A trip to Ohio Amish country is always a treat. It is an opportunity to stock up on baking and cooking supplies at my favorite bulk food store.
I usually bring home items like multigrain flours for breads and clear jel for canning. I pack a cooler to fill with cheeses and meats. I often make spur-of-the moment purchases if I see an item that looks intriguing or delicious.
On my last trip, I bought a variety of fresh and smoked sausages and a pack of Canadian bacon. I had the idea that I would make Eggs Benedict and try to master Hollandaise Sauce once I got home.
My plans were thwarted, when I realized someone had opened the pack of Canadian bacon and I had only three slices left. I had fresh eggs, so I decided to make a quiche using the remaining bacon slices. I had some Havarti cheese I’d purchased at the Amish cheese company and homegrown garden vegetables needed for the recipe.
Contrary to what one would think, Canadian bacon doesn’t come from Canada. It is only called that in the United States. In Canada, this type of meat is called “back bacon.” There is also a form of Canadian bacon that we don’t see around here called “peameal bacon.” Both back bacon and peameal bacon are cut from the loin.
Peameal bacon is cured in sweet pickle marinade and has a crust made of yellow cornmeal or peas. It is sweet and slightly salty. It can be purchased par-baked or fully cooked. It is eaten with breakfast foods in Canada and the United Kingdom.
Back bacon or Canadian bacon is much leaner than the bacon strips that are typically served on breakfast platters. Those bacon strips are cut from the pig’s fatty belly. They are usually smoked, but raw.
Canadian bacon comes in rounded slices that are already cured and fully cooked, making them perfect for something like Eggs Benedict.
Canadian bacon doesn’t taste like bacon strips. It has a ham flavor, since it is cut from the loin. It is lean and tender and doesn’t have the saltiness of regular bacon. Unlike regular bacon, Canadian bacon will not crisp in its own fat. It is meant to stay soft and juicy.
Canadian bacon is considered healthier than bacon because it is leaner. It contains fewer calories and there is more protein in Canadian bacon.
Many Americans are familiar with Canadian bacon as an ingredient on fast-food breakfast muffins. It is also an ingredient on Hawaiian pizza with pineapple. It can be used in omelets, casseroles and pasta. Chopped Canadian bacon is a nice addition to green beans and many other dishes.
Canadian Bacon and Asparagus Quiche
1 9-inch pie crust
1 tablespoon butter
Half of a small onion, chopped
1 cup asparagus, cut into ½-inch pieces
1 cup diced Canadian bacon
1 cup Havarti cheese, shredded
1 cup milk
½ teaspoon dried marjoram
½ teaspoon salt
Dash of pepper
Heat oven to 375°. Prick pie crust generously with a fork. Bake in preheated oven for 8 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove crust from oven.
Melt butter in a small frying pan. Sauté onion and asparagus until onion is translucent. Layer onions, asparagus, bacon and cheese in crust.
In a medium bowl, beat eggs, milk, marjoram, salt and pepper until well blended. Pour into pie crust.
Bake quiche for 45 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted into center comes out clean.
Allow the quiche to stand 5 minutes before cutting it into wedges for serving.