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Comfort Foods Worth Sharing

Chef Paul KirkBy Paul Kirk

CWC, Ph.B., B.S.A.S.

Certified Master BBQ Judge

BBQ Hall of Famer

bbqbaron@gmail.com

Since I have been traveling for the last 3 months I just want to sit down with friends and some good comfort foods, so that means chips and dip, wings some good appetizers to go with a good cold beer.     Since I have been traveling for the last 3 months I just want to sit down with friends and some good comfort foods, so that means chips and dip, wings some good appetizers to go with a good cold beer.

Barbecued Tex-Mex Wings

2-1/2 pounds precut chicken wings, or whole wings cut into 2 pieces at joint, tips discarded

1/2 cup ketchup

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup honey

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1 teaspoon chipotle powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon hot red pepper sauce

1 teaspoon mesquite-flavored liquid smoke

Wash wings and pat dry.  Prepare medium-hot charcoal fire or preheat gas grill to medium high. Grill wings over medium-high heat, turning often, until skin begins to get crispy, (about 15 minutes).

In medium bowl, mix ingredients together and baste wings, turning often. (Basting earlier will cause wings to burn because of the high sugar content in the sauce).      Continue grilling, basting often, until wings are cooked through and slightly charred but not burned (about another 10 minutes). Yield: 4-6 servings.

Clam & Bacon Dip   We now need a good dip and I think this one will fill the bill.

8 slices bacon, chopped

Two 6 1/2 oz. cans minced clams

8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature

1/4 cup sour cream

3 scallions, finely chopped

2 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil

1 teaspoon prepared horseradish

1 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce Tabasco® sauce to taste

Cook bacon over medium heat until crisp (if you want a better dip, cook the bacon over your grill). Drain on paper towels. Drain clams, reserving clam juice. In a large bowl, whisk together cream cheese and sour cream. Stir 2 tablespoons reserved clam juice into cream cheese mixture along with the clams, bacon, and remaining ingredients. Dip may be made a day ahead of time and chilled. Serve at room temperature, with crackers or chips. Makes About 2 Cups.

Blue Blazers: Here is another appetizer that is good finished in the smoker, that is if you like smoked blue cheese.

1/4 cup butter, room temperature

2 ounces Maytag blue cheese, room temperature

1 tablespoon cognac (optional)

1/4 cup grated Parmesan

1/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts

2 tablespoons minced green onion

1 teaspoon chopped fresh basilcayenne to taste

English muffins

ripe olive slices for garnish

Mix butter and blue cheese together. Add the cognac, parmesan, walnuts, green onions, basil and cayenne. Lightly toast the muffin halves, spread with cheese mix, top with a ripe olive slice and stick under the broiler until lightly browned. Enjoy!