Saturday, February 2, 2013

The Bacon Bowl

I’m sharing some of my very favorite bacon dishes (literally on the first one).  In honor of the Super Bowl, I’m having my own Bacon Bowl.  We’ll make the bowl, fill it and serve it with more bacon recipes. 

Bacon Bowl

Cover a paper plate with a paper towel, then line the exterior of the bowl used to create the bacon bowl with paper towels (I used 2). Take three slices of bacon (or turkey bacon) and drape them over the paper towel covered bowl to form what looks like a star. Next weave the remaining 2 slices of bacon in and out of the draped pieces. Cover with another paper towel and microwave for about 4 minutes. Remove carefully from the microwave with oven mitts and gently remove the outer section of paper towel. Lift the bacon off the bowl form and gently remove the paper towel from the inside. Here is an idea.  Fill the bowl with Bacon Nuts.  You can use them in many different ways like a salad or for fresh fruit, but I’m turning this blog into my Bacon Bowl for the Super Bowl.

Bacon Nuts

16 oz. pecans halves
12 oz. package thin-sliced uncooked
1 egg white
2 tsp. maple syrup
2 tsp. cold water
¾ cup sugar
¼ cup brown sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
Butter flavored cooking spray
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. dried pepper flakes (optional for those loving heat)

Cook your own bacon for best results or you can use pre-cooked.

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350F degrees.

Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil with a sheet of foil an inch or two longer than your cookie sheet.  Crimp the foil around the center ends of the sheet, but leave the corners loose.

Spread the pecans in a single layer then place the cookie sheet with nuts on the center oven rack, close the oven door fully and roast at 350F for 8 minutes.  Set a timer for 8 minutes and while the nuts are roasting so you do not forget them.  When the timer sounds, reduce the oven temperature to 250F degrees and remove the cookie sheet from the oven.

Remove the nuts to a bowl. Leaving the nuts on the hot cookie sheet may overcook them.

Cook your bacon.  For best results the bacon needs to be crispy.  Use thinly sliced bacon.  Chop up the bacon and put into a hot pan.  Drain on a paper towel when crispy and let cool.  Put in a food processor.

Combine the chopped bacon, the sugars and the 2 tsp. of ground cinnamon in the food processor.  Pulse to blend. The bacon should be reduced to a fine chop (the size of half a grain of white rice).

Transfer approximately 3/4's of this mixture to a large bowl and reserve the balance in the food processor bowl.

Separate an egg and save the white.  Add the maple syrup and the cold water and whisk the wet works until frothy.

A lot of folks will crack the egg on the rim of the bowl which can drive bits of the shell into the egg.  BTW, if you're wondering what to do with the yoke, it can be refrigerated or frozen and later added to another recipe that calls for yokes, or do as my dog Goody suggests and add it to your dog's food.

Just to confirm, you did catch the part about reducing the oven temperature to 250F degrees, right?  Good.

Add a new piece of aluminum foil to your cookie sheet as in Step 2.

Lightly spray the foil with cooking spray.

Line up your egg wash bowl, the sugar-bacon mix bowl and your foil-lined cookie sheet.

Add all the pecans at once to the egg wash and stir to coat.  Cover every nut.

Spoon the egg-covered nuts into the 3/4 of the sugar bacon mix in a large bowl leaving behind any egg wash that's clinging to the bowl.  Stir to fully coat with the sugar bacon mix.

Rinse the egg wash bowl and wipe it dry.

Transfer the fully coated nuts to the clean bowl, leaving behind any wet egg wash residue, and add the reserved 1/4 of the sugar bacon mix to the nuts and fold gently to coat.

Transfer the coated nuts to the foil-lined cookie sheet and spread into a single layer.

Place the cookie sheet onto the center rack of the 250 degree F. oven and roast for 25 minutes.

Open the oven and slide the rack and cookie sheet out of the oven and immediately top the hot Pig Nuts with the salt and the red pepper flakes. 

Remove the nuts from the sheet into a bowl.  Stir the nuts to mix.  Taste test to see if they need more seasoning. 

To store place in an air-tight container.  They can and should be frozen if you are not using right away but I bet you will not have to store them.

Bacon Wrapped Sweet Chile Shrimp

Here is another wonderful bacon recipe to celebrate bacon. 

This is a super fast and super easy recipe that everyone will love. It makes an impressive appetizer and is terrific for parties and special occasions (think Superbowl or Bacon Bowl).

It uses pre-cooked bacon which I like because it saves time and mess. If you are using raw bacon, do not over cook.  It should not be fried crisp

Look for sweet chili sauce found in Asian foods section of many supermarkets.

24 skewers or toothpicks
12 slices pre-cooked bacon
24 cooked & peeled jumbo shrimp
1/2 cup sweet chili sauce
1/2 cup finely chopped macadamia nuts (Optional)

Soak the skewers or toothpicks in water for about 5 minutes.

Cut each slice of bacon in half. Wrap bacon around the middle of each shrimp and secure with a skewer or toothpick.  You can leave the tail on or remove it.

Brush the wrapped shrimp with sweet chili sauce on both sides. Place shrimp in a broiling pan and broil briefly until bacon is lightly colored, turning once.

Dip both sides of each shrimp lightly in chopped macadamias. You can return them to the broiler for a few seconds to toast the macadamias, but it's not necessary.

Makes 24 pieces of Bacon Wrapped Sweet Chili Shrimp.

Bacon Hot Wings

12 chicken drumettes
6 pieces of bacon
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
2 Shakes of hot sauce

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut each bacon slice in half. Season each piece of chicken with salt and pepper.  Wrap each chicken drummette with a ½ piece of bacon and secure with a wooden pick.

Stir together brown sugar, onion and garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice and two shakes of your favorite hot sauce (I like Louisiana Hot Sauce).   Use a fork to mix and moisten your flavored brown sugar.  Dredge wrapped chicken in mixture. Coat a rack and broiler pan with nonstick cooking spray. Place chicken wrap on rack in broiler pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes or until bacon is crisp.  Test your chicken with a meat thermometer to make sure drummettes are at 160 degrees.  Drummettes come in many sizes.  The smaller the drummette, the shorter the baking time, so check during the baking process. 

Take out the toothpicks before serving.

If you like it hot, you can always add more hot sauce.

These wings are sweet and hot, making them a great appetizer if you like that combination. 

Variation:  You can always take it another direction and replace the Worcestershire sauce with soy sauce and add powdered ginger for an Asian flavor.  These are baked, but you can also do them on the grill, making sure you turn on all 4 sides.

With my love of bacon and chocolate, I had to try these.  I’m hooked.  They are super simple.

Chocolate Bacon on-a-Stick
Pretzel Sticks
Chocolate bark or chips of any kind
Bacon crumbs (fresh or store bought)

Melt your favorite chocolate in a double boiler.  I like to use semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Chop the bacon in a food process or use store bought bacon bits.  As always, I like the pre-cooked bacon.

Dip ½ of each pretzel stick into chocolate and then into some bacon crumbles.

Let them set up on some parchment paper to cool.

The salty pretzel had already been hailed as a great vehicle for chocolate.  Adding the salty bacon takes them over the top. 

Bacon Turtles 

You'll really think me made now but how about bacon turtles?

Rolo Candy or caramels
Pre-cooked and cut up bacon bacon
Melted chocolate chips

Fry cut up bacon until it is crispy and set aside on paper towel to drain.

Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Heat you oven to 200 degrees.

Put a Rolo (or caramel on the parchment paper and put it in the oven for 10 minutes to melt.

In a double boiler, melt a cup of dark chocolate chips.

When you take the the caramels out hot, put your 5 pecans on them right away pressing them down into the caramel.  Top with a piece of cut up bacon and a spoon full of melted chocolate.  Heaven is awaitin'!!!!


There are so many recipes out there that you can use bacon in.  You just can’t seem to go wrong if you put bacon in it.

Be happy.  Hope your team wins.  May God bless you and yours.   

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