Friday, December 16, 2011

duct tape jacket for iPad 2

To be honest, this is only tangentially related to bacon, but the creator has emailed me twice already (d'oh! Sorry for not doing this sooner!) and it does seem like an awesome project, so hey. He makes iPad cases, and he's got a Kickstarter project going to collect orders and money so that he can buy supplies in bulk. The cases come in different designs - of course you can get a custom one, but you can also get Basic, Pattern (the zebra print is pretty awesome looking) or... Inspired, which is where bacon comes in.

I recommend going to the Kickstarter page and reading the history section, because it's a feel-good DIY story of someone dissatisfied with a product and inspired to make a better one. The video also shows you the case, which looks rather more impressive in person, especially when you see what it can do.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Brussel Sprouts with Bacon

I broke out the reserves for Thanksgiving and made brussel sprouts with bacon. I'm actually coming to think that the best way to eat brussel sprouts is to halve them and just toss them with some olive oil, salt and pepper and roast 'em, but this way, with bacon, isn't bad either.

I used:
2 packets brussel sprouts. Um. 1/2 pound maybe?
2 slices bacon
1 chicken bullion cube
some water
salt, pepper
olive oil

Wash brussel sprouts, trim off the ends, cut the bigger ones in half. Coarsely chop the bacon. Fry it with some olive oil. When it's cooked but not browned, add the brussel sprouts and fry until they begin to brown. Add water enough to almost cover and bullion cube, as well as salt and pepper, and cook until brussel sprouts are soft but not mushy, ~8 minutes, less if you added boiling water.

I thought they were decent but not amazing - perhaps because I'm not that into brussel sprouts - but my dinner guests adored them.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Bacon T-Shirts

I just got an email from Amy at Crazy Dog T-Shirts - they have a few different bacon shirts, and would like to offer the readers of this blog a discount. Enter the secret code Pork5 at checkout for $5 off.

I can't comment on the size, comfort, and quality of the shirts, though Amy mentioned they'd be willing to send me some samples - if it works out, I'll definitely let you know.

I should maybe point out that they've also got plenty of other, non-bacon related but amusing t-shirts, if you're into that sort of thing.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Bacon lube

I guess it was only a matter of time. But yes, from the makers of bacon salt, bacon lube. It's all over the internetz (the LAist piece on it is my favorite.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Piggie Plug Hub

Omg how adorable is this!
Can be found here, if you parlez the ruski. Note that this swine is a European, ie, will not work for American plugs.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Bacon infographic

Emailed to me by the makers, but nice looking, and interesting. I've never tried the bacon dates at Avec (the only thing I've had from the Chicago list is the bacon mignon at Fogo de Chao, and it definitely wouldn't have topped my list for Chicago bacon dishes), but I have had a bacon-wrapped dog from Crif's, and it was indeed delicious.

Created by GiftRocket gift cards

Saturday, August 20, 2011

I love me some good animation

I just got an email with this video from a person who I think might be its creator. In any case, the video is pretty great.

Edit: Hmmm. It seems that it's getting cut off and only showing the left half because blogger is dumb. I think if you click on it, it'll take you to YouTube, where you can watch it properly.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Too hot for cassoulet

Actually, it's too hot for anything. Right now, as I type this at 3 am, it's over 30C in Chicago. It's pretty unbearable. I'm trying to not turn on my air conditioner, because the shock of stepping out of my bedroom into a thick blanket of heat makes me reconsider brushing my teeth and begin contemplating staying in bed all day. And I've talked to several people recently who don't even have air conditioners so it must be possible to survive. But what kind of life is this????

Paradoxically, I've been cooking a lot lately, which makes my apartment an inferno. I did Pork Salome last night, which wasn't so bad because it cooks quickly. Today, bizarrely, I decided to make lentils and sausage. I looked around online for a recipe and found something that touted itself as a modified approach to cassoulet, and decided to give it a try. Here's what I did. Do give it a try, but seriously, wait until autumn.

You need:
1 2/3 cups lentils
4 cups water (with maybe 2 tsps chicken broth powder)
Fresh thyme
I didn't have bay leaves but I'll bet they'd be nice
White wine

Chorizo (I used 3 sausages)
Chicken (I used 2 breasts. I don't really like thighs, but if you do, you'd probably prefer them).

1 bell pepper
1 onion
4-5 cloves garlic
2/3 cup chicken broth

Juice of 1/2 lemon

Put the lentils in a pot with the water/broth and thyme and bay leaves if you have em. Bring to a boil, lower heat, simmer for maybe 20 minutes. Add some wine when it occurs to you it might be a nice touch. A dry white would be good, all I had was an alvarinho, and I added about a glass. When they're done. Turn off or cook on very low heat while you do the rest?

Sprinkle chicken with salt, pepper, and maybe some dried thyme (or oregano? I love oregano. The dried thyme was kind of meh.) Chop your onion, pepper and garlic. Then chop the chorizo. Fry the chorizo until it's brown and the fat runs off it some. Add onion, pepper and garlic. Sauté until the onion is soft, add to lentil pot. Chop chicken. Add some oil to the pan, and brown your chicken in it. Then add that last little bit of broth and cook until done. Pour all of it into the lentil pot. Squeeze lemon juice into it. If you have and like it, maybe add parsley. I don't really care for it myself.

So, overall it was pretty delicious, except:
1. Omg who wants to eat when it's this hot out. Not me. I took a cold shower after cooking and even so, I had to force myself to eat half a bowl, tasty though it was.
2. The lentils kind of turned to mush. not really a problem. But the other night my sweetie and I had dinner at Avec and we had this amazing lentil dish where the lentils were totally cooked, but still kind of firm on the outside. Each lentil was autonomous, they kind of scattered beneath the spoon like giant grains of sand. It was great. My lentils, on the other hand, were almost like refried beans. How do I make them independent creatures? Did I cook them too long? Do they need a simmer followed by an ice bath? Wouldn't they lose all those great flavors if I did that? What do you think, Internet?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

China's pork reserves

Via my friend Ben

Pork reserves. What a curious concept. Not even real ones, I guess, because it's not an actual freezer full of pork, it's a payment made to farmers to keep their herds at a certain level. And apparently unleashing these reserves will barely made a difference. The whole thing is very odd.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Cost of bacon rising

My google reader alerted me that bacon will be more expensive this summer. Which is interesting, because I've always been somewhat alarmed by the fact that it's cheaper than anything else. Seriously, a lot of Chinese restaurants in Chicago charge $1-2 less for the pork dishes than even the vegetable ones. According to the article, a major factor is the rising price of corn (can we PLEASE quit with the ethanol subsidies people? This is ridiculous.), but I kind of wonder if general trendiness isn't playing a role as well.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Bacon Ipsum

Credit to Harold for the discovery: Bacon Ipsum.

I did not know what loren ipsum was, but it's kind of neato.

The straight up meat ipsum is kind of... horrifying in a way. Overwhelming. The Meat+Filler is more entertaining, to me at least.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Pork Salome

Unfortunately, I no longer have a smart phone: it has been replaced with a $20 device whose camera leaves much to be desired.

I lived in Boise, Idaho for awhile as an adolescent. I did not like it very much, and there's very little I miss about it. But if I had a teleporter, I would be having lunch at Bar Gernika on a weekly basis*. And I would order the Solomo sandwich with croquetas on the side. The warm, soft, chickeny croquetas - I have never encountered their equal, and attempting to make them at home would probably break my heart. The Solomo, or rather, its pork and pimiento filling, I did decide to attempt however, and this is what I came up with:


~1 pound pork - my grocery store sells what appears to be a pork loin that has been thinly sliced. You basically want relatively thin slices and/or medallions, how you get 'em is up to you.

1 jar roasted peppers (I happened to have some Trader Joe's brand handy)

1 lime

1 clove garlic (or so)

salt, pepper

Juice the lime into a bowl. Add the entire jar of roasted peppers, liquid included (you may want to dice them a bit. I didn't, out of laziness, figuring I could just do that once they got to my plate. It worked out fine. But if you are making this for a group, I'd suggest strips or something along those lines). Add pork, stir well. Leave to marinate for a few hours (probably not more than 2-3, and maybe it'd be better to do less. I think the lime juice dries the pork out some. I guess you could potentially add it during cooking, but I think maybe it like, shocks the meat into absorbing more flavor? I dunno.).
(If, as I did, you're making kale and rice to accompany this dinner - which was quite delicious - you'd begin put the rice on, then get the kale going, then turn your attention to the meat. The timing worked out perfectly.)
In a large pan, melt a pat of butter and add a bit of olive oil. Fish the pork out with your fingers and brown it on each side, adding garlic salt and pepper to the side facing up once you've put the piece down. Once it's browned - ie, basically cooked, if it's thinly sliced - squeeze in the garlic (I admit, you can probably skip this step) and then dump the marinade over the top, bring to a boil, and turn it off. Boom, you're done.
The pork is juicy and infused with the flavor of the roast peppers. I think the lime is key, because it cuts the heavy sweetness of the peppers just a bit. I'd recommend a nice white wine to go with it. I had some Espirito Lagoalva 2007 in the fridge, so I drank that. Pleasant a wine though it be, it was a little too sweet. I think you want something slightly dry, but still fruity.

*It's a strange quirk of Boise - it is a strange magnet for various ethnic minorities. There is a Basque part of town, which is actually one block, consisting of a small museum/cultural center, some sidewalk art, and Bar Gernika. Or at least, that was the case when I lived there, which was about 15 years ago.

**Yes, I changed the name slightly.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Bacon Lentil Pap

I was sort of scavenging around the kitchen for scraps to make into dinner last night, and figured that lentils would probably make for a solid meal. In searching for what to do with them, I came upon a number of recipes, one of which suggested cooking them in pork fat. This, of course, seemed like a great idea. I then found some other recipes, and combined them in my head with inspiration from a recipe I really like for pappa al pomodoro* (now that I look at it, the resemblance is actually quite minimal, and is based mostly on the bread and vinegar part, but whatever), from which this dish derives is onomatopoeic ish? name.

2/3 cup lentils
2 slices thick cut bacon (more is great too, that's just what I had handy)
8 cloves garlic
3 slices bread (day-old/stale works well, but fresh is fine too. but it needs to be real bread, the quality kind with a proper crust, not some sliced sammich shit.)
vinegar (red wine is best, but I ran out and supplemented with apple cider and then, in desperation, balsamic)

Peel and finely chop the garlic. In a heavy bottomed pot over medium-low heat, fry the bacon. Once the fat has rendered, remove the strips, setting them aside to cool. Maybe throw in some extra bacon grease - I did. Add the diced garlic to the fat, and as soon as it starts to sizzle and get fragrant - ie, before it turns brown or black, which happens so much faster than you'd expect - add the lentils and toss. Then add 4 cups of water, some salt, a bunch of oregano, and a good few glugs of vinegar. Cook at a medium-low simmer until the lentils are done. Every recipe I consulted said this would take about 25 minutes, but wtf, my lentils took like an hour. What's that about**. Anyways, be sure to check on 'em occasionally and add more water if necessary. Once the lentils are basically cooked, toast your 3 slices of bread (stale bread would not require toasting), roughly chop it, and add it to the pot. Boom, you're done.

Oh, I forgot - about 20 minutes into cooking, I discovered that I had two very nice tomatoes, so I chopped them up and added them as well. You could probably use a can of diced ones too. I think they're a good touch.

*Which, by the way, I have made with a surprise addition of chorizo, and it worked very well. I thought I'd posted about that, but apparently not. Mea culpa!

**Incidentally, one recipe I saw said to put the lentils in cold salted water, bring it to a boil, cook 5 minutes, remove from heat, let them sit for an hour, then cook 25 minutes. This seemed like a royal pain in the ass, but maybe it would be more effective?

Friday, April 8, 2011

Bacon Draws for the ladiez

Via Charlie, bacon panties for the ladies.

These are fairly standard, run-of-the-mill bacon fan undergarments:

I'm not wild about the cut (if you have a large bottom, it doesn't tend to be so flattering), but the font is well chosen, and they're nice enough.

These, although there's the same design/cut issue (notice in this second picture, the tell-tale sag at the crotch, which to me always makes it seem like you've shit yourself, or consciously bought underwears that allow you the space to do so in comfort), are simultaneously awesome and somewhat sinister:

To begin with, I have a large fatty bottom, and putting a butcher's diagram on it seems a little bit unsettling. Couple that with the fact that the swine in the picture seems to be examining itself hungrily, the whole thing screams cannibalism.
...I totally want a pair.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Bacon maple milkshake

I stumbled across this post about a bacon maple vanilla milkshake today and oh wow, I really want to try it. Because you are probably as lazy about internet things as I am ("seriously, I have to click a link? give it to me already!"), here's the recipe itself:

  • 2 slices bacon (about 2 ounces/57 grams), cut into thin strips
  • 6 tablespoons cold whole or lowfat milk (about 3 ounces/90 milliliters)
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, preferably grade B (about 1 ounce/30 milliliters)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 8 medium scoops French vanilla ice cream (about 1 quart/24 ounces/680 grams), softened until just melty at the edges

(yes I know the formatting went screwy on that copy/paste job, but I think it looks kind of neat. also it would take a modicum of effort to fix. EDIT: wait, so now it's gone back to normal? ARGH!)

  1. 1

    Fry the bacon in a small skillet set over medium heat, stirring frequently, until rendered and crisp, about 5 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove the cooked bacon to paper towels to drain, and nibble on it or reserve it for garnishing the shake. Off the heat, briefly cool the fat in the skillet.

  2. 2

    Place the milk, maple syrup, 1 tablespoon of cooled bacon fat (if there is any more, you can discard it), salt, and ice cream in a blender and pulse several times to begin breaking up the ice cream. With the blender motor off, use a flexible spatula to mash the mixture down onto the blender blades. Continue pulsing, stopping, and mashing until the mixture is well blended, thick, and moves easily in the blender jar, roughly 30 to 90 seconds. Pour into a chilled glass or glasses, and serve at once, garnishing with rendered bacon if desired.

Huh, now it's gone screwy on the instructions too. I kind of like the mystery of it, but ok, here's what it comes down to: basically, fry the bacon, set it aside for garnish and use the fat only. Throw it in a blender with the rest of the ingredients. Blend.

Incidentally, I saw this after clicking through some links connected to this post, which is about ways to make your ramen more exciting. Some of them look so good that I actually want to get some ramen. Check it out. There's even some bacon-related stuff in there.

Burger's Smokehouse Bacon Steak Cuts

Awhile back I received an email from Tara from Woodruff Sweitzer on behalf of Burger's Smokehouse. Burger's Smokehouse ( sells meats - especially bacon - on the internetz. Tara asked me if I'd be interested in a free sample of their new Bacon Steak Cuts. Obviously, I said yes (aduh), and a few days later this arrived:

And inside it were a few of these:

This was, of course, tremendously exciting. As Tara explained in her email, this is dry-cured, with no water added. It's not just bacon, it's bacon STEAK. I tried to take a few different pictures to show off its girth better, but this is the best I could get.

Which doesn't really do it justice. It's fat. And meaty. You think you've had thick-cut bacon, and then you get a strip of this in your hand and you're like damn.

So, you're wondering, is it good? Listen, this has nothing to do with the fact that I got it for the free - the shit is delicious. It's incredible. It takes a long time to cook, and if you cut a strip in half to make it fit in the pan better, it'll roll up like one of those plastic fortune telling fish, so pan-frying it is indeed somewhat tricky, but omg, it's so good. Because it's so thick, you get more of that pork belly type feel, where it's crispy on the outside and chewy warm fat on the inside. Boyfriend was unimpressed ("it tastes like bacon, what's the big deal"), but to me it was like manna from heaven. I think grilling it would be neat.

I was trying to decide what to cook with it, but aside from using two strips for a pot of kale (crap, I guess I never provided an updated version of my kale recipe! the secret is red wine vinegar) - which it worked brilliantly for, by the way, the thick cut lends itself perfectly to this type of thing - I actually ended up eating all that I got in basic fried fashion. And loving it.

Much, much recommended. It's seriously off the chain.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Bacon: the gateway meat

Sent by Ligaya, who linked to a story that linked to a story - a piece on NPR about bacon as gateway meat. Or why even vegetarians can't resist bacon.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Pork Belly at Hing Kee

On our way to see Talib Kweli at The Shrine on Friday, we hit up Hing Kee for dinner. I've praised its amazing ramen in my other blog already - seriously it's fantastic - but I figured I'd let you know it's also a place to find some pork belly.

Pork belly with chinese bread. It's pretty tasty, though not for the squeamish - you're getting straight up jiggly fat here people. I mean, there's more meaty parts too, but it's still a whole lot of jiggle. I have a hard time with that, myself, but if you sammich it into the bread, it's pretty frickin' awesome.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Porky polenta breakfast

The sun was rather too bright when I woke up this morning, to quote Philadelphia Story*, and I was craving grease and grits, but there were none in the house (grits, I mean. There's plenty of grease.). In desperation, I grabbed a bag of fine ground cornmeal and made mush instead (1/4 cup cornmeal, 1 cup of water, cooked over medium heat with salt, stir to break up the lumps). Cornmeal mush is not as tasty as grits, not at all. So I added a bunch of pepper jack, which helped, but still, something was missing. So I forraged in the fridge and found a Garret County Chorizo sausage and a few strips of bacon and fried them up and dumped them on top. Genius. Like chirashi, except with pork and corn instead of fish and rice.

I didn't take a picture, because I was busy shoveling it into my mouth. But trust me, it was tasty. Though grits would have been better.

*Or I thought I was, but I just searched the script online and that line isn't in there. Maybe it's in another movie? Or I'm just misremembering? I need to lie down.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Epic Meal Time

"We built a breakfast fortress... to keep the haters out"

My parents are big fans of these videos. They feature some (clearly professionally trained) chefs designing epic meals of high caloric value, and then eating them. Here's the epic breakfast, much of which does look genuinely delicious. I think it's one of the earlier videos in the series, because it doesn't feature the calorie total in the sidebar, which tends to get pretty mind-blowing.

Most of the videos are pretty incredible. If you like Man vs Food, you'll probably love them.

Homemade Bacon at Double Li

Very tasty. We'd read about this one, maybe, in Time Out Chicago (it was a Best Thing They Ate All Year in 2009 I think?), but it was called pork belly there, and there's nothing on the menu that says pork belly. There's home made bacon and there's pork stomach. We ordered the former, and this is what arrived:

A plate of thin slices of chewy bacon in a pile of snap peas and sliced leeks, flavored with garlic, ginger, and I think some Chinese five spice? Anyhow, it was great.

You can get your own at Double Li, 228 W Cermak Rd, Chicago, IL 60616.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Crif's Dogs, NYC

On a recent trip to NYC, my man and I stopped at Crif's Dogs. We were actually trying to go somewhere else (extra cool points for you if you can guess where), but that didn't work out, because it turns out that most things in NYC involve a 2 hour wait and we're not really into that sort of thing. But I decided to make the most of it, and examined their menu. Obviously I was going to have to try a bacon-wrapped hot dog. I settled on the tsunami, bacon wrapped dog, pineapple, teriyaki, and green onion.

The pineapple was almost certainly from a can, and not a very tasty one at that - it was slightly cold and somewhat flavorless. The teriyaki, when I could taste it, was fantastic and a great compliment to the other flavors involved, but most of the time, I couldn't taste it. The green onions were nice! And the bacon wrapped dog was AWESOME.

In conclusion: hot dogs are better when they're wrapped in bacon.

Rachael Ray's Late Night Bacon

Thanks to Dunx for passing this on: Rachael Ray's recipe for Late Night Bacon. A recipe so incredible it has spawned its own facebook group. Be sure to read the reviews - the best are on page 3 (look especially for MrTopHat's).