Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘bacon’

Asiago Bacon Muffins

Asiago Bacon Muffins

Asiago Bacon Muffin Recipe (makes 12 Muffins)

Ingredients:
2 cups flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
7 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup (8 tbsp) finely shredded Asiago cheese
1/2 cup bacon crumbs– microwave to crisp up slightly
2 stalks green onions– chopped
1 clove garlic– minced
1 cup (one 8oz tub) sour cream
2 eggs– room temperature
2 tbsp milk
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter– melted

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line muffin pan with muffin cup liners.
  2. Sift flour, baking powder, salt and sugar to a large bowl.
  3. Add cheese, bacon, green onions and garlic to flour mixture. Mix well.
  1. In a separate bowl, combine sour cream, eggs and milk. Whisk to blend well.
  2. Pour melted butter and cream mixture to flour mixture. Gently fold in the batter until all incorporated. Spoon batter into muffin cups.
  3. Bake at 375F oven for 25 minutes, until muffins spring back when pressed (or toothpick inserted comes out clean). Remove from muffin pan and cool on a rack.

Regina’s Note:

  • You can always add in 1/4 cups of walnuts if preferred.
  • Cheese: You can use other cheese like Parmesan or Cheddar, but the flavor would be different.
Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Bacon, Ham & Cheese Scones

Bacon, Ham & Cheese Scones

Bacon, Ham and Cheese Scones (makes 12 scones)

Ingredients:
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
4 tbsp cold unsalted butter– cut into cubes
1/2 cup toasted walnuts– chopped
2/3 cup combination of grated Italian five cheeses (Parmesan, Mozzarella, Provolone, Romano, Asiago) and sharp Cheddar cheese
3 cooked bacon strips– chopped
2 slices ham– chopped
1 stalk green onion– chopped
2 cloves garlic– finely chopped
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp heavy cream
2 eggs

Method:

  1. In a large bowl, mix loud, sugar, baking powder and salt to combine. Add cold butter, rub with your fingers until the mixture resembles crumbles. Add in walnuts, cheeses, bacon, ham, garlic and green onion. Mix well. Make a well in the center.
  2. Whisk cream and eggs in a small bowl to combine. Reserve 2 tbsp of the egg mixture for glazing. Pour the remaining egg mixture into the flour mixture. Using a spatula, mix until the dough just combined.
  3. Transfer dough to a floured surface. Gently knead the dough a couple of times, then pat into a disc. Divide the dough in half, then shape each half into a disc of 6-inch diameter. Cut each disc into 6 equal small wedges.
  4. Place the scones on a floured non-stick baking pan and chill in the freezer for 30 minutes (see note below). Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375°F.
    Glaze the egg mixture on chilled scones, and bake for 20 minutes. Cool scones slightly on a rack. Served warm with butter.

Regina’s Note:

  • Freezing scones: According to King Arthur’s Flour website, chilling scones for 30 minutes before baking help relax the gluten in the flour, and thus producing flakier scones. My view is that if you have time and room in your freezer, go for it. If not, pop in the oven right away is okay too, just be sure to preheat the oven before prepping.
  • If you want to spice it up, feel free to add in some crushed red chili flakes or fresh chopped jalapeno peppers.
Bacon, Ham & Cheese Scones

Bacon, Ham & Cheese Scones

 

 

Read Full Post »

After my success with my basic artisan bread, I have decided to add flavors and started my “experiment”. Since I always love the combination of asiago cheese and bacon, I have to try it out this flavor– and it turns out delicious! And this is the best looking artisan loaf that I’ve made (sometimes I slit too deep and the breads look “exploded”, other times the loaves came out a little out of shape…)!

Artisan Asiago Bacon Loaf
Artisan Asiago Bacon Loaf
Artisan Asiago Bacon Loaf. Those big irregular holes indicates a good loaf.
Artisan Asiago Bacon Loaf: Those big irregular holes indicates a good loaf.

Artisan Asiago Bacon Loaf  (makes 3 loaves)

Ingredients:

Basic Cheese Dough Mix:
6 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour– use 1 cup measuring cup and a knife to sweep flat. DO NOT use large 2-cup measuring cup.
4 tbsp grated asiago cheese
1 tbsp salt
1 1/2 tbsp dry yeast
3 cups lukewarm water

Sprinkles (for each loaf):
2 bacon strips– break into crumbs (see note below)
3 tbsp grated asiago cheese
freshly ground black pepper

Method:

  1. Stir flour, salt and cheese to combine. Add lukewarm water and yeast into a 6-quart container, whisk to combine. Add flour mixture to the yeast water while stirring using a wooden spoon, until the dough is evenly moist. The dough will look very wet. This should take no more than 5 minutes.
  2. Cover loosely with a lid and let the dough rise at room temperature until the top collapse or flattens (it took me about 3 hours). Snap the lid on but pull up lid a little so the container is not air tight. Now the dough is ready put into the fridge (the dough is ready for baking after this initial rise but it’s easier to handle after chilling. The dough can be kept in the fridge for up to 2 weeks).
  3. On baking day, sprinkle some cornmeal on a pizza peel (so the dough rests without sticking to the peel). Take out chilled dough, sprinkle some flour on top of the dough then use one hand to pull up some dough (about size of grapefruit) while use the other hand to cut the dough with serrated knife. With dough in you hand, gently pull stretch the surface of the dough and tuck in the bottom, giving it a quarter turn as you pull/stretch. Dust a little more flour to prevent dough sticks to you hand. This shaping process should not take more than 1 minute.
  4. Dust a rolling pin and the board with some flour, gently roll the dough out to a 1/2-inch thickness. Dust little more flour to prevent dough sticking.
  5. Sprinkle ground black pepper, asiago cheese and bacon crumbs on the dough. Then roll it up like a jelly roll. Fold up two ends on the seal side, and gently shape the dough to a long oval shape.
  6. Place shaped dough on pizza peel, rest uncovered at room temperature for no more than 2 hours (depending on the room temperature–see note below). 20 minutes before baking, place pizza stone on the middle rack and a shadow pan at the bottom rack. Then preheat oven temperature to 450°F.
  7. Dust the top of the dough with some flour (so the dough won’t stick to the knife when making slit on the top) and make two slits(1/4 inch deep) on the top. Quickly and carefully slide the dough onto the pizza stone. Pour 1 cup of water into the shadow pan then quickly close the oven door. (To prevent last minute ‘surprise’ of the dough sticking to the pizza peel and losing heat from the oven, I always move pizza peel back and forth to test slide the dough before open the oven door).
  8. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the bread is golden and tap hollow at the bottom of bread. Remove bread  from oven and cool immediately on a rack. Cool completely before slicing (for a crusty bottom, bake bread on the stone for 28 minutes, then remove water pan and transfer bread to the bottom rack for another minutes).

Regina’s Note:

  • When we work on the dough, it will lose some of its air pockets trapped by the gluten (this is why the shaping should be quick and gentle). To compensate this, we let the dough rest for a longer time so the gluten can start working and trap more air, thus creating a light loaf with lots of big air pocket.
  • I used 2 bacon strips and the bacon is not very strong. If you want more bacon taste try 3 bacon strips.
  • You can also use cheddar or Parmesan cheese for a different flavor.

 

Artisan Asiago Bacon Loaf:... then sprinkle bacon crumbs. Opps, I almost forgot to take picture so I unrolled the dough a little...

Artisan Asiago Bacon Loaf: First, sprinkle ground black pepper and cheese...

Artisan Asiago Bacon Loaf:... then sprinkle bacon crumbs. Opps, I almost forgot to take picture so I unrolled the dough a little...

Artisan Asiago Bacon Loaf:... then sprinkle bacon crumbs. Opps, I almost forgot to take picture so I unrolled the dough a little...

 

Artisan Asiago Bacon Loaf: Shaping is done. The dough is now resting on pizza peel for no more than 2 hours.

Artisan Asiago Bacon Loaf: Shaping is done. The dough is now resting on pizza peel for no more than 2 hours.

Read Full Post »

I don’t know why it is called XO sauce, but I can tell you it’s VERY good and I have been hooked ever since I first tasted it– full of flavors from scallops, garlic, shallots, hot peppers etc… I immediately requested recipe from my neighbor who gave it to me. Man, let me tell you that it’s A LOT OF work making it. When I made it the first time, I start from zero in the morning and worked my ass off the entire day– When I finished it was 7pm and my arms and hands hurt from the heat of chopping peppers and from the stove! (I was warned about the long procedure, but I thought since I was already making it so I figured I would make a bigger batch… now I know it’s a BIG mistake!). I learned my lessons. Now I divide the work into 2 days– 1 day preparing, 1 day frying; also I use food processor whenever I can.

Homemade XO Sauce-- see all that shredded dry scallops?

Homemade XO Sauce-- see all that shredded dry scallops?

This is a very versatile sauce– it can be used as a dipping sauce or in cooking dishes. You can even eat it just with a bowl of steam rice. Since the main ingredient, scallop is not cheap, XO sauce is quite expensive– a small jar is selling for $12 or more. With the homemade ones, you get a whole lot more with much better quality. Make it for Chinese New Year for own use or as a gift to relatives and friends. They’ll love it! XO sauce can be kept in the fridge for months as long as it is cooked thoroughly and away from moisture and heat. I usually keep one jar in the fridge and freeze the rest in several batches, to keep contamination to a minimum. However, if the sauce molds on the top, just discard the moldy part and re-fry the sauce in the wok on low to medium heat until the oil bubbles then remove from heat and cool completely. The scallops might turn crispy but the flavor is still as good.

Homemade XO Sauce

Homemade XO Sauce

Homemade XO Sauce Recipe

Ingredients:
1 lb dry scallops
1/2 lb dry shrimps
1/2 lb garlic
1/2 lb shallots
1/2 lb red hot chili peppers
1 pack thin sliced bacon
2-3 tbsp (1/2 small jar) Taiwan ‘sah-cha’ sauce
2-3 tbsp oyster sauce
rice cooking wine for soaking dry scallops and dry shrimp

oil for frying

Method:

  1. Rinse dry scallops. Remove any tiny dirty stuff using finger. Drain and put into a big container. Pour rice cooking wine onto to the scallops, covering completely plus 1 inch more from top surface. Cover the container and soak overnight in the fridge. Repeat the procedure with dry shrimps using another container.
  2. Put soaked scallops in a deep pan (include the rice wine) and steam on high heat for 2 hours. Remove from steamer and drain off any liquid. Reserve the liquid for other cooking use. Repeat the procedure with soaked dry shrimps.
  3. While the scallops and dry shrimps are steaming, finely chopped(separately) garlic, shallots. Alternatively, you can cut them into small pieces and use food processor to blend as well (small pieces will speed up blending without having liquid coming out from garlic/shallots). Set aside.
  4. Trim off the bacon fat and reserve for other use. Finely julienne the lean bacon meat. Finely chopped dry shrimps and red chili peppers separately(my food processor can’t blend the peppers to fine grade so I have to chop them on the board– Remember to wear gloves!). Set them aside.
  5. Heat up a deep wok. Pour enough cooking oil. When the wok is hot enough (test oil with chopstick), fry garlic on high heat, stirring constantly. Adding more oil if necessary. When garlic starts to turn light brown, turn the heat to medium and continue frying for few more minutes. Dish out and use a silicon spatula to scrap out all the oil from the wok.
  6. Repeat the frying procedure with shallots, bacon, dry shrimps, chili peppers and scallops. Always fry on high heat until the ingredients starts to turn light brown then turn down the heat to medium. Take care not to burn or the XO sauce will have a bitter taste. For shrimps and scallops, be sure to fry until they are aromatic and “dry” (not crispy).
  7. Return all ingredients back to the wok. Turn heat to medium and stir to combine. Add Taiwan ‘sah-cha’ sauce and oyster sauce to taste (starts with 1-2 tbsp). Continue stirring until the oil bubbles on the surface. Remove from heat. Cool COMPLETELY before transferring to jars. Store in the fridge or freezer.

Read Full Post »

I saw a bacon and cheese loaf on Happy Home Baking recently. It looks so good that I put it on my to bake list right away. After the bacon wrapped asparagus for dinner, I purposely save some bacon strips for this recipe. I combined a couple of basic dough recipes, added some asiago cheese and create my own version. The house smelled cheesy when the bread was baking in the oven. The bread itself is very soft and full of flavor from bacon and cheese. I couldn’t resist the temptation and sliced a piece (well, more than one) when the bread was still quite warm… Mmm, definitely will make it again!

Bacon & Cheese Loaf - ready to bake

Bacon & Cheese Loaf - ready to bake

Bacon & Cheese Loaf

Bacon & Cheese Loaf - wish you could smell it...

Bacon & Cheese Loaf Recipe (makes 1 loaf  8.5″ x 4.5″ x 2.5″)

Ingredients:
3 bacon strips
2 cups bread flour
5 tbsp grated asiago cheese
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp milk powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp yeast
1 egg
125-150 ml water (depending on absorption of the flour)
1 tbsp butter

Topping: grated asiago cheese

Method:

  1. Pan fry bacon in dry clean pan until crispy. Drain on a paper towel. Crush into tiny bit and set aside.
  2. In a mixing bowl (use the bowl for stand mixer), combine well the bread flour, cheese, sugar, milk powder, salt, black pepper and yeast. With the dough hook attached and the stand mixer on low, add in egg and bacon. Pour in water gradually until the dough form a ball (you may need more or less water depending on the flour). Add in butter and continue to knead the dough until it doesn’t stick to the bowl and pass the “membrane  test” (pull a small piece of the dough, use two hand to stretch the dough to a very thin layer– if the layer doesn’t tear then the dough is ready to proof. Otherwise, continue kneading until it pass the test).
  3. Put the dough in a large bowl, covered with cling wrap and let it proof in the fridge overnight. The next day remove the dough from the fridge and let it sit in room temperature for couple of hours. (my loaf didn’t proof as much in the fridge so I let it proof longer time next day next to the stove)
  4. Lightly knead the dough a few times on a lightly floured surface. Press out any air bubbles as you knead.
  5. Roll out the dough to the length of the loaf pan, then roll it up like a swiss roll. Place dough into a lightly greased (sides and bottom) loaf pan with seam side down. Cover and let it proof again for 1-2 hours until the dough is 90% height of the pan. (I proofed it for 2 hours to almost 100% full of the pan, and the bread has a very nice height after baking)
  6. Preheat oven to 375°F.  Sprinkle the top with grated cheese and bake for 30 minutes on med. low rack (so the bread will be positioned at the oven center). Cover the top with foil if the top browns too quickly.
  7. Remove from loaf pan immediately. Let it cool on the rack before slicing.
Bacon & Cheese Loaf - shot in foliage mode

Bacon & Cheese Loaf - shot in foliage mode

Read Full Post »

Bacon wrapped asparagus

Bacon wrapped asparagus

Bacon wrapped asparagus

Bacon wrapped asparagus

Now is a good time to make this dish as asparagus is now in season. Aren’t they pretty? This is a very easy dish to prepare– just wrap bacon strip around asparagus and secure with a toothpick, grill it or pan fry in dry clean wok on high heat until bacon is brown and asparagus is just cooked. Drain on paper towel and remove toothpick before serving. This makes a great party finger food as well.

Tips choosing bacon and asparagus: I choose bacons that has less fat and less sodium to make it slightly “healthier”. Don’t waste money on thick sliced bacon. For asparagus, I choose the ones with thicker/bigger stems (to offset the saltiness from bacon) and peel off the skin 2″ from the bottom as that part might get chewy fiber.

Read Full Post »