Buffet o’ Bacon 4

Last night I had the Buffet o’ Blog staff at my house, and I knew there had been rumors of more bacon “research”, but I wasn’t expecting much, given various circumstances.  But this turned into quite the bacon extravaganza!  We had five (5) bacon dishes to test.  Of course, I took some pictures to go with my analysis and commentary.  First up is bacon-wrapped pineapple — on a stick.

It seemed weird to mix bacon with a fruit, but it didn’t taste too bad.   The texture was weird to me.  But pineapple by itself has a somewhat weird texture.  Nonetheless, it was pretty good, but was overshadowed by some of the other bacon experiments.

Next up in our buffet of bacon was bacon-wrapped Twinkies.  How would you expect this to be?

We were skeptical about it before, but it proved to be the tastiest of them all.   The key here was cooking the bacon prior to wrapping the Twinkies.   Once wrapped, we placed them in the oven just long enough to heat the Twinkies (and we did it too much, as evidenced by the creamy overflow).  The taste was great — a pleasant mixture of bacon and sweetness, and it was not greasy at all (which was my main concern before trying it).  I would definitely eat these again… and again… 🙂

Next we made small sausage balls (of just pork / breakfast sausage), wrapped in bacon, and held together with toothpicks.  We had intended to apply the BBQ sauce before cooking, but didn’t add it until about halfway through cooking.

These were very delicious.   (Would you expect otherwise?)  You just have to make sure the sausage gets cooked thoroughly.  And be sure to cook these on a raised rack of some kind to let the bacon grease and sausage grease drain off.  Failure to do so may result in a “gut-bomb”.  (For a documented example of that, see the second comment about our initial Buffet o’ Bacon.)

Next up was a BLT — bacon, lettuce, tomato sandwich, with Miracle Whip.  Nothing revolutionary, and tasted like you would expect.

Last but not least in our “research” was chocolate-covered bacon.  The bacon was cooked first, with all grease drained, then dipped in molten chocolate.   The molten chocolate was made from semi-sweet chocolate chips plus butter.

Chocolate-covered bacon may sound gross if you haven’t tried it, but it’s quite delicious.   The salty bacon goes well with the sweetness of the chocolate.   You really should try it for yourself sometime.

If you would like to read about our other Buffet o’ Bacon events, here’s a link to search the blog for “Buffet o’ Bacon“.  (It will find a few other posts which reference it, but using a search will also find future ones, too, once they’re published.)  You could also have your own bacon research parties.  It’s a really fun time (as you would imagine).  You could post your results on your blog, and be sure to link back here so we can check it out.

Buffet o’ Bacon 3

Last night I had the Buffet o’ Blog staff over for a regular team outing (where we played video games and discussed funny stuff — how meetings should go!).  As has happened before, this meeting turned into a Buffet o’ Bacon.  It was kinda like an Iron Chef episode, where 3 contestants brought an original dish based around bacon.  (At these impromptu cooking sessions, the theme is always bacon.  Not that I’m complaining!)

First on the menu was bacon-wrapped smokies covered with barbecue sauce and grilled, and served on a stick.

smokies, bacon, & BBQ, on a stick

That one used turkey bacon, which works better for grilling and is a lot healthier.  The taste was really good.  You just have to make sure the bacon is cooked to the point of getting slightly crispy, or it’ll be easier to notice it’s turkey bacon.

The second item we sampled was bacon-wrapped cream-cheese-filled jalapenos.   We removed the seeds so they wouldn’t be too spicy (for some).  These were also delicious, although I’d like to experiment with different types of cheese.  Cooking them on a rack is essential (as I will explain in further detail on the next item).  They were also served on a stick (well, a toothpick).

bacon-wrapped cheese-filled jalapenos

Third on our list was the most ambitious creation, and the one that slightly concerned me.  It consisted of club crackers topped with shredded cheese, then bacon-wrapped and cooked for two hours at 250 degrees.  Here’s a picture of them during preparation.

bacon-wrapped club crackers, with cheese, in preparation

Notice there was no rack used to elevate the food above the inevitable bacon grease.  Supposedly it wasn’t necessary according to the recipe, that the crackers wouldn’t absorb all the grease.  I was concerned because we’ve been down this road before.  /* flashback */ At the initial Buffet o’ Bacon, there were some bacon-wrapped croissants, and the bread absorbed almost all the bacon grease during cooking.  The consistency of the croissants was like butter at room temperature, and it was deemed the “gut-bomb”.  (Read the second comment on our initial Buffet o’ Bacon for an explanation.)  /* end flashback */ So how did it turn out?  Let’s have a look:

bacon-wrapped club crackers, with cheese

What’s missing from this picture is the grease that was drained before I got in there with the camera.  Supposedly there was a pool of grease.  And if it isn’t evident in the picture, the crackers were saturated with grease, along with the cheese, and the bacon was quite greasy also.  Someone looked at the recipe to see where they went wrong, and they noticed the last line of the recipe said to cook it on a rack over a pan.  Obviously that line was never read, and the excuse was used that the picture included with the recipe didn’t have a rack in it.

We each tried a couple of them, and you could tell there was a lot of potential there, if not for the extreme load of grease.  The rest were discarded, for the sake of healthiness.   Hopefully a lesson was learned from this, because it’s really sad to throw away bacon and cheese.  (Should we have a moment of silence?)

If you want to read about our previous bacon research sessions, the link to part one is above, and here’s part two.  There are other food-related experiments and discussions — too many to list — but you can search for them if you want.

For those of you who live nearby and would like to participate in one of these in the future, there has been talk of hosting one on a Saturday afternoon and making a party out of it.  Stay tuned to this blog for further details.

Buffet o’ Bacon 2

Last night I had the Buffet o’ Blog staff at my house again, for one of our regular meetings, and a couple of the guys had become inspired by all the recent bacon talk (such as the Bacon Explosion and the bacon weave).  They volunteered to bring some original bacon dishes over, and there was no way I could argue against that!   So we had Buffet o’ Bacon 2.

No one made the Bacon Explosion this time, but there were 3 original bacon creations for us to research / taste-test.   I will describe these and show you pictures (which came from my cell phone, so excuse the quality).

First of all, we had a bacon pizza.  Well, we called it a pizza, but instead of a regular bread-based crust, it used a bacon weave, topped with pepperoni and lots of cheese.

bacon pizza

The picture really doesn’t do it justice.  When you looked at the bottom of the pieces, you could see the bacon weave.  But most important of all, it tasted awesome!   This was my favorite of the three.

The second dish consisted of a piece of smoked sausage, with a water chestnut slice on each side, all wrapped with bacon, and covered in an original BBQ sauce (made from ketchup, brown sugar, soy sauce, A1, and a small bit of actual BBQ sauce).  It was held together with a toothpick.

bacon-wrapped sausage plus

It was good, although to me the water chestnuts didn’t seem to go with it because of their texture.  But to each their own.  I still ate a couple.

The third item was bacon empanadas.  It was made from a biscuit rolled really flat then folded around bacon, smoked sausage, and a 4-cheese mix.

bacon empanadas

It was really good, although next time we’ll add some type of salsa or gooey cheese to make it less dry.  Of course, it could’ve been dipped in salsa or cheese dip, which would’ve worked well too.  I’d like to have these again.

A couple of the items were jokingly referred to as “gut-bombs”, a reference to our initial Buffet o’ Bacon.  (Follow that link and read the second comment for an explanation.)  This time, the bacon was pre-cooked in all three dishes, to prevent that from happening again.  But, for at least one person, the end-result was the same.  This “research” shows that you should eat bacon responsibly, and that bacon does have a dark side if you don’t respect its power.

our buffet o’ bacon

Last night I had the entire Buffet o’ Blog staff at my house, and we created a Buffet o’ Bacon.  There was regular crispy bacon, baked bacon-wrapped smokies with BBQ sauce (which were awesome!), shish-ka-bobs with bacon, ham, and cheese, and there was some bacon-wrapped croissants.  It even got a little crazy when someone put candy corn on some of the bacon-wrapped croissants before putting them in the oven.

Needless to say, we had a great time.  We shared our unique analysis of the second presidential debate (and it’s too bad our discussion wasn’t recorded for a podcast), and we did some multiplayer network gaming (to build an empire and conquer the world), and we ate lots of bacon.

I do have to say the bacon-wrapped croissants didn’t turn out as well as expected.  Here’s a picture before cooking, when it seemed like a good idea:

The problem was, most of the croissants absorbed all of the bacon grease, and thus were quite “heavy”.  We’re gonna have a talk with that “Important Doctor” that frequents this blog, because he’s talked of using bacon grease in your diet, and there’s some flaws with that plan.   I still think the bacon and cheese plan might work, as long as you drain the bacon grease.

Ironically, the ones with the candy corn turned out pretty good.  The candy melted and most of it ran off, and the bacon grease drained off some, too.  So what was left was like a cracker with bacon and a honey glaze.

All in all, that evening was the awesome!  I do think we’ll have to do this again…