Bacon Wrapped Cordon Bleu Chicken Thighs


2017-04-02 18.50.13

Bacon Wrapped Cordon Bleu Chicken Thighs

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
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“your body is not a temple, it’s an amusement park. Enjoy the ride.”
― Anthony Bourdain


I’m not entirely certain that the above quote is appropriate here since Chef Bourdain is considered the “Bad Boy” of restaurant kitchens due to his addictions to various and sundry substances however I tend to agree that in the world of food you definitely should “Enjoy the ride.”

This particular recipe is a playful take on the classic “Cordon Bleu” and with the addition of Bacon how can you go wrong? Now for this one I decided to use chicken thighs since they are inexpensive and if you get skin on/bone in and then skin them/debone them yourself you can certainly save money.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 8 Skin Skinless/Bonless Chicken Thighs
  • 8 slices Deli Ham
  • 8 slices Swiss Cheese
  • 8 Slices Smoked Bacon
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Putting it all together:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°.
  2. Lay the chicken thigh “shiny” side down on a cutting board and sprinkle the inside with salt and pepper.
  3. Layer a piece of ham topped with Swiss cheese on the chicken.
  4. Put the chicken on a piece of bacon and fold until the bacon meets.
  5. Put the chicken, seam side down, on a baking tray and place in the oven for about 35 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165°.
  6. Enjoy.

There you have it another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time……..

                         Bon Appetit


Bacon wrapped baby potatoes

Bacon wrapped baby potatoes

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Sometimes finding just the right side dish can be a major chore as well as a major pain in the butt and this is exactly the dilemma I was facing not to long ago when my ever helpful and brilliant wife suggested I make the perfect side dish….. “bacon wrapped baby potatoes”.

Not much else to say after bacon wrapped potatoes except……….. “Let’s eat”.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping List:

  • 12 – 18 medium sized “Baby potatoes” (allows for 3-4 potatoes per person)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated Garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated Onion
  • 2 teaspoons Salt
  • 8 slices of Bacon – cut in half
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Rosemary
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese

Putting it all together:

  1. Blanche the potatoes in salted water for about 5 minutes
  2. Put the blanched potatoes in an ice bath and set aside
  3. Put all the ingredients except the bacon in a large mixing bowl and blend well
  4. When the potatoes have cooled add them to the mixture and coat well
  5. Wrap each potato with a half slice of bacon and put, seam side down, on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper
  6. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees until the bacon is crispy
  7. Enjoy

There you have it another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time……….

                              Bon Appetit

Bacon Wrapped Chicken Thighs

  • Servings: ”6-8″
  • Difficulty: ”easy”
  • Print

Bacon Wrapped Chicken Thighs



This is one of those “simple but tasty recipes for the grilling season and beyond” that can be done either on the grill or in the oven…… turns out great using either method. I chose to do it in the oven because it was a miserable day outside and I didn’t feel like standing there waiting for things to cook.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 6 – 8 Chicken thighs
  • 6 -8 slices of Bacon
  • Chicken dry rub (see Rubs and Marinades)

Putting it all together:

  1. Coat the chicken with the dry rub
  2. Wrap a slice of bacon around the chicken thigh
  3. Put in the oven or on the BBQ until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 160°
  4. Serve with your favourite side

There you have it another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond”

Until next time………

                        Bon Appetit


Buttermilk cheddar loaf

  • Servings: 12-14
  • Difficulty: easy
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This may very well be my first and only foray into the world of making bread. You see I don’t bake a lot—– truth be told I do very little baking simply because it is not something that is in my “wheelhouse” (otherwise known as my comfort zone) but since I was making some biscuits for a family gathering I thought I would try my hand at it and see where we got to and since it was a present for my mother I will have to wait to receive the verdict.

The great thing about this recipe is that it is one of those “simple but tasty recipes for the grilling season and beyond” and is so versatile it can be used for breakfast, lunch or dinner or even a late night snack when you are feeling a wee bit peckish. One of the other great things about this recipe is that you can twist it and turn it and add all kinds of things to make it yours.

Try adding things like Jalapenos, bacon, dill or BACON AND JALAPENOS. The combinations are near limitless.

Here’s the one that I put together……….


  • 2 1/2 cups of All Purpose (ap) flour
  • 1/4 sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 cup Buttermilk
  • 1/4 melted butter
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups shredded old or sharp cheddar

Putting it all together:

  • Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees
  • In a medium size bowl mix the first seven ingredients together
  • In a large measuring cup add the milk,egg and melted butter and whisk until well incorporated
  • Mix the cheese into the dry ingredients
  • Add the buttermilk mixture and mix with a spatula until just wet. If it looks a little to thick you can add some water
  • Spoon into a pre greased (use cooking spray as it’s easier) 4 x 8 loaf pan
  • Bang the pan on the counter a couple of times in an effort to get the mixture to settle and avoid air bubbles
  • Pop the pan into the oven and bake for 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  • Let cool for about ten minutes, slice and enjoy.

So there you have the easy peasy Buttermilk Cheddar loaf and another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond”

Thanks for dropping by and until next time………..

                                  Bon Apettite


Cheese stuffed cedar planked figs wrapped with Prosciutto

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I thought I would continue the “simple but tasty” apps path with another one I happen to have stolen from Chef Ted Readers dynamite BBQ book and the fact that this one uses a part of the noble pig, in this case Prosciutto, is no mere coincidence. Now to be honest I have never really eaten figs other than in Fig Newton cookies and I have not really seen them outside of an old movie or two where some Bedouin sheikh is lounging on an overstuffed pillow watching some dancing girls and munching on fresh figs but over the past few months I have started to see them being sold in more and more grocery stores and they reminded me of this particular recipe and so I thought I would pass it on to you…… oh and of course this is not the original recipe in Chef Ted’s book since I have tweaked it to my own tastes.


Untreated 12 inch Cedar plank soaked overnight

1/2 cup creme de cassis

1 Tablespoon cracked black peppercorns

12 Medium to large fresh black or green figs, halved lengthwise

3/4 cup Goat cheese

3/4 cup crumbled Blue cheese

Four ounces sun dried tomatoes, chopped

1 green onion finely chopped

1/2 cup baby spinach, chopped

1 teaspoon chopped garlic

1 tablespoon fresh Sage, finally chopped

Salt and freshly ground pepper

12 thin slices Prosciutto

Liquid honey to drizzle (optional)

Putting it all together:

In a small flat shallow dish put the creme de cassis and sprinkle the cracked peppercorns on top

Add the figs, cut side down, and marinade for about an hour

While the figs are marinating soak the sun dried  tomatoes in hot water until they are reconstituted (about 20 minutes)—— there is nothing like biting into a rubbery piece of sun dried tomato…. well maybe there are a few things but that’s for another day.

Pre heat the BBQ to 450 degrees

In a medium bowl mix all the other ingredients, except the Prosciutto and honey.

Take one half of a fig and place a good amount of the cheese mix on it and then top with the other half and wrap in Prosciutto. Secure with a toothpick

Repeat until all the figs are stuffed and wrapped

Place the figs on a cedar plank and place in the BBQ for five to six minutes or until the cheese starts to ooze

Place on a platter and drizzle with honey if using it.

The great thing about this recipe is that the figs can be assembled a day in advance and brought out to come to room temperature for 30 minutes before grilling.

So there you have it another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond”

So until next time…………

                                                         Bon Appetit


Cedar Planked Bacon Wrapped Drumsticks

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Back in the day sitcoms usually had at least one episode when the husband came home from work and dropped the bombshell on his wife that “… the boss will be here in an hour for dinner” and the poor wife would spend the next half an hour trying to defrost and cook a roast in order to impress “the boss”. Now I don’t know if that still happens today and if it does I doubt it’s as funny as the sitcoms made it out to be but in the event that it does I would like to present this very “simple and tasty recipe” that I happened to find in one of my BBQ books that was written by Canada’s Master BBQ chef Ted Reader….. Cedar Planked Bacon Wrapped Chicken Drumsticks and you just have to know that if it includes bacon then it’s dynamite.

Here’s my spin on Chef Ted’s recipe……


Two to three “cooking” cedar planks depending on the number of drumsticks

10 to 12 chicken drumsticks

A pound or two of smoked bacon (if two pounds is to much for the chicken well…… who cares? IT”S BACON!!!!!!!!)

Chicken dry rub (see dry rubs and marinades)

Putting it all together:

Soak the cedar planks in water for at least 45 minutes so that they won’t burn

Pre heat the grill to 350 degrees

Dust the drumsticks with the dry rub

Wrap in bacon

Place on the cedar planks

Cook on the BBQ until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 160 degrees


Serve this with your favorite side dish whether it is mac and cheese, grilled corn on the cob or red beans and rice. What ever side you choose the chicken will be the star of the show and people will rave about it forever and if they don’t then simply unfriend them on Facebook……. that’ll show them who’s boss and if the boss does happen to show up for dinner then he will think you have been cooking for days.

So there you have it another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond”

Until next time………..

                                                   Bon Appetite

Grilled Pork Butt chops


My dad worked for a company, for 42 years, that had a close affiliation with slaughter houses and more in particular with Hog Farmers so it’s no wonder I am completely gonzo for PORK. I love pork in its many splendored ways such as Pork Chops, Pork sausage, Pork tenderloin, Bacon and of course Pork Butt.

One of the cuts of pork I have recently embraced with a passion is Pork Butt Chops and one of the reasons I have jumped on this particular cut from the humble porcine creature (that’s a pig y’all) is because I get the great flavor that the butt provides without having to cook a huge amount of it all at once oh and, the store I get mine from sells two to a package for about $8.00 and the chops more resemble the side of a cow instead of pork chops. THEY ARE MASSIVE.

I have two different ways that I do these chops. The first is to hit them with a simple dry rub and then grill them. The other and this is only if I have time, is to marinate them for about an hour before grilling.

Here’s my Marinade method:


      –    Two large Pork Butt chops

     –     Three minced garlic cloves

    –      1 Teaspoon salt

     –     1 ½ Teaspoons ground pepper

     –     1 ½ Teaspoons granulated onion

      –    ¼ cup Chopped Cilantro

      –    3 Tablespoons Olive oil



     –    Place the chops in a zip lock bag or any other type of sealable container

    –     In a separate mixing bowl combine all ingredients and mix until a paste has formed

    –     Add the paste to the bag or container and mix well until the chops are evenly coated

     –    Place in the refrigerator for at least an hour

     –   Grill for approximately 20 minutes, turning over at the half way mark (about  10 minutes) or until the internal temperature hits 160 degrees

Serve this with whatever side you wish, I’d suggest some grilled corn on the cob (see sides) and roast potatoes.

So there you have it —– another “tasty but simple dish for the grilling season and beyond”.

Until next time

               Bon Appetit



With the new job taking up 10 hours a day of my time I find I’m resorting, more and more, to my bag of tricks for “simple but tasty” recipes that are also inexpensive and filling so it’s small wonder that this one fills both of those requirements.

The great thing about a Frittata is that you can throw literally anything you wish into it and as long as you bake it for the correct amount of time it should wind up being a dynamite dish. The other wonderful thing about it is that it can be served for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Here’s my version.


–         Six eggs

–         1 Large green pepper – diced

–         1 Medium white onion – diced

–         3 to 4 Dun dried tomatoes – reconstituted

–         1 Teaspoon salt

–         1 Teaspoon fresh ground pepper

–         2 Minced garlic cloves

–         ½ Cup chopped spinach

–         3 Strips of bacon – rough chopped (if you really want to throw a twist into this then substitute Pancetta for the bacon)

–         Three to four slices of Medium cheddar cheese


–         Pre heat your oven to 350 degrees

–         While the oven is heating up re- constitute your Sun Dried Tomatoes – simply soak them in hot water for approximately twenty minutes and then rough chop

–         In a large non- reactive bowl mix ALL the ingredients together

–         Pour the Frittata mix into a 12 inch stick proof, oven proof skillet (make sure the skillet is deep enough to handle the mix without spilling over)

–         Pop the skillet into the oven for approximately 30 minutes and bake

–         Check after 30 minutes and if the Frittata does not appear to be done then leave a little while longer

I usually cut and serve mine straight from the skillet as it makes clean up that much easier. Also try this with some nice French bread and Garlic butter.

So there you have it another “tasty but simple” dish.

Until next time…….

Bon Appetite

Shrimp and Grits


I think the first time I heard reference to Grits was in an old John Wayne movie and the person talking about them turned his nose up and said they were basically gross. I didn’t give it any more thought until a few years ago when I started watching the Food Network, specifically Diners Drive Ins and Dives, and I started to see episodes where people were making Grits and I thought “Wait a minute. They don’t look gross” and a love affair with grits was born.

Now for the uninitiated Grits are merely coarse ground Corn Meal and a staple in any Southern, or in my case Northern, kitchen and they are a very versatile ingredient that can be made in many different ways but my absolute favorite is Shrimp and Grits.

Here’s my take on a classic Southern dish.


–           1 cup stone-ground grits

–           Salt and pepper

–           1/4 cup butter

–           2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

–           1 pound shrimp, 35-40 peeled and deveined, left whole if small and roughly chopped if medium or large

–           6 slices smoked bacon, chopped into tiny pieces

–           4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

–           2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

–           1 cup thinly sliced green onions, white and green parts

–           1/2 Medium white onion, diced

–           1 large garlic clove, minced

–           2 Tablespoons corn flour

–           1 Tsp of Cajun seasoning, Old Bay seasoning and Smoked Paprika

–           4 Cups chicken broth


–           For the Grits bring 4 cups chicken broth to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the grits and salt and pepper to taste. Stir well with a whisk. Reduce the heat to the lowest possible setting and cook the grits until all the broth is absorbed, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and cheese. Keep covered until ready to serve.

–           Rinse the shrimp and pat dry. Fry the bacon in a large skillet until browned and crisp, then drain on a paper towel. Add the diced onion and garlic to the bacon grease. Add two tablespoons corn flour and mix well. Let the flour cook out before adding enough chicken stock to make a roux to your liking. Mix in the Cajun seasoning, Old Bay and Smoked Paprika and bacon and blend well. Add the shrimp and sauté over medium heat just until they turn pink, about 3 minutes. Do not overcook! Remove the skillet from the heat.

–           Pour the grits into a serving bowl. Pour the shrimp mixture over the grits and garnish with chopped green onion

I hope you enjoy this recipe and I thank you for dropping by.

Bon Appetit