Barbecue brings 'em together

Led by Chili Dave, family travels to statewide competitions

Led by Chili Dave, family travels to statewide competitions

July 29, 2007|By TIFFANY ARNOLD

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - In the Rollses' household, the most peaceful sound is the sizzle of pork fat dripping onto an open flame.

Led by dad, Dave Rolls (aka Chili Dave), 41, the family of four travels the state competing in barbecue contests. Barbecue is what brings family members together.

The family is preparing for the upcoming New Holland SummerFest BBQ Competition & Bike Ride in New Holland, Pa., at the end of August. Each family member plans to enter a dish, Dave Rolls said.

Even the youngest of the three Rolls children, 9-year-old Jarett, can make a beef brisket - one with his own secret rub. Hollister, the 10-year-old daughter, makes barbecue chicken with apple juice, honey and a pinch of cinnamon.


"If we could just get them to clean up the way I'd like, we'd have it made," said mom Niccole Rolls, 35, who said she was the only non-cook in the house.

When family members aren't competing, they're at home cooking in the kitchen, often under Daddy Rolls' guidance.

"It's nothing for everybody to be in the kitchen cooking - me sitting at the table reading a paper, of course," said mom.

The grill wasn't flaming during a recent visit to the family home, but there was plenty of heat going on in the kitchen. Rolls was making stuffed jalapeos, a dish he likes to serve at barbecues or other get-togethers.

Jalapeos are cored and stuffed with a mixture of spicy Italian sausage, cilantro, red pepper and cheese, though Rolls said people can use anything they want for the stuffing. He also recommends wearing rubber gloves when handling the peppers.

The stuffed peppers are then wrapped with bacon, poked through with a toothpick and popped in the oven for about an hour.

The end result: an appetizing pepper of reasonable spiciness - not like eating a raw jalapeo on a dare, for example.

Dave Rolls shares his jalapeo recipe and talks barbecue from his Waynesboro home during a recent interview with The Herald-Mail:

Q&A with Dave and Niccole Rolls

Q: So what's your favorite kind of barbecue?

Dave: Oh, I like it all. I like St. Louis, I like Kansas City. Not sure about North Carolina, that's just vinegar and hot sauce. But nothing's better than a good old Texas brisket.

Q: You do all this cooking. Why not start a restaurant? Or cater?

Niccole: We've looked into what it would take to be caterers, but there's licenses and they'd never let us cook with the dog in the house. (She was referring to the family dog, Leo, who was sniffing the kitchen floor for crumbs during the interview.)

Dave: Then it would become work. Now, it's relaxing for me. It's nothing for us to have 50 or 60 people in at the house for a barbecue.

Q: What kinds of things do you barbecue?

Dave: I don't do burgers and dogs really well. I can cook them, I just don't like them ... it's the same amount of money, if not less, to put on a big hunk of meat.

Q: You mentioned you are a professional photographer.

Dave: Yeah. I work over at Fort Dietrich (in Frederick, Md.) now. I used to be a photographer for NASCAR. I used to hang out with the guys cooking ... while we were processing images, we were cooking steaks.

Q: Did you grow up cooking?

Dave: My grandmother got me into cooking. I used to help her make pies and jelly rolls, stuff like that. It was just kind of cool. I used to cook for my roommates in college, too. We would eat like kings.

Stuffed Jalapeos

1 pound any variety sausage
1 pound any variety shredded cheese
1 16-ounce jar of sweet red peppers or pimentos
4 cloves of garlic, minced coarsely
Cilantro to taste
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
24 jalapeo peppers
1 pound of bacon, sliced lengthwise

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Brown the sausage and allow it to cool. Place the sausage, cheese, red peppers, garlic, cilantro, salt and pepper into a food processor. Blend until well mixed.

Wear rubber gloves to handle jalapeos. Chop off the tops of the jalapeos. Core the peppers and poke a hole in the bottoms using a toothpick or skewer. Soak the peppers in water for at least five minutes to rinse away any remaining seeds.

Stuff the peppers by hand. Wrap a slice of bacon around the center of each pepper and secure with a toothpick.

Place the peppers on a baking rack. Rolls uses one specially designed for baking jalapeos that holds the peppers upright so grease drains (these are available online).

Bake for an hour, or until jalapeos reach desired texture.

- Courtesy of Dave Rolls of Waynesboro, Pa.

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