Tag Archives: Bacon

Bacon Jalapeno Macaroni and Cheese – MaurPowerFoodie Style

Don’t forget to tune in tomorrow, Wednesday, November 27, 2013 at 6:30 AM on both 99.1 WPLR and 95.9 the Fox or you can watch it on Chaz and AJ TV at http://www.wplr.com/ChazandAJTV.aspx. I will be bringing along my Bacon Jalapeno Macaroni and Cheese!

20131122_195131

If you can’t tune in, don’t worry, I am posting the recipe below!

 

Ingredients

 

Kosher salt
1 pound elbow macaroni
4 cups milk
2 or 3 sprigs thyme
3 cloves garlic, smashed and divided
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cup smoked cheddar, shredded

1 1/2 cup pepper jack, shredded

2 jalapeno, deseeded and diced
Freshly ground black pepper
6 slices THICK CUT bacon

garlic powder

onion powder

old bay

1 cup seasoned bread crumb

Fresh Parmesan

 

Directions

  1. First thing is to pan cook your bacon starting in a COLD pan so as to render the fat from the bacon. Once the bacon is complete, put the pan with the rendered bacon fat to the side and chop bacon.
  2. While bacon is cooking, bring pot of water to a boil and salt with 1 tbs of kosher salt.  Whisk until salt is dissolved and slightly reduce heat.
  3. Preheat Oven to 400 degrees.
  4. Boil pasta to just under a nice al dente (about 6 mintues). DO NOT OVERCOOK as pasta will continue to cook in oven. Drain and set aside.
  5. While Pasta is boiling it is time to make the sauce. First, on hot stove, make a simple roux by taking 1 tbs of rendered bacon fat and 2 tbs of butter, melt in sauce pot, once melted add 3 tbs of flour and whisk to combine.
  6. Add and sautee smashed garlic and chopped jalapenos. Continue to whisk for 1-2 minutes.
  7. Immediately add 4 cups of milk, continuing to whisk as milk heats to a simmer.
  8. Add shredded cheese (not the parmesan), continuing to mix until cheese is fully incorporated into sauce.
  9. Season with garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper to taste.
  10. In a casserole dish combine pasta, chopped bacon, and most of remaining bacon fat (leave a little in the pan).
  11. Pour sauce over pasta and mix, making sure sauce is equally distributed throughout pasta.
  12. Add generous sprinkle of Old Bay Seasoning and mix again.
  13. In the pan with the remaining bacon fat, over medium-low heat, toast breadcrumbs and shred parmesan into toasted breadcrumb and mix.
  14. Sprinkle breadcrumb parmesan mixture to cover mac and cheese.
  15. Bake in oven for 5 minutes, then switch to broil for 2 minutes to crisp top.
  16. MOST IMPORTANT STEP!!!!      ENJOY 🙂

20131122_195131

There you have it. Nice and simple. I hope you all enjoy it and please let me know what you think when you do.  Until next time, this is Jason “MaurPowerFoodie” Maur signing off.

 

Advertisements

MaurPowerFoodie is back! Starting with an appearance on Chaz & AJ

HELLO WORLD! Sorry for the hiatus, but I am back and have a lot of catching up to do. Recipes to post, reviews to share, a brewery tour, and tales from my European Adventure…. BUT, first and foremost, MaurPowerFoodie will be marking its return with a guest appearance on the Chaz and AJ in the Morning with my style Bacon Mac & Cheese. For those of you who have seen me cook with bacon, you know there is a MaurPowerFoodie twist in there, so tune in to hear all about it.

I will be visiting Chaz and AJ Wednesday November 27th at 6:30 AM EST on both 99.1 WPLR and 95.9 the Fox or you can watch it on Chaz and AJ TV at http://www.wplr.com/ChazandAJTV.aspx.

As I said, tons of great stuff to come, tune in and find out. Until next time, MaurPowerFoodie is signing out.


Foodie Pen Pal! Tenth Month – May 2013

That’s right! Foodie Pen Pals is back! And it is reveal day once again

This is part of a program called Foodie Pen Pals in which every month I get/send a basket from/to another foodie from around the country. Then, every month, everyone reveals who their pen pal was, what they received, and get to see what everyone else got on the same day :-)

This month I received a fantastic package from Mary Morehouse… and “IT” finally happened… the moment every man waits for… Wait for it…

20130518_124006

SHE SENT ME A BACON BOX!!! A BOX WHERE (almost) EVERYTHING WAS BACON OR BACON THEMED!!! Needless to say, I was excited.

20130518_124048

First off she sent me bacon cheddar popcorn (delicious), a bacon rub (that I used on a great pork chop and plan on using when I smoke my own bacon this summer… BACON RUBBED BACON!), and well of course…. BACON! I used this to make these amazing Loaded Smashed Baked Potatoes.

20130522_192106

Next she sent me some Bacon jerky. Now I am not usually a jerky guy, but this is BACON. It is basically the same thing as eating wonderful slices of bacon out of a bag. Yumm! Then there was a Smokin’ Bacon Ranch. I have not yet used this. I plan on possibly putting it out at the next party with Veggies and Wings. I am sure it will not disappoint though

20130518_124214

Finally, Mary sent me some examples of the sweeter side of bacon (one of my personal favorite uses of bacon is in desserts, so these were right up my alley).  The Oregon Bacon Bar… milk chocolate with tiny crunchy pieces of bacon! How could you go wrong? And then there was something I actually make myself… Bacon Brittle. Salty, sweet, crunchy, and simply divine.

20130518_124257

Oh wait… Did I say finally… there was more! A couple of non-food items. First was a cute pig rubber spatula and a 101 things to do with Bacon book (I plan on doing all of them!)

20130518_132912

And there was still more. Mary is apparently not a big wine drinker and had this gift certificate around the house and sent it to me…

20130518_133021

And what’s better… the site had a special for another $100 free when you spent $150! I immediately ordered 3 cases of wine which have been added to my collection.

Thank you so much Mary for a truly wonderful Foodie Pen Pal package. To the best of my knowledge, Mary does not have a blog to post her package on, but I would be more than happy if she wanted to post something on here, so Mary.. Let me know 🙂 I hope your package was as fantastic as the one you sent me.

As for what I sent, my pen pal recipient was Raina Van Setter. You can check out what I sent Raina at her blog “The Home Plate”.

Well, thus ends my tenth Foodie Pen Pal experience, and again it was an extremely positive one.

Don’t forget to ENTER TO WIN a MaurPowerFoodie PenPal Package and SIX FLAG TICKETS!

I can not wait till June’s list is revealed and I get to do it all over again, month after month. If you want to take part in this program check it out:

The Lean Green Bean

Be sure to stay tuned for the big reveal each month and be sure to enter to win the GIVEAWAY, your own FoodiePenPal Package and SIX FLAG TICKETS from Me, the MaurPowerFoodie! :-) Until next time, this is Jason “MaurPowerFoodie” signing off… Thanks for reading.


MasterChef: Premiere Day – Morning News Appearance and Interviews

Well, it is finally premiere day for MasterChef season 3 and that means A LOT of publicity going on!

First and foremost, I was on the FoxCT morning show earlier today doing a cooking demo and interview about my time on the show. It was a lot of fun and featured pulled pork, a deliciously refreshing cocktail, and my Bacon, Garlic, and Egg Fried Rice. Thank you so much to FoxCT for having me. Watch the video of my demo and interview here.

Also on the show that morning fellow contestant and good friend Arnaud Bourgeois, a pilot from Woodbury, CT.

BUT THAT’S NOT ALL! There was also a featured article and in depth interview posted today on abovethelaw.com. Find out some of my thoughts and feeling on the judges, my fellow competitors, the experience, and my future in the culinary world. Also published today was a brief article in the ABA Journal.

AND YET THERE IS MORE!!! This is a two night premiere… so tonight I will be tweeting live from my house as I watch the episode, but tomorrow I will be tweeting live from a premiere party in Boston with fellow contestants (including my dear friends Aj and Anna Rossi, the first husband and wife duo in the top 100), contestants from previous seasons, and of course, the press. I will post pictures and talk about the party shortly afterwards.

Well, until next time this is Jason “MaurPowerFoodie” Maur signing off! Enjoy the premiere everybody… I know I will.


Foodie Pen Pal! First Month – May 2012

Well, it is the last day of the month, and from now on that means one definite… Reveal day for Foodie Pen Pals!

That’s right, I newly joined a program called Foodie Pen Pals in which every month I get/send a basket to another foodie from around the country. Then on the last day of the month, everyone reveals who their pen pal was, what they received, and get to see what everyone else got 🙂

This month I received a lovely package from Brittney aka “Life in a Holding Pattern”. When she looked at my blog, it was shortly after I had posted about my Bacon, Garlic, and Egg Fried Rice recipe and she joked about how she had to include bacon in my package… or so I thought it was a joke. But the first thing I saw upon opening the box was this adorably appropriate card:

I am proud to say, I abide by a large number of the Rules of Bacon and they tend to be true. Thank you so much Brittney!

Then comes the other items of my package, a bunch of local brands of items (a theme that I loved, because there are definitely great items around the country that I would never have the chance to buy for myself). As you can see above, this package included a local mayo, relish, cracker snacks, bone suckin’ sauce, and cheese straws.

I have not made it through all of them yet, but everything looked delicious. I did crack into the cheese straws, as they were extremely intriguing to me. It is hard to even describe this wonderful snack. Think Cheese-its on steroids. There is an immense cheddar flavor, but also a smokiness and spicy finish. I have also finished off the cracker snacks… in fact I did so almost instantaneously. The mayo and relish will be saved for a BBQ over the summer and shared with my guests. Yay!

In addition to all of these wonderful goodies, my pen pal Brittney did something so thoughtful… she baked for me! I got a delectable chocolate chip banana bread, and this coming from a guy that believes bananas are evil (Long story… maybe I will share that at some point) and a HUGE Tupperware full of one of my favorite kinds of cookie, peanut butter chocolate chip (how you knew to send me those Brittney is beyond me, but I am so glad you did… although my scale may not be 😉 They were fantastic).

Thank you so much Brittney for such an amazing first experience with Foodie Pen Pals! I hope you got something as great as you sent me. As for what I sent, my pen pal was Beth Quarles, be sure to check out her blog to see the package that was sent to her (including chili chocolate, local salted caramels, and a delicious jam that is perfect for any BBQ sauce, along with some recipes)

Well, thus ends my first Foodie Pen Pal experience, and it was an extremely positive one. I can not wait till June’s list is revealed and I get to do it all over again, month after month. Be sure to stay tuned for the big reveal on the last day of each month 🙂 Until next time, this is Jason “MaurPowerFoodie” signing off… Thanks for reading.


A Very MaurPowerFoodie Mother’s Day… Texas De Brazil – Yonkers, NY

One thing I can certainly say is I would never have accomplished any of the things I have (earning the rank of Eagle Scout, graduating from a top university, graduating law school, passing the bar exam, becoming a top 100 contestant on MasterChef, etc.) without my Mother, Bonnie Maur. I owe a lot to her, and can never thank her enough. Included in the things I owe her for are my love of food and ability to cook. In raising me along with my two siblings, my mom taught us all to cook. She thought it was necessary for us to be able to feed ourselves (definitely a lesson I am glad I learned). My love of food and cooking may have taken on a path of its own over the years, but my culinary journey never would have started without my mother. Here we are together with my sister, all swimming with dolphins:

Now that I have gotten all the mushy, yet necessary stuff out of the way, back to the food we go. This year for Mother’s Day, my sister and I took our mom to Texas de Brazil in Yonkers, NY. My mom had been to one in Florida and loved it, so when one opened up relatively close to us, it only seemed like the natural choice for Mother’s Day. Texas De Brazil is a churrascaria (Brazilian Grille), which is one of my favorite types of restaurants as an avid meat eater. For those of you who have never been to one, basically the servers/carvers (Gauchos) walk around to your table with different cuts of meats on a sword and carve each one fresh for you… all you can eat. Plus there is always a loaded appetizer/salad bar.

I am not one to comment much on ambiance, but this time it is definitely noteworthy. The restaurant is beautiful. Warm, welcoming colors, beautiful artwork, and a gorgeous bouquet above the salad bar. Here… take a look:

Then add to this a fully stocked stylish bar out front and a beautiful windowed wine “cellar”, with a wine list that is more like a wine library. The cellar even reminds me of a library with a rolling ladder that allows the servers to search through the massive collection to get just the right bottle for you. In fact, this picture only shows 1 side of the massive windowed “cellar”. The decor and general feel of Texas de Brazil… absolutely stunning.

Alright, onto the food! I promise this time. Let’s start with the start of the meal, the appetizer/salad bar(items are subject to change). THIS IS NOT YOUR EVERY DAY SALAD BAR! Yes there is salad with all the toppings, but there are also four different homemade dressings. Plus, an oh so creamy and rich Lobster Bisque. You know what, I just need to list some of the brightest points, as I could spend forever going through each item.  Ok, here goes: sliced prosciutto and salami, Gorgonzola and grape salad, tabbouleh, crab sushi, ahi tuna, buffalo mozzarella, goat cheese terrine, smoked salmon, potatoes au gratin, multiple freshly baked breads, and much more. Plus, anywhere that has a beautiful Parmesan cheese wheel for me to pick from… love. Here is just a sampling of the salad bar:

While the salad bar was great and delicious, the stars of the show, as it should be at any churrascaria, were the meats, carved table-side.  Not only was there a huge variety in different cuts of meats, but each one had its own unique flavor. First off here is the list of meats: Filet mignon, bacon wrapped filet mignon, braised beef ribs, rack of lamb, garlic-marinated picanha (top sirloin tips, their signature), pork ribs, Brazilian picanha, Brazilian sausage, leg of lamb, bacon wrapped chicken breast, Parmesan crusted chicken, Parmesan crusted pork loin, flank steak, herb-marinated pork loin, and Brazilian alcatra (top sirloin).

Leg of LambFlank Steak

Leg of Lamb                                               Flank Steak

Bacon-wrapped Filet Mignon

Bacon-wrapped Filet Mignon


Yes, I did try everything, and there is not a single cut of meat I would not recommend trying. That being said, not everyone can finish off 15 different cuts of meats in one sitting, so let me highlight a few favorites. The alcatra is a must, great seasoning, juicy, tender, fatty, and delicious. I also am an avid lover of flank steak, and this ranked up near the top of flank steaks I have had at restaurants.  Also, I was surprisingly impressed with one item I tend not to prefer at churrascarias, the bacon-wrapped chicken. I know you would think I would always love this item, but it is usually on the dry side. Not at Texas De Brazil, the chicken breast remained tender and juicy, just the way it should be. And finally, my two favorites of the day: Coming in second place, with a surprise pack of flavor, juicy and tender interior, and the perfect casings… the Brazilian Sausage. And for first place, it was not even a contest. There was one cut of meat that was so fall off the bone, melt in your mouth, fill you with joy in every bite, scrumptious, well prepared, well seasoned morsel, that I had 4 servings of it. The BRAISED BEEF RIBS!!!! **Crowd Cheers**

Brazilian AlcatraBrazilian Sausage

Brazilian Alcatra                                   Brazilian Sausage

Braised Beef Ribs

Braised Beef Ribs

Finally we come to dessert, and I have to be honest, this was the closest thing to a weakness I found at Texas de Brazil. They were good, but did not live up to the rest of the meal, which was actually ok in my book, because let’s be honest, I did not go there for dessert, and if it were not for a Mother’s Day special which included dessert in the cost of the meal, I probably would not have saved room for dessert anyways. We tried three different desserts: Brazilian Cheese Cake, Coconut Chess Pie, and Caramel Flan (A must be good staple at any Brazilian restaurant in my opinion. First up was the cheesecake. This was good with a caramel sauce on top, chopped walnuts, and a layer of chocolate at the bottom. Nothing special, but enjoyable. The one that we really wanted to try, cause we had never had it before was the Coconut Chess Pie, and unfortunately, it was quite simply too sweet. The pie is filled with a layer of warm custard cream, tons of coconut, and then topped with vanilla ice cream. The custard was the downfall of this dessert, as it was so rich, and so sweet, I could only stand a spoonful of this one. If you like extreme sweets, go for it, but if you are looking for a light way to end a heavy meals, this is not the right choice. However, not all was lost. The flan was delicious. Light, flavorful, and just the right way to leave my last bite at Texas De Brazil.

Brazilian Cheese CakeCaramel Flan

While the desserts may not have lived up to the rest of the meal, they also would not in any way deter me from going back. In fact I am sure I will be back many a time and soon.

Overall, I would highly recommend giving Texas de Brazil a try. Located at 1 Ridge Hill Blvd.; Yonkers, NY 10710, there is also some wonderful shopping available right around the restaurant perfect for a leisurely stroll after the large meal. For reservations please call (914) 652-9660 or check out their website at http://www.texasdebrazil.com/yonkers. The restaurant also has a beautiful closed off portion of the dining room perfect for private events pictured below:

I hope you enjoy Texas de Brazil as much as I did. Take a trip and let me know what you think. Special thanks to Colleen for showing me around and to the whole staff at Texas de Brazil for a fabulous Mother’s Day with my family.

Texas de Brazil Churrascaria on Urbanspoon

Till next time, this is Jason “MaurPowerFoodie” Maur, signing off.


Bacon, Garlic, and Egg Fried Rice… A MaurPowerFoodie Specialty!

When I was younger, my first job was working in a Chinese Take-out Restaurant answering the phone, taking orders, and ringing people out. This means I ate a lot of fried rice. So it is no surprise I learned how to make it and decided to put my own spin on it to keep it exciting. Today, I am here to show you how to make my Bacon, Garlic, and Egg Fried Rice. Great as either a main course or side dish, this one is not for the extremely health conscious eater as I actually fry the rice in BACON FAT! Anyways, we are going video style on this post, so enjoy as I teach you how to make MaurPowerFoodie’s Bacon, Garlic and Egg Fried Rice.

There you have it… Nice and easy, not to mention DELICIOUS! For those of you who want to print out the recipe or have it at easy access, I have included it below.

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup of long grain white rice

2 cups water

4-5 slices of thick-cut slab bacon or pork belly

2 tbs unsalted butter

5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 bunch of green onions

1 bottle of soy sauce

1-2 eggs

Garlic Powder

Onion Powder

Salt and Pepper (to taste)

1) Combine rice and water into pot with a lid, bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and let steam for 15 minutes, until water is absorbed by rice. Uncover and fluff with a fork.

2) In a large pan or wok place bacon onto pan and turn on high, wait till bacon begins to sizzle and reduce heat, allowing bacon fat to render in pan. Flip bacon and repeat process.

3) While bacon is cooking, chop garlic (if not done so already) and cut  green onions into small rings (Chop off white ends, and cut the rest of the onions as a bunch upwards from chopped off end)

4) Increase heat to high again and allow bacon to caramelize on both sides.

5) Remove bacon from pan, add butter to pan and allow it to melt into the bacon, distributing butter evenly.

6) Add garlic and onion to pan and stir, this will cook pretty fast, so remove from heat before moving on to the next step.

7) Chop the bacon into desired chunks. I prefer larger chunks so I cut the bacon in half lengthwise and then chop the slices about pinky finger width ( I also have small hands, so take that into account and use your judgment).

8) Put the pan back on the heat, add the bacon chunks, and stir.

9) Add the rice and stir.

10) Add soy sauce. (as with most cooking, I cook to taste and not in exact amounts. As seen above in the video if you pour in a spiral from the outside in it works pretty well)

11) Season with garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper to taste. (be light on the salt as there is already sodium in the soy sauce)

12) Create a well in the middle of the rice exposing the pan, add the egg into the well stirring constantly to prevent it from sticking and then mix into the rice.

13) Serve and Enjoy!

This is one of my absolute favorite recipes. I hope you enjoy it too! Until next time, this is Jason Maur, the MaurPowerFoodie, signing off.