Lately, every time I turn around, I find bacon being used in all sorts of ways other than being served up crispy with eggs. I've also found a new cult-like following for this love of pork fat. With this in mind, I wanted to try my hand at some new bacon recipes so I searched several food blogs and found a few recipes that I feel will pay homage to this sweet, yet savory, salty strip of delicious heaven. This also gave me an excuse to go on a local field trip with my family in tow.
First off, from notwithoutsalt.com, I have bacon caramels. My husband was a bit skeptical of this at first because, though his love for both is strong and true, he didn't think this combination would hold it's own. I quickly reminded him of how much he loves it when I make sticky brown sugar bacon and he paused... then with a smile said "Your right. That could be good!" However, once I started the adventure, it quickly came to a halt when my thermometer proved to be less then accurate. I should have gone with my gut and my candy making experience and done the old fashioned drop in ice water test. Instead, I decided to risk the accuracy and go with what it said. I can now say that one should always go with their gut feelings. I ended up with bacon caramel sauce, which luckily can be salvaged as a topping on an ice cream sundae. Rest assured, before I make another batch, I will be purchasing a new candy thermometer. Sometimes these things happen and you just have to roll with the punches. Still, please go to the above site to see how they are supposed to turn out.
Next on my list was Bacon Jam from notquitenigella.com. The picture looked to die for and all kinds of thoughts ran through my head of how I would use this lovely condiment. I took the two-plus hours to make this and yes, my friends, this was tasty! It has a nice "German" feel to it. I served it on crackers with cram cheese as a light appetizer, but I think having it on toast with a poached egg would be divine. I will be sending some of this to a mutual bacon-loving friend and awaiting to hear his opinions.
Lastly, a trip to Frank's, a local eatery that serves bacon in a large portion of it's menu, proved that the traditional Bloody Mary can be a top shelf cocktail when made with bacon infused vodka and a strip of peppered bacon as the condiment. Though it was a bit spicy for my taste buds (I was hoping for more smokey bacon flavor), it certainly is a beauty to admire. After finishing my lunch of a Chicago Dog and waffle-cut fries with bleu-cheese buffalo dipping sauce, I finished with a bacon chocolate chip cookie to end the meal. Again, great cookie, but no true bacon flavor shining through.
At this point, you are probably wondering if my husband is skilled in CPR - no worries! I didn't eat enough to render a pork-induced heart-attack, however, the bacon-infused hangover will stay with me a few days. Even with that, I'm still forever on that quest to find real bacon flavor, especially when incorporated into dishes unexpectedly. So whether you prefer sweet or savory, the fact of the matter is that bacon is more than a crispy side to eggs. Google "bacon" and you might just find that it gives you a whole new meaning to "the other white meat". Now to go find a remedy for my hangover - maybe some "Hair of the Dog", or more appropriately, some "Hair of the Pork"! I'm jus' sayin'!