Bakin’ with Bacon


The twenty-first entry proper: today Food in Mind reaches drinking age! YEAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH…..

This installment is dedicated to bacon. There will probably be more installments in the future also dedicated to bacon, but this is the first. Vegetarians, tree huggers, vegans, and practicing Muslims: cover your eyes, hold your noses, lock your doors, and pucker up your assholes, because you know that sweet, sweet scent of savory smoked pork will rape you senseless. The only thing better than lust and gluttony is the lust of gluttony.

There are three items in all, listed in order of difficulty. None of them are particularly difficult though, so be bold!

Stage 1: The Elvis Sandwich

He's the King in a country that shunned monarchy. Go figure.

Ingredients:

1 ripe banana
3-6 strips of bacon*
peanut butter
2 slices bread

*3 strips of bacon for single layer, 6 for double layer of bacon. You may also wish to consider a teaspoon of honey if you are going for double layer.

Elvis has a sandwich named after him? Fuck yeah. It’s reputedly his favorite sandwich, according to his mother no less. Making it is easy.

Fry up your bacon strips until they are crispy. Slather one slice of bread with peanut butter on one side; top with banana slices. Place crispy bacon strips on top of the bananas. The sweetness of bananas are a nice balance to a single layer of bacon. However, if you wish to use double the bacon, I recommend drizzling a teaspoon of honey over the bacon. Cover with second slice of bread, and toast both sides of the sandwich in a pan until golden brown. Slice (or not) depending on preference and eat.

Stage 2: Yorkshire Pudding

NOTE: Yorkshire Pudding should be served as soon as possible and consumed within 30 minutes of production. Take this into account when timing your cooking.

What do you do with all the rendered bacon grease from frying your bacon? Throw it away? NO! Of course not. You’d find other ways to clog your arteries with it. Enter Yorkshire pudding. I have no idea where Yorkshire is, but their pudding is pretty decent. Recipe adapted from here with additional research and testing.

Yorkshire, it's New York except for hobbits.

Ingredients:

3/4 cups milk
3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 eggs
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup bacon grease (Most likely less)
1 muffin/cupcake mold

Yorkshire pudding is essentially equal parts milk and flour with eggs and a little salt, fried in an oven. The ingredients are simple, so the key is in the execution.

If you're thinking you'll never eat this because it's unhealthy, it's probably time to get off your ass and go for a run.

Preheat your oven to 425F-450F. Stick your empty muffin mold into the oven. The temperature varies depending on your oven, so experiment with both settings.

Measure out your flour and crack two eggs over it. Mix together to form a wet dough. Crack the third egg and mix some more to form a thick batter. Add a teaspoon of salt. Dump in all of your milk to create a very thin batter.

I used skim milk because I'm so health conscious!

Once your oven has reached its target temperature, remove the hot muffin mold and pour a thin layer of bacon grease into each mold. Many recipes tell you to pour as much as 1 cm of oil into each mold, but I find that you do not need nearly as much oil. Too much oil will result in lakes of grease within your puddings.

Return the mold to the oven until the oil is very hot, about 20-30 seconds. Then take the mold back out again, and pour about 4 tablespoons of batter into each mold. Don’t fill the mold entirely! This pudding puffs up like a wolf that’s about to blow your house down.

Is there anything that isn't called a pudding by the Brits? Christmas pudding, vanilla pudding, bread pudding, Yorkshire pudding, all of these things are nothing alike one another

Bake the puddings for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve immediately.

Stage 3: Breakfast Pizza

Ate this for lunch the other day. By white middle class standards I'm a rebel.

Dough (for ~15 inch pie)*

2 cups all-purpose flour
1.5 tsp yeast
1.5 tsp salt
2/3 cup warm water**
1/2 tbsp sugar

Topping

2 eggs, scrambled
5 strips of crispy bacon, cut into small pieces
1/2 cups shredded cheese***
1/3 medium onion, diced and either sauteed or caramelized
thin slices of tomato (optional)

*You can use store-bought dough, but where’s the fun in that?
**Water should be between 110F and 118F (~45C to 48C) for optimal yeast activation. It can be cooler, but do not go over this temperature lest you kill the yeast cells.
***Mozzarella is optimal, but I only had cheddar. It still works. A combination of both is also super.

Begin with the dough. Measure out 1/3 cups of warm water, yeast, sugar, and 1/2 cups of flour into a container. Loosely cover the container and let sit in a warm area for about 20 minutes. This will proof the yeast to make sure that it works; you should see pockmarks where air bubbles have surfaced in the mixture.

Yeast infections are so delicious

Dump your remaining flour and water into this mixture as well as the salt. Mix together a bit, and get your hands into the mixture until all the water is absorbed and you have a dough. Knead this dough for about 8-10 minutes on a floured surface until it is smooth and elastic. Pour about a tablespoon of oil into a pot. Roll your ball of dough around in the pot to cover it with oil. Cover the pot and let it sit somewhere warm for about two hours.

A left testicle

It's so shiny! Stick it into a socketed weapon to confer bonus damage against the undead

Meanwhile, get started on a filling. Shred your cheese, chop your onions and bacon, scramble your eggs. For the bacon, I prefer cutting it first before frying; some people recommend doing this the other way around.

Bacon

Don't be a dumbass like me: try to buy bacon as lean as possible so your pieces don't shrivel up once the fat is rendered out.

For the onions, I was going to caramelize them but decided against it since caramelizing onions take such a long time. Feel free to use caramelized onions if you happen to have some on hand or are already going to make a large batch.

For the eggs, well, here’s a picture of how mine turned out:

Egg

The black specks are the dried ground pieces of a rare dung beetle species found in India. They're optional.

Let all the ingredients cool once you have cooked them. Once cooled, assemble everything except for the tomato slices in a dish. Mix evenly.

Chopped Bacon

If you got to this step but became too lazy to carry on for whatever reason, these things are all great between toast or inside a breakfast burrito.

When your dough is ready, gently press some of the air out of it and remove it from the pot.

Dough

IT'S BIGFOOT

Pre-heat your oven to 500F, or as high as most ovens will go. It’ll take a while.

Pat the dough into the desired shape of your pie. Resist the urge to play around with the dough too much. It’s wonderfully elastic, but you can still run the risk of having it become too thin in certain areas, or worse, punching a hole through the dough.

Pizza

Yo dawg, I heard you like toppings so I made two toppings so you could top your topping while you're topping your pizza.

Place the dough onto your baking sheet/pie pan/stone slab and top with your bacon/cheese/onion/egg mixture. Place the tomato slices on top of your topping. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until cheese is melted and the crust is golden.

Pizza

It certainly beats your tofurkey omelet made with egg whites from a carton and your soylent green side salad. Real men eat real food.

Slice and serve however you like.

Conclusion

Mmmm, bacon. I came, I cooked, and I ate. Its possibilities are limitless, its power level, over nine thousand. Sure, you could fry them and eat them straight up, but why do that when you can combine them with so many other tasty things? If you love bacon, you owe it to yourself to diversify your bacon consuming methods. Be bold!

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