Bacon and Leek Bake

On Saturday I got on a ferry and rode to Kingston.  It was one of those days where if you live in Seattle you were in absolutely no doubt as to why you do.  It totally made up for the whole month of March, when we Seattle dwellers began to wonder if we would ever feel the sun on our faces again.  I would imagine the vitamin D content of Seattleites across the Puget Sound shot up dramatically.  I heard rumors that some locals even donned bikinis.  Like they were in Ha’waii.  Or Mexico.  It was a remarkable day.

There was quite a wait for the ferry, but the pending ride across the calm waters, the sunshine, and the company of one of my favorite people meant I didn’t really care.  Once we docked in Kingston we had a significant drive to Cape Flattery.  I didn’t care about that either since the majority of it was on Highway 112, which, if you’ve never driven on it, should be on your bucket list.  Do it in a sports car and drive fast – it’ll rock your world.  It rocked our world driving in a 4-Runner and taking it easy.

It was around 5:30 pm when we rolled into the tiny parking lot at the head of the Cape trail.  The sign said it was ½ mile to the water.  I swear they were lying; or at least exaggerating.  It was at least a mile, if not more.  Going down was easy, but when we came across a random bench in the middle of the lush greenery & tall trees, I suspected it was an indication that things were about to get {way} steeper.  I was sure it was a sign of things to come.  Turns out that bench was in exactly the right spot for the hike back up, when we did the climb 4 hours later.  Whoever decided to put it where it is must have been out of breath by that point, too.

I wish you’d been there out on Cape Flattery.  It was incredibly beautiful.  Cool, fresh and tranquil under the canopy of trees and ferns and hanging mosses, the roar of the ocean below.

We had 3 hours to scout around before sunset.  Bala went and found all the most precarious spots overhanging the cove beneath us, where the sheer drop of moss-covered rock face ended up in a mass of swirling, gushing, frothy ocean.  It was rather like witnessing a gigantic blender at work – the currents under the waves sucking the salty water into a powerful vortex, before spewing it up on an adjacent ledge of rock.  I could have just sat there and gazed out into the blue, blue distance.  Except I was worried about losing Bala over the edge, never to be seen again.  Not only that, but I wanted to watch a master at work.  I want to shoot like Bala when I grow up.

Cape Flattery pokes out from under the edge of Washington’s rainforest and into the Pacific Ocean, taunting Canada with its status as the most north-westerly point in the lower 48 states.  The only thing that would stop you just plunging right in and taking a quick swim across the Strait of Juan de Fuca to Vancouver Island is the boisterous, pounding waves crashing against the rocky shoreline.

It is a magical place.  The green seemed greener and the air seemed fresher, out there on the very tip of America.  I think I love the Olympic Peninsula more than any other place on earth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the last shot was taken and we’d hiked back up to the car, after stopping a while on the perfectly placed bench, we headed back to Kingston to catch the ferry home.  No such luck.  We missed the last ferry by, oh, about an hour and a half.  I was glad that we chose to miss the ferry and not the chance to watch the sun set gently behind Tatoosh Island.  Missing the last ferry earned us a run-in with a Port Angeles cop (Thank you for just calling me silly and not giving me a ticket!) and a {really} long drive back to the mainland, but rolling home at 3 am was a small price to pay for the wonders of the day.

On Sunday I got up at 10:04.  I think that is that latest I’ve ever got up.  In my life.  I am not sure whether to be proud or disappointed.  I also noticed that I am not as perky at 3 am as I used to be.

In my last recipe post I promised that the Bacon and Leek Bake would be up next, and that was totally my intention.  How did I know that the whole world would go mad for squash?  Specifically my Almond Parmesan Squash.  So I blame the squash for the temporary diversion away from a hot, sizzling dish of Bacon and Leek glory.  Mini-Me’s Hubs will tell you that this is his favorite SANE* dish so far.  I think it had something to do with being allowed to cook in bacon fat that tipped the balance.

Kitchen Bacon and Leek Bake

This is super easy to make and incorporates two of my best-loved foods – leeks and bacon.  I think leeks are the finest vegetable on earth.  I created this dish because I wanted to eat both of my favorite things at the same time, without it being just a pile of grilled bacon and a side of sautéed leeks, which is what I am often apt to do.

I dished this up with Mandarin Orange and Almond Salad and a simple balsamic dressing.  Hearty, SANE* and uber-healthy, all at the same time.  Plus, you get to eat bacon.  Because bacon doesn’t make you fat.

Kitchen Bacon and Leek Bake with Mandarin Almond Salad
My impromptu bacon and leek medley became an instant hit with the first bite.  It is staggeringly bacon-y in flavor and the leeks cajole you into thinking you’re really eating pasta.  Mini-Me and The Hubs can chime in, but I believe they have made this at least three times since I introduced it to them a couple weeks ago.  The day after I made it for them I got an excited text from Mini-Me telling me that they were at the store buying leeks for the first time ever.  So cute.  Long live the humble leek!
4.0 from 4 reviews
Bacon and Leek Bake
Author: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 1 TBSP coconut oil
  • 2 lb / 900g bacon, chopped roughly (highly recommend Trader Joe’s Bacon Ends & Pieces)
  • 3 lb / 1350g trimmed leeks, thinly sliced crosswise
  • salt and ground pepper
  • ½ cup / 8 fl oz. chicken stock
  • ½ tsp. konjac flour / glucomannan powder)
  • 4 oz. / 110g cheddar cheese, grated
Instructions
  1. Melt coconut oil in a large skillet on high heat.
  2. Add chopped bacon until lightly browned, 3 minutes. Reduce heat to low.
  3. Add sliced leeks on top of the bacon, season with salt and pepper, and sauté until leeks are tender, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. If the leeks start to brown, the heat is too high. The leeks should simply “melt” into soft strips.
  4. In a small dish, rapidly whisk the konjac flour and stock into a smooth mixture (slurry).
  5. Stir the slurry into the sautéed bacon and leeks and continue stirring until the mixture thickens.
  6. As soon as mixture thickens, remove from the heat and turn into a casserole or baking dish.
  7. Sprinkle the grated cheese over the surface and broil (grill) until the top is bubbling and golden, 3 minutes.

Kitchen Bacon and Leek Bake

Great with: Mandarin Orange and Almond Salad

 

*SANE™, inSANE, SANEity – terms used in Jonathan Bailor’s books, The Smarter Science of Slim (out of print) and The Calorie Myth.

What does SANE mean? Click here.Want more scrumptious recipes? Click here to check out my SANE Cookbooks!

Justin "The BIG Guy" - WAIT. I can cook with bacon grease!?!? This is amazing! This is hands down my favorite.

Mini-Me - Leeks, really?! OH.MY! Having never had such veggie, I was a wee nervous to try, I must admit. Now it is a weekly staple on our dinner table. OH.MY. is this delish!

Emma - Hi Carrie

Another English translation needed – is garbanzo bean flour what we know as chickpea flour / gram flour over here? I had a look around & there seem to be a few sources saying that, but what do I know?!

Also, I think 2 lb bacon = 900g and 3 lb leeks = 1.5kg. I can’t wait to have get to the end of working out weights on these recipes!

Thanks ; )

carrie - Emma – yes – garbanzo = chick pea. Yes, pretty much on the weigt conversions. Easiest thing is to get a digital scale that can switch between grams and ounces :-)

Suzie price - I just made this- tasty, tasty, tasty! For it goes right up there with your zucchini squash side. Another favorite of mine. Appreciate you carrie – my husband is a lot happier with the meals when they are one of your recipes! And me too! Thanks so much.

carrie - Hurrah for happy husbands, Suzie!!! :-)

Oven Bacon and Eggs for Two » Carrie Brown | Marmalade and Mileposts - […] Leeks and bacon go together terribly well, as you’ll know if you’ve cooked up this Bacon and Leek Bake.  Besides, if you’re going to add non-starchy green veggies to your breakfast, leeks are one […]

Matilda - So while my sister was up to visit me, I fed her up on sane foods. This was one of the new recipes I tried out (on her and me). I had to half the recipe, as 1, I didn’t have enough bacon & 2 I didn’t have enough leek.

We all enjoyed it.

I was also cooking a giant omelette at the same time. My 4 year old son was helping. He was very cute, when he said we were having “bacon & eggs” well yes, just a bit more fancy smancy.

Great dish, but I would have it more as a side than a main, but that’s just me.

carrie - 4 year olds are awesome!!!! Glad you enjoyed it – I love this dish :-)

Chas S - I didn’t think this was all that great, at least on my first try. Are the leeks supposed to disintegrate into mush? There was far too much bacon, and I thought the bacon tasted undercooked (I like my bacon nice and crispy in general). It also feels like the ratio of bacon to vegetable is not quite as healthy as it could be. So next time I plan to make some modifications. My wife did like it as is, but she’s a total bacon fanatic. I was more interested in the leeks.

carrie - Hi Chas, no the leeks are not intended to disintegrate into mush. The bacon may not be crispy but you should make sure it is thoroughly cooked. You always cook the bacon separately they way you like it and then add it, and of course if you want to double the leeks or half the bacon you can do that too!

Oven Bacon and Eggs for Two » Carrie Brown | Living a SANE Life - […] Leeks and bacon go together terribly well, as you’ll know if you’ve cooked up this Bacon and Leek Bake.  Besides, if you’re going to add non-starchy green veggies to your breakfast, leeks are one […]

Jerry - Carrie, Do you mean -chop and cook 2lbs of bacon, remove grease, and bacon to leeks, cook. Or do you mean-chop and cook 2lbs of bacon,then add leeks to the pile of grease with the bacon, and cook some more.

Jerry - Well, I finally tried the recipe as provided by Carrie, leaving all the fat in the dish. It was very, very, good. I did add carrots and celery.
I may have to buy stock in a company that makes bacon.

Stella - Ok…I made this tonight and woooooowwwwwwwww. It is so heavenly! I added julienned zucchini and baby kale too just for extra veggies, but wow. I had to put most of it away in the fridge before I started eating because it’s one of those dishes that tastes god enough for seconds and thirds. Thankfully I will have it for tomorrow and the next day! Thank you for sharing Carrie!

Sandi G. - Hi Carrie, thanks for this recipes. My boyfriend won’t eat cooked vegetables, but loves bacon, so I’m hoping this will turn him around. Is it ok to substitute almond flour or meal for garbonzo flour?

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