Tag Archives: Bacon

Twice Baked Potatoes

 

When I make Twice Baked Potatoes, I like to make a lot and stick them in the freezer.  They are great to have in the freezer for lunch or even an easy dinner.  As you can see in the picture, I forgot to save some cheese so sprinkle on top.  They were still super cheesy and delicious without the extra sprinkle of cheese.

 

Ingredients:
16 Idaho Baking Potatoes, rinsed
1 lb Bacon, sliced
1 lb Butter (4 sticks), sliced
2 Cups Sour Cream
2 1/2 Cups Shredded Colby Jack Cheese, divided
1 Bunch Green Onions, thinly sliced
Salt and Pepper

 

Preheat oven to 400°F.  Poke several holes in the potatoes with a fork and place on a baking sheet.  Bake until very tender, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Cool slightly before scooping out the insides.

Brown the bacon in a skillet over medium/high heat.  Drain on paper towels.

Combine butter, bacon and sour cream in a very large bowl.

Once the potatoes are cool enough to touch, cut them in half lengthwise.  Scoop out the insides, leaving a potato skin shell.  Leave a little attached to the skin for some stability.  Put the potato insides in the bowl with the butter.

Mash the potatoes together with the butter, bacon and sour cream.  A potato masher works well for this.  Stir in 2 cups cheese and green onions.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Spoon the potato mixture into the potato skin shells.  Top with remaining cheese.

Bake at 350°F until warm and bubbly, about 15-20 minutes.

These can also be frozen in a zip top bag.  Baking time will be longer for frozen potatoes.

 

Yield: 32 Twice Baked Potato Halves

-Recipe inspired from The Pioneer Woman-

Smothered Pork Chops

 

Pork with a side of pork; yes please!  These Smothered Pork Chops have a delicious bacon infused sauce with sliced onions and mushrooms.  This is one of those fancy looking meals that you could entertain with that actually comes together quickly and easily.  Once everything is in the pan simmering, you have time to clean up dishes and have a clean kitchen at dinnertime.  Well, that’s at least what I did while the Smothered Pork Chops were simmering away.  Anything to save some clean up time after dinner.  You could serve sweet potatoes or acorn squash alongside to make Smothered Pork Chops a fall favorite.

 

Ingredients:
3 Slices Bacon, sliced
2 Tablespoons Flour
2 Cups Chicken Broth
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil, divided
4 Boneless Pork Chops
Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1 Large Onion, thinly sliced
8 oz White Mushrooms, sliced
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning

 

Cook bacon in a large sauce pan over medium heat until browned, about 5 minutes.  Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and reserve on a paper towel lined plate.

Sprinkle flour over the bacon grease over medium/high heat and whisk to combine.  Cook until lightly browned.  Whisk in chicken broth, bring to a bubble and turn off the heat.

In a large pot, heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil.  Season the pork chops on both sides with salt and pepper.  Add to the pot and brown on both sides, about 6 minutes total.  Reserve on a plate.

Add 1 Tablespoon olive oil to the pot and heat over medium heat.  Add onion, mushrooms and 1/4 teaspoon salt.  Cook until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add garlic and Italian seasoning.  Return the pork chops to the skillet, along with any juices from the plate.  Cover with the onion and mushroom mixture.  Pour the sauce over the pork chops.  Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until the pork chops are cooked, about 25-30 minutes depending on the thickness of the pork chops.

Once the pork chops are cooked, reserve on a plate and lightly tent with foil.

Add the bacon to the pot and increase heat to medium/high to thicken sauce.

Serve pork chops with the onion and mushroom sauce on top.

 

Yield: 4 Servings

-Recipe adapted from Cook’s Illustrated Magazine-

Leek, Bacon and Pea Risotto

 

Creamy, delicious, wonderful risotto.  I love how creamy rice gets when cooked slowly and gently.  Adding bacon really takes risotto to a whole new level of flavor.  I typically use short gain brown rice for my risottos even though it’s traditionally prepared with Arborio rice.  Both seem to work well for making risotto.  Arborio rice is an Italian short grain white rice that is high in starch, making it great for risotto.  I just prefer the taste of brown rice in general as it is more flavorful.  Arborio rice only takes about 15-20 minutes to cook and uses a lot less broth.  This leek, bacon and pea risotto was actually made with long grain brown rice instead of short grain.  It still got plenty creamy as it cooked.  Use the rice you like best and enjoy this leek, bacon and pea risotto.

 

Ingredients:
2 Leeks, white and light-green parts
12 Cups Chicken Broth
4 Slices Bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 1/2 Cups Short Grain Brown Rice
3/4 Cup Frozen Peas
1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan
2 Tablespoons Fresh Lemon Juice
Salt & Pepper

 

 

Bring the broth to a bubble over medium heat.  Once hot, turn to low to keep warm.

Heat a large pot over medium-high heat.  Add the bacon to the pot and cook until browned, about 5 minutes.  While the bacon is cooking, cut the leeks in half lengthwise, then thinly slice.  Rinse and pat dry with a towel.  Add the leeks and cook until they are softened, about 2 minutes.  Stir in the rice and let it brown up for 1 minute.

Start adding the warm broth, a ladle at a time.  Stir the rice each time broth is added and let cook until almost all the broth is absorbed before adding more.  Keep adding broth until the rice is softened and creamy, about 45 minutes.

Stir in the peas when the rice is fully cooked.  Remove from heat and stir in the Parmesan, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

 

Yield: 6 Servings

-Recipe from Everyday Food magazine-

Mexican Squash Casserole

 

This casserole is a great way to use up extra zucchini or yellow squash that you have!

 

Ingredients:
6 Strips Bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 Small Onion, thinly sliced
6-8 Summer Squash, sliced
Salt and Pepper
1 (14 oz) Can Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies, drained
1 Cup Bread Crumbs
1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 1/2 Cups Colby Jack or Mozzarella Cheese, shredded

 

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat until crisp.  Add the onions and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.  Add the squash and season with salt and pepper.  Cook until the squash is tender, about 7-8 minutes.  Stir in the tomatoes.

Pour into a casserole dish.  Combine the bread crumbs and garlic powder in a small bowl.  Sprinkle the squash mixture with the garlic bread crumbs.  Top with the shredded cheese.  Bake for 15 minutes to melt the cheese and heat through.

 

Yield: 6-8 Servings

Potato and Buffalo Chicken Casserole

Oh my bacon!  Chicken, cheese and hot sauce.  Tons of deliciousness all piled into one casserole.

Ingredients:
1/3 Cup Canola Oil
1 1/2 teaspoons Salt
1 Tablespoon Black Pepper
1 Tablespoon Paprika
2 Tablespoons Garlic Powder
6 Tablespoons Hot Sauce
8 Medium Potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 lbs Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, cut into 1 inch cubes
1/2 lb Bacon
2 Cups Shredded Colby Jack Cheese
1 Bunch Green Onions, sliced

 

 

Preheat oven to 500°F.

Whisk together the oil, salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder and hot sauce in a large bowl.  Toss in the cubed potatoes and coat with the mixture.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a lightly greased casserole dish.  Bake, stirring every 15 minutes until browned and crisp, about 45-50 minutes.

While the potatoes are in the oven, add the chicken to the bowl the potatoes were in and toss to coat.

Cook the bacon, drain on paper towels and crumble.  Combine the cheese, bacon and green onions together in a bowl.

When the potatoes are cooked, top with the chicken and bacon mixture.  Lower the oven temperature to 400°F.  Bake for an additional 15 minutes to cook the chicken and melt the cheese.

Serves: 6-8
-Recipe slightly adapted from Cook Lisa Cook-

Sloppy Bacon Blues

 

Bacon, beef and blue cheese are quite the delicious combination!  These sloppy joes are ridiculously good.  I’m fairly certain I could eat these every single day.

Ingredients:
5 Strips Thick Cut Bacon, chopped
1 1/2 lbs Ground Beef
1 Onion, thinly sliced
Salt & Pepper
15 oz Can Tomato Sauce
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
Gorgonzola Cheese
4-6 Hamburger Buns

 

Brown the bacon in a skillet over medium-high heat.  Drain on a paper towel.  Reserve.

Add the ground beef to the same skillet over medium-high heat.  Cook until browned.

Add the onion and season with salt and pepper.  Cook 3-4 minutes to soften the onion.

Stir in the tomato sauce and Worcestershire sauce.  Bring to a bubble, reduce heat and simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes.

Stir in the bacon and serve on buns with Gorgonzola cheese on top.

Yield: 4-6 servings