Cheesy, Bacon-Wrapped Fire Candy

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Some like it really hot, and some don’t, so if you’re looking to meet everyone’s expectations, try this one out.  It’s cheesy, smoky, bacony, salty, and spicy.  Served as an appetizer, or grill-side snack, I’d say that the whole just may be greater than the sum of it’s parts (I’m sorry bacon, but while you’re great alone, sometimes, you’re better when you’re working in a team).  When these flavors are put together, they create something truly magical.  So magical, that I’d like to share it with you.  Let’s tunu!

 

On the Scoville heat unit scale, Habaneros (Capsicum chinense) register in a range of 100,000 – 350,000 Scoville heat units (SHUs).  What that means, is that the oil obtained from the extract of a habanero must be diluted at least 100,000 times before the heat is barely detectable.  The Jalapeno stands anywhere between 2500-5000 SHUs and based on that, the oil would need to be diluted at most around 5000 times. From a spiciness standpoint, the heat from this pepper is nothing compared to that of the Habanero.  Click on the image below to see where other peppers stand on the scale.  What’s your favorite?

 

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Chicken Kelaguen & Tatiyas

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Let’s fire up the grill, it’s tunu time!

Kelaguen and Tatiyas

Kelaguen is a signature dish, or staple as some may say, that is ALWAYS at any gathering in Chamorro culture.  I learned how to make it at an early age, and have since been sharing it with friends everywhere I go, because chances are, they’ve never tasted anything like it.  In addition to sharing it, I also often experiment with it, adding other flavors in from other cultures who have similar dishes in a quest for the ultimate kelaguen.

It can be eaten as a snack or as a main course, and also goes great as an accompaniment to beer, and is especially good when you’re huddled around the grill with some friends or family.

The flavor can be described as a marinade consisting of lemon, salt, and hot peppers. Many different types of meats can be used to make kelaguen, including chicken, beef, fish, shrimp, octopus, and even Spam!  I encourage you to try different things, but that said – just make sure you actually cook the chicken if you choose to do it.  Pork?  I haven’t tried it, but if I did, I’d cook it, so be sure to cook it as well!

Tatiyas (pronounced tah-ti-jahs) is a flatbread made in Chamorro culture, which actually originates from the Spanish word “tortilla”, and can be prepared different ways to achieve different flavors from traditional flour to coconut flavored.  I will be revisiting this recipe over time, trying different things, but for now, you can consider this the simplest and most basic, although very tasty version.

What makes tatiyas special for me is that it’s cooked on a grill as I’ve been exposed to, and that first bite for me is always instant nostalgia, reminding me of many childhood memories.  Growing up in my family, it was usually the women who made tatiyas, while the men made kelaguen and worked the grills.  Oh how I miss the days where our family would spend an entire day (and sometimes night) preparing a feast to celebrate a special occasion.

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The Kobe Beef Nigiri Experiment

Welcome to the inaugural post for my blog!  As a first post, I wanted to do something unexpected, while staying true to my experience of the Tunu lifestyle (where everything is cooked over a fire, whether it be a grill, a smoker, or in an outdoor oven).

While navigating the matrix of photos that is Instagram, I stumbled across something that absolutely stood out as an innovative, creative dish where I thought I would be able to create my own version and still fall within the requirement of having to cook over fire.  In this case, it was a photo of some beautiful slices of seared Kobe beef over rice – Nigiri (a type of sushi) style.

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