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Friday, July 31, 2009

Bacon, bacon, bacon

I must admit that there are not many people who do not like bacon. I don't eat it often, but I do enjoy the thick slice bacon. In spinach salad and of course the infamous "BLT"!! Bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich is the perfect summer lunch. Farm grown tomatoes add a certain, summer only, flavor to this simple sandwich. My sons love bacon and could make a meal of bacon itself. I know that David (my youngest @ 18) has made many bacon sandwiches. Forget the lettuce and tomato for him as those are vegetables the last time I checked. Yes, your child can grow up just fine having not touched a vegetable or fruit since the baby food became chunky. This from my child who ate his share of baby food spinach. It was a FAVORITE of his!! Thank goodness for 100% fruit juices! Oh, and the calcium from all of the cheese and yogurt he ate too. One day, he will be pleasantly surprised when he does eat something of the fruit and veggie family and enjoys it.
We've all done that haven't we. Something we never ate as a child, but once tried as an adult, we like it. Growing up, I was not fond of Chinese food. Once I gave it an honest try again in college, I had many years of Chinese meals to satisfy my new found enjoyment of this delicious cuisine. Now, I eat Chinese food quite often and have even made homemade egg rolls, sizzling rice soup, and many entrees. There is something about eating out of those little take out boxes that puts the fun back in eating.

Now, back to the bacon.... Bacon cheeseburgers, bacon sandwiches, bacon for breakfast, and one of David's new found favorites: Bacon wrapped pork chops. I first had this delicious treat at my friend's house. Sue is an awesome cook, who has introduced me to the many fine flavors of her South African heritage as well as from her travels. Not sure of the origin of this recipe, and I don't make it as good as her, but it's wonderful nonetheless. David will eat three at a time with no problem! He enjoys them.

Bacon Wrapped Pork Chops

5 center cut pork loin chops, cut about 1/2 inch thick
5 pieces maple, hickory smoked bacon (thick cut is best)
1 clove garlic, minced
olive oil

Sprinkle the pork chops liberally with olive oil, pat minced garlic on each chop, add salt and pepper to taste and let sit for about 30 minutes. Wrap each pork chop with a piece of bacon. I don't wrap around the edges, but around the flat surface of the chops. No need to secure with toothpicks, as I just cook the portion with the wrapped end first. These are best cooked over a charcoal grill, but will do nicely in a frying pan. Fry the pork chops over medium heat until done, turning once. I fry the pork chops in a mixture of olive oil and butter (probably a good 3 tablespoons of each).

After the pork chops are done, I drain most of the oil except for about 3 tablespoons (the bacon will add extra flavor to the pan juices). Saute 1 onion sliced, 1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves minced and several mushrooms in the remaining pan drippings. Add a little white wine to the mushrooms and onions after they have nicely browned and are tender. Serve with basmati rice, fresh peas, and crusty Italian bread. For a more casual meal, omit cooking the mushrooms, and serve with potato salad, and fresh crispy pickles, and yellow mustard to serve with the pork chops.

Make extra as your children will want to eat more than one of these!!!

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Ingredients I must have in my kitchen (It's a long list, but I try and have these items on hand)

  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Cheese
  • Cumin
  • Curry
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Fresh Bread
  • Fresh Cilantro
  • Fresh Fruit
  • Fresh Garlic
  • Fresh Parsley
  • Greek Oregano
  • Kalamata Olives
  • Lemon ( At least 3 or 4 ALWAYS)
  • Peppers (Wax, Jalapeno, banana)
  • Red Wine Vinegar
  • Regular Olive Oil
  • Rice
  • Salad Ingredients
  • Sea Salt
  • Spanish Olives
  • White Balsamic Vinegar