Sunday, May 9, 2010

Class Notes: Saturday Planning for Simple Cooking - Bacon Recipes

Saturday Planning for Simple Cooking
with Sue Walker
Bacon Recipes
I hate making bacon but my family loves it. Frying bacon gets grease everywhere and stinks up my whole house. When I make it I make a ton so I don't have to do it again for a month. I have actually been baking it on 500 degrees F. in my oven and that has cut down on the mess and smell. Give it a try. I also keep a jar of bacon grease in the refrigerator...if a recipe calls for bacon you can use a few teaspoons of bacon grease to saute whatever and sometimes skip the bacon all together.
Spaghetti Carbonara
This is great with leftover spaghetti noodles...warm them up in hot water to set the eggs in the recipe. If using leftover bacon just add to the onions after they are sauteed to warm up.
  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 slices bacon, diced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine (optional)
  • 4 eggs beaten
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 pinch salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese


  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook spaghetti pasta until al dente. Drain well. Toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile in a large skillet, cook chopped bacon until slightly crisp; remove and drain onto paper towels. Reserve 2 tablespoons of bacon fat; add remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and heat in reused large skillet. Add chopped onion, and cook over medium heat until onion is translucent. Add minced garlic, and cook 1 minute more. Add wine if desired; cook one more minute.
  3. Return cooked bacon to pan; add cooked and drained spaghetti. Toss to coat and heat through, adding more olive oil if it seems dry or is sticking together. Add beaten eggs and cook, tossing constantly with tongs or large fork until eggs are barely set. Quickly add 2 cups Parmesan cheese, and toss again. Add salt and pepper to taste (remember that bacon and Parmesan are very salty.)
  4. Serve immediately with chopped parsley sprinkled on top, and extra Parmesan cheese at table.

Classic Clam Chowder

Great for leftover potatoes too...the recipe says additional new potatoes but baked potatoes, rosemary potatoes...whatever you have on hand works.


  • 2 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into small dice
  • 1 large onion, cut into medium dice
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 1/2 cups leftover mashed potatoes
  • 2 (8 oz) bottles clam juice
  • 4 (6.5 oz) cans minced clams (clams and juice separated)
  • 1 cup water
  • 9 new potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a large soup kettle, fry bacon over medium heat until bacon crisps, about 5 minutes. Remove bacon, set aside.
  2. Keep 2 tablespoons bacon fat in pan. (If necessary, add oil to yield 2 tablespoons.) Add onion and saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Add thyme and bay leaves; cook until fragrant, 30 seconds or so.
  3. Whisk in mashed potatoes, clam juice (bottled and what you've drained from the clams) and 1 cup of water. Add new potatoes and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat; continue to simmer, partially covered, until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in clams, cream and parsley; season with salt and pepper.
  4. Heat through and serve, garnishing each bowl with reserved bacon.