Panzanella Salad

I failed rather badly at making bread. So I had a surplus of croutons. And while I could possibly quite happily live off bread pudding, conscience dictates that I have at least one vegetable in my kitchen. At some point. Enter panzanella salad.

Ingredients
Bread
3 heirloom tomatoes
2 bell peppers
a handful of kalamata olives
1/2 of a red onion
6 slices of bacon
2 tea spoon of dijon mustard
2 1/2 table spoon balsamic vinegar
4 table spoon olive oil
salt and pepper
ingredients

***

1. Cut the bread into cubes. Aim for about 4 cups by volume.
cubes

2. Spread on a baking tray and toast at 350F until well dry and starting to get toasted. Allow to cool.
toast

3. Slice the tomatoes into wedges, removing the hard stem. Put into a colander over a bowl with a pinch of salt. Allow the juices to drain for 15 minutes.
drain

4. While the tomatoes drain, cut the bell peppers into bite sizes, finely chop the olives and slice the red onion very thinly. Combine in a large bowl.
veggies

5. Cook the bacon until crispy and set aside to cool.
bacon

6. Transfert the tomatoes to the salad bowl.
tomatoes

7. Add the mustard, vinegar, and oil to the collected tomato juice. Grind plenty of black pepper into the bowl.
dressing1

8. Whisk to combine.
dressing2

9. Add the bread cubes to the salad bowl.
bread

10. Pour the dressing over the bowl and toss to combine.
pour

11. Chop the bacon and stir it in.
bacon2

12. Divide into plates and serve.
serve

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Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Another recipe I stole from Ros. Makes a great side dish with just about everything.

Ingredients:
Brussel sprouts
1-2 apples
5-6 strips of bacon
1 table spoon maple syrup
Olive oil
salt and pepper
ingredients

***

1. Pre-heat the oven to 400F
Cook the bacon until half done (still soft) and set aside.
bacon1

2. Rinse the Brussels sprouts and discard any dry of damaged outer leaves.
rinse

3. Trim off any dry part of the root and slice in half.
halves

4. Chop the apples and add to the bowl.
apples

5. Chop the bacon and add to the bowl. Drizzle with the maple syrup and the olive oil and add black pepper and a bit of salt (the bacon is already salty). Toss to coat evenly.
bacon

6. Line a baking tray with aluminum paper and pour the sprouts into a mostly even layer. Cook for 20-25 minutes.
spread

7. The Brussel sprouts are ready when soft.
roasted

8. Serve warm.
serve

Dirty rice Pilaf

Recipe over by the great blog CultureEatz. Go have a look! Only pictures here.

Brunch quiche

All the goodness of brunch in a single item. And by goodness I do mean artery clogging combination of ingredients. But it is very good and satisfying. Though next time I might try the ice water rinse technique with the potatoes and skip the flour, to see if I can make a slightly crunchier gluten-free crust.

Ingredients
2 vidalia onions
2-3 large russet potatoes
4 cups baby spinach
Most of a pack of bacon
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup cream
4 eggs
5 table spoon butter + more for the tart pan
2 table spoon flour
a handful of grated cheese
salt and pepper
* optional : 1-2 table spoon white balsamic vinegar.
ingredients

***

1. Thinly slice the onions. In a large skillet, combine with 2 table spoon of butter and a pinch of salt and pepper. Allow to slowly cook on medium-low heat until deeply golden.
Deglaze with a bit of water once in a while, to remove any stuck on sugary bits at the bottom and incorporate those back into the onions.
onions1

2. When the onions are just about done, you can add a table spoon or two of white balsamic to amp up the sweet note, but this is optional.
Remove from heat and set aside.
onions2

3. Melt the remaining 3 table spoon of butter. Peel and shred the potatoes. You need about 4 cups of shredded potatoes.
From this point on you want to move fast. The potatoes will oxidize fast, first taking on a pinkish hue then going grey. Doesn’t change the taste but looks less appetizing.
shred-potatoes

4. Turn the potatoes over unto a clean dish towel. Gather into a bundle and squeeze out as much water as you can.
towel

5. Transfer to a bowl and combine with the melted butter and flour.
combine-shreds

6. Press unto a buttered tart pan (one with the removable bottom). Use a flat bottom glass to press the shreds down as compact as you can.
press-crust

7. Bake in a 400F oven for 35-40 minutes.
Take out from the oven and allow to cool.
See the places where we can see the black bottom plate of my tart dish? Don’t do that. So really pay attention when packing in the shreds at the previous steps. It’ll become evident why in the next few steps.
cooked-crust

8. Add a thin layer of caramelized onions.
add-onions

9. Cook the bacon, but you want it a bit chewy.
Take a bit of the rendered bacon fat and use it to cook the baby spinach until just wilted.
spinash

10. Whip together the eggs, milk and cream.
eggs1

11. Cut the bacon into chunks and add to the eggs with the wilted spinach and a handful of grated cheese.
eggs2

12. Pour into the crust.
The eggs will immediately find all those empty spots in the crust and seep everywhere. This is why the tart pan is sitting on a cookie sheet.
pour

13. Bake in a 350F oven for 30 minutes or so, until the filling is set.
Allow to rest for 10 minutes when out of the oven.
bake

14. Set the pan on a small ramekin and gently remove the outer rim to unmold the quiche.
unmold

15 Serve warm and enjoy!
cut

Bacon wrapped Turkey breast

A bit of a franken-turkey creation. Delicious and does not taste like Christmas dinner. Sometimes that’s all you really want out of turkey.

Ingredients :
1 turkey breast
2 tea spoon garam masala
a few broken arms of a star anise
1 pack of bacon

ingredients

***

1. Grind the spices.
ground

2. Remove the skin from the turkey. Rub with the spices on all sides then cover and allow to marinate in the fridge for at least 4 hours.
rub

3. Pre-heat the oven to 375F. Wrap the turkey in bacon and put in a roasting pan.
wrap

4. Cook for 1h30-2h or until internal temperature reaches 165. You can raise the heat to 400F for the last 10 minutes if the bacon is not crisp enough.
cooked

5. Allow to rest, slice and serve.
plate

Delicious Mess Burger

Not the prettiest. Not the fastest to make either (not complicated, just a few long steps). But deeply satisfying in a messy decadent way.

Ingredients
1 lb ground beef
2 firm pears
2 large onions
1/2 cup bourbon
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 table spoon butter
4-5 tea spoon onion confit
4 sesame buns
2 tea spoons berberé
4-6 slices thick cut bacon
Brie cheese
salt and pepper

ingredients

***

1. Melt the butter in a skillet. Peel and slice the onions.
slice-onions

2. Add the onions to the butter and stir to coat. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook on medium-low heat to medium heat for 30-40 minutes, stirring every so often, until brown, soft and caramelized. Add water if they start to stick.

Set aside.
cooked-onions

3. Meanwhile, in a sauce pan, combine the bourbon, sugar and water. Bring to a boil.
syrup

4. Peel and slice the pears. Add the syrup and bring down to a simmer.
pears-in-syrup

5. Cook for 15 minutes or until tender. Weight them down with the lid from a smaller pot to ensure they remain submerged.

Remove from heat and allow to cool in the syrup.
lid-on-pears

6. Cook the bacon.
raw-bacon

7. Realize while cooking the bacon that you are out of paper towels. Attempt a makeshit dripping system so the bacon can drain excess fat and become crispy.
cooked-bacon

8. Shape patties and season with berberé and a pinch of salt. Drain excess fat from the pan and cook patties to preffered temperature.
patties

9. Start assembly. Caramelized onions on the bottom bun and onion confit on the top bun.
assemble2

10. Add the patty and the brie. Realize you messed up on the patty’s size. Shrug.
assemble3

11. Add a few pear slices and the bacon.
assemble4

12. Close and enjoy!
delicious-mess

Meat loaf

A quick and easy recipe (on of my grand-mother’s again). However it is a bit on the heavy side.

Ingredients
2 lbs extra-lean ground beef
1/2 cup of bread crumbs
1 onion, diced
1 egg
1/4 cup condensed milk
1/2 tea spoon paprika
1/2 tea spoon thyme
salt and pepper, to taste.
6-8 strips of bacon
ingredients

***

1. Pre-heat the oven to 350F

2. Mix together all the ingredients except the bacon.
combine

3. Shape into a loaf.
shape

4. Add the bacon strips on top.
bacon

5. Cook for 1h30. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before removing from the pan and slicing.
cook