Posts Tagged ‘recipe’

Weekend Pot Roast (with bacon)

Saturday, December 19th, 2009

So, this is not actually a recipe from the Bacon book. Its a recipe from Cook’s Illustrated magazine (which they called French-style pot roast), which had the irresistible combination of using bacon in the recipe, and, calling for use of a large dutch oven (since I finally acquired an enameled dutch oven last week and was eager to use it). My husband and I made this dish together, which was helpful because there were lots of steps to follow. Not difficult, just involved. Which is why I call it weekend pot roast – I could only make it on a weekend. We started at 12:45, and we sat down to eat at 6:15. However a lot of that time was just cooking time.

Here’s most of my ingredients, minus the wine and the roast.

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The main ingredient in pot roast, of course, was the 4lb boneless chuck eye roast. First I spent some time cutting out any large chunks of fat that were easily reachable, then salted it with a celtic sea salt and let it sit for an hour. Then patted it dry and tied it with butchers string.

Chuck eye roast, salted.

Bacon took a backseat rather than being the star of the show, but was still one of the “supports” in the building of an excellent dish! Here’s my hubbie dicing it, then it was sauteed, removed from the pot, and then I browned the meat in the bacon fat. (A splatter guard is helpful for this – the high heat needed for browning does make the fat fly.)

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I used Vande Rose bacon, which I had never had before. Was nicely meaty and mild flavored. Those four slices resulted in a very nice amount of fat, more than I needed for browning the roast in.

Here’s the roast when I first put it in the pot to brown.

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When it was browned on all sides I pulled the meat out of the pot. Then sauteed the diced onions and garlic, added the other broth ingredients (including a bottle of a Cotes du Rhone red wine, reduced down to 2 cups first, and the bacon goes back in too), and put the meat back in the pot, put the lid on of course, and baked it in the oven at 300 F for a couple hours.

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After 2 hours of cooking, you add the carrots and put it back in for another hour or so, and in the meantime you cook the pearl onions and mushrooms in a pan.

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When the roast is done cooking, you pull the meat out of the sauce (temporarily), add the pearl onions and mushrooms and a little gelatin to the sauce to thicken it. Then you put it all in a serving dish.

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We served it with white rice and a side of steamed greens, was excellent. Very flavorful, and good textures too – not mushy, as pot roast and veggies can easily be!


Kieron’s Grilled Plantain with Mustard and Bacon

Sunday, November 8th, 2009

My local grocery store had ripe plantains (dark brown skins), so it was time to try this recipe. I had two plantains. I didn’t have any English dried mustard, so I used what I had. Here’s the  plantains with the mustard paste on them:

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The recipe said I’d only need 2 to 3 slices of bacon per plantain; maybe my plantains were a bit large, but I ended up using more like 5 slices per. I got the Arkansas peppered bacon – I’ve become a big fan of Balinisian long pepper these days!  I did try using the skewers to hold the bacon in place:

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but I was too clumsy for it, or maybe I had too much bacon! But in the end I just wrapped them. (I thought about using toothpics later – next time.)

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I did all the cooking under the broiler (didn’t set up the grill) so I turned the broiler temp down to 400 instead of 500 after the first 5 minutes, since the bacon was getting black on the edges. I broiled it for about 20 minutes total, and turned them a couple of times. The bacon did come a bit loose without the skewers or toothpics as it cooked, but still held together pretty well. When it was nicely sizzling and clearly done I pulled it out of the oven.

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I cut them up into 1-inch chunks, and made sure each chunk had a nice bit of bacon with it, and brought it over to my cohousing community’s dinner in the common house as an appetizer. It was very well received! Very filling, due to the starchy plantains. A nice combination of textures, with the soft plantain and chewy bacon with the sharpness of the mustard to cut the starch.

Here’s the recipe, from page 170 of Zingerman’s Guide to Better Bacon:

When Kieron Hales, sous chef at the Roadhouse, first told me about this recipe, I thought it sounded a bit crazy. But, lo and behold, it’s actually delicious. Kieron hails (sorry, couldn’t resist) from England, but he learned this dish while he was working in Maine, from a Jamaican-born chef. The recipe works either on the grill or under the broiler, and you can make it with either ripe plantains or bananas. The latter will of course be somewhat sweeter, but both versions are quite good.  Kieron recommends making it with a thickly sliced, very smoky bacon—consider Broadbent’s, Edwards’ or Benton’s. It’s also very good with the long pepper bacon from Arkansas—the tropical flavors of the plantains and bananas go well with the equatorial accent of the long pepper.
So yeah, it sounds strange, but tastes darned good!

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons dried mustard (preferably Colman’s English)

1/4 cup water

4 large ripe plantains (their skins will be mottled or black) or bananas

4 teaspoons freshly ground Tellicherry black pepper

8 to 12 slices bacon (each plantain requires 2 to 3 slices)

Procedure:

Soak a handful of wooden skewers in water for at least 1 hour or overnight. (I used 6-inch bamboo skewers, but toothpicks will work, as well.)

Mix the dried mustard and water together with a fork until it forms a paste. Let stand for 30 minutes so that the mustard’s flavor can “bloom.”

If using the grill, bring to medium-high heat. Alternatively, you can do the whole recipe, start to finish, under the broiler.

Rub each plantain with 1-1/2 tablespoons of the mustard paste and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon pepper. Wrap each plantain in bacon slices, overlapping by one-third the width of each slice as you go. Secure bacon to the plantain by inserting skewers crosswise and at angles as necessary.

Place the dressed plantains atop an oiled grill. If the plantains are very ripe, grill them for about 5 minutes, then turn and repeat on the other side for another 5 minutes. If the plantains are less ripe—with yellower skins—you’ll want to keep them on the grill longer (about 8 to 9 minutes per side).

Carefully remove the plantains to a baking sheet and place under the broiler for another 15 minutes, or until the bacon is crisped and the plantains are caramelized.

Take the pan from the broiler, carefully remove the skewers and cut the plantains into chunks. Serve hot, with some English mustard on the side for dipping.

Serves 4 as a side dish, or 10 to 12 as an appetizer


TLBBLT – The Laurel Blakemore Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato Sandwich

Sunday, October 4th, 2009

It’s a rainy October Saturday, and my husband is off on a weekend backpacking trip. Normally I would be too, but my dining room table was literally covered with Roma and Brandywine tomatoes that I picked in a hurry before a hard frost on Wednesday, and I was itching to make a batch of sauce and can it – it takes ages and I knew I would not have time to do it on a weeknight. So, I stayed home, and made my sauce. And all that to say, it’s also a great opportunity to make some rainy-day comfort food for lunch that needs really excellent Brandywine tomatoes – yep, a BLT. And not just any old BLT – the TLBBLT.

It’s a simple sandwich, but I’m a firm believer in the concept of simple but excellent ingredients giving extraordinary results, and this was outstanding.

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Here’s my ingredients, except the Hellman’s mayo which I forgot to put into the photo: 4 slices of Arkansas peppered bacon, some aged Cabot farmhouse cheddar, a couple of slices of one of my homegrown Brandywine tomatoes, some organic romaine lettuce, and two slices of Zingerman’s Bakehouse’s farm bread.

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I cooked up the bacon in my favorite iron skillet, and took it out to drain. I drained a bit of the fat out of the skillet, but left some in to cook the sandwich in. (I save the fat of course, and use it all the time for cooking. The fat from the peppered bacon always has a nice kick to it!) I assembled the sandwich per the recipe instructions. (You leave out the lettuce during the cooking.)

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And put it in the pan in the remaining bacon fat and weighed it down with a bowl. (This was a bit tricky in that my bowl was large and kept tipping, but on the whole it seemed to work well.) Flipped it over when one side was golden brown, cooked it another few minutes til also golden brown.

Then I pried it apart and added in the lettuce, cut it carefully and at a slight angle (Laurel would be proud I think, though I’ve never met her), stepped back to admire it, and then devoured it immediately.

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Was a perfect combo of textures and flavors – the crunchy bread and chewy bacon,  soft juicy tomatoes and melted cheese – oh my. If I weren’t so full I’d do it all over again.

Here’s the recipe, from page 208 of Zingerman’s Guide to Better Bacon:

TLBBLT: The Laurel Blakemore Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato Sandwich

Aside from being the only palindromic recipe name I know, this also makes a really good sandwich, which has long been very popular at the Deli. It’s named for Dr. Laurel Blakemore, horse fanatic, show jumper, pediatric orthopaedic surgeon and a big lover of bacon. It calls for a good bit of mayonnaise—I think a good BLT needs that, but you can certainly cut back if you like. Either way, it’s easy to make and great to eat! The recipe is for a single sandwich but it’s not hard to do the math and make as many as you want.

Ingredients:

2 to 4 slices Arkansas peppered bacon
2 slices crusty country bread (we use Zingerman’s Farm Bread)
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 slices aged Vermont cheddar cheese
2 thick slices good tomato
Handful of good lettuce

Procedure:

Cook the bacon in a frying pan until done. Remove from pan and drain, but leave the pan on the heat.

Spread mayonnaise on both slices of bread. Put a slice of cheese on each slice, then add the bacon and tomato. Assemble the sandwich, give it a gentle press together with your palm and slide it into the hot pan. Weight it down with a bowl and fry until golden brown. Flip, brown the other side, and remove from pan. Add the lettuce, cut the sandwich on whatever angle your heart desires (remember, though, that Laurel is a surgeon and places great value on properly positioned knife cuts!), and eat it while it’s hot!