Posts Tagged ‘bacon’

Spaghetti Carbonara

Sunday, March 22nd, 2009

Spaghetti Carbonara? Yum!

I feel like I need to invoke Joey from “Friends” to really capture the greatness of this dish:

Noodles? Good.

Cheese? Good.

Bacon? Goo-od.

Carbonara’s a really fun dish to make. It looks impressive, it sounds impressive, but honestly, it couldn’t be easier. And it tastes delicious. This recipe for carbonara is by far my favorite out of the few that I’ve tried.

Spaghetti Carbonara
Adapted from The Amateur Gourmet

  • a box of dry spaghetti
  • pancetta or thick bacon
  • two raw eggs
  • freshly grated parmesan
  • freshly ground pepper
  • four cloves of garlic, peeled
  • white wine
  • roughly chopped parsley

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

2. Cut the bacon or pancetta into small cubes. I use about 6 slices of bacon, but you can use less or more, depending on your tastes.

3. Add the cubes to a non-stick skillet with some olive oil and the garlic cloves. Turn on the heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring often, until the garlic is golden brown  and then remove the garlic from the pan. Keep cooking the bacon/pancetta until it’s crispy and drippings are visable in the pan.  Once the bacon/pancetta is crisp, add one glass of white wine. It will bubble up and then begin to simmer. Continue heating this sauce over medium low heat until the liquid reduces and the sauce thickens, about 10 minutes.

4. When the water begins to boil, salt the water then add the box of spaghetti noodles.

5. While the pasta boils and the sauce simmers, crack two eggs into a large bowl. Grate in at least one cup of Parmesan cheese (more if you like, I probably use closer to 1 1/2 cups). Grind black pepper over it all and then stir it together with a fork.

6. Once the pasta is cooked to al dente, drain and add it directly to the large bowl with the egg and cheese mixture.

7. Stir very quickly. It is important that you begin to stir immediately and continue stirring until the mix covers all of the noodles. The heat from the pasta is cooking the eggs for you, but if you don’t stir well, you could end up with something closer to scrambled eggs than pasta sauce. (As Alton Brown would say, “That’s not good eats.”)

8. When all of the noodles are coated with the egg/cheese mixture, add the bacon and sauce to the pasta and stir again. To finish, stir in the chopped parsley, and sprinkle a little more cheese on top.

Note: I like Spaghetti in this dish, but fettuccine or even orecchiette would work well. It just needs to be something that can be coated easily with the sauce mixture. Sometimes, we make this with grilled chicken–I just cook the chicken separately, then add to the bacon/wine mixture while the wine is reducing. If I add chicken, I usually use a little less bacon.

Lettuce Wedges with Bacon and Blue Cheese Dressing

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

Since Valentine’s Day was a fancy steakhouse dinner, we started the meal with a fancy steakhouse salad. The dressing recipe comes from allrecipes.com, with a few substitutions. The dressing was very, very good–the milk was my own addition, because the basic recipe was so thick  that it would have been more at home with chicken wings than it would have been on a salad. No worries though. The milk thinned it out just enough for a salad dressing that was rich and creamy.

The one problem: It had me craving buffalo wings.

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Lettuce Wedges with Bacon and Blue Cheese Dressing

For the Salad:

  • 1 romaine heart, split into four wedges
  • 1 large tomato, seeded & diced
  • 1/2 lb bacon, fried until crisp, crumbled
  • freshly ground black pepper

For the Dressing:

  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 Tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the sour cream, mayonnaise and Worcestershire sauce. Season with mustard, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Stir in blue cheese. Whisk in milk, a tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency is achieved. Cover, and refrigerate for 24 hours before serving.
  2. Place lettuce wedge on a plate, drizzle with dressing, top with tomatoes, and sprinkle with bacon crumbles. Finish with cracked black pepper to taste.

Note: We were lucky enough to find decent tasting tomatoes in February, which helped make this salad taste so great. The dressing was rich, but overall, the salad was crisp and fresh and just delicious. I can’t wait to repeat this recipe with fresh summer tomatoes.

Kevin Bacon Popcorn

Thursday, January 22nd, 2009

Everything is better with bacon. At least, that’s what everyone says these days. So even though I was a little bit skeptical of this recipe from the latest issue of Food Network Magazine, I was willing to give it a try. And I’m glad I did.

This “Kevin Bacon Popcorn” is part of a feature called “Best Supporting Snacks” for your Oscar party (which includes many other ridiculously-named treats, like “Chex and the City Mix” or “Cheesy Move Dip”). In honor of the nominations today, I figured it was a good time to share it with all of you.

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Kevin Bacon Popcorn
Adapted from Food Network Magazine

  • 16 slices of bacon
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup of popcorn
  • smoked paprika
  • popcorn salt
  • bacon salt

1. Place bacon slices on a metal rack in a baking pan, sprinkle with brown sugar, and bake at 400 degrees until crisp (about 12 minutes). Chop.

2. Make stove-popped popcorn using bacon drippings in place of oil. (To make stove-popped popcorn, heat about 1/3 cup of oil until very hot, but not smoking, in a large heavy pot with a lid. Add a couple of kernels to the pot–when they pop, you know the oil is ready. Add remaining popcorn in a single layer and put the lid on. Shake the pan during popping to keep the kernels from burning. When the popping slows, remove the pan from the heat until the popping stops.)

3. Toss the popcorn with bacon, smoked paprika, and salts, to taste.

Note: This was an awesome twist on a standard snack. Bacon does, indeed, make it better. The paprika and bacon salt add smokiness to the popcorn, while the small pieces of sugar-glazed bacon spread throughout the popcorn bring the perfect balance of salty and sweet into the mix. I know I’ll make this again.

I don’t know if everything is better with bacon, but I can say for sure that popcorn is better with bacon!