As the Paleo faithful pick up the pieces from the Battle of the Bacon (summary: bacon is delicious and if you like it, you should eat it), I’ve found the best possible course of therapy:
Enjoy some bacon.
While I encourage everyone to enjoy bacon at will, I also am a huge proponent of Pork Snobbery. Go to www.EatWild.com and find a local, compassionate farmer who sells pastured pork products. They’re often equally affordable and unbelievably, transcendentally tasty.
Spring is right around the corner and so is grilling season. We’ve put up some delicious recipes for Summer Slaw (Thanks to Nom Nom Paleo and Primal Palate) and yummy, Paleo-friendly homemade Barbeque sauce. The best way to be the PPP (Popular Paleo Person) at your next grill fest or family party, however, is to bring something delicious, unexpected, and bacon-wrapped.
Bacon is like Reality TV. It’s the great equalizer. Even if you feel guilty about it (whether you should or not), you know you love it and you’re able to break the ice by talking about it (or, in the case of bacon, by eating it). Even people with a profound sugar addiction flock to bacon over Marshmallow Peeps. It’s the gateway food for reforming vegetarians and vegans. You may even win some Paleo converts with the promise of bacon. The world needs bacon.
Here are 10 things you MUST wrap in bacon. Now.
DO THIS FIRST:
Some of these recipes work best in the oven, some on the grill. The first step no matter HOW you cook them, however, is to FIRST partially cook the bacon on the stovetop so that some of the fat renders out and the bacon begins to brown slightly. This way your bacon will crisp up as you cook it, whether in the oven or on the grill.
Lay the partially cooked strips on a paper towel to cool before you wrap, and drain the fat from the skillet into a bowl. You’ll use this to lightly coat the veggies before roasting/grilling.
5 FOR THE OVEN
While you could grill the following, try roasting these in the oven as you prep the other 5 for cooking on the grill. Set the oven at 375F and plan on 20-30 minutes cook time. The grilled items should take 10-15 minutes.
Toss these veggies in a bit of bacon grease. Wrap in bacon and place on a cookie sheet. Roast at 375 for 20-30 minutes.
Roasted asparagus is delicious – and even more palatable surrounded by the crunch of bacon.
You can absolutely oven-roast broccoli – just make sure the florets are uniform in size. Wrap ½ to a full slice of bacon and secure with a toothpick.
These are amazingly delicious roasted. Brave souls may roast them whole, but the flavor is intensified by slicing in half and wrapping or topping with a small slice of bacon.
These make the perfect party snack! Gather a few beans together, snap in half if necessary, and wrap with bacon.
These can be oven-roasted or grilled, but you may want to pre-cook them for a few minutes to allow some of the moisture to cook out. You may want to wrap in bacon, or you may want to de-stem the mushrooms and stuff with a bit of bacon.
5 FOR THE GRILL
Kebabs are the easiest way to cook and enjoy the following. You can try some of the oven-roasters over the grill as well. Grill over medium heat.
If you love heat, simply de-stem a jalapeño, wrap with a half-slice OR a full slice of bacon, secure with a toothpick and spear with a kebab stick. The seeds will burn your mouth out. Literally.
If you prefer a heat-less jalapeño, slice the raw pepper lengthwise, leaving the top intact so the halves don’t separate. Scrape out the seeds, then wrap in bacon and spear. You may want to use gloves – and you definitely don’t want to touch your eyes with the residue on your fingers.
These can be cooked for as long as it takes for your shrimp & scallops – about 8 minutes.
SHRIMP & SCALLOPS
Squeeze some lemon juice over these puppies, wrap in bacon and spear with the kebab sticks. Grill for about 4 minutes on each side or until they are opaque and the bacon is crisp.
The best complement to a summer BBQ is grilled, bacon-wrapped pineapple. Throw a few on the grill with your jalapeños and meat and grill until the bacon is crisp.
Let’s be honest – chicken can be slightly boring. There’s really no excuse NOT to wrap chunks of chicken with bacon. These may take a bit longer than the shrimp & scallops – so cook them on a separate kebab stick.
You don’t have to wrap every serving of meat or veggie in bacon, but try adding a few bacon-wrapped bites to each plate. You can also slice full pieces of bacon in half with meat shears – both lengthwise and widthwise – and use a smaller piece. You don’t need to eat a pound of bacon to enjoy the flavor, interspersed with the rest of your barbeque fare. A little bacon goes a long way!