Tag Archives: bacon

Crispy Rice

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Whenever I prepare my Curried Fish dish I try to compliment it with a side dish that has a contrasting texture. I usually use cod when I make Curried Fish which is a very soft flaky fish. Sometimes I will pair the fish with crisp sauteed cabbage or I will prepare Crispy Rice which speaks for itself.

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A slight take on fried rice, my Crispy Rice reminds me of the kind of rice my mom used to make every time she had leftover perlo rice. I know you are saying to yourself “what the heck is perlo rice?”. Well, it is a southern dish my mom made by cooking rice in ham broth or chicken broth. Chicken and rice perlo is a very popular dish in the south but is found in slightly different versions across the world from Persia (pilau) to Turkey (pilav) to Spain (paella). Each country has adopted their own interpretation of this meat and rice dish. I have to be honest about my many attempts to make perlo rice. I have failed on most occasions. I have never been able to perfect perlo rice the way my mom does it. My attempts typically come out mushy (overcooked) or a little too al dente. I actually gave up on making perlo rice and just ask my mom to make it for me whenever I have a taste for it. One day I may try making perlo rice again but for now I am good with asking mom to make it.

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Back to my Crispy Rice. Like my mom I use leftover rice or I will make it early the same day I want to fix it and just refrigerate it for a couple of hours. The cold rice fries better than soft freshly cooked rice. In order to kick up the flavor in my Crispy Rice I add scallions, fresh spinach and crispy bacon. In my opinion, bacon makes most recipes taste great but cubed ham is also good in this dish so try whichever one you like best. I can almost guarantee that when you make Crispy Rice there will not be much leftover if any at all. This one will make the family clean their plates.

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Crispy Rice

Ingredients:

2 cups cold white rice

4 scallions sliced

4 slices crispy bacon chopped

½ bag baby leaf spinach

2 tbsp butter

1 tbsp olive oil

½ tsp cracked black pepper

cooking spray

Spray a large frying pan with cooking spray. Add butter and olive oil to frying pan and heat over medium high heat until butter is melted. Do not let butter burn. Add scallions to the pan and saute for 1 – 2 minutes. Add rice to the pan and break up with a spatula. Stir to coat rice with butter and olive oil. Let rice brown and stir every few minutes for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium. Add bacon and spinach to the pan. Season with black pepper. Stir until spinach begins to wilt. Remove from heat and cover for 2 minutes.

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Breakfast Burrito

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Weekends are usually the only time I have to make a family breakfast. But, even on the weekends I may be crunched for time to get breakfast on the table. Between basketball games, errands or family outings I sometimes have to pull together a quick meal before we head out the door.

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Breakfast Burritos are a quick way to get a relatively balanced breakfast on the table without a lot of fuss. Plus, the burritos are light but filling so you feel satisfied and not hungry a few minutes after eating. I like to add veggies to my Breakfast Burritos to make them seem healthier than if I loaded them with potatoes or other heavy foods like you see in fast food commercials. That being said, it doesn’t mean I don’t like a little bacon on my burrito. Healthy is good but bacon is too!

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Getting back to the veggies in the Breakfast Burrito, I count salsa as a veggie. Salsa is basically nothing but veggies. Tomatoes, onions, peppers. Three vegetables in one scoop of salsa. How great is that? Even my youngest son likes salsa. Although he would also tell you he does not like fresh tomatoes. Cooked? Yes. Fresh? No. Crazy I know but it is all a mind game. There are plenty of things in life folks say they don’t like in one form but love them in another form. For instance, I have a friend that refuses to each raw broccoli with dip. However, she is wild about broccoli salad. Go figure. Hmmm… it must be the bacon. Again, bacon is always good. Yea bacon!

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Okay, I got off track for a second. Back to the Breakfast Burritos. You can add whatever you like to your burrito. Leftovers are a wonderful filling to Breakfast Burritos as long as they go with eggs. Try my standard version of a Breakfast Burrito then try creating your own version. Whatever you do I know it will be good.

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Breakfast Burrito

Ingredients:
8 large eggs
6 slices bacon
3 large tortillas
¼ cup milk
½ cup shredded Colby Jack cheese
¼ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
¼ cup salsa
1 tbsp sour cream
1 tbsp butter
cooking spray

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

Place bacon on a microwave safe plate with a stack of 3 paper towels and cover with a paper towel. Microwave bacon for 4 ½ minutes until crispy. May need to adjust time based on your microwave. Set aside.

Melt butter in a medium size non-stick frying pan. Add eggs and milk. Break up yolks in the pan and stir until eggs are blended with the milk. Stir in cheddar cheese and black pepper. Cook until eggs are scramble, light and fluffy.

Lay a large tortilla on a flat surface. Spread a little cream cheese over the tortilla. This will act as a binding agent to keep the tortilla together when you roll it up. Place a spoonful of scrambled eggs at one end of the tortilla. Layer a little salsa over the egg then sprinkle shredded Colby Jack cheese over the salsa. Add two slices of bacon over the cheese. Fold the closest end of the tortilla over the filling then fold in the two sides. Roll the tortilla tucking in the sides as you go until you reach the other end of the tortilla. Place tortilla on a cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Bake the tortillas for 5 – 10 minutes to allow cheese to melt and the tortilla is warm.

 

 

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Jalapeno Poppers with Bacon

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On a whim I thought I would try making Jalapeno Poppers. Not the type of poppers that are breaded and fried. I wanted to make oven baked poppers with a twist. I wrapped them in bacon. Yummy!

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Making the Jalapeno Poppers with Bacon was a quick and semi-easy task. I was a little gun shy in making them at first because I had recently tried making roasted stuffed poblano peppers and it was a disaster. But, I made lemonade out of those lemons by adding the collapsed roasted poblano peppers to a brown rice dish I decided to create. More on that one later.

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The most difficult task in preparing the poppers was cleaning the jalapeno peppers. After slicing off a little piece of the pepper I had to remove the seeds and membrane. Both are the hottest part of the jalapeno pepper just like any other hot pepper. Removing the seeds and membrane helped to tone down the heat of Jalapeno Poppers but they were still a little hot. I guess stuffing the peppers with pepper jack cheese may have contributed to the level of heat also (ya think !?!). Of course, if you are not a fan of really hot foods, you could use a milder cheese like cheddar or monterey cheese. However, if you are willing to make Jalapeno Poppers I doubt heat is really an issue for you.

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Bacon. Who besides non meat eaters does not like bacon? Bacon adds a lot of flavor to most dishes (even ice cream if you are truly adventurous) and it definitely adds another level of flavor to the Jalapeno Poppers.

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Fast, easy and tasty. Three words I like to hear whenever I have to cook. I think this recipe fits the bill for all three.

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Jalapeno Poppers with Bacon

Ingredients:
8 – 10 jalapeno peppers with stems
4 – 8 slices of bacon sliced in half
½ cup shredded pepper jack cheese
¼ cup whipped cream cheese
8 – 10 toothpicks

Optional Stuffing:
Crumbled browned Italian sausage and cheese
Sauteed veggies and cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Combine pepper jack cheese and cream cheese in a small bowl. Okay to use your fingers. Set aside.

Slice jalapeno peppers lengthwise to remove part of the pepper without removing the stem. Prepare only a few at a time so that you do not mix up the different sections of the peppers.

Stuff peppers with cheese then place cut slice over cheese. Wrap a slice of bacon and secure with a toothpick. Place on a rimmed baking sheet and back for 20 – 25 minutes until bacon is crispy. Drain on paper towels.

Optional:

To stretch the peppers just cut them in half and stuff each half then wrap in bacon.  The peppers are great whether you serve them whole or in halves.

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BCT Sandwiches (Bacon, Cucumber and Tomato)

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BCT (Bacon, Cucumber and Tomato) sandwiches are a nice little treat for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Instead of a heavy load of bacon, eggs, potatoes and pancakes, a light but filling sandwich is the way I like to roll. Nothing against a big breakfast but after eating that much food I am ready for a very long nap.

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A take on the classic BLT, the BCT provides refreshing veggies and the smoky taste of bacon. I first experienced having a breakfast sandwich with BCT when my hubby brought one home from a trip to the gas station that also has a deli inside. It was on a particular Saturday which I deemed cereal day because I was not into making breakfast that day and no one else volunteered. Since hubby wasn’t in the mood for cereal he decided to pick up a breakfast sandwich when he went to get gas (he is such a good multi-tasker). I must say I was a little envious when he showed me his sandwich and I looked down at my soggy cereal.

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Needless to say, I decided I could re-create hubby’s Bacon, Cucumber and Tomato sandwich and turn it into a sandwich for breakfast, lunch or dinner. For breakfast and lunch the BCT is pretty straightforward. Although, to elevate the BCT as a lunch sandwich I sometimes add lettuce or fresh baby leaf spinach. For dinner, I will add a few thin slices of turkey breast or smoked salmon with capers.

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No matter when you decide to eat a BCT I know you will like it. Especially, if you are tired of cereal.

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BCT Sandwiches (Bacon, Cucumber and Tomato)

Ingredients:
4 sliced bagels
1 large tomato sliced
1 medium cucumber sliced
½ lb bacon fried slightly crisp
4 – 5 tbsp softened cream cheese

Toast bagels. Spread both sides of bagel with cream cheese. Layer one side of bagel with tomato, cucumber then top with bacon.

Optional:
thin slices of turkey breast
slices of smoked salmon and capers
fresh baby leaf spinach

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Stuffed Chicken Breast Wrapped in Bacon

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Today was another one of those days I needed to quickly get dinner on the table because folks were hungry. I know my hubby and son are spoiled but I created those monsters so I live with it. Besides, this was a time when I was hungry too.

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Fortunately, I had planned ahead and had thin chicken breasts ready for a new recipe I wanted to try. Stuffed Chicken Breasts Wrapped in Bacon. I figured this one would be a winner just because of the ingredients my family loves to eat. Chicken, fresh spinach, bacon and brie.

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Hubby gave me a thumbs up after the first couple of bites. The fresh spinach kept the chicken moist on the inside and the brie added a nice rich creamy flavor to the chicken. Bacon. What can you say about bacon except that it goes with just about anything you can cook.

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I was able to get dinner on the table in under an hour so you know this recipe is definitely quick and easy.

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Stuffed Chicken Breast Wrapped in Bacon

Ingredients
8 thin chicken breasts
8 slices of brie
8 slices of bacon
2 cups baby leaf spinach
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp smoked paprika

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Season each slice of chicken breast with salt, black pepper, garlic powder and basil. Layer spinach and two slices of brie on four slices of chicken breasts. Top each chicken breast with remaining slices. Wrap two slices of bacon around chicken breasts and secure with tooth picks or roasting pins. Place on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes until chicken is cooked through and bacon is slightly crisp. Let chicken rest for 5 minutes. Remove pins prior to serving.

 

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Chopped Salad

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Salads! A quick and light meal during warm weather. A refreshing side dish with heavier meals during cooler weather and good for you all year round. I am in salad mode which means I am into preparing some type of salad for my family almost every night for dinner. Fortunately, my family loves salads as long as I give them variety.

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It really isn’t hard to come up with new combinations of of ingredients when I create salads. However, I do have to make sure the combination of ingredients work as a salad. A few times I have had some wild salad ideas but I decided against posting them because although I like sauerkraut it just didn’t seem to work well with tomatoes, cheese and carrots.

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One of the best things about chopped salads is that chopping up everything that goes into the salad keeps it simple. The only thing I worry about is making sure there is a great combination of flavors and textures. Like the crunch of salty bacon and the smooth creamy taste of boiled eggs and avocado. Plus, lots of sweet tomatoes and just the right bite from carrots and red onions.

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There are so many options of veggies to use when making a chopped salad. If you like certain veggies and they compliment each other, go for it. Chop them up. Put them in a bowl and dress it up with a nice salad dressing. You cannot go wrong.

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Chopped Salad

 Ingredients:
2 heads of romaine chopped
2 salmon fillets blackened and flaked
6 slices crisp bacon chopped
3 boiled eggs chopped
1 avocado diced
1 cup cherry tomatoes cut in half
½ cup green or red peppers diced
½ cup shredded carrots chopped
½ cup shaved parmesan cheese
¼ cup oil based dressing
½ tsp black pepper
½ tsp seasoned salt
½ tsp red onion small diced

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and toss gently.

Optional:
grilled chicken chopped
grilled turkey chopped
grilled shrimp

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