Losing the heat of the ABTs

Jul 12 • Bruce Uncorked, Feature StoryNo Comments on Losing the heat of the ABTs

ABTs, round 2

Lovely letter writer and faithful reader Ruth Draper popped into the office Monday morning, and asked me a simple question, one I answered too politically.

Ruth asked if I had barbecued on the weekend, to which I replied, “yes.”

But I didn’t tell her exactly what.

The answer is “Atomic Buffalo Turds.” Ruth is a sweet retired woman and I guess subconsciously I didn’t want to offend her, but the reality is she’d have gotten a giggle out of the name.

And truth be told, the way we did them, you can pull “atomic” out of the name.

You see, an Atomic Buffalo Turd (ABT) is the name for stuffed jalapeno peppers wrapped in bacon. They are very, very tasty, and can be darned hot.

In fact, the first time I ever did them on the Big Green Egg, and took them to Sensei Jeff’s place for an afternoon party, they were scorching. The hottest thing I’d ever tasted, let alone cooked.

But, man, were they yummy, as long as you had a beverage nearby.

Yet, at that thermonuclear level of pepper heat, they weren’t for everyone, so I went and did a little more Internet research. The heat from the peppers comes from the membrane and seeds. We’d pulled that out of the peppers, but they still were so darned hot.

But I learned that if you soak them for a time in water, with a little milk, you can pull some of the heat out of the peppers. Soak them too long, you essentially pull all of the heat, leaving behind just the flavour.

I personally like the heat. Ditto for my daughter, as well as her dance buddy Reegan and that girl’s father, Eggless Chad.

We were at Chad and Charlene’s on the weekend to hang out by the pool and I thought it was time for some ABTs. We grabbed the peppers, cream cheese, shredded blended cheese and some disposable gloves. The gloves are to prevent the oil from the peppers getting onto anyone’s hands as it can be hard to wash off, and one wipe of the eye can leave you in a lot of discomfort.

Two people halved the peppers and pulled out the seeds and membrane. That’s easily accomplished with a dessert spoon.

We then soaked the peppers for at least a half an hour, probably much longer, but we weren’t paying close attention to the clock.

After that, we mixed up the cream cheese with some of the shredded cheese, and added Old Bay seasoning.

The mixture went into the pepper halves, which were in turn wrapped in bacon.

Chad put them on his gas barbecue at 350 F. We cooked them for a while on an old cookie sheet and then placed them on the upper grill to finish.

The peppers were delicious, but, due to the time in the rinse, were mostly without heat, which was much to Reegan’s dismay. Still, they were gobbled up.

I promised Reegan that next time we’d leave some of the peppers out of the soaking process and dunk the rest for a shorter period of time.

Cat update

I’ve taken to calling our cat by a new name. The ladies of the house call him Finn, but to me, he is Satan.

Well, when he’s cute and cuddly, he’s Finn, but Satan likes to show up all too often.

He’s clawed the crap out of our legs and feet – mostly while just trying to jump in our laps – but when he gets that look in his eyes, look out.

Last week, he opted to jump from our bed onto my wife’s back as she was getting dressed. The only thing he had to hang onto was the skin on her arm, and he left a long claw mark as he fell to the floor. That bled for a bit.

He used my foot as a turning point, clawing me in several spots out of nowhere as we played with a fake mouse on a string.

Then he got my leg, and Mary’s legs, and Brenna’s legs. And our arms.

He’s very rambunctious, as the little guy is still a kitten. But it gets frustrating.

And if you leave anything on a table that can be moved, he’ll move it all right. In the span of less than a week, he spilled a full glass of water on me (I thought he’d just sniff it like he’d done in the past, and was too slow to pull it away from him) and toppled a vase on the kitchen table. Lots of towel work to soak up his messes.

But when he’s not Satan, he’s darned cute and cuddly. I hope he realizes that I’m looking forward to having him neutered, not as payback for his ongoing fits of insanity, but rather to help calm the little beggar down.

Plus as soon as he’s healed from that procedure, we can think about tossing his furry butt outside to play on his own and blow off some of that steam we can’t seem to burn out of him, despite the effort.

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