Even people who don’t eat bacon admit that bacon is good, hence this book–a miracle of umami.
In clever confluences of texture and flavor, author Two Moons creates “bacon” out of seitan, tofu, tempeh, coconut, eggplant, mushroom, carrot, and even chickpeas. She uses them as blank canvases to absorb flavor mixes that mimic bacon’s smoky salty savoriness.
Slices are rubbed with salt, paprika, onion and garlic powders. They are marinated in blends of maple syrup, ketchup, tamarin, apple cider vinegar, and olive oil. She also relies on liquid smoke, of which the internet says–one small bottle will last a lifetime. (And if you’re skeptical about the “chemical chicanery” of liquid smoke, relax. No less an authority than Cook’s Illustrated approves.)
Baked or pan-fried, the vegan bacon is ready for recipes and Two Moons dives into all the bacon fun we love to abuse ourselves with. There are lots of breakfast recipes, bacon’s traditional home. Start the day with Bacon-Stuffed French Toast or Bacon Cheddar Scones or go for omelets, granola, coffee cake or quiche.
All the traditional dishes that just wouldn’t be right without bacon–split pea soup, cobb salad, a BLT, or baked beans–are adapted here in credible versions. My BLT, made with pan-fried seitan strips was the juicy, crunchy, salty mess I’ve come to love.
Two Moons offers main dishes that include pizza, risotto, carbonara, and of course, bacon mac ‘n’ cheese. And for a full dive into bacon culture, there are sweets–from Elvis Cupcakes to Bacon-Cashew Caramel Corn.
Okay, it’ll never be real bacon, but if you’re looking to expand your cooking repertoire, and enjoy a guilt-free, slightly healthier bacon-isa lifestyle, go buy some liquid smoke and get started.