If you love bacon, like I love bacon, let’s play with it:) The Sid and Nancy of ingredients, mos def, bacon and onions cannot live without each other. And I can’t live without them; here are some ideas from the Swallow Tail kitchen…
#1 Pork Belly is Bacon. Therefore, the biggest chunk of heaven you can get is a thick slab of pork belly. It’s the easiest thing to cook in the world. Chop thick chunks of red onion, put the bacon on top of them in a baking pan, 40 min at 425F in the oven, then broil the top to crisp it up if necessary. Serve with a crisp salad to make yourself feel better. And a glass of German riesling like Balthasar-ries… yes, even you big manly types.
#2 BLaRRp – Bacon, Lettuce and Roasted Red Pepper. Pick up some fine local bacon at your butcher, cut thick! Fry it up to crispy at home. Roast some red peppers on the grill. Buy or make some pickled onions, the balsamic onions you get in a good Italian deli will do just fine. Buy some good bread, hard to find in Vancouver, but try:) Put the sandwich together with some grainy mustard.
If you want to go a step further into greatness. Pickle 1 lb wild ramps or pearl onions in sushi vinegar. Peel, clean onions, blanch 3 min in boiling water. Put the ramps in jars and cover with brine liquid. Refrigerate and serve chopped into the BLur.
Brine (Boil this up):
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup sushi vinegar
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
#3 French onion soup with bacon crumbled on top – All that crumbly bacon floating on a gooey gruyere island of paradise? How could you go wrong. The Cooks Illustrated site has the best onion soup recipe in the world if you need one.
#4 Wood Smoked Romaine with pancetta and caramelized onions. Pancetta is fancy Bacon. Fry pancetta and caramelize sliced onion till deep brown, deglaze onions with amontillado sherry if you have it. Cut a head of romaine in quarters. Put your BBQ or grill on high, throw some cedar or hardwood chips in to get it smokin. Sear the lettuce on one side till lightly charred (2 min), you want it to be fresh and crisp on one side and infused with smoke. Remove and drizzle with a 50/50 dressing of lemon and good olive oil + salt. Work the onion between the layers of lettuce, crumble bacon on top. Pepper & Parmesan to taste.
#5 Stuff some mushroom caps with crispy bacon and sauteed leeks (in butter). Slam some goat cheese on top to cut the richness and voila… snack of the Gods.
Bake caps for 30 min at 375F till golden brown.