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    Entries in bacon! (8)

    Sunday
    Jun072015

    That's How Breakfast Rolls

    After all that pizza mayhem, I’m somewhat pizza’d out. That being said, I still had half of my pizza dough in the freezer. As I mentioned in that particular post, it wasn’t as chewy as I’d have liked for a pizza crust, but it still made fantastic bread. I wasn’t about to just let it go to waste, so what could I use it for? Well, we have a bakery here called Great Harvest.  They actually have lots of franchises all over the country, but they have a very mom and pop, local feel about them. You may remember the name from back when I did my version of their Mazurka Bars. Well, some of their locations make what they call Breakfast Rolls. Think the shape of a cinnamon roll, but savory rather than sweet, with egg, potato, and bacon. Well, mine have bacon in them. I’m not entirely sure what the meat product is in theirs. That’s not a criticism, I just really don’t know what the little pink bits of “meat” are. Their rolls are fantastic, and I love being able to drop in and pick one up on the go. They’re so good, in fact, that they inspired me to make my own version.

    Here’s what you’ll need: 

    • ½ of this dough recipe
    • Potatoes – diced and cooked until soft
    • Bacon – cooked and crumbled
    • Grated cheese
    • 1 egg 

    This is a great recipe because you can pretty much make everything in advance and then just throw it together, or roll it together, as the case may be, whenever you feel like it. I made pan fried potatoes to go with dinner one night, and bacon for breakfast one morning. I just made sure to make extra and put it aside for my rolls. So, first up, you need to roll out your dough into a rectangle. Something like 15 inches wide is what you’re shooting for.

    Scramble an egg with a teaspoon or so of water and lots of freshly cracked pepper. Seriously, go heavy on the pepper, you won’t regret it.

    Brush it on the dough.

    Be sure to liberally cover every inch. Unlike the butter you would use on cinnamon rolls, the egg acts as glue, so you don’t need to leave a border.

    Spread the potato and bacon around, this time leaving a half inch or so on the top and bottom.

    Cover that with grated cheese. I used a combination of extra sharp cheddar and Colby jack.

    Then, just roll the whole thing into a long log.

    Pinch the seam together with your fingers.

    Slice the log into 12 equalish pieces. I like to make the ends bigger because they are smaller around.

    Grease a 9x13 pan. I saved the grease from cooking the bacon and used that, but if you prefer, you can just use butter.

    Place the slices into the pan and press them down a bit to help them spread.

    Cover the pan with a damp towel and allow them to rise. It will probably take something like 45-60 minutes. They’ll be nice and puffy and their edges should be touching.

    While they’re rising, preheat your oven to 350°. Bake the rolls for 30-35 minutes. When they’re done, they’ll be nice and golden, and the cheese will be bubbly and well…

    Using a spatula, loosen the rolls and make sure they haven’t attached themselves to the pan, then dump them out onto a cooling rack.

    It’s not entirely necessary, but I rubbed the entire surface with butter to make them tender and shiny. I highly recommend it.

    If you eat them while they’re warm, they’ll be gooey, cheesy, deliciousness with bits of tender potato and crispy, salty bacon.  Drooling yet? 

    With the leftovers, allow them to cool completely, then place them in ziplock bags and pop them into the freezer. They reheat beautifully in the microwave. They are a seriously fabulous breakfast that you can just grab and go.

    Thank you, Great Harvest for the inspiration, and for providing them whenever I don’t happen to have any in the freezer or don’t have the time and/or motivation to make my own.     

    Wednesday
    Jan292014

    Little Cheese Balls for the Big Game

    I got the inspiration for these when I was scrolling through Pinterest one day, and thought the idea would be perfect for the Super Bowl.  To be honest, I barely glanced at the recipe because I could tell right away it would have to be completely revamped for my purposes.  Theirs were sweet, I wanted savory.  Theirs were rolled in nuts, but Hubby is allergic to nuts.  And theirs were fairly large balls of cheese on the ends of tiny little pretzel sticks.  Blech.  So basically, I just used the words “mini cheese ball” and started from square one. 

    Here’s what you’ll need: 

    • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • ¼ teaspoon pepper
    • ¼ cup chopped chives
    • ½ cup extra sharp cheddar, freshly grated
    • Bacon 

    In addition to that, you’ll need something to serve as your edible stick.  Since I like my cheese balls with crackers, I chose these mini club crackers. 

    Put your softened cream cheese into a mixing bowl. 

    Mix until it nice and smooth and creamy. 

    Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the salt and pepper, and mix some more. 

    Add the chives and cheese. 

    Stir until everything is evenly distributed.  Put the cheese mixture into a container with a lid and into the fridge for a couple hours, or overnight. 

    When the cheese mixture is nice and firm, you can start on the bacon.  Spread the slices on a foil lined sheet pan.  Place the pan into a cold oven, then turn the temperature to about 300°. 

    The time it takes for the bacon to cook really depends on how thick the slices are.  Usually something like 20-30 minutes for mine.  You’ll want to flip the slices after the first 15 minutes.  When the bacon is nice and crispy, move it to some paper towels to drain.  When it has cooled completely, stack a few of the slices on a cutting board. 

    Then chop it finely. 

    Move the bacon crumbles to a smallish bowl. 

    With my first batch, I sort of followed the idea I had seen online.  I rolled the cheese mixture into what looked like bite sized balls, rolled those in the bacon, and pushed in a cracker.  Cute, yes? 

    Then Hubby and I tasted them.  Wow that’s a lot of cheese for one bite. Do you ever wonder if people actually taste the food they post online? Well, I always do.  Not only was it too much cheese, but because the bacon got in the way when pushing in the crackers, the balls fell off easily.  And trust me, you don't want your balls to fall off.  Ok, back to the drawing board.  Take a small amount of the cheese mixture, like a teaspoon, and shape it into something sort of log shaped.  Then push the end of a cracker into it and it should attach itself nicely. 

    Now press that in the bacon crumbles.  As you place each one onto your serving plate, press down gently to give them a flat bottom so they don’t fall over.    

    Ah, now that is what a mini cheese ball should be.  A single bite of cheesy deliciousness balanced perfectly by the cracker it comes on.  Serve them with a little bowl of extra crackers, just in case people want them.  And if you want a little something sweet, these little chocolate footballs would be the perfect addition.     

    What do you like most about Super Bowl Sunday?  The food, the commercials, or the actual game?