Marie Rama was born into a large Italian family of great cooks. Her maternal grandparents built and operated the only slaughtering house in Westchester County, New York, and raised beef, chickens, pork, lamb and fresh vegetables on a 25 acre farm in Yorktown Heights. Rama learned to make homemade green spinach noodles, an Italian fruit cake Pompepado, jars of Concord grape jam, Easter breads, Bolognese sauce, and other very individual family dishes while working besides her beloved grandmother and aunts in their large and welcoming country kitchen. Food wasn't an afterthought; it was a conduit for bringing the family together and for celebrating all that was good for a generation of poor immigrants who found a home in America.
Marie is the co-author of the best selling cookbooks Cooking Basics for Dummies and Grilling for Dummies, and is very excited about her latest cookbook, Bacon Nation, co-authored with Peter Kaminsky.
She is a recipient of the Westchester Volunteer Center's 2013 Spirit Award for Education and Literacy and a Board Member of Yonkers Partners in Eduction, a non-profit who's mission is to increase post-secondary opportunity for Yonkers public school students. She lives in Yonkers, New York with her husband Mark, a writer.
Everything tastes better with bacon. One of those flavor-packed, umami-rich, secret-weapon ingredients, it has the power to elevate just about any dish, from soups to souffle´s, braises to bread pudding.
Peter Kaminsky and Marie Rama know just how to employ it. Peter is the author of both Pig Perfect—a paean to the noble swine—and, most recently, Culinary Intelligence, which argues that the healthiest way to eat is to eat less but really well. He and Marie know that adding irresistible bacon transforms an ordinary dish into an extraordinary one.
Bacon Nation is a bacon-lover’s dream, a collection of 125 smoky, savory, crispy, meaty, salty, and sweetly sensuous recipes that go right through the menu. Starters like Spiced Nuts with Bacon; Bacon and Butternut Squash Galette; Bacon, Pear, and Humboldt Fog Salad. Main courses featuring meats—Brawny Bacon Beef Bourguignon, Saltimbacon; poultry—Paella with Chicken and Bacon; fish—Flaky Cod Fillets with Bacon and Wine-Braised Fennel; and pasta, including an update of the classic Roman dish Bucatini all’Amatriciana. Even dessert: Rum Ice Cream with Candied Bacon Chips and Chocolate-Peanut-Bacon Toffee. Or, as Homer Simpson would say, Mmmm, bacon.