Saturday, July 5, 2014

Take Two Pounds of Bacon and Call Me in the Morning

It started with a plainly wrapped package handed over by a tall, handsome, mysterious man.  He handed it to, gave me a hug and then disappeared.  I looked at the label and quickly decoded the message.

Beef Mart.

Amish Smoked Bacon!


The next thing you know I was home and sorting out recipe ideas on a note pad while Partner in Grime was looking at the galley proof of the Book of Barkley (in the printing phase at the Publishers while the kindle and nook editions get organized).  He was touched by the  book's dedication which was to him and commented how he would not be able to write something like that.  We each have instructions for each in each of our gun safes, in the event of an accident or our separation due to a disaster, to be opened only then.

 He looked at me with a grin and said "mine says 'if you're reading this, make me a sandwich' ".  

I imagine it says much more than that, but I got a good laugh out of it, but I didn't make him a sandwich that morning.  I made him southern biscuits with maple bacon gravy. The maple isn't a pronounced taste, it just adds some depth to the gravy that's very tasty.
There are days you just need such a sublime meal.  Like this one, on the magic elf box, where just below the video for "a drill bit sharpening jig you can rely on" there is an ad from Clorox for "removing bloodstains".

It's worth it, though I remember reading  a healthy eating blogger's words that each piece of bacon I eat takes a day off my life, all I could think of was "wow, I should have been dead in 1914!'

But we actually have some time off at the same time and that, my friends, involves not just rools, but Amish Bacon from Beef Mart (and a big thanks to Mr. B. and Midwest Chick for getting me two pounds of it when they were there). This was my breakfast plate yesterday morning, I just had two biscuits but I didn't hold back on the bacon.
  • roughly 1/4 pound bacon, with an extra piece per person for garnish
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt (or sea salt)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • a small dollop of maple syrup 
  • a pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 2 and 1/2  cups milk plus 1/2 cup half and half (both at room temperature)
click on this picture to enlarge, Abby double dog dares you

First cut the bacon into thirds. Put it into a large skillet and fry it over medium heat until cooked but not too brown. Remove the bacon and chop into 1 inch pieces and set aside.  Stir the flour into the bacon grease. You want no more than about 1/4 cup grease (roughly 3-4 T). If you have really fatty bacon or make extra pieces, remove any excess fat beyond 1/4 cup and save for your green beans.

Whisk over low/medium heat until the flour absorbs the fat and is just turning golden brown.  Add the salt, cayenne and black pepper. Stir the milk a third at a time, whisking after each addition, allowing it to warm before adding additional milk.  Stir it in slow, using the whisk to keep it from getting lumpy.  Simmer (not a full rolling boil please!) for 3-5  minutes, adding the maple syrup in there at that time, until thickened, increasing heat as needed but NO more than medium. Add the chopped bacon. Serve over  fresh Southern Biscuits  (no cans!) sprinkled with additional bacon pieces and a pinch or two of Sweet Paprika.

But wait - it's Saturday, and we have a few pieces of bacon left.   Three exactly.  Not quite enough for breakfast.  We did a small bowl of cereal.   Lunch was going to be not exactly low fat.
I wanted mac and cheese, but didn't want all the carbs.  How about something that is tender and cheesy, but full of veggies  instead of macaroni and also has a little bit of kick.

Cauliflower "mac and cheese".  I don't particularly like cauliflower (albino broccoli)  and I loved this; it was as good as my mac and cheese without all the carbs. We both had seconds and that's not something we normally do.

Nuke until soft (but not limp), one 1 lb bag of frozen cauliflower. Chop any bigger florets into bite sized ones and place in a 8 x 8 pan and sprinkle with two green jalapenos, seeds removed .

In saucepan on medium, saute 1/3 of a diced onion in a dash of olive oil until softened:
1 cup half and half
2 ounces cream cheese, stirring until  cream cheese is melted and the mixture is steaming but not at a boil

Add in and stir until the cheddar is melted:
1 and 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
a couple shakes of crushed red pepper
1/8 teaspoon cracked black pepper
a sprinkle or two of Jane's Krazy Mixed up Salt (course salt and herb blend that I use often)
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard

Pour over veggies, sprinkle with an additional 1/2 cup cheddar and bake at 375 F for 15 minutes (until bubbling and starting to brown around the edges).  Top with 3 pieces of crumbled cooked bacon and serve as a side dish or a main course with a green salad and iced tea.

I will definitely make this again,

Try one recipe, try both sometime.  You might be you'll be too full to leave the roost, but that's OK, if you have company,.


  1. Now see...this is going to be one of those recipes that drives my wife crazy. She will LOVE it, but she will be unhappy, because it will mean I will be closer to dying in 1914 also.

    Tangent: Do you feel the pink/Himalayan is really any different from kosher salt?

  2. armedlaughing - she sheds enough for two dogs :-)

    greg - the taste difference is very subtle, but the pink salt has a ever so slightly more floral taste to it, which is good ,though most people can't tell the different. The pink salt is said to be slightly higher in absorbable nutrients with slightly less sodium than kosher.

  3. I can feel my blood sugar raising. Oh well Live to eat, eat to live.

  4. Thanks for those of you who left a nice comment. Partner was quite happy with it.

  5. I laughed out loud....Seems like I would really like Partner if I ever get the chance to meet him, it is good to know people I never met share my sense of humor :)

  6. But... my diet... oh to hell with it... :-)

  7. So much to learn from you, my friend. You really are a marvel.

  8. Apparently I am a corpse still eating bacon. LOL

    But ya know, when I add up all the other things I have done that was suppose to kill me, bacon sounds like a tame (and tastier) way to go.

    Intriguing idea, the letters. Whomever goes first won't get to read the letter for them. So hopefully it will also be said before that happens. Still, LOL-d at the sandwich request.

  9. Bacon is love.

    'nuff sayed

  10. That bacon looks like it would work good in a ramaki.

  11. Found a small local grocery that makes their own cottage bacon. Makes the best BLTs and really anything requiring bacon. Yummy!

  12. Here I go, understating the obvious again, "Dead people need bacon, too."

    And thank you Brigid for making that 'all right'.


  13. Not commenting about the bacon post - but for Abby. Benadryl works really well for our 120 pound police dog GSD. He reacts very badly to loud noises, and the 'hood has been a war zone for the last 5 days.

    Two tablets of Sams Club generic Benadryl every 4 hours helps significantly. The vet doggy tranqs make him a drooling zombie.

  14. 1 cup of wine cooler or beer works for most lab sized dogs....

  15. Looks fantastic, but how do you dollop maple syrup? It doesn't seem to me to be a particularly dollopable substance.


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