(f)ood – Paleo Pen Pal

13 01 2013

For my first Paleo Pen Pal, I was paired with Liz; a lovely lady from Tennessee.  She participated in Paleo Pen Pals last month and created this yummy recipe from the dried mushrooms she received.

I anxiously awaited the mystery ingredient from Tennessee and happily found this in my mailbox!

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That’s right – hickory smoked country BACON!  I mean who doesn’t love bacon, but country smoked bacon is in a class of its own!  Now for the paleo purists, I know the label states “sugar” as one of its ingredients, but even Robb Wolf says not to worry about the small amount of sugar in bacon and sausage.

Because bacon is a weekly staple in my house, I wanted to stretch my thinking a bit beyond the typical bacon and eggs or vegetable wrapped in bacon.  So, I’ve come up with four different recipes to try with this beautiful bacon based on what I had already purchased at the market this week.  These are all new recipes to me, so let’s see how it goes! Here’s the first:

At Soda City, our all local market, I spied this enormous Savoy cabbage and just couldn’t resist buying it, but had no ideas on how it would be used.

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I found several different ideas for braising cabbage and decided to go with these ingredients

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Then I remembered I had these beauties from the market and decided to add them in as well

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Country Smoked Bacon with Braised Savoy Cabbage

4 slices Country Smoked Bacon!

1/2 large head Savoy cabbage thinly sliced

1 medium onion diced

2 large cloves garlic finely diced

2 carrots julienned

3/4 cup chicken broth (I used homemade bone broth)

1/4 tsp red chili flakes (or to taste – I used a little more because I like the heat)

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper (or to taste)

*I did not add salt at all because the smoked bacon tends to be salty enough on its own but you can certainly add salt if needed

While I began cooking the bacon on medium heat in my trusty iron skillet passed down from my husband’s grandmother,

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I sliced the cabbage thinly, diced the onion and garlic,

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and using my julienne peeler, made perfect little slices of the carrots.

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When the bacon was crispy, I removed it from the pan (leaving the fat) and tossed in the onion, garlic, and carrots to saute for about 4 minutes.

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I added the cabbage and bone broth, gave it a quick stir and let it happily braise away until the most of the liquid was gone and the cabbage was tender, but still had a bite.

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I added the bacon, which I’d crumbled, back to the pan and couldn’t wait to dig in!

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I had to eat a bowl full right away!  The smoky, salty bacon was the perfect star.  The veggies wore the subtle taste of the bacon, but biting into one of the crunchy bits was wonderful!  I had another serving for dinner with leftover crispy carnitas and finished it off this morning with a sunny side up egg for breakfast.  This recipe is a keeper for me.  Thanks, Liz, for the inspiration and the wonderful ingredient!

Stay tuned for more recipes to come…

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