“Redneck Sushi”

My friend Thom introduced me to Redneck Sushi, and now any special grilling occasion features these delectable little wonders. Yesterday was so beautiful and warm that we dusted off the ol’ grill and whipped some up (along with a plethora of other delights).

Here’s how to do both the meaty version, and a special veggie version using our mildly famous eggplant bacon!

You’ll need:

1/2 package thick-cut bacon *or* eggplant bacon– see below
1 bunch green asparagus
bamboo skewers

Be sure your asparagus are in season! They should be crisp & sweet– the thinner the stalk, the better. We went to the fantastic Ballard Farmers’ Market yesterday and picked up a couple of the first bunches of the season. This stuff is so good you can eat it raw.

1. Soak your skewers in water for about an hour before using them– this keeps them from catching on fire on the grill and burning your goodies.

2. Snap your asparagus. Here’s a trick for getting rid of the tough, stringy, woody part of the asparagus. Hold the stalk at both ends and bend. The stalk will naturally snap into two pieces. Discard the bottom piece. Easy, & works every time!

3. Chop the asparagus stalks into 1-1/2 to 2 inch pieces.

4. Cut each slice of bacon in half in the middle– should result in 3-4 inch slices of bacon.

5. Collect four or five pieces of asparagus, and, holding them together, roll them into one of the strips of bacon. Carefully push two skewers through the roll, pinning the asparagus/bacon structure together. (The extra skewer is to prevent the rolls from flipping over if you turn them.)

6. Repeat step five until you’ve used all of your ingredients.

7. Cook over indirect medium/medium-high heat on the grill, flipping once halfway through. The bacon fat should get soft and surround the asparagus, sealing each roll together.

8. Remove rolls from skewers, serve and let the mouth-watering bacon/asparagus combination rock your world.

If you want to try a vegetarian version that’s danged good, you’ll need to start the night before. Prep the eggplant bacon following the recipe we’ve featured previously, but stop after part 6.

Once you’ve drained the bitter out of the eggplant, instead of cooking it, cover it well with an unflavored oil (we use Canola), and let it sit at room temperature all night. The eggplant will absorb the oil, which will give it the melty consistency of bacon when used in its stead on the grill. Substitue the eggplant for the bacon in the above recipe and challenge your friends to a blind taste test!

Fire up your grill, and try some Redneck Sushi today!