Every year, September 2 is observed as International Bacon Day to celebrate the pork strips. Photo Courtesy: The Westin Resort & Spa Himalayas
Imagine relishing crispy bacon strips that provide just the right amount of saltiness and crunch to your loaded burger or sandwich. It gets even better if you add bacon bits to Carbonara. Only good things can come out of adding bacon to anything that you eat, and if you love bacon, you will agree because once you love it, there is no going back. Even chefs in Mumbai and around India believe in the goodness of bacon and that is why they say adding a piece of pork strip to anything is delicious.
Every year, the world observes International Bacon Day on September 2 to celebrate frying of the salt-cured pork strip around the world. While traditionally bacon is eaten as a side with a variety of different dishes including the classic Eggs and Bacon, there are chefs from restaurants in Mumbai and around India, who are adding bacon to some of their most favourite creations not just for the sake of it but because it adds a unique flavour that can only be appreciated if you love eating it.
Being lovers of bacon, mid-day.com reached out to these chefs for recipes that use bacon to make innovative dishes. These chefs suggest using bacon not only in burgers but also adding it to your French Toast, Carbonara, sandwiches and pizzas too.
Millet & Bacon Crustless Quiche
Feed the baker in you by adding bacon to a delicious healthy version of a quiche. Believing in the concept of eating breakfast like a King, senior sous chef Ruffy Shaikh at ITC Grand Central suggests adding the pork bits to Millet & Bacon Crustless Quiche. Apart from the essential vitamins and minerals that bacon provides, Shaikh says it adds a smoky flavour to the baked item making it taste unique.
Egg, whole 6 nos
Cooking cream 500 ml
Gruyere cheese/Swiss cheese 100 gm
Boiled prosso millet 100 gm
Salt 2 gm
Basil 5 gm
Thyme – 2 gm
Red chilli flakes 5 gm
Spring onion 10 gm
Parsley 2 gm
Black- pepper 2 gm
Cooked bacon 150 gm
1. Combine whole eggs, cream and whisk until blended.
2. Add ingredients except onions and bacon.
3. Cook bacon in a pan and sautÃ© chop spring onions with it. Add both the ingredients to the egg mixture.
4. Spray the pie mould and put the mixture in the pie mould.
5. Bake it at 170 degrees Celsius for 35 minutes or until a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean. Let it stand for 10 minutes.
5. Serve hot.
If you love Italian food, then Pankaj Singh Tanwar, executive chef at The Westin Resort & Spa Himalayas says you can simply add bacon to a Spaghetti Carbonara, or at least that is what they like to do at the five-star property. He explains, “Bacon is used in pasta dishes to add depth of flavour and texture to the overall dish. The saltiness and smokiness of bacon can enhance the taste of the pasta sauce. Bacon adds richness and deliciousness to pasta recipes, making them more indulgent and satisfying.”
Spaghetti pasta 180 gm
Bacon 50 gm
Egg yolk 2
Parmesan cheese 50 gm
Olive oil 1 tbsp
Black pepper (coarsely crushed)
Salt to taste
1. In a large pan or a saucepan, heat the olive oil and fry the bacon till crisp. Set aside.
2. In a mixing bowl, beat the whole eggs and the yolk well. Stir in the grated cheese and set aside.
3. Boil the spaghetti in abundant salty water. Drain the pasta, reserving some of the cooking water.
4. In another saucepan, toss the pasta with the egg mixture, bacon and any fat rendered from cooking the bacon, over very low heat.
5. Make sure that the individual strands of pasta are all coated properly with the mixture. Season with salt, add the pasta water, give it a quick toss, and remove right away from the heat.
6. The sauce should have a creamy texture, which will be lost if the pasta remains on the fire for too long.
7. The idea is to cook the egg with the heat of the pasta, and not with the heat of the fire.
8. Serve right away with lots of pepper, freshly crushed in a pepper mill, and more Parmesan if desired.
French toast with Candied Bacon
You don’t feel like indulging in a quiche? Try adding bacon to your French Toast, says Roshi Sood, executive chef at Poach Kitchen in Kolkata. With an extremely cheesy version of the French toast, this one comes loaded. She explains, “The candied bacon adds a textural and flavour element to the rather sweet French toast. It imparts the right amount of saltiness to compliment the maple syrup and egg batter.” This, she says, is the perfect way to elevate an average grilled cheese or French toast, and it also happens to be the best way for Sood to serve the dish.
French Toast Batter:
Egg 1 no
Cooking Cream 2 tbsp
Caster sugar 2 tbsp
Cinnamon powder 1/2 tsp
Pinch of salt
Bacon 3 strips
Brown sugar 1 1/2 tsp
Cheese for filling:
Yellow Cheddar 1 tbsp
Gouda 1 tbsp
Mozzarella 1 tbsp
Sliced white bread – 2 slices
Maple syrup 45 ml
1. Coat the bacon with brown sugar and place it in a preheated oven at 200 degree Celsius. Cook until crispy and set aside.
1. In a medium size bowl, whisk one egg along with the cooking cream, caster sugar, cinnamon powder and a pinch of salt.
2. Coat the white bread slices in the prepared batter and cook on a non-stick pan until golden brown.
3. Add the cheese between the bread slices and bake in a preheated oven at 200 degrees Celsius for 3-4 minutes or until the cheese melts.
4. Slice and top the French toast with maple syrup and the crispy candied bacon.
5. Garnish with microgreens and serve hot.
Love bacon but haven’t indulged in a burger with bacon yet? Chef Roshan Seth at BrewDog India in Bandra and Lower Parel wants you to enjoy the flavours of apple wood smoked bacon. He explains, “The beauty of the burger is in the simple flavours of the lamb patty. It has an earthy meatiness, which is elevated by the applewood smoked bacon, that not only imparts a hint of smokiness but also the alluring richness which comes through the salty fat and meat of the bacon which rounds off the burger. You will get a nice meaty taste of the lamb accentuated with the sweet, tangy notes of the BBQ sauce and gherkins along with rich fattiness of the bacon in a pillowy soft brioche bun.” At the restaurant, he says you wash it down with an Ice Cold Punk IPA.
Lamb Patty 1 no
Apple wood smoked bacon 20 gm
Pickled Onion 5 gm
Iceberg Lettuce 10 gm
BBQ Sauce 30 gm
Brioche Burger Bun 1 no
French Fries 80 gm
Gherkin 30 gm
Cheddar Cheese Slice 1 no
Sliced Onion 5 nos
For Lamb Patty
1. In a mixing bowl, add lamb mince and lamb fat. In 100 gm lamb mince, add 30 gm of lamb fat finely minced.
2. Add salt and pepper to the mixture and mix it well and allow it to rest overnight.
1. Cut the brioche bun into two pieces and on a heavy bottom griddle toast it without any fat.
2. Once toasted, apply butter and BBQ sauce.
3. Top it up with iceberg lettuce, sliced and pickled onions.
4. On a medium hot heavy bottom griddle, grill the lamb patty and toast the bacon.
5. While grilling the lamb patty, put weight on it so that the patty doesn’t puff up and the charring is equal on all sides of the patty.
6. Once cooked, place the cheddar slice on the patty and cover it for 2 minutes until the cheese has melted.
7. Place the patty on the bun which has lettuce. Top it with a little BBQ sauce and smoked bacon and sliced gherkins.
8. Serve it with a side of French fries.
While bacon in burgers is a favourite, putting bacon in sandwiches is also irresistible. So, when chef Rajesh Mallick, who is the executive Chef at Out of the Blue in Khar says it is perfect in a BLT Sandwich, we have no doubt. It has a good helping of bacon strips, butter, tomato, lettuce and mayonnaise, which is not only easy to make but also delicious and filling. Why add bacon to the sandwich? He explains, “Bacon dishes are unique due to their rich and savoury flavour that adds a distinctive smokiness and depth to the overall taste. It is often used to provide a contrast of textures, adding a crispy and crunchy element to dishes that enhances the overall eating experience.” It is even the rendered fat from cooking bacon, he says, that can infuse the other ingredients with its delicious essence to make it more flavourful and satisfying.
Bacon strips as per requirement
Butter as per requirement
Tomato 1 no
Fresh Lettuce as per requirement
Mayonnaise as per requirement
Bread of your choice 2 slices
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Delight in the ultimate BLT experience with this mouthwatering sandwich. Begin by oven slow-cooking bacon until it reaches a satisfying crispiness.
2. While the bacon cooks, spread a layer of creamy mayonnaise on your choice of bread.
3. Slice a ripe tomato and wash some fresh lettuce to add a refreshing crunch.
4. Once the bacon is perfectly crispy, stack it atop the lettuce and tomato layers.
5. Enhance the flavours with a dash of salt and pepper and crown your creation with an additional layer of irresistibly crispy bacon.
Crispy Bacon and Burnt Brie Salad
Bacon is so versatile that it can be added to almost every dish that you want. While a Carbonara, burgers and sandwiches may be quite heavy to consume, they can also be included in a sandwich, according to Chef Ravraj Chandhok, who is the head chef at Juliette Ristorante and Bar in Andheri, because they add a unique flavour to the mix. He explains, “In this salad, bacon plays a very important role to enhance the flavour and it also gives some crunchiness in the salad. The saltiness in the bacon and the sweet and sour dressing combination works very well.”
Sticky bacon 60 gm
Brie cheese 80 gm
Romaine lettuce 100 gm
Iceberg lettuce 80 gm
Dry cranberryÃ¢ÂÂ15 gm
Kalamata olives 10 gm
Dry Cranberry pureeÃ¢ÂÂ10 gm
Extra virgin olive oilÃ¢ÂÂ30 ml
Salt 2 gm
Pepper 1 gm
White wine vinegar 10 mlÃ¢ÂÂ
1. Pan fry the bacon until crisp.
2. Cut the brie cheese in small triangles and caramelise it with a blow torch.
3. Clean the lettuce and add in the bowl with kalamata and dry cranberry.
4. To make the dressing, soak the cranberry in hot water then puree it. Then make a dressing by adding extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper and white wine vinegar.
5. Mix all ingredients together, chop half bacon and mix in the salad and use the remaining as garnish.
Bacon and Chorizo Sandwich
Make the best of both worlds if you love pork because chefSushil Multani at Cafe Panama in Lower Parel suggests making a loaded Bacon and Chorizo sandwich. Loaded with bacon and chorizo sausage along with butter, onion and garlic, cheddar cheese, sour cream and rucola, the burger is a burst of flavours. He explains, “The bacon adds a very well-rounded flavour profile to the whole dish. The crisp from the rashers and mushy chorizo sausages pairs really well. It also adds a balance to the strong chorizo flavour without taking anything away from the dish.”
Fresh brioche bread 2 nos
Bacon 10 rashers
Butter 10 gm
Chorizo sausage 4 nos (160g)
Onion 10 gm
Garlic 5 gm
Sour Cream 30 gm
Cheddar Cheese 40 gm
Rucola 5 gm
Lemon few drops
Olive oil 5 ml
1. Cut the brioche into half and apply butter on both sides and toast under a salamander for 3 minutes or until golden.
2. Render the bacon rashers in an oven at 160 degrees Celsius for 8-10 minutes. Alongside sautÃ© chorizo sautÃ© till lightly charred.
3. SautÃ© onion garlic in olive oil. Add bacon and chorizo and sautÃ© well. Season with salt.
4. Apply sour cream on the bun and place the bacon and chorizo. Top it up with Rucola and a few drops of lemon juice.
5. Serve with a side of chips.
Pepperoni and Bacon Flatbread – Pizzaroni
At Ditas, executive chef Ravi Ranjan makes a pepperoni and bacon flatbread that they like to call Pizzaroni. When used in a pizza, he says it adds a sweet, smoky, and salty flavour rounded out with unctuous notes from the fatty pork belly muscle.
Whole Wheat Flour 2 cups
White Flour (save 1/4 cup for dusting the rolling surface) 2 cups
Instant Dry Yeast 2 1/4 tsp
Sugar 1 tsp
Salt 2 tsp
Water 1 1/2 cups
Olive oil for dough 2 tbsp
Olive oil for baking 1-2 tbsp
Pizza sauce 1 cup
Mozzarella Shredded Cheese 1 cup
Pepperoni 1/2 cup
Cooked Bacon 1/2 cup
1. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius.
2. Add all dry ingredients to a mixer and start the mixer.
3. Slowly add the olive oil and water.
4. Add flour to a working surface.
5. Knead the dough three times.
6. Cover the dough in plastic wrap and let rise for 1 hour. Slice dough in half to make 2 pizzas.
7. Spread 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil on a pizza pan.
8. Knead the dough two times and roll out the dough onto the pizza pan or cookie sheet.
9. Spread the pizza sauce on the base then sprinkle on the cheese and toppings (pepperoni and bacon).
10. Bake each pizza for 13-15 minutes at 190 degrees Celsius.
Country Bacon & Millet Blinis paired with seared sole, Pelati Marinara, Apple cider Lotus stem
At Araiya Palampur, executive chef Arun Kumar absolutely loves using bacon in his dishes. It is also the reason why using bacon with millet pancakes is the perfect combination; add some seared sole, pelati marinara and apple cider marinated lotus stem to it and make it an elaborate dish. He explains, “It imparts richness and distinct smoking fat flavour to the dish. This dish has a succulent and cooked texture of small diced bacon with the millet flour. The Blinis are soft from the core while crisp on the outside.” This, he says, is an excellent pairing with pelati marinara and seared sole. “We recommend this dish with Sauvignon blanc 2016 Dr. Loosen Bro.”
Country Bacon & Millet Blinis
Country bacon (chopped) 100 gm
Whole egg 50 gm
Millet flour 60 gm
Dry yeast 3 gm
Whole Milk (6 per cent) 100ml
Olive oil 10 ml
Seasoning- to preference
1. To the dry millet flour, mix in seasoning, activate the yeast with milk along and achieve a thick batter.
2. Chopped bacon is mixed along with the batter. The mixture is rested in the refrigerator for 60 minutes.
3. The Blinis mixture is cooked over the griddle, to a golden and crisp texture.
Indian Sole fillet 120 gm
Olive oil 20ml
Chopped garlic 5 gm
Seasoning to preference
1. Marinated sole is seared over the griddle.
Pelati tomatoes 150 gm
Chopped garlic 10 gm
Celery and leek, chopped 10 gm
Basil leaves few sprigs
Olive oil 10 ml
Seasoning to preference
1. Blanched tomatoes are sauteed with chopped garlic, celeryand leek along.
2. Basil sprigs are added to enhance the flavour of sauce.
3. Cooked to a concasse texture.
Apple Cider Lotus Stem
Apple cider 20 ml
Steamed Lotus stem (paired) 80 gm
1. Lotus steam is peeled, paired and blanched and marinated with apple cider. Finished by flambÃ©ing to al dente.
Sour Cream 20 gm
English mustard 5 gm
1. Mix in both the ingredients.
Bacon Pineapple Bites
If you want to keep it simple, then chef Rakesh from Raasta in Dehradun says you can pair bacon with pineapple. He explains, “Adding bacon to the dish was a deliberate choice as it brings a rich smokiness and a savoury depth that perfectly complements the other ingredients. The umami from the bacon enhances the overall flavour profile, creating a harmonious balance that elevates the dish to a whole new level.”
Bacon strips 2 nos
Pineapple cut into chunks 1 no
Honey 2 tbsp
LP sauce 2 tbsp
Soya sauce 3 tbsp
Fresh ginger 1 tbsp
Tomato ketchup 1 cup
Pineapple juice 2 tbsp
Sriracha sauce 1 tbsp
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Celsius.
2. Cut raw bacon into half and place on a baking sheet covered with aluminium foil in a single layer; bake for 3 minutes, flip and bake for 3 minutes, wrap each piece of bacon around pineapple chunks secured with a toothpick place back on the lined baking sheet place in oven and back for 20 minutes.
3. Combine honey, Lp sauce, ginger, ketchup, pineapple juice, and sriracha sauce in a pan and simmer for 10 minutes.
4. Using a brush, mix with the sauce after it has been cooked for 20 minutes. Bake for 10 additional minutes or until the bacon is crispy and the pineapple is heated.
5. Serve promptly with BBQ sauce.
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