Maple-Lacquered Bacon With Crushed Peanuts
Note: Serve this as part of a special weekend breakfast or with drinks before dinner. From “The New Midwestern Table,” by Amy Thielen.
• 1/4 c. roasted salted peanuts
• 1/4 c. maple syrup
• 12 slices good-quality thick-cut bacon, cut in half
• Coarsely ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
Put peanuts in a plastic bag and pound with a rolling pin until they are finely crushed.
Pour the maple syrup into a shallow bowl and give each bacon slice (both sides) a generous dip in the syrup. Lay the bacon on the prepared baking sheet, and sprinkle it with black pepper. Bake for 20 minutes. Flip the bacon over and bake until it is crisp at the edges and caramelized on the bottom, another 10 to 15 minutes.
Remove baking sheet from the oven, flip the bacon again (it should look shiny and feel like it’s starting to stiffen), and sprinkle the chopped peanuts evenly over the bacon slices. Nudge the bacon slices to unmoor them from the baking sheet, and let cool for a minute to firm up. Transfer to a long platter to serve.
Nutrition information per 2 slices:
Calories 175 Fat 11 g Sodium 530 mg Saturated fat 3 g
Carbohydrates 10 g Calcium 21 mg
Protein 9 g Cholesterol 22 mg Dietary fiber 1 g
Diabetic exchanges per serving: ½ other carb, 1 high-fat meat, ½ fat.
Booya-Posole Community Stew
Serves 8 to 10.
Note: Grilling the meat first adds a smoky flavor to the mix. From “The New Midwestern Table,” by Amy Thielen.
• 4 tbsp. salted butter
• 1/2 large sweet onion, diced
• 1 large carrot, diced
• 2 ribs celery, diced
• 1/2 large red bell pepper, diced
• 1 jalapeño pepper, minced
• Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 4 garlic cloves, minced
• 1 c. crushed fresh or canned plum tomatoes
• 2 skinless chicken legs (1 1/2 lb.)
• 1 lb. pork butt, sliced 1-in. thick
• 1 tbsp. minced fresh thyme
• 1 tbsp. sweet paprika
• 1 (3-in.) cinnamon stick
• 4 c. low-sodium chicken stock
• 3 bay leaves
• 1 (15.5-oz.) can white hominy, drained and rinsed
• 2 ears fresh sweet corn, kernels cut off
• Chopped fresh cilantro, for topping
Heat the butter in a large stockpot over medium heat. When it melts, add the onion, carrot, celery, bell pepper, jalapeño and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until the vegetables are soft and sweet, about 20 minutes. Add the garlic and tomatoes and cook until thick and jammy, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat a grill or a stovetop grill pan over medium-high heat. Blot dry the chicken legs and pork and season with salt and pepper.
Grill the chicken and pork until well-marked on both sides and partially cooked through, about 10 minutes. Cut the pork into 1-inch cubes.
Add the thyme, paprika, cinnamon stick, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper to the stockpot. Add both meats, the stock, 4 cups water and the bay leaves. Bring to a simmer and cook, partially covered, stirring once in a while, until the pork is very tender when poked with a fork, about 1 hour, 30 minutes.
Remove the chicken legs, pick the meat from the bones, chop it into large pieces and return it to the stew.
Add the hominy and simmer the stew another 30 minutes to 1 hour, or until everything is really tender and the meat is falling apart. Mash the pork against the side of the pot to break it up. (Don’t worry if the chicken looks like it’s almost dissolving: That’s typical of booya.) Add the corn and cook 5 more minutes.
Remove the bay leaves and cinnamon stick. Taste to check the seasoning and add more salt, if needed. Serve with the chopped cilantro.
Nutrition information per each of 10 servings:
Calories 255 Fat 13 g Sodium 190 mg Saturated fat 6 g
Carbohydrates 14 g Calcium 34 mg
Protein 21 g Cholesterol 63 mg Dietary fiber 2 g
Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 vegetable, ½ bread/starch, 2 ½ medium-fat meat.
Potato and Three-Onion Hash with Smoked Lake Trout
Note: If you’re in a hurry, poke the potatoes with a fork, wrap them in paper towels and microwave for 4 to 5 minutes to parcook them before frying. They come out a touch dryer than the parboiled potatoes, but that can be remedied with extra butter. From “The New Midwestern Table,” by Amy Thielen.
• 1 1/2 lb. (about 5 small) Yukon Gold potatoes (see Note)
• 3 tbsp. canola oil
• 1 medium onion, diced
• 1 tsp. fine sea salt, divided
• 1 medium leek, white and green parts, chopped
• 1 bunch green onions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
• 6 garlic cloves, sliced
• 4 tbsp. (1/2 stick) salted butter, cut into chunks
• 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
• 1 c. flaked boneless, skinless smoked lake or rainbow trout
Put the potatoes in a saucepan, add water to cover generously and salt the water. Bring to a slow simmer and cook until the potatoes are about half-cooked when poked with a fork, 15 to 20 minutes. (You can proceed to the hash immediately or cool the poatoes and store them in the refrigerator for making hash the next day.)
Chop the potatoes into bite-size pieces. Heat a heavy, wide-bottomed pan (preferably cast-iron) over medium-high heat and add the oil. Add the potatoes, onion and 1/2 teaspoon salt, and fry until dark golden brown on the bottom, 5 to 10 minutes.
Flip and add the leek, green onions, garlic and butter. Season with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and the pepper. Fry, flipping when the underside turns dark brown, for another 10 minutes or so. Add the smoked fish and fry and flip until it has warmed through. Serve immediately, with or without a fried egg atop.
Nutrition information per serving without egg:
Calories 303 Fat 17 g Sodium 840 mg Saturated fat 6 g
Carbohydrates 27 g Calcium 82 mg
Protein 11 g Cholesterol 44 mg Dietary fiber 4 g
Diabetic exchanges per serving: 2 bread/starch, 1 lean meat, 3 fat.
Peppered Pork Roast
Serves 6 to 8.
Note: From “The New Midwestern Table,” by Amy Thielen.
• 1/2 tsp. sugar
• Fine sea salt
• 1 (3 1/2 lb.) pork loin roast, fat cap left on
• 3 tbsp. black peppercorns
• 5 tbsp. salted butter
• 6 garlic cloves, finely grated
• 2 tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
• 3 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
• 2 tbsp. canola oil
Give the roast a quick cure for added flavor: Stir together the sugar and 1/2 teaspoon salt, rub the mixture all over the roast and refrigerate it for 2 hours or as along as overnight.
Blot the roast dry. Crush the peppercorns with a mortar and pestle or in a spice-devoted coffee grinder to a medium-coarse texture. (Some will be finely ground, but you want the large pieces to resemble cracked pepper.) Rub the pepper into the meat, saving what doesn’t stick for the marinade.