Are your holiday affairs in order? Have you checked off everything on your list, except the gatherings and “bring a dish if you wish” evenings? I feel under pressure to whip up something as opposed to grabbing that tub of dip at Sam’s Club. And don’t think I didn’t consider it. I, too, get wrapped up in the hustle and bustle, clean the house for company, buy and wrap gifts, manage a project load solo at work, laundry from two college kids — you feel my pain yet? It’s life, right? Who is going to judge if that cheesy store-bought tub is in your pretty dish? Okay, honestly I can hear the murmurs before they start; doesn’t she like to cook? She has a food blog, right? Umm, yes, you got me there. But I digress; I can give you a list of all my quick shop go-to’s if you want, or I can draft this lovely child of mine to sous-chef for me today (for pay, and yes, the bacon recipe cinched the deal).
This year I am going to dub this the trifecta of the holiday season. The dish that keeps on giving. In the right way, of course, not the gross way. If you followed me back in September, I had a basil bush three feet tall. I made pesto, of course, the recipe offered here. I am lock stocked in pesto for one of these recipes. If you don’t want to make it because (I am not going to lie, this time of year fresh basil is pricey) it is OKIE DOKEY to get the jar stuff. Yes, I said it, premade — kind of lost the whole vibe of this post but, whatever. I am rolling with it.
Okay, so #1 of this trifecta is Red Pepper Pesto Potatoes. One thing I have to say is this is easy and festive looking and tastes fantastic.
The second recipe is an old standby that I tweaked with goat cheese. I love a good cheese ball, but this one is full of fresh herbs and crunchy pecans smeared on red pepper spears or cukes (because we need a healthy alternative to the toasts.) I could honestly eat this for lunch. Speaking of that, I have chopped up the leftovers of this and sprinkled them over a roasted beet arugula salad.
The third recipe brings home the bacon. I adapted it with bourbon instead — who knew bacon and bourbon and brittle would be a match made in heaven? I mean, I LOVE homemade peanut brittle, the thinner the better. Adding bacon into the mix might make me a believer that all things could be good with bacon. Of course, everything in moderation.Print
The third recipe brings home the bacon. I adapted it with bourbon instead — who knew bacon and bourbon and brittle would be a match made in heaven? I mean, I LOVE homemade peanut brittle, the thinner the better. Adding bacon into the mix might make me a believer that all things could be good with bacon. Of course, everything in moderation.
- 8 slices thick cut bacon
- 4 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons bourbon
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 2 tablespoons bourbon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
First we need to cook the bacon and toast the pecans. Line a baking sheet with foil. This one is gonna get messy don’t skip this step.
Place nuts onto foil lined sheet and toast at 400 degrees F for 7 minutes. Remove from oven and place in a bowl.
Place bacon on foil and sprinkle the first two tablespoons of bourbon onto the bacon both sides. Then sprinkle brown sugar onto both sides of bacon as well. Place bacon in the oven at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes or till crispy. Watch the last few minutes so the sugar doesn’t burn.
Remove from oven and chop into bite size pieces. Place in a bowl with the toasted pecans and stir together. Save for later.
In a 4-qt. saucepan add the water, white sugar, and corn syrup over medium heat. Stirring constantly till sugar dissolves and begins to boil.
Insert a candy thermometer and increase the heat a few degrees hotter. Do not stir, let mixture come to a boil until it reaches 290 degrees F. Then add bourbon, bacon and pecans. Continue mixing till temperature gets to 310 degrees F. Remove from heat immediately.
Quickly stir in butter, baking soda, and vanilla. Then spread onto a silpat or parchment covered jelly roll pan. Spread fast to thickness you desire.
Let cool for 30 minutes before cracking. Enjoy this treat in moderation 😉
Store in an airtight container for one week.