Tag Archives: bacon

Bacon Tasting at Tim Horton’s + My Favorite Way to Make Bacon

Tim Horton's Bacon Tasting Event 3/14/13

Ahh, the perks of being a food blogger. Sure, I’ve received products to review, hosted giveaways, and met some amazing food blogger friends throughout my 2+ years blogging here, but I gotta say, being invited to a BACON TASTING PARTY has got to be up there in my top 10 food blogging experiences.

That’s right, a Bacon. Tasting. Party!!

Tim Horton's Bacon Tasting Event 3/14/13

Tim Horton’s (which holds a very fond place in my heart from my years spent in Canada) was generous enough to invite me and a few other food bloggers to their new location on Houston St. on the Lower East Side of Manhattan for an event celebrating their new, thick-cut, Hickory, double-smoked bacon. And let me tell you, get all your thoughts of sad little fast-food chain bacon strips out of your mind. This stuff is not only something I consider very much edible (and I do NOT eat at fast food chains often), but it’s actually delicious!

Tim Horton's Bacon Tasting Event 3/14/13

They had an awesome setup in the store- beautiful staging, with a gorgeous wooden table laden with flowers, fabrics and of course, bacon paraphernalia. Apologies in advance, but all I had on hand with me at the event was my iPhone, which hopefully explains away some of the picture quality issues here!

We got to sample a bunch of different items, including their breakfast sandwich with bacon, egg and cheese on maple bread, a grilled cheese with bacon and tomato, their delicious BLT, and the piece de resistance: a maple bacon donut! This is apparently a secret item on their menu- but if you go to the counter, you can ask them to make one special for you. Shhh… you didn’t hear it from me!

Tim Horton's Bacon Tasting Event 3/14/13

I will admit I was very skeptical of the whole bacon from a donut shop idea… but Karen Gold, Manager of Product Development for Breakfast and Lunch over at Tim Horton’s explained how the process to revamp their bacon line took eight months of sampling, trying new flavors, and working with suppliers. I repeat, eight months of trying bacon for the sake of your job. Rough life, huh?!

But just look at that bacon! It’s meaty, and chewy, it’s thick cut… and it’s flavorful. Another awesome thing they did for us was bring in a “sensory expert” who explained to us the three components of flavor: taste, aromatics, and chemical feeling factors. I did not expect a science lesson, but it was really interesting understanding how all of those aspects factor into our brain understanding the flavor of a particular food. In the case of bacon, it combines so many different tastes… salty, sweet, and umami- the fifth (and my favorite) taste!

Overall this was an awesome event, and I really appreciate the invite from the Tim Horton’s team. Wait, did I mention there were bacon-covered Timbits (donut holes)? Because there were. So many of them. So many delicious bacon-covered Timbits. These are NOT on the menu, secret or otherwise… but they were AWESOME!

Tim Horton's Bacon Tasting Event 3/14/13

 

Since I just showed you so much bacon awesomeness, I wanted to share with you my favorite way to prepare perfectly crispy, delicious bacon strips. I first saw Alex Guarnaschelli cook bacon this way on her show Alex’s Day Off, and it’s the only way I make my bacon now. Don’t get turned off by adding water to the bacon while it’s frying- it actually leads to exteremely crispy yet chewy strips.

5.0 from 1 reviews

My Favorite Way to Make Bacon
 
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Serves: 4

Ingredients
  • 8 slices bacon
  • ½ cup water

Instructions
  1. In a medium skillet, lay out the bacon strips, then add the water.
  2. Bring the water to a simmer and allow all of the water to reduce and cook until the bacon strips are nice and crispy.

Thanks again to Tim Horton’s for the invite to this great event. Check out more photos on my Flickr page… and here’s hoping your weekend is filled with bacon 🙂

Happy Eating 🙂
mally

PS. I was not compensated in any way for attending this event or writing this post. I sincerely enjoyed the event and product and wanted to share with you all!

Loaded Mashed Potatoes

Loaded Mashed Potatoes
I know, I know, it’s still summer. Who wants to eat hot potatoes when there’s so much fresh and cool fruit and vegetables to be had? But sometimes, you just need some comfort food. Something that screams cozy, happy, warm nights at home. Something that’s filling, something that’s wholesome. Something with roasted, garlic cheese and bacon in it.

Oh, that’s right. I’m not done with bacon just yet. And to add delight to deliciousness, we’re throwing roasted garlic and yummy sharp cheddar cheese in the mix. These are not your mother’s mashed potatoes. Or, maybe they are. No disrespect to her.

Start out with some delicious, yellow Yukon Golds. Add in some sweet, savory and rich roasted garlic. Shred in some cheeeeeese, and throw in that salty, crispy, and just dang delicious bacon. You got a party going!

Loaded Mashed Potatoes

And if you’re feeling guilty, add those chives up top! They count as vegetables here. I promise.

5.0 from 1 reviews

Loaded Mashed Potatoes
 
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Serves: 4

Ingredients
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, peel in tact
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt, divided
  • 4-5 Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed and peeled
  • ½ cup milk
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup sharp cheddar cheese
  • 4 slices bacon, chopped into ¼ inch bits (optional)
  • finely chopped chives, for garnish

Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350. In a small baking dish, add the unpeeled garlic cloves, olive oil, and half the salt. Toss to cover the garlic cloves in salt and oil. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 25-30 minutes, until delightfully roasted and yummy. Remove from the oven and let cool.
  2. Cut your peeled potatoes into 2-inch chunks. Place potato chunks into a large pot and fill with cold water just until it covers the potato chunks. Add the salt, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium, cover and let simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. The potatoes are done when you can easily pierce a chunk with a fork.
  3. While the potatoes are cooking, heat up the milk and butter separately in the microwave or on the stove. You want the milk to be warm, and the butter to be melted. Now’s the time you’ll want to fry up your bacon bits in a frying pan, if you’re using them. I like my bacon crispy, but you can cook to whatever done-ness you prefer.
  4. When potatoes are done, drain into a colander. You want to let the potatoes to drain for a minute or two- boiled potatoes that sit in water can start to jellify and get swollen and weird. Who wants that?
  5. Return the potatoes to the pot, and lower the heat to low or medium low. Using a potato masher or potato ricer, start to mash the potatoes. Add the melted butter and warmed milk and stir it all up. Add the bacon bits, cheese, and roasted garlic (squeeze the cloves out of the peel first!). Give it all one more stir and salt to taste.
  6. Garnish with chives and serve!

 

Happy Eating 🙂
mally

The Bacon Burger

The Bacon Burger

My boyfriend’s not much of a cook. That’s not to say he’s not a good cook- its just that he very rarely takes to the kitchen (to be fair, there’s a lot of good takeout around here). Which is a shame, because sometimes he has absolutely amazing ideas. In this instance, his idea was so good I had to put it into practice myself!

What was this great culinary hypothesis, you ask? Well, let me start out by saying we both are pretty nuts about bacon. Bacon in sandwiches, bacon crumbles on potatoes, bacon on its own (my personal favorite). We decided we wanted to make burgers over the weekend- and as expected, we knew we wanted bacon as a crispy, crunchy, salty topping.

But have you ever taken a big bite of a burger with bacon on it, only to have the bacon slide out between the buns? It’s basically the most disappointing feeling, ever. So my boyfriend suggested, “Why don’t we put the bacon IN the burger?”

In the burger? IN THE BURGER? YES. Double yes. So much yes. Read on and have your carnivorous life be changed forever…

The Bacon Burger

The Bacon Burger
 
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Serves: 6

Ingredients
  • ~1 lb ground beef (a little more or less is fine)
  • 8 strips good, meaty bacon (I used Applegate all-natural Sunday bacon because it’s really thick and delicious)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano, or other favorite spice
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1-2 tbsp barbecue sauce
  • 6 english muffins
Toppings (all optional):
  • Your favorite sliced cheese
  • Arugula
  • Tomatoes, sliced
  • Arugula pesto
  • Ketchup
  • Mustard

Instructions
  1. Chop the bacon into small, ¼ inch pieces. In a pan over medium heat, cook until nice and crispy, about 8-10 minutes. Remove the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels and let cool while you assemble the rest of the burgers.
  2. In a large bowl, using your hands (or a potato masher if you’re squeamish) combine the ground beef, oregano, salt, egg and barbecue sauce. Add bacon and combine once more. Divide the mixture into 6 patties. I also use my finger to make a shallow hole in the center of one side, to allow the burger to cook evenly throughout. This and the preceding steps can be done ahead if you want to prep for a party and not have to make the patties then and there.
  3. When you’re ready to grill, heat the barbecue over medium-high heat. Add the burgers and cook for 5-7 minutes on each side. This will vary depending on the size and thickness of your burgers.
  4. PLEASE resist the urge to squeeze down the burgers with your turner/spatula- you will be squeezing out the life and juiciness of those burgers. Just let them sit, develop a beautiful crust and texture on the outside, then flip and repeat. You may also want to close the grill during cooking to allow heat to reach the burger from all sides. If you’re cooking indoors, use a lid to cover the pan you’re using during cooking. I also use the time after the first flip to toast up my English muffins on the top rack of the grill, but that’s a personal preference!
  5. When burgers are done, serve on your English muffins (toasted or otherwise) and garnish with your favorite toppings. Enjoy!

I served these along side a scoop of my Grilled Corn Salad, but you could eat them with fries, chips, or more bacon. The possibilities are ENDLESS I tell you!

Happy Eating 🙂
mally

Pear and Bacon Galette

Pear and Bacon Galette

I think I may have just reinvented breakfast with the following recipe. Not to zest my own lemon or anything, but this is a tasty melange of savory and sweet that I am pretty proud of.

This galette derives its power from two key players. I’ve recently discovered how much I like pears, whom I used to pass over in favor of more pungent fruits like nectarines, apples, and peaches. Red d’Anjou pears recently arrived as a fresh fruit surprise courtesy of FreshDirect, and their lightly tart sweetness works perfectly with the crisp saltiness of the second star of this dish and holder of my heart and dreams: Bacon. Continue reading