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There Is Only Bacon!

Brown Sugar Bacon!

Ingredients:
Thick-cut bacon as needed
Brown sugar as needed – I use light brown sugar but it’s up to you.
Optional: Cayenne pepper & coarse black pepper, maple syrup
Directions:
Pre-heat oven to 375°
If you have a large enough pan with edges, just line it with foil.
If not, make an aluminum foil ‘pan’ with edges folded up to prevent
drippings from running out and put it on a baking sheet.
(To be safe, I usually make a 2nd foil ‘pan’ for the shelf below. I hate to mess up my oven).
Cover foil with brown sugar, need not be thick, just enough to cover.
Lay down bacon
Optional: Sprinkle LIGHTLY with pepper if desired.
Sprinkle brown sugar on top to cover bacon.
Optional: Drizzle a LITTLE maple syrup over bacon.
Bake about 20-25 minutes.
Let cool.

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Bacon Cheese Hot Dogs
Since it’s baseball season…

Cook your bacon however you do it & drain it. I nuke it on paper towels for 2 1/2 mins, then 1 1/2 on fresh towels. Time is adjustable, depending on thickness of bacon & quantity and the microwave (mine is 850 watts).
Grill your hot dogs as usual.
Lay a strip of bacon in the bottom of the hot dog bun, add a strip of cheese.
I like PepperJack, wife likes Swiss,kids like cheddar. Suit yourself.
Add Sabretts Onion Sauce.
Add the hot dog,
Add relish, mustard, ketchup, BBQ sauce or any combination thereof, to taste.

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Chocolate Bacon
Couldn’t be simpler

As many 8″x8″ sheets of waxed paper as needed.
Cook and drain your bacon. Should be crisp.
Set aside a few pieces to crumble to small bits.
Put canning jar filled with your chocolate into a pot of hot water and bring to boil.
I prefer Ghiradelli Semi-Sweet – use whatever chocolate or combo you like.
Stir until chocolate it thorougly melted; remove jar from pot.
Dip bacon strips in the melted chocolate and move to waxed paper to cool.
Lay a few slices on a sheet of paper on a plate, cover with another sheet, etc.
Spoon leftover chocolate onto waxed paper.
Optional: Dust with powdered sugar or cake sprinkles.
Sprinkle bacon bits on top.
Chill the coated bacon strips and wafers.
Warning: They seem to mysteriously disappear. Refrigerator gnomes?

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Bacon Butter

Fry two slices of bacon, drain and save the drippings.
Chop bacon.
Blend a stick of butter with bacon drippings and 2 Tblsp of maple syrup.
Stir in the chopped bacon.
Butter will be softened by mixing, so should be chilled again afterwards.

Goes great on a toasted onion bagel or on baked potatoes.

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Corn and Bacon Casserole:

6 bacon strips
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspooon pepper
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
3-1/2 cups fresh or frozen whole kernel corn
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon minced chives

In a large skillet, cook bacon until crisp.
Drain, reserving 2 tablespoon of drippings. Crumble bacon; set aside.
Saute onion in drippings until tender.
Add flour, garlic, salt and pepper.
Cook and stir until bubbly; cook and stir 1 minute more.
Remove from heat and stir in sour cream until smooth.
Add corn, parsley and half of the bacon; mix well.
Pour into a 1-qt. baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining bacon.
Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until heated through.
Sprinkle with chives.
Yield: 6-8 servings.

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Honey Pecan Bacon Bars

Idea sparked by earlier note from Tina (h/t), tested by my grandchildren. 🙂

Ingredients:
12 oz. can Pillsbury refrigerated crescent rolls.
1 cup chopped pecans.
3-4 slices bacon, cooked crisp, let cool.
2/3 cup honey.
1/4 tsp cinnamon.
1/2 cup sugar.
3 tsp butter (1 1/2 tblsp), melted.
1 tsp vanilla.
1 egg beaten.

Pre-heat oven to 350°
Unroll dough, spread out in 9×13 pan,
press in bottom of pan and 1/2″ up sides
seal the sections together.
(May not require all of the dough, but 6 oz can is insufficient,
unless you spread the dough very thinly. I prefer thicker dough).
Poke with fork to make small holes to let the mixture seep into dough.

Bake for 7 minutes, and while it’s baking:
Crumble bacon to small bits and melt the butter.
Mix honey, sugar, vanilla, melted butter, bacon & beaten egg.

Remove pan from oven, pour mixture into crust, spread evenly.
Bake approximately 12-14 minutes until crust is golden brown.
Cool completely.
Cut into 16 bars.
Best if made a day or even two days in advance.

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S’MORE BACON!

In case you have never had or heard of a smores:

Bacon S’mores
Ingredients

2 graham crackers, broken in half crosswise into four squares
1 slice apple-wood or cherry-wood smoked bacon, cooked and sliced in half crosswise
2 thin (2-inches each) squares of milk chocolate
2 large marshmallows (*see note below)

Preparation

Prepare a low fire in a charcoal grill or hibachi.
As the coals heat, lay a piece of the cooked bacon on each of two
of the graham cracker squares.
Lay a square of chocolate on each of the bacon halves. Set aside.
Toast the marshmallows over the charcoal using a thin long stick
or a long-handled fork until they are lightly browned on all sides
with a soft center.
Place one hot, toasted marshmallow on each of the chocolate
squares and cover with the remaining graham crackers.
Press down on the S’mores lightly to hold the sandwiches together.
Let set a few seconds to allow the marshmallow to melt into the
chocolate, then enjoy!
Recipe from NYT

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How To Baconify Your Bourbon

“Why would you want to put bacon in your bourbon?
If you have to ask, this isn’t the post for you”.

A 750 ml bottle (fifth) of good bourbon.
I drink Old Charter when I can find it.
The best smoked bacon you can find.
Fry 3-4 slices of bacon.
Retain a ounce or so of the rendered fat, let cool but not solidify.
Do whatever you like with the bacon. You’ll think of something. 😀
Pour the fat and the bourbon in a glass jar and let sit to taste.
Several hours to a few days.
Put jar in freezer overnight.
Fat will congeal and is easily removed/strained.
Strain thru coffee filter if desired.
Rebottle it.

Benton’s Old-Fashioned
2 oz. Bacon Bourbon
1/4 oz. Maple Syrup.
2 dashes Angostura bitters.
Stir with ice and serve on the rocks. Garnish with twist of orange.

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Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeño Poppers

Ingredients:
20 large jalapeños (about 1 pound)
halved & seeded
2 strips bacon (about 1 pound), cut in half
1 pound cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp chopped chives
1/4 tsp cayenne
Kosher salt and fresh-ground pepper to taste

Directions:
Arrange oven rack about 4″ from broiler
& heat broiler to high.
Place jalapeño halves cut side edown on foil-lined baking sheet
broil until just softened; 3-5 minutes; set aside.
Place bacon on another baking sheet,
broil until fat is rendered and bacon half-cooked; set aside.
Turn oven to 425°.
Mix cheses, cayenne, salt & pepper in bowl.
Spoon about 1 tbsp filling into each jalapeño half.
Wrap eahc with strip of bacon, secure with toothpick.
Return to baking sheet and bake until bacon is crisp & filling melted;
10-12 minutes

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Bacon Pie

Ingredients:
12 slices of bacon
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1/3 cup chopped onion
2 cups milk
4 eggs
1 cup baking mix, like Bisquick
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

Preparation:
Heat oven to 400°.
Grease a 10-inch glass pie plate.
Put bacon in large skillet over medium-high heat,
turning occasionally until evenly browned, about 10 minutes.
Pat dry on paper towels and crumble the bacon.
Sprinkle bacon, cheese & onion into pie plate
In medium bowl, combine milk, eggs, baking mix & pepper; stir with fork until blended.
Pour mix into pie.
Bake 35-40 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.

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Bacon Cups

Bacon as needed – each cup takes 5 strips, allow for some breakage.
Muffin tin – peferably for large muffins or cupcakes.
Taking into account that bacon will shrink as it cooks, the basic idea can be used with larger moulds to make bowls.

Set oven at 400°
Foil over bottom of muffin pan.
Weave bacon per photo.
3 around the sides, two over the top.
Should bake up crisp in about 25 minutes – keep a close eye on it.
Cookie sheet with rim on lower shelf, to catch dripping fat.
Watch carefully for flame..
Let cool completely before removing each from muffin tin.
Fill with salad, fruit, chocolates – whatever.

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Beer & Bacon Pecan Bars

Combining my love of pecans and bacon.
Add beer, and what’s not to like?

For the crust:
1 stick + 2 tbsp (10 tbsp) unsalted butter
2 cups flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp water

For the filling:
1 cup stout
1 stick butter
2 cups chopped pecans
2 cups brown sugar (light?)
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 heavy cream
2 eggs
5 strips bacon, cooked and chopped

Preparation:
Preheat oven to 350°
In food processor, a flour, 1/4 cup brown sugar, salt
Pulse to combine
Cut butter into cubes, add to food processor
Process until butter is mixed in
Add water and process to combine
Add more water 1 tsp at a time if there is undampened flour

Line 9×13 baking pan with parchment paper (easier to remove from pan)
Dump the mix into the pan. Press into bottom of pan in one even layer

Bake at 350° for 12 minutes or until light golden brown.
Allow to cool thoroughly

In pot over medium heat, add stout, cook until reduced by half
Add butter, stir until melted
Remove from heat
Add sugar, pecans, cream, corn syrup & stir until melted
Once mixture cools to room temperature, add eggs and stir to combine
Pour filling over crust, sprinkle with chopped bacon
Bake at 350° until fill no longer jiggles when you gently shake pan, about 24-30 minutes
Let cool and cut into bars

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Bacon Infused Vodka

Ingredients:
1 package bacon
26 ounces vodka
2 large Mason jars
Fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth and funnel

Fry bacon in a non-stick pan on low heat until nicely crisp but not charred. Pour fat from the pan into a heat-safe glass bowl. Remove bacon strips and put them on a plate that’s covered with a paper towel. Let stand for five minutes.

Pour vodka into a large mason jar. When bacon has cooled slightly, add strips into the Mason jar with the vodka. Pour bacon fat into the jar as well. Let jar stand at room temperature for four hours and stir mixture every hour. Remove the bacon strips (but not the fat).

Put the jar into the freezer overnight. The fat will solidify and rise to the top, scrape as much fat out of the jar as possible. Using a fine-mesh strainer pour vodka from one jar to a new empty mason jar. The strainer should catch lots of bacon fat and debris. Once finished, clean out the original jar used. Strain the vodka one more time into the now clean and empty Mason jar. And then you are done!

Now that you have the flavored vodka…
Bacon Bloody Mary

11/2 oz. Bacon Infused Vodka in a pint glass filled with ice.
Fill glass with tomato juice
1 dash each of celery salt and ground black pepper
2-4 dashes each of Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco
Shake and pour into a salt rimmed pint glass. Garnish with a celery stalk and bacon!

* * *

Jack London’s Bacon and Tomato Baked Risotto

8 plum tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1/4 pound bacon, in a 1/2-inch dice
1 yellow onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
2 cups Arborio rice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, plus three springs for garnish
4 1/4 cups chicken stock, heated
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Freshly ground pepper, to taste

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a roasting pan with aluminum foil.
Season tomatoes with salt to taste and spread out on prepared pan.
Roast until the edges of the skins are browned but not burned, 10 to 12 minutes.
Remove from oven and set aside. Reduce oven temperate to 375°F.

2. In a large Dutch oven or heavy oven-safe saucepan with a lid, brown bacon over medium heat, then remove from pan and set aside, reserving bacon fat.
Add onion and green pepper to bacon fat and sauté until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.

3. Add rice, chopped thyme, and 1 teaspoon salt.
Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until rice is shiny and translucent, about 3 minutes.

4. Stir in roasted tomatoes, then add hot chicken stock. Stir once, cover, and bring to a boil.
Transfer to oven and cook, covered, until liquid is absorbed, about 35 minutes.

5. Remove rice mixture from oven. Stir in butter, cheese, and reserved bacon.
Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with thyme sprigs and serve.

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Bacon-Wrapped Trout with Corn Cakes
h/t Ernest Hemingway

Trout

2 (10-ounce) whole trout, cleaned and gutted
1/2 cup cornmeal
Salt and ground pepper, to taste
8 sprigs fresh thyme
1 lemon, sliced
6 slices bacon
Fresh parsley, for garnish

Preheat broiler and set oven rack 4 to 6 inches from heat.
With a paper towel, pat trout dry inside and out. Dredge outside of each fish in cornmeal, then season cavity with salt and pepper.
Place 4 sprigs of thyme and 2 lemon slices inside each fish.

Wrap 3 bacon slices around the middle of each fish, so that the edges overlap slightly.
Line a roasting pan with aluminum foil, and place fish on pan.
Broil until bacon is crisp, about 5 minutes.
With a spatula, carefully flip fish over and cook another 5 minutes, until flesh is firm.

Corn Cakes

1 1/2 cups corn kernels (either fresh off the cob or thawed)
2 green onions, white parts only, coarsely chopped
2/3 cup flour
1/3 cup stone-ground yellow cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon red chile flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
2/3 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
Canola oil, for frying

In a food processor, add corn and green onions and pulse 4 to 5 times, until finely chopped.
In a large bowl, stir together corn mixture, flour, cornmeal, baking powder, red chile flakes, salt, and sugar.

In a small bowl, combine egg, buttermilk, and butter. Add to corn mixture, stirring until just combined.

Coat a large skillet or pancake griddle with oil.
Over medium heat, spoon batter onto pan in 1/4 cups and fry until cakes are golden on both sides, 1 to 2 minutes per side.

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Brown Sugar Smokies

If you’re observing Thanksgiving, these are nice canapés.
If you’re observing Hanukkah, cheat. 🙂

4-6 strips of bacon.
1 package little smokie sausages (12)
(Whatever small sausages are available)
1 cup brown sugar
(Your choice – I use light brown sugar)

Prehest oven to 350°
Cut bacon strips into halves or thirds and wrap each sausage.
Place on skewers, several to a skewer.
Arrange on baking sheet and sprinkle liberally with brown sugar.
Bake until bacon is crisp and brown sugar melted: 20-25 minutes.

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Candied Bacon

8 pieces bacon, thick-sliced, not maple or sugar flavored.
Handful brown sugar, light or dark. [3/4 cup?]
1 pinch chipotle or cayenne or even cracked black pepper.
Dark chocolate, melted.

Preheat oven to 400°
Line cookie pan (raised edges) with foil (easy cleanup).
Set rack on top of pan.
Idea is to let the grease drain off the bacon.

Spread brown sugar on a plate.
Press bacon into sugar, coating both sides, dust off excess.]
Lay bacon on the rack.
Bacon won’t shrink, so don’t crowd the rack.
Bake 20-25 minutes, depending on how crisp you like your bacon.
Sprinkle pepper lightly on bacon.
Let cool until sugar hardens.
Either dip pieces in melted chocolate and refrigerate to set the chocolate
or serve with melted chocolate and let guests dip if they chose.

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Booze in Bacon & Chocolate Glasses

Thick-cut bacon
Chocolate of choice
Amount depends on how many you’re making:

Make molds to wrap the bacon around:
sections of paper towel roll or wrapping paper roll?
half a toilet paper roll?

Wrap in aluminum foil
Note: Recipe shows foil inside as well as outside the tube and tube wrapped to the top. I run the foil up to the top of the tube and across the bottom but not inside. I wrap the bacon up from the bottom about 2 inches on a 3-inch tube. I can then peel back the foil at the top and grab the tube to extract it. It’s then easy to pull the foil away from the bacon. Do what works for you.

Cut some bacon into 4-inch strips
Lay 2 crosswise (X) across the bottoms of molds
Wrap a slice of bacon around the mold from bottom as high as you wish (see above).
Close any large gaps.
(Depending on size of mold, might need 2nd strip of bacon)
You could be making highball glasses. 😀
Tie bacon with pieces of twine to hold it to mold.

Place upside down on a wire rack, over a lipped pan to catch drippings.

Bake at 375° for 20-30 minutes until bacon slightly crispy.
Do not overcook

Let cool 10 minutes or so, remove bacon from mold.
Carefully peel foil from tube at top.
Gently squeeze to loosen bacon from mold.
(that’s why you don’t overcook – too crisp bacon would break).
Extract tube from within foil/bacon.
Working toward the inside, pull the foil away from the bacon (with toothpick?) and extract
Remove twine. Voila!

Melt chocolate in a double-boiler.
I prefer Ghirardelli semi-sweet. Follow your taste.

Spoon chocolate into ‘glasses’, wipe around, sealing interior completely.

Refrigerate at least an hour or two – or make a day in advance.

Fill with your favorite libation. Cheers!

* * *

OK, Bacon Jam:
h/t Jim Wright at Stonekettle Station

– 2 large sweet yellow onions. Large. Diced, coarse, fine, it doesn’t matter.
– 2 cloves fresh garlic, diced fine
– 1 pound maple smoked bacon, thin or medium cut. Coarse diced.
– 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar.
– 1/4 cup bourbon
– 1/4 cup brown sugar
– pinch of kosher salt
– tblsp of butter

Caramelize the onions. This is the critical step. Caramelize, not fried, not sweated, caramelized. Put the onions in a saute/frying pan on LOW heat with the butter and a pinch of salt. Stir periodically. It takes about an hour or more. Cover for the first 1/2 hour, uncover after that. The onions will first turn transparent, then darken to a light brown as the sugars caramelize. Resist the urge to turn up the heat. Low heat, long time, that’s the key.

While the onions are reducing, cook the bacon. Preferably in a deep-sided cast iron skillet — or a stainless steel/aluminum saute pan. Medium heat. You want the bacon brown with all the fat cooked out but NOT reduced to hard crispy salad bits. Browned. Fat cooked out. Still soft and pliable. Remove from heat. Drain the oil. Set the bacon aside. Keep the pan with the brown bacon stuff on the bottom. Drink the still warm and liquid bacon grease (I’m kidding. Don’t drink the grease. Save it for the aforementioned advanced classes).

After the onions are caramelized, transfer to the bacon pan. Cover. Low heat for a few minutes to soften the crispy stuff on the bottom of the pan. Stir to deglaze. The onions will darken. Add the garlic. Stir. Stir. Add the vinegar, bourbon, and brown sugar. Stir until all the good stuff on the bottom of the pan is dissolved.

Transfer to a slow cooker. Add in the bacon. Stir. Set to low. Cover. Four hours, five is better. Stir every hour or so. The onions will almost completely break down.

Transfer to a glass bowl. Cool for a bit. Jam will thicken.

Optional: Some cooks like to put the mix into a food processor and pulse at this point. Don’t overdo it. Me? I like it more chunky and don’t do this step.

MY GOD! NOW WHAT?

Now, you put it on stuff. Warm or cold, you use it like steak sauce on meats (you do this, you’ll never use A1 or Heinz 57 again). Pork chops. Smear it thick on a burger instead of the usual stuff and you will be amazed and wonder why every brew-pub in the world isn’t making burgers like this. Good over fried potatoes. On omelets. You’ll figure it out.

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