They say bacon is the “gateway meat”. For me, it’s now become the takedown meat. To be exact, the Portland Bacon Takedown, spearheaded by Brooklyn’s Matt Timms, is coming to Portland on May 22. Matt invited me to participate after he was referred to my Hascapades blog by his friend – yay! He hooked me into the takedown with his suggestion: a bacon hash. Well, this is just to much fun to pass up, but, now I gotta get my entry figured out – stat!
|Bacon Hash with Caramelized Onion & Kale in Bacon Bowl with Fig Jam & Dijon|
And voila! That was easy – instant Bacon Takedown Hash – with a mere scroll of the wrist. Sadly, it wasn’t really that simple, but the journey was worth it! My first step was envisioning a vessel to hold my hash. What could be better than some sort of bacon bowl or cup? After a quick Google search, I found Not Martha’s post on making bacon bowls. I was blown away by the delightful instructions and photos – structural bacon certification was within my grasp!
|Halved Bacon Strip Weave, a.k.a. The Bacon Mat|
Not Martha (her name is Megan) wove bacon magic to create a few different types of bacon bowls – one big, almost like a Dixie cup, and the other, a mini-bowl. You can see how easily bacon becomes a culinary fabric. Too bad I didn’t cover my Bacon-Wrapped Ham Loaf in it! (Pig in a blanket has a new meaning…)
|Various Bacon weaves on an upside-down mini-muffin tin.|
|The finished prototype bacon bowl – bowl lotta love – oink!|
Of the many variations Cory (a.k.a. Not Michael Pollan) and I tried, the bacon halved lengthwise, cut in half and then woven like a mat (above) worked the best. Also, at 400 degrees it took nearly 25 minutes in the oven + 5 minutes under the broiler to make the bacon crisper. How in the world would I ever create 200 bacon bowls for the Bacon Takedown? That’s a bowl lotta love…whaaaooooowww!
|Hashing up all the main ingredients, before creme fraiche & green onion.|
Back to reality, I decided a simple flat bacon “mat” for the Bacon Takedown will have to suffice. There’s no shame in simplicity, especially when slathered in fig jam and Dijon mustard – yum! All I had to do was mix my bacon hash up in the pan and place a big spoon into my prototype bacon bowls. Two bites of sublime bacon, sweet potato, caramelized onion, and kale in the uber tasty bacon bowl and I was in oinktopia! It was an instantaneous takedown of my hunger, a TKO that left me dizzily satisfied all afternoon!
Please pass this post along and I hope to see you at the Bacon Takedown!
Bacon Hash in a Bacon Bowl with Fig Jam and Dijon Mustard
1 Russet potato
3 strips of regular bacon, sliced in half length-wise, then halved
1 Sweet onion (Vidalia or Walla Walla), coarsely chopped
1 Tbsp butter
> Melt butter in pan on med-high, adding onion at the same time
> Stir occasionally, but don’t let onion burn, until slightly translucent
> Turn down heat to med-low and let caramelize for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally
12 oz thick bacon, (I used a “Stack Pack” Hempler’s Natural Uncured Bacon)
> Chop bacon cross-wise into 1/2 inch or less strips
> Fry on medium until the bacon is fairly crispy, drain any excess rendered fat
Bringing the Hash Together
2 Italian kale leaves, coarsely chopped
1 tsp kosher salt
1 Tbsp olive oil
> Add the above, plus the onion and potatoes to the pan with the bacon
> Stir an heat through, about 5 minutes
> Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl
3-4 Tbsp creme fraiche
2 green onion, sliced cross-wise
> Add creme fraiche slowly
1/2 tsp fig jam (I use Dalmatia brand)
1/2 tsp country Dijon mustard
> Spread jam into bacon bowl bottom and up the sides, repeat with the Dijon
> Spoon a few spoonfuls of the hash into the bacon bowl
> Garnish with green onion
NOTE: This should make about 30-40 samples