All posts tagged bacon

White Bean and Roasted Mushroom Soup

Published January 31, 2015 by jenmatteson

I remember Campbell’s Bean with Bacon soup making several appearances at my childhood table. I didn’t like it for the longest time. In fact, I didn’t like beans period. Especially baked beans. Clearly, I was a troubled child. I finally overcame my distain for these particular legumes, and embarrassingly enjoyed this sodium packed soup with my family often.

Before roasting mushrooms and onions

Flash forward a particular number of years, and here we are. I saw this recipe in my latest wine shipment insert from Viansa, and thought it was the perfect time of year to make soup. It didn’t once cross my mind that this soup would bring me back to my childhood frienemy, Campbell’s. But oddly enough, it did. Much better, and far more classy, however! 😉

White Bean and Roasted Mushroom Soup

The soup didn’t turn out quite a thick as the photo in the insert appeared, but that could easily be fixed by pureeing more beans. I didn’t, and I still loved it. While the soup reminded me of bean with bacon soup, the smell made me think of a mushroom pizza. Probably because of the roasted mushrooms, thyme and sage (great observation, Captain Obvious!). The roasted mushrooms alone were amazing, I could have probably just eaten the entire pan full, but because I didn’t have any more, I restrained myself and put them in the soup.

White Bean and Roasted Mushroom Soup

Adding the crispy pancetta is an absolute necessity. If you don’t have it, or don’t want to spend the dough for it, bacon would be a fine substitute. The crunchiness of the pancetta give the soup a balanced texture, while the salt really deepens the flavors. Serve with a  salad or a nice hunk of bread (rosemary focaccia pictured above) and you have a wonderful, light but filling winter meal.

White Bean and Roasted Mushroom Soup

Source: Adapted from Viansa
Servings: About 8


1-2 tbsp. olive oil
6 oz. pancetta
16 oz. mushrooms, halved or quartered (so they are similar in size)
2 large sweet onions, quartered
3 garlic cloves, slightly crushed
1 1/2 tsp salt, divided
1 1/2 tsp pepper, divided
8-10 fresh sage leaves
8-10 stems + 1 tbsp. fresh thyme, divided
48 oz. chicken broth
3-15 oz cans white beans, drained


1. Drizzle olive oil in small saucepan over medium heat. Add pancetta and cook until crispy and golden, about 8-10 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon and place on a paper towel-lined plate.

2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Toss mushrooms, onions and garlic with olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread on prepared baking sheet. Add sage leaves and stems of thyme. Roast for 10 minutes, toss, and roast for additional 15 minutes.

3. While vegetables are roasting, add broth, beans, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper and 1 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves to a large stock pot. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. When vegetables are done roasting, separate mushrooms from onions and garlic. Retrieve 2 cups of the white beans and 1 cup of the broth from the stock pot. Add to food processor or blender along with roasted onions and garlic. Blend until smooth.

4. Add pureed bean mixture back to stock pot, bring to a boil and whisk until smooth. Reduce heat to simmer. Add roasted mushrooms to soup. Salt and pepper to taste and top with pancetta.

Mashed Potatoes with Bacon and Mustard

Published January 8, 2014 by jenmatteson

Day 3 of mashed potato week, and I did the unthinkable.  What makes everything better?  That’s right!  Bacon.  Did the title of the post give it away?  It’s okay, I wanted you to get it right anyway.

Bacon and Mustard Mashed Potatoes

Of all the mashed potatoes I’m sharing this week, these are my second favorite.  My favorite is tomorrow’s post, so come back to see what it is!  I’ll admit, the mustard part sounded a little unusual, but it really just add a deep richness to the flavor, without actually tasting like mustard.  The bacon really cuts through the acidity of the mustard and vinegar, balancing out the overall flavor.  These would be a fantastic addition to any backyard barbeque, and a no-brainer side for anything smoked.

Bacon and Mustard Mashed Potatoes

Mashed Potatoes with Bacon and Mustard

Source: Adapted from Food and Wine
Servings: 10-12


4 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
kosher salt
1/2 lb thick-cut bacon, finely diced
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
1/4 apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp whole grain mustard
1 stick unsalted butter
1 1/4 cup milk
1 cup low-fat mayonnaise
1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped


1. In a large saucepan, cover potatoes with water and bring to a boil.  Add a generous amount of kosher salt and simmer over moderate heat until potatoes are fork tender, about 20 minutes.  Drain potatoes.

2. In a large skillet, cook bacon over high heat until crisp, about 8 minutes.  Transfer bacon to paper towel to drain.  Pour off all but 2 tbsp of fat in the skillet.  Return pan to heat and add onion.  Cook over moderate heat until just starting to brown, 6-8 minutes.  Add vinegar and mustard and cook, stirring continuously until most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 2 minutes.

3. In the same saucepan the potatoes cooked in, melt butter in milk over moderate heat.  Remove from heat and press the potatoes through a ricer into the saucepan and mix well.  Fold in the mayonnaise, bacon, onion mixture and parsley.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Spicy Maple Baked Beans

Published March 12, 2013 by jenmatteson

While baked beans are not on my 30 Before 30 list, they’ve always been something I’ve wanted to try my hand at.  I came across this recipe in Food and Wine last month, and decided to jump on it!  I usually shy away from recipes with an extensive list of ingredients, but I realized that most of the ingredients were things I already had in my kitchen, many being seasonings, so it wasn’t that big of a deal.  Don’t let the list overwhelm you.

Spicy Maple Baked Beans

Instead of using canned beans (which are super convenient, but high in sodium – don’t worry, I use them all the time!), I decided to used dried since I had the time to let them soak.  However, as I glanced over the recipe, I thought it called for just one 15 oz can of beans.  I converted that to dried beans, which was just less than 1/4 cup.  After the beans had soaked and were cooking, I started putting together the sauce.  As I added more and more to the saucepan, I started thinking, this sure is a lot of sauce for one measly can of beans.  After revisiting the recipe (always a good idea), I realized the recipe called for 4-15 oz cans of beans.  WHOOOPS!  Might have had something to do with the cocktail I was drinking…or the 6 other things I was making simultaniously…or both.  In the end, I used the whole bag of dried of beans, but the entire recipe took me some extra time.

These beans were sooooo good!  Spicy and sweet, with a little smokey from the bacon and hot dogs.  I think I could have eaten an entire bowl of these for dinner, but I didn’t  For my taste, they were slightly too sweet, so next time I would probably cut the sugar a bit, but as I just mentioned, I absolutely loved them anyway!  This will be a great side for BBQ season!

**UPDATE: 3/19/2013 – My friends absolutely loved these beans.  Nate said they were the best beans he’s ever had. This has for sure made the summer BBQ list.  SOOOOO GOOD!

Spicy Maple Baked Beans

Spicy Maple Baked Beans

Source: Adapted from Food and Wine
Servings: 10-12


1 cup ketchup
1 cup pure maple syrup
1 cup porter or other dark ale (I used Guinness)
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
1/2 cup powdered mustard
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp granulated onion
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Kosher salt
4 slices of bacon, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1 lb dried navy beans (*substitute 4-15 oz cans of navy beans, rinsed)
10 all-beef hot dogs, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise


1. Pre-soak and cook beans according to package directions.

2. In a saucepan, combine all ingredients except salt, bacon, onion, beans and hot dogs.  Bring sauce to a boil.  Whisk to dissolve sugar completely.  Reduce heat to low and simmer until reduced by one-third, about 20 minutes.  Season with salt.  You  might not need too much if you are using canned beans.

3. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, cook the bacon over moderate heat, stirring until the fat has rendered and bacon just begins to crisp, about 6-8 minutes.  Add onion and cook until softened, 8 minutes.  Stir in beans, hot dogs and sauce.  Cover partially and bake for 1 hour, until beans are glazed.  Season with salt to taste and serve.

TBA (Turkey, Bacon, Avocado) on Tomato Basil

Published February 12, 2013 by jenmatteson

If you haven’t tried this tomato basil bread yet, you’re really missing out.  What are you waiting for?  Of course I just made it on Saturday night, and so I was dying to make a sandwich with it for lunch on Sunday.  It snowed all day on Sunday, and while Nate headed out to shovel for the second time, I started these sandwiches.  To take it to the next level, I even broke out the Panini press!  Oh yeah 😉

Turkey Bacon Avocado on Tomato Basil

I added a little mozzarella to Nate’s sandwich (we had a tiny bit in the fridge that I just wanted to use up), but of course I loved it without .  There was so much flavor, I wouldn’t even know where to begin explaining it.  Crisp salty bacon, creamy avocado, oven roasted turkey, and fresh, fluffy tomato and basil bread.  It was a perfect little lunch on a snowy day.  I also brough one for lunch today – minus the bacon and Panini pressed part.  Looking forward to lunch in a few minutes…

Turkey Bacon Avocado on Tomato Basil

TBA on Tomato Basil

Source: Pigzilla Original
Servings: 2 sandwiches


4 slices tomato basil bread
2 tbsp low-fat mayonnaise or Miracle Whip
16 leaves fresh spinach
sliced red onion
1/2 lb oven roasted turkey
4 slices cooked bacon
1/2 avocado, sliced thin
mozzarella (if desired)


1. Spread 1 tbsp of mayonnaise on two slices of bread.  After the mayonnaise, layer each slice with 8 spinach leaves, sliced red onion, 1/4 lb oven roasted turkey, two slices bacon and avocado slices (add mozzarella if desired).    Top each with remaining slices of bread.

2. Place sandwich on heated Panini grill.  Press and cook for 2-4 minutes.  Keep an eye on it so the bread doesn’t burn. Remove, slice, and enjoy!

Potato Slabs

Published October 15, 2012 by jenmatteson

I love super simple appetizers that are easy to make, easy to eat and delicious. I saw these potato slabs at A Taste of Home Cooking, and thought, how simple! Plus, I almost always have all these ingredients in my kitchen. Bonus! This will make for a quick appetizer for last-minute or pop-in guests.

Nate requested that I use the ripple blade on the mandolin instead of the straight edge, and I obliged. They were definitely no thinner than 1/4″ thick, which the recipe calls for, but mine cooked much faster than the suggested cooking time. The original recipe calls for 30 minutes on one side, 15 on the other, then 10 minutes with the toppings. After about 15 minutes on the first side, my potatoes were crisp. I flipped them right away, topped them with the cheese and bacon, and cooked for only another 5 minutes and they were done. Done done. I tried to only serve those that were extremely well done, but they were so well liked that I ended up having to serve them all. I guess they were good 😉 Next time will be better though. I suggest 10-12 minutes on one side, 10-12 on the other, then just enough time to melt the cheese.

Potato Slabs

Source: A Taste of Home Cooking
Servings: 4


2 large baking potatoes, sliced thin (1/4″-inch)
salt and pepper
1/3 cup shredded cheese (I used cheddar)
2 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 green onions, sliced


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place potatoes on foil-lined and greased baking sheet in one layer. Sprinkle salt, pepper and paprika on each side.

2. Cook for 10-12 minutes, or until tops begin to brown, but not crisp. Remove from oven, flip, and cook for another 10-12 minutes, until potatoes begin to brown and become crisp but not burnt.

3. Remove from oven and top each with cheese and bacon. Return to oven just until cheese is melted, less than 5 minutes. Remove from oven and top with green onions. Serve with sour cream, hot sauce, and/or salsa.

B.L.T. with Poached Egg and Basil Mayo

Published September 30, 2012 by jenmatteson

I’m still on tomato overload and finally made our first B.L.T.s with them (I really can’t believe it’s taken this long!).  However, I wanted to make them a little fancy, so I added a poached egg and basil mayo.  Not that B.L.T.s alone aren’t good enough, because let’s face it, bacon and fresh from the garden tomatoes, YUM!  But, I thought the egg would add just a little bit of class (because “money can’t buy you class”, right Countess LuAnn?).  I love basil on my B.L.T.s, but didn’t have any on hand.  I went for the next best thing and mixed an equal amounts of basil pesto and Miracle Whip (mayonnaise would work just fine, but we prefer the tangy zip of the Whip).

Taking a picture of this beauty was another story.  Of course, as mentioned previously (and probably in many posts to come this winter), the pictures aren’t very good since it gets so dark so soon now-a-days (yes, I’m blaming light, not my photography skills, and I can because I haven’t yet invested in one of those super fancy lights).  Not only does the lighting suck, but I was afraid to put the top of the sandwich on and cut it, because of course, the beautifully poached egg would puncture.  That’s the point of the sandwich in the first place, but trying to capture that moment when the yolk leaks out of the egg and all over the rest of the sandwich is an art.  Which is precisely why I am not a food photographer, or even a photographer in general!

This was really good.  Nate didn’t even speak a word while putting it down.  Very quick, very easy, and if you can’t or don’t want to poach an egg, you can always use a fried over easy egg.  Works the same!

B.L.T. with Poached Egg and Basil Mayo

Source: Pigzilla Original
Servings: 2 sandwiches


2 tsp distilled vinegar
2 eggs
2 tbsp basil pesto
2 tbsp Miracle Whip (or mayonnaise)
4 slices whole wheat bread, toasted
16 leaves spinach, washed and dried
1 large tomato, sliced
6 slices bacon, cooked


1. Fill a large sauce pan with water and add vinegar.  Bring to a low simmer.  Slowly add eggs, one at a time (tips for a perfectly poached egg).  Cook for about 3 minutes, until whites are set and yolks are warm and runny.

2. Combine pesto and Miracle Whip in a small bowl.  Spread on one side of the four slices of toasted bread.  Layer one slice of bread with spinach, tomato, bacon, and top with poached egg.  Add second slice of bread and serve immediately.

Not Grandma’s Coleslaw

Published September 7, 2012 by jenmatteson

I never liked any coleslaw growing up besides my grandma’s.  She made the absolute best “traditional” coleslaw, hands down.  It was creamy, but not watery or too wet, and had the perfect amount of tang and sweetness.  I can only recall helping her make it once, and it was so long ago, that I have a minimal memory of what went in it.  Unfortunately for me, and now you, she passed away almost three years ago, and I have yet to perfect it.  Here is one of my favorite photos of my Grammie and me.

That being said, I’m not sharing her recipe with you today.  What I am sharing is a super delicious recipe from Nicole of Prevention RD.  I was in search of a “traditional” coleslaw to serve with my slow cooker pulled pork sandwiches on my cooking board, when someone suggested her bacon coleslaw.  It seemed close enough to Grammie’s recipe, so I thought I’d give it whirl.

When throwing this together before my fantasy draft, among doing several other things at precisely the same time, I sort of forgot about measurements.  Instead of purchasing the pre-shredded bags of cabbage or coleslaw mix, I grabbed two heads of cabbage, one purple and one green.  I shredded up half of the green before realizing I was about to have a cabbage situation on my hands.  Not to be out-done, half of the purple was shredded too.  I followed the other measurements of Nicole’s recipe, and only added as much cabbage as necessary to use up the dressing.  Over the last few days, I’ve been adding more and more – you know how it seems to get soggy after a few days?  Adding more shredded cabbage kept the coleslaw crisp and fresh tasting.

The slaw was great (though not as good as grandma’s)!  However, I felt that the bacon kind of went unnoticed.  I may use more next time, or thicker, better quality bacon.  When you did get a bite of the bacon, it was excellent!  I served this along side of my slow cooker pulled pork sandwiches, and don’t be afraid to put it right on top of your sandwich.  What a great combination!?

Bacon Coleslaw

Source: Adapted from Prevention RD
Servings: 4-6


10 oz shredded cabbage or coleslaw mix
1/2 red onion, minced
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
3 tsp cider vinegar
1/3 cup + 1 tbsp low-fat mayonnaise (Miracle Whip would work and give more of a zip)
1 1/2 tsp sugar
4 pieces bacon, cooked and crumbled


1. In a large bowl, combine cabbage or coleslaw mix and minced onion.  In a medium-sized bowl, mix together salt, pepper, vinegar, mayonnaise and sugar.

2. Adding a little at a time, stir dressing into the vegetable mixture until dressed as desired.  Fold in crumbled bacon.  refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving, allowing flavors to develop.

Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers

Published August 9, 2012 by jenmatteson

I haven’t posted anything in quite some time – I promise, I’m  not giving up on my blog already.  Summer has gotten the best of me and we’ve had too many events, gatherings and parties to do much of any cooking at home.  Add in some life changes, and blogging has taken a backseat.

But, we did host our tasting group, albeit a very small tasting group, on Saturday.  This one was sort of last-minute, it was changed around so many  times, and people are so busy in the summer that it wasn’t as well attended as they usually are.  However, it was still an awesome time with some great friends!  The theme of this party was Olympics, so contestants had to bring a drink that was at least one color of the Olympic rings.  Nate and I made the Panty Ripper; a drink that was introduced to us in Belize.  Check out that post for the winner of the drink tasting and a deliciously refreshing summer beverage!

For snacks, I made jalapeno poppers, one more thing on my 30 Before 30 list.  There are so many different ways to make jalapeno poppers, some are breaded and fried, some are just stuffed, some are even wrapped in bacon.  Well, the bacon wrapped version sounded good to me, and it sure was!  I de-seeded the jalapenos, so they definitely weren’t as spicy as they could have been, but I wanted to make sure they weren’t too hot for my guests.

I didn’t alter the original recipe much.  I added green onions and par-baked the bacon so it would get crispier on the grill without flaring (too much) or overcooking the jalapenos.  I thought about omitting the sun-dried tomatoes, as they seemed like an unusual ingredient in this mix, but I didn’t because I love them.  It was a great addition and really gave the poppers some deep flavors beyond the bacon and cream cheese.  They seemed like a pretty big hit.  These are wonderful for a party or even tailgating – football season is approaching fast!

What’s your favorite tailgating recipe?

Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers

Source: Adapted from Food Network
Servings: Makes 20 poppers


20 jalapenos (larger are easier to stuff, but smaller are spicier)
12 oz cream cheese, softened
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
4-6 leaves fresh basil, chopped
1/4 cup green onions, chopped
salt and pepper
2 lbs bacon


1. Slice jalapenos lengthwise on one side, careful not to slice all the way through the jalapeno.  Remove seeds (or leave if you like them spicy).  You may need to slice just below the stem in order to get the seeds out and make an opening large enough to stuff.  Make sure to keep stem in tact.

2. In a large bowl, mix cream cheese, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, basil and onions.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Transfer mixture into piping bag, or a zip top plastic bag with small corner cut.

3. Carefully fill each jalapeno with cream cheese mixture.  There should be a liberal amount in each pepper, but not too much so the filling doesn’t leak out during grilling.

4. Wrap each filled jalapeno with a slice of bacon and secure with a toothpick (I used two toothpicks in each popper).  Grill over medium-low heat until bacon is crispy, turning a few times, about 12-18 minutes total, depending on size of jalapenos and thickness of bacon.  Be sure to stay close as the bacon grease can flame up in hurry.

5. Remove from grill, let cool slightly, and serve.

Bacon Blues?

Published July 7, 2012 by jenmatteson

Who doesn’t love bacon?  Seriously.  I generally try to eat healthy, but there are some things that are just better with bacon.  There really is no substitute.  Have you ever tried turkey bacon?  If not, don’t bother.  It really doesn’t even come close to bacon as a substitute.

One thing that isn’t so awesome about bacon is that it splatters grease everywhere when you fry it; it gets all over your stove top, countertops, sometimes even on you.  I hate frying bacon.  But a great way to cook it without the hassle is in the oven.  If you place the bacon strips on a wire rack with a baking sheet underneath and bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or until it reaches desired crispness.  Viola!  Less mess, less grease, and perfectly cooked, crisp bacon.

Another thing that is not always so great about bacon is the way it’s packaged.  If we are eating bacon, we are eating maybe 4-6 slices at a time.  Well, have you ever tried to take just a few slices off a slab of frozen bacon?  You really can’t without destroying the bacon slices, or completely unthawing the entire slab.  If you take an extra 5 minutes when you get your bacon home from the grocery store to separate and freeze the strips, then you’ll be able to grab just one or two slices at a time when you’re ready to use.

Line a baking sheet with wax paper.  Lay strips of bacon in a single layer on wax paper and freeze.

Once bacon is frozen, about one hour, you can just peel each strip off the wax paper, throw in a gallon sized zip-top bag, and boom!  Bacon at your fingertips in an instant.

What’s your best time-saving tip in the kitchen?

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