Tag Archives: recipes

Bacon Avec Bacon’s First Anniversary

26 Jun

Well it’s been one year since I started this blogging journey.

I haven’t posted as much as I had planned to, and there were many recipes that were attempted but never made the cut (for various reasons) but overall, I’m happy with where I’m at. I hope you’ve enjoyed what I’ve posted so far and I look forward to sharing another year’s worth of recipes with you!

As a recap, the five most popular recipes of the past year have been:

baconavecbacon.com | Cheesy Taco Pasta

  1. Cheesy Taco Pasta
  2. Salsa Fresca
  3. Smores Pudding Cups
  4. Pork Wrapped Pork
  5. Easy Baked Cannelloni

Can’t say I’m really surprised as these are all favourites in our house too.

Thanks everyone!

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Recipe: Cheater Shrimp n’ Grits

18 Jul

Shrimp n’ grits is one of a handful of dishes that make up classic southern cuisine. And like most ‘classic’ dishes, everyone’s got a riff that they say makes it ‘the ultimate’ version of that dish. I’m sure this one isn’t ‘the ultimate’ (I’ve tested some of the popular versions) it certainly is easy, takes about 10 minutes and packs a world of flavour. Plus it has bacon. How can you go wrong??

Some of you may be asking the question, “What is a grit? Whatever it is, it doesn’t sound tasty.” Well, let me assure you grits can be plenty tasty and that it’s basically the south’s version of Italian polenta – cornmeal , slowly turned into a fluffy cereal pudding by boiling with water or other liquids. In other words, the corn version of cream of wheat.

Southern grits are white corn vs. yellow. The ones I buy (in the US as they’re very difficult to find here) are the Quaker brand quick cook grits in the blue tube. If you can’t find these, substitute large stone ground cornmeal (like Bob’s Red Mill).

The other secret ingredient is something decidedly NOT traditional – Jalapeno Tex Mex Cheese Whiz . Don’t be afraid – I was not a  Cheese Whiz believer either until a friend (thanks April) turned me on to how good this newly minted flavour of the faux cheese was. It’s fantastic just melted down on top of tortilla chips (just like movie nachos!) and likely many other tasty combinations I’ve yet to discover.

The rest of the ingredients should already be in your house or at least the local grocery store.

Cheater Shrimp n’ Grits

For the grits
½ cup of Quaker quick cook grits
1 ½ cups water
dash of salt
2 heaping tablespoons of Cheese Whiz nacho flavour (or regular Cheese Whiz but add ¼ tsp or more of cayenne for flavour and spice)

For the shrimp
1 pound of shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 strips of bacon, diced
3 green onions, chopped
3 tablespoons of chopped parsley
½  lemon, squeezed
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
dash of cayenne pepper
salt & pepper

This recipe will come together quickly so do your mise-en-place before starting. Place the grits into a microwave bowl and add the water and salt. Stir with a whisk and place in the microwave until later. Use some kitchen shears to snip the green onions, parsley and bacon vs. using a knife. It’ll go way faster. Cut the lemon in half. Prep your garlic and have your shrimp handy.

On a medium high heat, begin frying the bacon pieces. When they’re almost crisp, remove them from the pan and set aside to drain on paper towel. Now you can turn the grits in your microwave on for 4 minutes on high. While they’re cooking throw the shrimp in the pan with a dash of cayenne. Add in the squeeze of lemon, the green onions, the garlic and the salt & pepper. Stir.

Now go check on your grits. Give them a brisk stir with a whisk and pop them back in the microwave to finish.

Go back to the shrimp and add the parsley and stir a bit more. Cook the shrimp about 3-4 minutes or until thoroughly pink. Add the bacon back in at the end to reheat.

When the grits are done (they should be after 4 minutes), throw in the Cheese Whiz and stir briskly with the whisk until the cheese has been fully incorporated.

Place several spoonfuls into a bowl and top with some of the shrimp mixture. Enjoy the creamy spicyness!

 

 

 

Tools of the Trade: Cooking Bibles

3 Jul

Before any Christians get their panties in a bunch, I’m not talking about chucking the New Testament into a stock pot. I’m talking about those cookbooks that you keep going back to because they contain basic but critical cooking knowledge. Yes, as much as I LOVE Pinterest for discovering new recipes, there are two specific cookbooks that I keep coming back to because they have tried and true recipes for the core comfort food that we all grew up on. That’s why they’ve been reprinted for decades and why there are fierce battles on eBay for reprints. 🙂

So, what are my two desert island cookbooks?

One is Betty Crocker’s Cookbook, specifically the ‘red pie’ edition first printed in 1969 – the hardcover, not the 5 ring binder. 

Courtesy of Vintage Victuals

What makes Betty so awesome over 40 years later? This book is filled with core recipes like scalloped potatoes, yorkshire pudding, 7 minute frosting and things that are making a comeback like chess pie.

It’s got great visual instructions on how do to things like cut a pineapple, make a lattice pie crust and what cuts of meat come from what part of the cow.

It actually contains the first recipe I ever made – chef’s salad – for a project in the third grade. Why I chose to make salad for third graders, I have no idea. The kids who made snowball cookies and French toast were a lot more popular.

Betty’s book is still being printed and I in fact have a more ‘modern’ version as well. It still has some good stuff, but it’s been heavily pared down and crammed full of modern classics like buffalo chicken wings, totally missing some of the stuff that made the original so awesome.

Now to get your hands on one of these, you can either pilfer it from your mom’s collection, or you can jump on eBay and hope not to get outbid (I’ve seen copies go for as much as $100 depending on the condition). The best way to find one is likely at your local used book store though. The prices are generally more fair and you don’t have to pay shipping!

Desert island cookbook #2 is the Purity Cookbook. 

The edition on the market now was carefully reproduced from the 1967 edition. It’s got great charts for roasting all kinds of meats and recipes for just about everything that your grandmother probably put on her table, unfortunately including ‘gelatin desserts’.

Given the fact it was published by a flour company, the breads section is especially great with instructions for lots of classic loaves, waffles, muffins, scones and biscuits. The page that is most marked in this book for me is the apple crisp though. The Purity version is nicely sweet and bakes up very crispy on the edges. MMM. Now I want apple crisp.

There’s really no excuse not to pick this book up. At under $20 and readily available on Amazon and Chapters it should be part of your collection if it isn’t already. Makes a great shower gift for upcoming weddings!

Canada Day Countdown

27 Jun

In our household, Canada Day is an excuse to have our nearest and dearest friends over for a BBQ and a bonfire. Nothing seems to be a more ‘Canuck’ way of celebrating than communing with nature while eating grilled meat and drinking beer.

Preparations are still fluid but I thought I’d share some inspiration ‘pins’ from Pinterest that you might be able to use for your own Canada Day celebration!

  • Want a new twist on a burger? Why not try stuffing your burgers with cheese? Or mixing the beef itself with blue cheese. Or going for something more exotic like buffalo, or elk. In Ottawa, the Elk Ranch in Kanata sells the same burgers you can get at the famous local burger chain The Works among other tasty treats for humans and dogs.

    Southwestern Skirt Steak Courtesy of Plain Chicken

  • If you want to step it up a notch, this southwestern skirt steak would be a surefire winner with beef lovers. This version of Korean bulgogi would be a winner too.
  • Want to serve ribs but don’t want to have to cook them all day? Why not try these ‘boneless’ ribs made from a pork tenderloin?
  • This summer’s favourite grill meat has been kofta, a middle eastern spiced meat on a stick. Everything is better when it’s on a stick. I’ve actually been buying my kofta meat pre-mixed at Damas Supermarket on Carling (across from the movie theatre) – really tasty and it’s also a great stop for other middle-eastern grocery items. It goes great with a cool garlic/yogurt/mint/lemon sauce.
  • Chicken’s always a winner too. We often do legs marinated in tandoori sauce (Patak’s is the best we’ve tried) and grilled on one of these gizmos. Totally worth the $14.
  • For dessert, last year I did cupcakes with maple leaf quins (available at The Bulk Barn) but this year I’m thinking either strawberry trifle or this donut/ice cream/maple syrup and strawberry combo. So Canadian eh? 🙂

    Courtesy of A Beautiful Mess

Have a happy (and safe) Canada Day everyone!