Coffee Bacon Sandwiches . . . just because.

Because.Because you have gotten off of work at 1:15p (practically a full day, seeing as it started at 5:30a), gone to your parents’ overflowing, ridiculous garage, and retrieved the last of your boxed memorabilia to either a) get rid of, b) reminisce over and keep for your wee’uns, or c) continue to be in a debacle over what to give away/sell/keep/etc.

Because you have just managed to carry seven full boxes of books up two flights of stairs to your apartment, with no menfolk in sight to offer to take them off your hands.

Because your iced coffee simply won’t refill itself, which is almost frustrating and makes you want to be a wizard.

Because you have some deep cleaning and purging to do before a particular someone comes over to your house next week, and somehow this semester has been too crammed with projects & tests & homework & class & life to do all the itty, bitty cleaning and decorating, and now it’s a pro-ject.

Because it’s stupid hot and humid outside.

Because it’s Friday.

Why the becauses? I stopped by my favorite local gem-of-a-bakery on the way home from my parents’ house (it is called The Artisan’s Oven, for you Springfieldians dying for good quality artisan bread), and I purchased a loaf of sourdough, and a mini loaf of rosemary & olive oil.

Artisan bread, in all it’s glory. And as you can see when you zoom out, I may have chosen to start nibbling at the loaf while still in the car, somehow convincing myself that only one little pinch would do the trick.Silliest reasoning ever. I think I even knew I was wrong when I started to take the first bite. But it was so worth it.

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It’s a slippery slope, my friends.

I dream of making bread this beautiful.

Why did I purchase these particular loaves? Because I have bacon. And coffee grounds. And . . . I love sandwiches.

Somethin’ fierce.

Also, I know someone who really, really loves bacon, but doesn’t like coffee (what the ??? I know; tragic). This is my stubborn streak that is going to subtly feed him coffee flavored things, then before he knows it, he will be craving it from his depth.

I know how these menfolk work (HA!).


So this is what I did. I ground up the last of my finest PT’s Costa Rican coffee (a crime yes, but it was the only coffee I had on hand, and this had to happen). I mixed it with delicious molasses, spicy chili powder, and sweet hippie brown sugar.Side note: brown sugar is only hippie if you put it in your morning coffee. I’m not a sweet coffee drinker, but I do declare myself a small percentage of hippie, so this is why I know these things. Also . . . this little gem shares hippie secrets.

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Molasses flooding a sandy shore of coffee and chili powder, the brown sugar boulders withstanding the storm.Poetry in a spicy marinade.

Next, do this. Yum.

The very edge of the bacon is the only distinguishable bit about it. The rest is lost in a sea of greatness.Wrap it up with plastic wrap and let it sit for a couple hours and think about what it has done. Or, more about what it is going to become.

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After it’s thought good and hard, lay out the bacon strips on a piece of parchment paper (it is suggested in the recipe that I do this, but I disregarded. I shouldn’t have. I’m still soaking that sucker. Take the wise woman’s advice and use parchment, people). Bake it up! The smells emitted from your oven will linger in your household, and possesses certain qualities of magic. The sweet, salty depth that only coffee and molasses can bring to you.
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Also, be appreciative of the sunsets that you have been given. They are, after all, a gift.Even if you live downtown in the hustle and bustle of people. Even if you attempt to drive to the grocer, can’t find a parking spot, and end up driving home and walking to the grocer to get ingredients, be thankful. Because moments like this are sacred if you can realize it.

And it’s hard not be be excited when warmth and summer are upon us. Warm skin. Warm breezes. Cicadas are louder than ever. Front porches beg to be sat and thought on. There is bourbon that is dying to be mixed with lemon, lime, and sparkling water. There is bluegrass in the air. And yes, the smell of deep, sweet bacon still hangs in the air.

Sigh. Rich & lovely.

Just bacon on a sandwich would be silly and honestly quite dull, even if it is coffee bacon. So making a serious spread will do the trick!
I altered the original recipe quite a bit.

Assemble. Toasty bread, delicious goat cheese spread, fresh baby spinach, and coffee bacon.

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Delicious and beautiful. Accompanied by lemon, lime sparkling water, and bourbon (is that a thing? If not, I’m totally making it a thing and calling it a Front Porch. Cute, I know).  Go sit on your front porch and read a book. I’m reading “Of Mice & Men,” simply because I never have. I’m going to be honest, it was a bit hard to focus with this nonsense going on on my taste buds.Inspired by summer.
Coffee Bacon Sandwiches

makes 8 pieces of bacon and enough spread 4 sandwiches

For the Bacon:

8 slices uncooked bacon

1/4 cup freshly ground coffee

1/4 teaspoon chili powder

2 tablespoons packed brown sugar

2 tablespoons molasses

1 tablespoon water

For the Spread:

4 ounces goat cheese

1-3 second drizzle of honey (use your Mississippi’s, people)

1 tablespoon lemon zest

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon olive oil

a couple hefty sprinklings of paprika

*a dash of chili powder
*a dash of cumin
**Note : All spices listed above are to be tasted and adjusted to your taste buds and liking

For the Sandwich:fresh baby spinach leaves

crusty, toasted bread (suggestion? sourdough will rock your world)

Lay cascading bacon slices atop one another so that the fat is on top.  Place bacon on top of a piece of plastic wrap or brown butcher paper.

In a small bowl, stir together ground coffee, chili powder, brown sugar, molasses, and water.  Spread the mixture on top of the bacon slices, pressing with the back of a spoon.  The coffee topping will only be on the top, fatted rim of the bacon.  Wrap the bacon and coffee in the plastic wrap or butcher paper and place in the fridge. You may want to put the mixture in a large sealable back to prevent any leaking.   Let sit for 2 hours of overnight.

When ready to bake, place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and pay separate bacon slices on the paper in a single layer.  If you prefer, you can wipe some of the ground coffee marinade off before baking.  The majority of the coffee will only be on the top layer of the bacon slice.

Bake until browned and crisp, 14 to 17 minutes, or until bacon has reached your desired crispiness.  Remove from the oven, allow to drain on a piece of paper towel and assemble goat cheese spread.

To make the Spread:  In a medium bowl, place goat cheese, lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, honey, and spices.  Use a fork to mash the ingredients together.  Mash until well incorporated.  Add a touch more lemon juice or olive oil to reach your desired consistency.

Spread goat cheese mixture on buttered and toasted bread.  Top with coffee bacon and fresh spinach.  Serve immediately.

Source: adapted from Joy the Baker Cookbook
Listening to: The Avett Brothers Pandora station
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