I returned from a trip to Scotland this week to find an interesting message on my answering machine. I had been selected as a finalist in the dessert category of the Central Market bacon recipe contest. Finalists were required to bring their prepared dishes to the Southlake store where they would be judged by a panel of 3 judges who work at Central Market's cooking school. Needless to say I was thrilled to have been chosen but a little nervous at the thought of having real people , instead of my diplomatic husband who happily eats anything I prepare without comments. He knows better by now..
But I digress.. Despite being hesitant to make a fool of myself, I realized this would be a great learning experience. I convinced my neighbor, Carol, to accompany me on my adventure and she thankfully obliged. There were 3 entrants in the dessert category and 3 in the savory category. It didn't really hit me what I was doing until I saw the other contestants setting up their displays.
In this recipe thick juicy bacon is candied with a spicy caramel coating then topped with a scoop of creamy goat cheese and berries to create a taste sensation that is out of this world. Be sure to make enough as these are guaranteed to disappear fast.
6 strips thick cut bacon
3 teaspoons sriracha seasoning
1 ½ teaspoons ground cardamom
½ cup brown sugar
7.5 oz creamy goat cheese
¾ cup mixed berries, fresh or frozen and thawed
Pre-heat the oven to 350F.
Begin by preparing the cheese topping. In a small bowl mix together goat cheese and berries until well combined. Refrigerate until ready to use.
In a separate bowl mix together sriracha seasoning, sugar and cardamom. Set aside.
Cook bacon for 4 minutes in center of oven then turn strips over and cook for a further 4 minutes. Remove from oven, pat dry then transfer to a separate baking sheet. Liberally sprinkle sugar mix on both sides of bacon slices then return to oven and broil for approx. 90 seconds. Turn slices over and cook for a further 90 seconds. Remove bacon from oven, place on a sheet of waxed paper and allow to cool for a couple of minutes. Using a melon baller place 1 – 2 scoops of cheese mix on each bacon slice and serve immediately while bacon is still slightly warm. Enjoy!
Nibbles and Fluff
In 2008 I co-founded the rescue group, Animal Advocates of North Texas (AANT) to help lost and abandoned animals find forever homes.