Pot Luck

The Big Three: Bacon, Pineapple, and Jalapeño

We aren't sure if it's the dreariness of winter, our taste bud-dulling cold, or just plain boredom, but lately we've been quite insistent on eating food with flavors that really pop. None of this milk and white toast crap for us. We want to know what we're eating even if we're blindfolded. The thing is, though, that sometimes there is such a thing as too much flavor. When you get a number of bold flavors all in one dish, they can end up competing with one another, leaving the eater confused and overwhelmed.

But when you combine the fatty smokiness of thickly sliced bacon with the juicy sweetness of fresh-cut pineapple and toss in some biting heat from a jalapeño, the big flavors of these harmonize with one another instead of vying for dominance of your palate. Here are a few ideas of how to experience this flavor combination for yourself.

Pasta - Start with any type of pasta you like. We think cavatappi-style corkscrews hold up well to the richness of this dish. Add a delicious white sauce, such as alfredo or béchamel, toss in some chopped bacon, minced jalapeño, and chunky pineapple pieces. Salt and pepper to taste.

Breakfast pizza - Slice an English muffin in half, add a ring of pineapple, some big pieces of crispy bacon and freshly sliced jalapeño; top it with some Chihuahua cheese. Pop it under the broiler until the bread is toasted and the cheese is bubbly and starting to brown.

Hawaiian Tacos - We recommend corn tortillas with this dish, but if you're hopelessly devoted to flour, go for it. Cook the bacon until crispy and leave it in long strips. Chop the pineapple into small, bite-sized pieces. Cook small pieces of chicken in olive oil until crispy on the outside and moist within. Here we would suggest that the smoky sweetness of pickled jalapeños might work better, but if you want a spicy kick, dice the pepper fresh. Assemble all these ingredients inside a double layer of corn tortillas, and top with a big dollop of crema fresca and cotija cheese.

Let us know what dishes you think work best with this flavor combination.

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Geri Maria Harris