. Hey bacon fans, get your defibrillators ready because the 3rd annual list is out. The numerous uses for bacon ceases to amaze me, so I like to celebrate the versatility of bacon with an annual top list of recipes. Past year's lists are worth checking out:
This year's list represents simplicity and ingenuity. The past two years I'd get messages saying I left something out of the list, so this year I decided to crowd source the top ten list. Without further adieu, here they are in no particular order:
1. BACON WRAPPED RUMAKI -
When my friend (and same birthday buddy) Kris O'Connor told me about this recipe I wasn't sure about it. Well, I went from slightly skeptical to thoroughly convinced in one bite. It goes to show that you can wrap bacon around just about anything, and it'll be good. The combination of sweet, savory and sour is a artery clogging trifecta of goodness. Try to eat just one. Seriously, try it.
2. BACON WRAPPED CREAM CHEESE STUFFED CHICKEN
It might take you longer to say the name of this recipe out loud than it does to wolf it down. If you're a single guy, and you'd rather do something other than cook an entire meal but you want something tasty...this is the way to go. Leave it to our friends at CHOW to come up with this recipe, and another good use for bacon. My favorite thing about this recipe is it sounds like it might be healthy because it's got chicken in it...but it's not.
3. BUTTERMILK BACON PRALINES -
Submitted by Libby V. of Swirl Girls fame. You'll need a cigarette after eating one of these gems...
Adapted from Martha Hall Foose’s “Screen Doors and Sweet Tea”
Makes 24 small pralines
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest
- 4 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
1. In a heavy-bottomed, deep saucepan, combine the sugars, buttermilk, corn syrup, baking soda and salt over medium heat. Cook for about 20 minutes, until the mixture reaches 235 degrees F on a candy thermometer.
2. Remove from heat. Add butter, vanilla, pecans, orange zest and bacon. Beat with a wooden spoon until smooth and creamy.
3. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto a silicone mat or buttered parchment paper. Let stand 30 minutes, or until cool. Store in an airtight container.
4. CORNBREAD MADE WITH BACON FAT
If I was a caveman and just discovered the internet, this would probably be one of the first things I came across online. It's cornbread, which by itself is delicious, but it's made with frickin' bacon grease. Pretty popular recipe actually, but I like the one on the Homesick Texan blog. If you're a real health freak, don't put butter on it. But if you're not concerned with your health, slather butter AND bacon bits on top.
5. BACON FLAVORED COTTON CANDY
You might want to order some Shake Weights off ESPN if you're going to take one of these down. I remember hearing about this last year, but it was too late to make the list. Not sure how to make this exactly, but there's an article and quote from Mary Constantine of KnoxNews.com...
"Yes, I said bacon-flavored cotton candy, and before you wrinkle your nose in disgust, let me tell you, it was one of the most incredible creations I have ever tasted. I don’t know the chemistry behind Brock’s magic of rendering bacon into the flavorful fairy dust, but it worked. I only wish I could have bagged some up and brought it home for all to sample."
If there was ever an example of "keep it simple stupid," this is it. Do the math: Bacon + Tots = delicious grubby little treat.
Thanks to Bacon Unwrapped for this idea. You gotta admire someone who makes a commitment to bacon like that.
7. SPAGHETTI ALLA CARBONARA
This was literally the first bacon-y recipe we made in 2010, but it wasn't the last time we made it. If you're watching your carbs, use wheat pasta. God forbid you don't want to load up on carbs when you're ingesting bacon. Not only is the recipe easy and cheap, but it's fun to pair with wine. What would you pair with it? Please leave suggested pairing in the comments section.
8. DECONSTRUCTED BLT
I love the internet! Whoever the genius is that thought to take a BLT and turn it inside out should be given some sort of award on the same level as a Noble Peace Prize. They take the carbs out, and dial up the most important ingredient, which is bacon. Thank you to our friends at Not Martha for one of the coolest, and most innovative uses for bacon. It's got tomatoes in it so it can't be all bad, can it? Here's the recipe!
9. HOT BACON DRESSING
You gotta get your greens in there somewhere. Each year I like to throw in a "healthy" recipe to utilize the power of pork. This year it's a salad dressing that's been around for a long time. One recipe in particular that's been in my wheelhouse is the Hot Bacon Dressing recipe from Ellen Folkman of TampaBay.com
Put it on a spinach salad with a hard boiled egg or just drink it out of a glass. Who cares? It's got bacon and that's all you really need. Everything else is just window dressing.
10. INSIDE OUT BACON CHEESEBURGER SLIDERS
Yep, I said it. If you somehow ate your way through my top ten list and made it to this recipe, you better consult with a doctor before shoving one of these babies down your gullet. The original idea was for the Independence Day Sliders post, but we were feeling frisky, so we added bacon into the mix. Then I turned 40 and realized my mortality. You can't eat like this all the time unless you just really want to give your arteries the finger. If you do try these, you'll be handsomely rewarded with savory goodness.
So there you have it bacon brethren...the top 10 list. By no means is this the end all list of the year, it's just the list of recipes that push the envelope to try new things. If there's anything I missed, please leave comments and share your favorites!