pork

Bready or Not Original: Pancetta Risotto

Posted by on Apr 28, 2021 in alcohol, bacon, Blog, boozy, Bready or Not, cheese galore, gluten-free, main dish, pork, side dish | 0 comments

This Pancetta Risotto is a fantastic meal for two people, or a delicious side for a group. It’s time-consuming but very straightforward to make.

Bready or Not Original: Pancetta Risotto

I confess, I spent years being intimidated by the very idea of a risotto. I would see it done on cooking shows. So much stirring! When I finally got up the gumption to give it a try, I found risotto wasn’t hard at all. It really is about lots of stirring.

Bready or Not Original: Pancetta Risotto

This recipe here is my fancy occasion recipe, especially when I have some good pancetta on hand, such as the kind carried by Smoking Goose Meatery out of Indianapolis.

Bready or Not Original: Pancetta Risotto

As for the wine, I’ve tried this with fancier Sauvignon Blanc from Total Wine (Cloudy Bay from New Zealand) as well as a $6 Trader Joe’s Coastal Sauvignon Blanc. Both versions turned out great! You don’t need to go all-out, but get something that is (hopefully) drinkable with the finished meal.

Bready or Not Original: Pancetta Risotto

Bready or Not Original: Pancetta Risotto

Homemade risotto requires time standing at the stove, but makes for delicious results. This recipe takes about 45 minutes to an hour to completion, depending on your stove. Note that a small amount of bacon can be substituted for the pancetta, but it is much stronger in flavor and colors the risotto brown.
Course: Main Course, pork
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: alcohol, cheese, pork, rice
Author: Beth Cato

Equipment

  • large stock pot
  • medium saucepan

Ingredients

  • 8 oz pancetta diced
  • 1 Tablespoon dried shallots or fresh shallot, finely minced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 1/4 cups Arborio rice
  • 1 cup dry white wine Sauvignon Blanc works well
  • 4 cups chicken broth or chicken stock, equal to a 32 oz box or 2 cans
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan or Pecorino Romano or Grana Padano, plus more to top rice
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • In a large stock pot, cook the pancetta for 10 to 12 minutes, until it starts to turn brown and crispy. At the same time, on another stove burner, use a medium sauce pan to bring the chicken broth to a very low simmer.
  • Use a slotted spoon to transfer pancetta to a paper towel-lined plate; set aside. Add dry shallots and garlic to the fat in the big pot. Sauté for two minutes. Add the Arborio rice and a pinch of salt. Sauté another 2 minutes, until the rice looks glossy with translucent edges.
  • Add the white wine and stir until it is absorbed. Add chicken broth in 1/2 cup increments, stirring well after each addition until it is absorbed. After about 12 to 15 minutes, when most of the broth has been added, begin to taste the rice. The goal is a chewy, al dente consistency. Add more broth as needed, and remember to turn off the burner for the broth pot when it is empty.
  • When the rice is creamy and al dente, stir in the pancetta and cheese. Taste the risotto again, adding more salt and pepper as needed. Serve with the remaining white wine.

OM NOM NOM!

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    Bready or Not: 5 Minute Artisan Pizza Dough and Cast Iron Pan Pizzas

    Posted by on Feb 24, 2021 in beef, Blog, Bready or Not, cheese galore, main dish, pork, yeast bread | Comments Off on Bready or Not: 5 Minute Artisan Pizza Dough and Cast Iron Pan Pizzas

    Today’s Bready or Not is a 2-for-1 deal: a recipe for fast and easy pizza dough, followed by the process I use for  divvying up that dough to make small but thick cast iron pan pizzas.

    Bready or Not: 5 Minute Artisan Pizza Dough and Cast Iron Pan Pizzas

    The basic dough recipe is modified from the great book Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day. [Affiliate link] Yes, this dough really comes together in 5 minutes. It also keeps for up to 2 weeks AND can be frozen.

    Bready or Not: 5 Minute Artisan Pizza Dough and Cast Iron Pan Pizzas

    The method for making mini pizzas in a skillet is one I practiced a few times several years ago, then made a LOT during 2020 as my husband was working from home more often. I perfected it to the point where I had to write it down–and share here.

    Bready or Not: 5 Minute Artisan Pizza Dough and Cast Iron Pan Pizzas

    The pan pizza recipe is pretty much an outline to show the timing on the shaping, rise, and crust-cooking, but the ingredients are all up to you!

    Bready or Not: 5 Minute Artisan Pizza Dough and Cast Iron Pan Pizzas

    Bready or Not: 5 Minute Artisan Pizza Dough

    This makes enough pizza dough for a large pizza or 3 10-inch ‘pan’ style pizza. The dough is ready to use after only a few hours, and will keep in the fridge for as long as two weeks. Modified from the book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg, M.D., and Zoe Francois.
    Course: Main Course
    Cuisine: American, Italian
    Keyword: pizza, yeast bread
    Author: Beth Cato

    Ingredients

    • 1 1/3 cups warm water
    • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
    • 1/2 Tablespoon white sugar
    • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    • 3/4 Tablespoon kosher salt
    • 2 teaspoons pizza seasoning or Italian seasoning, optional
    • 2 1/4 teaspoons active yeast or one packet store-bought active yeast

    Instructions

    • Place the water, olive oil, and sugar in a big mixing bowl, stand mixer, or food processor. Add the flour, salt, and seasoning, if using. Start mixing together, then sprinkle in the yeast. Mix until just combined.
    • Keep in same bowl, if desired, or transfer to another bowl that is greased. Loosely cover top with plastic wrap or towel and let dough rise at room temperature until it flattens out on top, about two hours.
    • Dough can be used now but is much easier to handle when cold. Refrigerate in a non-airtight container and use within two weeks. Dough can also be frozen in freezer bags, for up to a month, and defrosted later in the fridge.

    OM NOM NOM!

      Bready or Not Original: Cast Iron Pan Pizzas

      About a 2-pound batch of dough, such as the 5 Minute Artisan Dough recipe on Bready or Not, will make three hearty personal pan pizzas in a 10-inch cast iron pan. This process takes about 45 minutes. The remaining dough can keep in the fridge for about 2 weeks.
      Course: Main Course
      Cuisine: American, Italian
      Keyword: beef, cheese, pizza, pork, yeast bread
      Author: Beth Cato

      Equipment

      • 10-inch cast iron skillet

      Ingredients

      • handful pizza dough
      • olive oil
      • desired toppings and seasonings

      Instructions

      • Preheat oven at 450-degrees. Add about a tablespoon of olive oil to a cast iron skillet and place the pan in the oven to heat up.
      • Grab a good handful of pizza dough, or as much as desired to bake today. Oil a small space of counter or table as well as hands, and gently stretch and press out the dough to a rough circle. If it tears, patch with other pieces of dough as best possible. Let dough rest for about 20 minutes.
      • By this time, the oven should have preheated. Use a potholder to pull out the skillet. Carefully swirl the hot oil in the pan to coat the bottom and set pan down on a safe surface. Carefully, again, place the dough in the pan.
      • Bake crust for 6 to 10 minutes, until it is set. Pull out of oven and add desired toppings.
      • Put pizza in oven for another 6 to 10 minutes, until crust is golden and toppings are cooked to desired level. Let pizza cool for about 10 minutes, then slide onto a plate or other surface to slice and eat.
      • OM NOM NOM!
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      Bready or Not: Bacon-Toffee Cookies

      Posted by on Mar 20, 2019 in bacon, Blog, Bready or Not, chocolate, cookies, pork | Comments Off on Bready or Not: Bacon-Toffee Cookies

      Bacon, chocolate, and toffee complement each other in these incredible Bacon-Toffee Cookies.

      Bready or Not: Bacon-Toffee Cookies

      Fact: My Bacon Fat Chocolate Chip Cookies (originally shared at the Holy Taco Church lo those many years ago) is among my most popular recipes.

      Bready or Not: Bacon-Toffee Cookies

      This recipe is different. The previous take makes a crisper cookie, while these are chewier with some extra sweetness and crunch from the Heath toffee pieces.

      Bready or Not: Bacon-Toffee Cookies

      This recipe makes a lot, too: about 70 cookies if you use a teaspoon scoop!

      Bready or Not: Bacon-Toffee Cookies

      That sounds like a lot, but my husband’s co-workers inhaled them, so I don’t know how well they keep beyond a day. One of those good/bad problems to have.

      Bready or Not: Bacon-Toffee Cookies

      Modified from Fall Baking 2016 by Better Homes & Gardens.

      Bready or Not: Bacon-Toffee Cookies

       

      Bready or Not: Bacon-Toffee Cookies

      These cookies mix salty and sweet in a chewy cookie. Using a teaspoon scoop, the recipe produces about 70 cookies.
      Course: Dessert, Snack
      Keyword: bacon, chocolate, cookies
      Author: Beth Cato

      Ingredients

      • 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
      • 1/2 cup shortening
      • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar packed
      • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
      • 1/2 teaspoon salt
      • 2 eggs room temperature
      • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
      • 2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
      • 1/2 cup Heath bits
      • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
      • 6 thick-cut bacon slices chopped up

      Instructions

      • Preheat oven at 375-degrees. Ina large bowl, beat butter and shortening together until turning fluffy. Add brown sugar, baking soda, and salt, followed by the eggs and vanilla. Gradually beat in the flour.
      • Stir in the Heath bits, chocolate chips, and bacon. Use a teaspoon scoop or spoon to dollop dough onto baking sheet, spaced out to allow for minor spreading. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until edges are just turning golden. Cool for five minutes, then transfer to a rack to finish cooling.
      • Store cookies in a sealed container.
      • OM NOM NOM!

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      Bready or Not Original: Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

      Posted by on Feb 6, 2019 in bacon, Blog, blondies, Bready or Not, chocolate, pork | Comments Off on Bready or Not Original: Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

      These soft, chewy blondies are savory, sweet, and amazing–and my original creation.

      Bready or Not Original: Bacon Chocolate Chip Bars

      The year 2018 was awful in a lot of ways, but it offered one bonus: frequent sales on bacon at my regular grocery stores around Phoenix. I developed quite a strategic stockpile.

      Bready or Not Original: Bacon Chocolate Chip Bars

      I then realized, hey, I should try baking bacon into more sweets. After all, my bacon fat chocolate chip cookies are among my most popular recipes.

      Bready or Not Original: Bacon Chocolate Chip Bars

      I didn’t have a lot of free time, though. I wanted something to bake up fast, without a lot of fuss. Therefore, cookies were out. I wanted bars.

      Bready or Not Original: Bacon Chocolate Chip Bars

      To my surprise, I couldn’t find an existing recipe that appealed to me. I decided that if I wanted soft, chewy bacon and chocolate chip bars, I needed to develop my own recipe.

      Bready or Not Original: Bacon Chocolate Chip Bars

      That’s exactly what I did.

      Bready or Not Original: Bacon Chocolate Chip Bars

      This is a recipe that utilizes sweet and savory together, and it’s a must-bake for any bacon lovers.

       

      Bready or Not Original: Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

      These soft, chewy bars combine sweet and savory by using bacon and bacon fat along with loads of butter and chocolate chips.
      Course: Dessert, Snack
      Keyword: bacon, bars, chocolate
      Author: Beth Cato

      Ingredients

      • 14 Tablespoons unsalted butter softened
      • 2 Tablespoons bacon fat
      • 1 cup light brown sugar packed
      • 3/4 cup white sugar
      • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
      • 2 eggs room temperature
      • 3 cups all-purpose flour
      • 3/4 teaspoon salt
      • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
      • 1 1/4 cup milk chocolate chips divided
      • 4 slices thick-cut cooked bacon chopped

      Instructions

      • Preheat oven at 350-degrees. Line a 13x9 pan with foil and grease with butter or nonstick spray.
      • Cream together the butter and bacon fat. Mix in the sugars until pale and fluffy, then add the vanilla and eggs.
      • In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet, until just combined. Fold in 1 cup of the chocolate chips along with the chopped bacon.
      • Press dough into prepared pan. Sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips over the top.
      • Bake for 22 to 25 minutes, until the middle passes the toothpick test. Cool until room temperature. Use foil to lift contents onto cutting board for easy slicing. Keep stored in sealed containers at room temperature or in the fridge.
      • OM NOM NOM!

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      Bready or Not: Cato Home-Cured Bacon

      Posted by on Jan 3, 2018 in bacon, Blog, Bready or Not, breakfast, gluten-free, pork | Comments Off on Bready or Not: Cato Home-Cured Bacon

      We’re kicking off a breakfast theme for a month with a recipe that will step-by-step teach you how to cure your own bacon.

      Bready or Not: Cato Home-Cured Bacon

      I guarantee this will be among the best, if not THE best, bacon you will have in your life. Fresh really makes the difference.

      Bready or Not: Cato Home-Cured Bacon

      This recipe is not difficult. In all honesty, the greatest challenge is that the curing bacon takes up a lot of fridge space for about 10 days.

      Bready or Not: Cato Home-Cured Bacon

      I completely modified this from a Michael Symon recipe featured in Food Network Magazine, March 2014. The only way that I can buy pork belly locally is from Costco (for about $2.69 a lb!), so this is a Costco-sized recipe.

      Bready or Not: Cato Home-Cured Bacon

      If you can buy a smaller pork belly slab, then just halve the ingredients. Otherwise, buy the big belly and follow all of the steps I provide… which means you’ll have another slab of frozen bacon already seasoned and prepped to cure in a few weeks or months.

      Bready or Not: Cato Home-Cured Bacon

      After the meat is smoked, slice it up and use it however you want. I find that home-cured bacon cooks much faster than the store stuff, though it can be much thicker, and the bits that look burned aren’t usually burned.

      Bready or Not: Cato Home-Cured Bacon

      The smoked meat also freezes and keeps for weeks or months. Just thaw it in the fridge when you’re ready, and use it however you wish.

      You’ll wish to eat every last morsel. Trust me.

      Bready or Not: Cato Home-Cured Bacon

      This recipe does require some supplies that you likely don’t have in the cupboard, and might be hard to find locally. Amazon, of course, has everything. I recommend them for buying 2-gallon zipper bags as well as pink curing salt (plus, you get enough salt to last through the apocalypse). Note that pink curing salt is essential here because it has salt and sodium nitrate, which keeps the meat pink and kills bacteria. Normal salts don’t pack that wallop.

       

      Bready or Not: Cato Home-Cured Bacon

      This recipe uses a 9-10 lb pork belly slab like those found at Costco, and cutting that in half to cure part now and the other part later. If you have a smaller pork belly, halve these ingredient amounts and go from there. Note that you need 2-gallon re-sealable plastic bags to hold the meat, and pink curing salt; neither is likely found in local grocery stores, but they are on Amazon. You cannot substitute other salts for the pink curing salt! The pink type is necessary for the curing process. Full preparation time on this includes about 9-10 days in the fridge: about 7 days to cure, and 2 days for it to dry, followed by the day of smoking.
      Course: Main Course, pork
      Cuisine: American
      Keyword: bacon
      Author: Beth Cato

      Ingredients

      • 9 to 10 lb pork belly
      • 1/2 cup kosher salt
      • 4 teaspoons pink curing salt
      • 2 teaspoons cumin
      • 1/2 cup brown sugar packed
      • 1/2 cup honey
      • 1/4 cup red pepper flakes
      • 1/4 cup paprika sweet or smoky

      Instructions

      • Cut the pork belly slab in half and rinse and pat dry both pieces. Place them in separate re-sealable 2-gallon plastic bags.
      • Mix together the spice rub. It'll form a thick paste. Roughly divide it into quarters, and use a quarter on each side of a pork piece. The rub will be very lumpy. Don't worry about a perfect, even coating; the pork will release juices and the flavors will seep in during the curing process.
      • Close both bags, pressing out as much air as possible. Freeze one bag for later; as a precaution against holes getting torn in the bag, wrap it well in plastic wrap, too. When ready to start the curing process for this half, add another day or two to the curing time in the fridge to account for thawing time.
      • As for the ready piece of pork belly, set that bag in the fridge for the next 7 to 10 days, until it feels firm. Flip the meat once a day.
      • Remove the pork belly from the bag. Rinse it well and pat it dry. Set it on a rack on a small cookie sheet in the fridge and let it dry for another two days. No need to flip it at this point.
      • Set up your smoker at 200-degrees. Applewood chips are a great choice, but maple and hickory are fantastic as well. Smoke the pork belly for about 3 hours, until the bacon reaches an internal temperature of about 150-degrees.
      • From this point, slice and cook the meat as you would regular bacon, but note that this fresher, homemade variety will cook much faster. Use plastic wrap or plastic bags to store the sliced meat in the fridge for upwards of a week, or freeze for up to 2 months.
      • OM NOM NOM!

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      Bready or Not: Cato BBQ Rib Rub

      Posted by on Jun 22, 2016 in Blog, Bready or Not, gluten-free, healthier, main dish, pork | Comments Off on Bready or Not: Cato BBQ Rib Rub

      Today I’m providing my personal favorite, tested-a-gazillion times rub recipe for pork ribs.

      Bready or Not: Cato BBQ Rib Rub

      How you cook the ribs is up to you. My husband has a smoker, so he smokes these things for hours for delicious, succulent results.

      Bready or Not: Cato BBQ Rib Rub

      However, using this rub, you could barbecue ribs on a grill, or bake them in the oven. The choice is yours!

      Bready or Not: Cato BBQ Rib Rub

      The amounts stated in this recipe will cover about 5 pounds of meat. If you have leftover mix that hasn’t been in contact with raw meat, jar it and save it for later. You can also double or triple the recipe with that in mind.

      Bready or Not: Cato BBQ Rib Rub

      I have made this with several types of paprika. I favor smoked paprika, but all kinds worked well. I have also made this with fresh oregano and dried. You could certainly substitute or add other herbs, too.

      Bready or Not: Cato BBQ Rib Rub

      Whenever I find ribs on a good sale, we use this recipe. It’s one we often make for when company comes over, too. Everyone leaves full and happy!

      Bready or Not: Cato BBQ Rib Rub

      A Bready or Not Original! This rub mix will cover about 5 pounds of your favorite pork ribs; baby back ribs are excellent. If you have leftover mix that hasn't been in contact with raw meat, jar it and save it for later! You can double or triple the recipe with that in mind. To intensify flavor, rub the meat and stash it in the fridge for a few hours before cooking.
      Course: Main Course
      Cuisine: American
      Keyword: pork
      Author: Beth Cato

      Ingredients

      • 2 Tablespoons paprika any variety
      • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar packed
      • 1 Tablespoon dried oregano or 1/2 Tablespoon fresh oregano
      • 1 Tablespoon ground coffee
      • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
      • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

      Instructions

      • Combine rub ingredients well, making sure to break up any clumps. Coat the meat, front and back.
      • Cook ribs as desired: smoke, grill, or bake.
      • OM NOM NOM!

       

      Bready or Not: Cato BBQ Rib Rub

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