Sunday, August 16, 2009
Saturday, August 15, 2009
What would a southerner do without pork?
I can't remember a time when I haven't had bacon for breakfast, at times lunch, and often times at dinner. The smell of bacon can make me instantly hungry. It was the smell that woke me from sleep at my Robba's house every Saturday morning I spent with her. Unless she made pigs in a blanket. I have no idea what she did to that bacon or the pancakes she made from a box mix, but there is nothing like my Robba's pancake breakfast.
Today brought to an end my quest to fry bacon and not have it shrivel up into a tiny bacon crouton, or burn to a crisp. I like my bacon not too crisp, and certainly not too curly. That desire has left me with this love hate relationship to cooking bacon. I've tried everything from dredging the bacon in flour to fry it( please do not try this) to cutting the bacon in half and cooking it, don't ask I was desperate. I finally came to the conclusion that low, medium high heat, and slow was the ticket, turning the bacon often to keep it from curling up was the ticket. That's pretty much how I've been cooking the bacon for the past six years, until today.
My mind has been racing at the possibilities of roasting bacon ever since yesterday. Here are just a couple of the ideas I have:
- Sprinkle the bacon with brown sugar before baking, for a great candied bacon.
- Cracked black pepper, garlic powder, Parmesan cheese, dried Italian seasoning sprinkled on before baking. I think this would give ordinary BLT's a new attitude. Especially if you made the BLT on toasted cibatta bread with Olive Oil mayo, Roma tomatoes, and arugula lettuce.
- Cracked pepper for peppered bacon
- Chili flakes
Here's are the steps, I dare not call this a recipe, it's not rocket science at all but will be a new era in your pork consumption.
Oven Roasted Bacon
One pound Hormel Black Label Bacon (it's my favorite)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line the cookie sheet (make sure it has a lip) with bacon in a single layer, making sure the bacon does not overlap. It can touch, but just don't overlap. Bake for 15-20 minutes to desired degree of preference. Remove from oven and transfer to a towel lined plate to drain, or pat dry. I found that my oven took 18 minutes to get perfect bacon for my family's taste preference.
Thank you, God, for creating the pig!
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Confession: I love casseroles! Whew! Glad that is out, now I can move on. I could eat a casserole every night and not tire of them. For someone who does not like his food to touch, and eats one thing at a time you would think that casseroles are on my "no" list, yet I just love them. I can remember as a kid watching my parents and grandparents eating family meals and being amazed with my grandparents ritual of taking the last 1/4 of each item on their plate and mixing it all together. It just did me in, every time. I know it all mixes together eventually, however I do not care to see the results of, that, mixture. It's weird. I'm weird. How about a casserole?
This is THE casserole to eat if you love tamales. The combination of subtle southwestern flavors come together with the sweet cornbread and hit every nerve in your body saying, "this is it." I've just about decided to make these casseroles in half pans and freeze one for later use. My family of four never eats a whole casserole for dinner. We can take out half of one, but the other half just sits in our fridge lonely and desperate for consumption. Served with a crisp green salad and southwestern dressing, dinner is done.
- 1 1/4 cup shredded 4-cheese Mexican blend cheese
- 1/3 cup buttermilk
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
- 1 (14 3/4-ounce) can cream-style corn
- 1 (8.5-ounce) box corn muffin mix (I use Jiffy)
- 1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chilies, drained
- Cooking spray
- 1 (10-ounce) can red enchilada sauce (such as Old El Paso)
- 2 shredded cooked chicken breast
- 1/2 cup sour cream
1. Preheat oven to 400°.
2. Combine 1/4 cup cheese and next 10 ingredients (through chilies) in a large bowl, stirring just until moist. Pour mixture into a 13 x 9–inch baking dish coated with cooking spray, or portion out the mixture into your baking dishes. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until set. While cornbread is baking: place shredded chicken in a bowl, add just enough enchilada sauce to moisten chicken, set aside.
3. When cornbread is set, remove from oven and pierce entire surface liberally with a fork; pour remaining enchilada sauce over top. Top with chicken; sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until cheese melts. Remove from oven; let stand 5 minutes. Cut into 8 pieces; top each serving with 1 tablespoon sour cream.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Look at this picture to the left, remember we're cooking turkey so that's why it's not more brown. But you can see that there is even texture, and that there are no clumps or worms. At this point you can add your sauce, taco seasoning, or whatever. Hey freeze the stuff and have it on hand for an even quicker week night meal! I think I'm done...are you convinced that you need to mash your ground beef? I sure hope so.
I do want to let you know how awesome these steam fresh bags are. I just love them because the veggies are perfect every time with out any failures at all. We usually dump the veggies into a bowl and season with 1T of butter and Mrs. Dash or whatever we have on hand, but you could just serve these from the bag on to the plates to save time and another dirty dish.