Me and my radio co-host, Steve Garner, broadcasting from the finals of the Bacon Recipe Contest for The Good Food Hour

Earlier this month my radio co-host, Steve Garner, and I hosted a Bacon Recipe Contest on our radio show, The Good Food Hour on KSRO in Sonoma County. We had some great entries, and did the difficult work of narrowing them down to four finalists. The contest was held November 3rd at G&G Supermarket in Santa Rosa, and one delicious winner emerged.

Bob Cronbach created two recipes that can be served separately, but served together, they earned him the Grand Prize! As a child, Bob was once crowned the “Junior Pancake King”, and says these recipes were

Bob Cronbach and me interacting during the Bacon Recipe Contest finals

inspired by his early cooking experiences and experiments. The Apple Bacon Fritter is versatile since it could be served plain as a snack, or dusted with powdered sugar or served with maple syrup and fruit, it could be served for breakfast. Serve it with his Maple Bacon Pecan Ice Cream, and you have a dessert that will really impress your holiday guests! There were a total of four winners chosen, and you can find all of their recipes on KSRO’s website.

All of the Bacon Recipe Contest Finalists with hosts- Laurie Figone, me, Marna Hill, Bob Cronbach, Steve Garner, and Olarn Tonverapongsiri

This was our 26th Recipe Cooking Contest and we’ve always had a great time with these.  I am sad to say this will be the last cooking contest we will host on KSRO, as the station recently cut our radio show and has replaced it with syndicated programming. I feel that local media programming is just as important as buying local produce and supporting local businesses. The Good Food Hour may re-emerge in another form, but in the meantime, you can always keep in touch with me here and on my Facebook page.

Hope you have a great Thanksgiving!

The winning dish!

Bacon Apple Fritter

4-5 Thick cut slices of Applewood Smoked Bacon
3 medium sized, firm apples
1 cup of Bisquick
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup milk
¼ teaspoon vanilla
1 large egg
4 cups of oil, preferably peanut or corn

In a deep fryer or deep sauce pan, heat oil to 350 degrees

Dice the bacon and cook over medium heat to crispy lardons. Remove with slotted spoon and place on paper towel to drain. Set aside to cool.

Peel, core and dice apples, approximately 1/3 inch. You should have about 4 cups.

Combine and mix all dry ingredients.

Whisk together the wet ingredients, then combine with dry ingredients. Stir bacon and apples into the batter. You want a thick batter, and you may need to add more Bisquick or milk as needed.

When oil is at right temperature, drop batter into the oil, 1 tablespoon at a time. Do not crowd. Brown one side, then turn. Remove to paper towels with slotted spoon to drain. Between batches, monitor oil temperature and adjust flame as needed.


Maple Bacon Pecan Ice Cream

1 cup grade B maple syrup
4 cups half & half
2 tablespoons strong, cold coffee or espresso
1 cup granulated sugar, divided
5 egg yolks
1/2 pound thick-cut bacon (about 6 slices)
¾ cup Pecans

Special equipment: candy thermometer, ice cream maker

In a medium saucepan over moderate heat, reduce the maple syrup to 1/2 cup. Set aside.
Over moderate heat in a medium saucepan, heat the half-and-half and coffee with 1/2 cup sugar until hot and just bubbling around the edges.

In a medium bowl, whisk the yolks with 1/2 cup sugar, then add 1 cup hot half-and-half mixture in a slow stream, whisking constantly. Pour the whole egg mixture back into the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture coats the back of the spoon and registers 170 degrees F on a thermometer. Do not let the mixture boil!

Pour the mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a medium bowl and whisk in the maple syrup. Cover with parchment paper letting the paper touch the surface of the mixture, to prevent a skin from forming. Chill the mixture until very cold, at least 6 hours and up to overnight.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Line a rimmed sheet pan with heavy foil. Place a baking rack over the lined sheet pan and arrange the bacon slices across the rack next to each other. Bake until crispy, about 15 minutes. When cool enough to handle, finely chop.

On the 2nd rimmed sheet pan, spread out pecans and bake with Bacon 6-10 minutes. Check at 5 minutes and shake pan to prevent burning and to get an even roast. When roasted, let cool, chop, and set aside.

Freeze the custard in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions, 20 to 30 minutes and at the last minute, add the pecans and bacon and let churn until just combined. Transfer to an airtight container and freeze.