But you only need to read the fine print on labels advertising themselves as “nitrite-free.” Look for the asterisk and the small text, which will usually say something like “No added nitrites” or “No nitrites except for those naturally-occurring nitrites found in celery powder.”
Umm. Say what?
Nitrates are found in many vegetables, and celery powder has one of the highest levels of nitrates of any vegetable. “Nitrite-free” bacons can use celery powder and then say that they didn’t add nitrites; what they added was technically celery powder. However, the idea that this makes the end product nitrite-free is simply not true. Nitrite-free bacon still has nitrites in it. In fact, a study conducted by Cook’s Illustrated magazine tested different types of bacon for nitrite levels. The results showed that the nitrite-free bacons actually contained more nitrites than the bacons cured with nitrite salts in the traditional method.
In a nutshell, if you want to avoid nitrites altogether, you’ll have to give up bacon entirely. And, we’re pretty sure that’s not an option for you bacon addicts out there. You’d have to eliminate all cured meats, not just bacon. And you’d definitely need to eliminate celery! That evil, evil vegetable…
So which bacon should you eat? What it comes down to is personal taste and preference: eat the bacon that tastes the best. Some people prefer the taste of nitrite-free bacon, and some crave bacon that is cured using traditional methods and won’t have it any other way. Just don’t let the nitrite-free myth keep you from the bacon that you love.
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Nutella Pizza with Caramelized Strawberries, Bacon, Marshmallows, Micro Basil
This recipe comes to us from Chef Gihen Zitouni of Bistro One LR at the Ritz-Carlton in South Beach. This restaurant is well-known in the industry for being innovative, trendy and fashionable, with its contemporary twist on Portuguese cuisine, as well as its sleek, modern interior. This dessert “pizza” combines savory bacon with sweet Nutella and caramelized strawberries, and is finished off with marshmallows and micro basil.
Chef Gihen Zitouni joins the Ritz-Carlton, South Beach after a culinary tour which led her through The Ritz-Carlton Penha Longa Hotel and Golf Resort in Portugal, a luxurious property close to Lisbon, where she worked as the Head Chef, overseeing all outlets including Restaurant Il Mercato, Lobby Bar Bistro and Serra Restaurant. Most recently she was the Chef De Cusine at Toca Restaurant located in The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto. Prior to this role, Chef Gihen was the Restaurant Head Chef at Arola under the mentorship of renowned chef Sergi Arola, a two-Michelin star chef. Her culinary career is highlighted by being named one of the Top 10 restaurants chefs in Portugal from Time Out magazine in 2010 and hosting Top Chef Germany.
Nutella, Strawberry and Bacon Pizza Ingredients:
• 1 pizza dough
• 4 tablespoon of Nutella
• 5 fresh strawberries
• 5 slice of crispy bacon
• ½ cup of marshmallows
• Basil or micro basil
• Roll the pizza dough, precooked in oven at 310 degrees for 7 minutes
• Spread the Nutella
• Add the strawberries with caramelized sugar, marshmallows and the sliced, cooked bacon
• Add the fresh basil
• Finish with icing sugar
The post Nutella, Strawberry and Bacon Pizza appeared first on Bacon Today.
One 1 1/2-pound rack of venison
4 garlic cloves, smashed
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped cilantro
6 thin slices of smoky bacon (3 ounces)
1/2 cup chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Set the venison in a glass or ceramic baking dish and rub with the smashed garlic. Pour the olive oil over the meat. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Transfer the venison to a plate; discard the garlic and reserve the oil. In a large, ovenproof skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the reserved oil until shimmering. Season the venison with salt and pepper and cook over moderately high heat until browned all over, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate to cool. Wipe out the skillet.
Press 1/2 cup of the cilantro onto the meaty top of the venison. Wrap the bacon around the meat, between the rib bones, overlapping slightly. Using cotton string, tie up the rack at 1/2-inch intervals to secure the bacon. Let stand at room temperature for up to 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 400°. Heat 1 tablespoon of the reserved oil in the skillet until shimmering. Set the venison in the skillet, bacon side down, and cook over moderate heat, turning, until browned all over, about 10 minutes. Turn the rack bacon side up and roast in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of the meat registers 115° to 120°. Transfer the venison to a carving board, cover loosely with foil and let rest for 5 minutes.
Pour off the fat from the skillet. Add the chicken stock and boil, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet, until reduced to 1/4 cup, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of cilantro.
Carve the venison into 4 thick chops and transfer to plates. Spoon the pan sauce over the chops, and serve.
bacon recipe courtesy of: The Food & Wine Test Kitchen, "America's Powerhouse Wines," October 2001