Friday, November 9, 2007

Party Food - Buzzard Eggs

Last year our family had the opportunity to live in La Crosse, Wisconsin during my husband's intern year of residency. We have so many wonderful memories of this beautiful town and would consider going back to live there someday. In the top 10 of our favorite things about La Crosse would be Buzzard Billy's! Some good friends of our told us about the Buzzard Eggs and we decided to try them out. Wow. We were sold from the first bite. If you are ever in the Midwest and happen to go near one of their 4 locations, you should go and get some of these. You won't regret it. If we were lesser controlled people, we would have indulged in these tasty balls of goodness probably a couple times a week. But being the incredibly strong-willed people that we are, we held out with only getting them every other week or so (wink). It's an Ebbert famly favorite.

Knowing that we were going to be moving from La Crosse, we decided that we needed to figure out how to make them ourselves so that we could indulge every so often in Buzzard Egg goodness. Here is our version (but know that it pales in comparison to getting the real thing...)

Buzzard Eggs:

you only need a handful of ingredients for these - bacon, chicken, jalapeno peppers, and pepper jack cheese (and oil for frying).
I like to use chicken tenders, but you could also use chicken breasts and cut it into smaller pieces. Each buzzard eggs uses 1/2-1 chicken tender, 2 pieces of bacon, a couple slices of jalapeno, and a small chunk of pepper jack cheese.

The chicken needs to be thin enough to wrap around the chunk of cheese and jalapenos. So you wrap the chicken arond them first and then grab your bacon and start to roll it around the chicken.
The biggest key for these is to make sure that you bacon wraps everything up securely, or else you'll end up with melted cheese leaking out of the ball, and that just ruins all the fun. As a side note - don't try to use toothpicks to hold them together! We tried this and it just creates a conduit for the cheese to run out of. Just wrap the bacon tightly around it and you'll be ok. We wrap one piece around in one direction, then wrap the other piece around in the opposite direction to close everything up nicely.
Here's what they look like when they're all rolled up.

I should also note that we're still experimenting with this a bit. On this night we used thick cut bacon and it tasted great, but it made it harder to get the cheese melted on the inside. But another time when we used thin bacon, it has too many holes in it and the cheese melted out. So...look for bacon that isn't cut so thin that is tears apart, but you don't necessarily have to use thick cut. Helpful, aren't I?

Throw these babies in the deep fat fryer or in a pan with hot oil. It is supposed to be 400 degrees for about 11 minutes (the ones we made were a bit bigger, so we had to cook them for a few minutes longer).
You eat the buzzard eggs by cutting them open and dipping them in ranch dressing. I haven't figured out how to make Buzzard Billy's awesome homemade ranch yet, so for the time being we are using this copy cat version of Outback Steakhouse's Ranch Salad Dressing:

1 tsp. Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix (buttermilk recipe)
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 tsp. coarse ground black pepper
1/8 tsp. ground red pepper
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl; mix well. Cover bowl and chill dressing for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Tada! There you go - tasty Buzzard Eggs. Oh yeah, and don't be intimidated by these babies just because they have jalapenos in them. I don't like things that hot, so I just take the jalapenos out after it is cooked and it leaves a nice kick of residual flavor in it for me, while Todd glories in the full pepper. My kids absolutely LOVE these as well. They instantly start salivating when we ever say the name. Serve with a nice salad (to alleviate some of the guilt). Happy eating!


i'm h.mac said...

d those look awesome, i can't wait to try this. this looks like a great party food or dippy food as i call it. fabulous

Becca said...

Mmmm...if we ever come over to Iowa, will you make me one please?!

Kristy said...

These look really good. Paul said they were great. They look pretty, too!

Kristin said...

I worked at the Buzzard Billy's way back when in college. The ranch we serve is Hidden Valley Ranch. Bought in the restaurant size jugs. :)