Baked Gnocchi with Butternut Squash & Bacon in a Sage Cream Sauce

March 11th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

1 pound Potato Gnocchi, cooked (recipe follows)
1½ cups butternut squash, roasted, peeled and cubed small
3 slices bacon, fried and crumbled
1 cup purple or Tuscan kale, chopped fine
2 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped fine
½ cup heavy cream
½ cup parmesan cheese, finely grated
3 tablespoons butter, cubed
Salt
Pepper
Nutmeg, freshly grated

Directions

Preheat oven to 375°F. In a large mixing bowl combine all ingredients until well mixed. Grease a shallow pan (one that the mixture will fit in compactly, not closely). Place the mixture in the greased shallow pan and sprinkle some parmesan cheese on top. Place in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes or until brown and bubbly.

Potato Gnocchi

Makes 2 pounds Gnocchi

Ingredients

2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and baked
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt

Directions

Mash the potatoes and push through a ricer or food mill. Place the smooth potatoes in a mound on a cutting board. Drizzle a little more than half the egg and sprinkle half the flour over the top. Using a bench scraper, slowly incorporate the egg and flour into the potato by pushing the scraper under and over the mixture, until all of the egg and flour is incorporated. The dough should become moist and pillowy, not sticky (small amounts of flour can be added to the dough to keep it from getting sticky).
When all the ingredients appear mixed, do a final mixing using hands to make sure all ingredients are incorporated and that dough had become soft and pillowy. Cut dough into 10 pieces and roll each piece into a long rope about the thickness of an index finger. Dust with flour as needed.

Proceed with shaping the gnocchi using one of the gnocchi methods, such as the Traditional Fork Method, the Gnocchi or Cavatelli Board Method, or simple Rope & Cut Method.

Cheddar Potato Pierogies with Bacon Fried Onions & Chive Sour Cream

March 9th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 20 pierogies

Ingredients

For the dough (should be made at least an hour in advance)

3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 egg, beaten
¾ cup water

For the filling

3 russet potatoes, peeled, boiled and mashed
¾ cup cheddar cheese, shredded
2 teaspoons black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped

For the Bacon Fried Onions & Chive Sour Cream

Oil
3 slices bacon
1 medium red onion, halved and sliced
1½ cups sour cream
2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped

Directions

For the dough

In a large mixture bowl combine all ingredients and mix until a stick dough forms, using your hands to bind and mix, adding more water or flour as needed. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes. The dough should be smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a plastic bag and refrigerate for about an hour before using.

For the filling

Mix together all filling ingredients until well combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

For the Bacon Fried Onions & Chive Sour Cream

In a hot cast iron skillet with a small amount of oil, cook the bacon until crisp and drain on a paper towel. In the same pan on medium heat, cook the red onions until caramelized, about 12 minutes. Drain onions on paper towels. In a small mixing bowl combine the sour cream and chives. Crumble in the cooked bacon, mix well and set aside.

Roll out the peirogi dough on a lightly floured surface. Cut out either circles or squares that are approximately 4-5 inches in diameter. Place about 2 tablespoons of filling in the center of each shape and fold the dough over the filling. Seal the sides carefully and well, making sure to use damp fingers. When all the pierogies are made, heat a large skillet with a little oil on a medium high heat. Sear the pierogies on each side until they are lightly browned, about 2-3 minutes per side. Serve with a dollop of the Bacon Fried Onions & Chive Sour Cream and a few onions.

Bacon & Maldon Salt Truffles

August 6th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes about 30 truffles

Ingredients

½ cup heavy cream
¼ cup bacon, chopped super fine
8 ounces semisweet or bittersweet dark chocolate, chopped
Black Volcanic Salt for dusting

Directions

In a heavy bottom saucepan, heat the heavy cream and bacon to a simmer, about 3 minutes, using a rubber spatula to scrape the side of the pan where the cream builds up. In a separate metal bowl, place the chocolate. When cream is warm, pour it over the chocolate, let sit for about 1 minute, and then stir until smooth and chocolate is melted and incorporated evenly. Place the metal bowl in the refrigerator for about 2 hours. Spoon small amount into hands, and roll into a little ball. Do not handle the chocolate ganache too much as the heat from your hands will melt the chocolate. Place the balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and sprinkle with salt. Place in refrigerator overnight.

Honey Roasted Onion Tart with Thyme and Topped with Fresh Fig (or Plum)

August 3rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves about 48

Wine Pairing: Tournant Rosé

Ingredients

1 sheet frozen puff pastry (half of 17.3-ounce package), thawed
3 bacon slices, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
¼ cup honey
¼ cup dry white wine
2 large sweet yellow onions (about 1 1/2 pounds), cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
¾ cup crème fraîche
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 pint fresh figs (or 5 fresh plums)

Directions

Position rack in top third of oven and preheat to 375°F. Using lightly floured rolling pin, roll out puff pastry on lightly floured surface to 14×10-inch rectangle. Fold ½ inch of pastry edges in toward center on all sides, forming 13 x 9-inch rectangle. Transfer pastry to large rimmed baking sheet. Press firmly on pastry edges with fork to form rim. Chill crust.

Cook bacon in small skillet over medium heat until brown and crisp. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Reserve 1 tablespoon bacon drippings from skillet.

Whisk honey, wine, and reserved 1 tablespoon bacon drippings in large bowl. Add onions; toss to coat. Coat another large rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray. Spread onion mixture in even layer on sheet. Roast 30 minutes. Turn onions over, allowing rings to separate. Roast until onions are caramelized, turning often for even browning, 30 to 45 minutes. Remove from oven; cool onions slightly.

Increase oven temperature to 400°F. Mix crème fraîche, sea salt, ¼ teaspoon black pepper, and nutmeg in small bowl. Using offset spatula, spread crème fraîche over crust to folded edge. Arrange onions atop crème fraîche. Sprinkle with bacon. Bake tart until crust is light golden brown and topping is bubbling, 20 to 25 minutes. Sprinkle with thyme and cut into small squares (6 row and 8 columns). Slice figs (or plums) thinly and place one sliver on top of each square to serve.

Pesto Pasta Carbonara

June 12th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4-6

A classic recipe herbalized, just the way summer basil likes it!

Ingredients

10 ounces orecchiette or small shell pasta or pasta of choice, cooked
¼ cup fresh pesto (using herbs and pesto of your choice)
2 eggs (room temperature)
½ cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
6 slices thick cut bacon
2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 bunch green onions, chopped fine

Directions

In a large pot of salted boiling water cook the pasta to al dente, drain and reserve ¼ cup of the pasta water. Whisk together the eggs and parmesan cheese and pesto, slowly whisk in the pasta liquid. In a large sauté pan on medium heat cook the bacon until crispy, drain the bacon on a paper towel and let it stand for a few minutes, break it into lots of pieces, set aside. Add the garlic and onions and sauté for a few minutes. Add the cooked pasta and stir until the pasta is well heated. Pour the egg mixture over the pasta and stir until the sauce is creamy and the eggs have cooked into a velvety sauce. Take off heat, be careful not to overcook the egg sauce! Stir in the bacon and garnish with additional grated cheese and a basil leaf!

Garden Tomato, Bacon and Basil Ice Cream Sandwiches

May 27th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 6 sandwiches

Ingredients

2 tomatoes on the vine, sliced about ¼ inch thick
Basil ice cream (recipe follows)
6 bacon slices, cooked

Directions

On a baking sheet lines with parchment paper, freeze the tomato slices. Place a spoonful or two of the basil ice cream on top of a tomato slice and smash down gently until it covers the bottom tomato. Place a slice of bacon over the ice cream and cover with another frozen tomato slice, gently and push down. Freeze again for a short time and allow to thaw a few minutes before serving. (omitting the bacon is a great way to enjoy these sandwiches too).

Basil Ice Cream

Makes 4 cups

Ingredients

2 cups whole milk
½ cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
½ cup sugar
4 egg yolks
1 cup heavy cream
Salt

Directions

In a medium sauce pan combine milk, sugar and basil leaves and bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer for about 5 minutes allowing basil to infuse, take off heat and allow to cool. Transfer mixture to a blender and blend until very smooth in texture. Transfer back to the saucepan and heat to medium again, whisk in egg yolks making sure that the mixture stays smooth and creamy and that it does not boil. Take off heat add a pinch of salt and whisk in heavy cream until combined. Chill the mixture for a few hours in the refrigerator and then follow the instructions for your ice cream maker.

Bacon and Eggs Pasta Carbonara

May 26th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4-5

Ingredients

1 pound Spaghetti
Olive oil
¼ pound bacon or pancetta bacon
2 clove garlic, chopped fine
1 shallot, chopped fine
2 large eggs
1 cup parmesan, shredded
Ground black pepper
¾ cup fresh parsley, chopped fine

Directions

In a large stock pot, bring salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for about 8 minutes or until the pasta is al dente. While pasta is boiling, set up a sauté pan on medium high heat. Add a tablespoon of olive oil and the bacon/pancetta and sauté (render) until crispy, about 3-4 minutes. Add in the garlic and shallot and sauté until soft, under 1 minute. In a small mixing bowl, whisk eggs and parmesan until incorporated well. Once the pasta is done, drain it while reserving ½ cup of the pasta water. While the pasta is hot, toss it in the sauté pan and coat it with the fat for about 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the egg and cheese mixture quickly, so as not to scramble the eggs. This must be done while the pasta is hot for it to cook the egg mixture, but off the flame. If the sauce is too thick, add in some of the reserved pasta water to reach the desired consistency. Season with ground black pepper and parsley.

Spring Vegetable Salad

May 17th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4

Ingredients

2 pounds beets
1 fresh bay leaf
4 spears asparagus, cut into 1-inch spears
1 orange, segmented, juices reserved
1 small red onion, half moons
1 pound thick-cut bacon, cut into ¼ inch lardon (optional)
8 ounces baby arugula
½ teaspoon spring garlic, minced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 sprigs thyme

Directions

In a stock pot, place beets, bay leaf and one sprig thyme. Cover with water by at least 1 inch. Bring to a simmer and cook until tender and the beets can slide easily off a knife. Once finished, cool just enough to touch and peel skins off. Cut into ½ inch cubes.

Fill a sauté pan with water, about halfway, bring water up to a simmer, season with a pinch of salt and add the asparagus. Blanch for about one minute, until tender, but with a little “snap” left in the center. Remove asparagus and place into an ice bath (shock).

To make the vinaigrette, take a small bowl, add garlic, reserved orange juice, extra virgin olive oil and 1 sprig of thyme (leaves only). Season to taste and whisk together.

In a medium salad bowl, toss together beets, onions, and asparagus with some of the vinaigrette. Add in baby arugula and the orange segments. Toss together gently, season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

If using bacon, you can do this step instead of blanching. Bring a sauté pan up to a medium heat and add the bacon. Render bacon until crispy. Remove bacon and reserve. Using only some of the bacon fat left in the pan, add the asparagus and roast until tender.

Recipe Property of Brendan McDermott

Peanut Butter Bacon Biscuits with Carob Icing (everyday dog treats)

May 7th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes about 12-18 3 inch biscuits

Ingredients

2 cups whole wheat flour
¼ cup buckwheat flour
1 tablespoon powdered milk
2 tablespoons flax seeds
¼ cup wheat bran
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup peanut butter (heated up to soften)
¼ cup bacon, crumbled
2 tablespoons bacon grease
1 egg, beaten
¾ cup water
8 ounces carob

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl sift together the dry ingredients, flours, flax, wheat bran, baking powder and salt. In another mixing bowl whisk together the wet ingredients; peanut butter, bacon, egg, and water. Slowly incorporate the dry goods into the wet a little at a time, stirring as you go. Form the dough into a ball and knead lightly. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface and cut with a dog biscuit cookie cutter. Place the biscuits on a baking sheet lines with parchment paper and bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool and let stand to harden overnight. Dip the cooking in melted carob on one side of the biscuit and let the carob harden. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three weeks.

Apple, Blue Cheese and Bacon Salad

October 18th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

1 head of butter leaf lettuce (or mesclun mix), leaves roughly torn
1 to 2 tart apples, seeds removed, chopped medium
2 oz, Oregon sweet blue cheese, crumbled by hand
3 pieces thick-cut bacon, cooked and chopped
1 medium red onion, sliced in rounds
Red Wine Vinaigrette, recipe follows
Salt and freshly ground pepper

PREPARATION

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients up through vinaigrette. Next, add just enough vinaigrette to coat lettuce leaves. Season to taste with salt and pepper and mix well. Serve immediately.

Red Wine Vinaigrette

Makes ¾ cup

INGREDIENTS

1 shallot, chopped fine
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
¼ cup Pinot Noir red wine vinegar
¼ cup walnut oil
¼ cup olive oil

PREPARATION

In a small bowl, combine shallots, Dijon and red wine vinegar. Next, drizzle in oils until emulsified.

Jewel Yam & Al Blue Potato Hash

October 14th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

1 large sweet potato, cut into ¾ inch cubes
4 purple potatoes, cut in ¾ inch cubes
2 thick slices of bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 medium onion, cupped
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 green onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped fine
Salt and fresh cracked black pepper

PREPARATION

Place a large skillet over medium heat. Once the skilled has heated, add the bacon. Fry the bacon until all the fat has been rendered and the bacon is fully cooked.

While the bacon is cooking, add the cubed potatoes to a large pot with enough water to cover the potatoes. Add a liberal amount of salt to the water. Place the pot with the potatoes onto the stove over high heat. Bring the pot to a boil. Once the pot has reached a boil, test the doneness of the potatoes: using a fork, stab a couple of different cubes. If the cubes are tender when pierced and easily come off to the fork, the potatoes are done. Strain the parboiled potatoes.

Once the bacon is done, remove it from the pan and drain it on paper towels. Crumble the bacon once it has cooled and set aside.

In the same skillet over medium heat, using the rendered fat, sauté the sliced onion until soft, about 10 minutes. Add the parboiled potatoes, rosemary, and garlic to the pan. Raise the heat to medium high and fry the potatoes for 10-15 minutes. Allow the hash to cook, untouched, for several minutes before stirring or flipping. This will allow proper caramelization. Stir of flip the hash a few times while sautéing. Once the potatoes are browned and crispy on all sides, add the parsley, green onions, and crumbled bacon to the skillet. Toss to combine thoroughly. Taste a bite of the hash then season as necessary with kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper. Serve hot. Goes great with tangy lemon vinaigrette. Enjoy!

New England Herbal Clam Chowder

October 6th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

2-3  pounds fresh clams, steamed and opened, and chopped
Olive oil
2 tablespoons of butter
1 large yellow onion, chopped medium
2-3  slices of bacon, diced (optional)
¼ cup sherry
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
¼ cup fresh thyme leaves
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
¼ cup fresh chives, minced fine
4 large yellow potatoes, cubed
Salt/cracked pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
3 cups half and half

PREPARATION

In a heavy bottom saucepan heat oil and butter and saute onion for a few minutes on medium heat, adding bacon and sautéing until bacon is done, add sherry and all purpose four and stir  well, add herbs and potatoes Worcestershire sauce and pepper and salt.  Add the milk and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes.  Serve garnished with oyster crackers and chopped herbs.

Spicy Italian Pork Sausage

October 5th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 9 sausages

INGREDIENTS

2 pounds pork butt, cubed into ½-inch cubes
½ pound pork fat, chunk bacon or fatback
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped fine
¼ cup fresh basil, chopped fine
¼ cup fresh marjoram, chopped fine
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
**casings of your choice

PREPARATION

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl very well and refrigerate for about 2 hours.  Using the finest blade of the meat grinder, grind the mixture following grinder instructions.  If you are making or using the meat without the casing go right to that step.  If you are making links put the mixture back in the mixing bowl and place in the freezer for a little while.  In the mean time soak the casings in warm water and rinse a few times.  Get out your sausage stuffer and slip the casing onto the stuffing tube, making sure you leave about 6 inches off the end of the tube, this is the part that you will need to tie the sausages off.  Remove the meat form the freezer and stuff it into the stuffer, if all the meat does not fit leave what will not fit in a bowl in the refrigerator.  Turn the stuffer on and begin the process, air will be the first thing to emerge.  As the meat begins to slide out use one hand to maneuver the speed of the sausage output.  Let the sausage emerge into one long coil, the links will be tied later in the process.  When the sausage is done, turn off the machine and tie up the ends, you can use meat or butchers twine.  To make the links, pinch a section together, then spin the links and turn them opposite form each other several times, repeat this moving down the entire main link.  Make sure both ends are tied off.  Hang the links up so you can review for air bubbles, using a sterilized pin or sewing needle, pop each section that has an air bubble with the pin and the link should move flat and the air bubble should be resolved.  Hang the links for about an hour and then refrigerate them covered in the refrigerator overnight, use them or freeze them in about a week.

Bacon Rosemary Roasted Chicken

October 5th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

INGREDIENTS

4 ounces sliced bacon, chopped
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
5 small garlic cloves—3 smashed, 2 minced
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 (4-pound) chicken, quartered and wings removed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, coarsely chopped
1 large carrot, cut into ½-inch pieces
2 small celery ribs, cut into ½-inch pieces
6-8 fresh rosemary sprigs
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
½ cup dry red wine

PREPARATION

In a mini processor, puree the bacon, paprika, smashed garlic and a pinch each of salt and pepper to a paste. Loosen the skin on the chicken breasts and legs and spread the paste under the skin, pressing to even it out. Refrigerate the chicken for 4 hours or preferably overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Heat the oil in a large, ovenproof nonstick skillet. Season the chicken lightly with salt and pepper. Add to the skillet, skin side down, and cook over moderately high heat until golden, about 5 minutes. Turn and cook until lightly browned all over, about 2 minutes longer. Transfer the chicken to a plate.

Add the onion, carrot, celery, minced garlic and rosemary to the skillet and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until barely softened, about 6 minutes. Return the chicken to the pan, skin side up, and roast in the oven for about 25 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the leg and breast registers 170°F. Remove the skillet from the oven and preheat the broiler.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, boil the chicken broth until reduced to ½ cup, about 15 minutes.

Transfer the chicken to a platter, cover loosely with foil and keep warm. Spoon off the fat in the skillet. Add the red wine to the skillet and boil over high heat until almost evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add the reduced chicken broth and cook until slightly reduced, 2 to 3 minutes. Return the chicken to the skillet, skin side up. Broil 4 inches from the heat for about 1 minute, just until the skin is very crisp. Discard the rosemary sprigs. Transfer the chicken, sauce and vegetables to plates and serve

BBT Sandwich (Bacon, Basil and Tomato)

November 10th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

A simple twist on a tomato classic!

Makes 4 sandwiches

INGREDIENTS

8 slices whole grain bread, toasted
Mayonnaise
8 slices of bacon, cooked until crispy
8 fresh basil leaves, large
8 slices vine-ripened tomatoes
4 slices fresh mozzarella
Cracked pepper and salt

PREPARATION

Add mayonnaise, to taste, on all slices of bread and then assemble each sandwich as follows: place 2 slices of bacon on one slice of bread and a slice of fresh mozzarella on the other, add 2 slices of tomatoes on top of the mozzarella and 2 large basil leaves on top of the bacon.Lastly, sprinkle a little salt and pepper on both sides and put together. Enjoy!

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