Tag Archives: Bacon

Recipe: Kale Salad with Bacon, Cranberries, and Goat Cheese by Melissa McKinnon

Ingredients:

  • 3 slices thick-sliced bacon, crumbled
  • 3 Tbsp. bacon grease, reserved from frying
  • 3 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. dry mustard
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 6 c. chopped fresh kale leaves (discard stems)
  • 1/4 c. dried cranberries
  • 1/4 c. slivered almonds
  • 1/4 c. crumbled (honeyed or plain) goat cheese (about 2 oz.)
Spaghetti with Marinara Sauce and Fresh Basil; Kale Salad with Crackers

Kale Salad with Crackers, served as a side with

Spaghetti with Marinara Sauce and Fresh Basil

Instructions:

1. Cook thick-sliced bacon over medium high heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan and pat dry with paper towels. Crumble bacon. Let bacon grease cool slightly (pour 3 Tbsp. grease into a glass bowl to help it cool faster, if desired–just don’t let it burn).

2. Prepare kale. I buy the pre-washed, pre-chopped bag of kale, but if you buy fresh, whole kale from your grocery store or farmers’ market, wash thoroughly (I recommend triple washing to remove all the grit), pat (or spin) dry, remove stems and chop as finely as desired. Set aside.

3. Whisk together vinegar, sugar, mustard, salt and pepper. Carefully pour warm grease into vinegar mixture; whisk to combine. (I do this step in the serving bowl to cut down on clean-up.)

4. Toss kale in dressing. Make sure leaves are evenly coated with dressing (use your hands–just don’t burn yourself). Then add crumbled bacon, goat cheese, cranberries and almonds and toss.

5. Serve as an appetizer, a side salad, or as dip with crackers. The combination of crunchy and creamy, tangy and sweet is fantastic! This is definitely a new family favorite! Bon Appetit!

Note: You could also add 2 Tbsp. of finely chopped red onions or scallions for a nice touch.

As an alternative, I made some this week and switched out the cranberries for some finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes, added juice from half a lemon to the dressing, and used plain goat cheese, along with the almonds and crumbled bacon, and it was a big hit! So whether you go savory or sweet, bon appetit!

Perfectly Baked Bacon

Preheat oven to 425F. Line bacon in a pan with a rim, sprinkle with a few tablespoons of brown sugar and grind McCormick’s Italian Herb Seasoning Grinder over the bacon. Cook for 10 minutes, turn over and season again, and cook for another 10, or until crisp. May take up to 25 minutes, depending on how thick the bacon is. Mom always uses Oscar Mayer Thick Cut Bacon.

If you don’t have the McCormick Italian Herb Seasoning, it contains rosemary, black pepper, crushed red pepper, dried garlic, dehydrated onion, sea salt, sun dried tomato, and parsley.

 

Recipe: Spinach Bacon Mushroom Quiche

Ingredients:

  • 5 oz. (or 1/2 bag) of frozen chopped organic spinach
  • 5 oz. (or 1/2 bag) of frozen mixed organic mushrooms
  • 1/2 lb. all-natural bacon (2 slices whole for decoration on top of the quiche; cut the rest into small pieces with kitchen shears before frying)
  • 4 all-natural large eggs
  • 2 c. organic 2% milk
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 1/4 c. shredded Farmer’s cheese (or your favorite cheese: Swiss, Cheddar or Mozzarella would also be good)
  • 1/2 recipe of perfect, flaky pie crust (find recipe here)

Instructions:

  1. Make dough. You make this ahead and chill it if you want, then roll it out when you’re ready to bake. I had 1/2 recipe left from making my chicken pot pie earlier this week, so I pulled that out of the fridge and cut it in half. I rolled out 1/2 into a 10″ round for my 9″ pie plate. Then I took the last portion and divided it into 6 equal parts, rolled them into little balls, and flattened out into about 3″ circles. I put these into a 6 muffin baking dish. (You can do this while your bacon fries, as long as you don’t have the heat up too high where it cooks too quickly.) No need to grease your pans! There’s enough grease in the dough that it won’t stick!
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Thaw spinach and mushrooms. Squeeze out excess water (I used a paper towel and strainer for this; you could use cheesecloth if you have it around).
  4. Meanwhile, cook bacon over medium heat. Don’t get it too crispy, since it will be cooked a little more as the quiche bakes. Drain on paper towel lined plate.
  5. Shred cheese (or your favorite cheese: swiss, mozzarella, or cheddar would also be nice).
  6. Whisk milk, eggs, salt, pepper, and thyme together.
  7. Assemble and bake:
  • Combine spinach, mushrooms, bacon, and cheese and disperse in each pie shell.

Shells with spinach, bacon, mushroom, and cheese (egg mixture to the side)

A Closer Look at the Filling

  • Pour egg mixture over top.

Ready for the oven!

  • Just before baking, place 2 whole pieces of bacon in a criss-cross on top of quiche.
  • Bake at 350F. The muffin pan took about 40 minutes, where as the larger quiche took 50-60 minutes. (I started the timer at 30 minutes and kept adding 5 minutes until the tops were golden brown.)

Finished Products!

  • Let cool slightly before eating.

Spinach Bacon Mushroom Quiche

I served mine with coffee, fresh strawberries and blueberries. Yum!

Waiting on the coffee... 3 place settings because my brother is in town for the weekend (he was shocked when I brought him breakfast in bed)!

Breakfast is served! My sister gave me these adorable antique tea services, perfect for today!

Bon Appetit!

Recipe: Swiss Chard with Cannellini and Orzo

Here’s what I did: I crisped 3 pieces of bacon and let them cool on paper towels. Meanwhile, I brought 2 1/2 cups of water to boil, added 2 chicken bouillon cubes, and 1 lb. of uncooked orzo. I turned it down to simmer for 10 minutes. (I had to add another 1/2 cup of water towards the end so it didn’t get too dry, but it turned out well.)

Then I trimmed the swiss chard, discarding the stems, and sauteed/steamed it in the bacon grease. It cooks down like spinach (and, quite frankly, it tasted a good bit like spinach to me). I added a drizzle of olive oil, 4 garlic cloves, 1 can of cannellini (white kidney) beans (the beans were an interesting addition), and heated everything through. I chopped up 1 roma tomato and crumbled the bacon to top our dinner.

Here's our dinner!

Bryan's - topped with crumbled bacon

Mine - with tomato and a little crumbled bacon - Yum!

Merry Christmas, Y’all (from December 26, 2009)

I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas, celebrating our Saviour Jesus Christ!

This year, I think we started (or brought back) some old traditions that will stay around for a while. We went to the Christmas Eve service at our church, then came home and fried egg rolls and had bacon wrapped water chestnuts and bacon wrapped dates, fried rice, and special Japanese soft drinks. 🙂 I think this should be a new tradition, as it was MUCH fun!

The bacon wrapped dates recipe is in a previous post. And I can’t provide the fried rice recipe, as our friends brought that. As for the bacon wrapped water chestnuts, drain the water chestnuts, then wrap 1/3 piece of bacon around each one, securing with a toothpick. Soak in soy sauce for at least an hour (overnight is recommended). Then bake with the bacon wrapped dates at 350F for 20-25 minutes. You may have to turn it to broil the last few minutes to get the bacon to crisp up. Or you can try broiling it for 15 minutes, if you’re in a hurry (this is what my mom used to do).

I went to the Asian Market this time for the ingredients for my egg rolls. They have a large selection of egg roll wrappers and all things pertaining to Oriental Cuisine (at cheaper prices than your local grocery store). We tried the rice wrappers this time. They were not as frail, but they also did not stick together as well as the flour version. We had to use an egg wash instead of just water to make them hold together after wrapping (trust me, you don’t want them falling apart in the hot oil). Prep the filling ahead of time, so you don’t have to do it all when you get home, as it can take a while. After filling the egg rolls, gently place them into hot oil (I use the long handled metal slotted spoon to place them in and pull them out) and gently flip them until crisp and/or golden brown. Some fry up faster than others, so you have to keep an eye on them. Drain on paper towels. Serve with your favorite dipping sauces (soy sauce, duck sauce, plum sauce, chili sauce, or hot mustard).

Egg Roll Filling:
Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a wok or large skillet. Add 2 cloves of garlic, 1 tsp. of grated ginger root, 1 lb. ground turkey (or pork) and cook till meat is no longer pink. Meanwhile, chop finely or shred 5 shallots, 1 c. carrots, 1 1/2 c. cabbage, and 1/2 c. to 1 c. of water chestnuts (buy a large can at the Asian Market and use the rest for the bacon wraps above). When meat is brown, add veggies to heat along with 1/4 c. soy sauce, and let veggies soften. Remove from heat and set aside (in fridge if longer than 1 hour ahead of time). When ready, spoon 1 Tbsp. filling into each wrapper, fold in sides, then roll from bottom to top (away from you), securing with egg wash (whisk 1 egg and brush between layers of wrapper so they stick). You can wrap them straight on, so the edge is a straight line, or you can start with a diamond shape, so you have a V on the outside for a little extra aesthetic interest. Either way, they taste wonderful.

After dinner, we sat around and chatted for a while (letting the food settle) before turning on the traditional Alastair Sim’s version of The Christmas Carol. My husband, Bryan, talked me into putting the first, smaller batch of homemade cinnamon rolls into the oven (prepped for Christmas morning). And his brother convinced me we needed coffee to go with them. I told him my mom used to make cinnamon rolls on Christmas Eve to bake for Christmas morning’s breakfast. Bryan said that’s a Christmas tradition we should keep (though I think I’ll make a smaller batch next time).

We woke on Christmas morning, and had a wonderful breakfast of cinnamon rolls, hot tea, scrambled eggs with Havarti cheese, and turkey sausage links. Bryan read the Christmas story from chapter 2 of the Gospel of Luke, and his brother read “The Gift of Gifts” prayer from The Valley of Vision. We opened stockings, and prepared to go to my husband’s parents’ house for a Christmas feast and gift exchange.

Merry Christmas to all!