Category Archives: bacon

Balsamic Brussels Sprouts with Bacon & Green Apple

As summer is creeping back in, we’re looking for easier dinners.  You know, one’s that don’t require tons of steps, or a million dishes.  We want something that has lots of flavor, but is simple and tasty.   And since it’s still that transition between spring and summer, we figured it’s not overly hot just yet, and turning on an oven is doable.

One beautiful Sunday afternoon, as we were wanting a lighter dinner- so we threw together some bacon and brussels sprouts.  We paired it up with a focaccia bread, and we had an easy meal.  I had made the dough from scratch earlier in the day, but you can always use a fresh baguette, or make something else.

What’s everyone’s preference for summer meals?  Would love to hear some new ideas!

Balsamic Brussel Sprouts with Bacon & Green Apple

Balsamic Brussels Sprouts with Bacon & Green Apple
Fifth Floor Kitchen original

1 lb bacon
1 1/2 lb brussels sprouts
1 green apple, cored & chopped into 1 inch cubes
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)
1-3 tsp Balsamic Vinegar

Cook the bacon strips in a hot skillet until they are crispy.  Allow the bacon to cool, then chop into smaller pieces.

Preheat the oven to 420ºF.

Then on a cookie sheet, spread out the brussels sprouts, cooked bacon, apple, salt, pepper, red pepper.  Over everything pour the cooled bacon fat.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the brussels sprouts are cooked to your liking (shorter time, they will cruchier).

Once the brussels sprouts are out out of the oven, divide it up on plates.  Then sprinkle a little (about a tsp) of balsamic over each plate.

Squash Blossom & Bacon Frittata

Over the last couple of years, I noticed many squash blossom recipes, but I could never find any.  This year when I spotted them at the Penn Quarter Farmer’s Market, and finally bought some!

Squash blossoms grow at the end of the bud that turns into a squash.  They tend to be unavailable in stores since they are very perishable, so a farmer’s market is the best place to find them.  They can be eaten raw, or incorporated into recipes.

About the time I bought the squash blossoms, we had a significant amount of bacon in our fridge.  Days before, my friends and I went blueberry picking, and stopped over at the Lancaster County Dutch Market in Germantown, MD.  There are a number of different vendors that sell desserts, salads, meats and veggies.  Everything that I bought was delicious, including that bacon!

So rather than just frying the squash blossoms, I decided on a breakfast frittata.  It’d be a perfect place for the bacon and squash blossoms to join together.  I ended up making it the day before, and it was enjoyed on a beautiful Saturday morning with some coffee!

Squash Blossom & Bacon Frittata
Inspired by: Sweet Sugar Bean

If you don’t have bacon, or don’t want to use it, feel free to use olive oil when sauteing all the veggies.  Also, if you don’t have bacon or squash blossoms- change up the ingredients to what’s in your fridge.  Frittatas are perfect for “cleaning on the fridge”!

8 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
1 tbsp chopped chives
9 pieces of bacon
3/4 cup chopped leeks
1 small onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
8 squash blossoms
10 grape tomatoes, halved
2 oz goat cheese, crumbled

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

In a medium-sized bowl, lightly beat together the eggs, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and chives.

In a cast iron, cook the bacon over medium heat.  When all of the pieces are done to your liking, remove and put them aside on a paper towel, leaving the bacon fat in the cast iron.  Once the bacon has cooled off, chop up into smaller pieces.

Next, add the onion and leeks into the cast iron (that has the bacon fat).  Cook for about 3-5 minutes, or until the onion is translucent.  Add in the garlic and cook for another 3 minutes.  Remove from pan, and set aside.

In the hot cast iron, set the squash blossoms, and cook them on each side for approximately 30 seconds.  Then remove them from the pan.

Next sprinkle the onions, leeks and bacon into the cast iron.  Over those ingredients, pour the egg mixture.  Arrange the squash blossoms and tomatoes on top.  Quickly, scatter the goat cheese around the cast iron.

Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until the egg begins to set on the edges.  Then transfer the cast iron into the preheated oven, bake for 10 minutes.

Reservations, Cupcakes & Bacon

There are so many articles out there which relate to food, restaurants, etc.  I often come across some and really want to share them.  So, these are some for today.

The Crowded Restaurant Conundrum: Why We’re All Gluttons for Punishment

The author wonders why people wait for hours to be seated at restaurants, is the meal that amazing?  Within the last couple of months, a couple of us ran into a simliar problem- we weren’t seated on time even though we had reservations, 45 minutes later we decided to leave, it wasn’t worth the wait! 

How Bacon Sizzled and People Got Sweet on Cupcakes

How does food become popular?  In Washington D.C. cupcakes are the biggest thing here (still), but so are Food Trucks.  What’s the next big thing?  Social media plays a large part (think: Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, blogs, FourSquare, etc).  I wonder what a bacon cupcake would taste like…

Smokey Quiche

Recently, Sam and I have gotten a chance to celebrate quite a bit- both of us got new jobs!  Yay!  Before I begin my new position, I’ve taken 2 weeks off to enjoy myself.  I flew to Chicago for a couple of days (where it was freezing!), while Sam stayed here in DC.  While I was gone, he made this amazing quiche- luckily, he left me a couple of pieces to enjoy once I came back.  He offered to share this delicious recipe with all of you:

I love quiche, but the classic Quiche Lorraine is a bit bland for my taste.  I’ve taken the basis of quiche, and put my own spin on it.  It’s super easy to make and sure to please.

Sam’s Smokey Quiche

1 frozen piecrust
4 eggs
¾ cup half and half
20 oz. smoked bacon
8 oz. smoked gruyere cheese, shredded
(smoked cheddar or smoked edam work here too)
2-3 jalapeno peppers, diced
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
½ tsp crushed red pepper (optional)

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.  Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a skillet or fry pan until crispy.  When bacon is done, let it rest on paper towels to soak up some of the grease, then roughly chop when cool.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked bacon with the remaining ingredients, and mix until the egg yolks are broken and well incorporated.  Pour mixture into pie crust, ensuring that it spreads evenly.

Put the filled pie on top of a cookie sheet (in case of spillage) and put into the oven for 40-50 minutes until the top is golden grown and a toothpick comes out clean from the center. That’s it! Serves 4-6 people.