Posts Tagged ‘Bacon’

Photo from eatwell101

Photo from eatwell101

It seems like all of the recipes coming from Ada Boni’s The Talisman Italian Cookbook either use spaghetti or rigatoni.  Personally as a kid growing up, my favorite was shells because I could scoop up sauce inside each one.  This dish was/is a standard in most Italian restaurants in America.  There are slight variations to this classic and I wonder how today’s great chefs like Batali and Colicchio make their Carbonara dishes.  This one is very simple as are most recipes in this cookbook.


1 lb spaghetti (#8)

1/4 b lean bacon diced

3/4 cup Romano or Parmesan cheese

3 eggs lightly beaten

1/4 cup white wine

1 tsp pepper


Cook spaghetti in rapidly boiling salted water until tender.  While spaghetti is cooking, fry bacon over low flame until bacon is crisp.  Add cheese (and wine) to beaten eggs.  Drain spaghetti and return to the pot.  Pour egg mixture over the hot spaghetti;  add pepper and two TBS of very hot bacon fat.  Stir.  The heat of the spaghetti should cook the egg mixture.  Transfer to hot platter; garnish with bacon.  Serve.

Call the cardiologist!

Recipe from The Talisman Italian Cook Book

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When I was growing up my mother would often use this expression;  Like “You haven’t cleaned your room in a month of Sundays” or “It seems like a month of Sundays since you called” – the latter said to me as an adult no longer living at home, obviously meant to be a minor guilt trip.  Just think how long a real month of Sundays is!

Anyway, I feel like I’ve been gone a month of Sundays when in fact it’s been just over a month.  I don’t know why I went on hiatus from my blog – I just did.  I had some distractions – work being a major obligation of late; then I got hooked on watching Orange Is The New Black and every night and free minute I had I would escape to Netflix and indulge myself with back to back episodes and no commercials.  And then, OMG my neighbor gave us the complete set of Breaking Bad which we watched every night into the wee hours of the next morning.  Not excuses, just reasons.

I’ve decided to devote a week or two (or three?) of blogs to my second favorite food – PASTA!  Well actually we called it macaroni.  I think this obsession/passion for pasta is the direct result of dieting.  After all, when you are abstaining or at least eating a lot less of some favorite food of yours, don’t you find yourself hungering for it (pun intended)?  I just love cooking and eating pasta and although I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, these recipes are just not your mother’s macaroni.  In my house we had two kinds of macaroni meals;  Shells, Ziti or Rigatoni with gravy (red sauce) and meatballs or Linguine with olive oil, garlic and parsley.

Today being Sunday, I’m starting my macaroni marathon with the meal I made tonight.  The butter coaxes the sweetness from the cabbage.

Spaghetti with Savoy Cabbage and Breadcrumbs

Spaghetti with Savoy Cabbage and Breadcrumbs



8 oz of spaghetti, linguine or angel hair pasta

5 TBS unsalted butter

1-2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced or minced

1/2 cup fresh  (not dried) breadcrumbs (from a rustic loaf)

9 cups of thinly sliced Savoy cabbage (1 medium head)

1/2 cup water

3 TBS heavy cream

1/4 cup grated  Parmesan cheese plus more for garnish


Bring pot of salted water to boil.  Cook pasta until al dente according package directions.  Reserve 1/2 – 3/4 cup pasta water.

Meanwhile, melt 2 TBS butter in medium skillet over medium heat.  Cook garlic till fragrant, about 1 minute.  Stir in breadcrumbs.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cook stirring until breadcrumbs are golden brown, 4-5 minutes.

Melt remaining 3 TBS butter in large high-sided skillet or braising pan over medium high heat.  Add cabbage, season with salt and pepper.  Toss to coat, cook until slightly wilted 3-4 minutes.  Add 1/2 cup water.  Cook, covered until tender about 4 minutes.  Uncover, and let any water evaporate.  Stir in cream.  Cook until sauce is reduced and thick enough to coat cabbage, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper.

Add pasta and reserved liquid to cabbage.  Cook for 1 minute.  Stir in cheese.  Transfer to platter.  Sprinkle breadcrumb mixture over top, and garnish with more cheese.

OPTIONAL: Serve topped with fried or poached eggs or crumbled bacon to add some protein.

Recipe from Martha Stewart Living

You can find all of my pasta recipes in the categories: We Called It Macaroni and Tasty Tidbits Tuesday and Everyday Food

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Tonight  it’s snowing in New York City, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island.  It’s pouring here at the shore and has been most of the day and I thought what a perfect night for some real comfort food.  I made New England Pot Pie.  Earlier in the day, I thought about asking our friends, Dick and Jane to join us – it wouldn’t be the first time I prepared a dish that I never made before.  Thank goodness I didn’t follow through on that impulse.  NOT because the dish wasn’t good or that the recipe didn’t make enough;  No, it was definitely both, BUT it took me longer than I thought and it was totally my own doing.  

When I read the recipe two days ago or actually just skimmed through it concentrating mostly on what ingredients I would have to purchase, I didn’t realize how much prepping was needed.  A good chef knows the importance of mise en place, and I do know that very basic rule of good and efficient cooking, yet somehow just never gave it a thought.  So what happened was that I was working my way through the steps, I had to stop and prep the ingredient so I could use it.  NEXT TIME!  I think New England Pot Pie is a great dinner guest meal;  Once it’s in the oven, you are free to join you guest for a pre-dinner cocktail.

Comfort Food for a cold winter night

Comfort Food for a cold winter night


Olive oil for the baking dish

2 medium russet potatoes (1 lb) peeled and cut into 1/2 ” pieces

Kosher salt and pepper

6 slices of bacon cut into 1/4″ pieces

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1/3 cup flour

1/2 cup dry white wine

2 8-oz bottles of clam juice

1/4 cup heavy cream

1 cup frozen peas and carrots, thawed

1 cup frozen corn, thawed

1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

1 TBS fresh thyme leaves

1 lb. medium peeled and deveined shrimp, tails discarded, shrimp halved

1 lb. skinless white fish fillet (such as cod, hake, pollack or haddock) cut into 1 ” pieces

1 sheet frozen puff pastry (half of 17.3 oz pkg) thawed

1 large egg, beaten


Heat oven to 400º.  Lightly oil 8 10 oz ramekins OR a 2 quart baking dish

Place the potatoes in salted cold water and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until the potatoes  are tender, 5-7 minutes.  Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, cook the bacon in large skillet ( I should have used my braising pan-my skillet a bit small) over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 4-5 minutes.  Spoon off and discard all but 2 TBS of the drippings.  Add the onions, season with 3/4 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 6-8 minutes.  Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute.  Sprinkle the flour over the onion mixture and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

Gradually stir in the wine, then the clam juice and cream.  Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is slightly thickened and coats the back of a spoon, 5-6 minutes.

Add the potatoes along with the peas and carrots, corn, parsley and thyme and cook until heated through, about 3 minutes.  Remove from the heat and gently fold in the shrimp and fish.  Transfer to the prepared baking dish.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry.  Using a 4″ round cookie cutter, cut out 8 pieces OR cut one 10 x 14 ” rectangle.  Brush the edges of the ramekins or baking dish with water.  Lay the pastry over the seafood mixture and press pastry against edge of dish to  seal.

Lightly brush pastry with egg and if making the rectangle, cut 3 diagonal slits in the middle of the pastry.  Place dish(es) on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until the crust is deep golden brown and puffed in the center, 30-40 minutes.  Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

recipe from Woman’s Day

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Today was exactly the kind of day, this hearty soup would be an excellent choice.  Yesterday it was 61 degrees in New York City and this morning it was gray and foggy.  By noon the sun was full out  shining brightly and the temperature zoomed up to the mid-60’s BUT by the time I walked home around 6pm, the temperature was dipping into the 40’s  – And that’s why you’ll want to make this Fish Chowder!

Speedy and Smokey Fish Chowder

Speedy and Smokey Fish Chowder

This is one of those recipes that calls for you to use your own judgement as to how much of each item to use.  We start with just a bit less than a pound of fish and then you’re on your own but don’t worry, I think the familiarity of the ingredients will dictate the amount to use.  It’s a matter of personal preference and taste.

Dice some bacon if you’re a meat eater, or melt some butter if you are not (or both if you are reckless), and sauté some onions, carrots and diced potatoes in the fat and meat until the onions have gone translucent. Hit the mixture with some salt and pepper and a flash of smoked paprika if you have it. Some of the ears of tiny chowder-corn that are in some farmers’ markets would be a fine addition, so too would be a cup of frozen corn.

Do you have any fish stock? No? White wine? Surely you have water. Add enough that the potatoes are almost swimming, then a bay leaf, and reduce the heat to a simmer. Allow the chowder to bubble along until the liquid has reduced by a third and the potatoes are tender. Add a splash or two of milk or cream and allow it to heat and thicken slightly.

Now cut the fillets into chunks and stir them in gently. Five minutes later: chowder. Serve with crusty bread.

I found this recipe in the NY Times Cooking Newsletter

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You scream, we all scream ice cream!  Clearly one of my favorite childhood rhymes and knowing my passion for ice cream, I must be a case of arrested development. 

In case you’re wondering I do know how to spell fatty, however  this particular ice cream treat reminded me of the past few years fad-obsession with bacon and this year’s fad – it’s got to be salted to be good (read sea salted dark chocolate, salted caramel everything including Starbucks!).

So what we have here is:  A waffle cup with sampler trio (whiskey fudge rebellion, drunk and salty caramel, and maple bacon) sprinkled with candied pecans.



Luca & Bosco is an ice cream and dessert company based in NYC. They strive to make people happy through food – my kind of people!   Their ice cream has integrity, and is made from all natural ingredients, organic whenever possible, less sweet and packed with flavor – one taste and you will know the difference. They’re seriously talking about a deliciousness to make your eyes roll back because it tastes so good. 

Run by co-founders Catherine Oddenino and Ruthie Vishlitzky, Luca & Bosco’s mission is to bring deliciousness to people’s lives one scoop at a time.

Catherine is the mom of Luca, a 5 pound, white Maltese. Ruthie is the mom of Bosco, a chocolate Lab. They are the inspiration for the name and the reason we make ice cream cone shaped dog biscuits. We don’t want our canine friends to be left out of the ice cream fun.

Wow!! I have to take a trip down to the Lower East Side to stop in for a taste of some of the unusual and distinct ice cream flavors offered at Luca & Bosco.  Although today’s feature is the waffle cup sampler with a trio of fantabulous ice creams, Luca & Bosco have such exotic flavors as:  Carmelized Banana, Chocolate Brownie Chunk, Goat Cheese, Milky Tea, Rosemary Olive Oil, and Earl Grey with Chocolate Freckles.  On second thought maybe I shouldn’t even consider a visit.  I might go into sugar shock!

Luca & Bosco is located at 120 Essex St. New York, NY.


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A cooked rasher. Raw bacon rashers are an esse...

Bring On The Bacon

It’s FAT TUESDAY and I for one am planning on indulging…for tomorrow brings on a more than a month of deprivation.      For years I had the habit of NOT giving up any food that I particularly loved but rather DOING something(s) good for others.  Now I’m back to giving up sweets because, well for my own health and well-being and vanity the mirror and my jeans are yelling at me to say no to chocolate, ice cream, cookies and maybe almost everything white.  OK, so for selfish reasons I will deprive myself with an eye to a slimmer me by Easter Sunday.

BUT today is a very different story…tonight I’ve been invited to be a guest at the Annual Tasting Event sponsored  by    C-CAP-Careers through Culinary Arts Program.  WOW!! New York’s Top Chefs will be gathered at Pier 60 tonight offering up tasty tidbits so tonight I feast and tomorrow I fast!

Here’s a tasty tidbit you can make yourself and feel like a million bucks.


1 lb thick cut bacon

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/2 cup brown sugar

coarse ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and top with a roasting rack.  Spray the rack with a non-stick spray.  Place the bacon in strips on the rack.  Brush the bacon with the maple syrup.  Sprinkle brown sugar over bacon and then grind some black pepper.

Bake in oven till sugar begins to melt, about 15-17 minutes.  Let cool 5 minutes.


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A cooked rasher. Raw bacon rashers are an esse...

Mmmm bacon, bacon, BACON

OH what a good time we had!  Well I had a good time anyway, not so sure about Janet and Marian.  I say this because Marian had actually specified a couple of weeks ago, that we eat out -“No grilling”!  I wasn’t planning on grilling but I also didn’t particularly want to go out to dinner because we would never be able to “hang” out there for a long time.  I haven’t seen my cousins in more than a few months.

We have our rituals (thank goodness for some).  READ Janet and Danny brought all the mixin’ s for Mojitos.  What can I say?  Mojitos are the perfect summer drink, hands down.  If you remember from a previous post my cousin Janet travels with a well-stocked pantry, er I mean trunk.  You just never know what might come out of there!  So out came the simple syrup, the bunch of fresh mint leaves, the white rum, the bag of limes AND their own muddler.  Really!  I’ve said it before and will say it again, Danny is the master mixer of Mojitos.  Tart and slightly sweet, icy cold and laden with limes and mint, this drink just refreshes you with every sip.  We even got I-only-drink-gin-Peter to try one. Clearly he didn’t have as much rum in his as I had in mine (but then again no one else does have as much rum in theirs as I have in mine) because he was slurping that down like iced tea.  And then he made himself a martin-some things never change.

We had drinks and cheese and crackers and salsa and chips and all sat around in the air-conditioned living room – no beach, no front porch for us, no backyard barbecue – it was just too damn hot.  Actually I felt like I was recovering from heat stroke anyway from being on the beach for an hour.

I thought I had planned a fairly simple meal and I DID NOT ask either of my cousins to help me in the kitchen BUT even so, they meandered in and once again we had cousins cooking in the kitchen!  I think it’s great fun, I love having them there with me as we put together a meal.  I started frying bacon, Marian sliced tomatoes, I made a platter of lettuce leaves.  Somehow Marian felt putting the toast in the toaster was not befitting to her talents so instead she sliced the avocado and perfectly I might add.  Janet ended up finishing the bacon, I started getting out plates, platters and bowls.  There was a small problem;

My kitchen table seats four and we were six, the table itself could not hold all the food and the plates.  Janet figured out that if we put napkins and silverware on the plate we garnered a few inches and if we put the corn and salads on the counter and just put the sandwich fixings on the table it might work.  I’m sure this is a genetic characteristic she inherited from her mother, my Aunt Marian who always  managed to seat 24 people at table that sat 18 or some such number.  It has to do with exactly how much space (read width) one needs to be able to cut food using a fork and knife and get it into your mouth without bumping into your neighbor on your right. It worked.

Just in case you were thinking that the only thing we were serving was corn on the cob and BLT‘s, you’re wrong.  We had potatoe salad, two kinds of macaroni salad,  AND we had two kinds of bacon and tomato sandwiches.  You could opt for the traditional on white toast (the only acceptable bread for a BLT) OR you could have a bacon, avocado, tomato and sprouts sandwich on rustic Italian bread.  Yes I was channeling Martha, I admit it.

Dessert was a little of this and a little of that.  We had brandy cake backed by Marian, chocolate-covered strawberries from the ladies tea on Thursday, a few pieces of watermelon, and some cookies.  Sorry I even mentioned making hot tea….

Bob and Marian were considering taking the train home but Danny came to the rescue and offered to drive them back into the City before he and Janet wended their way back to their NJ hometown.  It being Friday night, I hoped they would make decent time – surely they would be going against the traffic.  

I did forget to mention one little thing and that is that although I think I am a cleaner-upper and put-it-away freak, my cousin Marian  has me beat.  If I was slicing something and laid the knife down for a moment to go into the other room and say something, when I came back the knife was washed and she was drying it!!! For Heaven’s Sake Marian!  I asked her to restrain herself till we at least were done with plates, pans and utensils before she was hell-bent on washing them.  I had to let her dry the dishes once the meal was over otherwise……..

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After the hottest July I can remember, I sure hope we are not in for more heat and humidity as the dog days of August approach.  But if the temperature soars and it’s too hot to cook, try these recipes for  light summer evening supper.

This meal and recipes comes directly out of Martha Stewart Living, August 2010.

Bacon, Avocado and Tomato Sandwiches Swapping out lettuce for crunchy sprouts and and adding a layer of creamy avocado turns this lunch classic into a more substantial meal.

12 to 16 slices of pepper-crusted bacon (about 8 oz)

8 slices of rustic bread

2 TBS plus 2 tsp of mayonanise

1 1/3 cup radish sprouts

1 Hass Avocado sliced

1 large tomato sliced

coarse salt

Cook half the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat, turning occasionally till crisp, 7-9 minutes. Transfer to paper towel-lined tray to drain. Repeat with remaining bacon.

Lightly toast bread, and spread 1 tsp of mayonnaise onto one side of each slice. Pile on sprouts, avocado, bacon and tomato. Season with salt and top with remaining bread.

Iceberg Lettuce with Blue Cheese Vinaigrette Salad is easy when you don’t have to chop, shred, or tear any of the greens.  Just quarter a head of iceberg lettuce and top with zesty blue cheese vinaigrette.

3 TBS white wine vinegar

1 small shallot finely chopped

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese

coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

1 head iceberg lettuce quartered into wedges

Whisk together vinegar, shallot and mustard.  Pour in oil in a slow steady stream, whisking constantly until emulsified.  Whisk in half the blue cheese. Season with salt ;

Arrange lettuce wedges on a platter.  Drizzle with vinaigrette. Sprinkle with remaining blue cheese and season with pepper.

Sweet Corn with Baby Beets and Basil The vegetables in this side dish are simply tossed in olive oil, allowing the earthy-sweet summer flavors and bright colors to shine.

Coarse salt and ground peper

2 ears of corn, husked and halved

8 baby beets (about 1 pound) trimmed and scrubbed

Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling

1 to 2 TBS torn fresh basil

Garnish: fresh basil sprigs

Bring medium pot of water to a boil, season wit salt.  Cook corn until tender, about 4 minutes; remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a plate.

Add beets to water and simmer partially covered until tender when pierced with a knife, 30 -35 minutes; Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a plate.  Peel and cut beets into halves or quarters.

Carefully cut kernels from corn cobs using a sharp knife and transfer to a large shallow bowl.  Add beets and drizzle with oil. Season with salt and pepper and stir in torn basil. Garnish with basil sprigs.

Note: Over the past 20 years or so iceberg lettuce fell out of favor, overshadowed by a succession of new and exotic greens, such as Mesclun, Frisee and Arugula.  However, quartered iceberg wedges and blue cheese is an American classic and this version using a blue cheese vinaigrette is an updated version and delicious.

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