Entries in Bacon (4)


German Inspired Potato Salad

It is new potato time of year here. Those of you to the south and west of us here in Nova Scotia may be thinking, ‘what, it’s been new potato time for a while now Leah, wake up.’ Really though, they are just getting plentiful here.

I truly believe that there is not much finer than a new potato smothered in a healthy amount of butter and salt and pepper. There are occasions, however, when something a little bit more composed is called for. There are also occasions when getting half of supper done ahead of time is a nice treat as well.

I thought, for the odd day when it is actually warm enough that you don’t want to cook, that this makes a nice change to the mayonnaise doused potato salad that is a summer staple and which I love. Sadly, my behind and hips love it too much. So, to lighten things up we had this the other day.

Sometimes, I might be inclined to add some bacon, nicely crisped, to this. There were two reasons I didn’t on this occasion. The first, that there was already beef, bangers and  chicken going on the barbecue and the bacon just seemed excessive. For the second, you should reread the previous paragraph and, as with the first reason, the bacon just seemed excessive.

People may say that this should be served warm, and they would be correct. It is very nice warm. If you would rather go to the beach until supper time, I think it is perfectly acceptable to make it ahead of time and, if you really want to have it warm, put it in a heatproof bowl on the warming rack of your barbecue while everything else cooks. It is, cold or hot, a very fine potato salad.

German Inspired Potato Salad (Warm or Cold)

2 pounds small new potatoes halved


1/4 red onion finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)

1 tablespoon mustard

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 cup chicken stock

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon celery seed

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

2 tablespoons green onion finely sliced

1/2 cup chopped parsley (a handful)

In a medium pot, cover potatoes with water and bring to a boil, reduce heat to allow a gentle boil and cook until just tender. It is important not to overcook them. It will take about ten minutes, once they are boiling

Meanwhile, mix all the ingredients for the vinaigrette together.

When the potatoes are cooked, drain them well and transfer them to a baking tray.

Heat the vinaigrette in a small pot just until it boils. Remove from heat and gently pour over the potatoes. After a few minutes, gently turn the potatoes, making sure the vinaigrette coats them completely.

Cool, or don’t, and serve.


An Unrecipe

I made something the other day. I have been debating whether to post it or not. It isn't nice. It was pretty but not nice. It was delicious but not nice. Even as I write these words, I wonder whether I should do it or not. I have been lucky enough to be spending the last few months in a seasonless oasis. But, I have decided, if things like this make their way into my market basket, there is little i can do but share it. Throwing caution to the wind, I am going to post this. Not in a nah-nah-nah-nah-nah-nah way. In a please enjoy and share and remember there is only five more weeks of winter.


You don't need a recipe to make hash. It is a pretty simple thing. It can be made plain or fancy. It can be eaten any time of day. It fits every meal.

You take some potatoes and onions and sauté them. You add some meat or fish or, in this case, beautiful green goodness and you sauté it a little more. Add some green onions near the end of the cooking time, almost no matter what kind of hash you are making.If you are want to get carried away, you can top it off with something. It would be the rare combination that a soft poached egg wouldn't suit. Poppy and Stephen think bacon is pretty nice too. Tilly even eats the green bits, but only because they are covered in egg yolk.

Anyway you put it together, it is simple and good and wholesome. It makes you feel good and cozy and that is important.


Pasta della California

Yep, I am a total geek. Call me corny, but I couldn’t resist.  And, to be fair, the recipe title flashed in my head while ogling some local organic avocados at the market. It had to be done.

This comes, originally, from the book Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero. I know, my cookbook collection is nothing if not eclectic. It is a great book and I have discovered some tasty things in there.

So, I don’t remember the original recipe, I remember the name and I remember a quick scan. I started reconstructing and we have basically wound up with a cross between a chunky guacamole pasta and the Kiwi Café’s BLAT but chopped up with pasta instead of in a panini. In fact, we turned Poppy's stroppy suppertime refusal into acceptance by selling it as Guacamole Pasta.

Being back in the carnivore’s company, I decided some crispy bacon would be very tasty topping this all off, and easy to remove for the less meat inclined. This would have a great kick if you added some hot chili, which I think the original called for but the four year old no longer tolerates. I used a healthy handful of chopped cilantro/fresh coriander because it just seemed right. I like a lot of lime and quite a bit of salt with avocado, so I wouldn’t be disinclined to serve this with a lime wedge on top.

If you were cooking this in a normal kitchen, ie. one equipped with a pot large enough to cook a pound of linguine, I would recommend a full pound. If, like me, you are living in a holiday flat where the pots are disturbingly small, you may have to use a little less. You may also have to cook everything that would require a frying pan in the wok because it is in the least terrifying state.

Pasta della California adapted from Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero

8 slices bacon cooked until crisp (optional)

1 avocado

5 oz (142 grams) grape or cherry tomatoes, quartered

Juice of 1 lime

2 cloves garlic minced

1/2 red pepper finely diced

Healthy handful cilantro/fresh coriander

2/3 pound linguine

2 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Remove the stone and the skin from the avocado and chop it into 1/2-inch pieces.

Boil the water for the pasta. Add the pasta. Cook to al dente and drain. Do not cool.

As the pasta cooks, heat the olive oil in a large pan, or wok, and add the garlic. Cook for a minute, don’t let the garlic burn. Add the tomatoes. Cook for a few seconds and add the red pepper and the lime juice. Toss the cooked, still hot, pasta into the pan with the tomatoes. Add the avocado, fresh coriander and salt and pepper. Toss, gently, until combined.

Put it in a big bowl and top it with some crispy crumbles of bacon, if you fancy.


Me? Stubborn?

There are a few food words which bring hoots and howls at our house. Most houses have them - hoots of approval at the uttering of words like dessert and candy and howls of despair for things like brussel sprouts and liver. Some of ours are expected - marshmallows and chocolate cake for instance. But sometimes I am completely unprepared for the odd howl of distaste. 

Sometimes, I alter the plan to make the offending food item more desirable. Sometimes, I stand very firm and declare that the choice is to eat it or to forfeit the after supper treat. Rarely, if ever, do I remove it from the menu.  Not even when it is Stephen doing the howling. In fact, I just dig my heels in a little further and determine to make him like whatever it is.

And so it was the other day when I returned home with a carton of sauerkraut. He looked at me like I had three heads and he tried to refrain from making gagging noises, his kind and loving version of culinary heckling, while Poppy was in the room. This did nothing but strengthen my resolve.

So, I set about cooking the offending sauerkraut. I tossed it in a pot with some carrots, some turnip and stock. I left the sausages out because there is something about sausages cooking in a pot of liquid that, ironically enough, makes me howl with disgust. As the cook, I get to do that though. I popped the pot of sauerkraut and veg in the oven and left it there for a couple of hours. I made some really good and buttery mashed potatoes and grilled some Lunenburg sausage for my carnivorous husband. 

Then, I sat down at the table and awaited the verdict. Still, he was not loving the sauerkraut and, I suspect, had Poppy not been there, he would not have eaten it and the gagging noises would have been our supper soundtrack. 

Consequently, we had leftovers. I still wasn’t ready to give in but I waited a couple of days to launch my second attack. The container of sauerkraut sat in the fridge and he knew it was going to reappear at some point, he just wasn’t sure when. I was still determined to make him want seconds if not thirds. I also knew that I had a couple of other weapons up my sleeve in the form of half a dozen fresh eggs and some double smoked bacon.

Sauerkraut Bubble and Squeak with Double Smoked Bacon and Fried Egg

2 cups leftover cooked sauerkraut (and any other cooked veg you need to use up)

3 cups leftover buttery mashed potatoes

Olive oil 

12 slices double smoked bacon

4 eggs

Salt and pepper to taste

Mix the sauerkraut and potatoes. Form into eight cakes. Heat a frying pan, add a tablespoon or so of olive oil and fry, on low to medium heat, the cakes until golden on each side.

Cook the bacon using your preferred method. I like to do it on a baking sheet in the oven at about 400ºF.

Fry the eggs the way you like them, sunny side up lets the yolk at as sauce to whole thing.

Serve a couple of bubble and squeak cakes with 2 or 3 slices of crispy bacon and an egg on top.

The verdict?

Sometimes it is better to suffer through something the first time, just for the leftovers.