I’ve done something. Changed something. Opened some sort of magic box, some secret portal to a new world. And now that I’ve glimpsed the other side, I rather doubt I’ll be the same again.
It all started with an innocent breakfast suggestion. On my recent winter escape to Oregon, all we wanted was a place to eat one misty Wednesday morning in Portland. Instead, we ordered a plate of food that, rather than fading from my memory as most meals do, has haunted my daydreams ever since.
It was praline bacon. And within moments of eating it, I knew that I wanted to, nay, that I must! try to recreate it at home. This weekend I finally had the time, the health, and the daylight. It took four failed attempts, but I finally found the balance I was looking for. And the best part? It’s so absurdly, ridiculously easy.
Obviously, we start with bacon. Then we have pecans, maple syrup, brown sugar, a little salt, and some cayenne pepper.
THAT IS ALL, PEOPLE.
Instead of pan-frying the bacon, I baked mine. It helps the bacon stay flat (necessary for topping with sugary pecans later) and the excess fat drains into the pan below. I may actually start making all of my bacon this way.
While the bacon cooks, chop up some pecans. I’ve seen some versions where the pecans are food-processed into oblivion, but I prefer a larger cut. Smaller than a rough chop but bigger than a fine chop, does that make sense? About the size of a tooth? (Is that gross?)
Finally, the corn has arrived! More than burgers, more than blackberries, more than plump red tomatoes and endless mounds of zucchini, fresh-shucked corn tastes like pure, delicious summer. Though I still love it straight off the cob, plain and warm, it’s also now one of my favorite ingredients to add to other dishes.
And it’s not just for dinner! I’ve now become quite obsessed with using corn in breakfast. In this particular one, it joints a few other mid-summer veggies (also bacon) as a really, really good hash.
It’s amazing how quickly the thrills of summer transform into those of fall. It’s not just about the temperature, either (in fact, that hasn’t particularly changed). The tree outside my apartment has begun dropping leaves to the ground, and with each trip to my car in the morning, those leaves announce the arrival of autumn with a delicate crunch beneath my feet. The light deepens to gold a bit more each day, and the anticipation I’ve grown accustomed to feeling around this time each year is beginning to grow.
And yet a week ago, my heart was full with summer. And so was my pantry. I’d harvested the last batch of tomatoes from my garden, and after celebrating some of them with some BLT sandwiches, I wanted to try them in a different configuration: as a salad!
This salad is inspired by one that Brad and I usually split at one of our favorite restaurants, and it’s simple enough that I’m frankly stunned I’ve never attempted something like it at home.
I try to post recipes on this site that are seasonally appropriate for my locale. There are a few oddballs, but for the most part, strawberry dishes hit in the spring, tomatoes are featured in the summer, and pumpkin treats fill the fall.
You might be wondering, then, why I’m giving you this pizza that (at least to me) screams “Summer!!” as we leave the last vestiges of autumn behind and move full-steam into the winter holiday season.
In truth, I feel a bit seasonally confused. I spent the last week in Florida with my family visiting magical places, seeing magical sights, and enjoying 70-degree weather surrounded by palm trees while Christmas carols blared from speakers across the parks.
So in celebration of this confusion, I give you this! Barbecue, Bacon, and Toasted Corn Flatbread Pizza. It’s a shout out to the last summer produce, the last summer cookout, that many of us celebrated months ago. I used the tail end of the summer’s corn to make this pizza, but you can also easily use a can of corn that has been drained.
c) corn on the cob
If you raised your hand for none of these things, I question your culinary sanity. If you raised your hand for all of these things, THIS, my friend, is a recipe for you.
Here’s how this happened. I had corn on the cob and bacon in my fridge. I recently saw a recipe for a breakfast hash featuring them, and wanted to make it immediately. Buuuuuuut I wondered: could I make it a little cake instead? Like a latke? Or wait! Even better… a pancake? Or what about a cornbread?
Then it became clear: a cornbread-y pancake (the latke idea was cast aside for another day) studded with corn kernels and bits of bacon? Couldn’t possibly be all bad.