Bacon Candied and Curried Cashews

I was looking for a way to put together some cashews and use some up that I had in my cabinet, when I came across this recipe in the Smoke and Pickles cookbook.  I’ve been doing a fair bit of cooking from that cookbook recently, so you can anticipate more recipes will come from there.

Besides my oven rack being a little warmer than I would like, these were easy to do (I made them on Sunday morning before church) and had a good bit of kick to them.  The cayenne pepper was a nice addition to the other flavors.  The bacon, pre-oven cooking was nice and candied, and the cashews have been great to snack on this week.  I’d recommend trying them if you are looking for something different to have when sitting on the patio, sipping your cold beverage after having taken care of some yardwork.

Bacon Candied and Curried Cashews.jpg

Bacon Candied and Curried Cashews

6 slices applewood-smoked bacon, diced
2 Tbsp sugar
1 c cashews
2 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the diced bacon and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, until most of the fat has rendered and the bacon has started to get crispy.  Drain off all but about a tablespoon of the bacon fat into a small bowl; reserve.

Add the sugar to the skillet and cook, stirring for 2 to 3 minutes, until it has coated the bacon and the bacon starts to look shiny.  Add the cashews, curry powder, cayenne, salt, and black pepper, and toss together to coat the nuts.  If they seem a little dry, add another teaspoon of bacon fat and toss to coat.

Spread the nuts out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Bake for 12 minutes, or until lightly toasted.  Let cool to room temperature. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.

Braised Bacon Rice

Recently, I have been flipping through a few random cookbooks where I had recipes flagged.  One such cookbook was done by a Top Chef contestant and is called Smoke and Pickles.  It features an updated take on southern cooking, an area of cooking where I have not done much experimenting, but was eager to try.  I found this recipe for braised bacon rice, and while I didn’t see a photo in the cookbook of the recipe, it looked yummy.  I was also pleased because I had the opportunity to incorporate some more cayenne pepper into my cooking, something that this midwestern gal is sometimes apprehensive to do, to say the least.

I was delighted by this recipe.  It had great flavor and with the hint of spiciness at the end of the dish.  It was nice and creamy, almost comfort food-like, and in the heat of the summer, it was a great option for on the stovetop.

Braised Bacon Rice

Braised Bacon Rice

8 oz slab bacon, cut into 1/4 inch dice
1 1/2 c chopped onions
1 c chopped celery, plus 2 Tbsp chopped celery leaves
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
4 c chicken stock
1/2 c tomato juice
1 c long-grain rice
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Cook the bacon in a large pot over low heat until it has rendered most of its fat, about 5 minutes.  Add the onions, chopped celery, and the garlic and cook about 6 minutes, stirring constantly to avoid burning the bottom of the pan.

Add the mustard, cayenne, and paprika and stir, then add the chicken stock and tomato juice and bring to a boil.  Add the rice, stir, and lower the heat to a slow simmer.  Let the rice cook, uncovered, for about 16 minutes, or until most of the liquid has been absorbed.

Add the chopped celery leaves, butter, and salt and pepper to taste to the rice.  Turn off the heat and let the rice stand for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.  Serve hot.

Brussels Sprout, Bacon, and Gruyere Frittata

Sometimes, breakfast for dinner sounds delicious.  And, sometimes I want to figure out how to incorporate my favorite brussels sprouts into breakfast.  This frittata accomplishes either in a fantastic way.  It’s the right balance of all the tastes.  I really don’t have anything else to say, except this is perfection in a skillet.  Recipe is from 2015 Food and Wine Annual Cookbook.

brussels-sprouts-bacon-and-gruyere-frittata

Brussels Sprouts, Bacon, and Gruyere Frittata

1/2 pound thick-cut bacon, diced
2 shallots, halved and thinly sliced
3/4 pound brussels sprouts, halved and sliced 1/4 inch thick
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
8 large eggs
2 tablespoons whole milk
1 cup shredded Gruyère cheese
1/4 cup snipped chives

Preheat the broiler and position a rack 6 inches from the heat. In a 12-inch nonstick ovenproof skillet, cook the bacon over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the brussels sprouts, season with salt and pepper and cook, tossing occasionally, until crisp-tender and lightly browned, about 5 minutes.

 Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat the eggs with the milk, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Stir in the shredded cheese and snipped chives. Pour the egg mixture into the skillet and cook over moderate heat, stirring gently, until the eggs start to set and the bottom is lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer the skillet to the oven and broil the frittata for about 3 minutes, until the center is just set. Run a rubber spatula around the edge of the frittata and slide it onto a serving plate, then cut it into 6 pieces and serve.

Chippewa Wild Rice

As I continue to cook through a number of wild rice recipes, I came across this recipe in the original From Minnesota with Love cookbook.  However, especially with concerns around drilling for our First Nation peoples and their land, I also want to be sure to share information about the harvest as a part of the Chippewa band of people in Northern Minnesota.  You can read more about their tie to and harvest of wild rice online.  I have no idea whether this recipe is traditional among First Nation peoples, although it looks to me to be something that has been adapted by others who moved in the area.  That being said, I wanted to test it out and eat a wild rice recipe where we could taste the flavors in a different way.  I was quite surprised at how much I enjoyed this wild rice recipe.  Partially because I wasn’t sure what to expect — was this a wild rice version of fried rice or something that should be experienced on its own accord?  And, with the eggs in it, could I eat this for breakfast?  And the answer to all of those is Yes.

chippewa-wild-rice

Chippewa Wild Rice

1 c wild rice
2 1/2 c water
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
4 slices bacon, fried
6 eggs
2 Tbsp minced chives
2 Tbsp bacon fat or butter

Wash rice.  Bring 1 tsp salt and the rice to a boil in 2 1/2 c water.  Simmer 35 to 40 minutes until rice is tender and water is absorbed.  Beat eggs with 1/2 tsp salt and the pepper.  Melt bacon fat in a skillet and pour egg mixture in.  Cook eggs until firm and light brown.  Remove from pan and cut in thin strips.  Add crumbled bacon, eggs, and chives to rice.  Heat through.

Bacon Maple Sprouts

Have you seen Alton Brown’s new cookbook?  I’ve been a fan of Alton’s for a long time.  I enjoyed his show Good Eats on the Food Network and continue to enjoy his work.  I also really enjoyed the Alton Browncast Podcast when he was making that.  It was a delightful listen in on things he enjoys.  I really like hearing about the science behind food preparation, and Alton does a great job of explaining that.  As I was putting together my menu for Thanksgiving, I knew I wanted to put brussels sprouts on the menu and as I was dabbling through his cookbook, this seemed like an excellent pick.  So, from Alton Brown: Everyday CookI bring you bacon maple sprouts.

Bacon Maple Sprouts.jpg

Bacon Maple Sprouts

4 rashers bacon
1 1/2 lb Brussels sprouts
1 large apple, chopped
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp maple syrup

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place the bacon on a half sheet pan and roast for 20 minutes, flipping once, until crisp.  Remove the pan from the oven and the bacon from the pan.  While the bacon is making the kitchen smell awesome, trim and split the sprouts.

Toss the sprouts and apples with the bacon fat and spread in an even layer on a half sheet pan, placing as many sprouts cut-side down as possible.

Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until the sprouts are browned and tender.  Crumble the bacon while the sprouts roast.

Meanwhile, whisk together the mustard and syrup.  When the sprouts and apples are brown, put them back in the bowl you seasoned them in and toss with the maple mustard and bacon.

Maple Brussels Sprouts

Last post about food I made for Thanksgiving this year (I think…).

As we discussed the Thanksgiving menu, my parents and I came to the conclusion that we were missing a vegetable.  So, I volunteered to make something.  After scouring pinterest for awhile, I decided to go with my favorite vegetables (see here, or here) of the past few years: brussels sprouts.

There wasn’t room left on the stove, so I knew I needed to find a recipe that could be done in the oven.  Ultimately, I wrote down three or four recipes and combined them to create a recipe which would work for us.  I like how it turned out, although in the future, I think I would roast them a little longer or do this on the stovetop to caramelize the brussels a little bit more.

maple brussels spruts

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