I know the Bacon Explosion is probably getting old for some of you, but an idea came to me: substitute hamburger for the sausage! Add cheese! Bacon Cheeseburger Explosion! This was my first-ever bacon mat, and creating it was strangely satisfying. I used a whole 12 ounce package of applewood smoked bacon. Next came a pound of 85% lean hamburger. I wish I hadn’t flattened it directly onto the bacon mat, as it stuck to the bacon and made it difficult to roll up. Next time I’ll measure out a piece of foil or waxed paper for the burger layer. I topped the meat with pepper and a little paprika, figuring that the bacon would provide enough salt. After that came 3 slices of deli cut American cheese and just a little pickled jalapeno for a kick. (could have used at least twice this much.) Then I rolled it up with much difficulty, and patched any holes. I should have just put the cheese on one end and not tried to roll it into the whole thing. Would have been much easier. Finally, I wrapped it in its cozy mat, and popped it in the oven at 350 degrees for one hour. The internal temperature when done was about 165 degrees. I let it sit for 10 minute before slicing. As you can see, a lot of the cheese melted out and made a cheesy crust on the outside. I’m sure the cheese added some flavor to the meat, but I would really have preferred it if more of it had remained on the inside. Maybe a heartier cheese, like mozzarella, would have worked better. Should have just thrown in a string cheese. All in all, I’d say it was a success. The end pieces went to the dog because, believe it or not, there was just too much bacon. Also, next time I make it, I’ll use a bit more hamburger so the roll has a larger diameter and the bacon mat just barely fits around. Any overlapping bacon stayed a bit soggy, which is not my thing. But for the most part it had a good burger to bacon ratio, and the jalapenos added a lot to the flavor. Not bad for a first try.
FRIED MAC & CHEESE:
Mac & Cheese Recipe:
4 cups cooked elbow macaroni, drained
2 cups grated Cheddar
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup sour cream
4 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Once you have the macaroni cooked and drained, place in a large bowl and while still hot, add the cheddar. In a separate bowl, combine the remaining ingredients and add to the macaroni mixture. Pour macaroni mixture into a casserole dish and bake for 30 to 45 minutes. Top with additional cheese if desired.
The Fried Mac & Cheese
1 recipe prepared Mac & Cheese, chilled in the refrigerator overnight, and cut into 15 squares,
1 pound bacon
2 eggs, beaten
Plain bread crumbs
oil for frying
Heat oil to 350 degrees F.
Wrap each square of Mac & Cheese with 1 strip of bacon, and fasten with toothpick. Dredge each square in flour then egg and then bread crumbs to coat. Fry for about 3 minutes until golden brown.
1 cup white sugar
1 cup fine ground sea salt
1/2 cup green tea
1/8 cup peppermint oil
2 tablespoons pureed peppermint leaves
Mix salt & sugar in metal bowl...In separate bowl mix hot tea with oil & leaves. Pour into sugar mixture and stir well....Using hand held blender, blend for about 2-3 minutes. Place in clean lidded container and store in cool dry place...
I make a great home-made hand cleaner that also works to clean the leaves of dusty plants. Mix a cup of water, a teaspoon of soap and a teaspoon of olive oil into a spray bottle. Use it to clean your hands and keep those plants leaves dust free!