Haute Hot Food

Only for the adventurous in eating that want to tantalize their taste-buds and make food dance on their palate.

For I am not afraid of letting the food
overtake my desires, nor am I afraid of letting my desires be my food. Food is my expression, not just my livelihood. Cooking is my art, not out of responsibility, but purely out of passion.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Questions of bacon greatness....

I would like to start out by making a disclaimer:  You maybe offended, or even outright appaulled by reading any further.  I stand by my statements, fully and completely.  I will not judge you or your bacon wrapped anything at the next party or function. I am simply asking you to step back and take a look at your consumption and uses for this ever so popluar smoked pig.

 I find myself quite confused and torn from a seemingly very simple ingredient.  BACON.  Most start drooling at the very sight of the word.....yes, it's true and I have witnessed it first hand.(no names mentioned) When I read the words "wrapped in bacon", the first thing that comes to my mind is not the salty crunchiness, yet it's "what are they trying to hide under a layer of thick pork".   In my experiences, things that are wrapped in bacon are virtually tasteless and very apathetic.  I've noticed that whether it's bland peppers with a blend of unsalted cheeses, a sad shrimp that's overcooked, or chicken/meatloaf  all in a casing of thick smoked meat is all of the sudden the most decedent thing some have ever tasted.  This is the issue I'm torn with.  I don't have a personal problem with the meat, but I feel the misuse of it has taken over sad menus and dinner parties with a vengeance.  I am fond of bacon to enhance a dish. It adds just enough of a smokey salted finish to enhance another delicious layer of depth to a dish.  Bacon with a fluffy omelet is the perfect counterpart to an enjoyable brunch. Thick slices on a burger, breaks up the softness of the meat and gives it the BBQ flavor many enjoy daily.  All of these are perfectly acceptable uses, but when the slice takes over the entire flavor and texture of the main idea or theme, this is where you loose me.

With that being said, I would like to introduce you to my succulent Bacon Marmalade.  This sticky, salty, sweet combo offers the perfect balance with acidity and slight crunch.  My favorite way to enjoy it is on a crostini slathered with Brie and topped with toasted walnuts of pecans, or spread thickly on a hot cheddar biscuit.   The uses are endless and flavors are sure to satisfy the most notorious bacon consumers.

Bacon Marmalade:
1 1/2 lb bacon, chopped 
1 medium red onion, chopped

1 Serrano pepper , finely chopped (optional)
3/4 cup Brown Sugar

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup maple syrup

 Place the chopped bacon in a medium skillet.Cook bacon until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain.

Remove all but 2 Tablespoons of the bacon grease from the skillet. Add the onions and pepper to the skillet. Cook onions until tender.

Add the brown sugar, maple syrup, balsamic vinegar. 
Add the bacon back to the skillet simmer over low/med heat until thick.  Place in food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Store in mason jar and keep in fridge.

Toasted Crostini slathered in creamy Brie and slathered in Bacon Marmalade

Only for those......