There are certainly more than just two factors that contribute to the simple perfection that a crisp BLT offers on a summer evening, but the bacon and the tomato would definitely be in our Top 3 Critical BLT Ingredients.

BLT made with Nueske's Smoked Bacon.

BLT made with Nueske’s Smoked Bacon.

When tomato season rolls around in Wisconsin, all the tomato lovers blissfully gather what they can before the frost comes back, tossing anything left green on the vine into paper bags with the ends folded up to allow the firm, green orbs to continue to ripen.  Our season is short, up here in The Northwoods, and we treasure our brief burst of fresh tomatoes… plus, we happen to have the best, most sweetly smoky bacon around to enjoy with our ruby bounty!

We browsed our recipe files and found six Nueske’s recipes that perfectly showcase this fine summer pair.  Acid and crunch, tangy and mellow, sweetness and smoke… grab a few tomatoes from the farmers’ market and your favorite Nueske’s bacon: Applewood Smoked, Wild Cherrywood Smoked Uncured, or Pepper- Coated Bacon.

Give these dishes a try at home and tell us what you think!
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Served in soft flour or corn tortillas with a tangy lime crema, our braised Wild Cherrywood Smoked Bacon Tacos are a simple, fresh meal with layers of sweet, smoky, and slightly spicy flavors.  Featured on WLUK’S “Living With Amy”, you can watch how these tacos are made here.

Braised Nueske’s Bacon Tacos with Lime Crema

Makes 4 tacos


~ 3 oz. Braised Nueske’s Applewood Smoked Slab Bacon, 1/4 – 1/2 inch diced
(braised in apple cider – note on how to braise bacon is below)

~ 1 large cob fresh sweet corn

~ 1/4 tsp. cumin

~ 1/4 tsp. chili powder

~ 1/4 tsp. garlic powder

~ 4 corn or flour tortillas

~ Handful arugula, rinsed

~ Small bunch cilantro, rinsed and bottoms trimmed

~ 3 oz. Quesadilla cheese

~ 1 medium tomato
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Kent Olson’s Campfire Baked Beans

Submitted by Megan

Many of you who are familiar with the summer afternoon cookouts at the Nueske’s Company Store in Wittenberg, Wisconsin have asked us for the recipe for our famously smoky, loaded-with-bacon baked beans that we serve out of “Bob’s Fancy Camper”. For those of you who haven’t had the chance to enjoy our smoked brats and baked beans right at the source, you can create our Campfire Baked Beans at home, using this recipe.

The recipe comes from our long-time Company Store Manager, Kent Olson. Kent uses plenty of both our Applewood Smoked Bacon and our Applewood Smoked Pepper-Coated Bacon, plus dark molasses, brown sugar, and a variety of beans. When he’s making his Campfire Baked Beans for serving at the Company Store, he makes a big Nesco roaster oven full, so we have enough for everyone. If you only want enough to fill a Crock Pot, reduce the amounts shown below to ¼ of what the recipe calls for.

These beans are the perfect side dish for a backyard BBQ, graduation party, or any summer potluck gathering. This is true Midwestern summer potluck food.
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Methods for Cooking Nueske’s Bacon

Submitted by Megan

Here are three of our favorite ways to cook bacon: pan frying, baking, and grilling.

How to Pan Fry Bacon

Pan-frying is the most common and traditional way to cook bacon and also one of the very best ways to fry up a few strips for breakfast or a couple of summer-tomato BLTs. For best results, we start by placing the bacon in an unheated skillet. Then, we cook the bacon strips over Medium Low heat, turning frequently until the bacon is golden brown.

You’ll notice less shrinkage than with other brands because our bacon gets a nice, long smoke in our smokehouse, which means you get more bacon after cooking than you would with non-premium bacon.

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Impress your Valentine.  This is one of the most comforting dishes we know, AND it’s made with only 6 ingredients (if you don’t count the salt, pepper, and parsley garnish).  At least half of the ingredients are likely things you already have in your cupboard or fridge, like eggs, garlic, and olive oil.

Traditional spaghetti carbonara is made with pancetta and heavy on the fresh-cracked black pepper, so we make ours with Applewood Smoked Pepper Coated Bacon, which covers all the bases and adds some extra smokiness to the dish.  We also like to swap out plain parmesan cheese for the Merlot Bellavitano from our Wisconsin neighbors at Sartori.

Spaghetti Carbonara made with Applewood Smoked Pepper-Coated Bacon

Spaghetti Carbonara made with Applewood Smoked Pepper-Coated Bacon

This recipe serves 2-3.

Peppered Bacon Spaghetti Carbonara

1/2 lb. Spaghetti (dry pasta)
1 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
6 oz. Nueske’s Applewood Smoked Pepper-Coated Bacon, sliced into bite-sized strips
2 Cloves Fresh Garlic, diced
1 Large Egg
1/2 C. Sartori Merlot Bellavitano Cheese
Salt & Pepper, to taste
Fresh Parsley, chopped for garnish
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Our Top 10 Easiest, Smokiest Appetizer Recipes

Submitted by Megan

QUICK!  It’s New Year’s Eve and you aren’t doing anything special or making anything you really want to eat.  You can fix that RIGHT NOW.  Here are our top ten most simple, tasty, Nueske’s family-and-employee-tested appetizer recipes that you can whip up with a handful of ingredients and scant or no cooking skills!  For those of you with even moderately well-stocked kitchens, you may not even have to run to the store to make most of these (well, maybe for the figs…).

Here are our picks for recipes that you can still make for tonight:

Figs stuffed with chevre and wrapped in smoky Nueske's Bacon.

Figs stuffed with chevre and wrapped in smoky Nueske’s Bacon.

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This is on the list of food to prepare for the weekend: a warm bowl of soup LOADED with vegetables and lean, smoky chunks of tender turkey breast. Serve this with fresh, crusty bread and butter.  Our recipe is such a quick one that you could easily whip up a batch of this smoky turkey soup for a weeknight meal.  The beans and turkey make it filling and the fennel adds mild, pleasant flavor.  If you’ve hesitated to cook with fennel, this is a good recipe to give it a first try… you’ll likely be using it more often after you taste this!

Applewood Smoked Turkey & Fennel Soup with White Beans

Applewood Smoked Turkey & Fennel Soup with White Beans

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Serves 8 (or 4 very hungry people)

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We’re getting out our warm, cozy Midwestern comfort food recipes for fall… and we’ve got LOTS, so expect more of them as the cold hits! This is a recipe straight from Darlene Nueske, Bob’s wife, and her two sisters.  We had this dish in our recipe book long before the recent Cauliflower Renaissance of the past few winter seasons.  Whether it’s due to the carbohydrate reduction craze or just because of a growing general interest in incorporating more vegetables into our diets, people are warming up to cauliflower as nutritious carb substitute.  This recipe sure proves that it’s a meal-worthy vegetable!

Savory Cauliflower Au Gratin

Savory Cauliflower Au Gratin with diced Nueske’s Applewood Smoked Ham.

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Tailgating With Applewood Smoked Grilled Sausages

Submitted by Megan

It’s nearing the end of summer up here and this means the end of Midwestern grilling season.  The lower part of the country probably gets to hang on to the warm weather for a while, but in Wisconsin, we’ll be packing up the sunscreen and lawn chairs pretty quickly.  We’re guessing that you’ve probably seen images of hardened tailgating Northwoods Packer fans.  We hunker down in our green and gold, tending our grills in the drifting snow, wearing aprons and stocking caps at the same time.  Understand that when we say “the end of grilling season”, what we mean is that we can no longer wear shorts while we cook out of doors, but we won’t let it stop us from preparing Wisconsin specialties on our grills on any day of the year.

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Recipe Pick: Summer Sausage & Roasted Vegetables

Submitted by Megan

At first glance, this recipe might look like a winter vegetable dish, but it’s very fresh with lots of bright flavors, and if you serve it cold, it would make an excellent summer picnic or potluck dish, just make sure you double the recipe if you’re serving a bigger crowd. Plus, it’s almost time to start picking those green beans out in the garden, at least if you’re in our Midwestern neck of the woods.

Nueske's Summer Sausage & Roasted Vegetables

Simple Recipe: Nueske's Summer Sausage & Roasted Vegetables


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