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Everything tastes better with bacon. One of those flavor-packed, umami-rich, secret-weapon ingredients, it has the power to elevate just about any dish, from soups to souffl?s, braises to bread pudding.
Peter Kaminsky and Marie Rama know just how to employ it. Peter is the author of both Pig Perfect?a paean to the noble swine?and, most recently, Culinary Intelligence, which argues that the healthiest way to eat is to eat less but really well. ...
Everything tastes better with bacon. One of those flavor-packed, umami-rich, secret-weapon ingredients, it has the power to elevate just about any dish, from soups to soufflés, braises to bread pudding.
Peter Kaminsky and Marie Rama know just how to employ it. Peter is the author of both Pig Perfect—a paean to the noble swine—and, most recently, Culinary Intelligence, which argues that the healthiest way to eat is to eat less but really well. He and Marie know that adding irresistible bacon transforms an ordinary dish into an extraordinary one.
Bacon Nation is a bacon-lover’s dream, a collection of 125 smoky, savory, crispy, meaty, salty, and sweetly sensuous recipes that go right through the menu. Starters like Spiced Nuts with Bacon; Bacon and Butternut Squash Galette; Bacon, Pear, and Humboldt Fog Salad. Main courses featuring meats—Brawny Bacon Beef Bourguignon, Saltimbacon; poultry—Paella with Chicken and Bacon; fish—Flaky Cod Fillets with Bacon and Wine-Braised Fennel; and pasta, including an update of the classic Roman dish Bucatini all’Amatriciana. Even dessert: Rum Ice Cream with Candied Bacon Chips and Chocolate-Peanut-Bacon Toffee. Or, as Homer Simpson would say, Mmmm, bacon.
Kaminsky and Rama don’t just throw bacon at the wall to see if it sticks. They proceed judiciously, deploying it as flavor punctuation here, a condiment there and sometimes as a powerful equal partner, its role in their recipe for tournedos of beef wrapped in bacon and sage leaves. Bacon isn’t subtle, but it can be used discreetly. The bacon broth in their poached halibut recipe, for example, is an enveloping flavor atmosphere. Sometimes, in fact, the authors show too much delicacy. Their bacon, brisket and beer chili, a-hoppin’ and a-poppin’ with herbs and spices, is superior chili but a little shy in one department. It needs — can it be? — more bacon.
-The New York Times Book Review
Posted December 29, 2013
Reviewed by Mary DeKok Blowers for Readers' Favorite
Bacon Nation: 125 Irresistible Recipes, by Peter Kaminsky and Marie Rama is a very attractive book and well organized. I especially enjoyed the mouth-watering photos. There is so much to learn about bacon that I didn’t know. For instance, instructions are given how to purchase, store, and cook it differently for various recipes. I was under the impression bacon did not spoil, at least not for a long time, but there is an expiration date on its package and this book says to use within 7 days of opening. After the history and other interesting information, the recipes follow and there is truly something for everyone. Some quick suggestions are to use bacon fat in skillet cornbread; in mashed potatoes; and to cook eggs and hash browns.
A current fad is to use bacon in “sweet and salty” recipes, including combining it with chocolate or ice cream. There is a recipe for savory nuts with bacon which sounds pretty tasty! There are also several soup recipes that I would like to try. Bacon is a common ingredient in bean soup, cheesy potato soup, and corn chowder. It adds a lot of flavor, smoky and sweet, but also a fair amount of fat and salt (to be honest, fat is where the flavor is in most foods). Moderation can give you flavor without blatant unhealthiness. “Uncured” bacon can also have fewer adverse health effects.
Top bacon producer recommendations are given with contact information, one of which is Zingerman’s in my own state, but Bacon Nation: 125 Irresistible Recipes states that most supermarkets carry very good bacon. Check to see what brands are available next time you shop and then try some of these great recipes. No matter what you think of bacon, Peter Kaminsky and Marie Rama have put together a culinary masterpiece and if you’re not a fan they just may change your mind.
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