|Back away from the bacon, and no one will get hurt
||[Oct. 28th, 2008|09:55 am]
Look I love bacon as much as the next person....|
Wait, no, more than the next person. I will send it as a gift. I will do tastings. I have four different kinds in the freezer right now.
But I’m calling to a halt to gratuitous baconing.
You know what? It doesn’t really belong in chocolate. I came to that conclusion last night, washing down my rum with various chocolates (I know, you’d think I’d be washing down the chocolates with rum…but that would imply a different PROPORTION from what the evening’s agenda actually was). And the bacon chocolate was simply too much. It was an interesting flavor, but at the end of it, my mouth felt...dirty. And not in a good way. The meat fat with the chocolate fat was just too much. Too damn fat. Too cloying.
The smoky part was good, as was the salty part, leading me to wonder if smoked almonds in chocolate wouldn’t be the better choice here. Which led me to thinking that smoked almonds in chocolate and caramel, tying together my love of salted caramels with...but I digress.
Just because you CAN put bacon in something, doesn’t mean you should. I’m all about cooking with bacon fat, using bacon as a garnish, a flavor enhancer, but judiciously. But we’ve gone overboard.
It’s so damn...American. And not in a good way. More, more, more, more. A doughnut, covered in maple frosting, covered with bacon bits. That’s too damn much. Too much fat, too much sugar, too damn much. Fatty, mcfat, fat.
I crave the subtle, the mellow blending of flavors. Show some f-ing restraint! Make a maple shortbread cookie and garnish it with bacon. Even a plain non-raised doughnut made with bacon.
Adding bacon to macaroni and cheese is fine, but again, it’s just layering fatty cloying on top of fatty cloying. One fatty cloy is enough. Better would be mac and cheese with bacon and TOMATOES – get a little acid going to make all of the flavors pop. I’d throw in sautéed chard or beet greens or spinach myself, so that it was visually interesting and less puke-looking, but that’s just me. I understand if the tomatoes are enough of a veg addition and if the visual stimulation of a green veg, not to mention the vitamins and minerals would ruin your mac and cheese experience. (Although it’s f-ing awesome, if I say so myself.)
On a blog, I find a picture of an apple pie with a lattice top of bacon, over top of regular piecrust! No, no, no, no. Especially since I know, in my dark, misanthropic, glasshalfempty heart of hearts, that they didn’t scale back the sugar and cinnamon. No, I’m sure they just added the freaking bacon.
Look, there’s nothing wrong with bacon and apples. Render a slice or two of diced bacon, crisp the bacon bits, pull them out, set them aside. Now sear two salt & pepper seasoned pork chops or a pork tenderloin to brown, then put the pork in the oven to finish. In the pan, ½ cup of (pick one) white wine, apple or hard cider to deglaze, a dash of cider or malt vinegar, toss in one or two peeled, sliced apples, a tablespoon of (pick one) sugar, brown sugar, maple sugar, redcurrant or lingonberry preserves. Simmer til apples are softened, pour over pork. Garnish with bacon.
And if you want to make an apple and bacon pie, go for it. But really, you scale back on the sugar, pull back on the baking spices and then you don’t lay the bacon on the top like that so that you’re eating a slice of pie with a bacon corpse on top! Chop the bacon, cook the bacon, use the bacon INSIDE, with the apples, where it belongs. Laying it on top of the pie crust...that’s like dry-humping. It’s not fair to the bacon OR the apples. Let them mingle, under the covers, where the flavors can develop and become MORE.
Respect your flavors, don’t just layer them on, more and more and more. Gah! It's the culinary equivalent of an eight year old run amok at the perfume counter at Macy’s.