Tag: bacon

Triple Cornbread Stuffing

Triple Cornbread Stuffing

This stuffing is not for the birds.

 

Ingredients for stuffing
The ingredients for this stuffing are pretty basic: probably things you have on hand.

 

I never recommend cooking the stuffing inside the turkey cavity. Instead, make it and cook it separately. That way, you’ll avoid problems with cooking the bird and won’t have to worry about contaminating the stuffing.

 

Bacon in a frying pan
You only need about 8-10 slices of bacon.

 

This recipe has its roots in African-American life. I found it in the “Black Family Reunion Cookbook,” one of the cookbooks I often refer to when looking to make something different and authentic.

It’s not hard to make, but it’s not as easy as one might think, especially after reading the recipe and finding out you can use canned corn and store-bought cornbread. Making stuffing is an art. After you mix it up, you have to continuously taste it and make adjustments until you get the flavor and consistency just the way you want it.

 

Celery and onions frying
You fry the celery and onions in the same pan you cooked the bacon.

 

I found the original recipe to be a little too dry, so I decreased the amount of toasted breadcrumbs and added about a quarter cup of the bacon grease. The bacon I used was pretty lean so it didn’t create too much grease.

 

Stuffing ingredients in a bowl
Make sure you use a bowl large enough to fit all of the ingredients.

 

Once you mix it up, if you still think it’s too dry, try adding some boiling water: just enough to get the moist consistency you want.

 

Stuffing being stirred in a bowl
The stuffing is ready when you say it is ready. Stir it up and taste it for moistness and flavor until it’s just right.

 

You can serve it as is or if you want to heat it up, try baking it in a 350 degree oven with a few tabs of butter on top. But be careful. I wouldn’t heat it up for more than five or ten minutes or you risk drying it out.

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Triple Cornbread Stuffing

November 13, 2018
: 10-12
: Medium

Once you mix this up, continuously taste it for moistness and flavor and make adjustments until it's just right.

By:

Ingredients
  • Bacon, 1/2 pound (about 8-10 slices), reserve about 1/4 cup of the cooking grease
  • Celery, chopped, 1 1/2 cups
  • Onion, chopped, 1/2 cup
  • Cornbread crumbs, 4 cups (make or buy cornbread and crumble it into coarse crumbs)
  • Toasted bread crumbs, 2 cups (you can spread regular breadcrumbs on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 for about five minutes, but watch it so it doesn't burn)
  • Poultry seasoning, 2 teaspoons
  • Salt, 1/2-1 teaspoon or to taste
  • Cream-style corn, one 17 oz can
  • Whole kernal corn, one 17 oz can, reserve the liquid
Directions
  • Step 1 Fry bacon in a skillet until crisp. Crumble it and set it aside. Save 1/2 cup of the drippings to cook the celery and onion in.
  • Step 2 Fry the celery and onion in the bacon grease until tender but not brown.
  • Step 3 Put the bacon in a large bowl along with the celery and onion. Add everything else: the cornbread crumbs, breadcrumbs, poultry seasoning, salt, and both cans of corn. Also add bacon drippings and some or all of the liquid that came with the whole kernel corn.
  • Step 4 Mix it up good until combined well. If the stuffing isn’t moist enough, add just enough boiling water to get the consistency you want.
  • Step 5 You can serve it as is. Or if you want to heat it up, put it in a baking dish and dot the top with small pads of butter. Bake at 350 for no more than 5 or 10 minutes. Be careful you don’t dry it out.
Pub Kettle Chips

Pub Kettle Chips

(Above: These chips would go great with watching a football game or just watching the snow fall.)

This was an appetizer eureka!

It isn’t often that I strike gold while dining out but I did on a recent visit to Providence, Rhode Island. By striking gold, I mean tasting something so incredibly delicious and yet so simple to cook it makes you think “Why didn’t I think of that?” This happened on a visit to Union Station Brewery in downtown Providence. The dish? Pub Kettle Chips.

For a mere $7.99 you get a large platter of homemade kettle potato chips with melted cheddar cheese, bacon and sour cream. Mmmm! Goes well with beer (but then again, what doesn’t?)

I recreated them at home by doing the following:

Pub Kettle Chips (From Union Station Brewery in Providence, RI)

December 17, 2013
: Easy

By:

Ingredients
  • Potato Chips (Use kettle chips, such as Utz Mystic Gourmet Dark Russet Potato Chips.)
  • Extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Bacon, cooked and chopped into pieces
  • Scallions, chopped
  • Sour Cream
Directions
  • Step 1 Spread a layer of potato chips on a cookie sheet.
  • Step 2 Sprinkle with extra-sharp cheddar cheese and bake in 350 degree oven until cheese melts and chips are hot.
  • Step 3 Cook bacon and crumble it or cut it into small pieces and then sprinkle on top of chips.
  • Step 4 Sprinkle with chopped scallions. And put a couple of large dollops of sour cream on top.

 

Pasta Carbonara (aka: Breakfast Pasta)

Pasta Carbonara (aka: Breakfast Pasta)

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This is one of the first dishes I made when I started getting serious about cooking. It’s a traditional and authentic recipe from Italy and it’s easy to make: all of which makes this a good dish to make for novice home cooks.

This is Italian comfort food. It’s as warm and fuzzy and comfortable as a glass of brandy on a cold day.

 

Ingredients for pasta carbonara
You can use American bacon to make this dish but traditionally it’s made with pancetta, which is available in most supermarkets in the deli section.

 

I call it “breakfast pasta,” because you use bacon and eggs to make it. The traditional recipe calls for pancetta, which is often referred to as Italian bacon, but to be honest, I always made it with good old American bacon and it’s wonderful (some might say even better). I now often make it with whatever pork product I have on hand.

This time I had some leftover pancetta (from the Ribollita soup I made last week) and some Italian sausage (left over from the tomato sauce I also made last week). So I decided to use both and the combination gave it more flavors to savor.

 

Pancetta and sausage cooking.
Whatever meat you use be sure to cook it thoroughly and it turns a little crispy.

 

If you make it using pancetta, you get wonderful, juicy pieces of pork and fat; crumbled Italian sausage adds depth and a smoky flavor; while American bacon gives it a crispy, salty, sweetness that is like heaven on your tongue.

 

A bowl of pasta carbonara.
Save a little grated cheese to sprinkle on top of the dish.

 

Yes, this dish is fatty and oily because you use the bacon/pancetta/sausage drippings to flavor the pasta, but you’re not eating it every day. Save it for a special weeknight meal when it’s cold and rainy, or snowing. And pair it with a good bottle of red table wine or even a bold, heavy white.

As the Italians say, “cin cin” (pronounced, “chin, chin”), which is a toast meaning “to your health!”

 

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Pasta Carbonara

March 18, 2012
: 6-8
: 20 min
: Easy

This comes together quickly and would make a good, easy, weeknight supper.

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Ingredients
  • Butter (1 tbl.)
  • Linguini (1 lb.)
  • Bacon or Pancetta and/or Italian sausage (minced, 1 lb.)
  • Onion (1 small)
  • Parmesan or Pecorino Cheese (grated, 2 tbl.)
  • Eggs (2, large)
  • Salt and Pepper (to taste)
  • Parsley (a small bunch, minced)
Directions
  • Step 1 Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook linguini until “al dente.” While water heats up, do the following:
  • Step 2 Saute the onion in butter until soft, just turning color.
  • Step 3 Add minced bacon or pancetta and/or sausage and saute until soft, just a little crispy.
  • Step 4 Beat 2 eggs, add grated cheese and mix well.
  • Step 5 Add pepper and 1 tbl. of minced parsley to bacon and onion in the pan. Stir to cook.
  • Step 6 The rendered oils from the bacon or pancetta are a major flavor ingredient of this recipe so do not remove the oil from the pan.
  • Step 7 Quickly drain the linguini and place in a large bowl.
  • Step 8 Add egg-cheese mixture to saute pan (removed now from heat) and stir well.
  • Step 9 The heat of the ingredients and the pan will cook the egg somewhat, so keep the mixture moving.
  • Step 10 Taste, add salt or pepper if needed.
  • Step 11 Add mixture to linguini and serve immediately.

 

 

The Best Ribollita Soup Recipe

The Best Ribollita Soup Recipe

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This is one of my most requested recipes. Also known as “Tuscan Bean Soup,” it is a real crowd pleaser. I’ve tripled this recipe and fed nearly 50 people with it at our annual Christmas open house party.

 

Bowls filled with vegetables
There’s a lot of chopping required to make this soup. Using a food processor makes it easier and quicker.

 

It’s an Italian vegetable soup, with a jolt of meat. I got this recipe from the Barefoot Contessa, but incorporated a few short cuts so you can make this in about 1 1/2 hours. There are other ribollita soup recipes out there, but trust me, this is the best. I’ve been told this by other Italians.

 

Pancetta in a bowl.
Don’t try to make this soup without pancetta. It’s what gives this soup a deep, smoky, flavor.

 

If you’re not familiar with pancetta, think of it as Italian bacon. You can find it in the deli section at most supermarkets and it comes either as a whole piece, sliced, or cubed. I bought mine as a whole piece and then chopped it up into small cubes. It is made from pork and then cured, but it needs to be cooked before you can eat it.

 

A bowl of Ribollita soup.
Colorful, hearty, delicious and nutritious describes Ribollita soup. Make sure you use sourdough bread too. It’s an essential ingredient.

 

The taste is sweet and a little sour with a punch of heat from the crushed red pepper flakes. It’s a great, hearty soup on a cold winter night.

(Thanks for reading this far. To show our appreciation we’re offering this free eCookbook with “9 Recipes to Help you Relax and Enjoy the Holidays,”  along with free subscription to the Rootsliving newsletter.)

 

Ribollita Soup

December 6, 2009
: About 12
: 1 hr
: 1 hr 30 min
: Easy-Medium

By:

Ingredients
  • 1 large can of cannellini beans (about 19 oz.)
  • 1/4 cup good olive oil, plus extra for serving
  • 1/4 pound diced pancetta
  • 2 cups chopped onions (about 2 onions)
  • 1 cup chopped carrots (about 3 carrots)
  • 1 cup chopped celery (about 3 stalks)
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic (about 6 cloves)
  • 1 tablespoon salt (I always use Kosher as it’s the most flavorful.)
  • 1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 (28 oz.) can Italian plum tomatoes in puree, chopped
  • 4 cups coarsely chopped kale
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 4 cups sourdough bread cubes, crusts removed
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (preferably the imported Parmesan Reggiano), for serving
Directions
  • Step 1 Heat the olive oil in a large stockpot.
  • Step 2 Add the pancetta and onions. Cook over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes or until the onions are translucent. (Stir occasionally)
  • Step 3 Add the carrots, celery, garlic, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Continue cooking over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. (Stir occasionally)
  • Step 4 Add the tomatoes with the puree, the kale, and basil. Continue cooking over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes. (Stir occasionally)
  • Step 5 Rinse the cannellini beans under cold water. Puree half of them in a food processor with about 1/2 cup of water.
  • Step 6 Add pureed beans to the soup. And then add the remaining half of the whole beans. And stir.
  • Step 7 Add the eight cups of chicken stock.
  • Step 8 Bring soup to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes.
  • Step 9 Add the bread cubes to the soup and simmer another 10 minutes.
  • Step 10 Serve hot in large bowls. Sprinkle a little freshly grated parmesan cheese on top. And then drizzle a little olive oil over it.