Thursday, May 6, 2010

Ardie A. Davis: I Haven’t Had Barbecue For Breakfast Since Last Sunday

I discovered Jennifer Stanley’s fabulous gift for telling a story by way of her Supper Club Mystery, Stiffs and Swine (2008). Becci West, proprietor of my favorite mystery bookstore, I Love A Mystery, in Mission, Kansas, called Jennifer’s book to my attention.

I love barbecue. I love mysteries. It was inevitable that Stiffs and Swine would leap off the shelf and command my attention. Reading it made me an instant fan of J.B. Stanley. She had obviously done her homework in the world of competition barbecue. She nailed the barbecue characters so well that I swear I have met them all on the barbecue trail.

Something else was going on when I read Stiffs and Swine. I was co-authoring the new 25th Anniversary Kansas City Barbeque Society Cookbook with Chef Paul Kirk and Carolyn Wells. When I contacted Jennifer to applaud her for the book, she told me that the Kansas City Barbeque Society (KCBS) had been of great help to her. One thing led to another, and Jennifer and her publisher gave us permission to include some Stiffs and Swine recipes in our cookbook. There’s a picture of Jennifer in the book on the “Barbecue to Die For” page.

If you like barbecue, you’ll love the 25th Anniversary Kansas City Barbeque Society Cookbook—Barbeque…it’s not just for breakfast anymore. Like Stiffs and Swine, it puts a face on the people of barbecue. No murders, but a lot of blowing smoke! More than a compilation of creative recipes from barbecue cooks and judges, the book is full of photos, stories, and practical tips for beginners as well as experienced cooks.

Before I share a recipe from the book, I have a question for you: How often do you have barbecue for breakfast?

Fire in the Pasture! – Ronald Lewis Buchholz
Hailing from Fitchburg, Wisconsin, by way of Milwaukee, the ingredients in this pit-roasted stuffed jalapeno recipe reflect Ron’s heritage and some of his favorite foods.

12 fresh jalapeno peppers, stemmed and seeded
3/4 lb. thick sliced bacon
12 round plain wooden toothpicks
1 8 oz. package cream cheese
1/4 C. shredded Wisconsin sharp cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons Schlitz or Spotted Cow beer – or your favorite beer
2 teaspoons Wisconsin Badgers hot sauce or your favorite hot sauce
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
dash of salt
1 empty cardboard dozen egg carton with lid cut off

Put the cream cheese in a bowl and let soften to room temperature. Add shredded cheese, beer, hot sauce, pepper and salt. Mix with a table fork until ingredients are married.

Using a sharp knife on a cutting board, slice a one pound package of bacon in half, across the grain. Set aside.

Put the cheese mixture in a quart-size sealable plastic food storage bag. Seal the bag and, with scissors, cut a corner off the bottom of the bag, about 1/4 inch up from the corner.

Place the hollow jalapenos upright in the egg carton and fill each pepper by squeezing cheese into it. When each pepper is filled, set the bag aside, saving leftover cheese for spreading on crackers and enjoying while the peppers cook.

Cover the top of each stuffed pepper with a half-slice of bacon, securing sides by pushing a toothpick through the bacon and pepper.

Put the pepper-filled egg carton in your grill, opposite the fire, light the grill and roast the peppers at 350 degrees F. for an hour or more until done. The egg carton will absorb bacon grease, thus no flare-ups. For a smoky flavor put 1/4 cup unsoaked hardwood chips on the fire before lidding the grill.