive oil over top and grind in some fresh pepper. Close the bag and mix all together well, squeezing and massaging through the bag...really Paco, what are you, like 12? DO NOT ADD SALT AT THIS POINT. It can make the meat chewy if marinating for a long time. Let sit in fridge for as long as you can, overnight at most.

Remove from fridge and let the chicken come to about room temp before grilling. Remove from bag and salt front and back just before grilling. Since there is skin on you need to watch it carefully, turning often.

Tin Foil Potatoes & Peppers

- 8-10 Red potatoes sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 3 carrots peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
- about a dozen pearl onions - peeled but left whole
- 1/2 of each - red, yellow and orange peppers, seeded and sliced
- 5-6 cloves garlic - separated but skins on and left whole
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 3 tbsp butter
- S&P
- cottage cheese
- 2-3 green onions chopped fine
- fresh parsley - chopped
- bacon bits ***WARNING since you are bbqing anyways, why not try bbqing the bacon! But please be very careful and keep your eyes on it at all times.

Lay out your tinfoil in an X shape, overlapping in the middle to make it extra thick. Place potatoes, carrot, peppers, pearl onions, garlic and rosemary in the centre, drizzle olive oil over top and dot with chopped up butter. Add a generous amount of salt and fresh cracked pepper.

Wrap this all up tight, starting with the sides of the bottom piece of the X. Place on top rack if you have one if not over low heat, you can have the empty side of the bbq a bit higher, you want about 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes depending on how large your package is....ummm yeah...shut up Paco!

Serve this with more butter, cottage cheese, fresh chopped parsley and bacon bits on top...why cottage cheese? Well, I was grocery shopping for this dinner and was at the checkout and realized I had forgotten the sour cream so I asked Izbot to go grab me some, describing the look and colours of the container to her. She's a super fast runner so she was back in a flash with my sour cream...what a good kid! So at dinner I go to get the sour cream out of the fridge and...hey this is cottage cheese! Exact same colour and look as the sour cream package, neither of us noticed. So not wanting to hurt the Izbot's feelings I thought "meh, this will work", and you know what, it was delicious! Still got that creamy dairy goodness that you need on bbq'd potatoes, and actually a lot less fat! So from now on we will be using cottage cheese in place of sour cream, try it, it is seriously tasty!

Tomato Cucumber Salad - Izbot's favourite

- 6 Roma tomatoes, chopped and seeded
- 1 long English cucumber, chopped and seeded ...Paco! Stop it....
- 1 small red onion sliced very thin
- pinch of dried oregano
- 1 lemon, zest and juice
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 1 handful flat leaf parsley
- S&P
- 1/4 cup Feta cheese crumbled

In a medium bowl combine, tomatoes, cucumber and onion. Add oregano, lemon zest and juice, olive oil, parsley and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Mix well to combine. Top with feta cheese when serving.
**This is a great salad to add to couscous**

Well there you go, another fabulous dinner at my place, well received by the guests and the Izbot. Let me know how it turns out for you, any questions, comments from the peanut gallery...watch it Paco!!


  1. Dirty filthy mexicans...
    Cory ;)

  2. what did i do lol

  3. Left an award for your funny banter on my blog! http://kitschinthekitchen.blogspot.com

  4. @Cory, I hear ya, that Paco!

    @Paco...I know you read this and sometimes when I write I think about what will make people laugh and I just know how your mind works....

    @ Megan...thanks for thinking of me, I really enjoying writing this! And congrats on your award!!