Nueske’s cookoff finalist #3: Nacho mama

Monica Sehgal Sharma, creator of
tandoori bacon nachos.If we had to pick our favorite non-bacony cuisine, it might be Indian food. We love the spices of dishes like chicken vindaloo, the savory goodness of samosas, and–if (God forbid) all bacon were to suddenly disappear from the planet–we might bestow the World’s Perfect Food title about the fluffy, chewy taste treat known as naan. The only thing that could possibly improve the fantastic flavors of Indian food: bacon.

Well, Monica Sehgal Sharma–one of the finalists in the Nueske’s Amateur Bacon Cookoff at Baconfest Chicago–has rectified the situation and married the two flavors in her finalist dish, tandoori bacon nachos. They use chicken skin instead of tortilla chips. Brilliant! Let’s learn more about the genius and inspiration behind this tantalizing dish.

Monica’s Indian-inspired tandoori bacon nachos.BDJ: How did you come up with this delicious idea?

MSS:? I came up with the idea of deconstructing tandoori chicken, a staple dish in my house….so replacing the chicken for bacon was an easy start, using the same marination methods for the bacon was trial and error, but I got it just right!

?I wanted to create a one-bite amuse bouche that gives someone the experience of tandoori chicken.? So the smoky tandoori bacon combined with the freshness of the tomatoes, red onion, and cilantro with the splash of lime juice makes the dish almost perfect, the crispy chicken skin chip is the base for this dish and the element that makes it perfect!?

BDJ:? Why do you love bacon?

MSS: Bacon is salty, sweet, spicy, and smoky, it takes whatever form you want it to and adds a dimension to any dish that no other protein provides….the best part is that it’s cost effective, it enhances a dish and doesn’t clean you out!? A little goes a long way and using alot is always welcome, you just can’t go wrong.

BDJ:? What’s your favorite way to eat bacon (besides in this recipe, of course)?

MSS: My fav way to eat bacon….hmm, that’s tough, there’s no bad way to eat bacon!?? But, I like bacon as its first use, for BREAKFAST!??? I love bacon that is ?braised in maple syrup or even just eating pancakes and bacon and letting the syrup run into the bacon…the sweetness and the saltiness MAKES FOR A GREAT COMBINATION.

BDJ:? Why should you win?

MSS: I think I should win because I’ve created a dish that truly is different and original (what indian restaurant serves tandoori bacon? I have yet to find that place!).? The dish also represents my abilities as a cook to balance flavors and texture?and to create an experience in your mouth.? I also show my creative and innovative side in using the chicken skin to make the perfect platform for my dish, which adds flavor and practicality to my dish.? My creation really brings together how I think and feel about food, and as a cook, sharing who you are in the food you make is what makes it unforgettable.

BDJ:? Anything to add?

MSS: I am really excited to show the world what I am about as a cook and as a person.? I am ready to take myself to a new level personally and professionally and having this opportunity at Baconfest Chicago is just amazing!? I get the chance to meet incredible chefs, talk to people that eat, sleep and live for food like I do, and most importantly, I get to share a piece of my world with all of you! Good luck to my fellow contestants, everyone’s dishes look amazing!

Originally posted 2011-03-13 14:24:00. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

North Of The Border

I haven’t been to Canada in over twenty years, so I am looking forward to the next few days in Vancouver, well Richmond either way the money looks funny and the people are nicer, so far same Canada I remember. I need some fries and gravy.

I think its a good omen as I was flipping the channels in my hotel to catch some of the football I missed by traveling, I saw not one but two ads for bacon. No, not what we think of as Canadian bacon, just good ol’ bacon. Right there in the middle of football with the beer and pickup truck ads, is this a great country or what?

I went for a meal at a kind of pricey place called “Chop”, because if you don’t meet your per diem while traveling for work, you lose. I went for a big steak “the other red meat”, and got a cesar salad to go with it. Now when I make a cesar salad, it gets a lot of bacon, because its the right thing to do, but I didn’t expect what came out to the table. This salad was PACKED with big chunks of smokey bacon. This was no “bits”, there was a ton of meat in this thing, I couldn’t have done better my self. The lighting was low and the iphone has no flash, so you will just have to take my word for it. This was no game of find the bacon in the lettuce, there were several forkfuls that were more bacon than lettuce.

Hopefully I will have some time to soak up some of the local culture (read: bacon) and I can post about later in the week. So far off to an excellent start.

Originally posted 2009-10-19 08:06:00. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Bacon Grease Pic of the Week – The More You Know…

Okay, I know what you are saying…your saying “Hey Mike, this bacon grease week is good and all but I’ve heard that it’s really bad for you.”

Well my friends, you may be surprised!

This nutrition label spells out the value of one teaspoon (tsp) of bacon grease.  Personally, I’m surprised.  Of course it’s high in fat, I mean it’s FAT, but that’s all you really have to worry about.  So to add that great bacon flavor to your next dish, you’re really just giving up 38 calories.  I’d trade bacon grease for a cookie any night and I’d probably still come out ahead.

So now you know…and knowing is half the battle.

Yo Joe!


Related Stories:September 18, 2012 — Bacon Grease Week – Best Storage Option…?September 14, 2012 — Bacon Pic of the Day – Nature’s Bacon Pt 2.
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Originally posted 2012-09-20 00:47:19. Republished by Blog Post Promoter


a box of quick-cooking rotini pasta
1 cup of your favorite shredded cheeses
1/4 cup of butter
4 tablespoons of flour
2 cups of skim milk
1 can of peas
8 strips of bacon
1 teaspoon of olive oil (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

To make the cheese sauce, dice your butter and melt it in a saucepan, then stir in the flour and milk, whisking to ensure your sauce doesn’t get lumpy. Add your cheese a little at a time, then let the sauce simmer for about twenty minutes.

While your roux is heating through, turn your broiler on low and line a cookie sheet with foil, then arrange the strips of bacon on the cookie sheet so no strip is overlapping. Slide the bacon under the broiler to cook while you work on your pasta.

Your quick-cooking rotini will take about three minutes to heat through in boiling water. While your pasta is cooking, warm your can of peas through in a separate pot. Drain the pasta, then set it aside.

Turn your broiler on high for one minute to get some extra crunch in your bacon, then remove bacon from heat. Dice bacon, then toss bacon and peas together and add to pasta. Use 1 teaspoon of olive oil if the pasta is sticking to pot.

Drizzle your cheese roux over the tossed pasta, stir, and serve.

bacon recipe courtesy of: Jennifer King,, January 3, 2012

Originally posted 2013-06-28 01:21:00. Republished by Blog Post Promoter