makes 24 deviled eggs

12 eggs, hard-cooked
1/2 cup mayonnaise (store-bought or homemade)
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
salt, to taste (optional)
6 slices thick-cut bacon, cooked and chopped
smoked paprika for garnish

Cut eggs in half. Arrange egg whites cut side up on a serving plate and put the yolks in a small mixing bowl. Mash yolks with a fork then stir in mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, chipotle chile, and garlic powder. Mash and stir all ingredients together well. Stir in chopped bacon, reserving some pieces to garnish the top of the eggs if desired. Taste and add salt if necessary. Spoon some of the filling into each egg white half, dividing the mixture as evenly as possible between the eggs. Sprinkle eggs with smoked paprika and garnish with bacon pieces. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.

bacon recipe courtesy of: Nicole, Pinch My Salt, Fresno, California, May 20, 2011

Originally posted 2011-12-25 10:28:00. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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serves four

16 small new potatoes, boiled, cooled, and cut in quarters
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
8 strips boar bacon or regular bacon, chopped
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 skinless Arctic char fillets (each 6 oz) cut in half crosswise
6 tablespoons finely chopped pickled beets

In a bowl, gently toss potatoes with sour cream and dill. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside. Line a plate with a paper bag. In a frying pan, sauté bacon on medium-high heat until crispy, about 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and transfer to the paper bag–lined plate to drain. Reserve the bacon fat. Spread flour on a plate. Season both sides of Arctic char with salt and pepper, then dredge in the flour, shaking off any excess. Reheat bacon fat in the frying pan on medium-high heat. When the fat is hot, add fillets and pan-fry on one side until golden, about 3 minutes. Turn fillets over and cook about 3 minutes more. To serve arrange potato salad in the middle of each plate. Place a fillet atop each mound of salad. Spoon whitefish caviar around the base of the salad, then sprinkle with beets and bacon.

bacon recipe courtesy of: Terry Gereta, Mise Restaurant, 842 Corydon Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba | a good catch: Sustainable Seafood Recipes from Canada’s Top Chefs by Jill Lambert

Originally posted 2011-04-13 09:44:00. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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makes 4 to 6 servings

4 bacon slices, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 medium leek (white and pale green parts only), sliced
1 large carrot, peeled, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 14 1/2-ounce cans low-salt chicken broth
1 1/4 cups green split peas, rinsed
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried, crumbled

Sauté bacon in heavy large pot over medium-high heat until crisp and brown. Add onion, leek, carrot and garlic and sauté until vegetables begin to soften, about 6 minutes. Add broth, peas, bay leaves and rosemary and bring soup to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until peas are tender, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper.

bacon recipe courtesy of: Mary Klonowski, Bon Appétit, September 2000

Originally posted 2010-12-03 08:43:00. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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The Pig Fat Conspiracy, Why We Stopped Using Lard

The Jan 6th episode of NPR’s Podcast Planet Money had a very interesting topic, Lard. They talked about how everyone used pig fat for cooking a hundred years ago but now it’s almost no where to be found.

Most people think the whole reason lard cooking went away is because it’s unhealthy for you but that’s really only half of the reason. It turns out it was a combination of the back lash from the 1906 novel “The Jungle” that exposed the horror stories of the meat processing world and Capitalism.

Although “The Jungle” is fiction it was very well researched and showed some of the very unsanitary and dangerous conditions in the world of animal products. After it was released people demanded better care be taken in the preparation of their food and people even started to shy away from mass produced meats. Slaughter houses today might not be perfect but there a heck of a lot better than 100 years ago.

Then you have the company that produced the lard alternative Crisco, Procter & Gamble. They weren’t always in the business of producing healthier ways of making fried chicken. They were in the candle business, and business was good. Everyone from the richest tycoon to the poorest steel worker needed candles. It was the only way a person could do anything after the sun went down besides sleep.

But then something happened that changed the world, the light bulb. The light bulb was on the fast track of replacing the need for candles in America and that meant Procter & Gamble had to reassess their business. The candles they produced were make out of cotton oil and with not as many candles needed that gave them a cotton oil surplus.

What did they do with that extra oil; they got a German scientist to figure out a way for people to eat it. By using the process of Hydrogenation they turned the now useless cotton oil into tubs of white paste that resembled lard and called it Crisco. Then it was as simple as starting a mass advertising campaign to convince the American people Crisco was better than lard and the rest is history.

Is Crisco really better for you than lard? It’s a hard question to answer because most of us aren’t doctors or food scientists so we just have to listen to what people tell us and make up our own minds. There are people on both sides of this issue and both make some interesting points but I think it’s safe to assume no matter what side of the fence you fall on we can all agree that eating foods fired in any type of oil is something we should do in moderation.

Originally posted 2012-01-16 15:27:12. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Saints are World Champs!! And New Orleans Style BBQ Shrimp Recipe

Mama and Papa BaCon flew from St. Louis to get snowed in and watch Superbowl XLIV with us, Foxy, and some crazy, lovely D.C. folks. Black and Gold beads, the dark smell of gumbo, and friends in Saints gear filled our house while “Superbowl Mambo” streamed from the Times Picayune website, and it felt like a true N’awlins romp. To everyone who came out for the party and to those who couldn’t come due to the storm/work but who were there in spirit (JKarlin, we missed you!): because of you guys, Mr. Luz and I didn’t miss home when we could have missed it the most. So thanks for being there with us.
As far as the game goes, I couldn’t tell you what actually happened because I was too amped up to think. All I know is the K. Gates song “Stand Up and Get Crunk/Black and Gold to the Superbowl” kept blaring on our speakers, Mr. Luz kept doing his own secondline dance through the crowd in the living room and dining room to the kitchen and back again, and I got and gave alot of “touchdown hugs.”
But there was a moment towards the end of the game when I checked the clock and saw that there were only 44 seconds left in the 4th quarter, and then it hit me full force–“Holy S*** this changes everything-how fantastic for NOLA!” and then “Is this really happening??”  When I came to my senses after a few minutes, there weren’t 25 different people, with different hometowns and even hometown teams, at our house . . . I only saw Saints fans, overcome with collective joy-shouting, hugging, crying, and all out getting crunk (look it up).
What a surprisingly blissful and unpredictably beautiful life we live.  
On to the recipe! This is Mama Bacon’s recipe from Southern Living for New Orleans BBQ Shrimp, and it’s one of my favorite foods, though surprisingly easy. You can serve it as an appetizer by itself, or as an entree over cheese grits.  The shrimp is marinated (in Nawlin’s they do shells and head on, but peeled is okay too)and then baked in a spicy, tangy lemon butter sauce with a little Worcestershire sauce for depth and garlic. We double the marinade recipe so we have plenty left over for French bread-dipping. Only make this for the people you really love, because they’ll likely request it at every pot luck you attend from now till the end of time.  Though if they are anything like my friends, they are worth it.

New Orleans Style BBQ Shrimp Recipe

(photo and recipe courtesy of Southern Living)

4 lbs. large unpeeled shrimp (6 lbs. w/heads on)
1 cup Butter
1 cup Olive oil
1/2 cup Chili Sauce
1/2 cup Worcestershire Sauce
2 Lemons, sliced
8 Garlic Cloves, chopped
4 Tbs. Creole Seasoning (I use Tony’s Light)
4 Tbs. Lemon Juice
2 Tbs. chopped Parsley
2 tsp. Paprika
2 tsp. Oregano
2 tsp. ground Red Pepper
1 tsp. hot sauce
2 loaves French bread

Spread shrimp in a large baking dish.  Combine butter and next 12 ingredients in a saucepan over low heat, stirring until butter melts, and pour over shrimp. Cover and chill 2 hours, turning shrimp every 30 minutes.

Bake, uncovered, at 400° for 20 minutes; turn once. Serve with bread and/or grits.

Originally posted 2010-02-26 22:36:00. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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We host a dinner party periodically which is actually just a book club to which my wife belongs. Typically those types of groups are simply drinking clubs, but this one adds food and actual books. About a week before book club, I realized my original plan of serving cassoulet had been done before. By me. Last winter. It seems as when the weather grows cold, I cook beans – large pots of beans with sausages and off cuts.

Actually I should have never been surprised. Beans and meats are fantastic and this weather has forced my hand. Only, I am not a repeater. Knowing fabada is a not-so-distant cousin to cassoulet, I figured there must be more cousins. I just needed to look.

Then I remembered a Brazilian dish, feijoada, which is very similar to cassoulet only made with black beans and features carne seca (which in its place I used beef jerky). I felt like I had struck gold until I searched for recipes. I looked in Alex Atala’s new book. Nothing. In fact, Atala’s goal is to push past the iconic feijoada and churrasca of Brazil.  I looked online. There were tons of recipes and none developed any consensus with the others, so I did what I thought was reasonable. I made an approximation of cassoulet using the building blocks of feijoada adding some ingredients which might be a tad more Brazilian.

One thing I remember being difficult about fabada was losing bits of the pork tails, bones included, in the dish. If I am the only one eating, I can work around the bones, but if I am serving others, I like to keep their teeth intact, so along with the larger pieces of jerky, I wrapped the pork tails in cheesecloth. Once they cooked long enough, I removed the cheesecloth, chopped the tails and beef jerky and added them back. Before adding them back, I thickened the liquid by mashing a cup of the cooked beans and added them back to the mix.

Next, I wanted to have some flavors from the sugar cane liquor from Brazil, Cachaça, so I cooked the onions and garlic, added them to the beans, then deglazed the pan with the liquor and spooned the aromatically fortified liquor the beans. To me, this was a fun touch.

When finished the feijoada was strongly meaty, as anticipated, and was both smokey from the tails and linguiça and prominently beefy from the jerky. The beans retained their texture and, while most photos showed the liquid strained off, I really liked the bean juice. It was thick and carried hints of sweetness from the orange and cachaça. I wish I could have found a little farofa to add as a garnish, but the bright green garnishes of cilantro and green onion would have to suffice.

There are differences between cassoulet and feijoada that I did not anticipate. First, apparently feijoada is served with rice. Second, this batch  felt lighter than most cassoulet. There are no scoops of lard here, but you still get the clean meat flavors. I like the richness of cassoulet, but I really love the way the feijoada doesn’t kill the rest of the day. Now is a good time to stock up on ideas for meat and beans and I am all ears.


1 1/2 pounds smoked pig tails or necks
1 1/2 pounds Linguiça
1/2 pound real beef jerky, not shrink wrapped is a good start
1 pound dried black beans
1 quart ham stock
3 bay leaves
1 serrano chili
1/2 orange
2 onions, sliced
1 head garlic, minced
1 tablespoon lard
2 tablespoons Cachaça
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
6 green onion, sliced

Step one: In a glass or earthenware dish, cover black beans with water by 4″ and soak overnight. Drain.

Step two: Tie jerky and smoked pork tails in cheese cloth and add to a large stock pot with beans, ham stock and enough water to cover by 2″.

Step three: Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, and cook for 3-4 hours.

Step four: Remove bag of meat. Chop and remove bones.  Remove 1 cup of beans, mash into a paste. Add back to beans.

Step five: Sweat onions and garlic. Add to beans/meat with bay leaves. Deglaze onion/garlic pan with Cachaça and add to beans.

Step six: Add sausages, orange, serrano chilis. Simmer for an additional hour.

Step sever: Remove bay leaves, orange, and seranno chili. Salt to taste and eat in a bowl with rice (if you want, I skipped), green onions and cilantro.

Originally posted 2014-02-13 00:20:34. Republished by Blog Post Promoter