Sunday, May 4, 2014
Bacon, It's Not Just For Breakfast Any More - May 4, 2014
Yesterday was the Kentucky Derby and we had a great group of friends over to celebrate. We even had our local bakery, Plehns, make horse head cookies with the numbers of all 20 horses so each guest could select a cookie and make a bet to go to the pool. Congratulations to Mark and Kay who picked California Chrome and won the pot.
Thanks to our friend Gerry, we had mint julips and Jeff and Elizabeth brought all the makings and created Oaks lilies. John made his own tradition of jambalaya in a giant cast iron dutch oven and we had more traditional items like ham biscuits and Camy's derby pie as well as my mother-in-laws melt in your mouth peach cobbler. It really felt like Spring had sprung.
Along with the other treats, I decided to make a fabulous and not too difficult treat that was shared in Edward Lee's (another Louisville treasure) great new cookbook, Smoke and Pickles. This treat has very few ingredients and is a great use for the pack of thick cut bacon you bought by accident or a big bag of cashews that you want to spice up a bit for a party. I'm not a bourbon drinker, but it is supposed to be a great compliment according to Edward Lee and it has just the right amount of salty and sweet.
Bacon and Curried Cashews
6 thick cut slices applewood-smoked bacon, diced (you need a sharp knife)
(you can also buy a big slab of bacon and cut about 6-8 ounces into chunks)
2 T. sugar
1 c. cashews
2 tsp. mild curry powder (I used Penzeys and I haven't tried with spicier blends)
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
pinch of salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat skillet and cook diced bacon on stove top 5-6 minutes until most of the fat is rendered and the bacon starts to crisp. Drain off all but a T. of grease. Add the sugar and cook until bacon starts to look shiny. Add remaining ingredients and toss. Spread everything on a cookie sheet lined with waxed paper and bake about 12 minutes. This is the most important step. You want the nuts and bacon to cook until crisp and well browned but not burnt. Too little and they will get soggy, too much and they do burn. Let cool and store in an airtight container for up to a week.
One Year Ago - Lemon Ramp Rissoto