Kathy Maister's Start Cooking

50 Ways to Use Bacon

posted in Appetizers and Snacks, Breakfast and Brunch, Main Dishes, Recipes by Kathy Maister

Ahh, bacon! That crispy, chewy, salty and sinful cut of pork we all love.

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Depending on where in the world you live, bacon is cut from the sides, belly, or back of a pig, near the ribs. The most common form of bacon sold in the United States is side bacon.  It is very fatty with long layers of fat running parallel to the rind.  It’s the fattiness of the meat that makes it so yummy. After the skin is cut away, the meat is cured, smoked, and sliced. It can be cooked in a pan on the stovetop, in the oven, or in the microwave, until it’s perfectly crisp.

1. Make a good old BLT sandwich, of course.

2. Bacon cheeseburgers will make anyone’s mouth water. Meat topped with more meat? Perfection!

3. Bacon-wrapped tater tots would go perfectly with that bacon cheeseburger!

4. Roast a bacon-wrapped turkey breast for Sunday dinner.

5. Make delicious bacon parmesan twists.

6. Add a punch of flavor to your creamed spinach recipe.

7. Make your own hot bacon dressing for a fabulous spinach salad!

8. Entertaining? Whet your guests’ appetites with the bacon-cheese fundido appetizer.

9. Indulge in a bar of dark chocolate infused with the flavor of applewood smoked bacon as a special treat.

10. Maple bacon cupcakes  (made from a cake mix) look easy and mouth watering.

11. And if you liked those, try some maple bacon cookie bark.

12. It’s not real, southern cornbread unless there’s bacon grease in it.

13. Bacon lip balm anyone?

14. Join the bacon of the month club to have artisan bacon delivered to your door 12 times a year.

15. A plate full of candied bacon is very hard to resist.

16. A Bacon Martini, (also known as Pig On The Rocks) is made with bacon infused vodka.

17. For a great garnish for drinks, try making a bacon swizzle stick.

18. Whip up a tasty bacon and cheese quiche for dinner.

19. Cook bacon into the shape of cups and fill with lettuce and tomato for a breadless BLT.

20. Stay warm bacon hot chocolate.

21. Bacon salt adds the flavor without the calories.

22. If pork-covered pork appeals to you, you may also enjoy the Grilled Bacon-Wrapped hot dogs.

23. Bacon bandaids bring back smiles.

24. Bacon wrapped Cheesy Stuffed Jalapeños will be a huge hit at your next party.

25. Top your next dinner party with these totally amazing Dark Chocolate Bacon Cupcakes.

26. Impress your guests with Bacon Wrapped Scallops.

27. A bacon-y take on an Asian favorite: bacon and bok choy potstickers.

28. Weave and bake bacon into edible placemats.

29. Then, use the woven bacon to augment your grilled cheese experience.

30. The Bacon Explosion is to die for!  (Make only if you are a hardcore bacon lover)

31. Bacon, date and almond appetizers will be the hit of your party.

32. Bacon egg salad croissants put a new spin on an old favourite.

33.  Candied Bacon Ice Cream a la David Leibovitz.

34. An actual bacon bandaid  clearly helps you heal faster.

35. This bacon alarm clock has been university tested.

36. Romance is in the air with this bacon bouquet.

37. With all this bacon love going on, be sure to NOT put any bacon fat down the drain.

38. Bacon popcorn is a deliciously delicious, crunchy snack!

39. For the experienced  cook, try your hand at making your own bacon.

40. Baked Beans with Crispy Bacon, the name says it all.

41. Fancy up your Mac and Cheese with some bacon.

42. Potato soup with bacon sounds like the perfect soup to warm you up!

43. Strawberry bacon spinach salad will make you the star of any potluck.

44. Salty bacon is great inside an egg salad sandwich.

45. Try roasted pears with cheese and bacon.

46. Pears, bacon and cheese can also be made into a great pizza.

47. This is my favorite Bacon Quiche recipe.

48. If you are calorie cutting check out your local grocery store for turkey bacon.

49. Bacon Crack…butter, sugar, bacon and saltines…

50. And finally, a Bacon Fluffernutter!

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Scrambled Eggs

print recipe card posted in Breakfast and Brunch, Eggs, Vegetarian by Kathy Maister
Difficulty:

If all you’ve got in your refrigerator is eggs, milk and butter, you’ve got yourself a meal.

There isn’t a single time of day that scrambled eggs don’t taste good! Who knows, this simple meal may become one of YOUR signature dishes.

Here is a list of the equipment you will need to make scrambled eggs:

  • A small cup to first crack the eggs into to check for shells
  • A small bowl to put the eggs in for mixing
  • A fork or whisk for mixing
  • A small sauce pan or fry pan, preferably non stick
  • A silicone spatula
  • Measuring spoons

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For 2 servings, or 1 ½ eggs per person the Ingredients are;

  • 3 eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons of milk
  • 2 teaspoons of butter
  • Salt and pepper to your taste

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When you buy eggs in the grocery store, check that there are no broken eggs in the carton.

In the United States, by USDA requirement, eggs come already washed so you can use them straight away.

Begin by cracking each egg individually into the small cup. Check the egg to see that it looks okay and that there are no shells. Then add the egg to the mixing bowl.

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Now add a sprinkle of salt and black pepper (to your taste), and 2 Tablespoons of milk to the eggs. (There is some debate – see comments below – about when to add the salt – before or after cooking.)

Beat this mixture with a fork, or a whisk, in a vigorous elliptical motion until the yolks and the whites are all a nice bright yellow and completely blended together.

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(Graydon, in the comments below, likes to skip all these steps and just mix everything up in the pan you are cooking in!)

Put the beaten eggs to one side, and melt 2 teaspoons of butter over medium low heat in a non-stick pan. If you turn the burner up too high the eggs will cook faster, but you will end up with very watery, soggy tasting eggs. So be sure to keep the temperature at medium-low.

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(Non-stick pans make cleaning up so much easier! However, Non-stick pans can easily be scratched with metal utensils. You’ll need to buy a silicon spatula or scraper. Caution: if you have an old fashioned rubber spatula and not silicone, it will eventually melt when you cook with it.)

When the butter has melted, add the eggs to the pan. As the eggs begin to cook, GENTLY move them around with the spatula so that they cook evenly.

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GENTLY and slowly stir the eggs.

Continue cooking the eggs until they are thickened but still soft.

Some people like really soft scrambled eggs, other people like really dry scrambled eggs. Just keep gently stirring the eggs until they look like what you think the perfect consistency is.

Transfer the eggs to the plate and serve them immediately. (As Jon pointed out in the comments, the eggs continue to cook even when removed from the pan and will get rubbery if left in the pan.)

If you wish, you can add some extra ingredients while the eggs are cooking. For example, try tossing in some chopped ham, sprinkling in slowly as you stir the eggs. Or you might try adding some shredded cheese, or chopped green onion or chives. My favorite addition is chopped parsley.

To find out even more about eggs, be sure to check out my post “How to: Eggs“.

***

Five Second Rule lives!

YIKES! When I was taking the photographs for this blog post I dropped my camera into the egg mixture! I scooped it out and wiped it off. The automatic lens sticks a little but my camera still works! Who knew?

(Although some of the photos do look a bit hazy!)

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Enjoy!

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How To Make Deviled Eggs

print recipe card posted in Appetizers and Snacks, Breakfast and Brunch, Vegetarian by Kathy Maister
Difficulty:

When I’m making deviled eggs for a buffet table, I sometimes think perhaps they are a bit old-fashioned and outdated. Then, when the party is over, the deviled egg platter is always empty!

To make deviled eggs, in addition to the eggs, you will need mayonnaise, mustard, salt and pepper, and green olives stuffed with pimentos for flavor as well as garnish.

The first step is to hard-cook (what some people call boil) six eggs.

If you are unsure of how to boil an egg, check out my 30 second video for a quick review!

If you’ve just cooked the eggs, let them cool to room temperature before peeling them. Actually, cold, hard boiled eggs, just out of the refrigerator, are much easier to peel than just cooked eggs. If you are having trouble peeling the eggs, crack the shell at the ends of each egg and put them in a bowl of ice cold water. Let the eggs sit in the cold water about 10 minutes. This allows the water to seep in and make peeling much easier.

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Once all the eggs are peeled, slice them in half lengthwise.

Using a spoon or a fork, gently remove the yolks from the whites and place the all the yolks in a bowl. Set the whites on your serving dish.

I’m using my deviled egg dish which has grooves in it to hold the eggs in place for serving. If you do not have a deviled eggs dish you could put them on a bed of washed parsley so they not only look festive but the parsley will also prevent the eggs from sliding all over the place.

To make the filling, mix together the 6 yolks, add ¼ cup of mayonnaise, 1 ½ Tablespoons of mustard, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.

(There are many variations to making deviled eggs including skipping the mustard and using horseradish OR curry powder OR even sweet relish.)

With a fork, mix all of this together until it’s smooth. Taste it to make sure it doesn’t need more salt.

Using two small spoons, fill the egg white shells with the yolk mixture. You’ll need one spoon to scoop up some yolk and the other to slide it off the spoon. (Or as Bill suggested in the comments section below, put the mixture into a small Ziploc bag, cut off a corner, and pipe it back into the whites.)

Sliced olives with red pimentos are a traditional garnish for deviled eggs – plus it’s a great flavor combination. A sprinkle of paprika, if you have some in your spice cupboard, is also a lovely garnish on deviled eggs!

Deviled eggs make a great appetizer and a perfect party dish.

Enjoy!

P.S. Once you have mastered making hard boiled eggs you might want to give an egg salad sandwich a try!

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