Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Bacon, Bacon, BACON!

My dad has loved bacon his entire life.  And that love has been passed down to my brother and me.  When we're at a diner for breakfast and we're given the option between bacon and sausage, there's really no choice.  Bacon, please.  What would make those green beans a little more appealing?  Bacon, of course!

We truly add it to anything, anywhere, any time.  Let's face it.  Bacon makes everything better.  And this last weekend, we just made bacon even better, if you can believe it.

This year, my dad threw a bacon cook-off.  We were given explicit instructions to not return home for the holidays without at least 2 new bacon recipes each to showcase at the event.  It was a blast, cooking in the kitchen with my family, listening to Christmas music and stealing tastes of everyone's creations.  We fit bacon into all kinds of courses and foods including Bacon Bloody Mary's, Bacon & Blue Cheese Coleslaw, Bacon Oatmeal Cookies and even Chocolate-Covered Bacon.  Below are a couple of the recipes I brought to the table.

My dad smoking new tradition has already caught fire and it has me brainstorming bacon recipes for next year.  Join us in our bacon extravaganza!  We encourage you to get creative with bacon (and your other favorite ingredients) and throw your own delicious throw-down.

Sweet & Spicy Bacon

There's an adorable little restaurant tucked into my neighborhood called Katelina's.  It's roughly the size of a size 8 shoebox and somehow, they produce some of the best food in the city.  My favorite thing on their menu is the Sweet & Spicy Bacon.  I pretty much order it on anything and everything and it's always magnificent.  Indulge yourself and share in Katelina's simple, delicious, sweet and spicy revelry.  Naturally, I recreated this for the bacon cook-off.  This is my version:

1 lb. Bacon
4 T. Brown Sugar
1 t. Chili Powder
1/2 t. Chipotle Powder (or to taste)

Turn your oven to high broil.

Mix together the brown sugar, chili and chipotle powders.  Sprinkle the mixture onto both sides of the bacon, rubbing it in so it sticks.  Place the bacon on a wire rack on top of a baking sheet.  Broil to desired chewiness/crunchiness, about 4-6 minutes, per side, keeping a close eye so it doesn't burn.

Bacon-Wrapped Teriyaki Shrimp

These bite sized shrimp are tropical, sweet and smoky and a great addition to your New Year's party.  Exchange the teriyaki for your favorite Asian sauce or marinade for more variety.  

24 shrimp, cooked, peeled, with tails removed
12 slices of bacon, cut in half
24 pieces of pineapple
Teriyaki sauce

Preheat the oven to 350.  

Thread the shrimp and pineapple onto toothpicks.  Wrap with a half piece of bacon, securing it onto both ends of the toothpicks.  Place each shrimp on a baking sheet and brush with teriyaki sauce.  Bake until the bacon is cooked through and slightly crispy.    

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Bacon Bloody Mary's

Bacon Spanakopita, etc.

Bacon & Blue Cheese Coleslaw

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