A peasant becomes fond of his pig and is glad to salt away its pork. What is significant, and is so difficult for the urban stranger to understand, is that the two statements in that sentence are connected by an and and not by a but.
Enough talk about resolutions. It’s cold, its dark, and warmth is months away. You deserve some bacon, maybe not 24/7, which I don’t think would be a good idea, but certainly in some pleasing dishes and where you might not expect it.
Theresa Gilliam is a former chef and recipe developer and her recipes are inviting and clear. In this book, she includes some bacon classics like Alsatian Tart and a bistro-style Frisee Salad, and some creative variations like Bacon Ricotta Corn Cakes for breakfast and a BLT “deconstructed” into a gazpacho-style soup for lunch.
And, as is inevitable with bacon, Gilliam ventures into some macho cooking like a spicy Bloody Hell Bloody Mary with a bacon swizzle stick. And she capitalizes on bacon’s salty sweetness, including it candied in S’mores and folded into Bacon, Peanut Butter, and Chocolate Chunk Cookies.
The book starts with a pork primer—types of bacon including wet and dry-cured as well as green bacon, which is not bacon that has been left too long in the fridge. It’s bacon that has been cured but not smoked. There are a few pages on how to cook it, as well as a recipe and techniques to cure and smoke your own bacon at home. Before she gets to recipes, Gilliam gives directions on clarifying bacon fat and how to use it to make the best pie crust ever.
She sorts the recipes into Dawn, Midday, Dusk, and Dark, because, after all, bacon can and should be an integral part of any day.
Chicken Normandy, Of Sorts is a comforting dinner dish, quickly sautéed with bacon and simmered with a bit apple, apple cider, and cream. (It’s not cider season, so I substituted some apple jam stirred into apple cider vinegar—pretty clever and pretty delicious, I think.)
I couldn’t resist the delicious posturing of Bacon Caramel Corn and Bacon Jam. The Caramel Corn is just plain fun and the Bacon Jam is a soulful simmer of onions, bacon, maple syrup, coffee, and spices that will send a hamburger into the stratosphere.
And I just kept cooking; I couldn’t resist Bacon Baklava. Despite Greek family connections, I am not a baklava fan—honey is a great ingredient—in moderate doses. So I tried to prove the kitchen maxim that everything is better with bacon.
And I just kept cooking; I couldn’t resist Bacon Baklava. Despite Greek family connections, I am not a baklava fan—honey is a great ingredient—in moderate doses. But this recipe proves the kitchen maxim that everything is better with bacon. The bacon is a perfect foil to the incredible sweetness of baklava’s honey syrup and it’s lush texture blends with the nuts.
Okay, I’m closing the cover, for now, on this one, but I’ll be back!