Posts tagged ‘bacon’

Gnocchi and Guanciale based Tomato Sauce

Gnocchi and Guanciale based Tomato Sauce

Gnocchi and Guanciale based Tomato Sauce

Gnocchi and Guanciale based Tomato Sauce!

Oh and did i mention this was all home made from scratch! Tasty home made gnocchi covered in a Guanciale based tomato sauce, it is rich, flavorful and stick to your ribs good.

This is actually a pretty easy but time consuming task if you are going at it alone, I think I spent a total of 3-4hrs making this meal. So lets get started with the deliciousness!

Ingredients:

Gnocchi:

  • 1.5lbs of Potatoes
  • 1 Egg (beaten)
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt

    Guanciale

  • 1.75 Cups Flour

Guanciale based Tomato Sauce:

  • 4 Slices Guanciale
  • 1 Onion
  • 1 Bell Pepper
  • 1  16oz can of Crushed Stewed Tomatoes
  • 4 cloves Garlic
  • Olive Oil
  • Kosher Salt
  • Black Pepper

Directions:

Alright now it is time to get to business. First lets get our potatoes going! Now what I did was I boiled the two potatoes whole, this may take a while. Another way to prepare the potatoes is to bake them, this will result in a lighter gnocchi. I am assuming that you want to keep the potatoes whole to keep the water content of the potato constant. After your potatoes are cooked you can carefully peal away the skin, i then cut the potatoes up into a few chunks to aide it in it’s cooling.

Gnocchi Dough

Gnocchi Dough

You want the potatoes cooled down near to room temp before you can proceed(tip from a friend) , after they have cooled down mash them up. Next stir in your beaten egg and salt, keep mixing till it is consistent. Now stir in 1 cup of the flour, mix then add in the rest. Once you have a consistent mixture take the dough out and kneed it on a floured surface. You want to make sure it has a consistent texture but make sure not to over work the dough(may result in tougher dough).

Next separate the dough into 4 quarters, select one and start to roll it into a snake like piece that is about 1cm in diameter, next cut a 2cm long piece off the dough and make an impression into the top with a fork, squish the sides in (kinda looks like a little football), now repeat this till all your dough is gone. Make sure to set each piece of gnocchi onto a floured cookie sheet as you make them (at this point you can either throw the gnocchi in a bag in the freezer or eat it).

Sauteed Gnocchi

Sauteed Gnocchi

Now that you are finally finished making the pieces of gnocchi get a large pot of water boiling, mind you that you can boil them in batches. When the raw gnocchi goes into the water it will sink to the bottom, when it is done cooking it will float to the top. Go ahead and remove them as they float up and place in a strainer. Once I had a suitable amount I threw them into a skillet with some olive oil and sauteed them. This step is not required, but can enhance the gnocchi. Now your gnocchi is done!

Now lets get onto the Guanciale based Tomato Sauce! I first started with adding my chopped up onion into a sauce pan with some olive oil and salt, letting the onion sweat. Next I took the 4 slices of Guanciale and sliced it into eight inch wide strips and threw it into the pan. Next add your chopped up bell pepper and 4 cloves of chopped garlic.

Sauce Base

Let that all cook low and slow. As always when I use pork fat

in my recipes I render it. This is really key with the Guanciale since it is a dry cured unseasoned Italian bacon and is mostly just fat. After the fat is rendered go ahead and add in your 16oz can of crushed stewed tomatoes, black pepper and or salt to taste and also some water (i think i added 2 cups)let that simmer and reduce for a while or until you get your desired results! Mind you I was hustling around the kitchen preparing both at the same time so having an assistant or friend could help speed this all up.

More photos: Kitchen 365 | Flickr – Gnocchi and Guanciale based Tomato Sauce

Guanciale based Tomato Sauce

Guanciale based Tomato Sauce

Gnocchi and Guanciale based Tomato Sauce

Gnocchi and Guanciale based Tomato Sauce

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Bacon Cheese Burger Casserole

Ok this is another favorite of mine that I whipped up one day and keep making it again and again. Bacon Cheese Burger Casserole. Now doesn’t that just shout all kinds of deliciousness to you? A great combination of  bacon, onions, ground beef, tomato sauce, macaroni and cheese, oh and the cheese is layered into it and then topping it also. This is by no means a heart healthy meal, but I’m a skinny guy and pretty active so I don’t worry.

Ingredients:

  • 3 Strips bacon
  • 1lb Ground beef
  • 1 Onion
  • 3 Cloves garlic
  • 3 Cups macaroni
  • 2 Cups cheddar cheese
  • 1 Jar spaghetti sauce
  • Large Skillet
  • Large Pot

Directions:

  1. Saute your onions in some olive oil with some salt at a low heat in a skillet.
  2. Chop up your garlic and Bacon and add them to your skillet, keep all of this cooking low and slow, you will be rendering the bacon as you may have figured out.
  3. After the bacon has been rendered add your ground beef. Break it up and turn the heat up a little to get it cooking. Not too much heat, let it cook slow.
  4. After the ground beef is cooked add you jar of spaghetti sauce and mix it in.
  5. Now cook up 3 Cups of macaroni noodles. Let the sauce and meat simmer and or cook low.
  6. After the noodles are done drain the water off and put noodles back into the pot you used, then mix in the entire contents of the skillet.
  7. After mixing them add a layer an inch or so thick into your baking dish, then add a layer of your cheese. Repeat this for how ever many layers you want. I did two layers.
  8. Place in oven at 350F to assist the cheese melting into the layers, I think I put mine in for 10 minutes. Remove from over and you are ready to eat!

Mine came out with a sweetness from caramelized onions and the honey cure on the bacon. The tomato sauce gave its normal acidic kick, the cheddar gave a nice sharpness to each cheesy bite and the beef and bacon just increase the amount of great flavors. This recipe as it is could feed 6-8 adults for a meal. Not huge portions, but plenty hearty. The first time I made this I was broke as could be and was actually costing out each meal I would eat. Sans the bacon and cheddar I was able to make this casserole for $4.45 , which made 6 Servings that cost only $0.74 each! Great poor-mans food that will keep in the fridge for days, well that’s if you don’t eat it all right away!

To view more pictures you can go to Bacon Cheese Burger Casserole – Flikr

Kielbasa Bean and Bacon Soup

This recipe is an adaptation of one of my grandmothers best soups. Kielbasa Bean soup is something that my whole family grew up eating and is perfect any time of the year.

Kielbasa Bean Soup Ingredients:

  • Kielbasa (or another better grade Polish Sausage)
  • 1 Large Onion
  • 3 Carrots
  • 2 Potatoes
  • 3 stalks Celery
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 4 strips of bacon
  • 16oz can of stewed tomatoes
  • large jar of pre-soaked white beans.

Instructions:

  1. First you need to get a large pot to cook in. Chop up your onion and start to get it cooking with some olive oil.
  2. Next add you chopped garlic and add salt to help speed up the cooking of the onions.
  3. While the onions and garlic are cooking low and slow cut up your bacon. Any type will do but some may be better than others. For me when it comes to bacon I tend to look for high fat content in the slices for cooking with. The reason here is that I want all the creamy smokey flavor from the bacon and not the fried crispiness that it can have. So as you may now have figured out it is time to put the bacon into the onions. Keep the temp low still, just let the bacon start to let the fats go, stir occasionally.
  4. While the bacon is rendering with the onions cut up your Kielbasa sausage and set that aside. Now get your carrots, celery and potatoes cut up and ready. After the bacon has rendered for a lil bit the onions should be very soft, and cooked down. Add in your kielbasa and turn the heat up a little bit to get it cooking.

5.After the kielbasa has started to cook add your vegetables, your can of stewed tomatoes and enough water to cover everything

(i had to use 6 cups of water).Bring the pot to a boil for 10minutes then reduce the heat down and add your beans. Cover it back up and let it simmer till which ever point you want.

At this point everything should be fairly well cooked. Maybe the carrots could use some more simmer time but that is fine. Letting the soup reduce and all the flavors mingling make it even better.

So in the end this version of Kielbasa Bean and Bacon Soup turned out as a great soup, meaty, starchy, veggies, nice thick broth and pretty well balanced. This is a soup that will taste even better the next day as leftovers. I plan to feast on it for a few days and also freeze some in Tupperware containers. Always handy to have great soup easily at hand when you need it.

Also Ciabatta Bread would go great with this soup!