Bacon Zucchini Skillet
Mess Level: Moderate
Yield: 4 Servings
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 30 min
- 1 lb Thick Cut Bacon (Or your favorite kind)
- 1 Zucchini
- 2 Onions
- 1 Sweet Potato
- 1 Large Red Potato
- ½ Head Purple Cabbage (from a small cabbage)
- 2 Tablespoons Cilantro
- 6 Cloves Garlic
- 2 Tablespoons Cumin
- 1 teaspoon Cayenne (optional)
- 1 Tablespoon Paprika
- 1 teaspoon Chili Powder
- 2 teaspoons Coarse Ground Black Pepper (½ amt for finely ground)
- Bring a pot of water to a boil and salt it until it tastes like the ocean.
- Dice the potato and sweet potato and cut the bacon into bite-sized pieces with a sharp knife. When the water boils, add the red potato and cook for three minutes, then add the sweet potato. Cook until fork-tender, then drain and set aside.
- In a large, cast iron skillet, cook the bacon over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until it reaches your desired doneness.
- Meanwhile, slice the onion.
- When the bacon is cooked, transfer it to a paper towel with a slotted spoon, then very carefully pour off half the bacon fat and reserve it.
- Add the onion to the pan with the hot bacon fat and cook until the onion is a rich brown color, stirring frequently.
- Meanwhile, crush and peel the garlic, then mince it. Mince the cilantro and slice the zucchini into thin slices on a bias.
- Thinly slice the cabbage and set aside.
- When the onions are caramelized add the cabbage and zucchini, and cook for 1 minute, adding more bacon fat if needed.
- Then add the cooked potatoes and the garlic. Saute until lightly browned.
- Mix in all your spices and the bacon, taste and adjust as needed.
- Serve with hot sauce if desired. Enjoy!
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Why should I salt my potato water?
- Nobody likes a bland potato...
Salting the water is the easiest way to flavor the potatoes. You’re actually getting salt in them on a cellular level as they absorb the water as opposed to just the surface.
What if I can’t find these vegetables?
- There are plenty of alternatives!
You can absolutely sub out a green cabbage or even shaved Brussel sprouts or kale. For the zucchini, any summer squash or a bell pepper will do, and you can use any kind of potato you like.
How do I cut something on a bias?
- I'm not bias to this cut, it's a technique!
You cut it at an angle! This gives you more surface area for browning or putting things (think bruschetta) and it makes it look fancy.
Ramblings of a Line Cook
This whole dish was inspired by a zucchini and a flood. The grocery store clerk told me the zucchini were on sale and were excellent right now so I obligingly bought one. I let it sit in the fridge for a few days and develop some wrinkles before I decided what to do with it.
I was coming home from work and the City of New Orleans had issued a state of emergency. We were potentially going to undergo massive rainfall and due to some exciting political issues and a fire, only one of the water pumps were functioning. The city had already flooded earlier in the week because the pumps couldn’t keep up, I'm talking people kayaking down the streets flooding (literally). You can read more about the flood here and the kayaking here.
Knowing we might be stuck in the house for awhile if it flooded again I pulled into the grocery store to stock up on the essentials: Bacon, booze and well... Bread, because I already had butter. The bacon and zucchini went together like a song. I caramelized the onion and potatoes in bacon fat and let me tell you... This recipe should easily serve four but Tony and I nearly polished it off ourselves. However, the precious few leftovers were even better the next day. Make it and you will not be sorry!