Bacon Unwrapped

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Be in my book!

I must confess...I have a little secret I've been keeping from most of you for the last couple months.

I'm writing a book about bacon!

I've dropped some hints here and there, but for numerous reasons I wasn't in a position to openly talk about it here on Bacon Unwrapped until now. Long story short...HarperCollins has decided the world needs a book dedicated solely to the wonderful, glorious topic of bacon, and somehow I've become the chosen voice of this venture. It's a true blog-to-book cinderella story. The book is scheduled to be published next spring.

For the last four months, I've been pulling double shifts between my day job and spending nights/weekends studying, conducting interviews, philosophizing, and waxing poetically about the Best Meat Ever. And somehow I've still managed to find time here and there to post updates on this blog about everything else going on in the world of bacon. Despite the hard work and long hours, the process has actually been a lot of fun. But now I'm in the home stretch. And I need your help.

The underlying concept of my book about bacon is that I want to tell the story through people whose lives are impacted by bacon - whether you are a chef, curer, or just someone who eats a lot of bacon. And since my life destiny with bacon began here on this humble little website, it is only fitting that you all have the opportunity play a part in this project of mine.

So here's what I need from you, the loyal Bacon Nation. I have a few questions for you to answer in the comments section. You don't have to answer all the questions - just answer those to which you relate. If your responses are good, you just might be included in the book. So hit me with your best shot and I'll keep you updated as the book progresses. Thanks for your help!

1. Do you have a favorite restaurant (diner, hamburger joint, etc) where you like to eat because of the bacon? If so, tell me all about it.

2. Do you have any memorable stories that involve bacon?

3. Other than eating a piece of bacon on its own, what is your favorite way to eat bacon?

4. What is the most unusual use for bacon that you've ever encountered?

5. Do you have a really good recipe involving bacon that you are willing to share?

6. And if you have a bacon-related story that you think is really great but just doesn't fit into one of the previous categories, feel free to share!

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22 Comments:

  • Comet Cafe in Milwaukee, WI has fabulous bloody marys with bacon in them next to the olives. I love going there for brunch on the weekends. They also have a free basket of bacon on Sunday evenings with any purchase of food. Bacon lovers flock from all over the city for that deliciousness.

    By Blogger Sarastani, at 7:39 AM  

  • My favorite restaurant for bacon would have to be the Hungry Hunter in the small town of Llano, TX. They have an excellent bacon cheeseburger, which is my preferred method of bacon consumption. It's the bacon that makes the burger. Crisp, but not brittle, thick cut, slightly sweet and packed with flavor - yum! I always try to stop there for lunch whenever I pass through.

    As far as unusual uses for bacon I think the bacon bra would be the strangest.

    One of the best bacon recipes I've ever tried is raspberry chipotle bacon wrapped hot dogs. I was introduced to this wonderful delight at my local supermarket. They have a small kitchen area in the middle of the meat and cheese isle where they promote various store products by cooking up fresh samples and handing out recipe cards. On that day I was drawn in by the sweet smell of bacon. The recipe is very simple. Just take your favorite hot dogs, wrap them with a strip of bacon (I use maple bacon) and fry them in a pan while drizzling a bottle of raspberry chipotle sauce over them. I like to take the leftover bacon and fry it up with a little raspberry chipotle. Those flavors were meant to be together.

    By Blogger Greg, at 8:50 AM  

  • A little known treat to even the most devout bacon disciples is peanut butter & bacon on toast. This is best with several slightly-crisp and still warm pieces of bacon so that the peanut butter is converted into smooth, gooey goodness. They are the perfect complement to each other!

    By Blogger Lisa, at 11:41 AM  

  • Oh you are talking to the right person. I will try to be brief. If you want more please contact me.
    1. Loonies, Berkeley, Ca. A side of Asparagus comes with close to a pound of bacon on top.
    2. The Ultimate Meat Adventure (See Blog)
    3. Bacon Wrapped Asparagus
    4. Bacon Soap
    5. Coat Bacon with Brown Sugar and place on foil in indirect heat in barbeque.
    6. Where should I start?

    By Blogger Chilebrown, at 2:17 PM  

  • Chilebrown, please do tell me more about #1...

    By Blogger Heather, at 2:22 PM  

  • And thanks to everyone who has commented so far - keep 'em coming!

    By Blogger Heather, at 2:22 PM  

  • Heart Attack Dogs
    1 hot dog, wrap in a slice of bacon, grill until cooked (i did mine in the oven on a portagrill and it was perfect), grill a sliced pasilla/poblano pepper brushed with olive oil until the skin is falling off and its tender, peel. place BACON wrapped hot dog in hot dog bun with mayonaise and ketchup and mustard, add grilled onions in olive oil, a pile of diced tomato, and top with half a grilled poblano pepper with the seeds removed.

    Traditional Los Angeles Street Cart food summated by Kevin Anderson (there are variations... like... you could leave the mustard off)

    By Blogger Doc Martian, at 4:59 PM  

  • 1. Five Guys Burgers - I know it is a chain, but their Bacon Cheeseburgers are great. The Frontier in Albuquerque, NM has wonderful breakfast burritos with bacon and green chile! I'm drooling now.

    2. My coworkers and I are a bit bacon obsessed. When we calculated how much it would cost to have a single pound of Vosges Flying Chocolate Pigs shipped to us, we choked. It would be about $160 plus shipping. I quipped "Get me a pig form and I'll make you chocolate pigs!" Two weeks later, pig candy molds arrived in the mail. We've been happily experimenting with the various forms of chocolate and various flavors of bacon ever since. We grill the bacon first for an added smokey depth to the final candy. (I cook most of our bacon on the grill now except when making the bacon wrapped tater tots, for which my family and friends blame/decry their love for you.)

    3. I recently discovered Halloumi cheese. Wrap a piece of Halloumi, green onion and a dash of pepper in bacon. Grill. Swoon. (Recipe can be found at recipezaar.com.)

    4. There are unusual uses for bacon? Really?

    5. Our standby bacon based entree is what my husband calls Hungarian Rice. Fry 1 lb of bacon. Reserve some of the drippings. Remove bacon from drippings, chop coarsely. Add to the reserved drippings 1 to 2 cloves finely minced garlic. Sweat the garlic to bring out the flavor. Add 2 to 4 cups cooked rice. Heat the rice through, stirring to get the drippings and garlic mixed in well. Add in the chopped bacon and at least 1 cup of frozen peas. Continue cooking until peas are heated through. Add salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

    6. Writing this made me grab a piece of grilled thick cut bacon from the fridge to gnaw on. Yum.

    By Blogger Steph, at 8:51 AM  

  • 1. My favorite place to eat bacon would have to be Fat Heads. It’s located in Pittsburgh’s South Side. They have a great selection of Beer and there food is out of this world. I usually get the Bacon Cheeseburger, which is about the size of my head. It’s loaded with mayo, lettuce, a thick slice of tomato, and four rashers of crispy bacon. If I am really in the bacon mood I will also get an order of bacon cheese fries. There is nothing better than drinking a IPA and munching on a Bacon Cheeseburger.

    2. I most memorable story I can think of off the top of my head is the time I got the Ultimate Bacon Cheeseburger in Las Vegas. In the Mirage Hotel there is a restaurant called the Burger Bar. Every place in Vegas has a gimmick, this one’s happen to be the fact that you construct your own burger. They give you choices of meat, bun, and toppings. On the list of topics were 4 different kinds of bacon, apple wood, pepper, cinnamon, and jalapeño. So I got all four kinds (16 strips of bacon) on a burger with provolone cheese, the waiter gave me a funny look. Let me just say it was amazing, with every bite I got a taste of something different. I will never forget that burger.

    3. I favorite way to eat bacon is what I call sea pig. Sea pig is when you wrap bacon around a scallop or shrimp. For some reason bacon makes sea food taste amazing!

    4. I would have to say the bacon mints were unusual. I like bacon but I never would of thought to freshen my breath with it.

    5. When I was at the Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival I met a Chef that appreciates bacon as much as I do. His name is Lance Avery; he is the Corporate Executive Chef for Sara Lee. Lance created a Maple-Bacon and Pumpkin Cheesecake that was out of this world. After taking only one bite I ran up to him and said, “You have to give me this recipe, the world must know how good this is”. He gladly said yes, so without anymore rambling here is the recipe.

    6. Another great moment in bacon I witnessed was the Bacon Eating Contest at the 1st Annual Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival. It was the best part of the event. I can still remember it like it was yesterday. The smell of bacon, the roaring crowds (ohhhh bacon!), and the steady (some not so steady) eyes of the bacon Gladiators waiting to devour 3lbs of (cooked) bacon. It was a sight to see, I can’t wait till next year. Click here to check out the video of it.

    By Blogger MrBaconpants, at 9:09 AM  

  • My answers to 3 and 5 are the same: essentially a twist on the traditional grilled cheese sandwich.

    Grilled Bacon, Cheddar, and Parmesean.

    Mindblowing.

    As for question #6, there was this one time that some bacon saved my life, but I doubt you'd want to hear about that.

    By Blogger baker, at 8:35 PM  

  • 1. Do you have a favorite restaurant (diner, hamburger joint, etc) where you like to eat because of the bacon? If so, tell me all about it.

    --Golden Corral Breakfast - Their bacon is the BEST!

    2. Do you have any memorable stories that involve bacon?

    --My company has quarterly meetings in the early morning where they provide bacon. My team had a bacon eating contest one morning. I took the title by putting away 60 strips of bacon. My only real competition put away 56 strips.

    3. Other than eating a piece of bacon on its own, what is your favorite way to eat bacon?

    --BLT all the way

    4. What is the most unusual use for bacon that you've ever encountered?

    --Bacon facial.

    5. Do you have a really good recipe involving bacon that you are willing to share?

    --I don't have it with me, but there is a bacon egg bake we had once, and it was AWESOME. Bacon oven pancake is great too.

    6. And if you have a bacon-related story that you think is really great but just doesn't fit into one of the previous categories, feel free to share!

    --NA

    By Blogger Thinker-Thought, at 9:54 AM  

  • 1. The Triple Rock Social Club in Minneapolis has free bacon Wednesdays. People come to this hole-in-the-wall dive bar to dine on swine and drink super cheap PBRs...fun.

    2. To celebrate Thanksgiving we have an annual "Bacon Fest." While the parade is on, we cook many, many pounds of bacon. Bacon is then added to EVERY dish on the table - the turkey is basted with bacon fat, crumbled bacon is added to the sweet spuds, mashed potatoes, stuffing, broccoli and yes, even the pumpkin pie. There's something about adding the threat of a coronary to an already ridiculously over-fed day that adds an element of danger to our elegant table.

    3. bacon blondies and BLT-inis

    4. The bacon bra is pretty memorable. and scary.

    5. Of course! Elvis cake, BLT-inis and blondies are my recipes.

    6. I'll be first in line at the signing!

    By Blogger Velma, at 10:54 AM  

  • These stories are great!

    By Blogger Heather, at 4:36 PM  

  • Do you have any memorable stories that involve bacon?

    In the tenth grade I declared I was going to become a vegetarian, much to the chagrin of my mom and grandmother. After about three days of my "nonsense" my grandmother said to my mom, "I know what'll fix her: I'm going to make some bacon." It worked, of course!

    ------------------

    Other than eating a piece of bacon on its own, what is your favorite way to eat bacon?

    By the bucketfull at breakfast buffets!

    ------------------

    And if you have a bacon-related story that you think is really great but just doesn't fit into one of the previous categories, feel free to share!

    On my MySpace page where I list who I would like to meet I have "the person/people who invented bacon."

    By Blogger Mandy, at 11:25 AM  

  • 1: The harris grill, in shadyside, in the pittsburgh region. Tuesday nights at the bar are all you can eat free bacon. It's exactly as great as it sounds.

    2: Not mine, but, well...

    http://images.teamsugar.com/files/upl1/1/13255/19_2008/1207084908399279f4f80vt9.jpg

    A whopper with 60 slices of bacon. There's a true fan.

    3. California blt. Bacon, tomato slices (has to be campari. HAS TO.), hearts of romaine, and sliced avocado, with a spicy chipotle ranch dressing. I prefer the dressing to be home-made, I can taste the preservatives in the bottled stuff.

    4. 3 words. Chicken fried bacon. breaded deep fried bacon covered in country gravy. The bacontini was pretty wierd, too.

    5. Yeah. I have a few.

    Turn a heat-proof bowl upside down and wrap the bottom in bacon. Bake it on 450 for about 10-15 minutes, until the bacon is nice and crispy. Take it out, remove the bowl. BACON BOWL. Fill the bacon bowl with shredded baby spinach, halved cherry tomatoes, chopped cucumbers, halved grapes, chopped carrots, chopped strawberries, and toss the whole thing in a light balsamic vinaigrette until it's just moist. Top it off with some bacon crumbles and a tiny pinch of shredded cheddar. When you're done? EAT THE BOWL.

    I'm still working on a bacon fork.

    You could also do a pork pot pie with a bacon top crust, rather than a dough one. Also, french onion soup is absolutely great with a bacon cap. You drape the bacon over the bowls for the soup to form a tight lid (bacon shrinks when you cook it, so hang the bacon over about an inch and a half on all sides) and bake it in the same manner as the bacon bowl. Take off the bacon cap, pour in the soup/crouton. Put the bacon cap back on, and top it with some provolone cheese. Either broil it until the cheese is golden, or hit it with a blowtorch. The bacon is like a secret weapon, it provides a good crunch to the soup.

    I really could go all day. I guess the moral of that story is form bacon into shapes and put stuff in it/on it/under it. Fill a bacon ring with pasta (I wrap them around small saucepans and bake them) and drop some chicken carbonara in the middle of it (doublebacon!).

    By Blogger I Am An Evil Taco, at 1:45 PM  

  • Hey,
    I have a very good recipe for bacon that I would love to have in your book. It is here: http://epicnomz.com/blog/?p=11#content

    It's a glorified bacon cheeseburger with homemade chocolate covered wild boar bacon.

    By Blogger Peter, at 10:38 AM  

  • 1. Do you have a favorite restaurant...

    Turley's in Boulder, CO has the best restaurant bacon. Thick, slightly crispy and has no nitrates and you can get reg maple smoked or pepper bacon.

    2. Do you have any memorable stories that involve bacon?

    Many. I am a bonefide lacto ovo baco vegetarian because nothing can (or has come close) to replacing the taste of bacon. So I get ribbed a lot and people often point out interesting bacon things to me. Eating bacon and brownies and found the tastes quite complementary. Was introduced to bacon salt for popcorn: http://www.baconsalt.com/. Bacon song by Mary Liz McNamara: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LCYjhx-sDmw

    5. Do you have a really good recipe involving bacon that you are willing to share?
    Bacon stuffed avocados
    Bbq dipped bacon wrapped figs
    Zucchini, tomatoes and bacon stew

    By Blogger Cece, at 11:26 PM  

  • Favorite Restaurant: I've got a few, and it's all because of the bacon:

    Original Pancake House: they make pancakes ... with bacon bits in them. And they put bacon on the side.

    CPK: I'll get the CPK Cobb just for the bacon-y goodness.

    I also love bacon, eggs and rice in the morning, available most anywhere around town.

    Story: You know how people get absolutely blitzed and trashed on their 21st birthday and can't remember it? Or they get fifths of (insert alcohol here)?

    I got 3 pounds of thick-sliced bacon. And I LOVED it.

    Recipe: I've made bacon fried rice several times, and people loved it.

    1 pkg (12 oz.) bacon
    3 cups cooked rice
    1/4 cup Soy sauce or oyster sauce
    2 tbsp minced/chopped garlic
    1/3 of a round onion
    2 eggs
    Black pepper
    BACON SALT

    Scramble, then cook eggs with a little bit of butter. Cook until firm, put on the side.

    Slice the bacon into small bits (maybe about a 1/2" wide) and fry. I love it crisp, so I'll fry until almost burnt. Drain on the side, but save some of the bacon grease (not a lot).

    Simmer chopped onion and chopped/minced garlic in bacon grease at medium until onion is no longer crunchy. Throw in rice, stirring in with soy sauce/oyster sauce. If the rice isn't getting a tan color (almost like brown rice), add a little more soy/oyster sauce. Sprinkle pepper and Bacon Salt (I prefer Hickory) and stir the rice until color is even. Throw in bacon bits and eggs and mix together until all the colors start mixing together - brown, yellow and bacon.

    VOILA!

    Random tidbit: When people ask what I want to do most in Vegas when I go, I tell them it's wake up for the breakfast buffet downtown, inhale the bacon, garnished with eggs, rice and hash browns, and go back up to the room and sleep. Ah, heaven.

    By Blogger wat, at 6:33 PM  

  • Favorite way to eat bacon: grilled well-done panda, shredded lettuce, a little mayo, and three slices of bacon on a seseame bun.

    Anonymous.

    By Blogger Uncommon Revelations, at 4:53 PM  

  • The Peanut is a bar and grill in Kansas City known for their fabulous BLT sandwiches and Crown Candy Kitchen is an old-time soda shop in St. Louis that makes a BLT so big you can barely get your mouth around it.

    This BLT Bruschetta recipe from allrecipes.com is my favorite bacon dish:

    INGREDIENTS
    8 slices bacon, crispy cooked and crumbled
    3 Roma (plum) tomatoes, seeded and chopped
    1 cup chopped leafy green lettuce
    2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
    1 clove garlic, minced
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
    1/3 cup olive oil
    1 (8 ounce) French bread loaf, cut in 1/4-inch slices
    1/3 cup favorite crumble cheese, blue cheese or feta

    DIRECTIONS
    In medium bowl, stir together all topping ingredients; set aside. Brush olive oil on both sides of bread slices; place on baking sheet.
    Bake at 400 degrees F, turning once, for 7 minutes per side or until crisp and golden brown; cool. Spoon about 1 tablespoon topping on each toast round. Or, serve topping in a small bowl, surrounded by the toast rounds.

    By Blogger Tammy, at 7:51 AM  

  • 1) Ogie's Cafe in Salt Lake. A complete dive but the best bacon in town. Definitely a good place when the craving hits you.

    2) Whenever I'm at one of those hotels with a breakfast buffet, I think about taking the entire tray of bacon to my table. That's not happened. Yet.

    3) Bacon wrapped shrimp. Yum.

    4) A bacon tiara: http://www.theanticraft.com/archive/beltane08/porkprincess.htm

    5) Bacon wrapped turkey:

    http://www.seriouseats.com/2007/11/bacon-wrapped-turkey-recipe.html

    By Blogger t2ed, at 12:17 PM  

  • 1. There is this place in Brooklyn on Smith St that specializes in Bacon and Bourbon. What more could you need. They cure their own bacon (multiple styles) and have over 100 bourbons to pair it with,

    2. I run www.epicnomz.com and our first post was a burger called "The Brooklynite". This was a burger with Armenian string cheese melted in the patty, topped with chocolate covered bacon. It was amazing. The salty and sweet dances on the burger. It was sent around the internet and got the attention of a few major sites. Our servers crashed that day. It might have been my proudest moment in food. Naturally, bacon was the centerpiece.

    3. On a Burger with Lettuce, Tomato, BBQ and hot Sauce, Onion Rings, and 2x more bacon.

    4. Bacon Bra

    5. Yes. The Bacon Pizza.
    Step 1) Get tortilla and put cheese on it.
    Step 2) get bacon and make a bacon mat weave (google that)
    Step 3) Cook bacon weave
    Step 4) place bacon weave on tortilla with melted cheese.
    Step 5) Ad sauce for flavor (i use hot sauce)
    Step 6) Add more cheese on top
    Step 7) put in over longer to melt everything
    Step 8) Slice like a pizza
    Step 9) NOMZ

    6. I won the Iron Chef cookie cook-off by doing homemade bacon/choclate chip/peanutbutter sugar cookies. It was awesome.

    By Blogger krugerlive, at 9:43 AM  

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