Sunday, April 27, 2014

Johnny Wants Bacon (French Toast Napoleon With Grilled Bananas, Bacon and Nutella with Maple Rum Syrup)

One of my friends told me about Ritz new product, Bacon flavored Ritz. Not only are the smoky with a black pepper kick, they were also really good in crumb form, over the Macaroni and Cheese I made as a side for dinner last night. *Note: There’s no actual bacon in the new cracker, just the essence of bacon via a dry seasoning blend.

I have a Bacon-a-Day desktop calendar (I know, shocking, right?).  In a Bacon Cook-Off Challenge, the winning recipe was French Toast Napoleon, made with rum, and topped with Nutella, grilled bananas, artisanal bacon and whipped cream.  No recipe was included, so I had free reign to experiment.  It was later described as "I will not lie. It was flavor carnival in my mouth!".  (Yes! I was the one who described it!  When am I wrong about Bacon?)

French Toast Napoleon With Grilled Bananas, Bacon and Nutella with Maple Rum Syrup

6-8 slices of bacon
4 eggs
1 cup half and half (or milk)
1 tbsp vanilla
3/4 tsp cinnamon
4 slices thick cut bread
1/4 cup melted butter
3 cups sliced bananas
1 cup whipped cream
1 jar of Nutella
1 cup maple syrup
1 shot of rum

For the Bacon: Turn on oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and immediately place bacon on a broiling pan or cooling rack over a cookie sheet and bake until bacon is done and crispy.  Approx 25 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool on a paper towel-lined plate. Crumble.
For the egg batter: Put the Eggs, half and half (or milk), vanilla and cinnamon into a bowl and whisk until smooth.
For bananas: Heat grill or broiler to medium and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Slice bananas in half lengthwise and sprinkle with cinnamon. Grill for 4 minutes on each side until marks form. Remove from heat and slice each half into 3 sections. Set aside.
For Rum Syrup: Combine rum and syrup in a small saucepan and let come to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium low for a slow boil for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Dip the bread in French toast egg batter. Gently squeeze the bread slices in several different spots (especially near the edge/crust) to help absorb the batter. Allow the batter to absorb into the bread while it rests for 10 minutes.
Drizzle melted butter onto a pancake grill or large saute pan. Place the soaked egg bread onto the oiled grill and cook until golden brown on both top and bottom (approx. 4 minutes per side)
When the French toast is done, place one side on the plate. Using a large spoon, sprinkle a little of the nutella, making sure to spread it close to the edge all the way around. Place sliced bananas over the top of the toast.
Sprinkle some bacon on top and all around the plate. Garnish the French toast with some whipped cream. Serve warm maple-rum syrup on the side.

Makes 2 servings.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Boo Boo Bacon Bunny (And Easter Egg Salad Sandwiches with Dijon and Bacon)

I wish I lived closer to New Jersey.  I never though I would actually say that, but there's a chocolate shop there that sells Boo Boo Bacon Bunny, a solid chocolate Easter bunny filled with pieces of cooked bacon.  Um, yes please!  Check it out!

So, I'm gonna take a stab in the dark here, but you probably have an abundance of hard-boiled eggs right about now?  I love a good Egg Salad Sandwich, so I thought I'd take a little spin on an old favorite.  Add a little onion, a lot of Bacon and some Dijon mustard.  Say hello to a new egg salad!

 Egg Salad Sandwiches with Dijon and Bacon
6-10 hard-boiled eggs
6 slices of crispy cooked bacon, chopped fine
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp honey mustard
1 tbsp chives
1/2 tsp dill
1/2 tsp bacon salt or seasoned salt
1 tsp lemon juice
Bread or rolls

Mix eggs, bacon, mayonnaise, red onion, Dijon mustard, honey mustard, chives, lemon juice, dill, and bacon or seasoned salt in a bowl; spread onto bread or rolls to serve.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Bacon Easter Baskets (Bacon Baklava)

You'd be amazed on what is out there when you "Ask the Google" about bacon.  Just this morning, as I was perusing various social networking sites I came across the Easter Basket of my dreams!  The Bacon-aholic in me wants it.  Now.  However, the other me, the never ending line of projects, 2 job-working, mom and wife just doesn't think I have the energy. Check out the Epic Bacon Easter Basket!

This week's recipe came from a book I got for Christmas called Bacon 24/7.  I modified a bit, because in all honesty, what Martha Stewart-freak just happens to have Orange Flower Water or Rose Water in their pantry.  I don't.  But the results look and smell fantastic.

Bacon Baklava
1/2 pound raw walnut pieces
1/2 pound raw pistachio meats
1 cup cooked and crumbled bacon (about 12 slices, regular cut)
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/4 cup (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
1 package (16 ounces) phyllo dough, thawed
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a food processor, pulse the nuts until they are ground, but not fine.  Add the bacon, 1/3 cup sugar and pulse a few more times until mixed well.

Begin layering the baklava.  Brush a 9 x 13 inch pan or sheet pan with sides, generously with the melted butter.  Unroll the phyllo dough and cover the exposed sheets with a damp paper towel, so the sheets do not dry out while you are layering.

Place a sheet of the phyllo dough on the pan and brush it with melted butter.  Repeat with 6 more sheets of phyllo dough and butter, to total 7 sheets.  Spread 1/3 of the nut/bacon mixture evenly over the dough.  Top the nuts with two more buttered phyllo sheets.  Continue sprinkling 1/3 of the nut mixture adding two sheets of buttered phyllo until all of the nut mixture is used.  Top with a final layer of the 7 buttered phyllo sheets.

Use a sharp knife to cut the uncooked baklava into 24 diamond shapes.  Bake the baklava until brown and crisp....roughly 28-35 minutes.

While the baklava is baking, combine the remaining wet ingredients in a saucepan.  Gradually heat the mixture until the sugar dissolves.  Add the cinnamon and bring the mixture to a boil.  Reduce the heat to a slow simmer (low) and heat for another 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove pan from the heat and let cool slightly.  Pour the syrup evenly over the baklava as soon as it comes out of the oven.  Make sure you cover the baklava completely with the syrup.  Leave this out at room temperature to soak for several hours.  Serve at room temp, store leftovers in the refrigerator.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Hear Me Roar (The Hot Sicilian)

Tonight is the return of Game of Thrones.  And other than the binge watching of the last 3 seasons on conitunous play on HBO, what could I crave more than Beef & Bacon Pies.  Tonight's dinner will be summer wine, Beef & Bacon Pie followed by the best show on cable television.  (Sorry The Walking Dead)

Since I've already posted the Beef & Bacon Pie recipe last year, I thought this post would be a contribution not of my doing.  My husband treated me to his speciality last night, a sub called the Hot Sicilian.  It's the best thing he makes, hands down.

The Hot Sicilian
1/2 lb deli ham
1/2 lb bacon
1/4 lb pepperoni
1 loaf french bread
2 slices provolone cheese
sliced tomato


Turn on oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and immediately place bacon on a broiling pan or cooling rack over a cookie sheet and bake until bacon is done and crispy.  Approx 25 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool on a paper towel-lined plate. 

Heat a griddle, if you have one, or a large skillet.  Place ham in skillet and heat on medium heat.  On the side place pepperoni in a pile to cook.  After 2-3 minutes flip over and cook for another 2 minutes. 

Stack pepperoni and bacon on ham and add provolone cheese, turn off heat and cover with a lid to melt the cheese.  Slice French bread, lettuce and tomato.  Assemble sandwich and enjoy!