Friday, October 16, 2009

Food Friday: Bacon Cheddar Monkey Bread

Okay, I promised it to you, now here it is. Bacon Cheddar Monkey Bread:

Monkey bread is awesome. If you've never heard of it, here's a rundown: You get pieces of biscuit dough, chop them up into bite-sized pieces, coat them with butter and flavoring/spices of your choice, and layer them in a bundt pan. Bake it, turn it upside down, pick off the pieces and eat it like monkeys. It's good stuff.

I'd never even heard of monkey bread until a 4 or 5 years ago, and even then, never took the time to try it. Most of the time when you see a monkey bread recipe, it's a sweet treat, usually with the biscuits coated with a mixture of butter, sugar, and cinnamon. Well, a couple of winters ago I really started getting on a soup kick. It didn't take long before I started getting really tired of cornbread & crackers, usually my "go-to" starches to serve with soup. So I thought of monkey bread, and wondered if I could make a savory version that would be good for such a thing.

I hunted around for a recipe online, and found a couple which gave me some inspiration to make this. I tweaked it a little bit here and there, and man oh man is it good! It's a fantastic accompaniment to most any soup, especially potato. It's also really great with my white chili recipe. I'm sure I don't need to tell you this, but this isn't healthy at all and should be eaten responsibly. There. If you get fat or have a heart attack from gorging yourself on monkey bread, it won't be my fault. The Internets now have proof that I told you so.

Bacon Cheddar Monkey Bread
12 slices bacon, cooked & crumbled into small pieces (or 5 oz. pre-cooked bits, if that's how you roll)
1 small onion, chopped finely
2 cans buttermilk biscuits, cut into quarters (12 oz. each)
1/3 cup butter, melted
fresh pepper to taste (I used about 1 teaspoon)
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated (or more if you want it super duper cheesy)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, lightly grease a 9 inch bundt pan.
2. Combine bacon, cheese, onion & pepper; set aside.
3. Dip each biscuit piece into butter. Place 1/3 of biscuit pieces in the bottom of the pan, and then sprinkle half of the bacon mixture over the biscuits.
4. Repeat layering one more time (using the next 1/3 of the biscuits), and then end with the final 1/3 of the biscuits so there is a layer on the top (which will be the bottom).
5. Bake for 40 minutes or until lightly golden. Cool on wire rack and then invert onto plate or platter. Serve hot.

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