So we are right in the middle of (gluten-free) Thanksgiving and holiday food overload. It’s a time when I should be preparing for over-indulgence with extra exercise and less prurient food choices. But what did I do last weekend? I had a bacon party. That’s right, a whole evening dedicated to the fatty, tasty, cholesterol-increasing, lip-smacking, heavy, awe-inspiring, salty, favorite foodstuff.
I first read of Shauna’s bacon party almost two years ago and tucked it away in the back of my mind as something that would be fun to try someday. Well that day came and it was a glorious and fun as I imagined. Designed as a pot-luck to maximize the number of bacon-containing dishes, my friends delivered deliciousness in way I didn’t know possible.
There were even bacon prizes for the top culinary creatives. The top prizes went to Joy for her bacon-wrapped dates stuffed with blue cheese and almonds and Rob’s Bacon Old Fashioned made with bacon-infused bourbon. There were bacon-y drinks and rules not to be broken.
There was bacon-nog, candied bacon, bacon and brussels sprouts, a cheesy/potato/slab bacon/slice of heaven, bacon-wrapped asparagus and okra, and gluten-free bacon mac and cheese. That’s right my incredibly thoughtful friends (I was the only one at the party who couldn’t eat gluten) went out and got gluten-free pasta to make homemade gluten-free macaroni and cheese with crispy bits of bacon.
I conducted a bacon tasting of two of the top bacons in the US – Benton’s Bacon from Tennessee and Dakin Farms Bacon from Vermont. At a time that I am trying to eat local and am limiting the amount of meat in my diet, I abandoned all of those environmentally friendly and healthy choices to just enjoy.
I have one recipe to share from the baconalia, a dessert incorporating the salty treat. Because I was the hostess, I wasn’t eligible for the prizes, but I assure you these truffles were drool-worthy and one of the highlights of Bacon-Fest 2009. Yes, I plan on making this an annual event. What’s in store for next year? I don’t know, but surely with a year to plan, the dishes will just continue to get better and I can’t wait to find out….
Chocolate Bacon and Peanut Truffles Recipe (adapted from The Bacon Cookbook by James Villas)
Makes 20-25 truffles
6 slices lean streaky bacon
1/2 cup salted peanuts
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 cup smooth cashew butter (you can substitute peanut butter or the nut butter of your choice)
4 tablespoons butter
6 ounces semisweet gluten-free chocolate
1/2 cup cocoa
In a large skillet, fry the bacon over moderate heat until crips, drain on paper towels and let cool completely. In a food processor or blender, combine the bacon, peanuts and sugar and grind to a fine texture but with little flecks of bacon still visible. Transfer the mixture to a bowl, add the cashew butter and stir till well blended and smooth. Cover and chill in the fridge for one hour.
Roll the mixture into balls about 3/4-inch in diameter, place on a baking sheet, return to fridge to chill for another 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine the butter and chocolate in a small microwave safe dish. Microwave for 20 seconds at a time, stirring between until smooth and fully melted. Remove from microwave and let cool until warm. Sift the cocoa into a bowl. Coat the chilled bacon and peanut balls completely in the melted chocolate. Dredge thoroughly in the cocoa and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
What’s your favorite way to enjoy bacon?Tweet Pin It
Is there a restaurant or bakery you want me to check-out? A product you want me to review? Any other questions or feedback?
glutenguide at gmail [dot] com