Bacon. Who doesn’t like bacon? It’s meaty, delicious, even a bit macho. It works as a meal, a garnish, hot, cold, and certainly is tasty any time of day.
Though most people agree that the ole pig strips are delicious, they aren’t utilizing bacon to its full potential.
Have you ever considered bacon as health food? What about in a drink? Or perhaps as dessert? We have! And now you can, too!
Below, we give you five innovative bacon recipes to keep your gullet warm as summer wanes.
A Healthier Side of Bacon
Bacon Chard Quesadillas from eatingwell.com
1. Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, stirring often, until crisp, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, add onion and cook, stirring, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add chard and pepper; cook, stirring, until wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Add beans and coarsely mash; stir to combine. Remove from heat.
2. Place tortillas on a work surface. Spread a generous 1/4 cup filling and 2 tablespoons cheese on half of each tortilla. Fold tortillas in half, pressing gently to flatten.
3. Wipe out the pan and return to medium heat. Add 4 quesadillas and cook, turning once, until golden on both sides, 2 to 4 minutes total. Transfer to a platter and tent with foil to keep warm. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook the remaining quesadillas.
If you want to up the health factor, swap out standard bacon for the veggie or turkey varietals. What you lose in taste you’ll gain in not-feeling-ashamed-for-the-rest-of-the-day.
Vegan B.L.A.T Sandwich from seriouseats.com
1. Spread 1 teaspoon of mayonnaise on each side of the bread slices. Preheat a heavy skillet or griddle over medium-low heat for 5 minutes. Add bread in a single layer, working in batches if necessary, and cook until golden brown. Flip and cook until second side is golden brown. Transfer bread to a cutting board.
2. Spread remaining mayonnaise on one side of each slice of bread. Stack lettuce and tomato evenly between two slices of bread. Season tomatoes with salt. Top with mushroom “bacon” and avocado. Close sandwiches, cut in half, and serve.
Bacon Junk Food
Jalapeno Bacon Mac and Cheese Topped with Cheetos from bunsinmyoven.com
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the noodles according to package directions, removing them from the water 1 minute before the package states for al dente.
2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and butter a 2.5 quart baking dish.
3. In a large sauce pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the jalapeno and cook for one minute. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes or until flour has browned a bit.
4. Pour in the milk, cream, and salt and continue cooking, whisking constantly, for 3 minutes. Slowly add the cheese a handful at a time, stirring to melt completely before each new addition.
5. When cheese is completely melted, add the bacon and drained macaroni to the cheese sauce and stir to coat completely.
6. Pour the macaroni and cheese into the prepared baking dish and top with the crushed Cheetos.
Happy Hour Bacon
Bacon-Infused Bourbon from myrecipes.com
1. Remove 1/4 cup bourbon from bottle.
2. Pour warm bacon grease into bottle.
3. Cover and let stand 4 hours, shaking bottle occasionally.
4. Chill 4 to 7 days.
5. Pour bourbon through a wire-mesh strainer lined with a coffee filter into a bowl; discard filter.
6. Clean bottle.
7. Pour strained bourbon into bottle, and store at room temperature up to 6 months.
Note: We tested with Benton’s Smoked Country Bacon and Woodford Reserve Bourbon.
Bacon Bourbon Brownies with Pecans from foodandwine.com
1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, allowing 2 inches of overhang on 2 opposite sides. Spray the paper with vegetable spray. Spread the pecans in a pie plate and toast for about 8 minutes, until fragrant. Let cool, then coarsely chop the nuts.
2. In a skillet, cook the bacon over moderate heat, turning once, until crisp, 6 minutes. Drain on paper towels and let cool; reserve 3 tablespoons of the fat. Finely chop the bacon.
3. In a saucepan, combine both chocolates with the butter and stir over very low heat, until melted; scrape into a large bowl. Using a handheld electric mixer, beat in both sugars with the reserved 3 tablespoons of bacon fat. Beat in the bourbon. Add the eggs and salt and beat until smooth. Sift the cocoa and flour into the bowl and beat until blended.
4. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle the bacon and pecans on top. Bake for about 50 minutes, until the brownies are set around the edges but slightly wobbly in the center; a toothpick inserted into the center should have some batter clinging to it. Transfer the pan to a rack and let the brownies cool completely. Lift the brownies out of the pan using the parchment paper. Cut into squares or rectangles and serve.
(Photo credit: cyclonebill (Bacon) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.)