Bacon. I promise if you set out any appetizer with bacon in it, your guests will leave you alone in the kitchen (instead of hovering over your shoulder, asking a million questions, keeping you in that kitchen even longer!) and entertain themselves (whew!). I think this Bacon Bar is brilliant, if I say so myself. I teamed up with Smithfield, the bacon kings, to create this amazing spread that highlights bacon in every way possible. Whenever I tell people I am working on a bacon-centric TV segment, the undoubtedly tell me “You know what you should make?”…. followed by their favorite bacon appetizer, bacon cheese ball and bacon side dish. And for good reason, bacon adds something special to any dish, its rich, smokey, salty, crispy flavor adds depth to any dish. So bask in the beauty of these bacon photos and recipes and tell me what else I should do to make this bacon bar even more delicious. I vote for a spicy, Tabasco infused Bloody Mary poured in a Bacon Sea Salt rimmed glass. Cheers!
Cherry Bacon Jam with Rosemary
5 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
1 large onion, finely diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/4 cup light brown sugar
pinch of ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound Smithfield Thick Cut Bacon
1 (10 ounces) jar cherry preserves
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
- In large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-low heat, cook bacon until just crisp, turning as needed. Remove bacon from pan and drain on paper towels until cooled.
- Drain all but 2 tablespoons of bacon fat from pan.
- Increase heat to medium and cook onions for 8-10 minutes or until soft and translucent. Add preserves and sugar to pan and cook over medium heat until hot and sugar has dissolved, stirring occasionally.
- Add in vinegar, cloves, salt and pepper and cook for 8-10 minutes or until thickened and syrupy, stirring occasionally.
- Meanwhile finely chop bacon while jam is reducing. Add bacon and thyme to pan and stir to combine, cooking until desired consistency.
Let jam cool and store in airtight jars for up to two weeks.
Keywords: Cherry Bacon Jam
Crispy Bacon Twists with Gouda and Apricot Preserves
1 egg, beaten
2 cups Gouda cheese (about 7 ounces), shredded
2 pounds Smithfield Hometown Original Bacon (about 25-30 slices)
1 package frozen puff pastry dough (2 sheets), thawed
1 cup apricot preserves (12-ounce jar) or your favorite flavor
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
Flour for dusting
- Preheat oven to 375℉. Line two rimmed baking pans with foil, set baking racks in pans, and lightly spray racks with nonstick spray.
- On lightly floured surface, roll out one puff pastry sheet to roughly 8 by 12 inches. Brush top lightly with beaten egg and thinly spread ½ cup of preserves over dough.
- Sprinkle evenly with 1 cup of shredded cheese and 1 tablespoon rosemary, lightly pressing cheese mixture into dough.
- Fold short end of dough over to enclose cheese mixture and lightly roll to seal. Cut short-wise into roughly fifteen ½-inch strips. Repeat with remaining puff pastry and ingredients.
- Layout one slice of bacon on the diagonal. Grab one strip of prepared dough by the ends and place one end of dough strip horizontally at top end of bacon and roll bacon with dough downward, stretching dough strip as you roll.
- Place completed spiral-wrapped bacon twist on prepared rack and repeat.
- Bake twists for 35-45 minutes or until pastry is browned and bacon crisp, rotating pans as needed for even cooking.
- Let cool five minutes and gently use spatula to remove twists from racks. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Keywords: Crispy Bacon Twists, bacon
Sea Salt Caramel Bacon
- 1/2 teaspoon flaked sea salt
- 2 tablespoons Caramel Topping
- 1 12 oz. package Smithfield Thick Cut Bacon
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Line 2 baking pans with nonstick foil. Remove bacon from the package and space evenly without overlapping slices.
- Place both pans in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Rotate pans and continue baking until crisp, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven.
- Using tongs, place bacon slices on a clean parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Let cool slightly.
- Heat caramel in microwave for 10 seconds. Drizzle bacon with caramel. Sprinkle with sea salt.
- Return to oven and bake 2 minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes.
- Using tongs, remove to cooling rack. Cool 5 minutes before serving.