bacon

Kosher Baked Beans and "Bacon"

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It’s really cold outside.

Really cold.

And yesterday there was a snow squall. Cold, snowy and blowy with no visibility for about a half hour.

I can’t complain though. It’s MUCH colder in the midwest.

Also my house is nice and warm and toasty.

And I have these baked beans for dinner. Real, authentic Boston baked beans with bacon. Ok, kosher bacon. There are many brands to choose from, but I used Abeles & Heymann’s newish chunk beef bacon because Seth Leavitt, A&H owner, gave me a piece of it a while ago. He said “go experiment.” Which I did. And out came these fabulous beans.

Dinner. Add a green vegetable.

Just like in Colonial times (minus the green vegetable).

Btw, this is a good dish for Superbowl parties — by itself, but it’s also a nice accompaniment to chicken wings.

Kosher Baked Beans and “Bacon”

  • 1 pound dried navy or great northern beans

  • water

  • 6 ounces kosher bacon, cut into chunks

  • 1 medium onion, chopped

  • 1/2 cup ketchup

  • 1/3 cup honey

  • 1/4 cup molasses

  • 4 whole cloves

  • 2 teaspoons powdered mustard

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Place the beans in a large saucepan and cover them with water. Bring the water to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat and cook for 2 minutes.  Remove the pan from the heat and let the beans soak for one hour. Drain the beans and return them to the pot. Cover the beans again with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat and simmer for 45 minutes. (Alternatively, cover the beans with water and let them soak for at least 8 hours.) Drain. Place the beans in a casserole. Add the bacon, onion, ketchup, honey, molasses, cloves, mustard and salt and mix thoroughly to blend the ingredients. Stir in 3 cups water. Pour the mixture over the bean mixture. Cover the casserole and put it in the oven. Set the temperature at 300 degrees and cook the beans at least 4 hours, or until they are tender, stirring them occasionally and adding water, if necessary to keep the beans moist. 

 Makes 8 servings

Comforting Pasta Amatriciana

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When you feel let down or sad you need to do something special to help cheer yourself up.

Some people shop, some go to a spa for a facial, some exercise like crazy (when my brother was going through a divorce he ran super marathons -- 110 miles!)

To say that the election of 2016 was a disappointment for me is a huge understatement. 

I need cheering up, and my favorite coping mechanism is: eating. Mostly potatoes. So one night I had two baked potatoes for dinner.

But now I need real, actual food, a regular dinner entree. Something more substantial and also comforting. 

Pasta! 

With red sauce. AND smokey with (I use Jack's Gourmet Facon) bacon and (I used Jack's Gourmet Sweet Italian Beef Sausage) sausage. And a little gentle (chili pepper) heat.

Bucatini Amatriciana!

Yum.

Celebration-worthy.

Kosher Pasta Amatriciana

  • 4 ounces kosher beef or lamb bacon, chopped
  • 3 ounces kosher Italian style sausage, diced
  • 2 ounces olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, chopped
  • 3 pounds tomatoes, chopped (or use canned tomatoes)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 pound cooked bucatini

Cook the bacon in a large saucepan over low-medium heat until lightly crispy. Add the sausage and cook for another 2-3 minutes or until the meats are browned. Remove the meats with a slotted spoon and set aside. Pour the olive oil into the pan. Add the onion and cook for 2-3 minutes or until slightly softened. Add the garlic, cook briefly, then add the tomatoes, parsley and red pepper. Return the bacon and sausage to the sauce. Simmer for about 20 minutes. Pour over the pasta, toss and serve. 

 Makes 4 servings

 

Frisee aux Lardons

Kosher Frisee aux Lardons? Sounds like an oxymoron. Because this dish is based on  lardons  !  which are crusty little fried pieces of pork fat. 
 Definitely not kosher. 
 However. Frisee aux Lardons using  Facon  (a new product from  Jack’s Gourmet ) definitely is. 
  No one sent me any free Facon. No one asked me to use it.  
  I just tasted it and knew it was meant for big things.  
  Like this Frisee aux Lardons, which essentially is this lovely, light, springlike salad comprised of cooked bacon, poached egg and a light dressing that uses the rendered meat fat instead of salad oil.  
  Do try it.  
     
  Frisee aux Lardons  
     
  2 heads frisee  
  6-8 ounces Facon, cut up  
  4 poached eggs  
  5 tablespoons white wine vinegar or lemon juice  
  2 teaspoons light brown sugar  
  salt and freshly ground pepper to taste  
     
  Wash and dry the lettuce leaves and divide the greens among 4 plates. Cut the Facon into dice and cook in a saute pan over low-medium heat for 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently, or until the pieces are crispy and golden brown. Scatter the pieces over the frisee. Set the pan aside. Place a poached egg on top of each salad. Add the wine vinegar and brown sugar to the pan. Cook over high heat briefly while whisking the pan drippings, vinegar and brown sugar together. Immediately pour over the frisee. Makes 4 servings

Kosher Frisee aux Lardons? Sounds like an oxymoron. Because this dish is based on lardons! which are crusty little fried pieces of pork fat.

Definitely not kosher.

However. Frisee aux Lardons using Facon (a new product from Jack’s Gourmet) definitely is.

No one sent me any free Facon. No one asked me to use it.

I just tasted it and knew it was meant for big things.

Like this Frisee aux Lardons, which essentially is this lovely, light, springlike salad comprised of cooked bacon, poached egg and a light dressing that uses the rendered meat fat instead of salad oil.

Do try it.

 

Frisee aux Lardons

 

2 heads frisee

6-8 ounces Facon, cut up

4 poached eggs

5 tablespoons white wine vinegar or lemon juice

2 teaspoons light brown sugar

salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

 

Wash and dry the lettuce leaves and divide the greens among 4 plates. Cut the Facon into dice and cook in a saute pan over low-medium heat for 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently, or until the pieces are crispy and golden brown. Scatter the pieces over the frisee. Set the pan aside. Place a poached egg on top of each salad. Add the wine vinegar and brown sugar to the pan. Cook over high heat briefly while whisking the pan drippings, vinegar and brown sugar together. Immediately pour over the frisee. Makes 4 servings

Rumaki

Would you believe this is kosher? 
 I mean — looks like bacon doesn’t it? 
 But it’s Facon. Fake bacon. A new product from  Jack’s Gourmet . It’s made with beef. It is salty, smoky and with just the right amount of fat to give it a rich, smooth feel. 
 I used it to make these Rumaki, which I served at my Academy Awards get-together. I can tell you this: some of my guests were not kosher, not Jewish. Everyone ate these and raved about them. 
 When people come to my house for dinner they know they’re usually going to get some experiment (or two or three) and are always wondering when it will come in the meal. But they didn’t think this was it and when I told them what this stuff was the y were all flabbergasted  .  
 So here’s the recipe: 
 Rumaki 

  1/2 pound chicken livers  
  1/4 cup soy sauce  
  2 tablespoons molasses  
  2 tablespoons honey  
  2 tablespoons water  
  1 tablespoon vegetable oil  
  2 tablespoons crumbled crystallized ginger  
  1 clove garlic, finely chopped  
  1/2 star anise (or use 1/4 teaspoon anise extract)  
  1/2 pound Facon  
     
  Cut the chicken livers into bite-sized pieces. Combine the soy sauce, molasses, honey, water, vegetable oil, ginger, garlic and anise in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer. Add the livers and poach them for 5 minutes. Preheat a grill or broiler. Remove the liver pieces with a slotted spoon and let cool. Cut the Facon slices into smaller pieces that are large enough to wrap around each piece of poached liver. Secure each Facon-wrapped liver with a toothpick. Broil or grill the rumaki for several minutes, turning occasionally, until the Facon is browned and crispy. Makes 18-20 pieces

Would you believe this is kosher?

I mean — looks like bacon doesn’t it?

But it’s Facon. Fake bacon. A new product from Jack’s Gourmet. It’s made with beef. It is salty, smoky and with just the right amount of fat to give it a rich, smooth feel.

I used it to make these Rumaki, which I served at my Academy Awards get-together. I can tell you this: some of my guests were not kosher, not Jewish. Everyone ate these and raved about them.

When people come to my house for dinner they know they’re usually going to get some experiment (or two or three) and are always wondering when it will come in the meal. But they didn’t think this was it and when I told them what this stuff was they were all flabbergasted.

So here’s the recipe:

Rumaki

1/2 pound chicken livers

1/4 cup soy sauce

2 tablespoons molasses

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons water

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 tablespoons crumbled crystallized ginger

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1/2 star anise (or use 1/4 teaspoon anise extract)

1/2 pound Facon

 

Cut the chicken livers into bite-sized pieces. Combine the soy sauce, molasses, honey, water, vegetable oil, ginger, garlic and anise in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer. Add the livers and poach them for 5 minutes. Preheat a grill or broiler. Remove the liver pieces with a slotted spoon and let cool. Cut the Facon slices into smaller pieces that are large enough to wrap around each piece of poached liver. Secure each Facon-wrapped liver with a toothpick. Broil or grill the rumaki for several minutes, turning occasionally, until the Facon is browned and crispy. Makes 18-20 pieces