Posts Tagged 'bacon'

Lucky Black-Eyed Pea and Collard Green Soup

lucky black eyed pea and collard green sop2550

Black-Eyed Pea and Collard Green Soup

On New Year’s Day, I leave nothing to fate. I always serve big helpings of the traditional Southern dishes that are said to bring good fortune. Two of my family’s favorites are black-eyed peas and greens. The black-eyed peas bring good luck and, since they look like money, the greens are said to bring prosperity.

Since I can use good luck and good fortune any time, I decided to combine these two ingredients into one dish that can be enjoyed year round. This soup pairs these lucky foods with vegetables and smoky bacon for a dish that is hearty and satisfying.

You can start this soup with dried peas, but I prefer the ease and convenience of canned peas. Canned peas require no advance soaking and cook quickly. For New Year’s, I traditionally put collard greens in the soup (don’t want to mess with my luck!) but during the rest of the year, I sometimes substitute kale. To spice it up a bit, add a dash of hot sauce just before serving.

While this simple yet satisfying soup should improve your odds for the new year, it’s 100% guaranteed to make your belly happy.

Happy New Year!

Black-Eyed Pea and Collard Green Soup

4 slices bacon, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
2 stalks celery, finely sliced
3 carrots, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 can (14.5-oz) diced tomatoes
6 cups chicken stock
2 cans (15-oz) black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1 bunch collard greens, tough stems and ribs removed, leaves thinly sliced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place the bacon in a large stockpot and cook over medium heat until crispy, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the onion, celery, carrots, garlic, and thyme. Cook, stirring, until the onions are soft, about 5 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, chicken stock, peas, and collard greens and stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover, and simmer until the collard greens are tender and the flavors have melded, about 20 minutes. Adjust seasonings as needed. Serve warm.

Serves 6.

Cooking Tip: For a vegetarian version, omit the bacon and sauté the vegetables in olive oil instead.

Freezes well.

Excerpted from The Southern Pantry Cookbook by Jennifer Chandler.

Photo by the talented Justin Fox Burks. Food Styling by Jennifer Chandler.

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BBQ Baked Beans

Baked Beans _0084

BBQ Baked Beans

There is lots of debate of which kind of barbecue is best … ribs versus pulled pork, dry versus wet ribs, who makes the best sauce … but all agree that baked beans are the perfect accompaniment to any type of barbecue.

BBQ baked beans are surprisingly easy to make from scratch and infinitely better than what comes ready-to-serve out of a can.

The main ingredients are common pantry staples you probably already have on hand: beans, barbecue sauce, ketchup, brown sugar, cider vinegar, and yellow mustard.

Vegetables like onions and bell peppers are ways to add more flavor. I like to add a little smokiness to my baked beans and bacon is a simple way to make that happen. The addition of a little pulled pork would make it even better.

As for the beans, you could always soak dry beans but I find using canned beans is a great time saver. I like to use a variety of beans in my BBQ baked bean recipe. This simple twist provides both flavor and color to this classic picnic side.

The key to a good batch of baked beans is to let them slow cook for several hours. The extended cooking time allow the flavors to blend and meld together. Most folks cook them in the oven, but you can also cook them in a slow cooker or even on a grill with the lid closed.

You’ll find these Southern BBQ Baked Beans are the perfect accompaniment to so many dishes traditionally served during this summer. So remember this recipe not just when making barbecue, but also when grilling chicken, burgers or serving a crowd.

Enjoy!

BBQ Baked Beans

1/2 pound bacon (about 10 slices), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup finely diced yellow onion (1 small onion)
1/2 cup finely diced green bell pepper (1 small pepper)
1 can (15-ounce) black eyed peas, rinsed and drained
1 can (15-ounce) red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15-ounce) pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup barbecue sauce
1/4 cup cider vinegar
3 tablespoons prepared yellow mustard
1/2 cup light brown sugar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place the bacon in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat and cook, stirring often, until crispy, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the onion and bell pepper. Cook, stirring, until the onions and peppers are soft, about 5 minutes.

Add the black eyed peas, red kidney beans, pinto beans, barbecue sauce, cider vinegar, yellow mustard, and brown sugar. Stir until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Remove from the heat, cover, and place in the oven. Cook until the beans are fork tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Serve warm.

Serves 6.

Variation: Want a traditional BBQ baked bean dish? Just use three cans of kidney beans instead of the various types listed in this recipe.

Recipe from Simply Grilling by Jennifer Chandler

Photo by Justin Fox Burks

Food Styling by Jennifer Chandler

Brussels Sprouts and Bacon

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

Brussels Sprouts and Bacon

Doesn’t bacon make everything taste better?

It’s so funny to think about … but when I was a kid I used to say I was allergic to brussels sprouts!  I hated them that much!  Fast forward to adulthood … and now they are one of my favorite things!

Part of the trick is not to overcook the brussels sprouts.  They get too smelly and pungent if you do. You want them to be just fork-tender after boiling them.

The second part is the bacon.  As I mentioned before, doesn’t it just make everything better?! I like to use a really smoky bacon like Benton’s when making mine.

My friend Kelly English inspired me to come up with this recipe. He serves a version of this warm dish as a first-course salad at Restaurant Iris, his popular Memphis restaurant. I dish it up as a hearty side.

Enjoy!

Brussels Sprouts and Bacon

1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts
Kosher salt
3 slices of bacon, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Freshly ground black pepper

Trim the bottoms off of the Brussels sprouts and slice in half.

Over high heat, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the sprouts and cook until fork tender, about 7 to 8 minutes. Drain and reserve.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook the bacon until crispy, about 4 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Reserve.

Pour all but about 1 tablespoon of fat from the skillet. Add the butter and allow it to melt. Add the sprouts and sauté until they are lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Return the bacon to the pan and toss to combine. Serve warm.

Serves 6.

Cooking Tip: Regular bacon is fine, but for an extra bacon-y flavor, use thick-cut artisan bacon or Italian pancetta.

Do-Ahead: The Brussels sprouts can blanched ahead of time and then reheated when sautéed. 

From Simply Suppers by Jennifer Chandler

Pimento Cheese Tartlets with Pepper Jelly and Crispy Bacon

Ok!  These cute little tartlets may be these easiest appetizers ever!

The secret is using store-bought ingredients to help you take the stress out of entertaining.

This simple appetizer was inspired by a amuse buche I had at one of my favorite restaurants … Felicia Suzanne’s in downtown Memphis, Tennessee.  Chef Felicia Willett not only makes her own signature pimento cheese using Tennessee sharp cheddar, but she also makes her own Five Pepper Jelly from peppers she procured at the local Farmers Market. Even her tartlet shells are made from scratch using locally sourced cornmeal.  It is a heavenly little bite of all things Southern.

Recently, I decided to have friends over for cocktails before dinner at the last minute.  I made an emergency run to the grocery store to see what munchies I could whip up … and I remembered the little bites of goodness I had enjoyed from Felicia. My local grocery had all the ingredients I needed to quickly pull this appetizer together.  The only cooking that would be needed was to fry up some bacon … the rest would be just assembly.

It took me minutes to assemble these little tartlets … and even less time for them to be devoured by my friends!  They were the easiest to prepare item on my menu … and probably the most popular.

Hope your friends enjoy them as much as mine did!

Enjoy!

Pimento Cheese Tartlets

1 cup pimento cheese (store-bought or homemade)
16 dozen mini tart shells (store-bought or homemade)
1/2 cup pepper jelly
1/2 cup crumbled cooked bacon

Spoon pimento cheese into the tart shell. Top with a dollop of pepper jelly and crumbled bacon.

Makes 16 bite-size tarts.

 

Blues-y Bacon Onion Burger

I love burgers!  There is just something about a good burger I can’t resist.

But as much as I love a good old fashioned burger topped with the classic garnishes of cheese, tomato, and lettuce, I love to experiment with the ingredients to come up with my own “specialty” burgers.

This Blues-y Bacon Onion Burger is one of my favorites.

In my hometown of Memphis, folks take their blues and barbecue seriously.  And I can guarantee this burger will be sure to appeal to discriminating blues and barbecue fans everywhere!

For the blues, I stuff and top the finished burger with crumbled blue cheese.  (You can’t get enough of blue cheese in my opinion!) I also stuff and top the burger with zesty FRENCH’S® French Fried Onions.  The French Fried Onions are my secret ingredient.  They add flavor and texture both inside and outside the burger. Oh … and I almost forgot to mention the bacon!  I add crispy, crumbled bacon to the patty to give it an extra kick.  The barbecue sauce makes its appearance as the condiment of choice for the finished burger.

Enjoy!

Blues-y Bacon Onion Burger

1 pound ground beef
1 cup FRENCH’S® French Fried Onions, divided
1 cup crumbled blue cheese, divided
1/2 cup crumbled cooked bacon
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup barbecue sauce
4 hamburger buns, split

Preheat a clean grill to medium-high.

In a large mixing bowl combine the ground beef, ½ cup FRENCH’S® French Fried Onions, ½ cup crumbled blue cheese, and the crumbled bacon. Generously season with salt and pepper to taste. Gently mix together, by hand or with a fork, until well combined. Divide and shape the mixture into 4 patties.

Grill patties 10 minutes or until no pink remains (160°F internal temperature), turning once.

To serve, toast the buns. Place each burger on a bun. Top with the barbecue sauce and the remaining blue cheese and FRENCH’S® French Fried Onions. Serve immediately.

Serves 4.

Cooking Tip:  

Don’t have a grill?  No problem.  These burgers can easily be made indoors.

In a large oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat, warm 1 tablespoon olive oil until a few droplets of water sizzle when carefully sprinkled in the pan. Cook the burgers until well-browned on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer the skillet to the oven until cooked through and no longer pink in the middle, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Creamy Broccoli Slaw

Coleslaw without the cabbage?

Yes! It can be done…and be quite tasty!

Almost any vegetable can be used to make a delicious slaw.

Shredded carrots and broccoli might be the most popular alternative to cabbage. But vegetables such as jicama, celery root, kohlrabi, and even kale also make perfect bases for delicious slaws.

I joke about this … but the person who decided to shred and bag broccoli stems as a slaw is a genius!  Almost too tough and fibrous to eat, broccoli stems transform into a crunchy treat when shredded.  What a great use of healthy leftovers!

My Creamy Broccoli Slaw is a play on the sweet broccoli and raisin salad served at delis.  The original version is made with broccoli florets that need to be blanched before tossing with the other ingredients.  I skip that step by simply reaching for a pre-shredded bag of broccoli slaw mix.  It’s healthy, delicious, and someone else has done the prep work for me!

Enjoy!

Creamy Broccoli Slaw
From my cookbook Simply Salads

For the dressing:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons champagne vinegar

For the slaw:
1 bag (16 ounces) Broccoli Cole Slaw blend
1/2 pound bacon (about 10 slices), cooked, drained on paper towels, cooled, and crumbled
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup raisins
2/3 cup toasted sunflower seeds
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

For the dressing:             

In a small bowl whisk together the mayonnaise, sugar, and champagne vinegar until sugar has dissolved. 

For the salad:

Place the slaw, bacon, onion, raisins, and sunflower seeds in a large salad bowl. Toss the slaw mix with the dressing, to taste, until well coated.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Makes 6 side salads.

Cooking Tip: Champagne vinegar has a light and mild flavor perfect for dressing a delicately flavored salad.  White wine vinegar is a good, but not quite as mild, substitute.

Variation: Omit the bacon for a vegetarian version.

Boeuf Bourguignon

If you’ve seen the movie Julie & Julia, you know that Julia Child’s rendition of this classic French dish is what got her first book deal.  When her soon-to-be-editor, tested this recipe from Julia’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking manuscript, she new she had found something special. The rest is history.

Boeuf Bourguignon (which translates into Beef Burgundy – as in the wine) is basically just a beef stew in a red wine sauce.  Slow cooking a normally tough cut transforms the beef into a delicious fork-tender delight. Serve on it’s on , over rice, or with potatoes.

This version is from the kitchen of another talented chef, my sister Susan.

Enjoy!

Boeuf Bourguignon

4 pounds boneless beef chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 2-inch cubes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup finely diced yellow onion (1 large onion)
1 1/2 cups finely diced carrots (about 5 small carrots)
6 sprigs fresh thyme
3 bay leaves
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (14.5-ounce) whole tomatoes with juice
1 bottle (750 ml) good red wine (preferably Pinot Noir or Burgundy)
2 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups fresh button mushrooms, trimmed and quartered
1 1/2 cups frozen small whole white pearl onions

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.

Pat the beef dry with paper towels and generously season with salt and pepper. In a large Dutch oven or stockpot over medium-high heat, warm the oil until a few droplets of water sizzle when carefully sprinkled in the pot. In 2 batches as to not over-crowd the pot, cook the meat until nicely browned on all sides, about 8 minutes per batch. Transfer the meat to a plate.

Drain all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the pot. Add the bacon and cook over medium heat until crispy and the fat has rendered, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the onion, carrots, thyme, bay leaves, and garlic. Cook, stirring, until the onions are soft, about 5 minutes. 

Add the tomatoes, red wine, and chicken stock and stir to combine. Return the beef to the pot. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover and place in the oven. Cook until the beef is fork tender, about 2 hours. Remove from the oven and place on the stove. Discard the bay leaves.

In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the mushrooms and sauté until softened and golden, about 4 minutes. Add the cooked mushrooms and frozen onions to the stew. Bring the stew back to a boil and adjust seasonings as needed. Serve hot.

Serves 6.

Time Saving Tip: You can use fresh pearl onions in this recipe, but they need to be peeled and cooked first. Frozen onions are equally delicious and save you 15 to 20 minutes of preparation time.

Do Ahead: This stew can be made a day or two in advance. In fact, I think it may be even better the second day. Just reheat the stew on your stove top over medium-low heat.

Freezes Well.


Jennifer Chandler

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