Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Beer and Bacon Jam

Beer. Bacon. Jam. I know what you're thinking, but this is a family site and I can't repeat it. Don't let the name throw you, jam is a loose description of this amazing bacon "spread". I first heard of it while watching FoodNetwork's show Eat St. A food truck's most popular burger had bacon jam on it. My ears perked up and I hit Google.

I found some recipes and picked the one from Not Quite Nigella's site (LOVE that blog name) to work from. I was going to make her recipe as is, but I was lacking some ingredients and it was pouring out... and I was in my sweats...  and didn't feel like going to the store. Wow, I'm just full of all kinds of excuses. Anyways, some simple substitutions (like beer!) from my pantry and fridge later and I had an amazing tangy, slightly spicy and totally delicious bacon and beer purée.

We tried it on sliders and it was soooo good. I can't wait to try it on a toasted bagel with a fried egg, or on crostini with goat cheese and arugula.

Beer and Bacon Jam

500g (1 pkg) smoked bacon
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
1 tbsp fancy molasses
1 chili in adobo sauce, diced
1 tbsp adobo sauce
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 cup brewed coffee
1 bottle of beer
1/4 cup maple syrup
Black pepper to taste

1. Cut the bacon into 1" pieces and fry over medium heat in a dutch oven or deep pot until browned but not crisp.
2. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and drain all but 1 tbsp of the bacon grease.
3. Fry the onion and garlic in the bacon fat until soft.
4. Add the chili, adobo sauce, cooked bacon, paprika and molasses and stir.
5. Add the coffee, 1 cup of the beer, maple syrup and freshly ground black pepper.
6. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for 2 hours. As the liquid boils away add more beer a bit at a time to keep the mixture from drying out.
7. Allow the mixture to cool a bit and then purée until smooth with a bit of texture.

Print this recipe   

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Vegetarian Lasagna with Goat Cheese and Roasted Vegetables

We are a meat-eating family, and proud of it! But ever since my husband was diagnosed with high cholesterol (high is a very generous term, I believe his doctor actually said "WTF do you eat???" when he saw hubs's number) I've been trying to incorporate more vegetarian meals into my repertoire.

A friend on the twitter @TNy_Photography asked me the other day if I had a vegetarian lasgana recipe, and as luck would have it, rolling around in my head I did! when I had heard that my cholesterol pill-popping husband had 4 gigantic hot dogs for lunch at work the other day I knew it was a good time to serve him some veggies and make this lasgana.

You can make this lasagna the traditional way by just alternating layers of noodles and cheese and veggies, but I think the rolls look pretty and are better for portion control as you can see exactly what you're getting. They also don't take that much more time to make than the layering method and they hold together very well.

Start out by laying out your cooked to slightly under al denté noodles.
Sorry about the picture, the lighting over my island is okay for cooking, not so much for picture taking.

Blend the goat cheese and ricotta together and spread out over the noodles
stopping short 2" from one end.

Purée 1/2 your roasted veggies and add to the jarred marinara. Spoon about 2 tbsp of the sauce over the cheese and then top with roasted veggies.

Stand back and admire how amazing this looks, Seriously. I'm dying here.

Roll up the noodles towards the end you left the gap.

Place the seam side down and voilà! A lasagna roll!

Spread a bit of the sauce over the bottom of a dish and arrange the rolls seam side down in the pan.

Top with some more sauce and the shredded mozzarella, and bake at 350˚F for 30 minutes.

Print this recipe

 Vegetarian Lasagna with Goat Cheese and Roasted Vegetables

1 onion, diced
1 zucchini, diced
1 yellow zucchini (summer squash), diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 c mushrooms, diced
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp oregano
salt and pepper
12 lasgana noodles
1 jar of your favourite marinara (or your own homemade)
4 oz herbed goat cheese (plain goat cheese works too)
1 c ricotta cheese
2 c mozzarella, shredded


1. Toss your diced onions, peppers, zucchinis, and mushrooms with the olive oil, oregano and a bit of salt and pepper and spread out onto a cookie sheet. Roast at 450˚F for about 15-20 minutes or until nice and soft.
2. In the meantime, boil your lasagna noodles in salted water until just slightly under done from al denté (they will continue to cook in the oven). Drain and rinse and allow to cool slightly.
3. Bring your goat cheese and ricotta to room temperature and blend together with a spatula or hand mixer.
4. Remove your veggies from the oven and purée half of them until almost smooth. Add the puréed mixture to the jarred marinara and mix well to combine.
5. Lay out your cooked noodles and spread about 2 tbsp of the goat cheese/ricotta mixture over top leaving about 2" uncovered at one end.
6. Spoon about 2 tbsp pf the purée/marinara mixture over the cheese and top with some of the roasted veggies.
7. Roll the noodled up towards the end with the gap.
8. Spread some of the sauce over the bottom of a casserole or lasagna dish and arrange the lasagna rolls seam side down in the dish.
9. Top with the remaining sauce and the mozzarella cheese.
10. Cover with tinfoil and bake at 350˚F for 20 minutes. Remove the tinfoil and bake an additional 5-10 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve!

Print this recipe