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Posts Tagged ‘bacon’

 

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Penne a la Vodka

Adapted from Semi-Homemade 20-Minute Meals by Sandra Lee

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While most people think of Campbell’s soup, and fried onions when Green Bean Casserole is mentioned, my family thinks of green beans with bacon and tomatoes. 

Every Thanksgiving my mom pulled out her crock pot and made this family favorite.  And it was made for pot lucks too.  And now, because it is a great dish I am carrying on those traditions.     

And one day, I will share with you the amazing crock pot dish that it is.  But today, you get to hear about my adapted version.  Because, I made the quick version the other night. 

The ingredients are pretty straight forward, green beans, bacon, and tomato.  And a little butter

First, cook bacon.  Yes, we eat a lot of bacon.  Baker Man loves bacon.  I think he requires it to live.  It is like breathing for him.  And it makes vegetables more appealing to him.  It is crazy, I know.  But when he asks for seconds of vegetables, I just go with it. 

Tomato Green Bean Cass3

Second, heat frozen green beans in a sauce pan.  I would have preferred the taste of fresh but I detest snapping ends off of green beans so I used frozen.  Melt in a little butter for a little added taste. 

Third, dump a can of diced tomatoes in with the green beans (drain them first).  Again, could have used fresh, but this was easier.  And the tomatoes were “fire roasted” – aka, pre-seasoned. 

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And for the finish, crumble in the cooked bacon and stir it together.  Yum. 

Tomato Green Bean Cass1

Green Beans with Bacon and Tomatoes

INGREDIENTS
6 slices of bacon
1 bag frozen green beans
2 Tbs butter
1 can diced tomatoes, drained – I use pre-seasoned

PREPARATION
Cook bacon.  Cook green beans.  Melt in butter with green beans.  Add tomatoes to green beans.  Crumble bacon in green beans.  Stir and Serve.  

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Several years ago, when I was first starting to experiment with food, I had a night where I was fed up with all of the same recipes I was cooking. I wanted something new.

Unfortunately, per usual, I didn’t have a lot of ingredients lying around. But I did have chicken and bacon. And upon a further search, I found cream cheese. I thought about it for a minute then decided, hey, why not?

This recipe has acquired some new ingredients over the years and changes just about every time I make it. But it is good. And simple. So, I’ll give you the basics and you can experiment from there.
First ingredient….BACON! Cook it. Then let it cool – it doesn’t have to be cold, you just don’t want to burn your fingers later.

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I usually approximate about 1 slice of bacon per roll-up. So in this case, that would have been 5. But Baker Man ALWAYS steals bacon while it is cooling. So, knowing that he is going to do that, I am proactive and cook extra. He actually whined a little when I made the Man-Friendly Salad because I didn’t make extra.

When the bacon is done, set it aside, and cook diced onion in the bacon grease. Cook until it is soft and is turning transparent.

While the bacon and onion are cooking, you can start in on your chicken. I released all of my frustrations that night by pounding chicken with a mallet. It was wonderful.

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The chicken was, well, flat. Now a little trick I learned just recently is that it is a good idea to put the chicken in a plastic bag, or wrap it in plastic wrap when pounding. Or between parchment paper. Otherwise, you get chicken juice splattered all over the place. Ew!

And pound those suckers pretty good. You want them flat because you are going to make pretty chicken roll ups. Thick chicken doesn’t roll well. I had 3 chicken breasts. I ended up cutting 2 in half lengthwise because they were so big.

Lay the chicken breasts out on a flat surface. Spread some cream cheese on the chicken. It is easier if the cream cheese has softened some. Next, add a layer of onion. And finally, some crumbled bacon. Do not overfill your chicken. It will make it harder to roll.

One you have everything on the chicken, very carefully roll the chicken so it looks like a pin wheel on the side. You can secure with a toothpick if you need to. Mine seem to stay on their own. You can also stuff the chicken, or just flop the chicken over. Flop is a very technical word if you were wondering. I actually pounded one chicken too flat in the middle that it broke apart. I just put all the stuffing on one half and put the smaller half on top of the stuffing. It wasn’t quite as pretty, but it worked.

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Finally, bake the chicken at 400 degrees until the juices run clear. You may have some burning on the pan if your cheese oozes out too much or if you use too much oil on the pan. But the chicken should come out moist and delicious.

Cream Cheese Bacon Chicken1

Chicken with Cream Cheese and Bacon

This recipe can be adjusted easily depending on how many servings you want. Ingredients below are listed for one serving.

PREP TIME: Approx 25 min.
COOK TIME: Approx 25 min.

INGREDIENTS
1 or 2 pieces of bacon
A small handful of diced onion
A regular sized chicken breast
3-4 tablespoons of softened cream cheese.

PREPARATION.
Cook bacon in a frying pan. Remove from pan to cool. Cook onion in bacon grease until transparent.

Use mallet to pound chicken flat. Lay chicken out on flat surface. Spread softened cream cheese on one side of chicken. Layer cooked onion on cream cheese. Layer crumbled bacon on top.

Carefully roll chicken so the chicken is on the outside and filling is on the inside. Secure with a toothpick if needed. Place on baking sheet and cook at 400 degrees until chicken is completely cooked through and juices run clear.

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I decided to make a salad the other night with ingredients on hand.  It sounded so good in my head.  And I knew I was going to want to share this with you. But one camera is hiding. And the other camera was full and didn’t want any more food. And I was in too much of a hurry to delete the pictures. And my camera phone is broken so I couldn’t even resort to that.

So, I am going to do something very old-fashioned. I am going to just give you a recipe with very little commentary. And I am going to ask you to do something very old-fashioned as well. Read without pictures. I’m sorry, I know this is horrible but I didn’t want to not share at all!

This salad was delicious. It was a filling salad. It would be a good entertaining salad. It’s a good, “I have leftover chicken that I don’t know what to do with” salad. Even Baker Man went back for seconds – so it is a Man-Friendly Salad. I mean, it has bacon after all.

INGREDIENTS
Bag of baby spinach
½ lb of bacon
3 small apples – I used fuji
1/3 large onion, about 2/3 cup chopped
2 cooked chicken breasts cubed
Grated cheddar cheese – optional
Honey Dijon dressing

PREPARATION
Start by cooking your bacon. While your bacon is cooking, rinse your spinach and let it dry. Then chop your onion. Core and roughly chop your apples.

Set your bacon on a paper towel to drain. Lightly cook the apples and onions in the bacon grease. You want them to be warmed through and just starting to soften. And you don’t have to use the bacon grease if you don’t want too – it just adds a little bit of flavor but you could skip that and make this slightly more healthy.

As for the chicken, I had left over chicken so I sliced it cold and tossed it in the salad. You could grill, bake, broil, sauté, fry, or cook it just about any way you want to and add to the salad. Or you can buy pre-cooked. The point is, cooked chicken, cut bite size, hot or cold.

Mix all of the prepared ingredients into a bowl and toss. Grate cheese into the salad if desired. Or cube cheese. Cubed brie would be delicious in this salad though I used cheddar. Both work with the other ingredients – just in different ways. Serve with Honey Dijon Dressing.

TOTAL PREP TIME – About 10 – 15 minutes (not including chicken cook time)

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