Sunday, December 31, 2006


serves 4

a 2-pound center-cut beef tenderloin roast (chateaubriand), trimmed and tied
1 teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon coarsely crushed black pepper
2 bacon slices
2/3 cup dry red wine
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary leaves
1 red bell pepper
1 1/3 cups beef or veal demiglace*

Garnish: fresh rosemary sprigs

*available at specialty foods shops

Pat tenderloin dry and rub with celery salt and black pepper. Cut bacon into 1 1/2-inch pieces. In a heavy kettle just large enough to hold tenderloin cook bacon over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp and transfer with a slotted spoon to a small bowl. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon bacon fat. Increase heat to moderately high and brown tenderloin on all sides, about 5 minutes total. With tongs transfer tenderloin to a plate.

To kettle add wine, bacon, and rosemary and boil mixture 1 minute. Return tenderloin to kettle and cook at a bare simmer, covered, turning occasionally, 25 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted diagonally 2 inches into center of beef registers 125°F. for medium-rare. With tongs transfer tenderloin to a cutting board and let stand 10 minutes.

While tenderloin is standing, cut bell pepper into 1/4-inch dice. With a slotted spoon discard bacon from cooking liquid. Add bell pepper and demiglace to cooking liquid and boil sauce over moderate heat until slightly thickened and reduced to about 1 1/3 cups.

Cut tenderloin into 1/4-inch-thick slices and arrange on a platter. Spoon some of sauce over tenderloin and garnish with rosemary sprigs. Serve remaining sauce on the side.

courtesy of: Steven L. Katz, Bethesda, Maryland / "Sugar And Spice," Gourmet, December 1998

Saturday, December 30, 2006


a.k.a. Speckknoedel

yields 3 servings

6 slices slightly stale white bread
5 slices thick cut bacon
1/3 cup light cream
1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon (heaping) caraway seeds
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
yolk of one large egg
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 cup sliced white onions
1/2 lb sauerkraut, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Trim the bread slices and cut them into 1/2 inch cubes.

Cut the bacon slices into 1/3 inch squares. Saute them over moderate heat in a large skillet for about 5 minutes. Stir frequently. Transfer them to paper towels with a slotted spoon, and pat dry.

Pour water to a depth of 3 inches into a wide bottomed pot and bring it to a simmer (in preparation for step 8).

Brown the bread cubes in the hot bacon fat for 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer them to a large bowl.

Add the cream to the bowl. Gently toss the bread until it absorbs all the cream. Add to this mixture the bacon, flour, baking powder, caraway seeds, thyme, pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Beat the egg yolk and add it to the bowl. Gently blend all the ingredients.

Shape the mixture into 1 1/4 inch spheres with your hands. (If your mixture is too dry, moisten it with a little more cream.) Place the dumplings on a plate as you make them, arranging them in one layer so they do not touch each other.

Melt the butter to moderate heat in a clean large skillet. Add the onions and saute for 2 minutes. Add the sauerkraut and the remaining salt and blend the mixture. Cover, and cook for 12 minutes.

Cook the dumplings in the simmering water for about 10 minutes (start this step as soon as you cover the onion-sauerkraut pan.) You need not turn the dumplings as they will do that by themselves.

Transfer the cooked 'speckknoedel' to a warm bowl and cover them with the onion-sauerkraut mixture. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately.

Note: The ingredient listing does not show any butter, but the instructions do. One tablespoon would do adequately.

courtesy of: Great Peasant Dishes of the World, by Howard Hillman. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1983

Friday, December 29, 2006


1 lb ground pork
3 strips thick-cut bacon
1 oz parmesan cheese -- shredded (not grated), about 1/3 cup
1/3 cup chopped red onion
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Dice bacon into 1/4 inch pieces. Mix all ingredients together (hands work best). Form into 6 patties about 1/2 inch thick and grill over medium heat for 5 minutes per side.

courtesy of: Kevin Weeks, Knoxville, Tennessee / Seriously Good

Thursday, December 28, 2006


serves 4

1 1/4 lb. shelled fresh broad beans (about 2 lb. unshelled) or 1 lb. dried beans or 10-oz. packages frozen broad beans (see note)
8 oz. thick-cut bacon, with 1 thick slice cut from it and the remainder diced
2-3 spring onions, finely chopped
olive oil
2 botifarra negra sausages (see note), 1 cut into 1/2-inch slices and 1 left whole
1 teaspoon Pernod
1 bay leaf
1 sprig fresh mint, finely chopped, or 1/4 teaspoon dried mint
a pinch of sugar

If you are using dried broad beans, cover with 32 fl. oz. water in a pot, bring to a boil, then simmer until almost tender (about 40-50 minutes). Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a cassola or flameproof casserole, saute the diced bacon and spring onions in 8 fl. oz. of oil until lightly browned.

Add the sliced botifarra negra and broad beans to the cassola, mix well, then saute 2-3 minutes.

Add the Pernod, bay leaf, mint, sugar, bacon slice and the whole batifarra negra to the cassola and salt to taste. Stir well.

Add about 8 fl. oz. of water, or enough barely to cover the broad beans; cover the cassola, bring to a boil, lower the heat and continue to cook until the broad beans are tender and greyish-green in color and the water has evaporated (about 15-20 minutes).

Remove the bacon slice and whole botifarra negra. Cut each into 4 pieces, then divide the broad beans evenly among 4 plates and garnish each with a piece of bacon and a piece of botifarra negra.

NOTE: If you are using large fresh broad beans, blanch them after shelling in boiling water for 2-3 minutes, cool and remove the tough outer skins. Many cookbooks suggest lima beans as a substitute for broad beans. Though they're about the same size, shape and color, they are very different in flavor and texture, and I don't recommend such a substitution unless it is absolutely necessary.

BOTIFARRA NEGRA: This "black botifarra is blood sausage or black pudding - made with bread soaked in pig's blood. It differs from boudin noir, the French blood sausage, in that it is somewhat coarser, with a slightly higher fat content, and more mildly seasoned. The French variety, available at some charcuteries or specialty delis, is a reasonable substitute, though - as is morcilla, the traditional Spanish blood sausage, which may be found at Spanish delis. Use the variety without rice, though, if possible.

courtesy of: Catalan Cuisine: Europe's Last Great Culinary Secret, by Colman Andrews. London: Grub Street, 1997, pp. 63-64

Wednesday, December 27, 2006


makes 8 to 10 servings

4 lb medium sweet potatoes (about 7)
1/2 lb sliced bacon, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-wide strips
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 scallions, thinly sliced, reserving sliced greens separately
2 tablespoons Sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon water

Put oven rack in upper third of oven and preheat oven to 450°F.

Peel sweet potatoes, then cut each lengthwise into 6 spears. Cut spears in half crosswise if desired, then arrange in 1 layer in a large (17- by 12-inch) shallow baking pan.

Cook bacon in a 10-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring, until browned and crisp, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain, then pour bacon fat through a fine-mesh sieve onto potato spears and toss with 2 spatulas to coat. Sprinkle spears with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and roast (uncovered), turning every 15 to 20 minutes, until potatoes are tender and edges are browned, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Transfer to a serving dish.

Return bacon to cleaned skillet, then add oil and heat over moderate heat until hot but not smoking. Stir in white part of scallions and remove from heat. Stir in vinegar, water, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper and pour over potato spears. Sprinkle potatoes with scallion greens and serve warm.

Cooks' note: Bacon can be cooked and sweet potatoes can be cut and tossed with bacon fat (but not salt and pepper) 1 day ahead. Cool potatoes, uncovered, then chill, covered with plastic wrap. Chill bacon separately, covered. Sprinkle potatoes with salt and pepper and bring to room temperature before proceeding.

courtesy of: Gourmet, November 2006

Tuesday, December 26, 2006


12 slices bacon
6 thin slices of a red onion
3 large or 4 medium oranges
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
6 English muffins or crumpets
Softened butter or margarine

Pre-heat oven to 300F. Arrange 6 of the back bacon slices on a baking sheet. Place an onion on each. Cut rind off oranges and cut 6 orange slices about 1⁄2-inch thick. Remove seeds and place one orange slice on each onion slice. Top with remaining slices of bacon; bake 10 minutes. Mix cornstarch with orange juice in a saucepan and stir until smooth and thickened, over low heat. Cut up remaining orange into small pieces and add to orange sauce. Add lemon peel. Cook for one more minute. Split, toast, and butter muffins. Arrange bacon groups over top and spoon orange sauce over decoratively.

courtesy of: Freybe Gourmet Foods Ltd., 27101 – 56th Avenue, Langley, British Columbia, Canada V4W 3Y4, 1-800-TRY-FREYBE

Monday, December 25, 2006


makes 10 to 12 servings

1 (1-pound) loaf crusty country-style white bread
1/4 cup olive oil
4 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1 large garlic clove, minced
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter
1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced celery
1 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
1 pound peeled cooked crawfish tails, thawed if frozen
1/2 pound sliced bacon, chopped
1 (1-pound) bag sliced collard greens, coarsely torn
1 3/4 cups low-salt chicken broth or turkey stock, heated, divided
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 375°F. Cut bottom crust and short ends off bread; discard. Cut remaining bread with crust into 1-inch cubes (about 10 cups loosely packed). Place in very large bowl. Add oil, thyme, and garlic; toss. Spread cubes out on large rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake until golden and slightly crunchy, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes. Return to same very large bowl.

Melt butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add next 3 ingredients. sauté until soft, about 10 minutes. Add crawfish; sauté 2 minutes. Transfer to medium bowl. sauté bacon in same skillet over medium-high heat until crisp. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to bowl with vegetables. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon bacon fat from skillet. Add greens and 1 cup broth. Cover and simmer until greens are almost tender, about 5 minutes. Add greens and broth in skillet to vegetable mixture. Add parsley. DO AHEAD Bread cubes and vegetable mixture can be made 1 day ahead. Cover separately. Store bread at room temperature. Chill vegetable mixture.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Stir vegetable mixture into bread. Add remaining 3/4 cup broth; toss. Transfer to prepared dish. Cover with buttered foil, buttered side down. Bake until heated through, 25 minutes. Uncover; bake until top starts to brown, 25 minutes longer.

courtesy of: Bon Appétit, November 2006

Sunday, December 24, 2006


makes 8 servings

6 ounces bacon slices (about 7 slices), cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons (about) butter, melted
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage, divided
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1 1/2 cups whole milk
3 large eggs

Place rack in center of oven and preheat to 450°F. Sauté bacon in large skillet over medium heat until crisp. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Transfer drippings to glass measuring cup. If needed, add enough melted butter to measure 1/4 cup total. Pour drippings into 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Place dish in hot oven to heat drippings 10 minutes.

Whisk flour, 2 tablespoons sage, and salt in medium bowl to blend. Whisk milk and eggs to blend in large bowl; add flour mixture and whisk until batter is smooth. Whisk in 2/3 of bacon. Remove hot baking dish from oven. Using oven mitts or pot holders to protect hands, tilt dish to distribute drippings evenly. Pour batter into pan. Bake 15 minutes; reduce oven temperature to 350°F and continue to bake until golden brown and puffed, about 12 minutes longer (do not open oven door while baking).

Remove pudding from oven. Crumble remaining bacon over pudding, sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon sage, and serve.

courtesy of: Bon Appétit, December 2006

Saturday, December 23, 2006


1/2 pound dried black-eyed peas
1 pound applewood-smoked slab bacon
6 sprigs fresh thyme, plus
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme for garnish
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 cups homemade chicken stock or low-sodium canned chicken broth
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium Spanish onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine

Pick over the peas to remove dirt and stones. Soak them in water to cover at least 4 hours or overnight. Drain the peas and transfer to a medium saucepan. Cut the slab of bacon in half crosswise and add one of the halves to the saucepan along with the thyme sprigs. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer until tender, 45 to 55 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Drain the peas, transfer to a bowl, and remove the bacon and thyme sprigs. Cut the remaining half of bacon into small dice. Place the bacon in a medium sauté pan over medium heat and cook until golden brown and crisp. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. Bring the stock to a simmer over low heat in a large saucepan. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over high heat. Add the onions and cook until soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in the rice and cook for 2 minutes, until lightly toasted and opaque.

(1) Add the wine and cook until completely reduced. Add 2 cups of the hot stock and stir until evaporated. Repeat with the remaining stock, adding 1 cup at a time until the rice is al dente, 20 to 25 minutes. (2) Stir in the black-eyed peas and chopped thyme and season with salt and pepper. Transfer the risotto to a large shallow bowl and (3) top with the crispy bacon.

courtesy of: Bobby Flay / New York, December 25, 2006-January 1, 2007, p. 81

Friday, December 22, 2006


makes 4 servings

4 large crusty rolls, hollowed out leaving a �-inch thick shell
8 oz. lean ground beef
4 strips crisp cooked bacon, crumbled
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 tablespoons diced red bell pepper
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
shredded mozzarella cheese

Place the hollowed out rolls on a baking sheet. Bake at 375�F 5 minutes. Remove the sheet from the oven and set aside. Leave the oven on. Crumble the ground beef into a non-stick heated skillet. Cook until browned and no longer pink inside. Drain excess fat. Remove from the heat and stir in bacon, parsley, bell pepper, horseradish and mayonnaise. Spoon into bread shells, dividing equally. Sprinkle on the cheese. Return to the oven and bake 6 - 8 minutes or until heated through and the cheese melts.

courtesy of: Horseradish Information Council

Thursday, December 21, 2006


a.k.a. Farofa

serves 10

165 g diced bacon
a few slices of Portuguese sausage
1 onion, chopped
2 bananas (optional), sliced
500 g cassava flour

In a large frying pan, fry the bacon and the sausage slices over a low heat until crisp. Add the onion and fry until they are slightly browned. Add the bananas and fry for another minute. Then add the cassava flour and stir-fry. The consistency should be like a crumble topping. Add salt and pepper to taste if desired.

courtesy of: Secret Recipes, GPO Box 9994, Melbourne Australia 3001 / ABC-TV

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


yields 4 servings

5 oz. whole chestnut
3¼ oz. chestnut purée
8 oz. sliced red cabbage
1¾ oz. slab bacon, diced and cooked
3 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
3 tablespoons chopped onions
10 grams fresh marjoram
10 grams fresh thyme
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
Salt and pepper

4 grain fed poussin
2 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons butter
8 bacon slices for wrapping the poussin
Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Melt the butter and the oil together in a hot sautéing pan over a medium-high heat. Caramelize the onions, the garlic the leeks then add the bacon and cook for about 2 minutes. Slice the cabbage and lightly sauté it in some butter, in a medium pan over a medium heat for about 4 minutes. Remove the bacon mixture from pan add the chestnut purée and the chestnut pieces and set aside to cool. Once cool, add the marjoram and thyme. Separate the stuffing into 4 equal parts.

Take the poussin and season the inside. Stuff it with the mixture. Close it by wrapping the bird with the bacon slices.

Melt the oil and butter in a hot roasting pan. Sear the poussin on all sides until golden. Put it in the oven and cook for 20 to 25 minutes.

Cut the poussin in two to show the chestnut stuffing. Serve with Brussels sprouts and pan jus poured around.

courtesy of: Chef Georges Laurier, Executive Chef & owner of Laurier Sur Montcalm, Hull, Quebec

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


makes4 servings

2 lbs fresh pork bacon (the fatty layer right underneath the skin)
1/4 cup milk or water

1 cup cracklings
2 eggs
2 tablespoons flour
125 g plain bread crumbs (4.5 oz)
greens (chopped parsley and/or chives)
seasonings (pepper, paprika, marjoram)

Cracklings: Cut the bacon into 3/4-inch cubes and put into a tall pot which must not get filled more than halfway up (to prevent the large amount of foam during the rendering process from running over and spilling). Heat up slowly, else the bacon will stick to the bottom and scorch. As soon as there is a little liquid fat covering the bottom of the pot, add milk or water, and heat up more, constantly stirring. Let the cracklings brown a little bit more, then pour off the liquid lard, through a sieve, into an earthenware pot. Warm cracklings are very popular in-between meal.

Dumplings: Mix the cracklings, eggs, seasonings, and greens into a pliable mass. Add flour and breadcrumbs. Let the dough rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Then shape dumplings, and slip into barely boiling water, and let steep. Transfer to hot beef broth and serve.

courtesy of: Harald Pleiner, Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research, PO Box 3148, 55021 Mainz, Germany, (+49) (0)6131 379 246

Monday, December 18, 2006


serves 3-4

500g potatoes
4 rashers rindless bacon, chopped
½ medium red capsicum, seeds removed and chopped
4 spring onions, sliced
4 eggs, beaten
½ cup milk
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
salt and pepper to taste
½ teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup grated cheese (of your choice)
50g butter

Preheat griller to medium. Peel and cook potatoes until tender. Drain and cut into 1 cm cubes. Fry bacon, capsicum and spring onions in a 23 cm non-stick frypan for 2 minutes. Add potatoes, cook further, turning often, until lightly browned. Beat eggs, milk, parsley and seasonings together in a bowl. Stir in potato mixture and cheese. Melt butter in pan, when hot and sizzling, pour in the egg mixture. Cook over low heat, lifting edges around pan with a spatula to allow uncooked egg to set. When almost set in centre, remove and place under griller. Cook until egg mixture sets and lightly browns. Cool slightly, cut in wedges and serve with tossed mixed salad.

courtesy of: Bega Cheese: The Great Australian Cheese Company, 23-45 Ridge Street, North Bega, PO Box 123 Bega, New South Wales 2550 Australia

Sunday, December 17, 2006


serves 4

8 chicken thighs, boneless and skinless, cut into 1 1/2 inch chunks
4 strips bacon, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into 1 1/2 inch chunks
2 plantains, ripe, peeled and cut into 1 1/2 inch chunks
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1/4 cup lime juice
2 tbls oregano, chopped
2 garlic gloves, minced
1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, minced
1 10-ounce jar of pineapple fruit spread

Pineapple Dipping sauce (see recipe below)

On eight 10-inch skewers, thread chicken, bacon, pineapple and plantains, alternating ingredients. Set skewers on a tray with sides or in a glass baking dish. In small bowl, stir together pineapple juice, lime juice, oregano and garlic cloves. Pour pineapple juice mixture over skewers, turning to coat all sides thoroughly. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, and up to 24 hours, turning skewers occasionally.

Before cooking chicken, prepare pineapple sauce.

Prepare grill. When coals are hot, lift skewers out of marinade and brush lightly with vegetable oil. Grill over medium-hot coals for about 20 minutes, turning often. Stir remaining marinade into sauce. Boil sauce over hot stove, stirring often, for 4 minutes.

Serve skewers hot, passing Pineapple Dipping Sauce separately.

Pineapple Dipping Sauce: In medium bowl, stir together 2 teaspoons vegetable oil; 1 large onion, minced; 1 10-ounce jar of pineapple fruit spread and remaining marinade. Boil as instructed before serving.

courtesy of: Pilgrim's Pride, Pilgrim's Pride Corporation, PO Box 93, Pittsburg, Texas 75686, (800) 824-1159

Saturday, December 16, 2006


makes 12 servings

2-8 ounce cans refrigerated crescent rolls
1-10 and 3/4 ounce can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup salad dressing
1 large egg
1 or 2 tablespoons grated horseradish, according to taste preferences
1 and 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
8 ounces bacon cooked crisp, cooled and crumbled
1/2 cup diced tomatoes
1/4 cup diced green bell peppers
1/4 teaspoon coarse grind black pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Unroll and place crescent dough in a 10x15x1-inch jelly roll pan. Press down to seal all seams. In a medium size bowl mix together soup, salad dressing and egg. Spread evenly on crescent dough. Sprinkle remaining ingredients, in order listed, evenly over top. Bake at 375 for 15-18 minutes or until crescent dough is golden brown. Remove from oven; let cool 15 minutes. Cut into 12 equal squares.

courtesy of: Horseradish Information Council

Friday, December 15, 2006


Chiles Rellenos con Huevos y Tocino con Salsa de Queso Chihuahua

Makes 6 servings

1 1/2 cups (or more) whipping cream
1 1/2 cups (packed) coarsely grated queso chihuahua* (about 6 ounces)
6 large fresh poblano chiles (each about 4 ounces)
12 ounces bacon slices, coarsely chopped
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter
16 large eggs, beaten to blend in large bowl
2 dried guajillo chiles, seeded, sliced very thinly into strips
Fresh cilantro sprigs
Corn tortilla chips
Sliced tomatoes

Bring 1 1/2 cups cream to boil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat; whisk in cheese. Boil sauce until reduced to 1 cup, whisking occasionally, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill. Before serving, rewarm over low heat, and thin with cream by tablespoonfuls if desired.)

Char poblano chiles over gas flame or in broiler until blackened. Enclose in paper bag 10 minutes. Peel chiles, leaving stem intact. Cut 1 slit lengthwise down side of each chile; carefully remove seeds.

Cook bacon in large skillet over medium-high heat until brown and crisp. Using slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain. Pour off drippings from skillet. Add butter to same skillet and melt over medium heat. Add eggs and stir gently until softly set, about 4 minutes. Mix in bacon. Season eggs with salt and pepper.

Spoon eggs into roasted chiles through slit. Arrange 1 stuffed chile on each plate. Spoon warm cheese sauce over. Garnish with guajillo chile strips, cilantro, tortilla chips, and tomatoes.

NOTE: Melting cheese available in balls, braids, or rounds. Sometimes labeled queso asadero or queso oaxaca. Substitute mozzarella or Monterey Jack.

courtesy of: Bon Appétit, May 2003 / Las Ventanas al Paraíso, Los Cabos, Mexico

Thursday, December 14, 2006


Maquechou is a traditional Cajun recipe for a tomato and corn stew. It can be made with frozen corn during the winter months, but it is really great with fresh summer corn.

Serves 6

6 slices bacon
4 cups fresh corn (about 6 ears)
1 onion, chopped
1 red pepper, diced
2 large tomatoes, diced
1 Tbsp. minced basil
2 tsp. sugar
1/8 tsp. hot sauce
1/2 cup light cream
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup chopped chives

In a large skillet, cook bacon until crisp. Drain on paper towels then crumble and set aside. Pour off most of the bacon fat, leaving about 1 Tbsp. Add corn, onion and red pepper. Cook for 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, basil, sugar, hot sauce and 1/2 cup water. Simmer 20 minutes, or until tomatoes are cooked down. Stir in cream and one half of the reserved bacon. Simmer 10 minutes longer. Season to taste and serve topped with remaining bacon and chopped chive.

courtesy of: New England Herb Company, 59 North Street, New Haven, Vermont 05472, (802) 453-5503

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


yields 4 servings

8 (1-ounce) slices French bread
2 tablespoons light mayonnaise
¼ cup turkey gravy
12 ounces sliced cooked turkey breast
4 reduced-sodium bacon slices, cooked and crumbled
2 slices provolone cheese, halved
1 cup arugula

For Chutney
¼ cup cranberry sauce
1 tablespoon minced shallots
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon dijon mustard

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the bread slices on a baking sheet and spread the mayonnaise evenly over 4 bread slices. Spread the gravy evenly over the remaining 4 bread slices. Top the mayonnaise-spread slices evenly with turkey, bacon, and halved cheese slices. Top the gravy-spread slices with bacon. Bake at 400°F for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted. While the sandwiches are baking, combine chutney ingredients in a small bowl. Remove the sandwiches from the oven and top the cheese evenly with arugula. Press the sandwiches together and serve with chutney on the side.

courtesy of: Cooking Light, 2100 Lakeshore Drive, Birmingham, Alabama 35209, (205) 445-6000

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


the authentic Chamonix "Farcon"

2.2 lbs. potatoes (preferably Bintje)
7 oz. prunes
2 oz. currants
3.5 oz. lardons (small cubes of bacon)
10 thin slices smoked bacon
scant 1/2 cup liquid cream
3 tbsp. butter
2 eggs
1 large onion
salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat the oven at: 300°F. Peel and chop the onion finely. Sweat it in a covered pan for 5 minutes with 2 tbsp. butter and the lardons; peel and grate the raw potatoes (as you would carrots); line the bottom and sides of a round soufflé dish or a small round casserole with the slices of smoked bacon; combine the potatoes, onions, lardons, cream, eggs, prunes and raisins; season with salt and pepper; pour into the mould; cover and allow to cook for about 4 hours in a bain-marie in the preheated 300° F oven; remove from the oven and let rest 15 minutes before unmoulding.

NOTE: A typical Savoyard peasant dish, the recipe for which varies from valley to valley. Thus, you might find dried apple or a pinch of nutmeg included in some versions. The "farcon" cooks for several hours (the time needed to go to the village for Mass) in a special tall mould called a "rabolire" that has a central chimney. It provided meat (bacon), starch (potatoes) and dessert (prunes and raisins) in just one dish!

SUGGESTION: Serve it on the day you make it, or the next day, cut into thick slices and reheated in a skillet, with a little butter and a nice green salad. In our region it is also served as a side dish with a roast or game stew.

courtesy of: Pierre Carrier, Albert I, the Maison Carrier, 38 route du Bouchet, BP 55, 74402 Chamonix (Savoy/Mont-Blanc), France

Monday, December 11, 2006


3 medium acorn squash
1 pan corn bread (8-by-8)
4 strips diced bacon
1 onion, chopped
2 Anaheim green chilies, seeded and chopped
1 cup corn
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons rubbed sage
1/2 cup fresh salsa
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
one 8 1/4-ounce can cream style corn
11/4 cups chicken stock
2 eggs
Olive slices for garnish

Pierce whole acorn squash to the center with a paring knife. Microwave eight to 10 minutes depending on the size of the squash, or place on a baking sheet and bake at 375° for about 45 minutes.

Cool slightly. Cut an inch off the stem end. Cut two or three slices crosswise about one and one-half inches thick. The number depends on the squash size and serving size. Remove seeds with a spoon. Place rings on a greased baking sheet, brush with butter.

Prepare corn stuffing mix. Sauté bacon and drain excess fat. Add onion and peppers and sauté until tender. Add corn, cumin, sage, salsa and pumpkin seeds. Crumble corn bread coarsely.

Mix eggs, cream corn and chicken stock together, and add to bread along with sauteed vegetables. Mix gently until combined. Fill each squash round, mounding the mixture. Bake in 375° oven about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Garnish with sliced olives. Bake any leftover stuffing in a dish.

courtesy of: Betty Thompson / North Coast Journal Weekly, November 1997 / 145 G Street, Suite A, Arcata, California 95521, (707) 826-2000

Sunday, December 10, 2006


a.k.a. Stargazy Pie

serves 8

One 8" (200mm) shallow pie dish
6 to 8 pilchard
2 eggs
3 rashers bacon
1 lemon.
1 medium sized onion
sea salt and pepper to season
parsley and tarragon

Gut, clean and bone the fish, leaving on the heads and tails. (You may find the flesh is so fresh you can pull the backbone free without a knife) Take the onion. Finely chop. Chop into squares the bacon. Cut the lemon in half; set two slices from to one side for decoration. Squeeze and save the juice. Finely grind the rind. Boil until soft, not hard two free-range eggs. Cut into small dices.

Mousehole Either mix and roll enough ingredients to make approx. 500g of shortcrust or flaky pasty. If you dont have the patience buy some ready prepared frozen pasty from the your local supermarket. Cut the thawed pasty mixture into two halves. Roll one half down to thickness sufficient to cover the base of your pie dish. Cut off the overlapped edges. Coat the edge with either milk or water to ensure the pasty lid will stick.

Either then: Carefully your pilchards, into the bottom of the dish arranging them, like the spokes of a wheel, around the edge of your dish. Place the mixed chopped onion, eggs and bacon in the gaps between the fish. Some recipes suggest stuffing the with half the finely chopped mixture, but given the small gut of the pilchard is it worth trying to do so? Add the lemon juice and cover with your pasty lid pressing down around the fish to seal the pie, trim the edges of overlapping pasty and crimping the edges in true Cornish style.

Or (and we find this more authentic) place all your chopped ingredients, including seasoning into the dish. Cover with pasty lid, trim the edges of overlapping pasty, crimp as above, then carefully cut slits into the pasty, hold open with blade of a knife, and gently push the whole fish into the slots, leaving just the heads or tails showing. Add the lemon juice and then seal the slits. Coat the now completed pie with a beaten egg.

Cooking your Pie: Place in the middle of a pre-hearted oven gas mark 6, 200 c for around 30 minutes, until golden brown. For larger pies more time might be needed before it is cooked.

Serve piping hot with sprig of parsley garnish and Cornish new potatoes.

courtesy of: Cornwall by Cornishlight, The Cornwall Tourist Board's Holiday Information Call Centre: + 44 (0) 1872 322900

Saturday, December 09, 2006


yields 6 servings

3 slices bacon, diced
3 cups cooked rice
1/4 cup chives, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Cook bacon until crisp. Add rice, chives, and seasonings. Blend well and heat thoroughly.

courtesy of: 101 Recipes

Friday, December 08, 2006


4-5 lbs Northern Pike (or walleye) fillets -- cut into 1" cubes
1 lb bacon strips, cut in half
Italian style dressing
barbecue sauce
bamboo skewers

Marinate cubed fish in Italian style dressing for 1 hour. Wrap bacon strips around marinated fish cubes. Spear into skewers so bacon doesn't unravel. Repeat until skewers are full. Cook over medium heat on barbecue; turn continually. Brush on your favourite BBQ sauce when the bacon begins to get crisp. Continue turning periodically until fish is white and bacon is crisp.

courtesy of: Freshwater Fish Marketing Corporation, 1199 Plessis Road, Winnipeg, Manitoba R2C 3L4

Thursday, December 07, 2006


1 9” x 9” cornbread
1 16-ounce loaf sourdough bread
2 cups diced bacon
1 cup diced onion
1 cup diced carrot
2 tablespoons fresh sage chiffonade
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 cup half-and-half
1 cup chicken stock

Preheat oven to 375° F. Cut the cornbread and the sourdough bread into ½ inch cubes. Spread onto baking trays and bake for 15 minutes or until the bread has dried out. Set aside in a large mixing bowl.

Cook the bacon in a large frying pan over medium heat until it begins to crisp. Add the onions and carrots. Cook until the onions soften and start to turn translucent (about 5 minutes). Add the sage, salt and pepper. Turn heat to low and cook an additional 10 minutes.

Add the contents of the pan to the mixing bowl and gently mix with the bread cubes. Add the stock and the half-and-half, continue mixing until the dressing is moist and well blended. I usually use my hands for this but a large wooden spoon is good too.

Put the mixture into a 13” x 9” x 2” greased baking pan. Cover with tin foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove cover and bake an additional 15 minutes or until the top is crispy.

Substitutions: If you want to add more turkey flavor, use turkey stock instead of chicken and/or spoon some turkey pan drippings onto the dressing.

Use 1 teaspoon dried sage instead of fresh sage if you can’t get fresh.

If you can’t get sourdough bread, then nice peasant bread would work too.

Notes: This is dressing, not stuffing, and should not be cooked inside the bird.

I use a cornbread mix to make the cornbread, but if you want to save time, buy one from a store.

Prepping the bread can be done the day before and the bread kept, loosely covered, overnight. Use day-old bread for faster drying.

courtesy of: Fiat Lux

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


serves 8 to 10

2 lb. (5 1/2 cups) dry white beans (Great Northern)
rind from 1/2 lb. salt pork
1 onion, peeled and stuck with 2 cloves
4 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
bouquet garni of 1 sprig thyme, 2 bay leaves, parsley stalks and 3 large cloves garlic
1 2 1/2-pound chunk of slab bacon
2 ducks, about 4 1/2 lbs. each
1 1/2 lb. hot Italian or Spanish sausage
1 cup sliced onion
6 cups chicken stock
5 tablespoons tomato paste
3 large cloves garlic, smashed
freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Fill a large pot with tepid water, add the beans, set over low heat and bring slowly to a boil. Remove from the head and let the beans soak for about 1 1/2 hours.

Put the pork rind into a pot of cold water, bring to a boil and cook for 20 minutes. Rinse with cold water and cut into pieces about 1 inch square. Wrap in cheesecloth, tie into a bundle and set aside.

When the beans have finished soaking, add the pork rind, the onion stuck with cloves, the carrots and the bouquet garni. Add more water if necessary to cover the beans, bring to a boil and simmer, uncovered, for 1 1/2 hours or until the beans are tender but still slightly firm. Remove the scum that will rise to the surface.

Cut 1 1/2 pounds of the bacon into lardons 1 inch by 1/2 inch, cover them with cold water in a pan and boil for 10 minutes. Drain and reserve.

Cut the ducks into serving pieces with poultry shears or a heavy sharp knife. Cut the sausage into 1-inch slices.

Cut the remaining bacon into small pieces and place it with 1 tablespoon of water into a heavy, 6- to 8-quart pot. Set over low heat to render about 4 tablespoons of fat. Discard the bacon and leave the fat in the pot.

Thoroughly dry the duck pieces and add them to the pot with the sausage and prepared lardons, and brown the duck evenly on all sides, about 15 minutes. (If the pot isn't big enough, use a second pot or heavy skillet.) Add the sliced onions. When everything is browned, cover with stock, stir in the tomato paste and bring to a boil, stirring. Add the garlic. Sprinkle with pepper, lower the heat and simmer for at least 45 minutes, or until the duck is tender. If the duck is cooked before the beans, turn off the flame and let it wait, covered.

When the beans are tender, discard the pork rind and the bouquet garni, and add the beans and their cooking juice to the duck. Simmer together until the flavor is nicely blended. With a spoon or bulb baster, remove any fat that has risen to the surface. Remove the beans to a warm serving platter with a slotted spoon, and arrange the meat on top of them. Reduce the cooking liquid to 2 cups and strain. Taste and correct the seasoning. Pour the sauce over the meat and beans, sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.

NOTE: The ducks are best cooked a day in advance, so that the fat can be more easily removed, then reheated.

courtesy of: Simone Beck / Christine Muhlke, "An Old Flame," T: The New York Times Style Magazine, Holiday 2006, p. 132

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


1 cup of all-purpose flour (Not bread flour! The okonomiyaki won't cook right.)
3/4 cup of dashi soup stock if you have it or water if you don't
1 egg (or more - use 2 tbsp less water/dashi stock for each egg you add)
about 4 cabbage leaves
1 tsp baking powder

cooked bacon, small/thinly sliced beef, pork, fish, chicken, crab, or any other kind of meat; browned ground beef; cocktail shrimp; salad mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, minced pickled ginger, nori, sakura-ebi (dried shrimp), bonito flakes, nori, tenkasu, furikake, konbu, daikon, chopped-up cashews, and whatever else you want to put in there.

First up, the batter. Cut the cabbage leaves into coleslaw-like strips. (If you use the white "ribs," cut them very thin so they'll soften when cooked.) Beat the egg in a bowl, then add the dashi or water. Mix. Add the flour. Mix well. Add in the baking powder. Then mix in the cabbage, a bit at a time until all of it is in there and covered with batter. By this time the batter will be like glue to hold the cabbage together.

At this point you can add in some toppings. I put in the larger stuff like shrimp, sliced shiitake or regular mushrooms, chunks of cooked bacon, and ground beef. Mix some more. Then dump some of the mess into a frying pan at medium high heat, about the same heat you'd use for pancakes. (This recipe makes 2 or 3 individual-sized "cakes." I'm a small person, so 1/3 makes a nice meal for me.) Before the batter starts to set you can drizzle more toppings, like torn-up nori, bonito flakes, dried shrimp, and shredded ginger, onto the top. Let the thing fry covered for 5 minutes, then turn it over (the bottom should be brown in the darkest spots) and cook it for 5 minutes on the other side. Voila, it's done. Serve with mayonnaise and/or okonomiyaki sauce.

A few favorite topping combinations:

* Bacon with mushrooms. Cook a pair of strips of bacon per cake, cut them into small chips, then mix those and thinly sliced mushrooms into the batter.

* Browned ground beef with sauteed mushrooms. Cook both together, drain well, then mix the stuff in with the batter.

* Cocktail shrimp and well-sliced-up shiitake mushrooms dumped into the batter before cooking, then nori and bonito flakes sprinkled onto the top.

courtesy of: My Lunch Can Beat Up Your Lunch

Monday, December 04, 2006


makes 4 servings

1 small clove garlic
1 tablespoon mixed fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme, sage)
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
¾ cup dry bread crumbs
8 large white mushrooms
Juice of ½ lemon
2 bell peppers (capiscums), 1 red and 1 yellow or 2 red
1¾ pounds swordfish, 1½ inches thick
6 strips bacon
8 large cloves roasted garlic
1 sweet onion, preferably Vidalia
Salt to taste
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

First place 8 long bamboo skewers in cold water to soak. Finely chop the garlic with the herbs, season with black pepper, mix with the bread crumbs, and side aside. Remove the stems from the mushrooms. Place the mushroom caps in a small saucepan with the lemon juice and enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, then drain immediately. Set aside. Core and seed the peppers and cut them into 2-inch (5-cm) squares. You should have 16 squares of pepper. Trim any skin from the swordfish and cut the fish into 12 uniform medallions, about 1½ x 2 inches (4 x 5 cm). Wrap each in ½ strip of the bacon. Peel the roasted garlic cloves. Peel the onion, quarter it and separate it into layers. Preheat a grill or broiler. Thread the ingredients, just slightly off center, on each of 4 skewers, starting with a mushroom cap, then a roasted garlic clove, then a chunk of bacon-wrapped swordfish, taking care to put the skewer through the bacon as well as the fish. Follow with a square of red pepper, a piece of onion, and another square of pepper, a chunk of swordfish. Continue with pepper, onion, pepper, swordfish, garlic, and mushroom. Insert a second skewer about ½ inch (1.3 cm) from the first in each brochette. Repeat with the remaining skewers. Lightly season the skewers with salt and pepper, brush with olive oil, and roll in the bread crumb mixture to coat lightly. Grill or broil the skewers 6 to 8 minutes, turning them as they brown.

courtesy of: Life in, 5909 Bethlehem Court, Rockville, Maryland 20855 / (301) 738 6827

Sunday, December 03, 2006


a.k.a. Mackerel Magic

serves two

2 slices of unsmoked bacon, broiled
1 cup cooked brown rice
2 tsp soy sauce, Worcestershire or fish sause
1 fresh mackerel, headed, tailed, cleaned and scaled

Chop the bacon up small and mix with the rice, adding the sauce in dashes as you go. Broil the mackerel on both sides until crispy brown. Allow to cool, then split it along the somach and gently open it out. Bone, working from the head to tail. Fill with the rice and bacon mixture, close over the sides of the mackerel and serve.

courtesy of: Lisa Violet's Cathouse

Saturday, December 02, 2006


a.k.a. Garlic & Oil

5-6 cloves of garlic, cut into slivers
7-8 shiitake mushrooms, cut into slivers
2-3 small chillis , chopped into small bits
1 packet of bacon, chopped into small chunks
Handful of cherry tomatos, cut into thin slices
Spaghetti enough for three
2-3 stalks of coriander, chopped into small bits
Olive oil

Cook the spaghetti. Heat a pan up, add the bacon in and fry it in its own fats (I use less fatty bacon so had to add some olive oil in). Remove the bacon when slightly browned and strain on a piece of kitchen towel. Drain out excess bacon fats and add some olive oil in the pan. Fry the garlic till fragrant and add the mushroom. Fry till slightly crisp. Add the chilli and spaghetti and mix well. Add more oil if it's too dry - spaghetti should be lightly coated with oil. Toast in the tomatos and coriander last and mix well. Serve with grilled turkey and salad

courtesy of: Little Gingko Nut, Ling, Hong Kong

Friday, December 01, 2006


or, German rabbit stew

makes 4 servings

1 rabbit, cut into pieces
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 bay leaf, crumbled
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 spice clove
2 tablespoon bacon, diced
2 small carrots, chopped
2 cups mushrooms
1/2 cup vinegar
1 1/2 cup water
1 cup sour cream

Heat vegetable oil in sauce pan. When hot, add leaf, garlic clove, spice clove, bacon, carrots and mushrooms. Add rabbit and simmer until browned. Pour solution of 1/2 cup vinegar, mixed with 1 to 1-1/2 cups water over meat. Cover pan and simmer until tender. Before removing pan from heat, add sour cream stirring to blend. Serve hot with dumplings or large noodles.

courtesy of: Beagles Unlimited