Bacon Wrapped Pork Roast

A bright spot in our allergy struggles has been that we can all eat bacon. And so we eat bacon a lot. So when I was searching for a recipe for a pork roast I had bought, and came across a bacon wrapped pork roast, I was pretty excited. Turns out, it was for good reason. The roast was awesome and I’m already plotting how long I must wait to put this on the dinner menu again. Next week too soon?? Below is the whole dinner… it’s gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free and nut-free. I cooked it all in the same oven (once it went to 425), and there were very few dishes (because I lined 2 of the pans). Hope you enjoy!

Bacon Wrapped Pork Roast

1 pork loin roast (about 4 lbs)
Salt, pepper, garlic powder
1 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp spicy mustard
1 tbsp soy sauce (gluten free)
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup pure maple syrup (divided)
10-12 slice of bacon (nitrate free)

1.) Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking dish with foil and place roast in it. Sprinkle it with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
2.) In a small bowl, mix brown sugar, spicy mustard, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and 1/4 cup maple syrup. Pour over pork roast, making sure it is coated well.
3.) Lay bacon slices over top of roast, overlapping slightly. Tuck them under the roast. Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour.
4.) Remove roast from oven, remove foil and baste the roast with the drippings. Turn the oven temp to 425 degrees and place the roast back in the oven. Bake for about 30 to 45 more minutes, or until internal temperature is at least 145 degrees.

Adapted from Sweet Tea and Corn Bread’s Bacon Wrapped Maple Glazed Pork Loin

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Bacon Wrapped Pork Loin

Asparagus with Balsamic Vinegar, Bacon and Maple

1 lb asparagus, ends trimmed
3 slice of bacon, diced
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp maple syrup
Salt and pepper

1.) In a small non-stick skillet, fry the bacon until almost crispy.
2.) Place asparagus in a casserole dish, and pour bacon and bacon grease on top. Add vinegar, syrup, salt and pepper and toss.
3.) Bake at 425 for 15 minutes.

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Roasted Fingerling Potatoes

1 1/2 lbs fingerling potatoes, cut lengthwise
1 tbsp canola oil
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried parsley

1.) Place all ingredients in a gallon Ziploc bag and toss until potatoes are evenly coated.
2.) Pour potatoes onto a parchment lined baking sheet, and make sure potatoes are in a single layer.
3.) Bake at 425 for 40 minutes

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A New Year’s Meal

My mom and brother came up to celebrate a late Christmas with us in Georgia, but since they are leaving New Year’s day, I fixed my traditional New Year’s meal two days early.

For me, a New Year’s meal means ham, collard greens, black eyed peas and cornbread. And then I add whatever else I’m in the mood for – which this year meant we had green beans and mac and cheese. Talk about a feast! Most times I use hog jowl or salt pork, but this year I lucked out with my hubby picking up some house-smoked bacon from a local butcher shop and so half of my dishes were laden with bacon. Nothin’ wrong with that. Most of these recipes are just a few ingredients and pretty simple. It’s a mission to make it all, but well worth it when you sit down eat.

New Year’s Menu:

Ham with Honey Mustard Glaze
Southern Style Green Beans
Collard Greens
Black Eyed Peas
5 Cheese Mac and Cheese
Buttermilk Cornbread

New Years Plate
And that, my friends, is a happy plate.

Honey Mustard Glaze for Ham

2 tbsp butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup Dijon mustard
2 tbsp yellow mustard

1.) Over medium heat in a small saucepan, combine all ingredients and heat until it starts to bubble.
2.) Remove from heat and pour the glaze over a fully heated ham. Place ham back in the oven and cook for 15 minutes.

Honey Mustard

Southern Style Green Beans

2 lbs fresh green beans, ends snapped off and snapped into 1″ to 2″ pieces
1/2 cup bacon, chopped (or you could sub with hog jowl or salt pork)
1/2 medium sized onion, diced
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tbsp sugar

1.) Add green beans to a large pot and fill with enough water to just cover the beans.
2.) Add bacon, onion, salt, pepper and sugar and heat to boil. Reduce heat to medium low (or until it reaches a low simmer) and cook uncovered for 2 to 3 hours, stirring occasionally. Most of the water should be gone by the time they are done cooking.
3.) Taste beans and adjust salt, pepper and sugar to your liking.

Green Beans uncooked

Green Beans
I forgot to take a picture of the cooked beans in the pot. And now I’ve eaten them all. Oh well, a super-cropped image from the plate shot will have to do.

Collard Greens
3 tbsp butter (I used reserved bacon grease from breakfast – highly recommend)
1 onion, diced
1/2 cup bacon, chopped (or you could sub with hog jowl or salt pork)
2 lbs collard greens
5 cups water
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1.) In a large pot, heat butter and add onions to sauté. Add bacon and cook until onions are translucent. You don’t want the bacon to get crispy here.
2.) Add collards and sauté for a couple of minutes. Add water, salt, pepper, sugar and vinegar. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer with the lid on.
3.) Cook for 1.5 to 2 hours or until they are as done as you’d like, and stir occasionally. Taste and adjust as needed.

Collards uncooked

Collards cooking

Collard Greens

Black Eyed Peas

1 lb dry black eyed peas, quick soaked (according to package)
6 cups water
1/2 onion, diced
1/2 cup bacon, chopped (or you could sub with hog jowl or salt pork)
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

1.) Place all ingredients in a large pot and heat to boil. Reduce heat and simmer with a lid slightly cracked for 1.5 to 2 hours. Do not stir often, as it will break the peas.

Black Eyed Peas

5 Cheese Macaroni and Cheese

1 16-oz box pasta (elbows or rotini work well), cooked according to package
1 cup shredded white cheddar
1 cup shredded gruyere
1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1 cup shredded yellow cheddar (divided)
1 cup shredded Parmesan
1 12-oz can evaporated milk
1 1/2 cup whole milk
1 stick of butter, melted
1 tsp salt

1.) Add all ingredients (except 1/2 cup of yellow cheddar) to a crock pot and mix well.
2.) Cook on low for 3 hours, stirring occasionally. Add remaining cheese to top and cook until melted.

Mac n cheese uncooked

Mac n cheese

Adapted from About.com’s Crockpot Macaroni and Cheese

Buttermilk Cornbread

Recipe found here. 

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Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette

We enjoyed this salad with our Pork Tenderloin Marsala last night. I can’t take all the credit on this one… I knew what I wanted this to be in theory, but had to call in the real chef (Blake) for the execution on the warm bacon vinaigrette. It turned out great – and the different color tomatoes made it a beautiful salad as well! This would be a great addition to any meal (or make a meal by itself!). Some of the quantities below are approximate – real chefs don’t have time to measure 🙂 Just taste and adjust as needed.

Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette

Salad
Fresh spinach (6 to 8 cups)
6 hard boiled eggs, chopped
1 cup golden cherry tomatoes, cut in half
2 large tomatoes, cut into slender wedges

Vinaigrette
6 slices of bacon, diced
1/2 of a sweet onion, julienned
2/3 cup apple cider vinegar (or more to taste)
1/4 cup honey (or more to taste)
Salt and pepper to taste

1.) Add ingredients for salad into a salad bowl.
2.) In a nonstick skillet, cook bacon over medium low heat until the fat is rendered (and bacon is starting to get crispy). Add onion, and sauté until onion is soft. Add vinegar, honey, salt and pepper. Taste, and adjust to your liking. Dressing should be tangy and slightly sweet.
3.) Pour warm dressing over spinach salad and toss well.

*Don’t drain the bacon grease – this acts as the oil in the dressing. 

Bacon and onion

Spinach salad with warm bacon vinaigreett

Turkey sandwich with candied bacon and caramelized onion

So I’m not typically a sandwich for dinner kind of girl. But then there are some sandwiches that really belong in a category all by themselves… and this would be that sandwich. I cannot take the credit for this one though – this one is all the hubby. He is the chef of the family, after all. He first made this for me almost three years ago when Atlanta had a snow/ice storm and we were “iced in” for a couple of days. It definitely made being stuck indoors a little more bearable.

When I decided to make soup yesterday, I had to propose it to the hubs with something else. You see, Blake doesn’t do just soup.  He’ll do quiche but not soup, go figure. So when I told him I was going to make soup, I quickly followed with… and I’ll make your yummy turkey sandwich to go along with it…. and of course this was okay.

This sandwich requires some significant prep – caramelizing onions, baking bacon and mixing up spicy mayo. Nothing too complicated, but it will take 45 minutes.  But those 45 minutes are pretty enjoyable. I think I may have stated in a previous post that pot roast is one of the best cooking smells to fill a house. I stand corrected. Caramelized onion on the stove married with brown sugar and bacon in the oven is the best smell. Ever.

Hungry yet?

Turkey candied bacon caramelized onion sandwich

Turkey Sandwich with Candied Bacon and Caramelized Onion

What’s in this sandwich:

Deli turkey meat
Fontina cheese, sliced
Candied bacon
Caramelized onion
Spinach
Spicy Mayo
Bakery buns

Here’s how to prep it:

Caramelized Onions

2 large sweet onions, sliced then cut in thirds (picture below)
1 tbsp butter
Salt

1.) In saucepan over medium heat, add onions, butter and salt.
2.) Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions turn a golden color. If they start sticking to the bottom, add a little water and keep stirring. This  will take 30 to 45 minutes.

It took 45 for me… below is the a picture every 15 minutes to show the progress.

TCBCO Onions TCBCO Onions2 TCBCO Onions3 TCBCO Onions4 Camelized Onions

Candied Bacon

8 slices of bacon
1/4 cup brown sugar, sprinkled evenly on top of each slice of bacon

1.) Preheat oven to 350. Place bacon on a foil lined cookie sheet or casserole dish. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until bacon starts to get a little crispy.
2.) Place cooked bacon on wax or parchment paper – not paper towels (it will stick!)

Candied bacon1 Candied bacon2

Spicy Mayo

1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 tbsp sriracha sauce (or more or less to taste)

Spicy Mayo

Here’s how to stack it… from the bottom up:

Bun
Spicy mayo
Turkey
Fontina cheese
Caramelized onion
Candied bacon
Spinach
Spicy mayo
Bun

The hot onions melt the cheese – very important.

Enjoy!

Turkey candied bacon carmelized onion2