My friend currently lives on a gorgeous piece of land in the country side of Petaluma. I had a mini vacation last Saturday at his place, that included bacon, I'll call it a 'Bacation' (bacon + vacation). Admittedly, I've been slow to jump on the bacon band wagon, it's no secret that my experience with bacon is minimal. Growing up, I pretty much never had it. I may have tried it once or twice by the time I was 18, but we never had it at home and I never ordered it at restaurants or tried it at friend's homes. Fast forward to my 2nd week of work in the 'real world', the guys on the sales team ordered the "Bacon Explosion" from the Midtown restaurant, Blue Smoke. Here's a pic of some coworkers having the first take of the bacon explosion.
This is what it looks like...
While I like to think that I will try anything, I actually didn't try this as smelling it was like smelling a heart attack. I stood by and watched with my caffein free green tea as these guys ate 4 inch slices of the bacon explosion with a side of fries. I'd later find out that some of them a hard time sleeping due to heart tremors! So this wasn't much of a seller on bacon for me to say the least....but, I digress. This past Saturday was the first official "Bacon Saturday" and this is what a love affair with bacon looks like:
It starts with a bike ride in the country side of Petaluma to the soundtrack in my head of the Beatles, "Blackbird".
Maybe you will pass an old, deserted house...This is the Milton Octagon House from 1856. Interestingly, this is the 2nd Octagon shaped building I've seen, with the first being Castle del Monte in Puglia. I looked into it and turns out the Milton House has "Italianate" architecture!
9 miles later, a couple of rolling hills and a couple of stops to look into deserted buildings, I'm back at La Country Chateu de Sean. My friend's bacon was from Joel Salatin's farm in Virginia. Joel once described his pigs as having "a great life - and one bad day." Check out this interview with Joel on how to eat animals and respect them too. (Joel Salatin will be speaking live at the Mountain View Performing Arts Center on Monday, March 5th thanks to POST.) Back to the bacon... which was sizzling in a cast iron skillet. No butter or oil is added to the skillet - the bacon completely produces its own oils and flavors to prevent any burning.
The bacon only requires a couple of minutes per side. The smell is divine. Place the cooked bacon on a paper towel. Sample some as you finish cooking the rest. Eat slowly to truly appreciate the range of flavors. Salt & Fat - two elements our bodies could be craving, especially if you regularly stick to a healthy diet.
Cooked bacon aside, crack two pasture-raised, hand gathered eggs into the bacon grease. Fry two slices of multigrain bread in the bacon grease. In case you're not following we now have two bacon-grease-fried eggs and bacon-grease-fried bread. Add a mild, smooth mango-tomato salsa, a hot sauce to the mix. This plate is heaven. If I were to die today, I'd want for this to be my last meal...minus the mayo (not necessary and no added flavor).
Bacon Algebra (What kids usually learn at age 10, I learned at 24!)
(Bacon + bacon-grease fried egg ) / bacon-grease fried bread = Bacon Party in Your Mouth.
But it's not over here - what do you do with left over bacon grease? You add it to almonds in a Vita-mix and make bacon-grease almond butter...
Smeared on apple slices or with dates, this is a pretty incredible snack. Because we could not grind the almonds, the texture was not quite as creamy and a little bit dry however still DELICIOUS. Next time I'd love to make a pie crust with this or use it as a crust for chicken or an apple crumble..
Just for laughs