Showing posts with label bacon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bacon. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

How to Make Perfect Coffee Bacon with Maple-Espresso Glaze plus a Special Giveaway from Cleo Coyle

WARNING: Once you start eating this beautiful, smoky-sweet bacon, you won’t be able to stop!  At least, that’s been my experience and Marc’s, my husband and partner in crime writing. 
Click here to learn more.

Our readers may recognize a version of this treat from our bestselling Coffeehouse Mystery Dead to the Last Drop, set in Washington, DC.

Assistant chef Luther Bell cooks it up for customers of the new Village Blend Jazz Space, a relaxed supper club co-managed by our amateur sleuth Clare, who soon feels more than the heat of the kitchen when she becomes a prime suspect in the kidnapping of the President’s college-age daughter. Forced to go on the run with acting federal agent Mike Quinn, Clare must solve the perplexing mystery in order to save her good friends, Mike’s law enforcement career—and her own bacon. 

* * *


Marc and I hope you enjoy the recipe and...we invite you to check out a very special giveaway, along with an insanely easy recipe for Cherry Streusel Coffee Cake...

TO ENTER, CLICK HERE or on the photo below
and jump to our Cherry Coffee Cake post
where you can enter our giveaway...


Now let's get our bacon on!

How to Make Perfect Coffee Bacon 
with Maple-Espresso Glaze

Cleo Coyle has a partner in
crime-writing—her husband.
Learn about their books
by clicking here and here.

While there are plenty of recipes out there for coffee bacon or glazed bacon, this one is our own—one my husband and I tweaked to perfection, in our opinion, anyway! 

One strip of this beautiful bacon evokes the glorious flavors of a pancake breakfast—
the sweetness of maple syrup, the earthiness
of coffee, and the unctuous richness of smoked meat...

Now you may be tempted to change the recipe—say, use regular bacon instead of thick-cut. Or make the bacon on a rack instead of a sheet pan or leave out the espresso powder (aka instant espresso). 

Our advice is don't do it, follow the recipe! Thick-cut bacon works wonderfully in this cooking process; regular or thin-cut will burn to a crisp! A rack will drain too much grease, which is necessary in the cooking for both flavor and caramelization. (It would also become caked with the glaze, making a royal mess.) And the deep earthiness of that espresso powder is needed to balance the cloying sweetness of the maple syrup and unctuousness of the bacon. 

Finally, be sure not to undercook the meat. The real key to perfection is watching for the slight char on the edges of the strips. That char assure you that the sugars have properly caramelized in the glaze.

You can serve the finished bacon with coffee, grapefruit, and slices of melon for an amazing breakfast (that's how Marc and I are eating it this morning)! Or make this a show-stopping side dish as part of a larger brunch, or try it as a fun snack or dinner appetizer. It’s also fantastic in a BLT. However you serve it, one thing is certain... You will be eating with sheer joy!

To download this recipe in
a free PDF that you can print,
save, or share,
click here.

Click for the free recipe PDF.

Cleo's Coffee Bacon with
Maple-Espresso Glaze

Makes 6 bacon slices


6 Thick-cut bacon slices (must be thick-cut)

2 Tablespoons dark brown sugar (dark gives deeper complexity)

¼ teaspoon espresso powder
(aka instant espresso,
     see my note and the end of the recipe) 

1 Tablespoon hot coffee

1-1/2 teaspoons pure maple syrup

Optional addition: For a smoky-spicy note, add ¼ to ½ teaspoon chili powder to the glaze. For more heat try chipotle chile powder or ancho chile powder. Start with a little and taste-test the glaze until you reach the level of spiciness you like. (And, yes, there is a difference between "chili" and "chile" powder. Learn more here.)


(1) First preheat your oven to 375° F. Place bacon slices flat on a rimmed baking sheet covered with parchment paper. You want the slices to warm up a bit before going into the oven, so lay out the bacon before making the glaze. 

The parchment paper is there to absorb grease and prevent the bacon from sticking to the pan. Believe me, the process is messy, and you’ll be glad you used the parchment paper!

(2) Measure dark brown sugar and espresso powder (aka instant espresso) into a small bowl. Add hot coffee and whisk with a fork until sugar and espresso granules are dissolved. Whisk in maple syrup. 

(3) Brush each slice with your coffee-maple-glaze. 

(4) Bake for 10 minutes at 375° F. Flip the bacon, brush the other side with more of the glaze. Increase the oven temperature to 425° F. Bake for another 10 to 13 minutes. 

Watch closely to prevent burning. Bacon is not done until the edges show caramelization—they should look slightly charred. (See my photos below as a guide.)

(5) Drain grease: Allow the bacon to cool a few minutes and the sizzling to stop. Then move the hot bacon slices to a baking sheet or counter surface that’s been covered with waxed paper or parchment paper. Do not use paper towels, the glazed bacon will stick! Serve and eat with sheer joy!

*Note on Espresso Powder: 

Espresso powder (or instant espresso) is not made of ground espresso beans. It is freeze-dried espresso that dissolves quickly in liquids. A good quality brand to look for is Medaglia D’oro. You can use any brand of instant espresso in this recipe, but do not substitute instant coffee. It gives a harsher and more sour flavor than instant espresso, which brings a richer, earthier note.

Eat (and read) with joy!

~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of  
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

Friend me on facebook here. * Follow me on twitter here
Learn about my books here

* * *

Our newest mystery is now

a bestselling hardcover!

Coffee. It can get a girl killed.

Amazon * B&N

A Mystery Guild Selection
A Baker & Taylor Fall "Trends" Pick
Three "Best of Year" Reviewer Lists

Dead to the Last Drop 
is a culinary mystery with 
more than 25 delicious recipes!

See the free illustrated 
Recipe Guide by clicking here.

*  *  *

The Coffeehouse Mysteries are bestselling
works of amateur sleuth fiction set in a landmark
Greenwich Village coffeehouse, and each of the
15 titles includes the added bonus of recipes. 


(with mini plot summaries)

* * * 

Marc and I also write
The Haunted Bookshop Mysteries

Get a free title checklist, 
with mini plot summaries, 

Or learn more about the 
books and meet Jack Shepard, 
our PI ghost by clicking here.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Death and the Watermelon Appetizer by Cleo Coyle

For centuries, Italians have eaten fresh melons paired with prosciutto or another cured, salty meat. Though the combination is delicious, this was not a culinary tradition so much as a dietary precaution with a very long history.


In the hot summer of 1471, Pope Paul II dined on a refreshing meal of sliced cantaloupes, and he promptly dropped dead. Though the Pontiff likely perished of a massive coronary, congestione was blamed—stomach distress. 

The physicians decided that the pope's death must have been caused by eating three melons at a single sitting.

The news caused panic, but fortunately for melon farmers (and ultimately for us) Medieval medicine discovered a culinary "cure," and the Italian diet was changed forever.

To this day, folklore has it that if a cold food like melon is not balanced by a hot food like a spicy meat, the results could be deadly. The body might become chilled and one might risk a bout of indigestion, or even the dreaded congestione!

Cleo Coyle has a partner in 
crime-writing—her husband.
Learn about their books
by clicking here or here.

Of course modern medicine debunks this notion, but the paring of melon and meat has stuck around because, well, it’s tasty. And refreshing. 

So why am I bringing you this tale today? Because it's the start of summer, time for tasty and refreshing this one.

Last summer, Marc and I learned about a hot, young executive chef (very young, age 19!) who was packing a Hamptons' restaurant with his culinary flare. His pairing of watermelon with pork belly as an amuse-bouche was not a wholly original idea, but it sounded like a delicious one to us.

We didn't have pork belly (i.e., uncured bacon) on hand, but we had cured bacon (close enough), so we sliced up some sizzling strips into bite-sized pieces and affixed them with toothpicks to juicy chunks of watermelon.

Sweet-savory heaven!

Bacon and Watermelon Appetizer

A quick culinary hack of a young
Hamptons' chef's amuse-bouche...

The salty, crisp bacon and sweet, juicy melon are a combination to die for. And if you're a superstitious Italian, they may just prevent that untimely end!

We highly recommend it for a fun, refreshing, and slightly different summer appetizer. Try it, your guests will thank you!

And how about that bacon?

A BLT with fresh garden tomatoes is also a summer treat to savor, but sweating over a hot stove top is no joy at all. My solution is one many of you may already employ yourselves. I bake my bacon in the oven, and it comes out beautifully every time. To see a past post on how I do it click above or click here. And...

May you...

Eat with summer joy!

~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries 

Friend me on facebook here. * Follow me on twitter here
Learn about my books here

The Coffeehouse Mysteries are bestselling
works of amateur sleuth fiction set in a landmark
Greenwich Village coffeehouse, and each of the
14 titles includes the added bonus of recipes. 

* * *

Once Upon a Grind:
A Coffeehouse Mystery

* A Best Book of the Year
Reviewer's Pick - King's River Life 

* Top Pick! ~ RT Book Reviews 
* Fresh Pick ~ Fresh Fiction 
* A Mystery Guild Selection

Delicious recipes are also featured in our 14th 
culinary mystery, Once Upon a Grind, including...

* Cinderella Pumpkin Cake 
* Snow White Chocolate Mocha 
* "Fryer Tuck's" Ale-Battered Onion Rings 
* Poor Man's Caviar * Black Forest Brownies 
* Cappuccino Blondies 
* Shrimp Kiev * Turkish Coffee
* Bosnian Coffee 
* Dr Pepper Glazed Chicken 
* Caramel-Dipped Meltaways 
* Silver Dollar Chocolate Chip Cookies

...and many more recipes, including 
a guide to reading coffee grinds...

See the book's
Recipe Guide (free PDF)

* * * 

Marc and I also write
The Haunted Bookshop Mysteries

Get a free title checklist, 
with mini plot summaries, 

Or learn more about the 
books and meet Jack Shepard, 
our PI ghost by clicking here.

Sign up for our Coffeehouse Newsletter here.
(Recipes, contests, videos, fun info)

After you subscribe, an auto-reply will send 
you a link to several past newsletters.

Thanks for stopping by the Kitchen! 

~ Cleo

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Red Cabbage with Mushrooms and Bacon

by Sheila Connolly (or Sile ni Conghaile this week)

Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig!

Today is St. Patrick’s Day, which has been celebrated since the ninth century, so I figured I should find an Irish recipe to celebrate. Thing is, my family didn’t cook “Irish.” Mostly we ate all-American meat and starch and veg, with the occasional lamb stew.

I have made corned beef and cabbage maybe once in my life, just to find out what it was all about. It’s not hard to make, but I prefer my corned beef in a Reuben sandwich. We do eat Shepherd’s Pie at my house (with ground lamb) and lamb stew, but lamb is hard to get around here and expensive even when it is available.

What’s a cook to do? Once again I turned to The Irish Pub Cookbook, where there are still plenty of sticky-tabs marking recipes I want to try. That’s where this recipe came from, although I made a few changes. It’s a side dish rather than a main course, but would go well with a nice leg of lamb. Or a pork roast, if you’re not Irish (sorry to hear that!). It’s tangy with a little sweetness, and it’s colorful.

Sorry, I couldn't resist--cabbage looks so interesting
in cross-section


1/2 large head of red cabbage (or a whole small head)
[Note: I weighed my cabbage—it was four pounds, and about the size of a bowling ball. Half of that would be two pounds. Two pounds of cabbage made enough of this dish to serve an army, and my vintage wok was the only pan I had that would hold it all. If you aren’t expecting hordes of people, you can easily cut this recipe in half.]

2 Tblsp vegetable oil

3 thick bacon strips, diced
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 tsp thyme leaves
2-1/2 cups cremini mushrooms, coarsely chopped (my market didn’t have cremini, so I used portobello mushrooms instead)
grated zest of one lemon
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1/2 tsp sugar
2 Tblsp apple cider vinegar
1 cup beef stock
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
pat of butter

Quarter the cabbage lengthwise, discard the core, and slice widthwise to make ribbons. (Narrow ribbons will cook more quickly, but it’s not always easy to slice cabbage thinly.)

Heat the oil in a casserole or heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the bacon for 5 minutes, until crisp.

Reduce the heat to medium and add the onion and the thyme. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until the onion is translucent.

Add the mushrooms and sliced cabbage to the pan, then cook for another 5 minutes, until the cabbage starts to soften.

Stir in the lemon zest, salt, pepper, and sugar and cover for three minutes. Pour in the vinegar and the stock, cover again, bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, until the cabbage is tender (keep tasting to see if it’s done).

Just a bit of green!

Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed. Stir in the parsley and the pat of butter just before serving.

And raise a glass to St. Patrick!

Sure and there's still An Early Wake, the new County Cork book--only a month old, it is.

And if you're in the mood for something Irish but a bit shorter, there's the e-story Under the Hill--still free for Kindle and Nook!