Pecan Praline Bacon

Pecan Praline Bacon is nice to make for company for the holidays for a Christmas/New Year’s brunch!

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound thick-slice bacon
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/4 cup pecans, finely chopped

Instructions:

Arrange the bacon slices in a single layer in a shallow microwave-safe dish. Microwave on high for 5 minutes; drain. Transfer the slices to a rack in a large baking pan. Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes. Mix the sugar and chili powder in a bowl and sprinkle over the bacon. Top with the pecans. Bake for 5 minutes longer or until brown and crisp. Drain the bacon Praline side up on paper towels.

Serves 6

Spinach Madeline: A Thanksgiving Tradition

Spinach Madeleine, the recipe that put the first Junior League of Baton River Road Recipes Cookbook on the map! This savory and bubbly warm dish is now a traditional favorite for family gatherings, potlucks and supper clubs all around our great state for over 50 years.

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The original Spinach Madeleine recipe is found on page 63 of River Road Recipes I: A Textbook of Louisiana Cuisine.

Spinach Madeleine can be served as a warm appetizer dip with toast points or cocktail crackers, as well as, a flavorful side dish complimentary to many main dishes. Remember, Spinach Madeleine also freezes well. So consider when preparing, double the recipe and freeze half.

This dish is also a good way to introduce spinach to those who might be reluctant to try green veggies. The blended flavors and spices are sure to please even the most doubtful of picky eaters.

The original recipe calls for a roll of 6 ounces of Jalapeno cheese. Kraft Foods no longer makes the product so we have substituted 4 ounces of Velveeta cheese, cubed, and 2 teaspoons of minced jalapenos!

Spinach Madeleine

  • 2 packages frozen chopped spinach
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons chopped onions
  • ½ cup evaporated milk
  • ½ cup vegetable liquor (the liquid reserved from cooking the spinach)
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¾ teaspoon celery salt
  • ¾ teaspoon garlic salt
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 ounces Velveeta cheese, cubed
  • 2 teaspoons jalapeno, minced
  • Red pepper to taste

Cook spinach according to directions on package. Drain and reserve liquor. Melt butter in saucepan over low heat. Add flour, stirring until blended and smooth, but not brown. Add onion, and cook until soft but not brown. Add liquid slowly, stirring constantly to avoid lumps. Cook until smooth and thick; continue stirring. Add seasonings, jalapenos, and cheese which has been cut into small pieces. Stir until melted. Combine with cooked spinach. This may be served immediately or put into a casserole and topped with buttered breadcrumbs. The flavor is improved if the latter is done and kept in the refrigerator overnight. This may also be frozen.

Serves 5 to 6.

Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving!

Getting Your Table Dressed for the Holidays

Now that the holiday season is upon us, we are all preparing to spend time with family and friends to share meals together and celebrate. It’s easy to let the hustle and bustle take away from the fun times with loved ones. This year, we are committed to focusing on the time we spend with each other– try these simple tips to make your holiday table inviting to your guests without becoming an overwhelming task.

Fresh seasonal greens from your own garden or local grocery warm up a table with casual elegance. Most floral departments offer an affordable bouquet of mixed greens (seeded eucalyptus, evergreens, blades) that are a versatile festive touch, throughout Thanksgiving to New Years.

Photography by Rebecca Klar.

Photography by Rebecca Klar.

Consider adding in some hardy long-lasting favorites, like fresh rosemary, cranberries, and satsumas, which can be re-purposed later as a fragrant simmer pot. Fill a saucepan with water, sliced satsumas, rosemary twigs, and even a cinnamon stick. Allow to lowly simmer, adding water as necessary, and enjoy the clean and homey holiday fragrance!

Photography by Rebecca Klar.

Photography by Rebecca Klar.

Low centerpiece arrangements allow for an easy flow of conversation. For seated dinners, it’s better to resist a tall airy arrangement that will block your guests from each other. Opt for something low, gathered, and intimate to encourage interaction. Camellias are starting to bud all over Baton Rouge– blooms tucked into champagne saucers or water goblets are colorful and effortless– plus offer another reason to use your wedding crystal!

Photography by Rebecca KJar.

Photography by Rebecca KJar.

Handwritten name cards make each guest feel that their place at the table is special.

Photograph by Rebecca Klar.

Photograph by Rebecca Klar.

Amid this hectic time of year, just remember that the time we spend together is more important than any decor details or etiquette book edicts. A gracious hostess is simply one who makes her guests feel welcome!  We encourage you to create your own traditions and holiday gatherings this year– these are likely the moments we will remember more fondly than any present that could fit under the tree.

The original Spinach Madeleine recipe is found on page 63 of River Road Recipes I: A Textbook of Louisiana Cuisine.

Happy holidays, from our River Road Recipes family, to yours!