Spent the weekend at the shore, breaking in my newest cookbook, Everything Tastes Better with Bacon. Bacon made an appearance in three of our meals this weekend, two were recipes from this new cookbook.
Saturday morning breakfast started with Sweetie Pie Pancake with Brown Sugar Apples and Bacon and lunch was BLTs. The Pancake was pretty simple to make, about 30 minutes from start to table. High praise all around, including the men. This would be a really nice brunch dish; the apples are tender and sweet, with the bacon lending a subtle saltiness to the dish. Adding the eggs, you have everything you need to start your day.
For dinner, we started with Nigella’s Roasted Tomato and Mozzarella Bruschetta. We did that on Semolina bread, which added another flavor layer.
The main dish was another Nigella one, Spaghetti alle Vongole in Bianco. Nice and simple, it produced a clean, wine sauce for the clams and spaghetti. I especially liked this one because without butter or oil, it was pretty healthy (perfect to offset all the bacon we had!).
We rounded out the meal with another new recipe from the bacon cookbook, Pear Salad with Bacon and Honey Vinaigrette. I made a few slight changes to the recipe, and it was delicious! Big flavor impact, particularly with the addition of Gorgonzola. A unique mix of ingredients, this will be a definite repeater for us (and this coming from a confirmed non-pear eater!).
So, all in all, a successful foray into a new cookbook – see below for some of the recipes. Four new recipes this weekend, and all were successes. Gotta love those odds!
The weather was perfect for eating out on the back deck, and with this kind of view, how can you not?
We took Nicholas miniature golfing for the first time, and he got the hang of it pretty quickly … especially the cheating part! He’d swing at the ball and get it about halfway there, then he’d go pick up the ball and put it a few inches from the hole and swing again to get it in. Pretty smart! Who needs all those extra club strokes in between? When The Husband swung at the ball, Nicholas would very helpfully retrieve it from the green and bring it right back to the beginning. :)
Tonight’s dinner was Jamie Oliver’s Crispy Chicken with Basil and Sweet Tomatoes, served over buttered rice. I’ve made this one before (see early June entries), and it’s still just as yummy as ever. It cooks for three hours, but prep time is under 15 minutes. Do try it!
Tune in tomorrow to find out what cookbook bargains I picked up over the weekend. Until then…
Pear Salad with Bacon and Honey Vinaigrette
(recipe has been modified by Cate)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon coarse (kosher) salt
pinch of freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon of white vinegar
2 ripe but firm pears, peeled, cored and cut into 1-inch pieces
4 crisply cooked pieces of bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2-1/2 cups loose packed mixed greens
1-2 oz. crumbled Gorgonzola
In a small bowl, mix together the oil and honey. Whisk in the mustard, salt, pepper and vinegar. In a medium bowl, gently toss together the pears, bacon and mixed greens, lifting and blending the ingredients. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad, toss again, and divide among 4 chilled salad plates. Garnish each salad with crumbled cheese and serve immediately.
Sweetie-Pie Pancake with Brown Sugar Apples and Bacon
1/2 cup milk
pinch of salt
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
4 slices of cooked bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 small apples
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
powdered sugar for dusting
Preheat oven to 425. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, salt and flour. The batter may be slightly lumpy. Set aside. Peel, core and cut the apples into 1/4-inch slices. Melt the butter over medium heat in ovenproof skillet or Corning Ware dish. Add the apple slices and saute for 3 minutes. Turn the apples and saute for 3 minutes longer. Sprinkle the apples with the brown sugar, then with the bacon and cook for 1 minute. Whisk the batter for 30 seconds and pour it over the apple mixture. Bake until the pancake puffs up and is golden brown, about 15 minutes. Using an oven mitt to hold the skillet’s hot handle, remove from the oven. Dust with powdered sugar, slice and serve immediately (relax, it will deflate).