During the last thirty years, America’s affinity for bacon has moved from mild obsession to bacon mania, thanks in large part to the Internet and progressive chefs like Heston Blumenthal, who popularized dishes rooted in molecular gastronomy such as Smoked Bacon-and-egg Ice Cream.
According to Gupta, the chain lards on bacon give foods a high flavor profile creating a “one-of-a-kind product that has no taste substitute.”
James Villa, author of “The Bacon Cookbook,” comments that bacon has the perfect balance of sweet, salty, smoky flavor, and the perfect balance of meaty and crispy texture. “It’s the most perfect food ever created by the gods.”
Besides the standard bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich or a bacon cheeseburger, here are 17 exciting ways to devour one of America’s favorite foods.
Sulfite-free hickory smoked bacon is baked in small batches before we hand chop it into fine nibbles. Alderwood smoked salt exudes a campfire aroma and perfectly offsets the sweetness of the chocolate. Welcome to the bacon revolution. Mo’s Milk Chocolate Bacon Bar parfum includes: 45% Deep milk chocolate with hickory smoked uncured bacon + Alderwood salt.
The Hot Dog was first introduced to Mexico in 1943 by a couple of American entrepreneurs who purchased a concession stand at the Plaza Mexico City bull ring. The entrepreneurs figured Hot Dogs was such a hit with baseball fans in America, they should be just as popular with bullfight fans in Mexico.
Rim the martini glass in Bacon Salt to create a dirty gin martini with jalapeno.
The bacon lattice really doesn’t want to stay tucked in around the edges of the pie. Be sure to include extra bacon sticking off the edge of the pie and tuck it down the inside of the crust to help mitigate this. Also, having a larger rim of pie dough to extend a bit further toward the center of the pie would probably help.
The quality of the bacon here matters. You want bacon with a good amount of fat for the lattice top since that’s replacing the butter usually included in apple pie filling. You also want bacon with a good flavor when fried and eaten alone, because that’s almost what you have on top of the pie.
I should also admit that I used store-bought pie crust. Honestly, I think the stuff you buy in rolls in the fridge case is almost as good as homemade and a hell of a lot easier.
1 9″ pie crust
3 strips bacon, chopped and fried crispy
6-7 medium to large tart apples, peeled, cored and sliced (I used a combination of Cortlands and Ida Reds)
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
2 Tbsp plus 1 tsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp Scotch (I used Johnny Black. You want something noticeably smoky.)
1/2 cup real maple syrup
6-7 slices bacon, halved lengthwise
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spread the pie crust in a 9″ pie pan and leave the overhanging edges. Sprinkle the bacon crumbles over the crust.
Mix together the apple slices, brown sugar, nutmeg, cloves, cornstarch, and scotch. Spread over the bacon in the pie crust. Pour the maple syrup evenly over the apples.
Arrange the strips of bacon over the top of the pie crust in a lattice, then fold the edges of the pie crust over the bacon and crimp.
Bake for about an hour, until the bacon on top, is nicely crisp, the crust is browned and a knife pushes easily into an apple slice. (Happily, these should all happen at roughly the same time.)
Footnote: Before I made my pie, I did a few quick searches to see who else had already made bacon apple pies in blogland. The answer, shockingly, was almost no one. (Although I did steal the bacon lattice top idea from one of them.) Even with the full saturation of bacon into the blogosphere, it seems bacon apple pie is nearly untouched.
2 sticks (1 cup) butter1 1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon maple extract
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 cups cake flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup bacon (maple-flavored if you want), cooked and crumbled (maybe about a pound)
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
Kosher salt for sprinkling
Set one stick of butter out to soften. Cook the other stick of the butter on medium heat on the stove until browned. Allow to cool to room temperature and is no longer liquid (feel free to put it in the refrigerator or freezer)*.
Beat in the sugar. Add the extracts, syrup, and egg. Beat until well combined.
Sift in the flours, soda, and salt. Mix to combine.
Stir in the chips and bacon bits, saving some for garnishing the top if you wish.
Chill the dough for at least an hour or until the dough is pretty firm (again, put it in the freezer if you’re impatient).
Preheat the oven to 375º. Shape cookies into balls of your preferred size. Sprinkle with any leftover bacon bits and some kosher salt. Bake cookies for 9-12 minutes or until edges or golden brown. I like to press a few chocolate chips in the top when they’re done baking.
Whatever your friends tell you, the times are changing in the dessert world. One of the best new treats today is the Maple Bacon Cupcake and it’s becoming a popular menu item in locales such as New York, Portland, and Montreal. Why? Bacon was born to be a key ingredient in baked goods.
Instead of just adding the breakfast meat as a topping, this recipe requires you to dice strips so they can be combined with a batter made up of flour, baking powder, butter, eggs, and vanilla and maple extracts. After they’re scooped into a cupcake pan and baked for 22 to 26 minutes, they can then be frosted with cinnamon buttercream and garnished with tiny bits of bacon and a drizzle of maple syrup.
An alternate version can substitute cinnamon buttercream for vanilla or chocolate to give it a creamier taste. But as you know how the bacon is incorporated, your options are pretty limitless at making the best cupcake humanity has ever known.
Special thanks to fellow Baconista; David Erdreich, who pointed this recipe out to us, which he found at the online version of Plate Magazine, the culinary chef & foodie heavenly hang-out on the internet.
Imagine combining two of our all-time favorite taste treats from childhood, gourmet bacon and cotton candy together in a combo concoction that is sure to get every tongue within smelling distance happily wagging.
The recipe itself comes to us from Chef Linton Hopkins, who is a big part of what makes the whole “Holeman & Finch” Public House such a hugely popular success, down in Atlanta, Ga.
Bacon Cotton Candy!
(Yield: 10 gallons)
Isomalt: 200 g
Glucose: 50 g
Sucroester: 3 g
Smoked bacon fat: 120 g
Monoglycerides: 3 g
Granulated sugar: 200 g
Candied Bacon: as needed (may we suggest1lb. for starters)
Combine the isomalt, glucose, and sucroester and cook to 160 degrees C.
As the caramel is cooking, dissolve the monoglycerides into the fat heated to 50 degrees C.
When the caramel temperature reaches 160 degrees C, drizzle in the oil and stir to bind with a spatula.
When the caramel has absorbed the fat, spread the mixture out on a non-stick silicone mat.
Allow it to cool and become hard.
Combine the candy and sugar in a food processor and pulverize the candy into a fine powder.
Use the powder in place of sugar to spin into cotton candy in a machine, using the manufacturer’s instructions.
Wrap the cotton candy around strips of candied bacon.
Asparagus and bacon are a match made in heaven. Baked into a quiche it’s perfect for a Sunday brunch. Quite easy to prepare if you use a ready-made pie shell.
1/2 pound bacon cooked crisp, well-drained
2 teaspoons prepared mustard dijon-style
1 each pie shell (9 inches) 9-inch
1 pound asparagus fresh or 10 oz frozen package
3 large eggs
1 cup swiss cheese cut into 1/4-inch cubes*
1 cup cream, half and half or undiluted evaporated milk
1 teaspoon tarragon dried
1 teaspoon savory
Cut the bacon into pieces and cook until crisp, drain well on paper toweling.
Chop the asparagus into one-inch pieces, reserving the tips for decoration. Cook or steam until just tender-crisp. Remove from heat and drain well.
Bake shell at 375 degrees for 15 minutes or until firm, but not completely browned.
Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes on the wire rack.
Brush mustard evenly over bottom and sides of pastry shell.
Sprinkle baked crust with the bacon and arrange cooked, drained asparagus over. Sprinkle with half the Swiss cheese.
Mix eggs, cream, salt, pepper, tarragon and savory. Pour over mixture in the shell. Top with remaining Swiss cheese. Arrange reserved asparagus tips in a decorative pattern on top.
Bake in the oven about 25 to 35 minutes or until quiche is set in the center (a knife inserted in the center comes out clean) but it’s still a bit soft in the center.
Rest for about 5 minutes to give it time to set.
This can also be made using a quiche or french tart pan instead of a pie plate if you are making your own shell.
“A great way to jazz up an old favorite” is how Julee Wallberg describes the swift sandwiches that she creates in Reno, Nevada. The creamy filling gets a taste boost from bacon and plenty of crunch from diced celery.
MAKES: 4 servings
1/3 cup diced celery
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon prepared mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
6 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
1/3 cup crumbled cooked bacon
4 lettuce leaves
4 thin tomato slices
4 croissants, split
In a large bowl, combine the celery, mayonnaise, mustard, salt, and pepper. Stir in eggs and bacon. Place a lettuce leaf, tomato slice and 1/2 cup egg salad on each croissant. Yield: 4 servings.
Goat Cheese Balls with Herbs, Pecans, & Bacon
6 slices bacon
4 ounces goat cheese
4 ounces cream cheese (not whipped)
2 tablespoons chopped thyme or basil, divided
Cracked black pepper
1/4 cup pecans
Apple slices, to serve
Cut each piece of bacon in half. Place the bacon in a large skillet without overlapping the slices, and turn the heat on low. Cook on low for about 15 minutes, turning frequently, until the bacon is quite crispy. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Pat the slices to remove excess grease.
While the bacon is cooking, whiz the goat cheese, cream cheese, 1 tablespoon of herbs, and a few turns of cracked black pepper in the food processor. Whiz until creamy and well-mixed, then form small balls, about the size of the tip of your thumb. Insert lollipop sticks. Put in the freezer for 20 minutes to firm up a little more. (Don’t let them freeze all the way; just help them firm up. You can also place them in the refrigerator for a longer period of time.)
Clean out the food processor. Crumble in the cooled bacon, the remaining tablespoon of herbs, and the pecans. Whiz until very fine and crumbly; it should be as fine as your food processor will make it.
Take the cheese balls out of the freezer and roll them in the bacon mixture, pressing it in with your fingers if it doesn’t immediately stick.
Place the balls in a container on their sides and refrigerate until serving. Serve on full rounds of sliced apple. These are delicious eaten together with apple; take a bite of one and then of the other.
Extra-bacon option: If you aren’t content to simply roll these in bacon, then fry an additional two strips of bacon and crumble them into the cheese mixture itself.
Bacon, brittle, bourbon, caramel, chocolate and fudge. If the thought of this eclectic combination doesn’t assault your taste buds, then you may need to book an appointment with a nutritionist.
In fact, it can actually be achieved rather quickly and through the concept of a delicious fudge brownie. To accomplish this, you should ask around for extra help as a brittle needs to be cooked and cooled while a brownie batter is assembled.
The only catch is the batter is topped off with a mixture of caramel, bourbon, unsweetened chocolate and bacon drippings which gives it a unique taste and look. To serve, the brownies can be sprinkled with bacon bits and chocolate chips but if you’d rather create your own “healthier” version, they can be exempted or substituted with a light drip of maple syrup.
If you’ve never made brownies before, a useful tip is to always keep an eye on them once your batter is placed in the oven. They’re best served when they’re moist and not overcooked and no one likes the taste of burnt bacon.
Tired of making the same fondue for every get-together you host at your apartment? Fed up of making the same dip every time you prepare to watch your favorite sports team stomp their opponent? Have no fear because this bacon-ized cheese spread doesn’t get old fast.
The unique thing about this recipe is that it requires you to hollow out a fresh loaf of bread, leaving a one-inch shell that can act as a bread bowl. Meaning once you combine the primary ingredients – two cups of shredded Monterey Jack Cheese, one cup of shredded Parmesan cheese, 1 cup of mayonnaise and five crumbled strips of bacon – you can spoon them all into the bowl so it can be baked for at least an hour.
Creating a rich spread requires patience but one of the benefits of making this particular one is it’s totally worth the time it takes to prepare it. Spinach and eggplant dips can satisfy cravings every once in a while, but nothing hits home on a Sunday quite like a hot spread made of bacon and cheese!
6 ozs baby spinach (fresh)
1 pt strawberry (fresh, sliced)
8 bacon (strips cooked and crumbled)
1/4 cup red onion (chopped)
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup raspberry vinegar
Toss and serve.
When foodies anticipate pancakes, they look forward to creations that use chocolate chips, blueberries and a mountain of exotic fruit, not the world’s crispiest addition to the food pyramid. Bacon may sound like an unusual companion to the breakfast favorite, but if you already indulge in it while digging into a stack of flapjacks, then what’s the difference?
Because it’s still a buttermilk pancake, the bacon itself just needs to be cooked on medium-high in a large cast-iron pan or a nonstick skillet, flipping and browning all sides until its golden. Once it’s drained off on paper towels, the same skillet (and a teaspoon of bacon fat) can be used to cook the prepared pancake batter.
Just pour each round and carefully top with a strip or two and watch it sizzle and pop as the two staples collide. If you feel like being a bit more experimental, diced ham can also be added to the batter. Just make sure the finished product is lightly glazed or drenched in a downpour of old-fashioned maple syrup!
Although the act of cooking popcorn in bacon fat is far older than we are, it isn’t a common practice anymore in most homes. This method of cooking gives those light and fluffy kernels a little something extra and we dare you not to eat the entire bowl.
What You Need:
1/2 cup popcorn
3 tablespoons rendered bacon fat
1/2 teaspoon salt
Heavy bottom pan or popcorn popper
1. Render Bacon Fat Many of us keep our leftover rendered bacon fat in the fridge for later use and this is a perfect way to use it up. If that’s not something you do, you can always render down a few slices of bacon in a heavy bottom pan. Cut the bacon into small pieces and turn the heat on low-medium low. Strain and you’re ready to go. If you happen to have made bacon for a meal, you can always save the pan drippings for a popcorn snack later on that day.
2. Add Fat To Popper We happen to adore our old school Whirly Pop popcorn popper, but you can also use a heavy pan to get the job done as well. Add 3 tablespoons to the bottom and turn the heat on high.
3. Add Corn To Popper After the bacon fat has had a chance to soften and heat, add kernels and begin stirring or moving your pan so the kernels don’t burn.
4. Stir, Stir, Stir! Stir or shake pan until the kernels slow up in their popping or you can stir no longer. There should be 3-4 seconds between pops.
5. Pour Into Bowl When popping slows, dump the popcorn into a large bowl and sprinkle with salt. Although the bacon fat lends some salt, we’ve found it’s not usually enough and a little extra kosher salt really makes the piggy coated kernels sing!
I love a great mac-n-cheese casserole as much as the next girl, and my favorite way to make it is with bacon. I mean, everything is better with bacon, right?
The way I make mine is I make the cheese sauce with just a little bit of the bacon fat that is leftover after I cook the bacon in the skillet. That little infusion of bacon flavor makes all the difference. I also make it with extra sharp cheddar cheese and whole milk to keep it extra creamy and rich.
If you are in the mood for a delicious bacony casserole tonight this is the one for one. Don’t believe me? Ask my husband, a bacon fanatic. He nearly polished off the whole pan himself!
1 pound penne or macaroni
6 to 8 strips bacon
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
1 ½ cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Salt & Pepper
½ cup panko bread crumbs
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
2. Cook the pasta according to package directions and set aside. Fry the bacon according to package directions and set aside. Reserve the bacon fat in the pan.
3. In the skillet where you cooked the bacon stir in the flour and milk, then keep stirring it over medium-low heat until the sauce begins to thicken. Then add the cheese and continue to stir until the sauce is smooth and season it with salt and pepper as needed. Set aside.
4. Break the bacon into pieces and add them to a large bowl. Pour in the pasta and cheese sauce and mix everything well. Then pour it into a 13 x 9 baking dish.
5. Toast the panko breadcrumbs in a skillet with the butter until they are light and toasted. Spread them on top of the casserole and bake for 30 minutes or until the macaroni is hot and bubbly.
This simple soup is perfect for rainy days – to switch it up, try adding curry powder or paste in place of the thyme, crumbled Italian sausage in place of the bacon, or a spoonful or two of tomato paste along with the stock for a tomato-esque kick.
6 slices bacon, chopped
1 Tbsp canola oil
1 onion, chopped
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tsp fresh or dried thyme
1 L (4 cups) chicken or vegetable stock
2-3 thin-skinned potatoes, unpeeled and diced
1 cup half & half
1 cup grated old cheddar
In a largish pot, cook the bacon over medium-high heat until crisp; remove with a slotted spoon and set aside in a bowl. Add the canola oil and the onions to the pot and cook for 5-6 minutes, until soft.
Sprinkle the flour and thyme over the onions and stir to coat, cooking for a minute. Add the stock and potatoes, bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.
Add the half & half and cheddar and cook for a few more minutes, until the cheese is melted. Stir in the bacon and season to taste with salt and pepper.