From The Vine

Celebrate Bacon! Week 12 CSA Recipes

Did you know last Saturday, August 31st, was National Bacon Day? I hope you celebrated by serving some delicious bacon. If not, we have provided you with two great recipes this week to satisfy that craving for all things bacon!

The first meal starts with a cold tomato and bell pepper soup. Summer is almost over but it is still hot enough to enjoy a nice chilled soup. The main dish is a recipe that my family has enjoyed several times in the last few months, Grilled Pork Chops With Bacon and Tomato. The first time we fixed this was early this spring when kale was readily available. Since kale is not in season right now we skip that part of the recipe and add different side dishes. Also, if you don’t want to grill the tomato that is fine, just be sure to add a little Quick Bacon Jam to those tomato slices. Start the bacon jam before you start cooking the pork chops. You can even cook the bacon ahead of time – just reserve the drippings.

Summer Tomato and Bell Pepper Soup

2 1/4 cups tomato juice
1 1/3 cups finely chopped tomatoes (about 11 ounces)
1/2 cup (generous) finely chopped roasted red bell peppers from jar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon prepared white horseradish
Generous dash of hot pepper sauce
fine sea salt
4 1/3-inch-thick rounds soft fresh goat cheese
6 grape tomatoes (cut in half)
2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil
Additional extra-virgin olive oil (for drizzling)

Combine first 8 ingredients in large bowl; whisk to blend. Season soup to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled and flavors blend, at least 2 hours. DO AHEAD: Can be made 6 hours ahead. Keep chilled.
Ladle soup into 4 bowls. Top each with 1 goat cheese round and 3 grape tomato halves. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper and basil. Drizzle with oil and serve.

Grilled Pork Chops With Bacon And Tomato
Better Homes and Gardens Magazine

4 bone-in pork chops
1 large tomato
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium shallot (thinly sliced)
4 cups baby kale or chopped kale (optional)
1 recipe Quick Bacon Jam (recipe and ingredients below)

Season chops with salt and pepper. Spread both sides lightly with 2-3 tbsp Quick Bacon Jam.

Start charcoal or gas grill, grill chops covered over medium heat for 7 minutes. Turn and grill 7 to 9 minutes more or until done, adding tomato slices the last 3 minutes of grilling, turning once.

In large skillet heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add shallot; cook 1-2 minutes until tender. Add kale and 1/4 cups water; cook and stir 2 minutes until tender. Using slotted spoon, transfer to a plate. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Spoon Quick Bacon Jam over chops and serve with kale and tomatoes.

Quick Bacon Jam:
In a large skillet cook 6 slices of bacon until browned and crispy. Transfer to a paper towel, drain and cool. Reserve bacon drippings in skillet. Chop bacon into small pieces; set aside. Heat bacon drippings over medium heat. Add 1 small sweet onion, chopped, and 2 cloves of minced garlic to the skillet. Stir in 1/3 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup cider vinegar, 1/4 cup orange juice and 1 tsp grated fresh ginger. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, 15 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat. Fold in chopped bacon and 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper. Serve with grilled pork chops.

Braised Eggplant with Onion and Tomato

4-6 small Italian eggplants
2 medium onions (cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick wedges)
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped drained chopped tomatoes
1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup water

Preheat oven to 400F.
Halve eggplants lengthwise and score flesh 1/2 inch deep in a crosshatch pattern to make 1-inch squares (do not cut through skin). Arrange eggplant halves, cut sides up, in a large roasting pan and season with salt.
Cook onions in 3 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and stir in tomatoes, parsley, basil, lemon juice, 2 teaspoons sugar, and salt.
Divide topping among eggplant halves, mounding in centers. Stir together water, remaining 1/4 cup oil, and remaining tablespoon sugar until sugar is dissolved, then add to roasting pan. Cover pan tightly with foil and bake in middle of oven, basting eggplants every 15 minutes with cooking liquid, 45 minutes. Uncover and bake until eggplants are tender (they will collapse and flatten slightly) and cooking liquid is reduced and beginning to caramelize, about 40 minutes more. Serve hot or at room temperature, drizzled with pan juices.

Our second meal features delicious Grilled Hamburger Steaks with Roasted Onions that are no fuss! The potato salad recipe is light, no mayonnaise, and features bacon!!! We end this meal with a warm, traditional apple and pear crumble!

Grilled Hamburger Steaks with Roasted Onions

4 lean ground beef patties (4 to 6 ounces each)
2 tablespoons steak sauce
1 pkg. dry onion soup mix
2 large sweet onions, cut in half (then thinly sliced and separated (6 cups))
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1. Heat coals or gas grill for direct heat. Spray two 18×12-inch sheets of heavy-duty foil with cooking spray.
2. Brush beef patties with steak sauce; sprinkle with half of the soup mix (dry). Place half of the onions on center of each foil piece. Sprinkle with remaining soup mix, the brown sugar and vinegar. Fold foil over onions so edges meet. Seal edges, making tight 1/2-inch fold; fold again. Allow space on sides for circulation and expansion.
3. Cover and grill packets and beef patties 4 to 6 inches from medium heat 10 to 15 minutes, turning patties and rotating packets 1/2 turn once or twice, until meat thermometer inserted in center of patties reads 160ºF. Place packets and patties on plates. Cut large X across top of each packet; fold back foil.

Potato Salad With Bacon and Parsley

1 1/2 pounds new potatoes
kosher salt and black pepper
4 slices bacon
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley (roughly chopped)

1. Place the potatoes in a pot with water to cover and 1 teaspoon salt and simmer until tender, 15 to 18 minutes. Drain and run under cold water to cool. Cut into quarters.
2. Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a skillet over medium-high heat until crisp, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to paper towels. Crumble when cool.
3. In a large bowl, whisk the oil, vinegar, mustard, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Toss with the potatoes, bacon, and parsley.

Apple and Pear Crumble

1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter (softened)
2 cups peeled and diced apples
2 cups peeled and diced pears
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup sliced almonds (or to taste)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. Mix oats, flour, 3/4 cup brown sugar, and butter together in a bowl until crumbly.
3. Mix apples, pears, 3/4 cup brown sugar, and cinnamon together in a separate bowl; spread into the bottom of a 9×9-inch glass pan. Sprinkle oat mixture atop apple-pear mixture; top with almonds.
4. Bake in the preheated oven until the top is golden brown, about 40 minutes.

Shopping List –

Summer Tomato and Bell Pepper Soup

Tomato juice
1 1/3 cups finely chopped tomatoes
Roasted red bell peppers from jar
Extra-virgin olive oil
Red wine vinegar
Prepared white horseradish
Hot pepper sauce
Fine sea salt
Goat cheese
Grape tomatoes
Fresh basil

Grilled Pork Chops With Bacon And Tomato

4 bone-in pork chops
Large tomato
Olive oil
Kale or chopped kale

Quick Bacon Jam

Brown sugar
Cider vinegar
Orange juice
Fresh ginger

Braised Eggplant with Onion and Tomato

Italian eggplants
Extra-virgin olive oil
Fresh flat-leaf parsley
Fresh basil
Fresh lemon juice

Grilled Hamburger Steaks with Roasted Onions

Ground beef patties
Steak sauce
Dry onion soup mix
Brown sugar
Balsamic vinegar

Potato Salad With Bacon and Parsley

Kosher salt
Black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil
Red wine vinegar
Dijon mustard
Fresh flat-leaf parsley

Apple and Pear Crumble

Rolled oats
All-purpose flour
Brown sugar
Sliced almonds

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