Thankfully, our love affair with bacon has survived the warnings of the diet gurus. We’ve finally put the wild stuff — bacon cupcakes, bacon toothpicks, bacon breath spray — behind us, but we’re back to the pig who brung us.
Today is National Bacon Day – it’s always the Saturday before Labor Day. I’ll probably celebrate with a bacon and egg sandwich for breakfast and find something wrapped in bacon at the Prairie Arts Festival in West Point today.
We’ll be doing dinner at a tailgate party when Mississippi State opens its season with the University of Memphis tonight. Here’s what I’m thinking of taking:
Cheddar Grits with Bacon and Artichokes
8 slices of bacon
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup water
1 cup quick grits
1 cup grated Cheddar cheese
2 tbsp. sour cream
2 tbsp. butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (more or less, to taste)
1 can (14 to 16 oz.) artichoke hearts, chopped, or use frozen cooked artichoke hearts
2 eggs, well beaten
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 2-quart baking dish.
In a large skillet over medium heat, fry bacon until crispy. Drain on paper towels (I like to do mine in the oven at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes); crumble.
In a large saucepan, combine broth and water. Bring to a boil. Slowly stir in grits. Reduce heat to low; cover and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching.
Remove grits from heat. Add the bacon and remaining ingredients; stir well. Pour into the baking dish. Bake at 350 for 50 to 60 minutes, or until set. Serves 8 and room temperature is fine. I figure it won’t last long anyway.