When it comes to trends in the food world, they seemingly come and go in waves. Some are gone before you can even get into them. Some stick around, leave, and then come back. The folks at the National Pork Board (NPB) conducted a survey to uncover the top trends Americans are looking to incorporate into their holiday meals and have created a new guide that pairs festive pork recipes with six emerging food trends this season. One popular trend is the DIY movement. The survey found that home cooks are feeling more empowered than ever to head back into the kitchen and give homecooking another try.
If cooking for your family intimidates you, sometimes keeping it simple and using a few short-cuts is an excellent way to gain confidence and sure footing in your kitchen. As a busy working mom of two young kids, sometimes using a prepackaged item every now and then is a real timesaver, and all the better to use those extra precious minutes to really amp up the flavor of whatever your star ingredient happens to be. And today? Bacon. After all, everything IS better with bacon, isn’t it?
We entertain frequently, and I think aside from our semi-annual Rainbow Cake parties to celebrate both the beginning and end of the school year, I might be just as well known for our “bacon-themed” fete. What a night that was, with bacon appearing in everything from appetizers, salads, and the vegetable dishes, right through to the entrees. And really, it should come as no surprise … bacon has a lot of versatility, and with just a few extra minutes, you can transform it into something even more magical than its traditional form. You know, like Maple Black Pepper Bacon. That was the inspiration behind these Bacon Studded Ham Cheddar Sandwiches. A little extra time to give your bacon some bling, coupled with an awesome use for leftover holiday ham, and you are on your way to a perfect light dinner, brunch entrée, or midday snack just because.
The National Pork Board is also sponsoring a delicious giveaway at Kitchen PLAY. Simply recreate any one recipe from this month’s Progressive Party, post about the experience on your blog and provide a link to your post on Kitchen PLAY to enter. All qualifying bloggers in each course will be entered to win a National Pork Board prize valued at $100 (6 prizes total). The deadline is December 31, 2011. Please review the complete contest rules before entering. Good luck!
This post was sponsored by Kitchen PLAY and the National Pork Board. I was compensated for my time and groceries, but as always, all opinions, good, bad, and ugly are mine. All mine.
Bacon Studded Ham Cheddar Sandwiches
Half of a 16 oz package of bacon
16.3 oz Pillsbury Grands biscuits
Eight slices of cooked ham
Eight slices of Cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 425. Place a wire rack on a cookie sheet and lay the bacon strips on the wire rack (see picture), flat and side by side. Sprinkle with brown sugar and black pepper. Place in oven and bake until crispy, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven, and allow to cool. Break into small pieces and set aside.
Reduce oven to 350. Spray cookie sheet with non-stick spray. Open biscuit package and separate biscuits. Press approximately one tablespoon of the crispy bacon into the top of each biscuit. Place biscuits onto cookie sheet and bake as directed.
Once done, and while still warm, slice the biscuits in half. In each “sandwich,” put slice of Cheddar cheese, warmed ham, and a smear of Dijon mustard. Devour.
Be sure to head over to Kitchen Play to see all the other delicious dishes featuring pork.