Pigskin Brew

 pigskin brew1

Take this Pigskin Brew with you out for your next tailgating party or just for watching the game at home!

Trying to come up with a drink that would fit into my bacon week wasn’t the easiest thing to do.

I wanted to use bacon in the actual drink, instead of just using a strip of bacon for garnish.

After looking and researching bacon cocktails, I decided to take an old idea of a drink and turn it into my bacon drink.

So we’ve all heard of a beer and a shot right? A car bomb, boilermaker, or technically a depth charge if the shot is poured into the beer…

Well when I came across this Bacon Vodka, I knew what I had to do…e4d7baf8f9b7120b5ae4696de9bca253

 A bacon vodka shot dropped in a beer. OK, so technically you don’t have to drop an actual shot glass into your beer. Gets messy, unless you’re outside tailgating then who cares. But if your home, watching the game – here’s all you need to do.

Pour yourself a glass of your favorite pale ale…

Take a few sips…

Then pour in a shot of Bakon bacon flavored vodka.

Drink.

And as for the garnish – make up those cocktail hot dogs, you know how, with the crescent rolls wrapped around them – pigs in a blanket. Make up a whole plate to eat then stab a few with s skewer and drop it into your beer.

This is my idea of easy, watching the game, drinking your Pigskin Brew and you have your snacks right in the glass. No need to even reach over across the table.

 

Pigskin Brew

 

And if one of those pigs in a blanket happens to accidentally drop into your beer, all the better. Pigs in a blanket soaked in beer, actually, beer flavored with bacon vodka.

Try out the Bakon Vodka, you’ll be surprised at the smooth flavor. It’s not overly smoky or too bacon-flavored. Just a smooth vodka that you can sip by itself or throw into a Beery Bloody Mary, a Shrimp Shooter, or check out their web site for some of their drink ideas.

Pigskin Brew

Ingredients

  • 1 12 oz. beer (a pale ale or pilsner)
  • 1 oz. of Bakon Vodka

Instructions

  1. Pour the beer in a large glass, add in 1 ounce of Bakon vodka.
  2. Pigs in a blanket for garnish...you all know how to make those
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Mashed Potatoes with Bacon Salt

bacon salt1

 

From now on, these Mashed Potatoes with Bacon Salt might be the only way you make mashed potatoes.

Mashed potatoes are my number one favorite side dish. I can even eat them all alone just as a meal. But today we’re talking a whole new level of mashed potatoes with these Mashed Potatoes with Bacon Salt.

Bacon salt is just what it sounds like – salt flavored with bacon. So you could put it on anything that you’d normally add salt to …that would also taste good with bacon.

Add it into your scrambled eggs.

Rub some on a piece of chicken or steak and then throw it on the grill.

Sprinkle some onto some otherwise boring steamed vegetables like broccoli or asparagus?

I could go on, but you get the idea.

What I do know is that bacon salt is the best way ever to season up mashed potatoes.

Making the bacon salt is easy, just add cooked bacon to a food processor and grind into small pieces. Then mix the bacon together with kosher salt and you have bacon salt.

The potatoes cook up just like normal mashed potatoes except when you boil the potatoes for this recipe you’re going to add 2 strips of bacon to the pot.

Just to infuse that bacon flavor a little more.

Also, I know I said in my last post for the Twice Baked Bacon & Egg Potatoes that the potato masher was out the window – but for this recipe I used it. Potatoes with bacon seemed to need a chunky mashed potato.

When the potatoes are done just mash them up with some cream (you can use milk if you want but the cream is going to be way better) a little butter and of course, the bacon salt.

 Then, because there definitely isn’t enough yet, add some crumbled bacon to the top.

You can stir the bacon pieces in or leave it sitting on top so it stays crispy. Either way, these are going to be the best mashed potatoes you’ve ever had!

 

Mashed potatoes with bacon salt

 

If you haven’t already, make sure to sign up for Ziplist to make your life a lot easier. Ziplist creates a list of all of your ingredients and groups them by isle to make your shopping less of a hassle, especially for us guys who might not have the grocery store memorized. You can also tell Ziplist where you’re doing your shopping and they’ll let you know where the deals are!

Mashed Potatoes with Bacon Salt

51

Yield: 6 servings

Mashed Potatoes with Bacon Salt

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs. russet potatoes
  • 1/2 c. - 3/4 c. of heavy cream
  • 8 slices of bacon
  • 1/4 c. kosher salt
  • 3 T. butter

Instructions

  1. Cook 6 pieces of the bacon in a large skillet until crisp then drain on paper towels to get off most of the grease.
  2. Break up 4 of the pieces of bacon into the bowl of a food processor and grind until fine.
  3. Reserve the other 2 pieces of bacon for crumbling over the top of the potatoes.
  4. Pour the bacon out onto paper towels, cover with another paper towel and press down until all the grease is gone.
  5. Add the bacon to a small bowl with the kosher salt and mix together with your fingers until all of the bacon is worked into the salt.
  6. Start a large pot of water to boil and add in the potatoes and the 2 remaining slices of raw bacon.
  7. Cook for 15 minutes, until the potatoes are fork tender, then drain.
  8. Discard the bacon and add the drained potatoes back to the pot.
  9. Add in the cream and butter and 1 T. of the bacon salt.
  10. Mash with a potato mashed until you get the desired consistency.
  11. Test for seasonings, then add the remaining crumbled bacon to the pot and stir to incorporate.
  12. You can also add the crumbled bacon to the top of your potatoes once their in a serving dish.

Notes

Adapted from Food Network

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Bacon for Dessert

bacon collage

 

Bacon is on my brain this week – not only for dinner – but why can’t we have more Bacon for Dessert?

I’ve done a lot of recipes so far with bacon, even a bacon chocolate chip cookie that I mention below, but I still feel like more desserts with bacon are needed in the world. OK, well maybe not the world but in my life anyway.

So here are a few…

 

To start I found these Maple Bacon Donuts from Baked by Rachel –

maple bacon donut

I’m all about frying, as you know, all about donuts and definitely all about donuts covered in a maple glaze and topped with bacon.

 

Here’s my Bourbon Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies by me – Mantitlement

baconChocChip

I made these last year for my Bourbon Tasting Party and they were a hit with the guys, even though the taste buds were a little dulled from all the bourbon, still a hit. I’ll definitely make them again for Bourbon Tasting Part 2…coming soon.

 

So cupcakes aren’t manly enough for you? Or just for the kids? How about these Chocolate Bacon Cupcakes with Maple Frosting by the Novice Chef –

maple bacon cupake 

A chocolate cupcake with a pure maple syrup frosting topped with loads of bacon pieces. I for one would have zero problem eating these cupcakes!

 

And last but not least, Bacon Cheddar Scones from Cookies and Cups –

bacon scones

Scones are still another food item that I’ve only recently tried. We went to a restaurant for brunch one sunday and they had out several flavors of scones. So I finally tried them and yep – they’re good. I’m not a baker but thankfully I’ve had these Bacon Cheddar Scones first-hand and I can say that they are fantastic. Even better than the restaurant version that I had. Crispy outside with pieces of bacon and cheddar cheese on the inside. Butter on these scones is not optional, it’s mandatory.

Twice Baked Bacon & Egg Potatoes

bacon and egg potato1

Here’s a meal that combines all of my favorite breakfast foods in one – Twice Baked Bacon & Egg Potatoes.

I’m sure you’re all familiar with how to make a twice baked potato. Twice baked potatoes are always on the menu when we have family parties…you can make them ahead of time and just throw them in the oven 20 minutes before dinner.

These Twice Baked Bacon & Egg Potatoes aren’t much more complicated than that. You can make them up to the point right before you crack and egg inside and twice bake them. Then the next day or whenever you’re ready, just crack the egg and cook them up.

Start out by baking your potatoes. I used the largest Idaho russet potatoes I could find. Rub them with a little olive oil, salt and pepper then wrap them in foil and bake for 45 minutes to an hour.

potato

While the potatoes are cooking start your bacon. Cook it up in a pan until crisp then chop it up and have it ready for your filling. Don’t forget to save some of that bacon fat – you’re going to need it for the filling. The bacon fat is instead of throwing in all the butter…trust me, it’s all good.

When the potatoes are done cut them in half lengthwise and then scoop out the insides leaving a half inch border around the edges.

You can mash the potatoes with a potato masher but I riced mine for a smooth filling. I blame it on the wife, she came home with a huge potato ricer from Williams Sonoma one day and since then the potato masher is out.

potatoes riced

Chop up the bacon into small pieces then add it to the potatoes along with some milk, scallions, grated cheese, 2 T. of the bacon fat and some salt and pepper.

Salt and pepper the potato skins and then scoop in the filling equally into the 6 halves. Make a well in the filling, large enough to hold your eggs and then start cracking.

Carefully add an egg into the center of the potato filling, some might leak out but that’s ok. Bake for 20-25 minutes and you have Bacon & Egg Twice Baked Potatoes. Genius.

potatoes with egg

When they come out of the oven, you’re going to want to serve them up right away. That way the yolk will be nice and runny when you cut into them. If that’s not your thing…then let them sit a few minutes to let the yolk set.

For us, it’s the runny yolks, but you decide.

These would work for breakfast, brunch or even dinner at my house!

 

bacon and egg potatoes

If you haven’t already, make sure to sign up for Ziplist to make your life a lot easier. Ziplist creates a list of all of your ingredients and groups them by isle to make your shopping less of a hassle, especially for us guys who might not have the grocery store memorized. You can also tell Ziplist where you’re doing your shopping and they’ll let you know where the deals are!

Twice Baked Bacon & Egg Potatoes

51

Yield: 6 servings

one half of a potato

Twice Baked Bacon & Egg Potatoes

Ingredients

  • 3 large Idaho russet potatoes
  • 6 eggs
  • 4 slices of bacon (reserving 2 T. of bacon fat from cooking)
  • 4 scallions, chopped finely
  • 1/2 c. cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/4 c. milk
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 1/4 t. pepper
  • olive oil, salt and pepper for seasoning the potatoes

Instructions

  1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Wash the potatoes and season them with salt, pepper and just a small amount of olive oil.
  3. Wrap the potatoes in foil and bake for 45 minutes to an hour until soft.
  4. While the potatoes are cooking, place bacon into a large skillet and cook until crisp. Reserve 2 T. of the bacon fat before discarding. Let cool and chop into small pieces.
  5. Carefully unwrap the potatoes, let cool a few minutes, then cut lengthwise in half.
  6. Scoop out most of the potato, leaving a half inch border around the edges and place in a large bowl.
  7. Season the potato skins with salt and pepper.
  8. Mash with a potato masher or press through a ricer.
  9. Add the reserved bacon fat, milk, cheese, scallions, chopped bacon and the 1/4 t. each of salt and pepper.
  10. Mix well to combine, then divide the filling evenly into the 6 potato halves.
  11. Make a well in the center of the filling with the back of a spoon, large enough to hold an egg.
  12. Crack one egg into each well, don't worry if some spills over, and carefully place in the oven to bake.
  13. Bake 20-25 minutes at 375 until the white of the egg is white and opaque.

Notes

Serve immediately if you want the yolks runny, otherwise let sit a few minutes after they come out of the oven for a solid yolk.

Adapted from Food Network

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Roger Williams Park Brew at the Zoo

Brew at the zoo2A couple of weeks ago I was at the Rogers Williams Park Zoo in Rhode Island. I took the trip up with the Garden State Brewfest crew for the Brew at the Zoo event. It was a four hour drive from my house in Jersey, but when I got there the Garden State Brewfest crew and I got a private tour of the zoo before the Brewfest.

 

animal collage

 

I have volunteered in their last couple Brewfest but now they have give me the opportunity to step up my game and be a zone captain. What’s a zone captain you ask? I’d be overlooking one of the 5 zones that features 100 craft beers from the regions finest brewers in Rhode Island.

Note to self: make sure I talk to Rob and Ryan Staats about putting me back in zone 5 again, because there’s nothing better then being sandwiched between an Oompah band and an Acoustic musician. It was a blast.

Some of the Breweries in my section were Otter Creek, Foolproof, Victory, Shipyard & my favorite Saranac Brewery.

Being early September a few Breweries brought with them their seasonal pumpkin brew. Shipyard Brewery had their golden Pumpkinhead Ale, which is a crisp and refreshing wheat ale with a  subtle spiced flavor – with an ABV at 4.5%. What is great about this brew is that it is available from August untill November. It’s not only out for a month or so, they give you a while to stock up on a few cases.

 PUMPKINHEAD BIG 12

 

After trying Shipyard’s Pumpkinhead, I was off to taste some of the other pumpkin beers. I met a guy named Al Burch from Saranac Brewery who gave me a little bit of history of pumpkin beer and reminded me that pumpkin is technically a fruit which helps bring out the unique flavor during the fermentation process. The brew that Al brought from Saranac was their Pumpkin Ale, which is a hearty ale brewed with pumpkin, cinnamon, allspice and ginger with a full body and amber color. This is a strong one too, with an ABV at 5.1%.

 

slide-GONY_SaranacPumpkin_1003-614x399 

Thank god for the designated drivers at the Brewfest – and to prove what a nice guy Al is, he brought some of Saranac’s soft drinks like their Saranac 1888 Root Beer. The Root Beer is made in small batches at the brewery with notes of fresh vanilla and licorice. I just wished I could have spent more time with the crew from Saranac because as always Al kicked his kegs first.

But the good news is that Al has invited me and any Mantitlement followers that want to take a road trip to the Saranac Brewery in Lake Placid, New York for a tour and little sampling of their brews.

This sounds like it’s going to be the next Mantitlement road trip – I’m calling shot gun!