Saturday, May 9, 2015

B is for Bacon & Broccoli [A-Z Blog Challenge 2015]

Experiments From Auntie's Test Kitchen
Intro  A  B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

B is for Bacon & Broccoli
Being raised in the South, I knew nothing of the concept of "Continental Breakfast."  You give me a muffin and orange juice and call it the morning meal, I'm asking, "OK, quit fooling around.  Where's the breakfast?  No, where's the REST of it?"  My mom made us various things for breakfast; grits, eggs, toast, oatmeal, biscuits, etc.  However, nothing said "mom's breakfast" like the smell and sound of bacon frying in her big cast iron skillet. As a kid, I knew what Jim Gaffigan meant when he said that bacon sounds like applause.  "Yay bacon!"
Remember what I said in the introduction about not being a very good cook?  Unfortunately, one of the simplest foods that you really can't screw up, I did...and still do.  In learning cooking basics, I never cooked my bacon well enough, but I was the only one who had to eat it (My parents were smart enough to know when to eat my cooking and, more importantly, when NOT to).  Even now, I still can't pan fry bacon without undercooking it but needing to doctor grease burns.  Cooking it in the oven should be easier; it's not.  I keep an eye on it throughout the cooking time.  When it hits almost done, I turn to get a spatula and an oven mitt, turn back to the oven...and the bacon is burnt and smoking.  Crap!  Maybe it's a good thing that since bacon isn't very healthy, I only consume it once in a blue moon.  No sense setting off the smoke alarm so often.
So, what the heck am I doing with bacon?   Pairing it with a healthier B food; broccoli.  Unlike bacon, I didn't grow up eating broccoli, but I DO know how to cook it without ruining it.  Stir fry, steaming in the microwave, or baking it in the oven works for me.  This recipe, however, uses it raw. 
Broccoli Cranberry Salad
 Recipe (c) 2015


6 strips bacon
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 heads broccoli, finely chopped
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/3 cup salted sunflower kernels, toasted
1/4 cup dried cranberries
Whisk mayonnaise, vinegar, and sugar in a bowl; refrigerate until ready to combine with salad.

Place the bacon in a large skillet and cook over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until evenly browned, about 10 minutes. Drain bacon slices on paper towels and crumble.

Combine broccoli, onion, bacon, sunflower seeds, and cranberries in a large bowl. Drizzle mayonnaise dressing over broccoli mixture; toss to coat.

Makes 8 servings or, of course, cut the recipe in half for four servings
This is one of those "dinner on the grounds" dishes I've enjoyed sampling but never had the nerve to attempt the recipe.  Well, I tried it today and it turned out really well.  So, at the next church supper, look out.  Actually, eat up! 

Jim Gaffigan on Bacon
Dana Carvey's Choppin' Broccoli Song


  1. We are having a huge pot of steamed broccoli here today. I hate making bacon as well. It is such a mess. I just buy microwave bacon and call it a day. No big greasy messes to clean up

    1. I'd probably blow up the house trying to make microwave bacon. :)

    2. It's really very easy. I just buy the Microwave Bacon in a box at the store and follow the directions. NO GREASE!