Tag Archives: bacon

Guacamole Jalapeno Poppers

Guacamole Jalapeno Poppers

Guacamole Jalapeno Poppers

Usually situated next to a bowl of taco chips and salsa, guacamole is often the first dish finished at any party I’ve ever been to. It’s definitely one of my favourites. It’s also one of the few party dishes that, on it’s own, is entirely healthy. The main ingredient alone, avocados, contain nearly 20 essential vitamins and minerals. Although they are high in fat, it’s mostly unsaturated fat (the good kind). Unsaturated fats can actually aid your body in absorbing nutrients from other foods. These healthy fats also help you to feel full longer. Traditionally, guacamole is made by mashing together avocados and sea salt, but once you have the basic recipe down, you can tweak it any number of ways to make your own variation. Here is my go-to recipe:

Guacamole

2 Ripe Avocados from Mexico

1 Lime

1/4 Cup sweet onion, finely diced

1 Garlic clove, minced

2 tbsp fresh cilantro

Salt to taste

Cut the avocados in half, remove the pit and scoop the flesh into a small bowl.Β  Using a fork or potato masher, mash the avocadoΒ with the lime juice, garlic and salt until desired consistency. Gently stir in the onion and cilantro. Chill for 30 minutes before serving. Makes about 2 Cups.

When I talk about avocados, I usually talk about Avocados from Mexico. Why? Because even in Canada, with our cold winters, Avocados from Mexico are always in season. Taking up about 80% of the market share in Canada, the Hass avocados that we all know and love are actually the result of grafting the branches of the Patron avocado plant and the roots of the Criollo avocado plant. Hand grafting these plants can take 3 – 5 years, but after that, each small plant is capable of producing up to 750 lbs of beautiful, creamy avocados.

When I make a batch of guacamole, I’m very happy (I mean, very happy) to sit and devour the entire bowl of it with nothing more than taco chips, but it’s really versatile and can be used to add some extra flavour to a ton of different dishes. One of my favourite ways to use it is as a spread on an egg and bacon breakfast sandwich. It’s also a delicious replacement for mayo in a chicken salad sandwich. In honour of National Guacamole Day, September 16th, and to have a little fun, I thought I’d play around a bit and find other ways to use guacamole. These guacamole jalapeno poppers have quickly become one of my favourites. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did πŸ™‚

Guacamole Jalapeno Poppers

12 jalapeno peppers

3/4 cup guacamole

4 oz cream cheese, softened

6 strips of bacon

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Farenheit.

Slice the bacon into 1/2″ strips. Over medium heat, cook the bacon until crisp. Set aside to cool.

Slice the jalapenos in half lengthwise and remove the seeds and ribs. NOTE: When working with any spicy pepper, make sure that you keep your hands away from your eyes and that you don’t have any cuts on your hands. Trust me on this one and, if necessary, wear gloves.

Mix the cream cheese and guacamole together in a small bowl. Add the bacon and gently stir together until evenly distributed. Fill each jalapeno cavity with about 1 tbsp of the mixture. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes until the peppers are tender and the guacamole mixture is heated through.

 

 

Bacon corn chowder

Bacon corn chowder

Bacon corn chowder

 

“Mom, how much longer until the corn is ready” asks my 7 year old as we drive by the corn fields. This was back in March, and again in April, and again in May, etc, etc….you get the idea. For all the fun summer brings, it’s the taste of fresh, locally grown corn on the cob that my 7 year old longs for the most. Well, maybe not the most, but certainly the longest. Once corn season arrives, he can’t seem to get enough. We all love fresh corn on the cob, but it’s his, apparently endless, appetite for it that rarely leaves me with any leftovers to work with.

Last week something strange happened…I ended up with 3 beautiful leftover cobs to play with. There was also something else strange happening. After several months of hot, dry, near drought like conditions the skies opened up and the rain started to fall. With cooler, autumn”y” (made up word, but I’m sticking with it) weather appearing out of nowhere and a few cobs of corn in my fridge, it only seemed right to make a chowder. Or chowdah, if you’re like my husband and like to pretend you’re from Boston. Seriously. Every time :/

This bacon corn chowder was the perfect way to warm up on a cold, rainy night. I you enjoy it!

Oh, and one last note: If you’re not a fan of bacon (I promise I won’t judge you), or you wanted to make this a vegetarian friendly chowder, you can easily leave it out. You can also substitute frozen corn if you can’t get your hands on any fresh cobs.

375g package of bacon, sliced into 1/2″ pieces

1 Cup onion, diced

1/2 Cup shallot, diced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 Cup potato, diced

3 Cups chicken broth

2 Cups heavy cream

3 Cups corn (about 3 cobs)

1/4 Cup chives

salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot over medium heat, fry the bacon until crisp. Leaving the drippings in the pot, remove the bacon and set aside.

Add the onions, shallots and garlic to the pot. Saute for a few minutes until just starting to sweat. Stir in the potatoes, scraping up any bits from the bottom of the pan. Next, stir in the chicken broth, immediately followed by the cream. It’s important to add the cream immediately, before the broth gets too hot, to avoid separation and curdling.

After the broth and cream have been added, Β stir in the corn and the reserved bacon. Bring the chowder to a simmer over low-medium heat, stirring occasionally. Continue cooking for 10 – 15 minutes until everything is heated through. Garnish with the chives. Serves 4 – 6.

 

 

 

 

Bacony Kale Eggs Benny

Bacony Kale Eggs Benny

Over the past month or so, I’ve been having a little love affair with poached eggs. It all started in April, when I was away on vacation. I had an amazing corned beef hash with a poached egg on top. The entire breakfast was delicious, but for some reason the poached egg stuck with me and I’ve been craving them ever since. I would think that an eggs benny (or more formally, eggs benedict) would be one of the more popular ways to serve a poached egg and since I never shy away from a good eggs benny, that seemed like the most appropriate way to get my poached egg fix.

A traditional benny consists of an english muffin topped with ham, a poached egg and hollandaise sauce, and while that’s always good, it’s fun to play around and try new ways to make them. You’re limited only by your taste buds and imagination. Honestly, if someone created an eggs benny buffet with several different variations, I would be in heaven and I may never leave. I love them that much. Here’s the eggs benny I came up with to deal with my poached egg addiction. What are some of your favourite variations?

3 slices of bacon, thinly sliced

1/4 Cup onion, diced

2 Cups kale, roughly chopped

2 tbsp lemon juice

salt and pepper to taste

1 Cup heavy cream

1/2 Cup feta cheese crumbles

1 tbsp garlic chives (onion chives would work, too)

water

1 tbsp white vinegar

4 eggs

2 english muffins

With this recipe, I felt like there was a lot going on. A lot of steps and pots and pans, etc. The best way to approach it, is to space the steps out a little bit. You don’t need to make everything at once. I don’t like to feel stressed out or panicky when I’m cooking. The kitchen is my happy place, where I like to listen to music and dance around a little bit, so I try to make and create recipes accordingly. So, with that in mind, here we go:

In a skillet, over medium heat begin frying the bacon. When it’s mostly cooked through, but before it begins to crisp, add in the onions. Cook until the onions are translucent and the bacon is crisp. Add in the kale and saute for just a couple of minutes, then stir in the lemon juice, salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and set aside.

In a small saucepan, begin heating the cream over medium heat. Stir in the feta. Continue stirring until the feta is melted into the cream and the whole mixture has thickened. You may need to mash the feta a little if it doesn’t melt in easily. Stir in the chives, then remove the pot from the heat and set aside.

Break each of the eggs into a separate bowl or ramekin. Fill a skillet with at least 1 inch of water and stir in 1 tbsp of vinegar. Heat the water over medium heat until it reaches a gentle simmer. Slowly and carefully pour each of the eggs into the water, leaving some room between them. You may need to cook them in separate batches, depending on the size of your pan. Cook the eggs for 6 minutes before carefully removing them with a slotted spoon or ladle.

While the eggs are cooking, toast the muffins and warm up the kale and cream. Place a scoop of the kale mixture on top of each muffin half, followed by the egg and then the cream. Garnish with extra chives.

Note: The cooking time for the poached eggs is entirely up to your preference. I found 6 minutes gave me a perfectly runny egg, but not too runny. If you like your eggs firmer, cook them a minute or two longer. Or less, if you like really runny eggs.

 

 

 

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