Rachel's Table

I’m-Disgusted-with-the-Grocery-Store Sweet Corn and Bacon Pasta

I wrote a guest post debuting today on Childhood Relived. I waxed nostalgic about the snack foods of my youth, most of them processed and full of high fructose corn syrup. (Make sure to check it out for nostalgic stories and embarrassing photos.)

Reminiscing about these foods made me thankful for a mom that cooked healthy meals, so at least I was forced to make good food choices at home. The 1987 to 1994 versions of myself would choose a Mountain Dew, a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos, or a Hostess Cupcake every single time (or all three at once).

Even now,  my permed and neon clad 1987 self takes over and wants to buy anything processed and packaged, boxed items like Zatarain’s jambalaya mix (one of my favorite things) or sweet treats like Nutter Butters and Pepperidge Farm Milano cookies.

The temptation to buy processed foods is one of the reasons I rarely shop at the grocery store. These days I go to the farmers market or John’s backyard (I could live on his tomatoes). But last Sunday I needed to buy some cat supplies (we just welcomed a new calico kitten into our family) so I headed to the closest store which happens to be a grocery store. While there I decided to get something for dinner.  I thought to myself, Certainly I can buy some local produce; it’s summer after all.

I was mistaken. Nothing was local. But more importantly nothing looked good or fresh. The only thing I actually wanted to buy was an avocado, but it’s not on my locavore diet.

Disgusted, I purchased the kitten supplies and determined to make do with what I had at home.

I thought you should all meet ZuZu

Rummaging through the refrigerator and pantry, I discovered local corn, yummy local double smoked bacon, chicken stock leftover from a previous recipe, local cream, and leftover pasta. Inspired by the memory of a recipe on Frugal Foodie Family, I made Sweet Corn and Bacon Pasta.

Sweet Corn and Bacon Pasta

Ingredients:

3 slices bacon, diced into bit-sized pieces

1 small red onion, diced

Kernels from 2 ears of fresh corn

1/2 cup chicken stock

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

pinch of cayenne pepper

1/2 pound of cooked pasta, whatever shape you like

1/4 cup Pecorino Romano

salt and pepper to taste

In a large skillet, get the bacon going over high heat. Cook until the bacon starts browning and crisping up. Turn the heat to medium high and add the onion. Cook until the onion is translucent, about 4 minutes.

Nothing smells better than bacon (or onions)

Add the corn and stir to combine. Add the chicken stock, heavy cream, smoked paprika and dash of cayenne pepper. Let that hang out for about 5 minutes.

Looks good already

Cream and corn with a kick

Mix in the cheese and taste. Add as much salt and pepper as you like (I only needed to add pepper because the bacon and cheese are salty enough). Stir in the pasta to combine. Remove from heat and serve.

The husband and I finished this entire dish by ourselves, so I would say it serves two. But maybe it could serve three people with reasonable appetites.

If I can pull this recipe off with local items I didn’t even know I had, I’ll never need to shop at the grocery store again!

Being disgusted with the grocery store never tasted so good

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24 comments

    • Thanks for the article! I actually prefer not to use a recipe. Using the pantry and what’s on hand ultimately saves money too! Plus no need to head to the grocery store. Win win!

  1. Whoa. I felt sorry for you about the avocado until you started making this. That’s so great when you can make something this delicious with just what you have lying around.

    But. But. No avocados? I guess I’m still sad about that. Does this mean you have an added excuse to travel to avocado-growing lands?

    P.S. – I really loved your guest post!

    • Jules! I’m so glad you’re back. 🙂 I’m headed to Key West in February just for the avocados. I almost bought one yesterday. Then I felt oddly guilty. Ah! Now I want guacamole.

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  3. Oh. My. God. That looks like CAKE. Total indulgence. It’s a bummer we don’t eat bacon or dairy or that would wind up on the lunch menu!

    Our avacados are ALMOST local – they’re from Mexico a few hundred miles to the south. I think most of our non-local produce comes from there. Doubtful I could live without avacado. I got used to eating one every day, picked off a tree at my apartment in southeast Asia, sliced open with my handy-dandy pocket-knife and scooped out with a spoon and eaten right there. Heaven.

    • So do you only eat a plant based diet, then? No meat? I’m intrigued because I’ve considered it. Obviously not on the day I made this recipe.

      Avocados are one of my favorite things. I’m jealous of your avocado right from the tree eating and your southeast Asia living.I eat tomatoes right off the vine like an apple. Exotic, huh?

      • Us too. I call my girls “Tomato Face” in the summer ’cause that’s always what they look like. Just eat it right off the vine, caterpillars (if there are any hiding in there) and all. LOL

      • Oh…and yes, mostly plant-based. We DO eat everything, we just don’t BUY it. Like, if my mom offers me a chicken salad, I graciously accept and enjoy every bite. Not eating meat is a bit like my own little protest to the animal factory-farming industry. I just stepped up my game a couple of weeks ago. Long story. I have another blog…I’ll send you an email.

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  6. Looks yummy … and sure beats Beefaroni (despite its very memorable jingle).

    Head butts to ZuZu. She reminds me of our calico foundling, Pyx, who is currently sunning herself in her little kitty hammock. Tough life she leads.

    • Kitty hammock? I have to get one of those for Zuzu. I also have a long-haired orange cat named Willow. He would LOVE a hammock.

      I just went through some canned goods donated to my church today. Someone donated a huge can of Beefaroni. I was SO tempted to get out the can opener and microwave a bowl. But I thought that would be poor taste–for more than one reason. 🙂

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