Tag Archives: Bacon

Classic Bacon Cheeseburger

Keen's Cheddar cheese

Image via Wikipedia

Classic Bacon Cheeseburger

Classic barbecue bacon cheeseburger.

6 slices bacon
2 pounds ground chuck (80% lean)
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
6 thin slices extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
6 hamburger buns
6 crisp lettuce leaves
6 slices ripe tomato
Ketchup (optional)
Mustard (optional)


In a large sauté pan over medium heat, cook the bacon until crisp, 10 to 12 minutes, turning occasionally. Remove the bacon and set aside on paper towels to drain. Remove the pan from the heat.


Gently shape the ground chuck into six burgers of equal size and thickness (about 3/4 inch thick). Season both sides of the burgers with salt and pepper.


Grill over Direct Medium heat until the internal temperature reaches 160°F for medium, 8 to 10 minutes, turning once halfway through grilling time. Top each burger with a slice of the cheese during the last minute or two of grilling time and allow the cheese to melt. During the last 30 seconds, grill the buns over Direct Medium heat until lightly toasted.


Serve the cheeseburgers hot on the toasted buns with a lettuce leaf and a slice of tomato, topped with a slice of the bacon. Serve with ketchup and mustard on the side, if desired.


Makes 6 servings.

A jammy red wine will match this classic burger perfectly. Consider a Zinfandel, a ripe Beaujolais from a recent vintage, or a heady Côtes-du-Rhône or Vacqueyras from southern France.



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Irish Nachos & Guinness Stew Recipe

These are the little savory morsels that inspired Irish Food Day at my house.  Stand in awe of the Irish Nachos!

If I had not been surrounded by my lovely family I would have made inappropriate noises until this platter was EMP-TY!

Seasoned red potatoes with bacon and cheese are the recipe for culinary seduction.  Make a note of that.  I can’t be the only one.  My mouth is dominated by a sweet tooth but this dish, although simple, has such flavors that will make me ask my Irish Coffee Cake to hold on a sec.

These are pretty easy to make but regardless of the difficulty it was extremely nice of Deanna and Andy to bring so much food for Irish Food Day!  I’m very proud to share with you the recipe for Irish Nachos.


2 bags of frozen, seasoned red potatoes cut “jo-jo” style

shredded cheese


green onions

Ranch, cocktail sauce or just good old fashioned ketchup

Spread your potatoes on a baking sheet and bake per package directions until golden brown.  Then remove potatoes, cover with shredded cheese, bacon and green onions and bake until cheese is melted.

I’d double that recipe if you plan to share. For some reason I am just crazy for those nachos!

I wanted to give the nachos and stew their own posts but St. Patrick’s Day is coming faster than I expected so I had better share this Guinness Stew recipe with you before we run out of time. :)

My sister Deanna made this recipe up by herself.  She compiled different stew recipes and made it into something she thought it should be.  She said it was weird that she couldn’t find a stew recipe with tomatoes, but she added them to her stew “because they should be there!”  When she gave me the notes for her recipe she told me, “I just picked things I liked and made stew with it!”  I love it.  You should try this and feel free to improvise!

So there you have it folks.



1 1/2 bottles Guinness

4 cups chopped carrots

4 diced tomatoes

1 diced onion

1 sprig of thyme

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

4 pounds of beef, cut for stew

4 tablespoons of flour

oil for saute

salt & pepper

Preheat your oven to 500 degrees.  Heat a large pot (that is also oven safe), add your cooking oil and brown your beautiful beef.  Season with salt, pepper and cayenne.  Add your onions and carrots, stirring and enjoying the delicious fragrances!  Let your tomatoes join the party along with 1 bottle of Guinness and the thyme.  Cover your pot and bake in the oven for about 3 hours.  About 1 1/2 hours into the baking time add another 1/2 bottle of Guinness.  Serve withIrish Soda Bread for an Irish theme.


Thanks for the amazing post, you earned your spot on the cooking channel!


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Posted by on March 23, 2011 in Super Bowl, Uncategorized


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Charcutepalooza! Project: Homemade Bacon

Irish bacon

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by Vivek

It’s the 15th of February and as promised, today is the post about HOMEMADE BACON. As you all may have read in my previous post, here, I am participating in Charcutepalooza – a year long project focusing on the art of charcuterie. So far the experience has been both educational and fun. Making charcuterie is a challenge for me – a completely new field of cooking that I never knew much about. The fact that dry curing, one of the oldest methods of preservation, is rarely practiced in the home is in actuality quite stunning. What’s more is that for someone interested in food, I really knew nothing about it. Sure, I would buy bacon (and I have bought my fair share over the years), but never would I think about making it at home. This project has made me more aware of what we are capable of doing at home, while connecting us with the roots of true and authentic cooking. It’s trying something new – venturing out into unknown territory. And I’m all about jumping in head first and trying it out. To me, there’s nothing more fun than that.

This month’s project was to make either bacon or pancetta. I chose to make bacon because the process was a shorter one than making pancetta. Since I knew I would be traveling this month, I didn’t want to over exert, especially on one of my first projects. I could not believe how EASY it is to make homemade bacon. I mean, you really work for about 15 minutes and then just wait and go about your business until it’s done curing. Once you buy fresh pork belly, all you have to do is dredge the entire belly in a dry cure that can be flavored with whatever you want – I used garlic, bay leaf, and black pepper. Although now that I’ve finished the first batch, I have all kinds of idea – spicy bacon with smoked paprika and cayenne, basil pesto bacon, sorghum syrup + vanilla bacon, and maybe an Indian spiced bacon! After seven days in the cure, you roast (or smoke) the entire pork belly for about 2 hours until it reaches a temperature of 150 degrees F. Once you remove the skin, the bacon can but sliced, used immediately, or frozen for a few months.



Now, let me tell you about TASTE. When this beautiful, home cured bacon is cooked, its taste is UNBELIEVABLE. Because mine was roasted and not smoked, you could really taste the ingredients from the cure. The bacon was garlicky, which gave it a great savory note; it was spicy because of the black pepper and the herbaceousness of the bay leaf rounded everything out to make this the best tasting bacon that I’ve ever had. Seriously, it’s the most flavorful bacon EVER!

And because the bacon is so easy to make (I mean, seriously, it just sits there for 7 days), I’m pretty sure I’ll always have homemade bacon around my house. Who knew that making your own cured meat products would be so easy? But that’s what charcutepalooza is all about – try something new, challenge yourself to be a better cook, and you will be rewarded. This was quite the reward.


So now that I got my own bacon, I’ve been making a lot of stuff. Of course, you gotta have aB.L.T. If there is a better one than mine, I’ve never seen or had it. You could make my Apple Cabbage & Bacon slawSpaghetti Carbonara, or even Huevos Rancheros! But for all you fellow Charcutepalooza-ers out there, I made a really special dish. One day, a few years ago, I went to Miami for my little sister’s graduation. While we were there, my dad and I had the pleasure of dining at Michelle Bernstein’s restaurant, Michy’s. We were even luckier because it was restaurant week, so I got to have 3 courses! My favorite course was actually the appetizer – some steamed asparagus, with a poached egg, and bacon lardons. The flavors were amazing and I couldn’t get over how a few simple ingredients really came together to produce a very tasty dish.

This is my take on Michelle’s dish. I’ve grilled the asparagus to give a smoky flavor to the dish, since the bacon was not smoked. With a perfectly poached egg, parmiagiano reggiano curls, and a simple balsamic vinaigrette, this dish is just incredible, full of so many different flavors and textures. The vinaigrette in my mind is essential, as its heightened acidity cuts through the richness of all the other ingredients. At the end of the day, the bacon is the star of the plate and everything else helps to elevate the bacon.

Grilled Asparagus Salad – Bacon, Parmigiano, Poached Egg, Balsamic (serves 4)

(recipe courtesy of Vivek Surti)


1 bunch of asparagus, trimmed

olive oil

kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Toss the asparagus with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill asparagus for about 2-3 minutes on each side, until it is nicely marked and tender. Take off the grill and set aside.


Poached eggs:

4 large eggs

1 teaspoon white vinegar

Bring a large, wide pan filled with water to a simmer. Season the water with the vinegar – this will ensure the egg whites coagulate around the yolk when you poach the eggs. Crack the eggs and put them into individual bowls (or crack one at a time). When the water returns to a simmer, use a slotted spoon and start stirring the water clockwise until there is a bit of a vortex in the middle of the pot. Drop one egg into the middle of the vortex and watch as the egg white comes to surround the yolk. Let the egg cook for about 3 minutes, and then immediately transfer to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. At this point, your egg is almost perfectly cooked. Repeat with remaining eggs.

When you are ready to serve, insert the eggs back in the poaching liquid for about 45 seconds so they warm all the way through. This will result in great, runny yolks. If you want a hard yolk, just cook it longer, for about 2 minutes.

Balsamic Vinaigrette:

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1 tsp dijon mustard

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Whisk together the balsamic vinegar and dijon mustard. Slowly stream in the olive oil, while whisking, to emulsify the dressing. Season the dressing with salt and pepper.

To Assemble:

8 strips of bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces or lardons

Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

Grilled Asparagus

Poached Eggs

Balsamic Vinaigrette

First, cook the bacon by putting it in a cold pan over medium heat. Keep turning bacon, every few minutes, so it is evenly cooked, the fat renders, and it is crispy. Drain on paper towels.

To assemble the dish, lay a few asparagus spears on the plate. Top the asparagus with the poached egg. Scatter the bacon around the plate. Using a vegetable peeler, curl some long pieces of parmigiano cheese around the other ingredients. Spoon some of the vinaigrette over the salad and around the plate.

Serve. Eat. Be Merry.

I can’t wait for next month’s Charcutepalooza project! Now that I’ve completed my first project, I feel much  more comfortable going forth. I’m ready to face any challenge and start making some tasty cured pork products. If this bacon was any indication, it’s going to be one tasty and exciting epicurean adventure!






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Posted by on March 22, 2011 in Pork


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Bettys “Good Luck” Hoppin’ John Recipe

Green, yellow and red bell peppers from the ca...

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In this video, Betty demonstrates how to make a traditional New Year’s Day dish, “Good Luck” Hoppin’ John. In the South, the belief is that if you eat Hoppin’ John on New year’s Day, you will have good luck all year long! I have a previous version of Hoppin’ John, which you may prefer, but this is my creation for New Year’s Day 2011.


4 to 6 slices uncooked bacon
1 to 1 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/3 green pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ medium onion, chopped
15-oz. can blackeye peas, undrained
(2) 10 ¾-oz. cans beef broth
enough uncooked long grain white rice to fill a beef broth can
sprig of fresh rosemary or other herb for garnish, optional

In a frying pan, place 4 to 6 strips of bacon. Cook bacon until crisp. Remove from skillet and place on paper toweling to drain. In a medium-sized saucepan, place (2) 10 ¾-oz. cans beef broth and 1 equally-sized can of long grain white rice. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low, cover tightly with a lid, and cook for 14 to 15 minutes, until rice absorbs beef broth. In the meantime, heat 1 to 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil in a deep skillet. Add 1/3 chopped green pepper, 2 cloves minced garlic and ½ chopped onion. Saute until onion is clear. To the deep skillet of sautéed vegetables add your cooked rice and a 15-oz. can of undrained blackeye peas. Stir all together, and return to heat for a short time to distribute heat to the blackeye peas and to intermingle flavors. Ladle out you Hoppin’ John into a nice serving bowl, and crumble (or slice) 4 to 6 slices of crisp bacon over the top. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary or other fresh herb, if desired. Serve immediately as a main course or as a side dish. I wish you the Happiest New Year! I hope this recipe brings you good luck throughout the year! (wink) –Betty ♥


Posted by on March 12, 2011 in Betty's Kitchen


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