Posts Tagged bacon
Here it is. The post that only took nearly 6 months to write. Ha. Looking back at the blog, I can see where the posts slowed down during my pregnancy due to nausea and exhaustion, which led to the reduction in my cooking; that and the fact that all I really wanted to eat was hotdogs and potato chips. And when Norah was first born, cooking was the furthest thing from my mind; hell, I would have forgot to eat if our family and friends didn’t feed us – so the posts just stopped all together. But in the past few months, we’ve started to get a grip on being parents to Norah, and I have thought of numerous recipe ideas, and I’ve even cooked up a few things and snapped a few photos along the way. However, each day that passed without actually writing and posting something felt like it brought more and more pressure to write the most amazing recipe and post of my life. Then I finally gave my head a shake and realized no one else really cares that much, and I’m just doing that “mom” guilt thing where nothing seems good enough (why on Earth is this a thing? Seriously, after some parenting-related meltdowns, I am stunned by what I thought was a big deal mere moments ago…). Needless to say, this isn’t some thoroughly thought out recipe that took me several attempts to get just right so that you could eat the most perfect thing I’ve ever shared. No, this is a recipe for something that is quick, that basically uses pantry ingredients, and is comforting; which is exactly perfect for us at this point in our lives. Hopefully you like it too.
Oh. And one more thing: I am no longer eating strictly Gluten Free. As I had touched on in Life of George, when we were trying for a baby and having some challenges, I had gone to a naturopath to see if there was anything she could recommend (since the medical field here in Canada does not do any investigating unless a couple has 3 miscarriages or has had difficulty conceiving for 1 full year). When she suggested that I may have an intolerance for gluten and that I should refrain from consuming it for at least one full year (or until after we had a baby) I was fairly upset by the news at the time, but the end result was obviously worth it! The naturopath mentioned that 1 of 3 things could happen in that timeframe: 1) after giving birth, the hormone changes may also change the way my body processes gluten, and therefore I could potentially eat it again without any issues; 2) just giving up gluten for at least one year and allowing my body to “heal” from the damages it had done may mean I could eat it again without any pain; or 3) I will always have an intolerance for gluten (or potentially Celiac Disease) and would never be able to eat it again. Luckily, after Norah was born, I have found I’ve been able to eat gluten without any cramping, headaches, or lethargy (okay…maybe I can’t really tell if it’s making me lethargic because I’ve been exhausted most days regardless…). So, I realize that the blog has been gluten free for over a year now, and that a number of you have started to follow the site because you are also living gluten free, but potentially there will now be recipes showing up that contain gluten. However, most dishes we make are easily adapted to be gluten free (such as this one I’m sharing today – just swap in your favourite GF pasta), and I’m sure there will continue to be many dishes that don’t contain gluten; so hopefully this will still be a site you can enjoy. But, if a bunch of you decide to jump ship and stop reading, no hard feelings. I have enjoyed discovering how to eat and enjoy food without devouring all my gluten-filled favourites, and I thank you all for joining me. Now it’s time for me to tuck into some real pasta…
Adapted from Tyler’s Ultimate by Tyler Florence
Tyler’s recipe for Carbonara doesn’t include mushrooms, but I am a sucker for mushrooms and bacon combined in a pasta dish, so they inevitably get included in my creamy carbonara, even it’s a a tad untraditional. Tyler’s recipe also includes whole eggs, not just the yolks like I have decided to use. But I can not bring my self to consciously eat raw egg whites other than maybe a 7 minute meringue. I’m sure people have snuck them into some Caesar dressing I’ve eaten, but it’s more the slimy texture I am afraid of, not the potential health risks. Feel free to use whole eggs if you’re so inclined.
1 Tbsp olive oil
4 slices bacon, cut crosswise into thin strips
1/2 onion, diced
1 cup crimini mushrooms, sliced
1/2 tsp salt & 1/4 tsp pepper
2 large egg yolks
3 Tbsp half & half cream
1/4 cup parmesan, freshly grated
1/2 lb linguine (or any pasta of your choice; clearly gluten free if you want this to be GF)
Prepare a pot of boiling, salted water and cook linguine according to directions. Save 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking liquid before draining.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and onion, and cook until the onion has started to caramelize, about 2-3 minutes. Add the mushrooms to the pan and season with salt and pepper; continue cooking until mushrooms are soft and the bacon is cooked to your desired level of crispness (I like mine with a little bit of chew left in it), this will take another 5-6 minutes. While the bacon,onions, and mushrooms are cooking, place the egg yolks, cream and parmesan into a large serving bowl (one you’ll serve the past in) and whisk together. Pour the bacon, onion, and any cooking fat into the bowl with the egg mixture and stir to combine.
Add the reserved 1/4 cup of pasta cooking liquid and the cooked linguine to the bowl with the bacon and egg mixture. Toss everything together, then cover with a plate or pan for about 5 minutes until the pasta has set. Have a quick taste and add additional salt and pepper if necessary.
I’m fairly certain this happens every year around this time, but I have had very little motivation to write or even be indoors sitting at a computer. With our short summer season, everyone up here in the North tends to try to squeeze every last ounce out of the warm, sunny days. And now that we also have to take some time to engage in planning for a new addition to the family, I find I have just a little less time now for blogging. But I have lots I want to write about and enjoy the process, so I’m taking some time this morning before the sun really heats up the air to share a tasty summer side with you.
This (not-so-good-for-you) potato dish is inspired by one of my close friends, who I have been thinking of a lot lately. She made a variation of this last year when we were all camping – and I must admit that I preferred it to the slow-charcoal-grilled steaks that were serves alongside them. I must have devoured nearly a pound of potatoes that night. I could recall exactly what she put in them – and I’m sure it was the fact that we were eating them outdoors, after a long day of lounging in the sun with icy beverages and good friends – but these are my closest approximation of her delicious potato side.
Barbecued Chipotle Bacon Potatoes
Inspired by Shannon Damaskine
Note: Obviously these could be made over a campfire or even in your oven. If you’re doing over a campfire, just try to put it on an area with indirect heat – otherwise the flames may burn your potatoes before they’re cooked. And if using the oven, cook the potatoes at 425ºF for approximately 45 minutes. You can also use all butter or all olive oil on the potatoes … or even better: use the fat from the bacon you cooked.
2.5 lbs yukon gold potatoes
1 small onion, sliced
6-8 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 tsp garlic powder
1-2 tsp chipotle chili powder (use less if you don’t want them too spicy, more if you can handle the heat)
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp butter
Preheat your BBQ to medium. Lay out a large sheet of aluminum foil on the counter.
Scrub the potatoes, then slice then in half vertically. Cut each half into thin slices (approximately 1/8″ thick). Combine the potatoes and the remaining ingredients in a small bowl or on the aluminum foil. Wrap the potato mix tightly in the aluminum foil, making sure that all the edges are sealed tightly. (I’m sure there’s some art to this, but I’m really terrible at judging the amount of foil I need for a pack of potatoes – so I always end up using two sheets of aluminum foil. Probably better to go with 2 small packets instead).
Roast the potatoes on the BBQ for approximately 45 minutes or until cooked through, turning the package from time-to-time to prevent the potatoes from burning.
So it’s the week leading up to Superbowl Sunday. And everyone is currently sharing their go-to snack dishes du jour. I thought about giving you a scrumptious tiny dish you could eat with one hand, while never taking your eyes off the
game commercials. (Let’s get real: 85% of us are watching the game for the commercials) But then I thought about all the recipes that get neglected this week. Namely breakfast. It seems like something that’s frequently forgotten. I speak to numerous people who eat a granola bar on the way to their car in the morning; or who simply skip breakfast altogether (how. do. you. live?). I don’t understand why people never take the time to really consider what they are ingesting in the morning, let alone search out and make delicious recipes to devour before starting your day. I guess I was guilty of this as a teenager: I used to be one to grab a shake or pop tart before starting school for the day … but I barely made it to lunch without the giant head nods in class; running low on energy before stuffy a greasy, nutrient-deficient piece of pizza in my gullet.
Now I know better. Plus I couldn’t make it an hour into my day without munching on something protein and carb filled. My legs would go weak; my head would go foggy; and my stomach would feel as though it was eating itself from the inside out. Oh; and then the Hulk-Rage would come out (want more info on this? Ask my nearest, and dearest … Kyle used to carry an emergency snack-pack to ward off this hunger induced rage ). Once I became more in tune with my physiology and what my body was trying to say, I eat excellent breakfasts nearly every day. Smoothies chock full of fruit, almond milk, and chia seeds; eggs with tomatoes and avocado on toast; protein bars filled with oats, dried fruit, nuts, and peanut butter. And then there’s the weekend. Oh joy! When breakfast turns to brunch. When laid back mornings turn into near lunch-time escapades in the kitchen; the stomach slightly quieted by a small bowl of yogurt while Kyle and I putter around each other (because breakfast making is always a a loving waltz in our home).
This hash would be a perfect part of your post-Superbowl morning. After a few too many beers and far too much spinach dip. A dish that just greasy enough to fuel your appetite, but is also healthy enough to counter-act the previous evenings indulgence. The sweet potato is soft on the inside, with a crispy, porky exterior. There isn’t tons of bacon, but just enough to feel satisfying. The best part: this tastes just as delicious re-heated the following day; so you can whip up a batch early Sunday to enjoy Monday morning. Top this off with a fried egg or two, and you have yourself a breakfast fit for a football champion.
Sweet Potato & Bacon Hash
1 large sweet potato (about 1 lb)
4 slices of bacon, chopped
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 small onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 Tbsp fresh chives, chopped
Cut sweet potato in half, then peel. Cut each half into 1″ thick slices. Place the slices of sweet potato into a pot of water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water (unless you have hands of steel and can man-handle the hot potato). Cut the 1″ slices of sweet potato into 1″ strips. Then cut the strips into bite-size cubes. Set aside.
Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a heavy bottom saute pan or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Once the bacon is crisp; remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Place the butter in the pan, and once melted, add the onion and garlic. Cook until the onion is translucent (approximately 3-5 minutes). Add the cubed sweet potato, thyme, salt and pepper. Stir everything to combine, then get the sweet potatoes into a single layer and allow to fry for 2-3 minutes, then flip/stir and allow to fry for another 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally. When the sweet potato are crisped up to your liking, add in the reserved bacon, stir everything together, then remove from heat. Top with the chopped chives.
Serves 4. Delicious served with an egg or two cooked to your liking – I like mine over-easy; Kyle takes his over-medium.
I know it’s cliché to talk about the weather, but it’s flipping cold here. It has been hovering around -40°C …. before windchill. Everyday it seems like the cold has slithered it’s way into my bones, and I can’t seem to get rid of the chill. And it’s only the middle of January. Brother …. We’ve still got about 2 months left of this. So when I was planning the meals for the week over the weekend, I wanted hearty, comforting, steaming-hot dishes that would hopefully warm us up each day. Chili, Stews and Soups were the obvious choice. I figured I would see what I had posted in the past on these subjects. And this gazpacho was it. And I wasn’t about to make a cold soup.
I’m slightly embarrassed that the “Soups & Stews” section of the Recipe Index is so pitiful. We make soups, stews, and chili all the time; how could I have not blogged about it? I suppose they are rarely pretty things to look at following all that slow simmering. We’re typically left with a bowl of brown on the table; not visually appealing. Or maybe I didn’t post any recipes because chili and stew are my quick, go-to meals, so I didn’t want to take the time to measure out my ingredients in order to share with you – how selfish of me. After realizing that I couldn’t rely on myself for some wintery bowls of body warming goodness, I opened up my Pinterest account and perused my food boards. A particularly creamy and thick looking soup caught my eye. Then I read that it contained bacon and I was sold. However, the original recipe contains gluten in the form of flour; and I also wanted to make this in the slow cooker, as we had Puppy Obedience Class the evening we planned on eating it. So zero time for whipping up food after work; unless of course we wanted to shovel in our dinners at rapid speed. Not appealing. A little adapting, and this recipe is now good for non-gluten eaters and for those looking for a fairly no-fuss meal they can throw in the slow cooker. Stay warm everyone!
Slowcooker Chicken, Bacon & Wild Rice Soup
Adapted from pinch of yum
1 lb chicken breast
1 bunch green onions (about 6)
4 cups chicken stock
2 cups water – divided
1/2 cup wild rice
1 tsp herbes de provence
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 cup heavy cream
6 slices bacon
Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces. Slice the green onions. Place both in the crock of your slow cooker. Pour in the chicken stock and 1 cup of water, along with the wild rice, herbes de provence, salt and pepper. Stir everything to combine. Cook on high for 5 hours or on low for 8-10 hours.
An hour before you are ready to eat, stir in the heavy cream and the remaining 1 cup of water. Before you do this, the “soup” is going to look fairly thick, and not very appealing. Trust me. It will be delicious and even look appetizing. Place the lid on the slow cooker and continue to cook on low for another hour.
Meanwhile cook the bacon until crisp (using a pan or your oven). Crumble the bacon, then stir it into the soup after the cream has cooked for 1 hour. Serve warm.
Makes approximately 8 cups of soup.