Thursday, May 27, 2010

Paddy's bacon tasting deal

Via Gemma: Paddy Long's is offering a deal to followers of Baconfest Chicago whereby they can get in on a bacon beer tasting for $20 rather than $35. Given, however, that the link tells you what the "secret password" for Baconfest Followers is... uh... wanna discount on a bacon beer tasting?

By the by, if you're in Chicago, my bf and I had dinner at Rootstock last night, and it was full of porky delights. There was an absolutely divine charcuterie plate, and a pork belly sandwich that was so rich and creamy and crispy and wonderful that I almost swooned. Yes, that's a hyperlink. I have yet another blog - this one is about restaurants. Check it out. I just started it, so there's not much going on yet, but given the frequency with which I dine out, it oughta get updated at least weekly.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Bacon hot sauce

Via Max: Bacon hot sauce.

I'm a great lover of hot sauce*, so I'm kind of curious to try it, but I don't currently feel like shelling out $5.99 plus s&h. But the makers apparently flew to Chicago for Baconfest, which is pretty impressive.

*One of my favorites, by the by, is Co-op hot sauce - it's not bacon flavored, but the stuff is absolutely delicious, so I can't resist the opportunity to give them a plug. Totally worth mail ordering.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Veal Saltimbocca, Kale with Pancetta, and Gnocchi

I didn't actually make this; my boyfriend did - I just assisted. Also, it technically doesn't involve bacon (though the kale recipe actually called for it originally instead of pancetta), but it does involve delicious cured porks, so...

(edited with bf's corrections)

For the veal:
Veal cutlets (2 per person)
Prosciutto (as many slices as you have cutlets)
Flour, salt, pepper
lemon wedges
some white wine
1/2 cup chicken stock

For the Kale:
2 bunches kale
4 thick cut slices pancetta
5 gloves garlic
2 cups water

gnocchi from the store...

The most time-consuming part of all this is the kale. Wash it thoroughly, making sure to get rid of all the grit. Shake dry and separate from the stems, then roll the leaves into long tubes and chop width-wise every half inch or so. Set aside. (at this point, you probably wanna set the water to boil for your gnocchi)
Dice the pancetta. Fry in a medium-sized pot (it's gonna have to hold the kale) until crispy. You're gonna wanna be on medium-low heat for this operation. Remove with a slotted spoon onto some paper towels and set aside.
While it's frying, finely dice your garlic (I dunno why my darling doesn't believe in garlic presses, but he doesn't. You could probably just press it though...). Add to the pot, to the pancetta fat. Sautee a moment (because your heat is so low, it shouldn't even brown), then add the kale. Stir for a minute or two, watch the kale turn bright bright green, then add the water. Cook for about 10 minutes, then turn off the heat and let it stand for a few minutes. Drain the water, add the pancetta back in, stir. A squeeze of lemon (once it's on the plate) really ties it all together.

For the veal (which I was doing with a friend while the kale was cooking):
Shake some flour onto a plate. Add garlic salt and pepper.
Set the cutlet on a piece of wax paper. Lay sage leaves on top of it - as many as you like. I basically covered mine. Lay a slice of prosciutto on top, eating the overhang or folding it over so that it's on the cutlet, up to you. Lay a second piece of wax paper on top, then take a glass or thermos or if you have one, a rolling pin, and firmly roll the cutlets until the prosciutto and sage are soundly smooshed in. Carefully peel the cutlet off the wax paper and bread in the flour. Fry in butter and vegetable oil (also moderately low heat on this one), about 2-3 minutes per side. (at some point around here, cook the gnocchi - they only take 3 minutes)
When you've fried them all, deglaze the pan with some white wine and the chicken stock, increasing the heat to reduce into a sauce. Pour that over everything. Squeeze lemon on top. Pour a glass of wine. Enjoy one of the best meals you've ever had.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Bacon bracelet set from etsy

I got an email from Gary Simpson, creator of these bacon bracelets, informing me of his product and reminding me that Mother's Day approacheth. I'm kind of more into the fried egg ring myself.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Bakon vodka

My man and I went to Oceanique for dinner last night, and on our way home we stopped in to the Morseland to see our friend Chris, who bartends there. We were chatting about whiskeys and beers and such, and suddenly he said - oh! you have got to smell this! He grabbed a bottle off the shelf, opened it, and waved it under our noses. The smell of bacon was enough to knock you on your ass. That's right: it was Bakon vodka. Of course, we had to get a shot to try.

So first off, the smell. The smell is intense. It's like bacon. But it's also not like bacon. It's like hot fat that's been sitting in the sun too long, bathed in preservatives. It smells like it's supposed to smell like something good, and it kind of does, but it also really doesn't.

The flavor is much the same. It's unmistakingly, overpoweringly reminiscent of bacon. But it doesn't exactly taste like bacon. My better half, who is prone to putting bacon bits on his salad, said it was a very recognizable flavor. My palate, however, has not been properly primed to appreciate artificial bacon flavor, so to me, it's kind of narsty.

Nonetheless, I can imagine that it'd be nice in a cocktail, like a bloody mary. I added a hefty splash of Cholula to the last gulp in my shotglass, and that already dramatically improved the experience, so I imagine throwing some tomato juice, horseradish, celery salt and lemon after it would be a boon.

Overall though - I'd recommend going with an actual bacon vodka. Notice how the Bakon website, for all its talk about ingredients, never discloses where the "smoky bacon flavor" comes from. Yeah. That's because that liquor has never met a pig.