Fall will be here before this month is over. Inevitably, there will be a night before a tailgate and you will need an item to bring. Angels on Horseback is a simple choice to take to a tailgate; it’s always a crowd pleaser. The traditional combination is oysters and bacon, but you can substitute just about anything in place of oysters — everything from scallops to figs.
Bacon in has a great combination of sweet, salty and crispy. Other than pork belly, the main components of bacon are sodium nitrite and salt for preservation, and sugar for balance. This built-in balance makes it a great addition to almost any other edible product you may have in your cupboard or cooler. Bacon makes everything better, of course, but there are a few substitutes that also work as wraps: prosciutto, sliced sirloin, turkey bacon, beef bacon or nori seaweed. A few may require some tweaking to convert as wrapping material.
Just about anything can be wrapped — seafood, vegetables or fruit. Some items are ready to wrap as is, and some may take a little more care. You may need to cut some items into smaller portions; and you may need to blanch some hardier vegetables. The only constant is bacon, but it is not an exact science; try to think about how long the bacon will take to cook to your preferred doneness to judge if your wrappable should be precooked or not.
Oysters, scallops, sliced catfish, shrimp, clams, etc.
Most seafood will benefit from seasoning before wrapping; parcook larger pieces before wrapping.
Asparagus, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, sweet potatoes, zucchini, squash, butternut squash, tomatoes, etc.
Most vegetables should be blanched in salted water, then seasoned after wrapping with bacon.
Peaches, plums, figs, nectarines, apples, pears, pineapple, etc.
Fruits do not need to be parcooked. Since most fruits are fairly porous, they will benefit from seasoning before and after wrapping.