The Bacon Affairs Savory flirtations, dalliances, and indulgences with the underbelly of the pig.

Crown Roast of Pork—Simpler Than it Looks!

_MG_6346A crown roast of pork is an impressive sight to behold on the dinner table, but sitting in the butcher’s case, it’s also a cut that intimidates. It shouldn’t.

I don’t usually tackle large pieces of meat, unless I’m smoking something and using it in a variety of meals or working up something pricey like a standing rib roast for the rare holiday I share with my family. But duty called, so to speak, when I got the word to do this second book, and since I was spending the winter Christmas season by myself to finish up the bacon cookbook, I paid a visit to my butcher and ordered up a full crown roast.

“You want a whole roast?” he asked, knowing I go it alone most of the time. “You know that’s something like eight or nine pounds?”

“Yup,” I answered, “I have a pan to fit it … .”

“And you need a full roast for the photo, right?”

“Indeed,” I said, “indeed.”

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Tex-Mex Baconated Mac-N-Cheese

Loads of cheese sauce, warmly spiced chorizo, and a fried onion and bacon crust take every day macaroni and cheese to new heights.

_MG_5791I l-o-v-e love macaroni and cheese in almost any iteration, from the simple to the complex, from on the cheap with Velveeta (don’t be a hater—I know it’s a cheese “product,” but it has a melty creamy goodness that’s hard to duplicate, and sometimes you just plain want that), to a dish with a mix of cheese that would keep Wisconsin’s dairy farmers in business for a long time to come. I also love mixing in other ingredients, as was the case with the super flavorful Tex-Mex Mac-N-Cheese I came up with. Here’s what you’ll need:

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Lentil Bacon Mushroom Barley Stew With Savory Sausage Meatballs

Lentils, roasted mushrooms, toasted meatballs, barley, and a heaping helping of bacon come together in a whole new level of comfort food.

_MG_5808Yep, that’s one long recipe title. That’s what happens when the Bacon Maven flips through too many cookbooks on a Saturday morning, while she’s hungry, and before she heads to the market. I can tell you that this recipe is part German, part Italian, part good all-American stick-to-your ribs winter fare, and all Bacon Maven. Here’s what you’ll need: Read more →

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bars with Candied Bacon Pretzel Crust

Salty and sweet is all the rage these days, and nobody knows better than the Bacon Maven how much bacon makes those taste sensations sing.

_MG_5962Soooo, I made a peanut butter and white chocolate cheesecake the other week. I’d adjusted it from a recipe I dug up that called for a brownie crust, partly because I wanted to, partly because I had to. I also need to remake it for photographs—I overcooked the bottom crust, which I’d altered, just a little bit—no I didn’t burn it–and I didn’t think it looked pretty enough in pictures to keep at the time, plus, by the time I was done, I’d figured out how to foolproof it. Anyway, that’s another recipe for another time (one can only eat so much peanut butter cheesecake at one time), but, for the sake of this recipe, it gave me an idea.

One of the components in that B+ peanut butter cheesecake was a candied bacon “crust” I’d improvised. Now, my Pinterest and Facebook feeds are filled with all things salted and sweet these days, so I got to thinking, Hmmm, I bet candied bacon can work with some of this. Here’s what you’ll need:

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Baconated Cabbage and Dumpling Noodles

Most people reserve cabbage for Easter’s corned beef dinner or for cole slaw. The Bacon Maven felt the need to change that, with a hearty, comforting dish for the first cool evening of fall.

_MG_4850When the first cool evening hits after the long hot summer, I instantly desire something on the order of “stick to your ribs.” When I came across a dizzying variety of Amish-made egg noodles at the Woodman’s supermarket, I knew I had the foundation for a hearty first-dinner of autumn dish. Here’s what you’ll need:

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