bacon, bacon and corn griddle cakes, Breakfast and brunch, brunch everyday, fun things with bacon, lazy sundays

Sunday Morning Griddle Cakes

Sunday is, without question, my favorite day of the week. It is a predominantly lazy day in our house, with a mild dose of productivity (there is usually laundry and a bit of cleaning to do, which then turns into mindless tv watching sometime after 2pm). But, what truly makes it my favorite is the fact that it’s the one day off a week that The Missus and I have together. I cherish it. Depending on our moods, and our disposable income, we switch back and forth between going out to our usual haunts for brunch and me cooking up an indulgent meal at home. This week we stayed in and I cooked up a savory stack of pancakes that I came across on Pinterest. (Can we just acknowledge that Pinterest is going to make us all ridiculously fat? Because it is.)

Bacon and Corn Griddle Cakes
from Recipe Girl

8 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/3 cup finely chopped sweet onion
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2/3 cup milk
1 large egg, beaten
1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
1 cup frozen, canned or fresh corn
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
warm maple syrup, for serving


1. In a medium skillet, cook the bacon pieces until they begin to brown. Add the onion and continue to cook until the bacon is crisp and the onion is softened. Scoop out a heaping tablespoon of the bacon mixture for topping the griddle cakes upon serving- and set it aside.

2. While the bacon is cooking, combine the flour, chives, baking powder, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Stir in the milk, egg and oil, just until moistened. Stir in the bacon mixture, corn and cheese. The mixture will be thick. If you’d like the griddle cakes to be slightly thinner than those pictured, add a little more milk to thin out the batter.

3. Heat and grease a griddle or large skillet. Pour a heaping 1/4-cup of the batter onto the griddle and cook until it is golden brown- 3 to 4 minutes per side. Repeat with the remaining batter.

4. Serve stacks of griddle cakes topped with a sprinkle of the reserved bacon/onion and a good dose of warm maple syrup.

I used buttermilk in place of the regular milk and some Dinosaur BBQ ‘Foreplay‘ spice mix instead of the cayenne. The cakes were wonderfully fluffy and filling, with sizable chunks of smokey Black Forest Bacon and sweet corn. I used Pineland Farms Salsa Jack cheese, which added a wee bit more flavor to the mix than the Monterey Jack that was called for. While I was dubious of the maple syrup that the recipe called for, but the balance of sweet and savory flavors definitely worked here. They were, dare I say, even better than the griddle cakes I had at Farmhouse Tap and Grill.

bacon, burger-o-rama, foie gras, fun things with bacon, nosh, piggy angels

Burger-O-Rama pt3: Bars and Pubs

In the first round of this O-Rama series, I set my personal standard for a good burger: simple and well cooked, nothing fancy or over the top. But, when it came time for us to pick our selection for this months theme of “Bars and Pubs” I threw all of that out the window and had my sights set on one location: Nosh.

For one thing, I hadn’t been there in over a year and that was a visit full of mixed reviews and failed to leave an overall impression on either the Missus or myself. It was time to revisit the land where pig fairies(or angels, as it were, like the one in the header photo for this blog) sprinkle bacon dust on your thick cut french fries. And I had a Groupon.

So, the Missus, our friend Rory and myself made plans to have dinner there before we headed off to see humorist David Sedaris at the Merrill. At first, it didn’t bode well as we waited by the door for several minutes before being acknowledged. The Missus grew anxious and I chalked it up to the staff scrambling to organize a table of ten that was shuffling around the back of the restaurant. We were finally told it would be nearly a half an hour wait until a table would be free. We were seated in less than five. Bonus.

While we waited for Rory to arrive, the Missus ordered a Brooklyner Weiss, while I was happy to find a ginger beer on their menu.

Growing famished and enticed by the buckets of fries hitting the tables around us, we ordered our own bacon dusted bucket with a side of cheese sauce. The last time we had them the Missus complained that there wasn’t enough bacon flavor. She had the same complaint but I wholeheartedly disagree with her. The powder, very similar to the powder used in Sweet Marguerities Malted Bacon truffle from her Umami collection, is there to impart a smoke flavor to the fries and our bucket was loaded with it. The first time around, yes I did feel like it was skimped on but here I had no complaints. I found myself licking the powder off my fingers like I had been eating a bag of cheese curls except this was a hell of a lot more satisfying.

When our 3rd finally arrived, eager to eat and have a beer, we quickly ordered a few things to share. R., lost in the flurry of activity, asked what we were having and I ran down the selections:

Bacon Dusted French Fries(x2) see above.

Cured Salmon Crostini: house cured salmon, sweet onion relish and horseradish cream

Zucchini Bacon Hushpuppies: zucchini, smoked bacon fritters with a chipotle mayo.

Apocalypse Now Burger: pork and beef patty, American cheese, house made mayo, pork belly, bacon, foie gras and cherry jam on brioche.

We quieted down a bit as the food start arriving kitchen. I have to confess, there is something sadistically pleasurable about sitting down for dinner @ Nosh with a friend who literally weighs 100 lbs. From the second she sat down, and we demanded that she dive in to the bucket of french fries, to the last sip of her Long Trail Double Bag, Rory was in heaven.

For me, the salmon dish was ok and nothing more than that. It was a nice clean cure but the fish came off as pretty mild and would have benefited a bit more from an added dose of horseradish to the cream. The hushpuppies, however… They were honestly the best I’ve had outside of New Orleans. They, believe it or not, weren’t overloaded with bacon and this worked to their advantage. The inside, amazingly creamy, was a balance of slightly sweet and smoky; the outside shell was ever so crunchy without being over fried. The chipotle mayonnaise was the knockout punch to it, though. Just a bit smokier than the fritter, it also added both a level of acid and heat that really made the dish addictive. It also made for a mighty fine dipping sauce for the french fries. The downside: this was a special appetizer for the evening (though, and I’m talking to the Noshers that Be, I think this would kill as a regular item).

Another fun note about Rory is that she’s never had foie gras before. When she told us this, the Missus and I nearly squealed with joy–or from the over consumption of pork products. We’re still not sure. But, when the burger arrived, I stole a bit of the lobe, smeared it on a crostini, handed it her and watched her face. It could only go one of two ways, really, as foie isn’t an ingredient you can really be ambivalent about. And, when she finished chewing, she beamed. I repeat: There is something sadistically pleasurable about sitting down for dinner @ Nosh with a friend who literally weighs 100 lbs.

Satisfied, I cut the burger into threes and we dug in. Or, rather, they did and I sat there for a few seconds inspecting it. I mean, there it was, the Apocalypse Now Burger. The burger made famous on Man Vs. Food, which actually ordering it in the restaurant brings a preface from the waitress that he had the Quad-Apocalypse: a four horseman patty version and that if we wanted one similar to the burger that Adam Richman ate, we could add the additional patties at a cost. The single patty version sat in front of me and I hedged on eating it.

Was it because my brain(or at least the better working parts of it) knew that it was just way too over the top? It was everything I loved in an interpretation that my instincts told me I should hate. So, when I finally shut my brain off and just bit into the damn thing… well, I thought I heard those little piggy angels singing. I loved it. I loved the juiciness and the flavor of the ground pork in the patty, which was reminiscent of a garlicky Italian sausage, but the red meat was near impossible to pick out. The bacon and thick cut pork belly were crispy and fatty, though the foie and cherry jam was completely lost in the pile of pork. While I do love some foie, those livers need to be as fat as David Crosby’s to stand up to the other components of the burger, otherwise it just acts as a textural element instead of a flavor one. Luckily, all together, it reached beyond being a novelty and made for a pretty satisfying bite.

And what did our 100 lb wonder think of it? To quote her: ‘Favorite burger ever.’ I do believe they have a convert in Rory and, for us, it was a decadent and delicious burger, but I’d be more likely to go back for the fries and hushpuppies.

Nosh Kitchen Bar on Urbanspoon

Want to read about some other burgers, visit the O-Rama gang and their reviews here, here, here, here, here and here.

fun things with bacon, mashed potato pizza

Bacon and Mashed Potato PIzza

I have heard so many good things about the Mashed Potato Pie @ Otto’s on Congress, that I decided to make a home version last week for St. Paddy’s Day instead of the typical boiled dinner.

I used a Rosario Pizza Dough(Bristol, ME) as my base, set into a 12″ lightly oiled cast iron skillet. I preheated the oven to 500 and dropped it to 400 just before the pie went in and baked it for about 30 min.

The irish-style bacon could be substituted w/pancetta.

Left over Irish cheeses were used as the substitute for mozz.

The second round of bacon was thick cut, in house double smoked from Whole Foods.

Scallions and chives

Mashed red/yellow potatoes(with Kerry Gold butter and milk); mixed in chives/scallions and porky goodness

Spread out pizza dough, laid down a base of the grated cheeses and strips of bacon

topped it all with remaining greens and pig

Pre-oven–topped with more cheese after this photo was taken

Post oven

Plated with a wayward piece of bacon.

I’ll be making my way over to Otto’s soon enough to try their version to compare but will definitely be making this recipe again.

Bacon on Foodista

bacon, French press eatery, fun things with bacon, more bacon, still full, Westbrook

Overstuffed at The French Press Eatery

This morning I joined Dawn at the The French Press Eatery in Westbrook for some coffee and doughnuts. I went there on a single mission, their Maple Bacon Doughnut. Now, mind you, these plans were made the previous Saturday while we were eating at Nosh. Correction.. While we were eating multiple variations of pork at Nosh(five to be exact). How I am not dead or struggling for breath at this moment is beyond me. I do know, however, that I ate half of the Maple bacon and a few forkfuls of the other two(Elvis-pb, banana and chocolate and Boston Cream) at 10 am and I am still full.

Elvis, Maple Bacon, Boston Cream

Words cannot describe how f’ing good these are. The base of the doughnuts are dense, without being heavy and the outsides are crunchy, yet not greasy. To say that these are the perfect doughnut would not be an exaggeration. Then add on the toppings and you are well into the realm of pure gluttony. The epitome of that fact came when Dawn took her first bite, into Elvis, and was thoroughly covered in peanut butter and chocolate. For a moment she looked like a child diving into an ice cream sundae. Fingers, lips and chin completely smeared with sugary goodness.
The Boston Cream was filled with a balanced vanilla pastry creme that didn’t come off as cloying. Topped with the same ganache as the Elvis it was the best play on a flavor that I usually pass over.
The Elvis was as much overkill as you would expect, with peanut butter running out off the sides and stuffed with thick slices of banana. It was so rich that it was almost too much, but it was so good that it was hard not to keep picking at it.
Now, I had a lot of high hopes in the Maple Bacon after Dawn’s rave of it and thankfully it did not fall short of any of them. Like the pastry creme, the maple glaze was just sweet enough and the salt, lent from the bacon, helped eek a bit more sugar out of it.
We picked them over, and finished off 2 french presses, during the course of 2 1/2 hours and still couldn’t finish. I’ve never been defeated by food and this was a first for me. I bow to the Brothers Tranchemontagne, and their family recipe, for creating one of the most beautifully sinful things I’ve ever eaten.
And thank you Dawn for showing me the light.

The French Press Eatery on Urbanspoon