May 30, 2007

Bacon Recipes: 2 Healthy Canadian Bacon Dishes

Well, folks, I did it. I found a way to utilize the remaining Canadian bacon in this month's bacon shipment. I've learned that diced Canadian bacon is a great addition to recipes. It's not greasy at all, compared to American bacon. It is, however, very salty. As in more salty than American bacon when browned in the pan as a side to eggs. Unpleasantly salty on its own, really. But, it goes quite well as an ingredient in dishes (where you can leave out the other salts traditionally used in the recipe).

Canadian Bacon Vegetable Stew

-2 carrots, washed and chopped into 1/4 inch rounds or so
-1 large russet potato, washed and chopped into 1/2 inch X 1/2 inch X 1/4 inch solids of various shapes (leave the skin on, it's full of vitamins)
-5 stalks of celery, washed and chopped into 1/4 inch moons or so
-3/4 red onion, washed and chopped
-1 yellow onion, washed and chopped
-extra virgin olive oil for cooking
-1/4 lb. canadian bacon, diced
-1 small can beef broth
-4 cups water
-Italian seasoning
-dried rosemary
-dried parsely
-black pepper
-dry aged cheese for grating (parmigiano reggiano is excellent).

1. Sautee onions and celery in olive oil on medium heat for a few minutes. Add bacon and stir for another minute or two.
2. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.
3. Lower to a simmer and cook until potatoes and carrots are tender and have started to make the liquid starchy (approx 1 hour). Check the seasoning and add more if you feel something is missing.
4. Remove from heat and serve into bowls. Grate cheese over the top. Sprinkle with more black pepper.

And, since Labor Day has passed, I declare it officially summer. Hence the light, brightly colored, fresh green bean based recipe below.

Of course, my sister exclaimed, "Gross!" when I described the ingredients of tonight's dinner. But, she was off to have dinner made for her by an ex-sous-chef from the French Laundry, so I suppose she can afford to be selective. She was wrong, though. It was actually very good and quite pretty. Plus, it's extremely healthy and filling. I do admit, though, the ingredient list alone does not inspire supreme confidence...

Summer Green Bean Couscous Salad

-1 lb green beans, washed, ends trimmed, chopped into 1-inch pieces
-1/2 yellow onion, washed and chopped
-3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
-1 T. dijon mustard
-1/4 lb. canadian bacon
-1 cup couscous
-extra virgin olive oil, for cooking, a couple times around the pan
-3 cups water, or so

1. Sautee onions and garlic over medium heat in the olive oil for approximately 2 minutes.
2. Add bacon and cook for another minute.
3. Add water and mustard, bring to a boil.
4. Add couscous and green beans, boil for a couple of minutes.
5. Remove the pan from heat, cover for 10 minutes or so.
6. Remove the lid, fluff and allow to cool until no longer steaming.
7. Serve immediately with black pepper.

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