Indulge in some great bacon recipes now.By Zester Daily Staff
We love bacon, so news of a possible bacon shortage sent us reeling. Luckily, bacon isn't likely to be scarce, but the prices are expected to jump in the coming months.
To make the most of bacon while it's affordable, try one of these great bacon recipes from the Zester Daily crew.
If you haven't tried braising before, this is the season to challenge yourself and learn a simple, easy, one-pot, cold-weather cooking technique. The resulting meat is fall-off-the-bone tender. Adding fresh vegetables and herbs completes the dish. Using bacon with its smoky flavor and good fat content adds even more flavor.
2 chicken thighs
2 chicken wings, disjointed, tips used to make stock
2 chicken legs
2 bacon strips, finely chopped
1 cup shiitake or brown mushrooms, washed, dried, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, peeled, finely chopped
1 medium onion, peeled, root and top removed, roughly chopped
1 cup Italian parsley, washed, leaves only, roughly chopped
2 carrots, washed, peeled, ends removed, cut into ½-inch thick rounds or roughly chopped
2 cups broccoli crowns, washed, separated into individual florets
1 cup corn kernels, off the cob
4 cups chicken stock or 2 cups chicken stock and 2 cups water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon sweet butter (optional)
sea salt and black pepper to taste
1. In a 3- to 4- quart stock pot, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and season with sea salt and pepper. Add the finely chopped bacon and cook until crisp. Remove the bacon bits and drain on a paper towel.
2. Sauté the chicken pieces in the olive oil and bacon fat until lightly browned on all sides. Remove the chicken and drain on a paper towel.
3. Pour the accumulated oil into a coffee can for disposal. Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, heat and season with sea salt and pepper. Sauté garlic, onions and mushrooms until lightly browned, add the parsley, bacon bits and chicken pieces.
4. Add the 4 cups of stock or a mix of stock and water. Stir well to combine. Cover and simmer 30 to 40 minutes or until the meat is tender.
5. Add the carrots and broccoli florets and, if the volume of liquid is too low, 1 cup of water. Continue simmering another 10 minutes uncovered or until the vegetables are tender.
6. Taste and adjust the seasoning with sea salt and pepper as needed. Add the pat of sweet butter if desired.
7. Serve with slices of fresh bread with butter, mashed potatoes, freshly made pasta or steamed rice.
Contributing: David Latt.
Bacon in a cookie
In a span of a couple of years, bacon has gone from dessert taboo to super-trendy ingredient in everything - chocolate bars, doughnuts, brownies, ice cream, bread pudding and cupcakes. Bacon makes (almost) everything better, so we were more than willing to jump on the salted pork bandwagon, even a little late. Cooked up super crisp, roughly chopped and folded into the dough, it provided sharp jolts of smoky, salty goodness.
Makes 20 shortbread cookies.
14 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons very thinly sliced fresh sage leaves
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup confectioner's sugar
¼ teaspoon table salt
½ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup coarsely chopped crisp-cooked applewood-smoked bacon (6 slices)
Fleur de sel, for sprinkling
1.Place butter in a large light-colored (not nonstick) saucepan and cook over medium heat until brown flecks appear on the bottom of the pan and butter releases a nutty aroma, 6-7 minutes. Off heat, add sage and stir until shriveled and crisp, about 1 minute. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until almost firm, about 1 hour.
2. Preheat an oven to 300 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, confectioner's sugar and salt; set aside. Place butter mixture, brown sugar and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping sides and bottom of bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add flour mixture and beat on low speed until just incorporated, 1 to 2 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, fold in bacon.
4. Place dough on the prepared baking sheet and press into a 6- by 10-inch rectangle about ½-inch-thick. Using a sharp knife, score the dough lengthwise down the center. Score the dough crosswise at 1-inch intervals. You should now have 20 scored rectangles. Lightly sprinkle the top of the dough with fleur de sel.
5. Bake until the shortbread is golden brown and set, 55 to 60 minutes. Set the baking sheet on top of a wire rack to cool 10 minutes. Gently transfer the parchment paper to a cutting board and carefully cut the shortbread into pieces along the scored lines. Transfer the shortbread to the wire rack and let cool completely, about 2 hours.
Contributing: Sandra Wu.
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