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The Bacon Cookbook by James Villas

Is there anything that bacon doesn’t enhance? Yes, even that is enhanced by bacon. This paean to pork bellies is a winner. The standards such as quiche, carbonarra, BLT, are there among 168 intriguing recipes by an experienced cookbook author, including chocolate truffles with peanut butter and bacon, bacon Parmesan biscuits, cauliflower with bacon and pimento, conch and bacon stew, peppered bacon cornbread, Maryland crab and bacon chowder, bacon wrapped salmon, and a whole bunch of stews and salads. Only one complaint. No bacon ice cream. Yes, there is such a thing, I have seen the recipe, and people I know who have tasted it say it is the perfect dessert. He also explains how bacon is made, defines all the different kinds of bacons, tells us how to buy bacon, and tells us about some of the best artisan bacon makin’ places.

A quote “Virtually all bacon is cured, but not all bacon is smoked… Smoking not only imparts more flavor to the bacon but also enhances the curing process and renders some of the fat. Smoking methods vary enormously from one craftsman to the next, but most American and European Artisinal producers smoke their cured sides of bacon naturally and slowly in smokehouses over wood logs or chips (hickory, applewood, oak, cherry, maple, beach) or dried corncobs, a time-consuming technique that can last up to a week or longer for double-smoked bacon. Giant commercial companies can either smoke their bacons with sawdust in stainless-steel smokers for four to six hours or simply inject the meat with liquid smoke. Since long smoking partially cooks bacon and reduces fat content, a pound of raw artisinal bacon yields about three-quarters of a pound cooked, whereas more ordinary, quick-smoked bacon produces as little as a quarter to a third. The ideal result of long, careful smoking is a dense bacon with firm, smooth fat and dark to mahogany lean meat; one that does not shrink excessively in the frying pan; and one that delivers just the right rich balance of meat and crackling fat and a mellow smoky flavor.”

Buy The Bacon Cookbook from Amazon

Published On: 6/19/2018 Last Modified: 3/7/2021

  • Meathead - Founder and publisher of AmazingRibs.com, Meathead is known as the site's Hedonism Evangelist and BBQ Whisperer. He is also the author of the New York Times Best Seller "Meathead, The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling", named one of the "100 Best Cookbooks of All Time" by Southern Living.


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