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.
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).
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.
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:
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.