There is not one but numerous Bacon of the Month Clubs. Bacon has been dipped in chocolate, battered and deep fried, candied, and even infused into vodka. It is safe to say that it is even more American than apple pie.
If this doesn't make your mouth start to water, check your pulse... you just might be dead.
There is always some good quality slab bacon in my freezer. There is no greater comfort food I know of than a well executed BLT. This reminds me of a scene in a restaurant I used to work in, where a waiter and waitress were ordering their own lunch from the General Manager. She found him particularly annoying, and when he asked for a BLT, she quipped, "Well at least he didn't ask how to spell it." But I digress...
It is the most simple of sandwiches. Toasted white bread, good mayonaise, crisp iceberg lettuce, thick slices of ripe tomato, and crisp bacon, all add up to a whole much greater than the sum of it's parts.
So easy to prepare but such an amazing result. I chose to riff on that theme one day as I had no white bread or iceberg lettuce. I substituted a multi-grain bread and radicchio for their more humble cousins. It is true. There is no need to guild the lily.
I am so fond of using it as a supporting character as well. Try laying a few strips of bacon across a whole chicken as it roasts. Or, as I did, take a boneless pork loin and wrap it in strips of bacon to baste it in it's own porky goodness as it roasts.
To further enhance the smokey character of the bacon, I seasoned the pork loin with ground chipotle chili pepper.
This might seem like a cardiologist's nightmare, but the real reasoning behind it is that pork loin is actually pretty lean and tends dry out when roasting. This technique, called barding, is insurance for a juicy roast.
It also left some great fat in the pan to roast potatoes in while the meat rested.
There are certain wines that possess the aromas of smoke and bacon fat. Usually they are Syrahs, but not exclusively. I have experienced this with some of the Syrahs of the Northern Rhone like Cote-Rotie and St. Joseph. I don't know how or why this aroma occurs but it makes for an interesting match with it's meaty counterpart. This particular evening I opened another Northern Rhone Syrah, a 2003 old vines Cornas from Alain Voge. It is permissible in Cornas to add a small percentage of a white wine, Viognier, to the Syrah to add complexity. The match was superb.
Typically, I end these blogs with a pun of some sort, but since the subject matter has been so completely covered, I will refrain as that would seem... piggy.