Bacon Bourbon Caramel

Call me crazy…. but chocolate, caramel, bourbon & bacon are a match made in heaven. Serve with vanilla ice-cream.

Chocolate Brownie’s
4 oz dark chocolate
4 oz unsalted butter
2 eggs
10 oz sugar
6 oz all purpose flour, sifted
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil

Preheat the oven to 350* Line a square brownie or round cake pan with parchment paper. I prefer the round cake pan and serve in wedges.
Melt the chocolate and butter together on top of a pan of simmering water. Whisk together the eggs and sugar in a mixer or with an electric whisk until light and fluffy. Fold the egg mix into the melted chocolate and butter, then add the flour, baking powder, salt and oil.
Pour the mix into the prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes, until the brownie is setting around the outside and still gooey in the centre. A skewer inserted into the centre of the brownie should come out with a little of the mix on it. Remove the pan from the oven and leave to rest for 20 minutes before cutting and serving.

Bourbon Bacon Caramel
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup bourbon
1/4 cup candied bacon chopped fine
In a medium saucepan, bring the sugar, water and corn syrup to a boil over high heat. Cook until the sugar is dissolved, washing down the side of the pan with a wet pastry brush. Continue cooking, without stirring, until an amber caramel forms, about 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and carefully stir in the cream. Let cool for 1 minute, then stir in the bourbon. Bring the mixture to a boil over moderate heat and cook, stirring, for 1 or 2 minutes, add the bacon and let the caramel sauce cool slightly and serve warm or at room temperature.

Serves 8

Candied Bacon Recipe

Candied Bacon

 

Sweet Potato Chips with Bourbon Bacon Jam

Warm peanut oil in a fryer or large pot to temperature of 350°F.

Meanwhile, trim 1 inch off the end of each sweet potato. Using a v-slicer or mandolin, slice the sweet potato into very thin slices, about 1/8-inch thick.

When the oil is hot, add about 5 sweet potato slices. Let fry until golden and the bubbling has almost completely subsided, about 3 minutes. Using a mesh sieve or slotted spoon remove the chips to a paper-towel-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with some sea salt. Continue with the remaining sweet potatoes.

Topping:

Add apple when bacon jam has cooled. Place a thin slice of brie on each sweet potato chip and garnish with a spoonful of bacon jam and minced fresh parsley.

This would make a great topping on a baked sweet potato also. The bacon jam is also great with pork tenderloin.

Bibb Salad with Basil Dressing

If you have more basil in your garden then you know what to do with, make a basil dressing. Fresh garlic, lemon & basil flavors that pop. I use this dressing with my chicken caprese.

  • 2 cups (about ¼ pound) tightly packed fresh basil leaves, tightly packed
  • ⅓ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoons honey
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Place all ingredients in food processor except olive oil. Pulse until it resembles pesto. Slowly incorporate the olive oil. Taste and season if necessary.

Bibb Salad:

  • 2 heads of butter bibb lettuce
  • 4 vine ripe tomatoes sliced into wedges
  • 4 slices of bacon cooked and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 4 ounces gorgonzola or blue cheese crumbled

Place a wedge of Boston bibb on the plate, garnish with tomato, bacon and gorgonzola. Drizzle plate with basil dressing. May also add slices of fresh radish, or wedges of avocado, slices of red onion, slices of hard boiled egg.

Spiced Bacon Jam

I had a request for the recipe of the Spiced Bacon Jam on top of these seared scallops. Here it is and it is good!

  • 1 1/2 pounds sliced bacon, diced
  • 2 cups finely chopped shallots
  • 4 small cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/2 cup bourbon
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup sherry vinegar
  • 1/3 cup packed light-brown sugar

Spread half of bacon in a single layer in a large skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until browned, 20 to 23 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Remove fat; clean pan. Repeat with remaining bacon, reserving browned bits and 1 tablespoon fat in pan.

Add shallots and garlic to pan and cook over medium heat, stirring, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add chili powder, ginger, and mustard and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Increase heat to high; add bourbon and maple syrup. Bring to a boil, scraping up browned bits. Add vinegar and brown sugar and return to a boil. Add reserved bacon; reduce heat to low.

Simmer, stirring occasionally, until liquid reduces to a thick glaze, about 10 minutes.

Refrigerate in an airtight container. Will keep up to 4 weeks.

Lemon Ricotta Waffles with Blueberry Sauce

These waffles are going to be great for spring. I always have fresh ricotta left over and now I have found the perfect way to use it. I served candied bacon with mine. I also caramelized banana slices by sprinkling raw sugar and using a creme brûlée torch. Buon Appetito !

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup fresh ricotta (or store-bought)
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 tablespoon butter melted
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • zest from 2 small lemons
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Place all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, add the milk, ricotta cheese, melted butter, lemon juice, zest and vanilla. Whisk well.  Slowly incorporate the dry ingredients. Cook according to instructions of your waffle maker.

Blueberry sauce:

  • 2 boxes fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine all the ingredients for blueberry sauce in a medium sauce pan. Cook on medium low heat until it reaches a boil. Turn the heat down and simmer about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Take off the heat and allow to cool.

Bourbon Caramel Corn With Bacon

  • 1 cup popcorn kernels
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil (I use coconut oil great flavor)
  • 12 ounces bacon, chopped (I prefer a thicker cut smoked bacon for extra flavor)
  • 1 cup nuts optional (pecans, cashews, peanuts)
2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • ¾ cup light Karo syrup
  • ¼ cup Bourbon/Whiskey (I prefer Makers Mark and probably did a splash more)
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla
  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray

Preheat oven to 300°F. Heat popcorn and oil in covered heavy large pot over medium-high heat until kernels begin to pop. Using oven mitts, hold lid on pot and shake pot until popping stops. Pour popcorn into very large bowl.

Cook bacon in heavy large skillet over medium heat until almost crisp. Using slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain; cool. Add bacon and nuts to bowl with popcorn. Sprinkle with coarse salt; toss to coat.

Melt butter in sauce pan add brown sugar, Karo syrup and whiskey. Simmer for about 7 minutes. Taste and adjust whiskey flavor to your liking. Take off heat and add vanilla.

Line rimmed baking sheet with foil; coat with nonstick spray. Coat 2 wooden spoons or heat-resistant spatulas with nonstick spray; set aside. Immediately drizzle caramel over popcorn mixture; toss with sprayed spoons until evenly coated. Transfer to sheet.

Place caramel corn in oven and bake until caramel is shiny and coats popcorn, tossing mixture occasionally, about 30 minutes. Cool for about 45 minutes to an hour, tossing occasionally to break up large clumps.

Candied Bacon

Who doesn’t love candied bacon? Especially with pumpkin french toast, or a BLT, or in bourbon caramel corn. Shall I go on? The only problem you will have is that it disappears quickly and you wish you had made more.

  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon coarse black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1 pound thick sliced bacon

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil, and spray with cooking oil.

Combine the brown sugar and cayenne in a small bowl, stirring to mix well. Arrange the slices of bacon on the sheet pan in a single layer, sprinkle sugar over bacon and pat into meat. Don’t be stingy.

Bake until the bacon is crisp and the sugar is bubbly, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain briefly, then to a plate or serving dish to cool. Can be made several hours ahead. Serve warm or at room temperature.