Spicy bratwurst and Belgian fries with blue cheese and bacon dipping sauce at Brat Haus in Scottsdale.
Sugar Cane Pork (pork marinated in ginger lemongrass panko w/pineapple ginger sauce) for lunch at Sochu House in Phoenix.
“Pig – let me speak his praise – is no less provocative of the appetite, than he is satisfactory to the criticalness of the censorious palate. The strong man may batten on him, and the weakling refuseth not his mild juices.” – Charles Lamb, A Dissertation Upon Roast Pig
Happy National Pork Month! During the month of October, I’ll be exploring the best in porcine cuisine in the Phoenix metro area and will share my adventures along the way. Belly up!
Happy International Bacon Day, fellow bacon lovers. Hopefully you did it up right for breakfast this morning.
And lunch #1 (Naan, chicken dog, fried pickles, tomatoes, chipotle cream cheese and bacon from Short Leash Hot Dogs at the Phoenix Public Market).
And lunch #2 (grilled cheese with apple and bacon from SuperFarm SuperTruck at the Central Farmers’ Market in Phoenix).
Beautiful hogs make beautiful bacon, and that statement couldn’t be more true when describing Maialino Bacon made by Oregon company, Tellurian. They source the meat for their bacon from heritage breed hogs raised by local farmers.
I had the pleasure of tasting two of their bacons recently – Red Wattle and Duroc.
The marbling on the Red Wattle bacon was incredible – thick and juicy, significantly more fat than lean, meant to be enjoyed on its own, best not over-cooked. The smoke really comes through on this bacon. This is the kind of bacon that I crave for breakfast.
For more balance between lean and fat, Duroc is the perfect bacon, particularly if you prefer your strips on the crispy side. This is also a great bacon for using in other combinations — it would make a particularly good BLT.
If you’re in the market for a good artisanal bacon to impress your family and friends, you can’t go wrong with Tellurian. Visit their website at www.tellurianepicurean.com.
“The brownie you can take home to mom, or take home to bed.”
When I was contacted by Leigh, proprietor of Naughty Bits Brownies, about tasting her “Shiksa” bacon-toffee brownie, I snortled and immediately responded YES.
So freaking clever.
And so freaking delicious.
Pulling off a packaged brownie that retains its unique flavors and moist texture is not an easy thing to do. Whenever someone offers me a brownie in a wrapper, I’m always skeptical and usually disappointed.
Not with the Shiksa. This is one of the best brownies I’ve had in a long time. The scent and taste of bacon were present, but the bits were just the right size so as not to be a turn-off, which is where most other bacon desserts fail (tasting the bacon in the brownie, good; eating a big chunk of bacon in the brownie, not good). In addition to the maple-smoked bacon, the brownies are also sprinkled with toffee bits. Oy vey, these brownies truly are an evil temptation. And once again, I can’t over-emphasize how impressed I am with how Leigh has created a delicious flavor combination that also has good moisture and chewiness, which can be hard to do with a packaged brownie.
I’m really not blowing smoke or over-exaggerating just because bacon is involved; these brownies are downright good. I would confidently give them to friends as a gift, particularly those who would chuckle at the name of this brownie like I did (and especially for some of my Jewish friends who regularly break the rules for bacon – you know who you are).
Learn more and purchase the Shiksa at www.naughtybitsbrownies.com.
One of my favorite things about writing this blog over the years has been meeting some great bacontrepreneurs. So I was excited to recently have the opportunity to try a few items from Baconery, a new bacon-focused bakery in NYC.
Bacon in dessert still freaks some people out. For me, it has become just about as common as bacon for breakfast. Here are a few items from Baconery that I enjoyed.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Bacon Cookies
Fortunately Baconery has product photos on their Facebook page because I ate the Chocolate Peanut Butter Bacon Cookies so fast that I barely remembered what they looked like. Of all the items I sampled, these were definitely my favorite, probably because they contain a few of my favorite things: dark chocolate, Reese’s Pieces, and, of course, bacon. The size of the bacon bits was perfectly proportional to the Reese’s Pieces, and they blended well together.
Chocolate Bacon Cookies
I’m a sucker for chocolate chip cookies, and I’m a sucker for bacon, so I gobbled up the Chocolate Bacon Cookies almost as fast as I ate the Chocolate Peanut Butter Bacon Cookies. Zap these in the microwave for a few seconds to make them seem like they’re fresh out of the oven and pair them with a glass of milk, and you’ll be fighting off Santa Claus in the middle of July.
I have strong opinions about a lot of issues, one of which is bacon brownies. This is one of the dessert recipes that I included in my book, a recipe I’ve been using in its bacon-free form since I was about 8 years old. So I don’t endorse just any bacon brownie. I still think mine are the best, but Baconery’s brownies put up a respectable challenge.
You can learn more about Baconery products at www.baconery.com.