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Meal/Course - Breakfast

These are so easy, it’s almost a non-recipe. Sure, you can complicate matters by making your own dough and cooking bacon from scratch, but for pure instant gratification, this is the way to go. And since we’re celebrating International Bacon Day—a holiday conceived by college students, I believe instant gratification is in keeping with the true spirit of the day.

I like to use blue corn in this recipe because of its nutty taste. But if you don’t have blue corn available, substitute yellow cornmeal. They will still be just as good. Another tasty variation is to add crumbled bacon to the mix. Normally I use 4 chopped jalapenos but I substituted the jalapeno pulp for this experiment. Serve these in place of cornbread with barbecues, picnics, or even as a breakfast muffin.
Three distinctive flavors combine and complement one another in these muffins--the saltiness of the bacon, the nutty flavor of the blue corn, and a subtle chile heat that is not immediately discernable. These muffins need not be served at breakfast only. They compliment almost any chile dish, barbecue, or Southwest meal. You can substitute yellow corn meal for the blue if blue cornmeal is unavailable.
Credit for this tasty recipe goes to Mary Jane, who baked this banana bread on one of our visits to Albuquerque. While MJ used a chopped fresh habanero, I replaced it with a colorful mix of chopped candied peppers, making it almost look like a fruit cake.
Pizza for breakfast-why not? After all, Italians love cold pizza with hot cappuccino for breakfast. But rather than cold pepperoni, I&rquo;m proposing a hearty and hot breakfast pie. Use frozen prepared dough and hash browns for easy, quick assembly.

Use a very sharp boning knife and remove the T-shaped bone from the pork shoulder and any extraneous fat (or ask your butcher to do it for you). For this shoulder the trim weight came to about three pounds. Butterfly the shoulder to a three-inch thickness. Apply the cure on all the surfaces of the butterflied pork using 4 1/4 teaspoons per pound of trimmed meat.

Unlike bacon that comes from the pork belly, Canadian bacon (also called back bacon or Irish bacon) is made with trimmed pork loins or tenderloins. It is traditionally wet-cured by injecting the meat with a curing solution. In England this bacon includes the fat portion of the loin. Read more about making bacon in Mike Stines' article here.

Stuffed eggs are the most obvious (and delicious) ways to use up left-over Easter eggs. There are any number of variations of the old standard, but these are special enough for an hors d’oeuvres party table. Because older eggs are easier to peel, be sure to use them when you need a smooth, clean egg. Use a pastry bag and pipe in the filling for a fancy presentation. 
These tender and flaky scones are best served warm from the oven. For entertaining, try cutting the scones out with Southwestern cookie cutters such as a saguaro cactus, a chile, or a cowboy boot.

Find a butcher with pork bellies (a Chinese butcher probably has them on-hand; if not ask your butcher to order one for you). The ones I purchased from my purveyor had the rind (skin) removed and weighed about 11 pounds. I trimmed off some of the excess fat and cut the belly into four pieces about 2 3/4 pounds (or so) each. The trimmed pork fat makes great cracklings! Read more about making bacon in Mike Stines' article here.

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