Wednesday, 2 October 2013

BACON

Hi peeps!

Can you smell it? That gorgeous smell of bacon frying. That salty; meaty porky bit of heaven...
Oh; nothing says I LOVE YOU quite like bacon. :-).

Turns out you get different types and cuts of bacon: streaky bacon, bacon bits; back bacon and side bacon. You also get green bacon; jowel bacon and middle bacon; slab bacon; hock; picnic bacon and gammon.

Most of the time we fry bacon as a side for eggs for breakfast; but it can be chopped in to bits as part of a dish or used for larding and barding in recipes.

Most times bacon is pork but you do get other bacon as in chicken and turkey bacon and even Macon (from sheep) for the Muslim and Jewish people who do not eat pork.

Bacon can be smoked, pre-boiled; cured, salted; baked or grilled.

In Italy, you get pancetta which can be slivers of uncooked bacon which is usually served with antipasta.

Did you know that bacon is the world's most favourite meat besides chicken?

Did you know that you have to ensure storage and cooking of bacon is done thoroughly due to the possibility of you ingesting roundworm? Heating; drying and freezing helps in this prevention.

You get many different types of bacon in the sense of: There is: bacon ice cream; bacon-infused vodka; deep-fried bacon; chocolate-dipped bacon; bacon-wrapped hot dogs filled with cheese; brioche bread pudding smothered in bacon sauce; hard-boiled eggs coated in mayonnaise encased in bacon—called, appropriately, the "heart attack snack"; bacon salt; bacon doughnuts, cupcakes and cookies; bacon mints and even "baconnaise". - how about making a salad basket out of bacon?!!!

There is no end to Bacon Mania!!!

Now on to our two bacon recipes for today:
These two unusual bacon recipes have been extracted from www.bacongoddess.com.

CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER BACON BALLS
(Yes, you read that right)
These bite-sized beauties have all the goodness of a chocolate covered peanut butter ball with the added bonus of a blast of crunchy/salty/smoky from the bacon when you bite into them. So delicious!

You will need:

Peanut Butter
Powdered Sugar
Chocolate Bark (Coating chocolate)
Bacon - extra crispy

Take about a cup of peanut butter and dump it in a mixing bowl. A cup of peanut butter should make about a dozen balls, depending on how large you like them.

Start stirring in powdered sugar until your mixture is about the texture of cookie dough.

Crumble up your bacon really well and stir it in. I use the microwave bacon and get it REALLY crisp so the fatty parts are crunchy. You'll probably want to use your hands at this point to make sure it's all mixed in well. You might want to wear gloves for this, it can get really messy.

How much bacon? That's up to you. I like a LOT of bacon. I think for the one cup of peanut butter I used 8 or 10 pieces. The dough will end up looking chunky/prickly if you do it like I do. Less bacon will give a more subtle taste, which is good as well.

Okay - now your cookie dough texture will be a goopy greasy mess that you can't mold. Stick your bowl in the freezer for about 20 minutes. That will help the grease congeal and make it easier to form the mixture into balls. If it's still too greasy, stick it back in for a bit more.

Make your balls! I guess just use your own judgement as to how big you like your balls.

Put them on wax paper on a cookie tray and stick them in the fridge for like 20 minutes to chill them again before they get dipped.

While your balls are chilling, melt your chocolate bark. Just follow the instructions on the package. I use three chunks (Kroger brand) to cover 12 balls, but you can use more or less depending on your tastes. Remember, you can always melt more if you run out, so it's okay to underestimate your chocolate needs.

Put it in a shallow wide-ish dish when it's melted.

Roll your balls! Roll them in the chocolate until they're coated to your liking then scoop them out and put them back on the wax paper. Use your fingers or a spoon, I don't care. You can put any leftover chocolate on top of the balls if you want. Or just eat it. HA!

Chill your balls for around 20-30 minutes to harden the chocolate.

Nom the HECK out of them! Well? Pretty good, huh?

MAPLE FRENCH TOAST AND BACON CUPCAKES
Recipe Courtesy Kara Scow for Food Magazine
Ingredients

For the Cupcakes:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cake flour
1 3.9-ounce box instant vanilla pudding mix
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon potato starch
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup half-and-half, at room temperature
1/2 cup chopped cooked bacon (5 strips)

For the Glaze:
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 strips bacon, cooked and chopped (optional)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. (180C) Place paper liners in a 12-cup muffin tin. Prepare the cupcakes: Combine the flours, pudding mix, baking powder, potato starch, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a bowl with a whisk.

In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugars with a mixer on low speed until combined, 6 to 8 minutes. Gradually mix in the vanilla and egg whites. Scrape down the sides of the bowl; continue mixing until light and fluffy. Add the flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with the maple syrup and half-and-half, mixing after each addition and ending with flour. Mix until the ingredients are just combined; do not overmix. Fold in the bacon. The batter will be thick.

Pour the batter into the prepared muffin tin, filling each cup about three-quarters of the way. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Cool completely.

Meanwhile, prepare the glaze: Beat the cream cheese and butter with a mixer on medium speed until creamy. Add the confectioners' sugar, maple syrup and cinnamon; beat until combined. Spread on the cooled cupcakes; top with chopped bacon, if desired. (Photograph by Kate Sears)

We are taking a look at a gorgeous spice for tomorrow; Nutmeg. Come join us in the kitchen for info on this beaut and two recipes that are so good they'll blow your mind. See you real soon ;-*

*crispybaconhugs*
Chef Shants xxxxx

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