Tag Archives: bacon

Bacon-wrapped chicken with sage

Bacon-wrapped chicken with sage

Bacon Sage Chicken

Here’s a twist on the classic chicken/veal/beef “saltimbocca” that replaces the Italian prosciutto with bacon. I also added an extra kick of flavor using Stubb’s Texas Butter Injectable Marinade before wrapping and cooking the chicken. It’s as easy as inject, wrap, sear in a pan and finish baking in the oven. The marinade is optional, but I recommend giving it a try as it adds flavor to the inside of the chicken breasts and help ensure that they don’t dry out when cooked.

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Spice up your Thanksgiving sides: BBQ roasted Brussels sprouts with bacon

Spice up your Thanksgiving sides: BBQ roasted Brussels sprouts with bacon

Secret ingredient: BBQ spice rub

Roasted Brussels sprouts are one of my very favorite side dishes, especially for Thanksgiving. This recipe gives a twist to this classic dish with the addition of barbecue rub, which doesn’t solely have to be used to add flavor to meats — rubs can also be used as an all-purpose spice mixture to jazz up side dishes. Many contain various blends of dried chilies, dry mustard, cumin, salt, pepper and other spices that can add a flavorful kick to your food. (I’ll even sprinkle barbecue rub on my scrambled eggs for breakfast!)

For this recipe, I used Stubb’s Bar-B-Q Rub which contains a mix of smoked salt, paprika and black pepper. It pairs perfectly with the crisp, smoky bacon in the dish.
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Does bacon make everything better?: Rogue Ales’ Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Ale

Does bacon make everything better?: Rogue Ales’ Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Ale

Bacon maple doughnut in a glass

Rogue Ales recently teamed up with Portland’s legendary Voodoo Doughnut (the bakery that became infamous by foodie travel shows for their odd doughnut flavors) to create a limited-release beer that pays homage to Voodoo’s Bacon Maple Bar — a raised yeast doughnut topped with maple frosting and crispy bacon. Containing a baker’s dozen number of ingredients (13), the smoked malts, Applewood bacon and natural maple flavoring and are the stars in this smoked ale. The bubblegum pink bomber bottle (750 ml; $13) sports Voodoo’s signature color and logo, setting itself apart from Rogue’s typically brown bottles.

The 5.6% ABV Voodoo pours a dark amber color with a light head that dissipates fairly quickly. At first whiff, there’s a ton of smokiness with a slight hint of maple syrup. Some said their noses were hit with a huge wave of maple or have even smelled Eggo waffles and syrup, but I blame that on the power of suggestion or their preconceived expectations. This is a smoke monster and not much else comes through on the nose.
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Opposites attract in sweet and salty Maple-Bacon Kettle Corn

Opposites attract in sweet and salty Maple-Bacon Kettle Corn

Chocolate is très cliché and cupcakes are so passé. With Valentine’s Day looming on the horizon, many of you might be racking your brain with ideas for treats to give to your sweetie, but think twice before choosing one of the aforementioned sweets. Think outside the box a little and go for something a little less traditional this year: Maple-bacon kettle corn.

As the old adage “opposites attract” holds true in many relationships, the saying also proves accurate when combining the basic tastes of sweet and salty. Plus, not everyone is a fan of the typical Valentines fare of chocolates and super sugary candy. The slightly sweet, caramelized sugar covered popcorn studded with bits of crispy bacon is sure to satisfy both your sweet tooth and your sweetheart’s salty palate.

And, believe it or not, you can make popcorn without using a microwave. As I’ve come to find, popcorn made on the stove top (as this recipe is) is a thousand times better than the bagged stuff with powdered butter that you nuke the heck out of and it’s incredibly simple to prepare. All you need is a large pot with a lid, popcorn kernels, oil and a few minutes of your time. It’ll be another milestone you can check off your bucket list.

I recommend using a cast iron dutch oven if you have one — either enameled or not — because cast iron evenly transfers heat around whatever you’re cooking. Thus, it will cook faster and more evenly and you’re less likely to have a mess of scorched sugar on the bottom of your pot when making plain popcorn or kettle corn.

Now if you’re not a fan of bacon or don’t eat it because of dietary or religious reasons, simply omit it and use all canola or vegetable oil for this recipe and add a little more salt to the pot. You could also score a bottle of Bacon Salt seasoning to still get the flavor of the original, pork-laden recipe (and, believe it or not, Bacon Salt is vegan). And for a more caramel-flavored kettle corn, use brown sugar in place of white.

Use this popcorn recipe as a base (with or without the sugar) and experiment with different flavors and seasonings: Parmesan and truffle oil, cocoa powder and cinnamon, chipotle powder and cumin, vanilla sugar and rosemary — the list goes on. Just keep the popcorn to oil ratio the same and you can’t go wrong.

Now get popping! (Warning: this recipe is highly addictive.)
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Tasty trends: Food and drink predictions for 2012

Tasty trends: Food and drink predictions for 2012

Will gourmet doughnuts overtake the cupcake craze this year? (Pictured: bacon-maple "Flying Pig" doughnut from Gourdough's food truck in Austin. Credit: pagetx via Flickr.)

That gold, strapless cocktail dress adorned with feathers that Versace put on the runway last season will almost assuredly be reproduced by both high- and low-end designers this year, to be seen everywhere from small boutiques to Forever 21. Just like that celebrity chef’s gourmet doughnut shop in Manhattan, which will spur a monomania for sweet, yeast-risen breakfast treats topped with everything from bacon to squid.

Food and dining trends, like those in fashion, are predicted — or determined — every year by the trade’s influencers. Big-name and up-and-coming chefs, large food companies, restaurant consulting firms and even Food Network are the main culprits.

So what’s the buzz for the next 12 months?
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Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf: You’ll never want mom’s again

Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf: You’ll never want mom’s again

bacon_meatloaf

You know how everyone claims that their mom makes the best meatloaf and no one else’s can compare to it? I would have agreed with that, until I found this recipe for bacon-wrapped meatloaf. The classic comfort dish that is meatloaf and delicious salty bacon combine to make a juicy, meaty, melt-in-your-mouth taste explosion. Hungry yet? Read on.

This version of meatloaf was actually a collaboration and experiment by myself and my guinea pig/willing victim (a.k.a.: boyfriend) one Sunday afternoon. The idea was to make a better version of standard meatloaf, but how? What would elevate it from a simple comfort food to one sexy hunk of meat? And then the idea was born: Read the rest of this entry

Is this what heaven looks like?: Bacon-dark chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting

Is this what heaven looks like?: Bacon-dark chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting

Here’s an oldie but a goodie from my recipe arsenal that I created a few years ago (and please excuse the bad pic, as it was before I knew anything about food photography). These bacon-dark chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting are one of my most requested recipes, so here it is. It’s also one of the recipes I made during one of my regular cooking spots on Studio 10 (watch the video here titled “A Birthday Treat with a Twist”).

I will confess that I cheated a bit on this one — I used cake mix from a box. (Gasp!) Baking cakes and pastries completely from scratch has not always been my forte (actually, my worst subject in school). They’re so fussy to make and easy to screw up, and I hate measuring out ingredients. I take the Rachael Ray approach to cooking: a palmful of this, a pinch of that, etc. Bottom line: you can’t mess up with cake mix and I had my reputation relying on these — no room for error. At least I made the peanut butter frosting from scratch, thus redeeming my honor.

The rich chocolate and smoky bacon marry beautifully and are enhanced even more by the sweet and salty peanut butter frosting. This is definitely a ‘must try’, whether it be in cupcake, cookie, or bar form. And if you don’t eat bacon, your loss.
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Chocolate + bacon = candy bar heaven

Chocolate + bacon = candy bar heaven

What is it about bacon that we love? It seems the food world has had an obsession with it lately, from bacon vodka, to Bacon Salt, to the infamous Bacon Explosion. But have you ever thought of pairing bacon with something on the sweeter side? What about bacon in candy?

I dared to go there when I purchased the Mo’s Bacon Bar. I had read about it before on the trusty food porn sites that I peruse and salivate over daily, but had never seen it in stores. “Bacon and chocolate?”, I thought, “What a great combination!” I love the pairing of sweet and salty in food – like SnoCaps and popcorn at the movie theater – and I am a bacon fanatic. This was also the item that spawned the idea for my Chocolate Bacon Cupcakes. I was bound and determined to find this candy bar.
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