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.
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.
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.
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,.