Tag Archives: Bacon

Shrimp BLT’s

This past Labor Day weekend, I was REALLY angling to go to this music festival in Cookeville, Tennessee – The Muddy Roots Music Festival. Lots of rockabilly and roots country/bluegrass, with a few of my favorites being there – Wanda Jackson, Wayne Hancock, Hillbilly Casino, and The Legendary Shack Shakers. But, with the million other things we have going on, we just could not make it happen.  (Next year, I WILL be there.)  To console myself, we bought several desserts from the bakery and I overindulged in fried foods and red wine.  Not quite the same as being at the festival, but it was some good immediate gratification in place of it.

Quite possibly the messiest sandwich I have ever eaten.

Cornmeal Fried Shrimp BLT’s with Old Bay Aioli

Serves 2

  • 1/2 pound large shrimp, peeled, de-veined, and tales removed
  • 4 slices thick cut bacon (or 6 if you have a tendency like me to shove one  slice in your mouth and give one to the dog before you use it in your recipe)
  • 1 large, beautiful tomato, sliced
  • couple leaves lettuce
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • vegetable oil
  • Old Bay Aioli (see recipe below)
  • 1 baguette, cut into 2, 6 inch sections (save remainder for something else)

Make egg wash for shrimp by beating eggs and then mixing in milk.  Make seasoned flour mixture by mixing cornmeal and flour with some salt and pepper and a little bit of red pepper.

To fry shrimp, submerge them in egg wash.  Remove, shake off extra, and put in seasoned cornmeal mixture.  Shake off extra and line them on a sheet pan until ready to fry.

Add oil to a cast iron skillet until comes up sides by about a 1/2 inch. Heat on medium.  When ready to fry, test for it to be at correct temperature by flicking a little flour to oil.  If it starts frying up, it is ready to go.

Add shrimp to pan.  Don’t overcrowd – fry it in two batches if neccesary.  Fry one side about 1 – 2 minutes.  Turn shrimp over with tongs and fry on other side for another 1-2 minutes or until nicely browned.  Remove to a paper towel lined plate or sheet pan and give just a little sprinkle of salt.

In meantime, toast bread in over for just a few minutes at 300 degrees until nice and crispy. Cut down one side and open and flatten like a book. On one side of bread spread Old Bay Aioli, and layer with lettuce and tomatoes. On other side, spread more Aioli, and then layer with the bacon and shrimp.  You are then ready to eat this very messy sandwich!

Old Bay Aioli

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons Old Bay

In a food processor, put in egg yolks, garlic, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt.  Process for just a couple seconds.  With processor running, SLOWLY start pouring in olive oil through food processor chute.  And by slowly, I mean (at first) one tiny dribble at a time.  Once you have several tablespoons of dribbles poured in, the aioli should start coming together (looking thick, pale, mayo-like). At this time, you can start pouring it in more quickly.  Continue until all poured in.  This recipe makes more aioli than is needed.  Save some for later.  I made some extra into tartar sauce and made up some extra fried shrimp and slathered them with the tartar sauce (like I said earlier, I overindulged to compensate for my grouchiness of missing the music).  For purposes of this recipe, take 2 heaping tablespoons of the aioli and mix it with 2 teaspoons of Old Bay.

Fried Shrimp with homemade tartar sauce - just anothe piece of evidence of my over-consumption.


Burger, Round 3 – The Breakfast Burger

Ok, even I’ll admit this burger is over the top.  But it certainly was delicious!  I had been wanting to do a burger with an over easy egg on it, and so I decided to craft it around a kind of “breakfast” theme – burger, bacon, over easy egg, and a maple coffee BBQ sauce.  My original plan was to put it on an English muffin, but somehow I forgot about that small detail at breakfast that morning and ate it then.  Oh well – buns worked out fine.

I think I can actually hear this burger calling my name!

Breakfast Burger with Bacon, Over Easy Egg, and Maple Coffee BBQ Sauce

Serves 2

  • About 10-12 ounces hamburger meat (I prefer 80/20 ratio) split into two patties
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 buns or English Muffins
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup fresh brewed coffee
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth

Generously season patties on both sides with salt and pepper.  Grill over a hot grill about 5 minutes per side for medium to medium rare.

Lay bacon on sheet pan and cook in 350 degree oven for about 12 – 14 minutes, or until just crisp.  Place bacon on paper towel to drain off extra grease.

To make BBQ sauce, sweat onion in a medium sized sauce pan for about 10 minutes.  Add crushed tomatoes, coffee, mustard, maple syrup, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and chicken broth.  Season also with a little salt and pepper. Thoroughly whisk together and let cook over medium heat for about 30 minutes.  Once sauce has cooked down and thickened up some, remove from heat and use either  a blender or an immersion blender to puree it up.

While burgers are finishing up on the grill, brush them with a bit of BBQ sauce during last minute or two of grilling.  Toast buns on grill.

Cook egg in non stick skillet over medium high heat.  Season with salt and pepper, and cook just until whites are set.  To help cook whites and yolks evenly, add a teaspoon or two of water to pan and cover with a lid during last 30 seconds of cooking.

Place burger on bun and add bacon and egg to burger. Slather top bun with more BBQ sauce, top burger with it, and serve.

Breakfast Salad

We have a new restaurant in town, and I’m already in love with one of their salads.  At American Harvest Eatery, they try to source most of their products locally, and their theme is kind  of an upscale comfort food thing, without being stuffy.  With radishes and mixed greens being in season, and us having harvested quite a bit of each from our garden, I decided to try my hand at re-creating this salad that includes radishes, bacon, croutons, greens, a hot sauce vinaigrette, and then finished with a sunny side up egg.

My take on American Harvest's Breakfast Salad

Breakfast Salad

Makes 4 small-ish salads

  • 4 handfuls of mixed greens (maybe 6 cups ish?)
  • 6 slices bacon, cut up
  • bread, cut up into crouton-sized pieces -about 2 cups worth (Ideally day old bread that is not super soft)
  • 12-15 radishes, cut in half long-ways
  • green onions, sliced thin
  • 4 eggs
  • Hot Sauce Vinaigrette, recipe below

Cook bacon in pan on stove over medium heat, until bacon is cooked through and browned.  Drain off grease (throw grease out or save for some other use.)

Toss bread with about 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper.  Bake on sheet pan in single layer in 350 degree oven for about 10-12 minutes, shaking pan once to move around croutons, until brown and crisp.  Set aside to cool after they come out of oven

Toss radishes with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Roast in oven in single layer on sheet pan for about  8-10 minutes, shaking pan once during cooking.  Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

Just before cooking eggs, toss greens with bacon, green onions, croutons, radishes, and vinaigrette and arrange on plates.

To cook eggs, heat a non-stick pan over medium to medium high heat. I just do 2 eggs at a time.  Coat pan with some fat (reserved bacon grease from earlier if you so choose – or just spray it with some Pam cooking spray – whateves).  Once pan is thoroughly heated, gently crack egg into pan.  The idea here is to keep the egg in a somewhat nice oval so the white does not spread all over the pan and they keep a consistant size so they cook evenly and look pretty.  Season with salt and pepper and let cook, turning heat down to just a little under medium if need be.

To get egg white cooked without over-cooking the yolk, add about 1-2 teaspoons of water per egg to the pan after egg has cooked for about 2 minutes and then cover with a lid for about 2 minutes.  Remove lid and let cook about another 30 seconds to one minute, and egg should be good to go at this point and can be placed on top of salad.

Radishes from our garden.

Hot Sauce Vinaigrette

  • 1 tablespoon sriacha
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • about1/3 cup vegetable oil

Whisk sriacha, mustard, vinegar, and honey together in a bowl.  Slowly whisk in vegetable oil until mixture is emulsified. (I use veggie oil here instead of olive oil because I feel like the olive flavor is too pungent for this.)  Season with salt and pepper.


We Got Ourselves a Smoker!

My husband had been angling to get a smoker the past couple years, but we had yet to find one that was in our price range, while sill being fairly quality.  We managed to find one last week, and put it into use on Saturday.  We have a beef brisket on order to do next weekend, but for our first venture, we went with chicken.  We served it with a country-style potato salad and some Swiss chard from our garden.

Smoked chicken with potato salad and Swiss chard from our garden.

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Soft Shell Crabs are Here!

Holy shit.

These are delicious.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

Fried Soft Shell Crabs with Warm Honey Mustard Potato Salad with Bacon and Arugula

Serves 2 main courses or 4 appetizer portions

  • 4 soft shell crabs, cleaned (see additional info under my notes)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Potato Salad (recipe below)
  • Reserved Honey Mustard Dressing for drizzling (recipe below)

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Creamed Corn (With Bacon, of Course)

I’d been having  the desire to make homemade creamed corn since last year, and I’m not sure as to why I never got around to it last summer.  Well, we finally had some good looking corn at the store the other day, and I decided to go for it.  I also picked up some chicken things, dredged them in flour, and gave them a  quick fry in the pan (and then added about a 1/2 cup of stock and finished in a 350 degree oven for about 18 minutes)  to go with them.  It looks like creamed corn is now going to be making lots of appearances at our house this summer.  And I’m thinking that a little bit of fried okra right on top would be a great way to finish this dish next time.

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Look At Those Mussels!

Reasons I love to cook mussels:

1. Inexpensive

2. Easy

3. Looks very impressive

4. Highly versatile

5. Delicious

6. Easy to make a small batch or a large batch for company

Need I go on?

The two mussel dishes we make the most often are the typical/traditional version – white wine and parsley broth and the other is in a lemon broth with blue cheese and bacon.  (Seriously, does every other thing I make have bacon in it?) Oh – and make sure you serve it with some good, crusty bread to soak up all the delicious mussel brothy goodness at the bottom of your bowl.

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