Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Chicken Epire

So the other day I was walking along when it occurred to me that I couldn't remember having eaten anything green in at least a week. This seemed like maybe not such a good thing, so I dutifully purchased a bag of spinach at the store on the way home. Unfortunately, other than submerging it momentarily in boiling water and tossing it with sesame oil, soy sauce and sriracha, I don't have many ideas for what to do with spinach (feel free to email me some). So I poked around on the internet for inspiration and combined the results with a recipe for chicken and bacon that my dear friend Dunx sent me awhile ago, and voila, Chicken Epire. Because half the fun of discovery is naming. So it's eh-pee-RAY, and y'all better be rollin' them Rs to keep it sounding classy. Seriously though, this is delicious.

Chicken Epire

1 chicken breast
3 strips bacon
Some spinach
1 shallot (because I happened to have one...)
some bread crumbs
some parmesan
some (fresh) rosemary
some white wine*

*A note about cooking with white wine. I have learned the hard way that while you can get away with using bottom-of-the-barrel red wine when cooking and still come out scrumptious, cheap-ass white wine is gross. It will not taste good. Chicken Epire was made with Chateau D'Epire Savennieres 2003. It's a lovely wine, with the curious feature of smelling quite sweet and fruity, but possessing a mellow, subtle, and almost dry flavor. Thanks to Gregory Fulham at Binny's for introducing me to this one, it's fantastic.

To make:

Fry the bacon and set aside, leaving the fat in the pan (duh).

 Slice the chicken breast into medium sized escalopes. Roll in a blend of bread crumbs, grated parmesan, black pepper, garlic salt, and chopped fresh rosemary (if you don't have a rosemary plant growing in your kitchen - get one. Fresh rosemary is marvelous.). Finely chop the shallot. Place the shallot and chicken in the bacon greased pan and fry over medium heat until the chicken is cooked through. Toss in the handfuls of spinach. Pour some white wine over the top (maybe a glass worth? Probably less?) and cover. Let cook for a minute or two, or until the spinach has wilted. Remove from heat, put it onto your serving dish and crumble the bacon over the top.

I put it over pasta. I tried to arrange it so as to look pretty for y'all, so I carefully laid down the spinach, then the chicken. Then in a flash of inspiration, I sprinkled a 6 italian cheese blend on that, and then crumbled the bacon on top, and then poured the oh-so-amazing wine, bacon and chicken fat juice over the top. Oh my goodness, it was marvelous, and went very nicely with a glass of the wine. 

But to be totally honest, although it does make it look very pretty, you can probably ix-nay the spinach. I mean, it was nice, but not entirely necessary...

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Grzana with Bacon

My dad always makes grzana for me whenever I come visit, and it's a much loved family breakfast (or lunch, or supper). I've tried making it myself, and it never comes out right, possibly because it's lacking the paternal touch, or maybe because it's actually better when you make 3 portions at a time in a big frying pan. Anyhow, feeling guilty over not updating this blog often enough (when still, there are SO many things to post), I decided to try making it with bacon. And it was awesome. The bacon really tied the whole dish together. 

Quite simply; for a single serving:

Fry up a few slices of bacon. Set aside. Fry 2 slices of bread in all that lovely grease. Layer the bread with slices of tomato. Sprinkle with salt. Put the bacon on top, breaking up the strips and arranging them for maximum coverage. Drop some butter in the pan (the bread soaks up all your grease) and fry two eggs on medium-high heat until the whites are solid but the yolks are runny. Carefully put one on each toast - if you break the yolk, it's still tasty, but it just doesn't look nice.

Eat with a fork and knife. Yummo.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Maple-bacon lollipops, take 2

My lollipops arrived in the mail with stunning alacrity. 

So first off, they're awfully small. I mean, I understand they're gourmet, but come on, if you're asking $10 for 4 of 'em...

Now, they claim to be using pure Vermont maple syrup as the base of the lollipop. That might even be the case, but you'd never know it. The taste is more akin to cotton candy - there's nary a trace of maple at all, except perhaps in a vaguely strange chemically aftertaste. So that's not ideal. I mean, it's not terrible, but it's not exactly a treat either.

Luckily there's the taste of bacon to go with it. That's actually quite good. The bacon bits in the lollipop though... I mean, I like bacon, but I generally put it in my mouth, chew and swallow. I don't suck on it like a frickin' lozenge. Once you've worked your way down a bit on the lollipop, it becomes more vulnerable, so you can crunch off chunks for mastication, which is a far more satisfying way to enjoy the bacon bits in it. But then why make a lollipop at all? Hard candies would seem somewhat more appropriate. 

Naw, at the end of the day, I'm unconvinced. Bacon-maple lollipops while they might seem like a good idea, aren't the answer.