Tag Archives: bacon

Bacon Jalapeño Scones

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Scones don’t have to just be a dessert food. Scone dough is perfectly suited to add savory ingredients and served for breakfast or brunch. Or as an accompaniment to soup, stew, or chili for dinner. These scones are stuffed full of bacon, green onions, gruyere and Parmesan cheeses, and chopped jalapenos.

I only used one jalapeño this time, which was hardly noticeable. Next time I will use 2-3. Heat levels of jalapeños vary widely, however, so it is wise to taste a small piece before committing to adding 3 full jalapeños.

You can eat these plain, slathered with butter or Clotted Cream, or topped with jam. I served them with a homemade sweet & spicy Mango Jalapeño Jam.

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To form the scones, transfer your dough to a well-floured surface and use your hands to shape dough into an 8” round disc about 3/4-inch thick.

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Use a sharp knife to cut into 8 wedges. This recipe makes 16 scones. Don’t make one large circle and cut into 16 pieces. Instead, divide dough in half and make 8 from each round.

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An important factor in getting light, airy scones is not working the dough more than necessary. An easy and effective way to cut your butter into the dry ingredients is to use a cheese grater to shred frozen butter into your dry ingredients and then mix only briefly. You want there to still be strands of visible butter. That is what will create the air pockets and layers in your scones.

Tip for adding butter: This recipe calls for 8 Tbs (1 stick) of butter. Freeze TWO  sticks, then take a pen and mark around the 4 Tbs line on each stick. (It is hard to grate slippery butter all the way down to the end of the stick without grating your fingers ) Fold back the paper on the sticks of butter to the line you’ve drawn.  Holding the paper-covered end of the butter, grate the butter directly into your dry ingredients (briefly stir occasionally so that you don’t have a big pile of butter in one spot). Stop grating when you get to the line where you’ve folded back your butter paper. I usually use the larger of the two grating hole sizes on the grater.

You can also grate butter that is just refrigerated, not frozen, but it will hold it’s consistency longer if you freeze it for about 30 minutes first.

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RECIPE:

Bacon Jalapeño Scones

Bacon Jalapeno Scones 4

2 ½ cups flour
2 Tbs sugar
1 Tbs baking powder
1 tsp coarse kosher salt
½ cup unsalted butter (freeze TWO sticks for 30 mins for easier grating)
2/3 cup buttermilk
2 eggs, beaten lightly
½ cup chopped crisply-cooked bacon
¼ cup chopped green onion
2-3 jalapeños, seeded and finely chopped
2/3 cup grated Gruyere or Swiss cheese
¼ cup grated fresh Parmesan

Egg wash: 1 egg, beaten + 2 Tbs heavy cream

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.

Cut the butter into the flour mixture to form coarse crumbs. Tip for adding butter: Freeze TWO sticks of butter, then take a pen and mark around the 4 Tbs line on each stick. (It is hard to grate slippery butter all the way down to the end of the stick without grating your fingers ) Fold back the paper on the sticks of butter to the line you’ve drawn.  Holding the paper-covered end of the butter, grate the butter directly into your dry ingredients (briefly stir occasionally so that you don’t have a big pile of butter in one spot). Stop grating when you get to the line where you’ve folded back your butter paper. I usually use the larger of the two grating hole sizes on the grater.

Mix together the buttermilk and the beaten eggs. Make a well in the center of the  flour mixture and stir in milk just until moistened.

In a small bowl, stir together the cooked bacon, green onions, jalapeños, and grated cheeses. Mix gently into the scone dough.

On a floured surface, knead dough lightly until evenly mixed. Divide the dough in half. Pat each dough half into an 8-inch round about 3/4 inch thick. Cut each circle into 8 wedges.

Line baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats. Place dough wedges on prepared sheets and place in freezer for 30 minutes to chill.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Remove scones from freezer and brush lightly with egg wash. Bake for 16-18 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

Serve plain or with butter, Clotted Cream, or Mango Jalapeño Jam.

Yield: 16 scones

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**TO FREEZE SCONES TO SERVE AT A LATER TIME:

Scones can be frozen either before or after baking.

To freeze before baking: Prepare scone dough. Cut scones and place on a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper. DO NOT brush with egg wash. Freeze until firm. Place into Ziploc bag or freezer container and store in freezer. Place frozen scones on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silicone mat. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Brush tops of scones with egg wash. Bake at 400°F for 18-20 minutes.

To freeze after baking: Prepare and bake scones. Cool completely and place on a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper. Freeze until firm. Place into Ziploc bag or freezer container and store in freezer. Place frozen scones on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silicone mat. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Bake at 300°F for 10-12 minutes.

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Filed under Appetizers, Breads, Breakfast/Brunch

Birthday Chocolate Chip (or Blueberry) Waffles and Oven Bacon

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Yesterday was Middle K’s 14th birthday, and in the spirit of Waffle Week, we made Chocolate Chip and Blueberry Waffles for breakfast that morning. With some Oven Bacon on the side. For the waffles, I used the One-Bowl Buttermilk Waffle batter. While the batter was in the waffle iron, I sprinkled in mini chocolate chips, or some frozen blueberries (not thawed). Fresh blueberries would obviously be great as well; I can’t wait until summer blueberry season—I am down to my last bag of blueberries that I froze last summer. You could also sprinkle in other berries or chopped fruit (raspberries, chopped strawberries, peaches).

052211 032-1Cooking bacon in the oven is a great way to make a lot of bacon without making a mess of your kitchen. And there are NO PANS TO CLEAN WHEN YOU ARE DONE!! It was a great thing to make with these Buttermilk Waffles, as this batter is best if it sits for 30 minutes before cooking. So I made up the batter, set it aside, then got the bacon going in the oven. By the time the bacon was crisp, the batter was ready to cook!

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Simply line a rimmed baking sheet with heavy duty foil, lay out slices of bacon (not touching) and bake at 375°F for 15-20 minutes. Exact time will depend on the thickness of the bacon, and how crispy you like it. A general guideline is to watch the “bubbles” on the bacon. They will start out large, then get small and foamy when the bacon is crisp. Remove the bacon from the pan and allow to drain on some paper towels. When the pan has cooled completely, simply gather up the foil (with all of the messy grease inside) and throw it away. Or you could save some of those bacon drippings and freeze to use for cooking later.

RECIPES:

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Chocolate Chip or Blueberry Waffles

Waffle Batter (try any of the following):
One-Bowl Buttermilk Waffles
Brown Sugar Buttermilk Waffles
Whole Grain Waffles
Overnight Yeast Raised Waffles
Sourdough Waffles

Mini Chocolate Chips, Blueberries, or other Chopped Fruit or Nuts

Prepare batter according to recipe. Fill waffle maker with slightly less batter than usual. Sprinkle with desired filling. Using a heat safe rubber spatula, gently spread batter in the waffle maker to cover the chocolate chips or fruit with a small amount of batter (so that they don’t stick to the top plate of the waffle iron). Close waffle iron and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until lightly browned and crispy.

Oven Bacon

Bacon
Rimmed Baking Sheet
Heavy Duty Foil
Paper Towels

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Line the baking sheet with foil. Lay out slices of raw bacon (not touching) and bake at 375°F for 15-20 minutes. Exact time will depend on the thickness of the bacon, and how crispy you like it. A general guideline is to watch the “bubbles” on the bacon. The bubbles will start out large, then get small and foamy when the bacon is crisp. Remove the bacon from the pan and allow to drain on some paper towels.

When the pan has cooled completely, simply gather up the foil (with all of the messy grease inside) and throw it away. Or you could save some of those bacon drippings and freeze to use for cooking later.

 

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Thanksgiving: “Bacon Beans”

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This side dish comes together really quickly for a great Thanksgiving vegetable. With all of the heavy items on the table: mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, sweet potatoes- I like to have a vegetable that is crisp and tender and tastes fresh. These green beans are perfect for that.

Of my five children, only one of them thought that they liked green beans. Until I added bacon. It is amazing what a little bit of bacon will do! Adding some nuts and garlic didn’t hurt anything either. This is the one vegetable I cook where there are NEVER leftovers. They go back for seconds on this dish before anything else on the table. What a change! Whenever they smell bacon cooking around dinner time, the first question out of their mouths is, “Are you making bacon beans?”

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I love to use these skinny French green beans, sometimes called filet beans. They are super tender and very flavorful; not at all stringy. They cook very quickly, less than 5 minutes. Be sure not to overcook, or they will be mushy. Both Costco and Sam’s Club carry French beans (different brands, however). I think the one below is from Costco. You can also use regular green beans, but I really love these skinny ones. Bonus: they come with the ends already snapped. No advance prep necessary!DSC02693-1

RECIPE:

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Green Beans with Bacon and Garlic Pine Nuts (or Almonds)

1 lb French green beans (or regular beans, snapped)
6-8 slices bacon, chopped
1/4 cup pine nuts or sliced almonds
1/8 tsp garlic powder (optional)

In a skillet, combine beans and about 1/2 cup water. Add a small amount of salt to the water, if desired. Bring to a boil; cover pan and cook beans for 3-5 minutes, or until beans are crisp-tender. Do not overcook. Drain water and place beans in a serving dish.

Cook bacon in the same skillet until almost crisp. Drain excess grease, leaving 1-2 Tbs of drippings. (If you are using precooked bacon, and there are no drippings, add 1-2 Tbs butter to pan). With bacon still in the pan, add pine nuts or almond slices and cook until nuts are lightly toasted (about 2 minutes). Stir in garlic powder, if using.

Add green beans back to the pan and stir to combine and warm beans.

 

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Not Just for Summer: Open-Faced Sloppy Joes and Baked Beans

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Sloppy Joes with Baked Beans is always sure to please even the pickiest of eaters in my house. Again it is all about the toppings around here: cheese and sliced green onions go perfectly with the simmered savory meat.

I know that baked beans are traditionally a summer barbecue food, but I prefer to make them when it is cold outside and I need to heat the house up with some extended oven baking time. I usually start with canned beans because I am rarely successful in getting good finished texture when cooking this with dried beans.

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Want the convenience of canned beans at the price of dry beans? Can your own with a pressure canner: 1 cup beans + 1 tsp salt in each quart jar. Add hot tap water, leaving 1” headspace. Process in a pressure canner at 15 lb pressure for 60 minutes.

Some in our family like to eat our Sloppy Joes open-faced. When I don’t have homemade bread on hand, I serve the Sloppy Joes on these thin sandwich breads, toasted:060610 009-1RECIPES:

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Sloppy Joes

2- 2 ½ lb ground beef
1 onion, diced
1/2–1  red or green bell pepper, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 cup packed fresh parsley, chopped or 1 Tbs dried parsley
1 1/2 cups water
1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
1/2 cup ketchup
1 Tbs chili powder
1/2 Tbs brown sugar
2 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbs red wine vinegar
1/2–1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp dry mustard
½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp Tabasco sauce
1/4 tsp black pepper
Pinch ground cloves

Hamburger buns or Homemade Bread, toasted
Shredded cheese
Sliced green onions or finely chopped red or yellow onions

Brown ground beef in a large skillet until thoroughly cooked; drain fat. Add onion, red or green pepper, garlic and parsley to the skillet. Cook until onions are translucent.

Add remaining ingredients (except buns and toppings) and simmer, covered, for 15-20 minutes. Uncover and continue to simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until Sloppy Joes are thickened as desired.

Serve over toasted buns (open-faced or full buns) with shredded cheese and onions for toppings.

**NOTE: Use a food processor to chop the onion, peppers, garlic and parsley if you want fine pieces that are less noticeable to children!

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Baked Beans

8-12 oz bacon
1 onion, chopped
2 cans (16 oz) white beans, drained and rinsed
2 cans (16 oz) pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (16 oz) tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
2 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbs molasses
2 Tbs Dijon mustard
2 Tbs brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp liquid hickory smoke flavoring
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/8 tsp ground cloves

Chop bacon and cook until almost crisp. Remove bacon from pan; drain grease, leaving 2-3 Tbs drippings in the pan. In the bacon drippings, sauté onion until soft. Combine bacon and onion with remaining ingredients in a 2-quart baking dish. Cover and bake at 300°F for about 3 hours (or 325°F for 2 hours), stirring every 30-45 minutes. Add additional water if the beans begin to stick to the pan.

Or cook in a crock-pot on low for 6-8 hours.

 

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Teriyaki Salmon and Green Beans with Bacon & Pine Nuts

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Two of my favorite items from Costco are the large Alaskan (or Copper River later in the summer) salmon fillets and the packages of thin French green beans. This meal combines both for a quick to prepare, healthy and flavorful dinner..

These large fillets will feed about 4 people. Start by lining a baking dish with non-stick foil (or spray regular foil with non-stick spray). Place salmon fillet in the baking dish, skin side down. Sprinkle salmon with lime juice (lemon would be fine, as well).

DSC02657-1 Notice how the acid in the lime juice starts cooking
the salmon before you even put it in the oven.

Top salmon with this soy based marinade and sprinkle with fresh chives or green onions. The marinade includes soy sauce, olive and sesame oils, balsamic vinegar, honey, garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes. (Save half of the marinade to serve with the salmon)

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Bake at 425°F for about 15-20 minutes, or until salmon flakes with a fork. Once cooked, the salmon will easily slide off of the skin with a little help from a spatula. Cooking it with the skin helps to keep it nice and moist.

Serve salmon with additional sauce on the side (bring reserved marinade to a boil in a small saucepan before serving).

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Green Beans with Bacon and Pine Nuts

This side dish comes together really quickly, especially if you use another of my favorite Costco items: precooked bacon. I coarsely chop the pre-cooked bacon and cook it in a small skillet with the pine nuts until the nuts are lightly toasted.

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Remove bacon and pine nuts from pan. Add 1 Tbs olive oil (if you are not using precooked bacon, you could just use 1 Tbs of bacon drippings from the pan) and the green beans to the skillet. Cook over high heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly.

Add 2 Tbs water to the pan, cover, and cook for about 2-3 minutes, or until beans are crisp-tender. These thin French beans cook very quickly and are very tender. Don’t overcook!

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Stir in bacon and pine nuts and serve.

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RECIPE:

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Spicy Teriyaki Salmon

1 large salmon fillet
1 lime, juiced
2 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs soy sauce
1 Tbs balsamic or rice vinegar
1 Tbs honey
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp minced fresh ginger
¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes (add more for more heat)
1 Tbs sesame oil
2 Tbs fresh chives or green onions, chopped

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Line a baking dish with non-stick foil (or spray regular foil with non-stick spray). Place salmon fillet in a baking dish, skin side down. Sprinkle salmon with lime juice.

In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, soy sauce, vinegar, honey, garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes and sesame oil. Pour half of sauce over salmon. Set remaining sauce aside. Sprinkle salmon with chives or green onions.

Bake at 425°F for 15-20 minutes, or until cooked through. Fish should flake easily with a fork.

Meanwhile, bring reserved sauce to a boil in a small saucepan. Serve over cooked salmon.

RECIPE:

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Green Beans with Bacon and Pine Nuts

1 lb French green beans (or regular beans, snapped)
6-8 slices bacon, chopped
1/4 cup pine nuts

Cook bacon in a small skillet until almost crisp. Add pine nuts and cook until nuts are lightly toasted. Remove from pan.

Drain bacon drippings, leaving 1 Tbs of drippings in the pan. (If you are using precooked bacon, and there are no drippings, add 1 Tbs olive oil to pan).

Add green beans to the pan and cook over high heat, stirring constantly, for 2-3 minutes.  Add 2 Tbs water to the skillet, cover, and cook for about 2-3 minutes, or until beans are crisp-tender. Do not overcook.

Stir bacon and nuts back into beans and serve.

 

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Roasted Squash with Bacon & Gorgonzola

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Just a quick post this weekend about a delicious way to prepare winter squash. I am coming to the end of my stockpile of winter squash (procured in the fall at an Amish produce auction-thanks Cynthia!). I have loved being able to go into our “root cellar” – read cold garage- and pick out a good squash for dinner.

In this roasted, mashed squash dish, I loved how the mild flavor of a roasted butternut squash was complimented by the stronger taste of gorgonzola. The bacon and green onions make for some great texture.

This dish starts with a roasted butternut squash, but you could use any winter squash variety that mashes well (butternut, acorn, delicata, pumpkin; I probably wouldn’t use a spaghetti squash). For a “How to” on roasting squash, read How To Roast Winter Squash.

Mix your roasted, mashed squash with some crumbled gorgonzola cheese, cooked & crumbled bacon, sliced green onions and a little Parmesan. The cheeses and bacon made the squash plenty salty to me, but I did add just a little fresh ground pepper.

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I cooked mine in these cute shallow individual baking dishes that I never seem to have a use for. I only have two (a 20+ year old wedding gift that usually sits high in my cupboard), but knowing that my kids weren’t going to touch this, I got out my stepstool and hauled them down.

Jan2010 017-2 I divided one butternut squash between the two dishes, and it ended up being more than the two of us could eat as a side dish. It was hearty enough (and very rich) that this amount (with a salad on the side) would have made a perfect main course for two.

Bake in a moderate oven until squash is heated through, cheese has melted and edges just begin to brown.

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Recipe:

Roasted Squash with Bacon & Gorgonzola

1 large butternut squash (or other winter squash variety)
2 Tbs gorgonzola cheese
1 Tbs Parmesan cheese, fresh grated
2 Tbs cooked and crumbled bacon
1 Tbs thinly sliced green onions
fresh ground pepper, to taste

Roast squash (see How to Roast Winter Squash). Mash until smooth (an immersion blended works really well). Stir in remaining ingredients. Spoon into individual baking dishes, or one larger dish (about 8×8” or a 1-qt casserole dish).

Bake at 375°F for 20-25 minutes, or until squash is heated through, cheese has melted and edges are golden brown.

Yield: 2 main dish or 4 side dish servings

 

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