"Swine flu! I had bacon fever once, but it turned out the cure was just more bacon."
If statements like this represent "the norm" of communication between you and your siblings, what exactly does that say?
a. We all read The Onion a lot.
b. We have some psychological aversion to taking things seriously.
c. We have nearly every Simpsons' episode memorized and try to mimic them in every aspect of daily life.
d. We have a lifelong devotion to cured meats.
e. We grew up on a farm in Iowa; pork fervor is in our blood.
f. All of the above.
Oh yes, it is all of the above.
I know bacon loving has become quite the fad these days (I'm still not sure how eating fried meats becomes a fad, but whatever), but I'd like to take this moment to say: Tricks! The Perdues were here first! And we'll be here (with clogged arteries) long after you go running back to chicken and fish--or some weak sauce like that.
Bacon was present for many of my fond memories with my family. Some moments I feel like bacon was a member of our family. An abnormally silent, highly valued, and acceptably edible member, but still.
Bacon was there in BLT form with garden-fresh tomatoes after swimming lessons every Summer. Bacon has come to all our large New Year's day parties snugly wrapped around prunes and adding to the delight of the cleverly named "big sandwich." Bacon has been the steadfast breakfast partner to waffles, french toast, eggs, ableskiver, crepes and numerous other breakfasts that have been lingered over in my parents kitchen.
Last week I was in one of those rare moods when I was hungry, but nothing really appealed to me. I was wandering aimlessly around Miahuatlán mulling over the food in my fridge--none of my stock sounded remotely appealing except for a cantaloupe whose days were numbered.
I contemplated this cantaloupe and drifted into a daydream of eating melon and prosciutto in the Italian countryside with a glass of prosecco. Then I had the realization that: hell, I am in Mexico. Prosciutto's cousin bacon, good ole sturdy bacon, my life long friend, lives here. And bacon crept into my mind, infecting me, and reminding me of all the good times we've shared.
So I decided to make an Italian countryside-daydream into a small Mexican city reality that showcased the food-love of my life. I came out with: Bacon Manchego Quesadillas with Melon Salsa.
It was just the trick. It sparked my hunger, was fresh, sweet, and savory. I was excited about my new twist while maintaining some (probably minimal, yes) Mexican cuisine elements. I practically ran home to make it--I mean, it has BACON in it--who can walk? It had everything my bacon revering family would be excited about: bacon.
Bacon Manchego Quesadillas with Melon Salsa
I actually didn't pile on the bacon or cheese. With the amounts below (and using a little of the grease for frying) the flavors are all strong without being a heavy, meaty-cheese bog. However, do as your conscience dictates--bog away. Also, make sure your cantaloupe is nice and ripe. The salsa will benefit from a juicy one.
1/4 lb of bacon
8 medium corn tortillas
3/4 C refried beans
3 oz thinly sliced manchego cheese
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 of a medium onion, diced
1 C fresh cilantro, chopped
1 small-medium cantaloupe, cut into small cubes
Juice of one lime
Assemble the salsa first. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and set aside.
Cook bacon in a medium skillet until you obtain desired crispness (preferred crisposity?). Remove bacon from skillet, blot with paper towels, and break into small pieces. Drain standing bacon grease from skillet, but allow a coating to remain and set the skillet aside.
Evenly spread 1/4 of the refried beans on a tortilla. Evenly distribute 1/4 of the manchego and bacon on the beans and top with another tortilla. Repeat with remaining ingredients.
Heat the skillet (with the bacon gloss) over medium high heat. Place one quesadilla in the skillet and cook 3-4 minutes or until the tortilla begins to crisp and brown. Flip quesadilla over and cook an additional 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and cut into quarters. Repeat with each quesadilla.
Top quesadilla wedges with melon salsa and enjoy.
I almost forgot my shameless self-promotion for the day! Whew, that was close.
Please go vote (highly) on my enchilada recipe! I love winning!