Reggae, Blues, Buffett and…Bacon?

When I’m at home, you’ll always find music playing. Most often, it’s reggae, blues, Mr. Jimmy Buffett or…The Bacon Brothers — Michael and Kevin. If you’re not familiar with them, yes it’s that Kevin Bacon — the actor — and his older brother, Michael, who is a professional musician. It is great music when you’re in the kitchen cooking up some bacon — what could be better than bacon with Bacon?

I’ve included their song “Go My Way (The iPod Song)” for a taste of what they do. To check out more from The Bacon Brothers click the link!

 

Sea Scallops with Spicy Bacon! Smoked on the Grill!

Bacon and scallops always pair beautifully. In this recipe orchestrated by The Bacon Hunter’s midwest correspondent, “Bajan D”, it is the mixture of sugar and spice that transforms these easy-to-make hors d’oeuvres into something very special. Finished over charcoal and cherry wood for a sensuous, tasty treat and paired with an amazing Spanish Cava…Wow! Easy to make — you must give this one a go!

Sea Scallops with Spicy Bacon! Smoked on the Grill!
Recipe type: Appetizer
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 20
 

Ingredients
  • 6 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder (preferably Madras)
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne
  • 5 bacon slices (center cut, thick cut)
  • 10 large sea scallops (1 lb), tough ligament removed from side of each if necessary and scallops halved crosswise (edge to edge)
  • Special equipment: wooden toothpicks

Instructions
  1. Fire up charcoal grill, coals placed in barbecue for direct heat.
  2. Stir together brown sugar, curry powder, and cayenne in a bowl until combined well.
  3. Cook bacon in a heavy skillet over moderate heat until some fat has rendered and edges begin to brown but bacon is still flexible, about 2 minutes.
  4. Transfer bacon to paper towels to drain and cool.
  5. Cut bacon slices in half lengthwise and then crosswise, so you have 20 small strips.
  6. Divide sugar mixture among slices, spreading evenly on bacon slices and lightly pressing to help it adhere.
  7. Place 1 scallop half, cut side down, on a slice of sugar-coated bacon, then wrap bacon around scallop. Repeat in cross pattern and secure with a toothpick.
  8. Transfer to lightly oiled BBQ rack.
  9. When coals are hot, add cherry wood chips and allow chips to ignite before placing BBQ rack directly on grill.
  10. Close barbecue lid and smoke until bacon is browned and scallops are opaque, about 6 minutes total.
  11. Serve immediately!

 

Pre-cooked bacon wrapped scallop ready for its closeup!

It ain’t nothing but a grill party!

The cherry wood adds a very mild smoke flavor, and allows the spicy bacon to shine. Check out those browned scallops — so good! Just watch your grill time closely so the scallops don’t over cook.
Serve with champagne, sparkling wine or a nice sauvignon blanc, throw in a foreign accent, and your friends and family will swear you’re Wolfgang Puck!

Mini BLT’s!

These bite-size BLT appetizers are awesome! An open face version of my favorite sandwich, these little guys consist of a crunchy bacon and Parmigiano cheese cracker that’s topped with a tangy mayonnaise spread, a chunk of bacon, a single arugula leaf and half of a cherry tomato. They are easy to make, and they really do taste just like a BLT! Be forewarned: If you make these for a party, make plenty… my personal experience has shown that these mini BLT’s will channel David Copperfield and disappear right before your very eyes!

This is what you will need to make these tasty tidbits:

 

Mini BLT’s!
Recipe type: Appetizer
 

Ingredients
  • Crackers (makes 24):
  • 1 cup flour
  • ¼ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 strips thick-sliced bacon, cooked until crisp and blotted on paper towels
  • 3 tablespoons bacon fat or unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • Filling:
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons minced flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 teaspoons minced shallots
  • ½ teaspoon minced sage leaf
  • 4 strips thick-sliced bacon cooked until crisp, blotted on paper towels and cut crosswise into 1 inch pieces
  • 24 unblemished baby arugula leaves with stems removed
  • 12 cherry tomatoes, cut in half

Instructions
  1. Make the Crackers:
  2. Combine flour, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, sugar, baking powder, sea salt, and a generous pinch of black pepper in a food processor. Pulse once or twice, add bacon, and process until bacon is finely chopped. Add the milk, bacon fat or butter, and process until mixture pulls together.
  3. Remove the dough and roll into a log about 1¼ inches in diameter. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  5. Slice dough crosswise into just under ¼-inch-thick slices and bake on a cookie sheet for 30 minutes. Remove and cool.
  6. Prepare the Filling:
  7. In a small bowl, blend the mayonnaise, parsley, shallots and sage. Spread the mixture on the crackers. Add the bacon, arugula and tomato halves, cut-side down, and serve.

                                                                                                                                           

Enjoy!

Recipe provided by: Seduced by Bacon: Recipes & Lore About America’s Favorite Indulgence

Tactical Bacon

I just watched season 2 of AMC’s excellent show, The Walking Dead. If you haven’t seen the series, I highly recommend it. Because it’s fully cooked and has a 10 year shelf life,  TAC BAC would come in handy if, let’s say, you were dealing with your own zombie incursion! You might want to stock up…

Chinese BBQ Sauce Glazed Salmon… and bacon!

I’ve served this dish many times, and it is always well received. The salmon and bacon really complement each other, and the sweet Chinese BBQ sauce brings it all together. You may have difficulty finding an acceptable store-bought Chinese BBQ sauce in your area — not all grocery stores stock them — so check out an Asian food market if there is one near you. I found this recipe in the cook book, Seduced by Bacon: Recipes & Lore About America’s Favorite Indulgence and I’ve included the author’s recipe for a homemade BBQ sauce that you may try instead of a packaged sauce on the recipe page.

My favorite BLT…

I love a good Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato sandwich. The beauty in that statement is there are no bad BLT’s, so picking a favorite becomes a life long pleasure. One look at the photo above and you will understand why this one is my current choice.

Everyone tweaks the BLT to their liking by working up different combinations of ingredients, and this is what you’ll need to reconstruct this beauty all on your own:

Ingredients (2 sandwiches):

* 4 slices of fresh sourdough bread — at least 1/2 inch thick, toasted

* 6 slices butcher’s thick cut applewood smoked bacon, cooked until crispy

* 1 ripe Haas avocado, pitted and thin sliced

* 4 TBSP mayonnaise

* 1/2 Meyer lemon, juiced (blend in mayonnaise before spreading on toast)

* 1 heirloom tomato, thin sliced

* Butter lettuce leafs (3-4)

* Sprouts

* Sea salt

* Pepper

Now you are ready to enjoy a savory masterpiece! The toasted sourdough bread sets a delicious stage, and the mayo with the lemon juice really adds a nice, subtle kick. The pleasantly sweet and salty/smoky applewood bacon is obviously the dominant player here. The heirloom tomato and avocado slices contribute richness, and the butter lettuce and the sprouts bring interesting textures and wonderful flavors of their own. Delicious!

So, that’s my BLT. What variation is your favorite? Let me know in the comment box –

Let’s Cook Some Bacon!

Cooking bacon is not rocket science, but it is an art. I created this video to show you three different ways that I like to cook bacon — and sorry, nuking bacon in the microwave doesn’t do it for me. Petrified bacon is nasty, but if that’s your thing…well, it’s cool. Please check out the video and tell me your favorite way to cook bacon!

“Bring home the bacon”…the rest of the story.

I mentioned that bacon would be a magic carpet for this blog, and this is a prime example… I knew little of  Joe Gans or his fight with Oscar Nelson before I researched the phrase, “bring home the bacon.” In doing so, I discovered this brief interview with Washington Post sportswriter William Gildea, author of the new book,  The Longest Fight: In the Ring With Joe Gans, Boxing’s First African-American Champion. He shares some of the Joe Gans story mentioned in my earlier post with interviewer Scott Simon, National Public Radio & KTTZ 89.1-FM, Lubbock, Texas.

“Bring home the bacon”

To attain success or to meet a desired goal…

The origin of this phrase is widely disputed, with many referring to an English tradition dating from the 1100′s. A newlywed couple had made such an impression on a church elder with their love for each other that he gifted them a flitch — or a side — of bacon. Over the years, devoted newlyweds who won the favor of the church “brought home the bacon.” Others believe the phrase originated with the old fairground contest of capturing a greased pig and winning the animal as a prize. The winner “brought home the bacon.”

The first documented use of the phrase (altered version) was on September 3, 1906. The Reno Evening Gazette reported that the announcer of the World Lightweight Championship boxing match between Joe Gans and Oscar Nelson read a telegram from Gans’ mother aloud: “Joe, the eyes of the world are on you. Everybody says you ought to win. Peter Jackson will tell me the news, and you bring back the bacon.” It’s not known if she made up the phrase, or if she was repeating something already quite common, but there is no proof of its usage before that day. Gans won the fight on a foul in the 42nd round — retaining his title — and he replied by telegraph that he “had not only the bacon, but the gravy.”

So there you have it. Now I’m off to the market to bring home the bacon…

 

A Classic.