Many of us love bacon, whether it's in a sandwich, a stew or an old-fashioned fry up. But have you thought about serving it with seafood? Or making bacon cupcakes? Try these bacon recipes to mark International Bacon Day on 1 September.
Bacon and maple syrup cupcakes
It might seem strange but these cupcakes take the salty-sweet combination to a new level. Makes 6.
60g unsalted butter, softened
60g golden caster sugar
65g self-raising flour
¼ tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp maple syrup
4 rashers of smoked, streaky bacon
For the icing:
50g softened butter
100g icing sugar
1 tsp maple syrup
A drop of milk
1. Grill the bacon until crisp. Set one rasher aside for the topping and finely chop the remaining three rashers. Leave to cool.
2. Beat together the butter and sugar until smooth. Mix in the egg and then the flour, vanilla extract and maple syrup. Stir in the chopped bacon.
3. Divide the mixture between six holes of a silicone muffin tray or use paper cases. Bake at 200°C for 20 minutes, or until cooked through (check with a skewer or toothpick). Leave to cool completely.
4. For the icing, beat the butter and icing sugar in a bowl until smooth. Trickle in the maple syrup and add a drop of milk - a little at a time — to soften slightly. Pipe the icing on top of the cooled cakes. Finally, cut the grilled bacon rasher you set to one side in step 1 into 6 small shards and poke into the top of the iced cupcake.
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Bacon-wrapped scallops with pea purée
Bacon pairs really well with seafood, especially white fish and scallops. Try these as a starter or a light lunch. Serves 2.
6 rashers smoked streaky bacon
250g frozen peas
1 heaped tablespoon crème fraîche
Pinch of salt
1. Wrap the bacon around each scallop, spearing it through the middle with a toothpick to keep it all together. Arrange on a roasting tray and bake at 200°C for 25 minutes, or until the bacon has started to turn crisp and the scallop is just cooked through.
2. Meanwhile, boil the peas for four minutes. Blitz in a food processor with the crème fraîche and a pinch of salt. Serve the scallops on top of the pea purée with a grinding of black pepper.
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Bacon and cabbage spaghetti
The deep, earthy flavours of a squeaky savoy cabbage work so well with salty, smoked bacon in this pasta dish, and at a cost of 85p per serving, it's cheap, too. Serves 4.
3 large savoy cabbage leaves, cut in half and then into thin slices
1 clove garlic, chopped
4 rashers of bacon, chopped (streaky works best)
1 tsp butter
Grated Pecorino or Parmesan cheese, to serve
1. Boil the pasta in slightly salted water for about 10 minutes, or until tender.
2. While the pasta is cooking, fry the bacon in a little oil until it starts to brown and turn crisp. Add the sliced cabbage, garlic and butter and mix well, coating the cabbage in the bacon-flavoured juices.
3. When the pasta is cooked, drain it, but save a mugful of the cooking water. Toss the pasta into the bacon and cabbage mixture, and slosh in a little of the pasta water to make a loose sauce. Grind over some black pepper and serve with the grated Pecorino or Parmesan cheese.
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Bacon potato cakes with fried egg
Use up any leftover potatoes and veg by making these bacon potato cakes for breakfast or brunch. These are great with black pudding crumbled in, too. Serves 1.
100g leftover mashed potato
Small handful of chopped, cooked greens (use leftovers)
1 rasher of bacon
1. Grill the bacon until cooked through and golden and chop into small pieces.
2. In a bowl, mix the leftover mashed potato, grilled, chopped bacon and the cooked greens. Season with a little pepper and salt if you think it needs it (this will depend on how much you seasoned your mash when you first made it).
3. Form the mixture into a patty and fry in a little oil for 5 minutes on each side, until heated through. Top with a fried or poached egg and grind over some black pepper before serving.
What are your favourite bacon recipes?