Octopus Tacos with Bacon
Tacos de Pulpo con Tocino
Tacos are great. Octopus tacos are amazing. Octopus tacos with bacon are over-the-top!
Braised octopus’ mild flavor is enhanced by bright lime juice and roasted tomato salsa. Its lean, chewy, tender texture is balanced by crispy, salty, smoky bacon. When paired with crunchy purple cabbage, spicy red jalapeño, herbaceous cilantro, and pungent onion all nestled in charred corn tortillas we end up with some extraordinarily tantalizing tacos. Ones that are bursting with a wild range of flavors, colors, and textures.
Grilled Oysters with BBQ Sauce, Bacon, and Bleu Cheese
Are you ready for this? Grilled Oysters with BBQ Sauce and Bacon and Bleu Cheese? Crassostrea Gigas (Pacific Oysters) from Oregon’s Netarts Bay have plump tender meats with a clean-salty pronounced flavor, and a lingering finish.
Their deep cups makes them great for grilling. So fire up the grill and cook the oysters with the cup side down to retain the juices until they snap, crackle, and pop!
Carefully shuck these chubby bivalves then sprinkle with a generous mouthwatering portion of crumbled bacon and bleu cheese. A drizzle of smoky sweet tangy spicy BBQ Sauce will pull it all together for one big bold amazing mouthful. Let’s do it.
Aloha! Here is a nifty little appetizer to serve at a Hawaiian wedding shower, or any party with a tropical theme. It is simple to prep with just three ingredients – fresh pineapple, bacon, and brown sugar.
When asked to bring an appetizer to a party, anything wrapped bacon is sure to be a hit. Smoky bacon paired with tropical sweet-tart pineapple is a winning combination, guaranteeing this appetizer will be the first one to disappear.
Store-bought Hawaiian BBQ Sauce served on the side as a dip adds another smoky-sweet layer, enhancing the ripe pineapple and the umami bacon flavors. Arrive at the party, and just reheat your appetizer in a toaster oven then add it to the buffet. You will hear mahalo until the last tasty morsel is gone.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Bacon Shards, 18-Year Balsamic Vinegar of Modena
Thinking about my upcoming Thanksgiving menu, wondering if my nephews would try the Brussels sprouts this time around. Can Aunt GeeGee sell one of America’s most-disliked vegetables to 11 & 13-year-old boys?
Hmmm…maybe bacon would help, but not some puny bacon bits. This would have to be real bacon, the thick smoky meaty kind from my butcher, not the pre-packaged grocery store variety. And it would have to be substantial. Bacon shards. And I will drizzle it with the most heavenly vinegar, a vinegar older than both of them…rich and creamy, sweet and subtly sour, aged 18 years!
Who am I kidding? I know what their plates will look like…turkey, their grandma’s mashed potatoes, gravy, and shards of bacon (no Brussels sprouts in sight). Maybe I can get them to try my pumpkin risotto, it’s full of cheese after all.
Napa cabbage kimchi and sharp cheddar cheese is one of my favorite combinations – kimchi’s zingy fermented flavors and rich full-bodied cheddar, together create an amazing food synergy. And since last week’s Spinach, Tomato, Goat Cheese Quiche with a Black Quinoa Crust was such a big hit, I wanted to share another quiche using the more common white quinoa for the crust. Besides being gluten-free and high in protein and fiber, the quinoa crust has a delightful crunchy-chewy texture, counterbalancing the creamy cheesy custardy filling. In addition to kimchi and cheddar, I add bacon and scallions too. So there is no shortage of flavor in this pie!
Warm Fennel, Cabbage, and Celery Slaw with Bacon Lardons, Poached Egg, Peas, and Scallions
Garlic Whole Grain Croutons
I just blinked an eye and my fennel bush grew four feet. And those umbels of petite yellow florets seemed to suddenly appear too. I didn’t want to harvest the bulbs – the plant is so pretty in the garden with its bright feathery leaves – but I did want to use those fronds and flowers in a dish. It turns out that my friends at Food Network are featuring all kinds of SLAW this week, so I started with fennel and cabbage (from the farmers market) as a base and built this delightful salad from there.
Unlike most slaws, it is served slightly warm. And there are many flavors and textures in the dish that harmonize with each other. It is flexible too – going low-carb or gluten-free? Just leave out the croutons. Vegetarians can omit the bacon. Everyone can still be happy. Guaranteed.
Oh heavens no. I’m not trying to improve on the classic BLT sandwich. But…this week Food Network is featuring peaches and somehow BLP got stuck in my head. A cute play on BLT, no? I start to imagine other foods that might pair well with the summer peach. Rosemary, syrupy balsamic vinegar, black pepper, bleu cheese, saffron. And just like that the BLP Sandwich was born.
And it just so happens that my absolute favorite wine this summer is MacMurray Ranch Pinot Gris 2011 from the Russian River Valley in Somona. Damn, if this wine doesn’t taste like peaches. And baked apples and figs. Oh gosh, it is round and creamy and balanced and just plain luscious. Please try it with my BLP, sweet summer happiness will ensue.