Thursday, October 21, 2010

BACON ! ! ! !

Bacon Moon Pie

If you're thinking this is some highly processed, find-it-at-7-Eleven sort of snack, think again. Bacon Moon Pies ($33/4 pies) are expertly produced savory treats made using high-quality bacon sourced from CA to create a traditional Scottish shortbread with rice flour, bacon fat and bacon cracklin. In between is a marshmallow made from Vermont maple syrup and high-quality bourbon, along with a bacon fat and cracklin caramel, all of which gets encased in 72% dark chocolate. Just try not to eat all four in one sitting, lest you literally begin to embody the phrase "you are what you eat."

Bacon Caramel

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
4 to 6 ounces smoky, thick-cut
or slab bacon
2 ounces butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
Dice the bacon into small, uniform pieces and begin to render the fat in a medium-size sauce pan over medium heat. This should take only a few minutes.
The bacon will begin to get crispy. When it appears to have given up most of its fat, remove from the heat and strain the bacon through a fine mesh sieve, reserving the fat and the pieces separately.
Add the water and sugar to the pan, and return to the heat. Use a spoon to scrape up any of the brown deliciousness that may be sticking to the bottom of the pan, and then stop stirring.
At this point, the sugar needs to reach a temperature of 330 degrees. If you have a candy thermometer use it; if not, judge by appearance. The sugar will turn golden and begin to smell slightly nutty as it becomes caramel. This process takes 10 to 15 minutes.
When the caramel has reached this stage, remove from the heat and slowly whisk in the butter, cream and, finally, the remaining bacon fat. Whisk constantly but be careful! The sugar is very hot, and when the butter and cream are added it may bubble up.
Once everything has been incorporated, add the chopped bacon to the caramel and season with salt and pepper if desired. Makes about 2 cups.
The caramel will hold in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. It's good on everything - ice cream, cheeses, vinaigrettes, muffins. Just use your imagination.
Source: Chef Jason Cichonski, Lacroix at the Rittenhouse.

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