Better With Bacon

Everything’s better with bacon, right?  Even this cocktail.

Better With Bacon Cocktail Better With Bacon, a cocktail from Greg Henry’s Savory Cocktails, starts by steeping sliced bacon in a mixture of peppery rye, lime juice, simple syrup, and liquid smoke.  After a 10-minute infusion, the bacon-rye mixture is strained over ice, and shaken until well-chilled.  Finished with a simple slice of cooked bacon, this savory cocktail is crisp, bright and full of intrigue.  The liquid smoke amps up the smokiness of the rye and bacon, while the lime juice cuts through the rich, heavy flavors.  Simple syrup is added for balance.  In addition to my Bacon Bloody, this Better With Bacon cocktail is one of my favorite ways to consume bacon in liquid form.  If you are a bacon-lover (like me), I’d highly recommend that you give this cocktail a try.  The ingredient list is fairly simple, and you could even use bourbon here if you didn’t have rye on hand.  Continue reading for the recipe.

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Jorge’s Bacon Cheeseburgers

Ok so I have a fun little treat for you all today.

Jorge's Bacon Cheeseburger If you weren’t already aware, my sweet, adorable boyfriend is Jorge.  One might think that because I am a food blogger, I do all the cooking in the relationship; however, that is not the case here.  Jorge loves to cook as well, and today, I’m sharing one of his best recipes for Bacon Cheeseburgers.

His burgers start with a mix of freshly ground beef chuck, short rib and bacon.  Sharp cheddar cheese is then worked directly into the burger blend, allowing the cheesy tang to permeate the burger.  These handcrafted patties are then thrown on a hot charcoal grill where they get wonderfully charred.  As the burgers cook, the bits of cheese throughout get all melty and gooey.  Stacked between a toasted brioche bun, this bacon cheeseburger is finished with our favorite toppings: butter lettuce, heirloom tomato, red onion, pickles, mayo, mustard and ketchup.  Let.  me.  tell.  you.  This burger is ridiculously delicious.  Each bite is incredibly juicy with big, bold flavors that can easily stand up to all of the toppings.  This is your burger for summer 2014.  Continue reading for the recipe plus some comments from Jorge!

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Deviled Eggs Three Ways

It’s the post you’ve all been waiting for…

Deviled Eggs 3 Ways Not one.  Not two.  But three deviled egg recipes.  With Easter just around the corner, I’ve come up with a game plan in advance to use up all of those leftover hard-boiled, dyed eggs.  Step 1:  Make deviled eggs.  Step 2:  Throw a Deviled Egg Party.

Let’s dive right into Step 1.  Below, I’ve provided recipes for a variety of deviled eggs: Chile Garlic, Avocado Bacon and Pickled Beet.  My Chile Garlic Deviled Eggs are made with fiery Sambal Oelek, chopped cilantro, and plenty of fresh lime juice.  These flavors are big and bold.  Next, my Bacon Avocado Deviled Eggs are prepared with crispy bacon bits, rich avocado, chopped green onion, hot sauce and lime juice.  Guacamole in deviled egg form, this variation is highly addictive.  Finally, Pickled Beet Deviled Eggs are made by pickling whole hard-boiled eggs with sliced red beet in a liquid flavored with red wine vinegar, black pepper and bay leaf.  The egg whites soak up both the flavor and the color of the pickling liquid.  The yolks are then mashed with mayo, chopped pickled beet, pickling liquid, prepared horseradish, and chopped fresh chive.  All three eggs are so. yum.

Use these three recipes as a guide to make your own variations.  You’ll need three tablespoons of mayo for every six eggs.  Then, add spicy (kimchi, pickled jalapeños, Sriracha) and fresh (cilantro, parsley, chive, mint) elements to cut through the richness of the yolk and mayo.  Salt is a must.  If you find that the yolk mixture needs a little lift, add acid (lemon, lime, vinegar).  Continue reading for Step 2, plus my three recipes for deviled eggs.

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Kale and Bacon Frittata

Kale and Bacon Frittata

It’s around this time each year that I’m usually super busy with my full time job.  It’s event season and I’ve got a major one coming up next Saturday.  Amidst extensive planning and preparations, I find myself yearning for a lazy Sunday morning with the boyfriend.  The type of morning where we brew an extra-large pot of coffee.  The Food Network is on in the background, and I’m puttering around in the kitchen cooking up some waffles, pancakes, or scones (Instagramming along the way of course).  A morning with no commitments, and a shower is my most ambitious plan.

Unfortunately, this Sunday morning looks nothing like that.  Even though my schedule is packed, I still try to make time for a delicious, home-cooked breakfast.  Today, I’ve made this Kale and Bacon Frittata.  Rich and smokey, this egg-based dish is make with thin shreds of kale sautéed in bacon fat with shallot and crushed red pepper flake.  A golden-hued mix of egg, smoked gouda and parsley is then poured over the tangle of spicy bitter greens.  Crispy bits of bacon are tossed in at the end.  The finished frittata is luscious and hearty.  With each bite you’ll enjoy a satisfying balance of spicy, salty, fatty, fresh and bitter.  And the crisp bacon provides savory pops of smoke and salt.  I may not be able to enjoy a lazy Sunday morning right now, but at least I can get a small bite of it before diving into my next project.  Continue reading for the recipe.

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Bacon Tostilocos

Bacon Tostilocos

Oh man do I have a fun recipe for you today!  Tostilocos, a Mexican street food specialty, are typically made by cutting open a bag of flavored corn chips and piling on toppings such as pickled pig skin, tamarind candies, Japanese peanuts, jicama, cucumber, lime juice, chamoy and hot sauce.  I first had Tostilocos last year at our San Diego LGBT Pride festival.  Jorge and I had been walking around all day, and I was getting huuuungry.  We stopped to sit for a moment in the shade, when Jorge hopped up and said, “I’ll be right back.”  Several minutes later, he returned with a bag of Tostilocos.  After just one bite my taste buds were all like, “Whaaaaaaat???”  Such a crazy combination of flavors that just completely work well together.  Sweet.  Salt.  Sour.  Crunch.  I’ll have to say the one element I’m still not completely sold on is the pickled pig skin.  It’s like savory gummy worms.  But wet and slippery.  Not my fav.  So when I was coming up with a homemade version of Tostilocos, I decided to substituted thin strips of smoky bacon for the pickled pig skin.  I also included some quick pickled cucumber and red onion to add another note of sweet, sour and salt.  You can easily make these pickles at home in just one hour (mainly inactive wait time).  Jorge and I will still get Tostilocos each year at the festival, but now I can easily satisfy cravings in between with my bacon version!

If you don’t live in San Diego (or any other City bordering Mexico), some of these ingredients may look very foreign to you.  Try to find a Mexican market in town.  They should have everything you need.  Or you can easily purchase these items online.  I purchased everything at Pancho Villa’s Farmer’s Market here in SD.  Continue reading for the recipe.

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Bacon Caramel Corn

Bacon Caramel Corn This is what happens when you buy bacon in bulk.  Freshly popped corn is tossed with marcona almonds, crispy bacon, smoked sea salt and cayenne pepper, then drowned in a rich, deeply-hued caramel.  Bacon Caramel Corn is both super tasty and super addicting with the most satisfying crunch.  To be honest, I’m usually not the biggest fan of caramel corn.  I often find that it is too cloyingly sweet.  Luckily, this version of caramel corn isn’t too sweet.  It’s quite savory actually with just a hint of sweetness.

Bacon Caramel Corn can be made up to two days in advance.  Be sure to store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator.  If you’ve never made caramel before, I’d recommend doing a practice run.  This caramel is simply a mixture of sugar, water and corn syrup, so if you mess it up, throw out the batch and try again!  Continue reading for the recipe.

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Brussels Spouts with Bacon and Miso-Mustard

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Miso-Mustard

This recipe is a beefed up (or porked up) version of my favorite Golden Brussels Sprouts. Halved sprouts are sauteed in bacon fat until tender and deeply caramelized. Finished with Parmesan cheese and crispy bacon, these flavorful little nuggets are served with a bright miso-mustard. The combination of the sprouts, bacon and miso-mustard is big, bold and perfect with an ice cold beer. I’ll have to say that miso is quickly becoming one of my new obsessions. Several weeks ago I prepared this Miso Butter Roasted Chicken, and I was really surprised at how tasty it was. Miso, a fermented rice, barley or soy bean paste, provides a salty depth of flavor. Not just for soup anymore, this umami powerhouse works well with meat, fish, vegetables and even dessert (see Bittman article below)! Continue reading for the recipe.

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Kimchi and Bacon Pizza

Kimchi and Bacon Pizza

Last week, I shared my recipe for a BLT with Avocado Spread, a sammich I like to make when my schedule gets super busy.  This Kimchi and Bacon Pizza is another quick and easy recipe perfect after a long work day.  The secret to whipping up a delicious pizza in a matter of moments?  Pre-made dough.  Making dough from scratch is simple; however, I find all of the kneading and rising and waiting and resting quite off-putting.  Especially when I’ve been working 50 – 60 hour weeks!  Instead, I purchase dough from a local pizzeria for a buck or two.  I urge you to call around to your local pizza parlors (not Papa John’s or Dominoes), and ask them if they sell dough.  You’d be surprised at how many say yes!

Topped with smokey bacon and salty-sour kimchi, this pizza is bold, fragrant and packed with mouth-watering flavor.  After just one bite, you won’t be able to stop eating (I know I couldn’t!).  Kimchi, usually an acquired taste, can vary greatly based on where you buy it.  Don’t be afraid of it though :)  I found a delicious organic kimchi at a local farmer’s market.  If you don’t like the first one you taste, try another brand!  When cooked in the oven, the kimchi mellows out a bit, and melts into the cheese and tomato sauce, creating something quite harmonious.  Continue reading for the recipe.

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BLT with Avocado Spread

BLT with Avocado Spread

I don’t really talk about my full time job here that much on Kitchen Konfidence, because I try to keep work and play fairly separate.  For those of you following me on Twitter, you might see a work-related tweet from time to time.  Over the past several months, I’ve been in overdrive preparing for a major event coming up in November.  My increased workload really has affected my cooking and eating schedule.  To avoid plummeting into a fast/processed food rut, I’ve had to put more ambitious food projects aside, and focus on meals that are fast, easy and most of all, tasty.  This BLT with Avocado Spread is one of my go-to weeknight dinners or weekend lunches.  Slices of sourdough are cooked in bacon fat until golden brown, then stuffed with crisp bacon, juicy tomato and peppery frisée.  I finish this sandwich with a schmear of bright, citrusy avocado spread.  This BLT is packed with satisfying flavor and texture.  A perfect meal when both time and energy are limited.  Continue reading for the recipe plus I’ve announced the winner of my Keys to the Kitchen giveaway!

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Bolognese Sauce

Pappardelle in Bolognese Sauce

Up until this year, my method for making Bolognese Sauce called for adding cooked, seasoned beef to my Homemade Tomato Sauce, simmering for a bit, then finishing with fresh herbs.  It wasn’t until I saw this video that I realized I wasn’t really making Bolognese Sauce at all!  After experimenting a bit with Mario’s recipe, I found a method that I really love.  This slow cooked Bolognese Sauce pairs a number of classic aromatics with ground beef, pork and bacon.  The mixture is then simmered in tomato paste, whole milk and wine.  Thick, rich and luscious, the finished sauce has the most amazing depth of flavor.  The recipe below definitely takes some time to make.  But I urge you to give it a try.  You won’t be sorry.  Continue reading for the recipe.

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