Although I love all forms of bacon and worship at its oinky altar, the “everything’s better with bacon” fad is growing tiresome. Bacon jam? Bacon-infused vodka? Bacon lip balm? This is the overwrought nonsense that preceded the collapse of the Roman Empire. Bacon needs to get real. Start with these redneck canapés, perfect to throw on the grill or smoker while you’re cooking a more time-intensive main dish.
Moinks are little meatballs wrapped with bacon, spiced with rub, then smoked or roasted till the bacon is done and the meatballs are hot. Dip in barbecue sauce and eat right away, or dunk in sauce and return to the cooker for a spell. Moink tradition (and convenience) calls for fully cooked, frozen meatballs, whether Swedish or Italian.
Behold the Pork Shot, a bacon-y bomb of irresistible flavour. Cut skinny kolbassas or other smoked sausages into 1″ lengths. Toothpick-wrap with bacon, leaving a short bacon rim at the top, to form a shallow cup. Combine 2/3 cup (150 ml) brown sugar with about 2 tbsp (30 ml) of chili powder or barbecue rub. Spoon 1/2 tsp (2 ml) of mixture into each pork cup, and cook at high, indirect heat (around 425°F/ 220°C) for 20–25 minutes. Let ’em cool a bit before eating.
Atomic buffalo turds
Tastier than a deep-fried jalapeno popper, the Atomic Buffalo Turd (a.k.a. ABT) is a tailgating classic. Split jalapenos and remove the seeds and ribs. Stuff with cream cheese, plain or mixed with maple syrup or pineapple (trust me). Wrap with bacon, secure with a toothpick, and sprinkle lightly with a sweetish barbecue rub or a mix of salt, brown sugar, and chili powder. Cook over indirect heat until bacon and pepper are done. Three things: If you can add wood smoke, do so. Longer cooking mellows the jalapeno heat. Nestle a cocktailsized brat or a kolbassa baton in the cheese filling to jack up the Bubba factor.