Bacon fat is flavorful and it is both senseless and wasteful to discard it. Use it and be amazed at how much the flavor of a dish is improved with just one ingredient.
But isn’t bacon fat unhealthy? Well, if we were living in the 1950s, we wouldn’t be blamed for believing that. But it’s been more than half a century since, and Ancel Keys’ bad science needs to be buried and forgotten.
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- Dietary fat and cardiometabolic health: evidence, controversies, and consensus for guidance
Cheesy Potato and Bacon Casserole
- 150 grams belly bacon cut into strips ½-inch wide (sweetened bacon is NOT recommended)
- 500 grams potatoes the kind you cook into French fries is best, peeled and cut into wedges
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ½ cup cream cheese softened to room temperature
- ½ cup shredded Pepper Jack cheese
- ½ cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan
- ½ cup sour cream
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- Preheat the oven to 400F.
- Spray an 8″ x 8″ baking dish with oil.
- Spread the bacon in a frying pan and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until browned and crisp. Scoop out the cooked bacon.
- Reheat the bacon fat.
- Spread the potato wedges in the hot fat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Fry the potato wedges in the bacon fat for a few minutes without disturbing then stir. Continue frying, tossing occasionally, until the edges are lightly browned and the centers are cooked through.
- Scoop out the potatoes and spread on the prepared baking dish.
- Sprinkle half of the bacon over the potatoes.
- Stir together the softened cream cheese and shredded Pepper Jack. Drop by spoonfuls over the potatoes and bacon.
- Whisk together the panko and Parmesan and scatter over the potatoes.
- Bake the potatoes, bacon and cheese for 12 to 15 minutes or just until the cheeses melt and the top is nicely browned.
- Scatter the remaining bacon and drop spoonfuls of sour cream over the hot casserole and sprinkle in chopped parsley before serving.