Tag Archives: bacon

Isle of Man…

Tuesday, May 7 –

I cooked a whole rabbit. It was a little bit strange because I had to get past the “fluffy bunny” image in my head. But in the end, it turned out pretty darn yummy.photo(4)

I thawed the rabbit, rinsed it off, got rid of the innards that they left inside, and put it in a glass baking dish. Then I chopped up a big carrot and a turnip and put them around the rabbit. I then put four slices of bacon across the rabbit, crisscrossing them so that they sat on the meaty parts. Then I put the dish into a 375* oven for 30 minutes, then I flipped the rabbit and repositioned the bacon and cooked it for another 45 minutes.

In a pan on a stove I sauteed some onions in a little bit of olive oil. Once they were soft, but before they browned, I sprinkled sage on them and stirred it in. Then I turned the heat off and set it aside. In another pan I boiled water and butter, throwing in a packet of boxed stuffing, then adding the onion and sage once it was done.

To serve I carved the meat off the rabbit and divided it between four plates. Next to that was the carrot and turnip slices. Then the stuffing. Dinner was served!

The meat was juicy and tender like the dark meat of a slow-roasted turkey. The carrots and turnips were crisp but cooked. The stuffing was perfect, especially with the onion and sage. And the bacon added that extra perfect flavor, as bacon usually does.

Then ChinUp and MyBuddy served up dessert that they had made, which was a chester pudding. It tasted like a tart lemon meringue with almonds on top. Good flavor and a great way to end a meal. photo(5)

I’m off on vacation next week, so I will be back with more delicious meals after that. Cheers!

Isle of Man
(recipe borrowed from the cooks at: www.iofm.net)

Roast Rabbit with Sage and Onion Stuffing

  • 1 Rabbit – skinned and prepared
  • Sage and Onion Stuffing
  • Bacon Fat
  • Potatoes, Carrots and Turnips.

Clean the skinned rabbit in salted water. Stuff the belly with sage and onion stuffing, Draw the sides together and stitch up. Spoon bacon fat over the rabbit and bake in a moderate oven for about two hours. Serve with potatoes, carrots and turnips.

The Stuffing

  • 4 oz. Dry Bread
  • 2 Large Onions
  • 1 Tablespoon Mashed Potato
  • 2 Teaspoons Dried Sage
  • a Knob of Margarine
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Pepper.

Pour warm water over the dry bread and leave to soak. Meanwhile boil the onions until tender and chop them finely. Drain the water off the bread, pressing out as much moisture as possible. Crumble the bread into the chopped onions. Add the mashed potato, margarine and chopped sage, and season well with salt and pepper.


Ireland…

Saturday, May 4 –

Whiskey – lots and lots and lots of whiskey. Accompanied by lots of wonderful food. Did I mention whiskey? Ok, great. Let’s see if I can remember everyone who was there: Hot Momma, Mr. Hero (chicken and 21098_571154629582519_158003147_ndumplings, whiskey and chasers), BabyBear, BigMan (juice for drinks), RubsWithLove (vodka), Sir VJ (corned beef hash), ChinUp (potato leek soup), MyBuddy (soda bread), BirthdayShots (whiskey), FootballTamer (whiskey souffle dessert), BestestFianceEver (Guinness), and yours truly (Dublin coddle).

I cooked the bacon until crisp but not burnt and then broke it up into pieces, which I set aside. I browned the sausages on two sides, but didn’t cook them all the way through, and then set them aside. I cut up four potatoes, two onions, and two carrots, and some garlic, threw them into a big pot, dumped bacon grease on top, and cooked while I was cooking the meats in batches. I then took two glass baking dishes and put the sausages in first, dumped the veggies on top, sprinkled the bacon on the veggies, and then poured one bottle of hard cider over the two dishes. I covered it in foil and baked in a 375* oven for about 40 minutes. (I didn’t have a pot big enough to fit all of that on the stove, so I figured the oven would work just as well.

The Dublin coddle was good, but a little plain. The cider soaked into the potatoes to make an interesting flavor. I’m not sure I would commit to that many calories again, but it wasn’t bad. The chicken and dumplings was more of a soup than a casserole, but the flavor was great and I would totally eat it again. The corned beef hash was so good I had to put my plate away so that I would stop eating it. The potato leek soup was perfect, creamy, and a pleasure to eat. I am stealing that recipe for making in the near future! The soda bread was pretty good, I’m not usually a fan of soda bread, but this one wasn’t too bad. The whiskey souffle dessert was SO GOOD. Holy goodness. I can’t even tell you how wonderful it was, you just need to go make it and experience it yourself!

All in all, it was a huge success, we had great food outside in a wonderful warm spring evening, with LOTS of booze. We even got the fire pit going and spent relaxing time just hanging out. I couldn’t have asked for a better evening. Thank you to everyone who came to share Ireland with me!

Ireland
(recipe borrowed from the cooks at: www.ireland-information.com)

Dublin Coddle

  • 1 pound bacon slices
  • 2 pounds pork sausages
  • Some bacon fat or oil
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 4 large potatoes, thickly sliced
  • 2 carrots, thickly sliced
  • 1 large bunch of fresh herbs, tied with string
  • black pepper
  • hard cider (apple wine) or apple cider
  • fresh parsley, chopped for garnish

Lightly fry the bacon until crisp. Place in a large cooking pot. Brown the sausages in some bacon grease or vegetable oil. Remove and add to pot. Soften sliced onions and whole garlic cloves in fat, then add to pot with potatoes and carrots. Bury the bunch of herbs in the middle of the mixture. Sprinkle with pepper. Cover with cider. Cook 1 1/2 hours over moderate heat, do not boil. Garnish with chopped parsley. Serves 6.


Haiti…

Sunday, March 10 –

I’m not entirely sure why I got so lazy with this dinner, maybe because it was just the two of us, but because of my corner-cutting it turned out… well… strong. And salty. Very, very, very, very, very salty. photo(11)

Bestest fiance ever started the bacon cooking (three sliced, chopped into large-ish bits) and when they were mostly crispy I put the onion and a half cup of canned kidney beans in the pan with the bacon and drippings. I let that cook until the onion was starting to soften and then I added the cloves, garlic, pepper, cubes, and salt. Because I used canned beans I only had a little bit of the liquid it comes in, so I decided to top the rest off with vegetable broth. Because I used the bacon fat, I didn’t need the vegetable oil. And because I didn’t read the directions all the way down, I chopped the habanero up and threw that in as well. On top went the rice. I let that come up to a boil, put the lid on, and turned it down to low and let it simmer for 20 minutes. After tasting the resulting rice dish, which honestly had great flavor as long as you don’t mind that your mouth almost imploded with saltiness. Really, I should have known that broth plus bouillon cubes plus bacon plus salt would be too much, I just didn’t think that far ahead. But I will totally keep this on my list to make again, minus the crazy amount of salt that I unknowingly subjected us to.

The salmon, on the other hand, was simple and delicious. I got one 3/4 pound filet, put it in a baking dish and poured on a mix of the lemon juice, wine, and onion dressing (about a quarter cup of each). I sliced some red onion and red bell pepper and put them in the baking dish as well. Put it into the 375* oven and baked it for 20 minutes. It came out flavorful (and not salty at all, which totally saved our dinner) and delicious. The onion dressing was a neat way of cheating to get those flavors together, but I honestly prefer using spices and minced onion instead.

All in all, it was pretty ok. I’m not sure I’m brave enough to use the rice for leftovers, but I will try!

Haiti
(recipes borrowed from the cooks at: www.everythinghaitian.com)

Riz National (Rice and Beans)

  • 2 cups Long Grain Rice
  • 1/2 cup Dried Red Kidney Beans
  • 3 cups Water kidney beans was boiled in
  • 1/4 lb Salt Pork or Bacon
  • 2 Chicken bouillon cubes (Maggi)
  • 1 1/2 Tsp Salt
  • 6-8 Whole Cloves
  • 1/4 Tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/2 cup Finely Diced White Onion
  • 1/4 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Whole Habanero or Scotch Bonnet pepper (optional)
  • 3 cloves     Garlic, peeled and crushed

Instructions: Bring dried beans to boil in 8 cups of water. Cook until tender, but shape remains. Do not overcook. Strain beans and put bean water aside. Sauté salt pork or bacon, spices, and beans in oil, until beans are crispy. Add salt, cloves, and black pepper. Add 3 cups of bean water and heat to boiling. Add rice, bouillon cubes, and hot pepper to boiling liquid. Once water has evaporated, remove whole pepper and mix in 1 Tbsp of butter. Cover pot tightly and continue cooking on low heat ( approx. 20 minutes) until done.

Saumon Grille (Grilled Salmon)

  • 3 Lbs. Fresh Salmon Steaks
  • 1/4 cup Lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup White Wine
  • 4 Tbsp Butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup Vidalia Onion Dressing
  • 1 Medium Red Onion, sliced
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, Julienne
  • To taste Fresh Ground Black Pepper

Instructions:  Place Salmon Steaks in a large bowl, and pour lemon juice. Clean Salmon thoroughly and rinse in cold water. Place clean Salmon in an oven, proof dish.  Add Wine, Vidalia Onion Dressing, and black pepper. Mix well and refrigerate for 1/2 hour. Pour 1/2 of melted butter on Salmon Steaks. Bake in preheated 375 F oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Turn them over and pour remaining butter, bake until golden brown. Add Onion and Red Bell Pepper and mix.


Guyana…

Friday, March 1 –

Fish wrapped in bacon – what could be more delicious? I chose to use halibut because I love the flavor and the texture of it, but I’m sure you could wrap any kind of fish in bacon and be happy with the results. I also photo(10)wrapped portobello mushroom slices in bacon just for fun. Then I sprinkled salt and pepper and squeezed lemon juice over the top of everything. Arranged on a foil-lined baking sheet, I put them into the 350* oven for about 15-20 minutes. Just long enough for the fish to flake apart when tested with a fork. I served the fish and mushroom heaven with a green salad and this cilantro habanero rice recipe.

There wasn’t a scrap of fish or mushroom left after BestestFianceEver, Hot Momma, Wingwoman, BabyBear, and I were done with our plates. I could have probably even made more (I made 12 oz of fish, 2 portobellos cut into slices, 1 lemon, and 1 pound of bacon), but fortunately for our waistlines I didn’t. I highly recommend this way of cooking fish! YUM!

Guyana
(recipe borrowed from the cooks at: www.islandflave.com)

Bacon Fish Rolls

  • 8 Slices of Bacon
  • 8 small fillets of fish
  • Salt and pepper
  • Lemon juice
  • Parsley
  • Rice to serve

Directions:  Roll 1 slice of bacon around one fish fillet and secure with toothpick. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the fish roll. Squeeze some lemon juice. Repeat steps 1 – 3 for each fish fillet. Bake on a greased pan at 350 degrees for about 20 – 30 minutes. Garnish with parsley.


Guinea-Bissau…

Sunday, February 17 –

Last night’s dinner was a good jump-start to my love for this project. Thank you to my friends that continue to support this effort. We had BestestFianceEver, WingWoman (Jollof), ChinUp (Frango de Churrasco de photo(9)Guiné), and MyBuddy – with LightsOn showing up to hang out right at the very end of the evening.

I took one look at the name of this dish, and knew I had to make it. BestestFianceEver LOVES split pea soup, so it was a no-brainer to pick it. I did, however, change the recipe to this one instead – knowing that the flavor of boiling meat is just not my favorite. So I followed the new recipe to the letter except I used bacon fat to cook the onions and celery, and used the cooked bacon in the soup instead of ham. So I pretty much kept with the spirit of the soup, but didn’t stick with the cooking method. Figures, at the rate I’m going, right? Also, I didn’t measure any of the spices I put in (tumeric, thyme, basil, black pepper, salt, cayenne, 2 bay leaves), I just kept shaking until it looked spicy enough for an entire pot of soup.

The soup was thick and very potato-y, but the spices and heat were incredible. I will definitely keep this recipe around, just take out about half of the potatoes. The jollof was a perfect combination of rice and cabbage, and was also a great compliment to the chicken, which was lemony, spicy, goodness. Of all of the plain meals we have had for African countries, this was definitely not one of them. Huge success all the way around.

Can’t wait to move on to the H countries – with more potlucks coming up in the I countries. Exciting!

Guinea-Bissau
(recipe borrowed from the cooks at: www.celtnet.org.uk)

Pea Soup and Meat

  • 900g neck of mutton or lamb, sliced
  • 1 small pork shank
  • 4 strips bacon, cut lengthways into strips
  • 450g split dried peas
  • 100g rice
  • 2 large celery sticks, finely chopped
  • 2 large potatoes, coarsely grated
  • 2 large carrots, coarsely grated
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method: Place all the ingredients (except peas and rice) into a large cast iron casserole pot. Add 2l water, cover and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and allow to simmer for 2 hours. Towards the end of cooking you will need to stir frequently to prevent burning. Add the peas and rice to the pot along with 2.5l water. Season to taste, cover and simmer for 2 hours. Again, stir frequently as the soup thickens to prevent burning. Serve immediately either as a soup, ladled into bowls, or as a stew with rice.


Germany…

Friday, December 7 –

I kept hoping that we would get to a country that was heritage for one of us, and it finally happened. Germany, thank you for being the birthplace for two of my favorite mothers of our group, and thank you for photo(6)having such yummy food! I do have to admit, though, before we get going that even though I like most everything pickled, I don’t really like very many recipes of sauerkraut. I know, I know, that’s weird. But true. So I took a regular sauerkraut from a jar and made something fabulous from it, called Bavarian sauerkraut. Add bacon and red wine and all of a sudden it’s yummy? Yep.

I cooked the sauerkraut recipe exactly as it reads below, I just made half of what it calls for. Bacon – then onion and garlic into the bacon fat. Then caraway seeds, chicken bouillon cube, and brown sugar. Stir. Red wine plus the whole jar of sauerkraut. Stir again and let simmer. Next add the potato, paprika, and pepper – then the roux. Simmer. Our stove doesn’t really do “low simmer” very well, so I simmered it for about ten minutes with the lid on the pan, then turned the heat off but left it on the burner until we were ready for dinner. Stir a little more and then serve!

I made the wiener schnitzel exactly as it is written. Pounded meat plus salt and pepper. Then dip in flour, egg mixture, and bread crumbs. Fry each one in canola oil, then set aside under foil to keep it warm. As the last two schnitzels were frying I steamed some broccoli to serve on the side.

I also ended up making spatzle, but I cheated a little and made it from a box. We had a hiccup in the planning (because planning plus late wine nights always end well…) so boxed pasta it was.

This dinner was not only savory, tart, fried, and buttery – it was delicious. I could have kept eating that bacon/wine/sauerkraut the rest of the weekend! So if you’re like me and you like a little tart but canned sauerkraut is usually too strong, try the recipe below.

YUM!

And thanks to BestestFianceEver, Hot Momma, and SlotMachine for sharing this dinner with me. Cheers!

Germany
(recipes borrowed from the cooks at: www.squidoo.com and www.bavariankitchen.com)

Wiener Schnitzel

  • 4 veal scaloppini
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoons water, buttermilk or milk
  • ½ tablespoons canola oil (and more for frying)
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • 6-8 tablespoons bread crumbs
  • salt, pepper
  • lemon to serve
  • parsley to serve

Preparation:

Dry the veal scaloppini with paper towels. Tenderize the veal on both sides evenly with a meat mallet. Season with salt and pepper on both sides.

Prepare three dishes: 6 tablespoons flour in first dish, whisked egg with 1 tablespoon water and 1/2 tablespoons oil (or 1 tablespoon buttermilk or milk) in the second dish and 6-8 tablespoons bread crumbs in the third dish.

Coat the veal with the flour on both sides, shake off any excess, dip in the egg mixture on both sides and lastly into the bread crumbs shaking off any excess.

Prepare a stainless steel or cast-iron skillet with some canola oil just enough to cover the bottom of the skillet and let it get hot on medium-high heat. Drop in a few bread crumbs, if the oil starts to sizzle carefully place the Schnitzel inside. Reduce heat to medium. Fry veal until golden brown turning once. Do not cover the skillet. Garnish with lemon slices and parsley.

Serve with rice, french fries, mashed/boiled potatoes, steamed vegetables or a garden salad. Garnish: 4 slices of lemon and some chopped fresh parsley.

Bavarian Sauerkraut

  • 2 quart jars of good-quality sauerkraut. (How do we know it’s good quality? It costs more.)
  • 1 pound of smoked bacon, cut into thin strips.
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 large russet potato
  • 2 cloves of fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon of caraway seeds
  • 2 Tablespoons of paprika
  • 1 Tablespoon of black pepper
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons of cold roux
  • 1 large beef bouillon cube
  • 1 cup of red wine – aah, make that 2 cups!

Preparation:
First, we fry the bacon strips halfway, then adding chopped onion and garlic we cook this until it’s all golden brown and the bacon is crispy. During the last 5 minutes, we add the caraway seeds, beef bouillon cube and brown sugar to the pan. Now we add the 2 cups of wine and the sauerkraut and let this come to a simmer. At this point, we grate the raw potato into the mix! After seasoning with paprika and black pepper, we mix the cold roux (equal amounts of flour and butter, gently cooked for about 15 minutes) into the kraut. Turn the heat to a low setting and simmer the dish for an hour or two. Bohemian sauerkraut, like so many other stews, tastes even better when reheated the next day.


French Polynesia…

Saturday, November 3 –

This dinner was much less orchestrated, much less planned, and workout out just fine anyway. We decided to combine BigMan’s birthday with this dinner so everyone could get together, and in the chaos of our Halloween party I told A LOT of people about it. But I had no idea who would really show up. So I just picked one dish and let the rest happen by itself.

The people who showed up were: BestestFianceEver, Hot Momma (wine), Mr. Hero (birthday cake, plates, ice, rum, and sodas), BigMan, MissingMan, WingWoman (squash coconut soup),  LightsOn, ChinUp (Tahiti-style Mahi Mahi), MyBuddy (Coconut Vanilla Prawns), and I cooked Polynesian pork ribs and rice and provided some wine.

These ribs were the easiest thing in the world to make. I bought four pounds of pork ribs (the meaty kind), cut them apart to fit better then added two chopped onions, six minced garlic cloves, and a whole can of crushed pineapple. I set it to cook on low in my crock pot for eight hours. By the time I came back to it, the meat had fallen completely off the bones and it smelled heavenly. So I drained the liquid into a bowl, thinking I might need it, then pulled all the loose bones out, and put it back into the pot. It looked like chunky pulled-pork.

Into a small bowl went one and a half cups of ketchup, six tablespoons brown sugar, six tablespoons of hoisin sauce, and a chopped up length of ginger that was about the size of my thumb, just a little thicker. I left the chop pretty course so that we would get little sparks of ginger along the way. (My mouth is drooling right now thinking about it…) I dumped this mix on top, mixed it altogether, turned it on high for about 45 minutes, came back and it was sticky, lumpy, and delicious.

The mahi mahi was pretty good, but it would have been better if we could have served it right away. We had to wait for everyone to show up so it had dried out a little. The coconut vanilla prawns were soupy and sweet – not the way I prefer my seafood. I want my seafood to be savory or spicy. So it was ok, but I personally didn’t like them much. The squash coconut soup was bland at first. Then we added more salt, pepper, chili powder, and, of course, bacon. Because all squash soups (in my humble opinion, anyway) deserve a little smoky, salty bacon to round off the flavor.

All in all it was a successful, friend-, rum-, and wine-filled evening. Thanks to everyone who showed up for BigMan’s birthday!

Next up – G countries!

Polynesian Pork Ribs

  • 2 lbs boneless country-style ribs
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 8 ounces crushed pineapple, undrained

Sauce:

  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ginger root, grated

Cooking Instructions:  Spray slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Place pork ribs, garlic and onion in slow cooker. Spoon about half of the pineapple with some of the juice over ribs. Reserve remaining pineapple and juice. Cover; cook on low setting for 8 to 10 hours. About 35 minutes before serving, drain and discard cooking juices from slow cooker; wipe edge of cooker clean. In small bowl, combine ketchup, brown sugar, hoisin sauce, ginger root and remaining pineapple with juice; mix well. Spoon or pour evenly over ribs. Increase heat setting to high; cover and cook an additional 25 to 30 minutes or until ribs are glazed. Servings: 6