Bacon seems to be a universally enticing food. It makes most things taste wonderful when mixed in, on, over or under. These days it is being made into candy. Why is this food always in such demand? The smell alone is enough to make one come running.
What is it about bacon? It seems that no matter what one makes, bacon just makes it better. Reading a blog this morning got me thinking. There was a comment that bacon is the one thing that will make her husband willing to try a new vegetable. My sister in law has quipped that one could make cardboard taste good if it had bacon added. Do I have answers to the question? No, I do not. I can relish and savor the thought of food with bacon just like the next person.
Bacon frying is a mouth watering aroma that just creeps everywhere in the house and makes one want to run to the kitchen and see what is cooking. Things I grew up eating had bacon to make them special. My Mom made a beef stew that with only a small addition of bacon just made the dish. I have traveled on to many more complicated stews than Mom made, with the same result. I have added bacon to so many wonderful and memorable recipes that made them spectacular.
Thinking of more recent foods, on Thanksgiving my stuffing recipe uses bacon to great results. Bacon for breakfast at any time is fantastic. The pig really does rule, and most particularly the smoked and cured parts. I made a pork loin roast the other night with bacon strips over top. I made red cabbage with apples and bacon. Muffins for breakfast with maple syrup and bacon mixed in were out of this world. Rhapsodizing over the taste and smell of bacon is a widespread phenomenon and it starts close to home.
Different Types and Cuts
Over the years I had gravitated to using thick sliced bacon. If you find a nice, meaty package it gives more to sink teeth into. Then I discovered flavors I preferred. Some places I have lived carry one brand but not another, so I have learned to find ones that are closest to the same flavors and saltiness to enjoy no matter where I live. Recently I found that one of the brands I particularly love now also carries bacon in steak cut thickness. This is really thick. If regular bacon is doubled or more in a thick cut slice, then the thick cut is doubled or more in the steak cut slice. Then I noticed that it was also available in applewood smoked flavor and not only Hickory smoked. More and more options are available.
I found the applewood flavor to be gentler, but still absolutely delicious. Just enough to give a food a slightly different end result. I bought the steak cut to try it out. I was making a version of Jim Laheys No Knead Bread that used bacon. What a way to make a good thing better. That bread was a sandwich all on its own. Add mayo and a slice of lettuce and tomato and presto. Toasted and served with an egg was instant breakfast.
A Quick, Easy Recipe with Bacon. Bacon Wrapped Dates.
One quick and easy recipe is Bacon Wrapped Dates. Bacon and medjool dates are the only ingredients. Set the oven to 500 degrees. Hot, for sure, but these get done really quickly. For this recipe you need to use center cut bacon of regular thickness. Those shorter slices are then cut in half. Get pitted medjool dates, though this can be made with regular dates also. Medjool are thicker and sweeter and pair so well with the bacon. Take a date and roll it up in one of the half lengths of bacon, keeping the loose end on the bottom. If you prefer, a toothpick can be used to hold the loose end in place, but I have not found it necessary.
Prepare a baking sheet with parchment covering it. If the parchment is just large enough, all the bacon grease will be contained. This means once it cools the piece of parchment can be scrunched up and tossed away and the baking sheet stays clean. Just as an aside. This means a great deal to me, not to have the extra cleanup. Place all the rolled dates on the parchment and place the sheet in the oven. Bake for about 6 or so minutes. Remove the pan and with tongs, turn the rolls over so the loose end is on top. At this point it should be cooked enough to hold its shape. Return to the oven for another 4 to 6 minutes, or until the bacon is done to your liking.
Resist the urge to pop one in the mouth immediately. The insides of the date are like molten lava. These little morsels are a hit appetizer at any party, or a great Tapas recipe.
About The Author
My name is Chris Rawstern and I have been on a cooking and baking journey for 42 years. Many people have asked what A Harmony of Flavors means. Have you ever had a meal where the visual presentation was stunning, the smells were incredible, the taste was so remarkable that you ate slowly savoring every bite, wishing the experience would never end? Then you have experienced what a truly harmonious meal can be like.
My passion is to teach people how to create a Harmony of Flavors with their cooking, and help pass along my love and joy of food, both simple and exotic, plain or fancy. I continue my journey in ethnic and domestic cuisines, trying new things. I would love to hear from you, to help me continue my journey to explore diverse culinary experiences and hopefully to start you on a journey of your own.
Visit my Web site http://www.aharmonyofflavors.com my Blog at http://www.aharmonyofflavors.blogspot.com my Marketplace at http://www.a-harmony-of-flavors-marketplace.com or Facebook page A Harmony of Flavors. I share a recipe or tip each day to the fans that have liked my site. I hope to see you there soon.