2963. POACHED FEIJOAS with FRENCH TOAST and CRISPY BACON

serves four

500 grams feijoas (8 small or 4 large)
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 cup apple juice
1/2 cup green ginger wine
1 cinnamon stick
1 vanilla pod
6 whole cloves
6 julienned strips of lemon peel
1/4 cup brown sugar
French toast (recipe below)
bacon

French Toast
4 eggs
pinch of salt
1 cup milk
8 slices of white bread
butter

Break eggs into a wide shallow bowl, add salt and milk and whisk together. Heat a flat fry pan over medium heat and coat with butter. Place the bread slices in the egg mixture and allow to soak both sides. Place in fry pan and cook on each side until golden brown. Grill or fry bacon rashers until crispy.

Peel the feijoas, leaving flower end intact. Cut across bottom so that the fruits sit upright in saucepan. Mix all remaining ingredients together and pour over the fruit. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 10 minutes until fruit softened. Remove fruit and set aside with half of the poaching syrup. Continue to simmer the remaining syrup until it has reduced by half and thickened. Serve the poached feijoas alongside French toast and crispy bacon with a small dish of the reduced syrup.

bacon recipe courtesy of: New World Supermarket, Foodstuffs Limited, PO Box 5401, Wellington, New Zealand

2818. POT ROAST studded with ALMONDS and BACON

serves six

3 pounds (1.35 kg) brisket in one piece, trimmed of some of the fat
1½ tablespoons slivered almonds 8 ounces (225 g) bacon or ham, cut into small pieces 3 large ancho chiles, seeds and veins removed 1½ tablespoons mild vinegar ¾ cup (185 ml) water 3 whole cloves, crushed ½-inch (1.5 cm) piece of cinnamon stick, crushed 4 peppercorns, crushed 6 sprigs fresh thyme or 1½ teaspoon dried 6 sprigs fresh marjoram or 1½ teaspoon dried ¼ teaspoon dried mexican oregano, or ½ teaspoon dried oaxacan oregano 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped 3 tablespoons lard or vegetable oil Salt to taste 1½ pounds (675 g) red bliss or new potatoes Preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C).
Pierce the meat all over with a knifepoint and insert the almonds and bacon. Set it aside while the sauce is prepared.

Toast the chiles lightly, turning them often so they won’t burn. Put the chiles into a bowl, cover with hot water, and leave them to soak for about 10 minutes.

Put the vinegar and water into the blender jar, add the spices, herbs, and garlic, and blend as smoothly as possible. Add the chiles and blend to a fairly smooth consistency.

Heat the lard in a Dutch oven and when it is very hot sear the meat well all over. Remove the meat and set it aside. Drain off the fat, leaving only 2 tablespoons in the pan. Add the sauce to the pan and let it cook fast for about 5 minutes, stirring it all the time. Add salt to taste.

Return the meat to the pan and baste it with the sauce. Cover the casserole with a tightly fitting lid and cook the meat in the oven for about 2 hours.

Put the potatoes, unskinned, into a saucepan, cover them with boiling water, and let boil fast for 5 minutes. Drain them and set them aside to cool. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, skin.

Remove the casserole from the oven, turn the meat over, and baste it well with the sauce. Scrape the sauce from the sides and bottom of the pan and add a little water if it has thickened too much.

Put the potatoes into the sauce around the meat, replace the lid, and let the meat cook until it is very tender, but not falling apart-test after 1 hour and 10 minutes. Slice the meat fairly thick and place it on a serving dish with the potatoes around it. Pour the sauce over it. 

bacon recipe courtesy of: Diana Kennedy, The Essential Cuisines of Mexico; Men’s Fitness

2786. BACON FAT GINGERSNAPS

makes 3 to 4 dozen cookies?

3/4 cup bacon drippings (from 1 1/2 to 2 pounds bacon), at room temperature?
1 cup granulated sugar, plus more for the work surface?
1/4 cup molasses (not blackstrap) or cane syrup?
1 large egg?
2 cups all-purpose flour?
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt?
2 teaspoons baking soda?
2 teaspoons ground ginger?
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves?
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor and pulse just until a smooth, stiff dough forms. Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least a few hours and up to 2 days. Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Place about 1/4 cup sugar in a shallow bowl. Break off 1-tablespoon chunks of cookie dough and roll them into balls. Drop them in the sugar, roll to coat, and place them on the baking sheets, spacing them about 2 inches apart. If desired, gently flatten the dough. Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, until dark brown. Let cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

bacon recipe courtesy of: CookFight: 2 Cooks, 12 Challenges, 125 Recipes, an Epic Battle for Kitchen Dominance, by Julia Moskin and Kim Severson; Ecco, 2012 | Leite’s Culinaria, November 30, 2012

2773. POLENTA with BACON-WRAPPED SHRIMP and PORT WINE FIG SAUCE

1 cup polenta
6 thick slices bacon, chopped into chunks
1 shallot, chopped
2 1/2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons butter

Port Wine Fig Sauce:
1 teaspoon butter
1 shallot, chopped
1 cup dried figs, chopped
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
3 cup port wine
1 1/2 cups red wine
1 cinnamon stick
6 cloves
10 whole Allspice
10 whole black peppercorns
4 pieces star anise

Bacon Wrapped Shrimp:
6 slices thin cut bacon
12 large shrimp, tail on shelled and deveined
1 tablespoon thyme, picked
Salt and pepper, to taste?
Oil, as needed

Garnish:
Frisee greens (for example arugula)?
Extra virgin olive oil, as needed
Salt and pepper, to taste

Polenta: Render bacon and caramelize the shallots, then strain the contents and reserve the bacon fat. Add the milk, cream, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer then whisk in the polenta. Simmer on low until most of the liquid has cooked out and the polenta is soft. Stir in the butter.

Port Wine Fig Sauce: In a medium saucepan, heat the butter and sauté the shallot, dried fig and red onion. Season with the salt. When the mixture has sweat out, add the sugar and turn the heat to high. Caramelize the sugar, then add the port, red wine, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, black peppercorns and star anise. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Reduce the sauce until it is sauce consistency, nape. Strain the sauce through a fine mesh strainer. Turn the heat off, then let the halved figs sit in the sauce to reconstitute.

Bacon Wrapped Shrimp: Cut the bacon strips in half, lay them all out and sprinkle the thyme on each strip. Wrap the shrimp, thyme on the inside, starting at the head end of the shrimp. Then, in a large sauté pan over medium high heat, using a bit of oil, sauté the bacon wrapped shrimp. The pan needs to be hot enough that the bacon doesn’t stick to the pan but not too high because you don’t want the bacon to brown before the shrimp is cooked through. When the bacon is golden brown the shrimp should be done. Season to taste.

Assembly: Place the polenta in the center of a small plate, then place the shrimp on top of it in an interlocking position. Drizzle the sauce and place the figs. Two shrimp and two figs per plate. Garnish with some frisee greens tossed with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper.

bacon recipe courtesy of: Grayson Schmitz, Top Chef, Season 9, Episode 2, Elimination Challenge; Bravo

2759. CHERRY COKE BRAISED BACON

2-3 lbs slab of smoked bacon with skin
3 tablespoons cherry jam
1/4 cups dried cherries
1 vanilla bean split in half lengthwise
15 whole cloves
2 liter bottle of Coke
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and sliced
1 small head of cabbage, cored and shredded

Put the bacon in a large bowl and cover with water. Put it in the fridge overnight to reduce the amount of salt. Put the rack in the lower position and preheat your oven to 275 degrees. Place the bacon into a heavy pot that it will fit snugly into (you may want to cut it into 2-3 smaller pieces). Add the jam, vanilla, cloves, and cherries and pour enough Coke over to cover the pork. Bring it to a boil over the stove, cover and put it in the oven until the meat is fork tender (about 3 1/2 to 4 hours). Remove the bacon from the braising liquid and place it skin-side up on a rack over a baking sheet and tent with foil. Skim off the fat from the braising liquid and strain half of it into a sauce pan. Boil this until it is a nice syrupy sauce. Put the cabbage and apples into the other half and simmer until both are tender about 30-40 minutes. When you’re ready to serve, move the rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 450 degrees. Uncover the bacon and put it in the oven for about 15 minutes or until the the skin is nice and crispy. Serve immediately with reduced braising liquid drizzled on top along with some of the braised cabbage and apples.

bacon recipe courtesy of: Marc Matsumoto, No Recipes, March 23, 2008