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Cooking On The Couch: BLT-Inspired Recipes

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NEW YORK (WLNY) – Chadwick Boyd, a food and lifestyle expert, shows us a twist on the BLT theme in several non-sandwich recipes…even a drink.

More: NYC’s 8 Best BLT Sandwiches

Orecchiette with Bacon Meatballs

12 oz. ground pork
4 slices bacon or uncured smoked bacon, cut into 1⁄2-inch pieces
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1⁄2 tsp. black pepper, divided
2 to 3 Tbsp. olive oil
8 oz. dried orecchiette pasta
2 small shallots, thinly sliced
3 red tomatoes, coarsely chopped
4 cups kale, coarsely chopped, or spinach
1⁄4 tsp. salt
1⁄4 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
1. In a medium bowl combine pork, bacon, garlic, and 1⁄4 tsp. of the pepper until well mixed. Using a teaspoon, scoop the mixture into the palm of your hand and shape into 1-inch meatballs. Pieces of the bacon should be visible.
2. In a large skillet heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add half the meatballs. Cook and stir until meatballs are browned on all sides and the bacon is crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer meatballs to paper towels; drain. Repeat with remaining meatballs. Reserve 1 Tbsp
bacon drippings in the skillet; set aside.
3. Cook pasta according to package directions in lightly salted water; drain. Reserve about 1⁄4 cup pasta liquid.
4. Cook shallot in reserved bacon drippings, over medium-high heat, for 3 to 4 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to release the brown bits. Return meatballs to skillet. Add tomatoes; cook 2 to 3 minutes. Add pasta and kale; toss to combine, adding pasta liquid as needed to moisten the pasta. Season with salt and remaining 1⁄4 tsp. pepper. Top with Parmesan before serving. Serves 4.
each serving 673 cal, 37 g fat, 83 mg chol, 490 mg sodium, 55 g carb, 5 g fiber, 32 g pro.

BLT and Chips Casserole
10 eggs
3⁄4 cup whole milk
1 tsp. kosher salt
1⁄4 tsp. cayenne pepper
3 cups kettle-cooked potato chips (3 oz.)
3 cups fresh arugula, shredded
1 1⁄2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 1⁄2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
10 strips bacon, coarsely chopped and crisp-cooked
1⁄4 cup fresh basil, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 2-quart baking dish; set aside. In a large mixing bowl whisk together eggs and milk. Add salt and cayenne. Gently fold in the potato chips until completely covered by egg mixture. Stir in shredded arugula, cheddar cheese, cherry tomatoes, bacon, and basil. Transfer to prepared baking dish.
2. Bake 50 minutes or until golden brown and a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Let stand 10 to 15 minutes.
3. Top with arugula and cherry tomatoes before serving. Makes 6 servings.
each serving 410 cal, 29 g fat, 357 mg chol, 1,001 mg sodium, 13 g carb, 1 g fiber, 25 g pro.

Tomato Bacon Sipper
1 clove garlic
5 fresh basil leaves
2 tsp. lime juice
1⁄4 tsp. celery salt
2 medium ripe red heirloom tomatoes, halved
1 1⁄2 oz. vodka
1 Tbsp. pepper bacon, chopped and crisp-cooked
1⁄2 tsp. Asian chili sauce (Sriracha)
1 to 2 tomato slices
1 center leaf romaine
1 slice pepper bacon, crisp-cooked

1. In a cocktail shaker, combine garlic, basil, lime juice, and celery salt. Using a muddler or wooden spoon, mash mixture to combine. Add tomatoes; mash until smooth and well incorporated. Add vodka, bacon, chili sauce, and ice to fill. Cover; shake well for 20 to 30 seconds.
2. Strain mixture through a wire mesh strainer over a liquid measuring cup. Using the back of a spoon, press out all the juice. Discard solids.
3. Pour mixture into an ice-filled glass. Add tomato slices. Garnish with romaine lettuce and bacon. Makes 1 serving.
Note: To rim glass, run a lime wedge along the lip of the glass, then dip into a mixture of celery salt and paprika.
each serving 231 cal, 6 g fat, 15 mg chol, 712 mg sodium, 13 g carb, 4 g fiber, 8 g pro.