Tag Archives: bacon nation

Julia Child Got It Right!

Butter (and bacon) is fine; margarine and other man-made foods are not. Eat real food as your grandparents did 100 years ago. Read Mark Bittman’s piece in the NYTimes. 

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/26/opinion/bittman-butter-is-back.html?action=click&contentCollection=N.Y.%20%2F%20Region&module=MostEmailed&version=Full®ion=Marginalia&src=me&pgtype=article

Preserved Lemons: A Connector to Another World

My good friends Richard Bonomo and Marla Hazan, whose ancestors are Sephardic Jews from exotic, far-away lands like Turkey, Spain, and Morocco, always have a jar of preserved lemons in their kitchen, for flavoring stews, soups, salads, sauces, marinades and dressings. 

I am working on a 5th edition of Cooking for Dummies with my co-author Bryan Miller, and for a chapter on international cuisines we are exploring and explaining some of the ingredients and techniques used in Mediterranean cooking. Lemons, both fresh and preserved with salt, are as ubiquitous as olive oil and tomatoes throughout the entire Mediterranean world.

I set out this last weekend to preserve some lemons myself and to also borrow some from Richard and Marla so I could add them to the Chicken and Green Olive Tagine I created for Cooking for Dummies V. I don’t know if it’s just me, (I admit to being a bit quirky), but when I make a dish like preserved lemons, the process pleasantly carries me back and connects me to a culture and kitchen practices that are tried and true and centuries old.  I become a little Moroccan, a little Turkish, a little Mediterranean.   

Preserved Lemons

4 medium, thick-skinned lemons

About 6 tablespoons (not iodized) salt

Juice of 4 lemons, or more if needed

1.) Scrub the lemons well. Using a sharp knife slice the lemons into quarters, stopping about ½-inch from one end to leave the quarters attached to the fruit.

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Pack about 1 tablespoon of salt into the center of each cut lemon.

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Place them in a one-quart, wide-mouth mason jar, fitted with a lid, and press them down so they fit snuggly.

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2.) Sprinkle them with one additional tablespoon of salt. Add the lemon juice and press them gently into the juice as much as possible. Cover the jar and let set 3 to 4 days, turning the jar over a couple of times a day, during which time they will soften and release their juice.

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3.) Press them down again and add 1 more tablespoon salt and additional juice, if necessary to completely cover. Close the jar and let set for at least one month, turning the jar over every few days to redistribute the salt and juices. Before using, remove and discard the pulp, then rinse the rind well. A harmless white mold may appear on the fruit; simply rinse it off before cutting up and using the peel. After opening, preserved lemons will keep up to a year, without refrigerating. The pickling juices can be used to make salad dressings or marinades for vegetable salads.

Tip: Cut up the juiced lemon rinds, and if you have a rose garden compost them into the soil around the roots of the plant. Roses love the acidity of lemon peel.

My New Sugar Skull Shower Curtain

I finally had to replace my Jeremy Fish bunny skull shower curtain. As much as I loved it, plastic shower curtains only last so long. I was super happy when I found this sugar skull shower curtain at HowCool.com. I was only $19.14 and it's nice quality too. Looks awesome in my bathroom!

Sugar skull shower curtain

And here it is in my bathroom, next to my sparkly skull soap dispenser, which I bought for full price at Bath & Body Works but you can get on clearance right now for only $3. Move fast though!
skull soap dispenser

Staying in the sugar skull theme, they also have these fancy pillows:

Die-Cut Sugar Skull Pillow - $14.74Die-cut Sugar Skull Pillow

Sugar Skull Muerte Pillow - $10.58Sugar Skull Muerte Pillow

I'm about maxed out with the amount of skulls I can decorate my bathroom with. I've got the shower curtain, hand towels, bath rug and soap dispenser. About the only thing I don't have in there is a skull toilet seat but I'm thinking that might be overdoing it?

2821. CREAMY BACON and OLIVE TAPENADE SPAGHETTI

yields four servings 


6 ounces pitted black olives, drained
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon anchovy paste
1 teaspoon capers
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
8 ounces spaghetti
5 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
1 clove garlic, minced
8 ounces cream cheese, softened, cut into cubes
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
freshly grated parmesan cheese and additional chopped fresh basil for garnish, optional 

In the bowl of a food processor, place the olives, chopped garlic, anchovy paste, capers, lemon zest, walnuts, chopped basil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Process until finely chopped. With the processor running, stream in the olive oil and process until fully combined; set aside. 

Bring 3-4 quarts of water to a rolling boil over high heat. Break spaghetti in half lengthwise, add to boiling water and salt according to taste. Cook spaghetti according to package directions to al dente. Drain, reserving about 1 cup of pasta water; set both spaghetti and pasta water aside. 

Meanwhile, heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add in the bacon and cook until crisp, approximately 4-5 minutes; remove bacon from skillet and set aside. Remove and discard all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon drippings from the skillet. Place skillet with bacon drippings back over medium heat. Add in the onion and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook until softened, approximately 3-4 minutes. Add in the minced garlic, cook 1 additional minute. To the onions, add in the reserved olive tapenade mixture, cream cheese and about 1/4 cup of the pasta water and cook until cream cheese melts, approximately 1-2 minutes. Add in the reserved spaghetti, reserved bacon, minced basil, lemon juice, crushed red pepper flakes, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/4 teaspoon black pepper; mix until fully combined, adding in enough of the remaining pasta water to loosen up the cream cheese mixture and create a sauce. 

To serve, place spaghetti onto a serving platter or dinner plate and garnish with parmesan cheese and additional fresh basil.


bacon recipe courtesy of: Sirbarney (member), Relish.com

2735. BACON SWEET POTATO POUTINE

serves two


1 sweet potato, cut lengthwise into preference sized french fries
6-8 strips of bacon, cut into 1 inches pieces
1 head of cauliflower, stem removed, cut into small florets
½ cup canned coconut milk
1 tablespoon almond butter
1 shallot, thinly sliced
pinch of dried thyme
pinch of black pepper
pinch of sea salt
1 tablespoon fat of choice
coconut oil spray

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut your sweet potato in half lengthwise, then slice the sweet potato into ½ inch strips then cut those in half. Place parchment paper on a cookie sheet and line sweet potatoes on it so they are not overlapping. Lightly spray sweet potatoes with coconut oil then top with a pinch of salt. Remove your stem from your cauliflower and roughly chop cauliflower into small florets. Cheese curd size will do. Place in a glass baking dish and drizzle a tablespoon or so of your fat of choice. Place cauliflower as well as sweet potatoes in the oven to cook for 20-25 minutes. (Your cauliflower may take longer). While the goodies are in the oven, add your diced bacon into a skillet over medium heat. Use a wooden spoon to break up the bacon and help cook on all sides. Once bacon is done cooking, remove from heat and remove bacon with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel. Pour excess bacon fat into a jar or can leaving 2 tablespoons behind in your skillet for the gravy. Place skillet back over low heat, add your coconut milk and almond butter then some thyme and black pepper. Let the coconut milk come to a slight boil then use your spoon to mix together and begin to cook down. Once the mixture begins to thicken, add your bacon back to the gravy and remove from heat. Once your sweet potatoes and cauliflower are done cooking, place in a bowl or on a plate, top with gravy, and devour!!


bacon recipe courtesy of: Juli, PaleOMG, March 5, 2012

Coffee Bacon Sandwiches

Coffee, brown sugar, molasses, and chili powder – oh my. This sounds like a spicy twist to the traditional ‘candied bacon’. I can’t wait to try! VIA: http://alittlesaffron.com/2012/07/04/coffee-bacon-sandwiches/ Ingredients: 8 slices uncooked bacon 1/4 cup freshly ground coffee grounds 1/4 teaspoon chili powder 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar 2 tablespoons molasses 1 tablespoon water a few [...]

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INDEPENDENT SOURCES

Happy New Year everyone! For those of you in NYC, you might be familiar with CUNY75, a local TV station from the City University Of New York. A few months ago, one of their shows called INDEPENDENT SOURCES, interviewed me for a segment on Jews and pork. Well, it made their best of 2009 special!



Any of you can check it out by clicking the logo below (and you can forward to the 24 minute mark to see me in all my TV glory)

2855. CHICKWEED PIE with BACON

makes 6-8 servings


1 10-inch pie crust
3 cups chopped chickweed
1 cup diced slab bacon
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups sour cream?
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a 10-inch pie dish with crust and make a raised border around the rim to prevent filling from overflowing during baking. To prepare chickweed, remove all leaves, twigs and root ends, reserving only the greenest, leafiest parts. Rinse thoroughly in a colander and gently dry with paper towels. Bunch the chickweed together into a ball and chop it with a sharp knife until reduced to a confetti texture. Measure, then put chickweed in a large bowl. Fry diced bacon in a skillet until it begins to brown, then add onion. Cook about 3 minutes, or until onion wilts. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon and onions to bowl with chickweed. Discard drippings from pan. In a separate bowl, beat eggs until lemon colored, then add sour cream, flour and nutmeg. Add egg mixture to chickweed, onions and bacon. Spread filling evenly in the pie shell and pat down firmly with a spoon. Bake 45 to 50 minutes, or until pie has set in center and top looks golden.


bacon recipe courtesy of: William Woys Weaver, Mother Earth Living, February/March 2008; Pennsylvania Dutch Country Cooking by William Woys Weaver, Abbeville Press, 1993