Inspiration can come from anywhere, espeically when you have a cooking tool as versatile as a Traeger Grill. We love to look at different recipes and think about how we could take the flavors and ideas that are already there and enhance them with the natural smoky flavor that comes from cooking on a Traeger. One recipe we couldn't help but "Traeger-ize" was this Kung Pao Bacon recipe from AppetiteforChina.com. There is nothing quite like bacon cooked on a Traeger, so it would naturally follow that bacon and peppers cooked on a Traeger and tossed with a spicy/savory Kung Pao sauce would be entirely un-matched. I'll let you in on a secret. It was unbelievable! The depth of flavors from the sauce/bacon combo knocked our socks off. Be adventurous and give this recipe a try. You (and your tastebuds) will be so glad you did.
Kung Pao Bacon
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20-25 Minutes
Recommended Pellets: Alder, Hickory, Oak, Pecan
12 ounces bacon
5 scallions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon minced or grated ginger
1 red bell pepper, large dice
¼ cup unsalted dry-roasted peanuts
1 tablespoon Chinese black vinegar, or substitute good-quality balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon ground Sichuan pepper or 2 teaspoons dried red pepper flakes
Prepare the sauce: In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, sugar, cornstarch, and Sichuan pepper. Stir until the sugar and cornstarch is dissolved and set aside.
Start your Traeger on Smoke for 4-5 minutes with the lid open. Close the lid and turn the temperature up to 375 degrees and allow 10-15 minutes for the grill to preheat.
Combine garlic, ginger, and the white part of the scallions with 1 tsp vegetable oil in a small foil pouch. Set aside.
When grill is preheated, place bacon, bell peppers and aromatic foil packet directly on the grill. Cook for approximately 10-12 minutes, turning everything once.
Dice the bacon and peppers and set aside.
Heat a wok or large skillet over high heat until a bead of water sizzles and evaporates on contact. Add the scallion whites, garlic, and ginger, red bell pepper and bacon and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Pour in the sauce and mix to coat the other ingredients. Stir in the peanuts.
Transfer to a serving plate, sprinkle the scallion greens on top, and serve.