ONLINE EXTRA — BETTER WITH BACON: Spaghetti All Amatriciana . . . Smoked Oyster Dip . . . Bacon and Blue Cheese Sliders with Pear Ketchup, etc.
By: Herald Staff Report,
Spaghetti All Amatriciana
4 slices low-salt, no-sugar-added bacon (3 ounces)
1 cup sliced onion
2 cups canned diced or crushed tomatoes
¼ teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
¼ pound spaghetti
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Bring a large pot filled with 3 to 4 quarts water to a boil for the pasta over high heat. Cut as much fat as possible from bacon strips and then cut bacon into ½-inch slices. Saute in a small nonstick skillet 3 minutes. Pour off all fat. Add onion and saute 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and crushed red pepper. Simmer gently until tomatoes form a sauce, about 5 minutes. Add pasta to boiling water and boil until firm to the bite, about 8 minutes. Drain and add to the skillet with the sauce. Toss to combine. Sprinkle with cheese.
Yield: Serves 2.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 384 calories, 22 percent of calories from fat, 9.4 grams fat (3.3 grams saturated, 3.5 grams monounsaturated), 22 milligrams cholesterol, 17.8 grams protein, 58.2 grams carbohydrates, 5.3 grams fiber, 270 milligrams sodium.
Smoked Oyster Dip
4 slices bacon, cooked, crumbled,
2 tablespoons fat reserved
2 hard-cooked eggs, peeled, diced
1 can smoked oysters, finely chopped, with juice
6 tablespoons mayonnaise
¼ cup each: diced red onions, diced celery, diced yellow bell pepper
Juice of 1 lemon
1/8 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper, granulated garlic, hot sauce
Stir bacon, eggs, oysters, mayonnaise, onions, celery, pepper and lemon juice together in a bowl. Add salt, pepper, granulated garlic and hot sauce to taste. Transfer dip to a serving dish, spread so the top is even. Cover, refrigerate 24 hours. Serve chilled with crackers or garlic croutons.
Yield: 3 cups.
Approximate nutritional analysis per 1-tablespoon serving: 25 calories, 85 percent of calories from fat, 2 grams fat (1 gram saturated), 11 milligrams cholesterol, no carbohydrates, 1 gram protein, 33 milligrams sodium, no fiber.
Bacon and Blue Cheese Sliders with Pear Ketchup
2 D’Anjou pears
2 teaspoons clarified butter or vegetable oil
¼ cup diced sweet onion, such as Walla Walla or Vidalia
1 cup clear apple juice or cider
2 to 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
Kosher salt to taste
12 slices thick-cut bacon, well-chilled or frozen
3 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese
8 small soft rolls, preferably brioche
To make pear ketchup, peel and core pears and cut them into large cubes. Warm clarified butter or oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add onions and cook until they become translucent. Add pears and stir to coat. Add apple cider and cook over low heat until liquid is almost completely absorbed, about 20 to 25 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Puree mixture in blender or food processor until completely smooth, then add 2 tablespoons vinegar and taste, adding more vinegar if needed. Ketchup should be tangy, to balance fattiness of the bacon and cheese. Add white pepper and salt to taste.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
To make sliders, use a food processor to pulse-chop chilled or frozen bacon. Crumble blue cheese into ground bacon. Let mixture sit about 15 to 20 minutes to warm up closer to room temperature before forming into 8 2-inch patties.
Place patties on a baking sheet or cast-iron skillet and cook 10 minutes. Carefully turn patties over and cook another 10 to 15 minutes or until internal temperature is 170 degrees.
To serve, split rolls, toast if desired and spread one side of each with pear ketchup. Add burgers to remaining halves, top with ketchup-spread halves and hold in place with toothpicks, if desired.
Yield: 8 sliders.
Fettuccine Carbonara with Crisp Bacon and Poached Egg
1 pound dried fettuccine
1 tablespoon white vinegar
4 large eggs
¼ pound bacon, cut into ½-inch pieces
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 shallot, minced
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Chopped fresh chives
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the pasta, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until tender yet firm (al dente).
Meanwhile, fill a wide pot with 2 inches of water and add the vinegar. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Carefully crack 1 egg into a small cup and gently pour it into the water. Add a second egg and poach for about 2 minutes, until the whites are just cooked and the yolks are still soft. With a slotted spoon, transfer the eggs to a plate and blot with paper towels. Repeat with remaining eggs.
Set a deep skillet over medium heat. Fry bacon until crisp, about 4 minutes. Add oil, butter, garlic, and shallot, and saute for 1 minute to soften.
Drain the pasta well, reserving ½ cup of the cooking water. Add the fettuccine to the skillet and toss well for 1 minute to coat it and create a thick, creamy sauce. Thin sauce with reserved pasta water, if needed. Sprinkle on Parmesan and toss again. Season with salt and pepper.
Mound the fettuccine in 4 warm bowls and set a poached egg on each. Garnish with chives. Pass more grated cheese at the table.
Yield: Serves 4.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 707 calories, 30 percent calories from fat, 22.7 grams fat (8.9 grams saturated, 9.2 grams monounsaturated) 213 milligrams cholesterol, 33.6 grams protein, 88 grams carbohydrates, 3.6 grams fiber, 662 milligrams sodium.
2 strips bacon
2 cups corn meal
1 teaspoon salt (or less)
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups buttermilk
3 to 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
Heat oven to 450 degrees. Cut 2 strips bacon into small pieces and place in an iron skillet in the hot oven to brown. Meanwhile, mix remaining ingredients into a batter. Pour off drippings, and pour batter over crisp bacon. Bake 35 to 45 minutes or until done.
Yield: Serves 8.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 228 calories, 32 percent of calories from fat, 8 grams fat (2.1 grams saturated, 2.3 grams monounsaturated), 62 milligrams cholesterol, 7.4 grams protein, 30.8 grams carbohydrates, 1.4 grams fiber, 596 milligrams sodium.
Savory-Stuffed French Toast
4 slices bacon, cut crosswise into large (about 1 inch) pieces
4 tablespoons butter, divided
1 onion, halved lengthwise (with the grain) and sliced into very thin lengthwise strips
1/3 cup dry white wine
3 cups chopped dandelion greens, cut crosswise into large (2- to 3-inch) pieces
2 teaspoons wine vinegar, preferably sherry or Banyul’s, more to taste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup milk
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
8 slices sourdough bread
4 teaspoons whole-grain Dijon mustard, or as desired
½ pound thinly sliced Gruyere cheese
In a large skillet, fry the bacon over medium-high heat until crisp, about 10 minutes. Drain the bacon (discard or save the fat for another use) and set aside.
In a large, heavy-bottom saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until they soften and start to brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Add the white wine and continue to stir, scraping any flavoring from the bottom of the pan.
When the wine is almost completely absorbed, stir in the greens and cook just until they start to wilt, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the vinegar, then taste, and season with one-fourth teaspoon salt and several grinds of black pepper. Stir in the bacon bits, then taste again and adjust the seasoning or vinegar if necessary.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk, along with the Parmesan cheese. Whisk in a pinch of salt and several grinds of black pepper to season the egg wash. Place the egg wash in a large shallow baking dish or pie plate and set aside.
Soak the bread slices in the egg wash until just soaked on each side, about 2 minutes per side. Gently spread ½ teaspoon mustard over the one side of each of 4 slices. Onto the other 4 slices, divide the sliced Gruyere then top with the onion and greens mixture. Sprinkle over the bacon bits, then press the remaining slices of bread (mustard on the inside) onto layered cheese-onions-bacon to form a sandwich.
Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat until melted and hot.
Reduce the heat to low and pan-fry the sandwiches, 2 at a time, until crisp and golden and the bread is cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. Cover the skillet while each piece is frying to allow the toast to fully cook and the filling to heat and melt. Adjust the heat as needed to keep each stuffed toast from burning.
Serve each piece of stuffed toast immediately or hold the finished toast in a warm oven until all of the pieces are fried.
Note: The sandwiches are great served alongside a light, tart salad or bowl of soup.
Yield: Serves 4.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 711 calories, 36 grams protein, 46 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams fiber, 41 grams fat, 22 grams saturated fat, 270 milligrams cholesterol, 7 grams sugar, 1,275 milligrams sodium.
Spanish-Style Pastured Chicken Pot Roast
½ cup diced pastured-pork bacon or pancetta, cut into ¼-inch cubes
¼ cup crumbled pork and fennel sausage or sweet Italian sausage
1 pastured whole chicken, 4 to 5 pounds
3 to 4 cups chicken stock
½ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper
Heat the oven to 200 degrees. Combine the bacon and sausage meat in a bowl; stuff the mixture firmly into the chicken cavity. Put the chicken in a Dutch oven; add the chicken stock. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper to taste. Cover the pot, adding foil or parchment paper if necessary to maintain a tight seal.
Cook until tender and almost falling off the bone, 8 to 12 hours, adding more stock if needed. Serve the chicken whole or shred the meat from the bones. Drizzle with the pan juices.
Yield: Serves 6.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 409 calories, 52 percent of calories from fat, 23 grams fat (6 grams saturated), 134 milligrams cholesterol, 4 grams carbohydrates, 44 grams protein, 569 milligrams sodium, no fiber.
Beef and Spinach Filled Dumplings
3 cups ½-inch crustless white bread cubes
1/3 cup milk
3 strips bacon, finely chopped
1 small yellow onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
½ pound ground beef
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
½ cup thawed, chopped frozen spinach
¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon salt
WRAPPES AND BROTH:
50 round or square wonton or pot-sticker wrappers
8 cups low-sodium beef broth
1 teaspoon salt
For the filling, place the bread cubes in a large bowl; add milk. Work the mixture with hands until the bread becomes small bits. Squeeze out any excess milk by small handfuls; place the bread pulp in a bowl.
Place the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat; cook 3 minutes. Add onion; cook over high heat, stirring, until bacon is lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Mix in the garlic and the beef; cook, stirring to break up meat, until beef is browned, about 3 minutes. Mix in the nutmeg. Let cool slightly in the pan. Place in a food processor with the spinach; pulse until the beef is minced. Transfer to a large bowl; mix in the bread pulp, parsley, egg yolk and salt. Cover; refrigerate 30 to 60 minutes.
Lay 4 to 6 wrappers on a work surface; brush half of them with a little water. Place a rounded tablespoon of filling in the center of each. Top each with an unbrushed wrapper. Press the edges of the dough together; pinch to seal. Place the dumplings in a single layer on a floured kitchen towel on a tray; keep covered with a towel. Repeat with remaining wrappers.
Meanwhile, heat the broth to a boil in a large saucepan over high heat. Stir in the salt; cover. Reduce the heat to medium. Gently drop half of the dumplings, one at a time, into the broth. Stir carefully to prevent sticking. Cook until all are floating, 2 to 3 minutes; cook 3 more minutes. Remove to a plate; top with a spoonful of the broth. Cook the remaining dumplings. Return the first batch to the broth; heat to warm through.
Yield: Serves 6.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 362 calories, 18 percent of calories from fat, 7 grams fat (2 grams saturated), 75 milligrams cholesterol, 52 grams carbohydrates, 20 grams protein, 1,970 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.
Italian Lentil Soup
1 pound Italian sausage
3 strips bacon, diced
3 or 4 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup chopped onion
½ cup diced celery
½ cup diced carrots
6 cups chicken or beef stock, divided
1 pound dried lentils, rinsed and picked over
2 14½-ounce cans diced tomatoes
Salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to taste
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried basil
½ cup diced zucchini
1 bunch Italian parsley, snipped
Grated Parmesan cheese and balsamic vinegar to finishPlace the sausages in a small saucepan with water to cover and bring to a boil. Cook until sausages are no longer pink, about 10 minutes. Drain. Pierce casings to so fat drains off. Rinse and slice into ½-inch coins.
Meanwhile, saute bacon until crisp in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Drain off fat and add garlic, celery, onions and carrots. Cook, stirring, until vegetables are soft. Add 1 cup of the stock and deglaze the pan. Add the lentils, remaining stock, tomatoes, salt, pepper and red pepper. Stir in the bay leaves and basil. Bring to boil, reduce heat to a low simmer and cook, covered, for about 1 hour. Check from time to time and add water if necessary. Just before serving, stir in zucchini and parsley, and cook 2 minutes. Serve with balsamic vinegar, grated cheese and extra red pepper on the side.
Yield: Serves 8.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 387 calories, 20 percent of calories from fat, 8.5 grams fat (2.4 grams saturated, 1.7 grams monounsaturated), 52.8 milligrams cholesterol, 30.7 grams protein, 46.6 grams carbohydrates, 14.5 grams fiber, 777 milligrams sodium.
1 pound boiling potatoes
2 slices bacon, cut into ¼-inch pieces
2 cups diced celery, cut into ½-inch dice (½ pound)
1½ cups diced onion, cut into ½ -inch dice (½ pound)
½ cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup flour
1½ teaspoons chopped garlic
¾ teaspoon dried sage
1½ teaspoons dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried thyme
4 cups seafood broth
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 quart half-and-half
¼ cup finely diced tomatoes
¼ cup diced green onions
2 to 3 pounds chopped fresh seafood, such as a combination of scallops, halibut and salmon
Cook the potatoes: Place the potatoes in a pot with enough water to cover by 2 inches. Bring the water to a simmer, and gently cook until the potatoes are tender, but not too soft, about 20 minutes depending on the size (a knife should pierce the potato fairly easily). Drain the potatoes and set aside until cool enough to handle, then peel and cut the potatoes into one-half-inch cubes. Set aside.
In a large, heavy-bottom pot, saute the bacon over medium-high heat until it renders its fat and becomes crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Strain the bacon, leaving the fat in the pan.
To the pot, add the celery and onion and cook in the fat until the onion is translucent and the celery is softened, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the butter and melt over medium heat. When the butter is melted, whisk in the flour to form a blond roux. Stir in the garlic, sage, parsley and thyme. While stirring, slowly pour in the seafood broth. Stir in the potatoes and bacon. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring frequently. Taste and season as desired with salt and pepper.
Decrease the heat to a very gentle simmer and cook for 20 minutes to develop the flavors. After 20 minutes, stir in the half-and-half, tomatoes, green onions and seafood. Simmer gently until the seafood is cooked through. Taste again and adjust seasoning as desired. Remove from heat and serve immediately. This makes about 4 quarts chowder.
Yield: Serves 16.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 311 calories, 19 grams protein, 17 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber, 19 grams fat (9 grams saturated), 68 milligrams cholesterol, 1 gram sugar, 321 milligrams sodium.
Baked Potato Soup
4 large baked potatoes
2/3 cup butter
2/3 cup flour
1½ quarts (6 cups) milk
2 tablespoons green onion, diced
½ cup grated Cheddar cheese, plus 2 tablespoons for garnish (optional)
1 cup sour cream
4 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled (for garnish)
Cut potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop out the pulp. Melt butter in a saucepan. Whisk in flour and cook for 1 minute. Gradually add milk and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until smooth and bubbly. Stir in potato pulp, diced green onion and grated cheddar cheese. Cook on low heat until heated through, and then stir in the sour cream and heat through. Garnish with crumbled bacon and cheddar cheese.
Makes: Serves 6.
4½ pounds fresh, untrimmed collard greens or 2 pounds trimmed greens
1 pound bacon
¼ cup (½ stick) butter
2 large onions, diced
3 cups chicken broth
½ cup apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 to 2 cups bechamel sauce (see recipe)
Rinse collard greens. Trim and discard thick stems from bottom (about 2 inches). Coarsely chop collard greens.
Cook bacon, in batches, over medium heat in an 8-quart or larger stockpot until crisp, 10 to 12 minutes per batch. Drain bacon on paper towels, leaving drippings in the pot. Crumble bacon; set aside ¼ cup to use as a garnish.
Add butter and onions to hot drippings. Saute onion 8 minutes or until tender. Add collards in batches, stirring in more as the previous batch wilts. Stir occasionally.
Stir in chicken broth, vinegar, salt, pepper and all but the reserved ¼ cup bacon. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes or until collards reach desired degree of tenderness. Drain the collards, reserving 1 cup of the liquid. Return collards to the pot.
Stir in 1 cup bechamel sauce. For a thinner cream sauce, add some of the reserved cooking liquid. For a thicker sauce, add more bechamel sauce. Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle the with the reserved ¼ cup bacon.
Yield: Serves 10.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 340 calories, 29 grams fat (12 grams saturated), 55 milligrams cholesterol, 9 grams protein, 13 grams carbohydrate, 3 grams sugar, 4 grams fiber, 960 milligrams sodium, 170 milligrams calcium.
¼ cup (½ stick) butter
1 medium shallot, minced
1 clove garlic, pressed
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground pepper
¼ to ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
Melt butter in a heavy saucepan over low heat. Add shallot and garlic and saute 1 minute. Whisk in flour until smooth. Cook 1 minute, whisking constantly.
Increase heat to medium. Gradually whisk in milk. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, 5 to 7 minutes or until thickened and bubbly. Stir in salt, pepper and nutmeg.
Yield: About 2 cups.
Approximate nutritional analysis per 2-tablespoon serving: 50 calories, 4 grams fat (2.5 grams saturated), 10 milligrams cholesterol, 1 gram protein, 3 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram sugar, no fiber, 50 milligrams sodium, 35 milligrams calcium.
BLT with Cider Aioli
2 cups cider
1 to 1½ cups sour cream or creme fraîche
8 slices favorite bread, toasted
1 small head romaine or bibb lettuce, cleaned and separated
8 strips bacon, cooked to desired crispness
2 cups thinly sliced apples
1 large tomato, cut into ¼-inch slices
To make the cider aioli: In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring the cider to a boil. R educe until it reaches a syrupy stage, about 15 to 20 minutes. You should have about ¼ cup or so. Let cool.
In a bowl, whisk the cider reduction with the sour cream. Set aside until ready to use.
To make the sandwiches: Spread 1 tablespoon of the cider aioli over each slice of bread. Layer the sandwiches, starting with one leaf of lettuce, then 2 strips of bacon, apple slices and a tomato slice. T op with another leaf of lettuce if desired. Top with the remaining toast slice, cut in half diagonally and serve.
Yield: 4 sandwiches.
Beef and Wine Stew
1 pound bacon, cut into pieces
3 pounds boneless beef roast, cut into 1-inch cubes
½ cup flour, lightly seasoned with salt and black pepper
1 cup sliced shallots
2 ribs celery, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 large carrots, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
8 ounces cremini or white mushrooms, wiped clean, cut in half if large
2 cloves garlic, peeled, minced
1½ cups full-bodied red wine or 12 ounces stout beer
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water
Cooked noodles or rice or garlic mashed potatoes, optional for serving
In a large skillet, cook the bacon until just crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon pieces, leaving the drippings in the skillet and keep heated over medium heat. Reserve the bacon pieces for another use. Place the beef cubes in a large bowl and sprinkle with the seasoned flour. Toss to coat the beef cubes lightly with the flour.
Working in batches, brown the beef cubes on all sides in the bacon drippings. Remove to the slow cooker. In the same skillet, saute the shallots, celery, carrots, mushrooms and garlic until just lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer to the slow cooker. Add the wine, bay leaf, salt and pepper and stir. Cover and cook for 7 to 9 hours on the low setting (or 4 hours on the high setting).
The meat should be falling-apart tender. About 30 minutes before serving, if the sauce needs thickening, stir in the cornstarch mixture. Cover and continue cooking until thickened. Remove the bay leaf and serve the stew with some sauce, over cooked noodles, cooked rice or mashed potatoes.
Yield: Serves 6.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 494 calories, 40 percent of calories from fat, 22 grams fat (7 grams saturated), 10 grams carbohydrates, 53 grams protein, 325 milligrams sodium, 167 milligrams cholesterol, 1 grams fiber.
Corn and Bacon Succotash with Rice
6 strips bacon
1 onion, chopped
½ red bell pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon dried thyme
¼ teaspoon each: salt, crushed red pepper flakes
1 15-ounce can low-sodium chicken broth
4 ears corn, each cut into thirds
2 cups fresh lima beans or 1 14-ounce bag frozen
2 cups long-grain or basmati rice, cooked to package directions
Heat a heavy large skillet over medium-high heat; add bacon. Cook, turning once, until crisp, about 7 minutes. Remove to paper-towel lined plate; crumble when cool. Add onion to skillet; cook, stirring, until lightly browned, 7 minutes.
Add bell pepper, garlic, thyme, salt and red pepper flakes; cook, stirring, 3 minutes. Add chicken broth; cook, stirring up any browned bits, 2 minutes. Add corn and lima beans; cook, turning corn often to cook evenly, until corn and beans are tender and liquid reduces slightly, about 5 minutes. Stir in the bacon. Serve over rice.
Yield: Serves 4.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 753 calories, 9 percent of calories from fat, 8 grams fat (2 grams saturated), 10 milligrams cholesterol, 143 grams carbohydrates, 26 grams protein, 431 milligrams sodium, 12 grams fiber.