I love bacon. There I’ve said it, I love bacon and I’m not ashamed. If you’ve been following my food adventures you may have noticed that many of them involve bacon to one extent or another. I love to cook with bacon. Mama D’s Kitchen always has bacon love available.
Bacon has been around for a long time. Records date it back to 1500BC though I’m pretty sure that’s cured pork in general. The word bacon comes from the Middle English bacoun which referred to anything pork. Whenever and wherever it arrived,,I’m glad that it’s here now. Thick Cut Peppered Bacon-
Oddly, I’m not a big fan of bacon as a breakfast meat,but any other meal, well it just makes most everything better. Lately, I’ve even been putting it in the desserts I’ve been making. One of the best is a Peanut Butter and Bacon Bar. The base is made with a peanut butter cookie mix laced with crumbled bacon and flavored with maple syrup. The topping is melted chocolate chips adorned with more crumbled bacon (I used maple smoked bacon). The bacon and peanut butter go together almost like PB&J. The ingredients make it a meal or at least a protein source. Maybe not so much…
I recently discovered an apple pie recipe that uses bacon. It also includes bourbon so it has become a favorite on many levels. The filling is apples, sugar, vanilla and bourbon. Cinnamon doesn’t show up until the streusel topping which also is where the bacon is all crisp and crumbly. The flavors were wonderful. We had it topped with whipped cream but a good butter pecan ice cream would be spectacular. This pie could be served naked and it would still be great.
Bacon is a tasty addition to side dishes. From potatoes to vegetables to salads, bacon can make a big statement . The rich smokey taste is wonderful when combined with roasted brussels sprouts or sautéed green beans. Even brocoli on the grill is better with bacon. When bacon comes to the potato party it brings a salty richness. There’s the classic baked potato topping, but mashed , french fries and au gratin potatoes reach new heights with the addition of bacon. Like potatoes, salads are often topped with bacon as a garnish.
Bacon is worthy of so much more. I found a recipe for cole slaw that uses it as an ingredient. It combines cole slaw mix, roasted corn, cherry tomatoes, and bacon with a homemade ranch dressing. The heartiness is a refreshing change from typical sweet creamy slaws. It’s a superb accompaniment to barbecued ribs or chicken. And I would bet it would be good with a burger, maybe even as a topping on said burger.
Bacon, where else is it wonderful? How about in and on soup. Looking back at all of the soups that I’ve written about here and on Facebook, many have bacon as an integral component. Many feature bacon as a garnish and quite often that bacon was fried and some of the drippings were used to build the rest of the soup. That’s just what happened with this Cauliflower Cheddar Cheese Soup. Using a little of the bacon drippings for sauteing the vegetables went a long way to imparting a lot of flavor. Some soups let the bacon swim with all the other ingredients and that is a beautiful thing, too.
Bacon is one of the darlings of the culinary world right now. You can get your bacon fix in so many ways. There’s bacon salt and bacon jam (which might be one of the best guilty pleasures on earth.) How about some bacon chocolate, candied bacon or bacon candy? There’s even a Bacon of the Month Club that will deliver unique bacon to your door for a price. (The Pig Next Door)
As much as I love bacon there is a place where I’ll draw the line. You won’t find Bakon, a premium bacon flavored vodka or Baconized Makers Mark Bourbon in my cocktail shaker. I won’t put Torani Bacon Flavored Syrup in any of my coffee beverages and I won’t burn a bacon scented candle. I will however, continue to cook and eat bacon. I’m always looking for new ways to use bacon, so please share your bacon love with me.