Sugar Snap Peas and Red Potatoes

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Egyptian Chicken with Sugar Snap Peas and Red Potatoes

Ingredients:
4 medium sized Red Pontiac Potatoes, cut in 2mm slices
2 cups Sugar Snap Peas
2 Tbsp Sour Cream
1 tsp Italian Seasoning
1/2 tsp Crushed Red Pepper
1 tsp Balsamic Vinegar Glaze
1/4 cup Bacon Bits (Real or Soy)
1 Lime
1 tsp Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

Directions:

  • In a bowl, toss the Potatoes with Italian Seasoning, Crushed Red Pepper, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Salt, and Pepper.
  • In a saute pan, on medium heat, add the Potatoes and cook until fork tender and browned, about 7 minutes. Toss and stir so they do not stick.
  • Halve the Lime, and squirt the juice over the Potatoes. Invert the peal and leave to cook with the Potatoes for 2 minutes, stirring.
  • Add the Sugar Snap Peas, Balsamic Vinegar Glaze, and Sour Cream, and 2 Tbsp water to the pan. Stir well, so everything is coated, and cook for another 3 minutes.
  • Toss in the Bacon Bits, remove from heat and serve.

Makes about: 4-6 servings

Notes: It is rare that I say this, but I prefer this with the soy-based Bacon Bits rather than real Bacon. One can also use fat-free sour cream and reduce the calories further. Be sure not to add too much salt to the potatoes, as they Bacon Bits will add some when added.

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Tournedos de Poulet dans une Sauce Sherry – Bacon Wrapped Chicken in a Sherry Sauce

Tournedos de Poulet dans une Sauce Sherry and Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Ingredients:
6 boneless Chicken Thighs or Breasts, butterfly cut
1 cups Mushrooms, diced fine
6 Sage leaves, minced
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1/2 small White Onion, diced
2 oz “Baby” Brie, very cold
24 slices thick-cut Bacon (about 1 lb)
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/4 cup Sherry
1/2 cup Chicken Stock
1/2 tsp Corn Starch
2 Tbsp Butter
3 Tbsp Fresh Parsley
Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Preheat the Oven to 300°F
  • Using a sharp knife, dice the Brie. It must be very cold so it can do this.
  • Combine in a bowl with the Mushrooms, Sage, Garlic, and Onions, a dash of Salt and a crack of Pepper.
  • Flatten the chicken with a mallet. You can do this by placing it between two pieces of wax paper, and pounding out away from you–think “pound and slide”.
  • Using one had like a cup, place a piece of Chicken in it, and then with the other hand place the Mushroom stuffing in the middle of the Chicken piece. You can press the stuffing together–the Brie will bind it.
  • Bring your cupping hand together so that a seam forms from the opposing ends of the chicken. You can then seal this with a toothpick.
  • Take a piece of bacon and cover the seam, wrapping the ends under.
  • You will then wrap two more strips perpendicular to this strip, covering it, and tucking the ends on the bottom like the first strip.
  • Roll the piece over, and take a fourth strip of bacon and cover over the seams going length wise tucking under. Set aside and complete all pieces.
  • Heat the Olive Oil in a large skillet, and using tongs, place the Tournedos in the pan. You will want the final strip of bacon to be face up, and it’s seams on the bottom.
  • Clasping from the sides with the tongs, flip the Tournedos and brown the other side. You may then brown all the other sides. I suggest, you do each Tournedos one at a time.
  • Prepare a cooling rack over an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet.
  • Place the Tournedos on the Rack and place the baking sheet in the oven for 30 minutes.
  • While they are cooking, prepare the Sauce Sherry.
  • Remove the excess Grease from the Skillet.
  • Add the Sherry and Chicken Stock, and whisk in the Corn Starch.
  • Heat until the Sauce thickens
  • Add the Butter, and Salt and Pepper to taste.
  • Add the fresh Parsley.
  • Plate the Tournedos and cover in the Sauce Sherry.

Makes 3 servings (2 Tournedos per person)

NOTES: Tournedos refers to meat wrapped in bacon, such as filet mignon. If you want to cut the fat of regular bacon, I recommend Turkey Bacon–it will taste great still. The complications of this dish revolve around the wrapping of the stuffed chicken pieces. The smaller diced the stuffing is, the easier this is to do. Do not make the mistake I first did, and use colored toothpicks–food is much less appetizing when it is blue and green form the dye!

Smoky Baked Beans

Ingredients:
2 cups Haricot/Navy Beans
6-8 cups Water for Soaking
1/2 lb thick-cut Bacon, diced
1 Yellow Onion, diced
3 cloves Garlic, minced
1/3 cup Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey
3 Tbsp Honey
1/2 tsp Liquid Smoke
1/2 cup Tomato Paste
1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Black Pepper
2 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 tsp dried Chipotle Pepper, minced
2 Tbsp Brown Sugar

Directions:

  • In a large bowl, soak the Beans in the Water overnight.
  • Drain the Beans, reserving the liquid.
  • Preheat the Oven to 325F
  • In a large Pot brown the Bacon.
  • Add the Onion and Garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring well.
  • Add 1 cup of the Reserved Water, and all other ingredients EXCEPT the beans, and heat for 5 minutes, until bubbly.
  • Mix with the Beans and place in a Dutch Oven.
  • Bake for 30 minutes, covered.
  • Stir well and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes uncovered.

NOTES: I was a Boy Scout in my younger days. On camp outs I took joy in being on the kitchen patrol and cooking. Then we’d cook them in a cast-iron Dutch Oven over the campfire. Over time my Baked Beans became a request of the troop, though back then I didn’t get to use Jack Daniel’s.

So with regards to Baked Beans, there are a variety of “styles”. In Boston Style, Beans and Salt Pork are stewed with tomato paste and molasses. Southern Style incorporates Mustard and Bacon into the mix. In Vermont north through Quebec the sweetener is Maple Syrup. Cowboy Beans incorporate BBQ Sauce and Ground Beef. My beans are sort of a hybrid of baked beans with a very smoky flavor that is reminiscent of a campfire stove.

New England Clam Chowder

New England Clam Chowder

Ingredients:
3 medium Russet Potatoes, skinned and diced
1 medium Yellow Onion, diced
3 cloves Garlic, minced
3 pieces of Bacon, diced
4 Tbsp Butter
2 Tbsp All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 cups Clam meat, diced
1 cup Clam Juice
1 cup Heavy Cream
2 cups Milk
1 tsp Black Pepper
1 tsp Thyme
1 tsp Parsley

Directions:

  • In a saucepot, cook the Bacon until crisp on medium heat.
  • Add the Onions and cook for 2 minutes, stirring often.
  • Add the Potatoes and Garlic, coating with the Oily Onion/Bacon mixture. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring.
  • In a bowl combine the Butter and the Flour to form a paste called a beurre manié.
  • Add the beurre manié, Clams, and Clam Juice to the pot and bring to a boil.
  • Add the Milk, Heavy Cream, and Herbs.
  • Reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring often.

NOTES: I prefer to use bigger chunks in my Clam Chowder, so my dices are a little bigger than others…especially the Clams. However you should avoid having whole clams as they can be chewy–quartering is the best. I have no problem using high-quality canned clams for this, so long as preserved in water and not oil. Oh, and you’ll notice that I omitted the use of Salt in this recipe. This is because of the salty bacon and salty clam juice, and the lower amount of potatoes, however you can always add salt to taste.

There are other types of Clam Chowder — Manhattan, Rhode Island, and Outer Banks (from the Carolinas), but none of them have the appeal of New England Clam Chowder to me. This is a true comfort food, and reminds me of the days when my family would go to buffet restaurants like Ryan’s Steakhouse and Golden Corral. I would always start with a big bowl of New England Clam Chowder, and pick out the potatoes which seemed to take away from the clams!

Variations:
Cassava Clam Chowder – Substitute Cassava for the Potatoes.

Rhode Island Clam Chowder –  When adding the Clams, also add 1 cup diced Tomatoes.

Quiche Lorraine

Ingredients:
Pâte Brisée for 9″ shell
6-8 strips of thick-cut Bacon, diced, cooked
4 Eggs
1 1/2 cups Heavy Cream
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp ground Black Pepper
1/4 tsp ground Nutmeg

Directions:

  • Preheat the Oven to 375° F
  • Place the Pâte Brisée in a Spring-Foam Pan or Tart Pan or Pie Pan, and crimp the sides and edge as desired.
  • Bake for 15 minutes and remove to the side.
  • Sprinkle the Bacon pieces throughout the Pie shell.
  • In a large bowl beat the Eggs and combine with the Heavy Cream, Salt, Pepper, and Nutmeg.
  • Pour over the Bacon in the Pie shell.
  • Bake for 40-45 minutes.

NOTES: Quiche Lorraine does not traditionally have Cheese, however most recipes do add Gruyère or Swiss. The addition of cheese or other ingredients connotes a different type of Quiche such as Vosgienne or Alsacienne (Cheese and Onion). Because I am someone who enjoys the fine details, below in the Variations section you will find the similar Quiches that are often all called Quiche Lorraine.

Quiche originated in the medieval German region of Lothringen or what is the modern day Alsace/Lorraine region of France. It was called Küche in the original Lorraine Franconian dialect.  French pronunciation influence changed the name to “kishe” and later quiche.

Variations:
Quiche Vosgienne – Add 1-2 cups shredded Gruyère Cheese on top after adding the custard mixture.
Quiche Alsacienne – Add 1 small diced white Onion when adding the bacon. Add 1-2 cups shredded Gruyère Cheese on top after adding the custard mixture.

Split Pea Soup

Ingredients:
2 cup dried Split Peas
4 cups Water for Peas
4 slices Bacon
5 cloves Garlic, diced
1 yellow Onion, diced
1 tsp Herbs de Provence
1 tsp ground Black Pepper
1/2 cup Butter
3 cups Chicken Stock
1 cup Milk
1 Bay Leaf
1/2 cup Heavy Cream
1-2 cups Croutons

Directions:

  • Soak the Split Peas in the Water overnight in a bowl. Add more water as needed.
  • In a large Sauce Pot, brown the Bacon until crisp but not burnt.
  • Remove the Bacon, set aside on cookie rack to drain the grease.
  • In the same Sauce Pot, saute the Onion and Garlic until tender.
  • Add all Remaining Ingredients, and simmer for 1 hour on low heat, stirring often.
  • Remove the Bay Leaf.
  • Blend the Soup:
    1. Use a hand-held blender, and puree the Soup in the Sauce Pot.
    2. Pour the Soup into a Food Processor or Stand Blender and puree the Soup.
  • Serve in Bowls, pouring a ring of Heavy Cream along the top of the Soup, garnished with the Bacon and Croutons.

Cobb Creamed Corn

Ingredients:
8 cobs of Corn (about 4 cups of Corn)
4 slices Bacon
1/2 yellow Onion, minced
1 clove Garlic, minced
1 Jalapeño Pepper, de-seeded, minced
1 cup Heavy Cream
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Black Pepper
1/2 cup Blue Cheese, crumbled
2 Haas Avocados, sliced

Directions:

  • Prepare the Corn: If using cobs, remove husk and silk, and boil for about 7 minutes. Use a chef’s knife to cut off one end of each cob, forming a flat edge. Place the corn flat side down, standing up on a plate. Use your chef’s knife and slice down parallel to the cob and remove the corn kernels. Rotate and repeat until the kernels are on the plate. Use the back of the knife perpendicular to the cob and slide down scrapping off any excess corn. Place in a bowl, and repeat for each cob.
  • In a skillet, fry the Bacon until very crisp.
  • Remove to paper towel, pat dry, and crumble.
  • In the skillet, drain all but about 2 Tbsp of the drippings.
  • Saute the Onion, Garlic, and Jalapeno in the Butter on medium-low heat until the Onion is tender.
  • Add the Cream, Corn, Salt, and Pepper.
  • Stirring constantly, heat for 7-10 minutes, allowing the cream to thicken. Depending on your skillet, the time may vary.
  • Remove from the heat and toss in the Bacon crumbles and Blue Cheese crumbles.
  • Garnish with the slices of Avocados across the top.

Serves 4.

NOTES: If you opt from using fresh Corn, do not use can, but instead get frozen corn. Before using it, thaw it out, and place in a large zipping storage bag, then crush it with a rolling pin, to break the Corn up.

Variations:
Creamed Corn (savory)
Sweetened Creamed Corn

Cornbread, Texas Style

Ingredients:Vegetarian Variation
2 cups Cornmeal (if Self-Rising, omit Baking Powder and 1/2 tsp Salt)
2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
3/4 tsp Salt
2 Eggs, beaten
2 cups Buttermilk
1/2 cup Jalapeño Peppers, diced
1/2 cup fresh Corn
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese
1/2 cup Bacon Drippings (or Shortening)

Directions:

  • Preheat your oven to 425°F.
  • Pour the Bacon Drippings into a 9-10″ cast iron skillet, and place in the oven as it preheats.
  • In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients, corn, cheese, and peppers.
  • Add the Eggs and Buttermilk, incorporating until there are no lumps.
  • Remove the Skillet and sprinkle with some Cornmeal.
  • Pour the batter into the dusted Skillet, and return to the oven.
  • Bake 20-25 minutes, until golden brown

Variations:
Northern Cornbread
Southern Cornbread

M›Ṽ – Use Vegetable Shortening instead of Bacon Drippings.

Cornbread, Southern Style

Ingredients:Vegetarian Variation
2 cups Cornmeal (if Self-Rising, omit Baking Powder and 1/2 tsp Salt)
2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
3/4 tsp Salt
2 Eggs, beaten
2 cups Buttermilk
1/2 cup Bacon Drippings (or Shortening)

Directions:

  • Preheat your oven to 425°F.
  • Pour the Bacon Drippings into a 9-10″ cast iron skillet, and place in the oven as it preheats.
  • In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients.
  • Add the Eggs and Buttermilk, incorporating until there are no lumps.
  • Remove the Skillet and sprinkle with some Cornmeal.
  • Pour the batter into the dusted Skillet, and return to the oven.
  • Bake 20-25 minutes, until golden brown

Variations:
Northern Cornbread
Texas Cornbread

M›Ṽ – Use Vegetable Shortening instead of Bacon Drippings

Brussels Sprouts & Bacon

Brussels Sprouts & Bacon

Ingredients:
1 1/2 lbs Brussels Sprouts, cleaned and quartered (if smaller, halved)
3 slices Bacon, chopped
1 clove Garlic
1 Shallot, chopped
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp Red Wine Vinegar
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
3/4 cup Chicken Broth
1/4 cup Pale Ale

Directions:

  • In a skillet, brown the Bacon.
  • Remove Bacon from grease, and set on a paper towel to drain.
  • Add Garlic, Shallots, Salt, Pepper, and Olive Oil to skillet. Sweat, but do not over cook.
  • Add the Brussels Sprouts and coat with Oil. Saute for 4 minutes.
  • Add Ale, Vinegar, and Chicken Broth to Skillet and bring to a rolling boil.
  • Reduce heat and cook for an additional 10 minutes.
  • Using a slotted spoon or Spider Whisk, remove the Brussels Sprouts to serving bowl.
  • Sprinkle with Bacon

Broccoli Salad

Ingredients:Vegan Vegetarian Variation
5 cups Broccoli (Florets only)
1/2 cup Raisins (mixed colors if you want)
1/2 cup Bacon, cooked, crumbled
1/4 cup Red Onion, chopped
1 cup Peas (thawed frozen is ok)
1/2 cup Almond Slivers, toasted
Salt and Pepper to Taste

Dressing:
1 cup Mayonnaise
2 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
1/4 cup Honey

Directions:

  • In a small bowl combine Dressing ingredients and whisk together until all ingredients incorporated.
  • In a large bowl, combine Broccoli and Dressing. Make sure all pieces of Broccoli is covered.
  • Now add the Peas, Almonds, Onions, Raisins, and Bacon. Mix the ingredients well so that pieces of each are spread throughout the Salad.
  • Salt and Pepper to taste.

NOTES: Clean the florets and chop into bite size pieces (try to keep the florets intact as best you can). Some people like adding a cup of shredded Sharp Cheddar, but I don’t, as I think it weighs down the salad.

Variations:
Don’t like Mayonnaise, or want something healthier? Try Greek-Style Yogurt instead. (Variation for my friend Alia)
M›Ṽ: Instead of Bacon, either omit or use Bac-Os ® (a Soy product).
Ṽ›Ɣ: Not only use Bacos instead of Bacon, but use a vegan vinaigrette

Goat Cheese-Stuffed Endives

Ingredients:Nut Alergy WarningVegetarian Variation
8 oz Cream Cheese (light is fine and healthier)
3 oz Goat Cheese
1/2 cup Green Onions, chopped
2 slices Bacon, cooked, drained, crumbled
2 tbsp Pecans, toasted, finely chopped
3 doz Endive leaves, cleaned and separated
6 oz sliced black olives, drained (one small can)

Directions:

  • Combine all ingredients into a large bowl and mix together.
  • Put Filling into a pipping bag.
  • Pipe Filling into Endive garnishing with Olives

NOTE: If you do not have a pipping bag, you can use a plastic bag and cut the corner of the the bag. You may also choose to spoon portions of the Filling into the Endive.

Variations:
M›Ṽ – Substitute Bac-Os® for the Bacon.

Spinach Salad

IngredientsVegan Vegetarian Variation
1 lb Fresh Spinach, cleaned, dried
1/2 cup chopped Green Olives
1/2 cup Raisins
1 small Red Onion
1 Tbsp Brown Sugar
3 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
1/4 tsp Mustard (dry)
8 slices of Bacon, chopped
Salt & Pepper to Taste

Directions

  • In a large skillet, cook the Bacon. Add Onion, Vinegar, Brown Sugar, and Mustard and simmer.
  • In a salad bowl, combine Spinach, Olives, and Raisins. Pour Bacon mixture over and toss. Serve warm.

Variations:
M›Ṽ/Ɣ – Substitute 1/2 cup Olive Oil and 1 drop Liquid Smoke and Bac-Os® for the Bacon.