When I started to write this post, I originally conceived of it as a list of potential uses for leftover bacon. Then I came to my senses: there is no such thing as leftover bacon. There is bacon that is freshly cooked for a specific purpose; there is potentially leftover bacon, sitting out seductively on a paper towel to drain like a sunbather stretched out coyly on a blanket; and there is bacon that has been eaten. I have never cooked a pack of bacon and had any left at the end of the day, even if I was alone. I am not sure of admitting that makes me ashamed or proud.
Okay, so bacon leftovers don’t actually exist. However, plenty of other foods do get left behind Uneaten pasta or stir-fry usually ends up languishing in the fridge, forgotten and unloved, until it is eventually rediscovered and thrown away just before it gains sentience.
Thanks to the magic of bacon, however, these once-unappealing leftovers can be transformed into delicious, dynamic new meals that you are your family are sure to love. Bacon really does have magical culinary powers.
One of my favourite ways to transfigure leftover Baked Potatoes is to harness the power of bacon to make Double-Baked Stuffed Potatoes. Scoop out the flesh of the pre-cooked baked potato and mix it with butter, a little milk or cream, and chunks of bacon. Top with shredded cheddar cheese. Pop these stuffed wonders back in the oven until they warm through and the cheese melts. Serve with sour cream and chives. These are wonderful accompaniments to steaks, or a filling dinner all on their own.
Bacon can also rescue leftover vegetables. Last night’s peas can become an amazing pasta dish with a little help from some bacon. Simply sauté the bacon and garlic in olive oil, then add the peas, cooked pasta, and some heavy cream. This spectacular dish is both rich and fresh. Leftover broccoli calls out to bacon to revive it; adding some bacon crumble and cheese sauce makes this wilted green a spectacular dinner time hit.
And, of course, there is my most trusted leftover standby: Bacon-Infused Leftover Flatbread. This leftover creation is as simple as it is ingenious, and it combines my two most basic, never-fail cooking principles: add bacon and cover everything in cheese. You start with a piece of flatbread; a small pizza crust or pita will also do just fine. Begin my topping it with any leftovers you may have lying about. Roasted chicken, chopped up, is great, as is sliced leftover steak. Next, add a cooked vegetable or two, like sun-dried or grilled zucchini. Finally, top with a generous crumble of bacon and the cheese of your choice, and pop it all in the oven. As soon as the cheese melts and bubbles, it’s ready! One of my all-time favourite flatbread combos, after a lot of experimentation, is goat cheese with grilled portobello mushrooms and bacon on flatbread. Try lots of different combinations and find a favourite of your own!
Not only is bacon a delicious food in its own right, but it rescues leftovers that would otherwise be unloved and forgotten. In my books, this makes bacon the superhero of foods.