Saturday, January 26, 2013

Bacon and Pigskin

As the countdown begins for Super Bowl XLVII, most homes are gearing up to root for their favorite team.  But if you are like me, you’re really more interested in the “other” most important parts of the game: the ads and the food.  I went to school for Marketing, so I love watching what companies come up with to snag your attention in their $3.7 million dollar promo spots (that’s roughly $90,000 a second people).   It’s Oscar night for Commercials.  Company’s putting their best foot forward in hopes that you, the consumer, will watch them rather than change the channel or leave the room for a beer or a bathroom break.

There doesn’t seem to be a sure-fire formula for creating the best ad campaign, but the main guidelines for appealing to the masses include computer animation, celebrities, babies, sex appeal, humor and bacon.  Last Year Jack in the Box had a wildly popular “Marry Bacon” commercial that was listed as one of the best Super Bowl Commercials of 2012.  Never discount the selling power of bacon!

Let’s do a recap of some of the best Bacon Commercials out there: 
So even though we have a week or so until the big game, I thought I’d get a jump start on the Bacony Goodness that goes into the Super Bowl.  Plus, I’m considerate enough to give you time to shop, so you can make these delicious treats.  Here’s a list of some of my favorite Bacon Appetizers.  All pre-tested and Libby approved!  You can be the hero at your Super Bowl Party!  Bring them bacon! 

(Pictured Above:  Bacon Pretzel Rolos and Super Bowl Bacon Almonds)

Super Bowl Bacon Almonds

(My husband said he could eat these with a spoon…deliciously sweet and salty.  You need to make this.)

2 strips of bacon
2 cups (16 oz) of pre-roasted almonds, unsalted
1 cup dry roasted peanuts, unsalted
1 ½  tsps honey
Salt and pepper to taste

Place the bacon in a frying pan and cook until crispy. Set aside to drain on a paper towel. Place the almonds in a bowl and pour in the bacon grease from the pan. Stir to coat the almonds and then put them on a cookie sheet. Bake for 5-7 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Meanwhile, combine honey, salt and pepper in a separate bowl. Pour the roasted almonds into a brown paper bag, fold the top of the bag over, and shake to remove excess bacon grease. Then, pour the nuts into a mixing bowl. Crumble the bacon and add it to the nuts. Add in the honey mixture and stir to combine. Place the nuts in a mixing bowl. (Makes 2 cups.)

Bacon-Wrapped Smokies

¾ pounds of bacon (approx 10 slices)
1 lb package of smokes sausages (I like to use Hillshire Farms)
2/3 cup brown sugar
¼ cup maple syrup
¼ tsp pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut bacon slices in half. Fry bacon in large pan until some of the fat is rendered but the bacon is still pliable; do not let bacon get crisp.

Cool bacon 5 minutes on paper towels then wrap each sausage with a piece of the precooked bacon. Roll each little bundle in brown sugar, fasten with a toothpick, and place on wire rack. Place rack in 13" x 9" baking pan lined with foil.

Drizzle maple syrup over the sausages and sprinkle with pepper. Bake 25-35 minutes until sausages are hot and bacon is crisp. Remove rack from pan and cool sausage bundles 4-5 minutes before serving. (Serves 8)

Bacon Pretzel Rolos

(Something I think that you could survive on for the rest of your life.  Takes Turtles to a new level.  Like Teenage Mutant Ninja Bacon Turltles!)

Mini Pretzels (I like the square ones)
Rolo Candies
1 pound of bacon

Preheat oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.  In a frying pan, fry up that bacon until it’s only slightly cooked.  Keep in mind that you will be cooking your bacon further in the oven, so you don’t want to overcook it now.  Once cooked, remove from pan and drain bacon on a paper towel.  Chop the bacon up into pieces, about the size of the pretzel.

On a lined cookie sheet (I use parchment paper or aluminum foil), line up the pretzels as you would cookies, layer with a piece of bacon and then top if with a Rolo Candy.  Bake in the oven at 250 degrees for 10-15 minutes.  Keep an eye on the candy, as you do NOT want to burn them.  When they are done, take them out and let them cool and harden. You might want to finish these off in the fridge to cool completely.

Bacon-Stuffed Mushrooms

2 to 2 ½ dozen medium whole white mushrooms
8 strips of bacon, diced
2 tsp parsley
¼ cup parmesan cheese
1 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs or Italian seasoned Panko bread crumbs
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
½ tsp oregano

Remove the stems from mushrooms, finely chop half of the stems and set aside.  Discard the rest.  In a sauté pan over med-med high heat, sauté the bacon strips until crisp.  Strain off some of the fat (save it for other recipes!), then add the chopped stems.  Sauté on med heat for 2-3 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Stir in the rest of the ingredients.

 Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Fill mushroom heads with stuffing mixture, and place on a greased (I like to use a light coating of olive oil) baking pan.  Heat in oven for 12-15 minutes.  Top of stuffing should be crispy to the touch.

Bacon-Wrapped Cheddar-Stuffed Tater Tots

(This is an altered version of a recipe my cousin Mandy gave me.  Had to take it to the next level by adding the cheese.)

24 partially defrosted tater tots
12 slices of bacon, cut in half
24 small chunks of Cheddar Cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil.  Lay a slice of bacon down and place a tater tot in the center.  With a sharp knife, gently make a slit in the center of the tot, being careful not to cut all the way thru.  Insert a piece of cheese.  Wrap bacon tightly around the surface of the tot and secure with a toothpick.  Place on baking sheet.

Bake about 15 minutes, until the bacon is crispy and the tots are crispy on the ends, and appear to be cooked through.  Serve immediately. (Makes 24 tots)

Congrats to whoever wins the Super Bowl.  Be the hero at your next Super Bowl party and bring the bacon!

No comments:

Post a Comment