Tag Archives: bacon

not so healthy turkey spinach meatloaf (hint: bacon)

8 Sep

I had all the best intentions. I was going to make a healthy version of meatloaf. J and I had watched this Chow video on Roku with the recipe for what promised to be the most delicious meatloaf, ever. A meatloaf infused with spinach and swathed in bacon for the moistest log of meat you’d ever seen.

I took a risk. Instead of using the prescribed combination of ground beef, pork, and veal, I selected turkey (*gasp*). Meatloaf, no. Foulloaf, maybe? J was bugging me to cook more healthy meat, so this was our compromise: turkey wrapped in bacon.

Though a bit tedious (you gotta get out a blender), this recipe produced a luscious loaf even with my substitution of turkey. I also like that you pat the mixture into a loaf pan instead free forming it.

The turkey oozed a layer of fatty scum that enveloped the beautiful slices of bacon preventing them from becoming golden brown–that was pretty much the only downside. The bacon flavor still penetrated as I hoped it would. I also opted for a pre-made Trader Joe’s organic pomodoro sauce and it blended right in as if I had made it be scratch, too. Definitely delicious, but it’ll be real meat next time.

spinach meatloaf
from the new new york times cookbook, via chow + foul

* 1 (10-ounce) package fresh baby spinach
* 1 1/4 pounds ground turkey (or a combination of veal, beef, and pork if you prefer)
* 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
* 1 medium garlic clove, minced
* 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
* 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
* 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
* 1/2 cup small-dice celery
* 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh Italian parsley leaves
* 1/4 cup whole milk
* 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
* 1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion
* 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
* 3 bacon slices
* Tomato sauce, warmed, for serving

Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle.

Rinse the spinach well in cold water and drain. Place in a large frying pan, cover, and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until wilted, about 3 to 5 minutes. (It is not necessary to add liquid; the spinach will cook in the water clinging to the leaves.)

Transfer the spinach to a colander and douse with cold water to chill. Drain and press with your hands to extract most of the moisture. Coarsely chop the spinach.

Place the meat in a large bowl, followed by the chopped spinach, breadcrumbs, garlic, measured salt and pepper, and nutmeg (no need to mix yet); set aside.

Place the celery, parsley, and milk in a blender and blend until puréed. Add to the meat mixture.

Melt the butter in a small skillet over medium heat until foaming. Add the onion, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and translucent, about 4 minutes. Add to the meat mixture.

Add the eggs to the meat mixture and, using clean hands, mix everything until evenly combined (don’t squeeze or overwork the mixture). If desired, test for seasoning by forming a small patty and cooking it in the small skillet over medium heat until no longer pink inside. Taste the patty and add more salt and pepper to the meat mixture as needed. Repeat the seasoning test as needed.

Transfer the mixture to a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan, spread to the edges, and smooth out the top. Cover the meatloaf with the bacon slices, laying them lengthwise and side by side.

Bake in the oven until just cooked through, turning the pan 180 degrees halfway through, about 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Pour off the excess fat and let the meatloaf stand for 20 minutes before slicing. If you choose, serve with tomato sauce.

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momofuku’s brussels sprouts with kimchi puree & bacon

11 Feb

For Christmas, LeeMa gave me David Chang’s Momofuku cookbook. Every time I’m in New York, I aim to hit up at least one of his famous mod Asian joints — typically a late night stop at Milk Bar for a slice of Crack Pie.

The cookbook reads like a biography of David Chang with wonderful anecdotes about studying ramen in Japan and trying times he faced in opening his restaurants. As for the recipes, many are focused on technique — for instance, I am not about to make my own ramen noodles. Others are about wacky flavor combinations that just make sense — the stink of brussels sprouts and the funk of kimchi, it’s a match made in heaven!

brussels sprouts with kimchi puree & bacon
stinky funky goodness

* 1 lb brussels sprouts, halved
* 1/4 lb smoky bacon, cut into 1- to 1-1/4-inch batons
* 1 cup cabbage kimchi, pureed
* 2 tablespoons butter
* Salt and pepper
* 1 cup julienned carrots

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Saute bacon over medium heat in an oven-proof skillet, until just crisp (around 5 minutes). Transfer to paper towel-lined plate.

Drain off most of the fat and add brussels sprouts to skillet. Flip so sprouts are all cut-side down. Raise heat to medium-high and sear until sprouts start sizzling. Put skillet into the oven and roast until deeply browned, around 8 minutes. Shake pan to loosen sprouts, then put back in oven for 10-15 minutes more. Sprouts are done when they are bright green and tender.

Return skillet to stove top on medium heat; stir in butter and bacon. Season with salt and peper; toss to coat.

Divide pureed kimchi among four bowl and top with sprouts. Garnish with carrot. Serves 4 as a side dish.

dark chocolate bacon cupcakes

2 Feb

Oh no you didn’t! Oh yes, I did. Bacon in the batter. Bacon in the frosting. Bacon garnish… I’m such a pig.

I blame January’s issue of Food & Wine for my renewed obsession with bacon. According to their keenly calculated trend predictions, breakfast foods are set to make a huge comeback in 2011, especially my dear friend bacon.

Last month was J’s birthday. Like myself, J doesn’t care much for sweets, so I immediately began brainstorming savory desserts. Something nutty? Cheese-y? Meaty? Mmmmmyes.

Coffee, rich Scharffen Berger cocoa, buttermilk, and a whole pound of bacon… it’s the stuff birthday dreams are made of. Moist dark chocolate cake (healthily embedded with bacon bits) meets “baconcream” frosting and a crispy strip of the good stuff. Hello, bacon cupcakes!

dark chocolate bacon cupcakes
the whole hog

cupcakes:
* 1 lb. bacon
* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
* 2 cups sugar
* 2 teaspoons baking soda
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 2 eggs
* 1 cup cold, strong, brewed coffee
* 1 cup buttermilk
* 1/2 cup vegetable oil

frosting:
* 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
* 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
* 1/3 cup butter
* 1/2 cup of reserved bacon fat
* 1/3 cup evaporated milk
* 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until evenly brown. Reserve bacon fat for frosting, drain bacon on paper towels, crumble 3/4 of the bacon strips and set aside.

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, 3/4 cup cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Make a well in the center and pour in the eggs, coffee, buttermilk and oil. Stir just until blended. Mix in bacon bits, reserving the rest for garnish. Spoon the batter into the prepared cups, dividing evenly.

Bake in the preheated oven until the tops spring back when lightly pressed, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in the pan set over a wire rack.

Prepare frosting: In a medium bowl, sift together the confectioners’ sugar and cocoa, and set aside. In a large bowl, cream butter and bacon fat until smooth, then gradually beat in sugar mixture alternately with evaporated milk. Blend in vanilla. Beat until light and fluffy. If necessary, adjust consistency with more milk or sugar.

Frost cupcakes generously and decorate with reserved bacon strips. Makes 24 cupcakes.

lazy pasta with onion, bacon and goat cheese

24 Jan

It was my turn to cook dinner for the weekly girls’ Bachelor viewing party at C’s place. All I had in the fridge was a handful of vegetables, goat cheese, plus a few strips of really amazing brown sugar apple wood bacon from the Fatted Calf.

Like the lazy cook I am, I typed in “bacon goat cheese pasta recipe” into Google and voila! Martha Stewart to the rescue. I modified the recipe to make use of some brussel sprouts and tomatoes, but otherwise stuck to Martha’s instructions.

It looked a bit of a mess, but the flavor combination was surprisingly delicious — so much so that I just had to take a photo (the day after, hence the wilted mess). You could mix this up with other vegetables like zucchini or mushrooms — the bacon, goat cheese and onions are the bare essentials. Possibly the best lazy recipe I’ve ever made!

pasta with onion, bacon, and goat cheese
a lazy clean-out-the-fridge kinda dish

* 1 pound campanelle (I used rigatoni)
* 6 slices bacon, sliced crosswise 1-inch thick
* 10 brussel sprouts, leaves peeled apart
* 1 small tomato, diced
* 4 medium red onions, thinly sliced
* 2 garlic cloves, chopped
* 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, plus more for serving
* Coarse salt and ground pepper
* 4 ounces soft goat cheese

Cook pasta. Drain, reserving 2 cups pasta water; return pasta to pot.

Meanwhile, cook bacon in large skillet over medium, turning, until browned, 5 to 7 minutes; remove to a paper-towel-lined plate.

Reserve half of the bacon fat to use later. Add brussel sprout leaves and tomatoes to remaining fat in skillet. Saute 5 minutes to soften. Remove from pan.

Pour reserved fat into skillet and add onions, garlic, and thyme; season with salt and pepper. Cover; cook, stirring occasionally, until onions begin to brown, about 15 minutes. Uncover; cook until golden brown, 5 to 10 minutes more.

Crumble goat cheese over pasta; add onion mixture, zucchini and 1 cup reserved pasta water. Season with salt and pepper. Toss, adding more pasta water as desired. Serve immediately, sprinkled with bacon and more thyme. Serves 6.

carrots with bacon, rosemary and honey

20 Jun

In my ideal world, Sundays revolve around the preparation of a huge meal, preferably consumed outdoors in the leisurely company of family. This Sunday got me feeling particularly sentimental, today being Father’s Day. “Everyone else” (at least according to my Facebook news feed) was busy having the ‘best father’s day, ever’ prancing about in parks and on serene shorelines. For the rest of us, there’s comfort in a great Sunday supper of a perfectly cooked steak with dressed-up side of carrots.

carrots with bacon, rosemary and honey
a brilliant sidedish adapted from Epicurious

* 2 slices bacon, diced
* 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
* 1 pound carrots (about 4 large), peeled, cut into diagonal chunks
* Coarse kosher salt
* 1 tablespoon butter
* 1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
* 1 tablespoon honey

Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add bacon until almost browned. Add carrots. Sprinkle with coarse kosher salt and pepper. Sauté until vegetables are beginning to brown at edges, about 12 minutes.

Add butter, rosemary, and honey to vegetables. Toss over medium heat until heated through and vegetables are glazed, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with more salt and pepper, if desired.