Bacon Greeting Cards

Awhile back I was contacted by a representative of Ron Kanfi, the president of Noble Works, a greeting card company, asking me if I’d be willing to review some of their bacon-themed cards on the blog. I agreed, and she sent over a pack.

To be honest, I’m not entirely sure what occasion calls for a bacon card. Happy Birthday, friend! Have I told you lately how much I love bacon (and you, I guess)? Though come to think of it, I get quite a lot of emails declaring that International Bacon Day is nigh (there seem to be many such days – is there some kind of international committee that regulates such things? They should investigate the Bacon Day issue), so maybe if you’re bringing someone a gift of pork on a day that is devoted to it, you could match it with a thematically appropriate card saying Happy Bake-day (wink wink), or Happy Birthday (to Bacon, not you)? I really don’t know. I’m actually not big into gift cards myself (though I do love sending postcards when I travel), but Better Half almost always includes them with gifts, which makes me feel like I need to step my game up. Maybe it is more conventional than I realize to have birthday cards that seem to be talking about things totally unrelated to the person or their birthday. Or maybe I could think of these as postcards with a lot more space and an envelope. I dunno.

ANYWAYS. These are very nice cards. Bright, lively colors, and reasonably clever messages. This was my favorite:

But if you go to the Noble Works website – www.nobleworkscards.com – you’ll find that they have lots of cards of all different kinds, many of which have more obvious use than missives pledging love to pork.

Originally posted 2013-02-17 04:42:00. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Spanish Pork with Apple-Citrus Salsa, plus a delicious salad

I’m not even sure how I stumbled across this recipe, but man, it was awesome. I’m copy-pasting it in case the link stops working someday, because it is that good, and because I made some modifications (minor ones).

Ingredients:

The Pork
1 1-pound pork tenderloin
1 tbs olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon hungarian paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Combine all the seasonings in a wee bowl. Rinse your pork (boyfriend always does this and now I do too) and pat it dry. Lovingly rub the olive oil all over it, then the spices, making sure its evenly coated with the mixture. Set on a plate.

Then, get to work on the apple salsa. Which just involves mixing all of the following together:

3-4 apples (preferably something tart, but one semi-tart is also fine. I had 2 green apples and one honey crisp), cored and diced (no need to peel)
2 tbs apple juice (I got the Simply Apple – you don’t want one that’s super sugary)
zest of one lime
juice of 1/2 lime
chopped cilantro (the original recipe called for 2 tbs, I probably did more like 4?)
1/4 of a sweet white onion, finely diced
1 jalapeno papper, finely diced

The longer it sits, the better it will taste, is the thing.

Turn the oven on to 350. Sear the pork on all sides in a cast iron pan. Stick a meat thermometer in it. Curse your meat thermometer for apparently having stubborn pre-set temperature ratings, such that you can’t actually set it to 145. Settle for the lowest setting, 158. Put pork in the oven. Remove it after what seems like 3 minutes? Seriously? Because your meat thermometer says it has reached a temperature of 158. Let it sit for half an hour because you have timed your dinner prep terribly. Or, you know, time your dinner better, and have a better method of roasting a pork loin properly (though mine did come out perfect, albeit room temperature).

Slice, and top with the apple salsa. Seriously fantastic.


But wait! you say. What is that gorgeous looking pile of salad??Funny you should ask. It happens to be the perfect accompaniment to this pork, and totally delicious in its own right. Kind of a pain the butt to make, and you end up with A LOT of it, so this might be a potluck/bbq/dinner party type thing, but I have to give you the recipe, because it’s soooo awesome.
You need:
2 cups raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)2 tbs tamari (probably regular soy sauce would be ok too, but we happened to have tamari anyhow)1/4 olive oil (use the good stuff)1 tbs grated lemon zest (it’s gonna take a whole lemon)1/4 cup lemon juice (also a whole lemon)sea salt and freshly ground black pepper4 oranges1 one-and-a-half-pound head of red cabbage, cored and finely sliced2 small fennel bulbs, cored and thinly sliced
1/4 cup hemp seeds
~1 bunch cilantro (get a large bunch and use some for your apple salsa)

Here’s where it gets to be a pain in the butt.

Preheat your oven to 350. Spread the pepitas across a foil-lined baking sheet (I needed two. I didn’t line it with foil and man was it a pain to clean). Roast for about 6 minutes, then take out, toss with the tamari, and put back in the oven for 3 minutes. Remove, set aside.
Whisk the lemon juice and zest with the olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. No idea why the recipe felt it was necessary to do this in advance but sure.
Now you need to dice all cabbage, which is a pain. And the fennel. And, the most annoying part to me, pick all the cilantro leaves off the stem. SO TEDIOUS. Anyways, put all that in a very large bowl with the hemp seeds and about 2/3 of the pumpkin seeds. Or all of em, but honestly, it’s a lot, and they make for a nice snack so hey. Peel the oranges, or ask your boyfriend to do it for you because your pork loin has already been out of the oven for 20 minutes at this point, and it’s almost 12:30am and you’re both really hungry. Once he’s peeled them, use a sharp knife to slice the spines off each wedge (you know what I mean?) and maybe cut the backs off and basically try to get little chunks of orange without all the connecting tissue. Hurry up, I’m hungry. Throw that in the bowl, pour the dressing over the top, and mix it all together. It’s a lovely blend of colors and flavor, and also a delightful combination of textures. From the Food and Wine Cookbook of 2013 (or maybe 2012?)? Which we’ve been using a lot lately and enjoying.

Originally posted 2013-08-25 15:10:00. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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.

Originally posted 2011-07-06 02:53:00. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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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 (smokehouse.com) 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.

Originally posted 2011-03-22 18:03:00. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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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.

Originally posted 2011-11-18 05:20:00. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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

Originally posted 2011-09-12 09:18:00. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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