Come summertime, most of us want foods that somehow manage to satisfy while still seeming light and refreshing. No dish better delivers on both counts than the classic iceberg wedge salad, a retro creation that is all about simplicity. And yet, to be the celebration of flavor and texture that it should, we need to make sure to cut the toppings small and play up contrast in flavor and texture wherever possible.
'Bacon' on Serious Eats
Who ever said American pancakes have to be sweet? What's stopping us from savory-ing them up? That's exactly what these pancakes are. They start with a basic American-style pancake recipe, but they come stuffed with crisp bacon, sautéed corn, jalapeño peppers, scallions, and—the kicker—pockets of gooey melted cheddar cheese.
It looks like a pizza, it cooks like a pizza, but don't make the mistake of actually thinking it's a pizza. Tarte flambée, the Alsatian flatbread topped with fromage blanc (a fresh, tart, spreadable cheese), thinly sliced raw onions and bacon, is as Franco-Germanic in flavor as can be. This method delivers a bar-style tart, cooked on a flour tortilla in a cast iron skillet, then browned under the broiler. It has a thin, cracker-like crust that is irresistible.
It looks like a pizza, it cooks like a pizza, but don't make the mistake of actually thinking it's a pizza. Tarte flambée, the Alsatian flatbread topped with fromage blanc (a fresh, tart, spreadable cheese), thinly sliced raw onions and bacon, is as Franco-Germanic in flavor as can be. This method delivers a classic tart, made on pizza dough rolled very thinly and cooked on a blazing hot Baking Steel or pizza stone right under the broiler.
A double stacked burger with three mini bacon-filled grilled cheese sandwiches sandwiching it.
One of my go-to Game Day foods has always been potato skins. This time around, we can settle for nothing less that the ultimate champion of skins—the MVP of football feasts. If we're truly bringing our appetizer A-game, we need to mix it up a bit by drafting some beer right into our recipes. Brew-loving brothers and sisters, if you're with me, allow me to introduce an ale-filled appetizer just in time for the Super Bowl: Bacon, Bratwurst, and Beer Cheese Potato Skins.
The pressure cooker is an amazing device for making flavor-packed stews in very short order. In this version, French lentils are flavored with big chunks of pancetta, chicken stock, carrots, onions, bay leaves, and fall-off-the-bone tender chicken legs. It all cooks in about 30 minutes start to finish.
Bacon, cheddar, and scallions load this cornbread up with a salty, sharp, and smoky flavor that contrasts against the sweet and moist cornbread.
I love a crisp sautéed green bean or a fresh and crunchy green bean salad as much as anyone, but there's a time and a place for everything, and I'd like to make the case for tender braised green beans. Let's bust out of this al dente prison we're stuck in now, shall we?
Brussels sprouts have come a long way in the days since they were boiled to a stinky, cabbage-y death. Rapid, high-heat cooking has been the game-changer for me, but what if I told you that there's an even better way to cook Brussels sprouts? One that forgoes that quick cooking in lieu of extra-richness and flavor? A method that not only delivers decadently delicious results, but can be made 100% ahead of time with just a short stay in the oven prior to serving? This cheesy casserole packed with bacon and Brussels sprouts is where it's at.
This hearty chickpea salad flavored with bacon, cotija, and roasted chilies is easy to make and only gets better as it rests overnight. This is a dish custom-made for making ahead and packing on a camping trip or for lunch at the office.
This simple seven-ingredient salad is packed with flavor thanks to a vinaigrette made from warm bacon fat, shallots, hazelnuts, honey, and sherry vinegar, with just a touch of extra-virgin olive oil. The Brussels sprouts leaves are cooked just long enough to give them some sweet, nutty char, but still retain a fresh green bite.
Cauliflower gets a flavor-packed, smoky jolt from bacon in this creamy, comforting soup. It's simple to make and reheats beautifully.
There are those of you who might be wondering why you need yet another burger recipe, and there are those who just can't get enough. This burger from Jamie Oliver's Comfort Food is for both of you: it delivers classic flavor all juiced up and a little weird, in a wonderful way. Oliver takes the traditional components and gets kinda nutty with them, adding slight twists that really do make this a worth-a-try-even-if-you're-sick-of-burgers burger.
Deeply fragrant with smoky charred edges, cabbage takes on a nutty, sweet flavor when grilled over blazing hot coals, and a great texture that's simultaneously tender and crisp. Its layered structure also makes it the ideal vessel for picking up both smoke flavor from the grill and whatever sauce you choose to serve it with. In this case, we're going with a rich blue cheese dressing, tomatoes, and—if you want them—bacon bits.
In recognition of the transition from summer to fall, this dish takes a summertime staple—bratwurst—and turns it into a filling with rice for stuffed cabbage rolls. The rolls are then bathed in a bacon-and-beer-infused tomato sauce and baked until tender.
Grilled summer fruit is always a welcome addition at the table, and these peaches get extra boosts of flavor from sticky caramelized shallots, cooling buttermilk dressing and crispy bacon.
A fair question: who doesn't like jalapeno poppers? With that in mind, this dynamite chicken recipe -- part of a week-long celebration of chicken breasts -- offers a drool-worthy alternative to the average, grilled bird. The chicken is filled with a luxe cream cheese and sour cream mix that's specked with canned, roasted jalapenos, garlic and Parmesan cheese. Then, it's wrapped in bacon and grilled over indirect heat.
This is by no means a traditional turkey club sandwich: It is loaded with deeply roasted turkey-and-pork-belly shawarma, and accented with a flavorful bacon mayonnaise. All those rich ingredients are balanced with fresh tomato slices and peppery baby arugula. And while a classic turkey club has three layers of bread, we ditched the middle layer because we found it makes the sandwich too hard to eat without adding much that the other two bread slices don't already deliver.
Juicy cherry tomatoes are packed full of smoky, crunchy bacon, salty Parmesan cheese, creamy mayo, and a sprinkling of bright, fresh parsley for a simple, crowd-pleasing hors d'oeuvre.