27 Nov 2021

Don't go bacon my heart

 Don't go bacon my heart

Bacon and mushroom risotto

Bord Bia’s latest campaign is highlighting Irish favourites Ham and Bacon. The campaign demonstrates that Quality Mark Ham and Bacon are versatile and tasty ingredients, perfect for everyday meals as well as special occasions.
The key message of the campaign is to always choose ham and bacon with the Bord Bia Quality Mark so you know it has been produced to the highest Bord Bia standards verified at every stage and to log on to or search ‘Bord Bia ham and bacon’ for a range of tasty and easy to make recipes.

This is a great recipe for trying out flavoured oil. Lemon works really well but you could also use garlic or chilli.

Serves 4
Time: 25 minutes

- 200g smoked bacon lardons
- 1 tablesp. rapeseed or olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 150g button mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 300g risotto rice
- 400g tin chopped tomatoes
- 600mls warm chicken stock, homemade if possible
- A good handful of basil leaves
- 2 tablesp. finely grated mature cheddar cheese
- To serve: A green salad

Heat the oil in a wide, shallow saucepan over a gentle heat. Add the bacon and onion and cook for about 5 minutes until the onion has softened. Then add the mushrooms, garlic and rice and stir well to combine. Add the tin of tomatoes, stir and bring to a simmer. Gradually add the stock, a ladleful at a time. As the stock is absorbed add more and stir regularly until all the stock is used and the rice is cooked. This will take about 15 minutes.
Taste and season with a little salt and pepper.
Turn off the heat, stir through the cheese and sprinkle over the basil leaves. Serve straight away with a green salad.

A simple pasta dish, ready in under 20 minutes.

Serves: 4
Time: 20 minutes

- 200g smoked bacon lardons
- 300g spaghetti, penne or linguini
- 1 tablesp. rapeseed or olive oil
- 1 small onion, sliced
- 250g brown caped mushrooms, thickly sliced
- 100g cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 4 tablesp. pesto
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Fresh basil, roughly torn
- 2 tablesp. pine nuts, lightly toasted

To cook the pasta: In a large saucepan of boiling salted water cook the pasta as per packet instructions. Drain through a colander or sieve reserving a couple of tablespoons of the cooking water. Return the pasta to the saucepan.
To make the sauce: While the pasta is cooking add a tablespoon of oil to a large frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for 4-5 minutes until golden. Add the bacon and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook for a further 5 minutes. Then add the tomatoes. Stir well and allow to cook for 2-3 minutes until they begin to wilt.
Add this mixture to the pasta to the saucepan. Stir, then add the pesto and approximately 50mls of the reserved cooking liquid. Mix well. Taste and season as necessary.
To serve: Divide the mixture between four pasta bowls and sprinkle over the basil leaves and pine nuts.

You could include some caramelized onions or chutney in the filling – just add it to the pan along with the cheese and ham mixture.

Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 4


- 2 packets of sliced cooked ham, approx. 200g, chopped
- 4 large multispeed tortillas or 8 medium
- 100g cheddar cheese, grated
- 100g Mozzarella, roughly torn
- 4 scallions or a bunch of chives, finely sliced
- 1 tablesp. olive oil

- 250g tomatoes, diced
- 1 red chilli, finely chopped
- ½ red onion, peeled and finely diced
- 2-3 tablesp. coriander leaves, chopped
- Juice of 1 lime
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablesp. olive oil

Avocado Mash
- 2 avocados, peeled and chopped
- Juice of ½ a lime
- ¼ tsp chilli flakes
- 1 tablesp. coriander leaves, chopped

Place the cheese, ham and scallions/chives in a bowl and mix well.
Brush a little oil over a large frying pan and place on a medium heat. Lay a tortilla on the pan then spread some of the cheese and ham mixture over one half of the tortilla. Fold the other half of the tortilla over the mixture to make a semi-circle. Cook for a couple of minutes. When the cheese is beginning to melt turn the quesadilla over to cook the other side. When the cheese is oozing remove the quesadilla from the pan and keep it warm while you cook the rest of the quesadillas.
To make the salsa: Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl. Taste and season.
To make the avocado mash: Mash the avocados with the lime juice, chilli flakes coriander leaves and season with salt and pepper.
Cut the tortillas in wedges and serve warm with the salsa and avocado.

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