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Bacon toffee

from my favorite food blog:

http://thursdaynightsmackdown.com/2009/02/22/maple-bacon-cake/

(I also did a unsuccessful experiment with peanuts and Szechuan peppercorns on part of this toffee. )

Classic English Toffee
1 lb. butter (4 sticks) – unsalted is standard, you can go salted to add some nice depth to the finish product
2 1/3 c. granulated sugar
1/4 c. light corn syrup
1/4 c. water
1 tsp. vanilla
chopped chocolate, nuts or whatever other topping of your choice

Put all the ingredients except the toppings into a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat, clip a candy thermometer to the pot.  Let the butter melt and whisk to combine it with the sugar, corn syrup, water and vanilla.

Cook the mixture, stirring often, until it hits 300.  If your butter does start to separate out – it shouldn’t, it never has for me – just whisk it back in.  The mix’ll  heat fast, so keep an eye on it.

Pour the hot toffee onto a baking sheet or marble board that’s been oiled or lined with a silpat or parchment.  Spread it into an even layer with an oiled offset spatula.

At this point, do with it what you will as outlined above.  If you want neat squares, let it set up a few minutes and then score with a pizza cutter.  If not, sprinkle your toppings (if any) right onto the sheet of toffee, let it cool and then break it up with your hands.

The toffee burned at the bottom of the pot–came out tasting sort of OK but mostly too sticky when chewed. I think the bacon add-in would be better suited to a mixture with pecans, to give it more crunch. also, next time I’d probably try the honeycomb/brittle recipe with baking soda I’ve used before.

Orange Chicken

Vaguely Moroccan in tone, aside from the bacon, which I had left over from the toffee.

Some soffritto (onion, carrot, celery)

2 pieces bacon

1 can chopped tomatoes

1 orange

1 package chicken drumsticks

Cinnamon

Cumin

Cook the bacon till the fat renders out, remove and crumble into pieces; cook the soffritto in the bacon fat, then brown the chicken drumsticks. Pour in the tomatoes and add the bacon back in. Grate in the orange zest and add the cinnamon and cumin. Simmer till the sauce is thick and the chicken is cooked through. Squeeze in the juice of 1/2 of the orange. Eat the other half out of hand.

Serve the chicken stew over couscous with vegetables.

Pasta al limone (inspired by this month’s Cook’s Illustrated)

Make some spaghetti. In the meantime, in another pan, lightly brown a few cloves of minced garlic in olive oil. Pour in some cream and reduce over low heat; grate in the zest of 1 lemon and some Parmesan cheese. Drain the pasta and mix with the sauce over low heat; squeeze in the juice of the lemon and mix in some chopped fresh parsley and red pepper flakes. Sauce should be thick and creamy.

Scrambled eggs with smoked oysters

Dump a whole can (oil and all) of smoked oysters into a small pan. Heat it up, cutting up the oysters with a spatula, then add a couple of eggs. Scramble the whole mess together in the pan with your spatula until the eggs are barely set but still creamy. Serve with water crackers and a big mug of coffee (cream, no sugar!)

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Written by orata

January 16, 2011 at 2:30 pm

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