Bacon Nation Recipes, Sub-Zero Wolf Kitchens, Arizona Midday and My own Bacon and Tarragon Pasta!

My life has been happily consumed with bacon.  Very productive as well.  I have been filming videos out of the Scottsdale Sub-Zero Wolf Kitchens for Bacon Nation by Peter Kaminsky and Marie Rama.  Over the last week I made the Bacon and Butternut Squash Galette as well as the Chocolate-Peanut-Bacon Toffee for dessert from the book. Filming the 1 minute promos out of the Sub-Zero Wolf kitchens is actually a consuming job. With only one set of ingredients everything has to be perfect when the camera is rolling. This means setting up all of the flavor components, ingredients and procedures in a sequential order so that everything flows smoothly.  It’s amazing how much time goes into a minute of film.
Speaking of television, I filmed the Bacon and Butternut Squash Galette yesterday on NBC’s Arizona Midday. The link for the video will be posted on my Facebook and Twitter today. More great news for the book!  I will be doing a sticker plate book signing  for Bacon Nation August 10th at 1 pm at the Barnes and Noble at Pima and Shea. I will be demonstrating the Bacon Bolognese with Saffron. A southern Italian dish with a Bacon twist. Normally taking hours to simmer, this dish can be done in less than 40 minutes!
On a side note of pasta, I have had so much leftover bacon in my fridge that I had to do something genius and delicious with it. In Italian cuisine, pancetta is a staple and bacon makes for the perfect substitute. I whipped up for you today a beautiful egg yolk pasta with a bacon, wine and butter sauce. Not taking more that 30 minutes to prepare, gourmet is all that I can think of. And it’s easy to make!
Below are three beautiful pictures and recipes of bacon centered dishes.  The star ingredient does not overpower the other flavors in the dish but elevates them.  For bacon lovers by bacon lovers.  And don’t worry, there is butter in the recipes too!
Bacon and Butternut Squash Galette from Bacon Nation
Bacon and Butternut Squash Galette
Serves 8 as a side dish
For the Pastry Crust Dough:
1 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour, plus flour for rolling out the crust
8 Tbsp (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 Tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
1/4 tsp salt
3-4 Tbsp ice-cold water

 

For the Galette:
5 slices thick-cut applewood-smoked bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces Olive oil, if necessary
1 3/4 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded  and cut into pieces 2-by-1/2-inch-thick long (4-4.5 cups)
1/4 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 large leeks, white and pale green parts only, cut in half, well rinsed, and thinly sliced crosswise (1.5 cups)
8 cherry tomatoes, cut in quarters
1 medium-size clove garlic, minced
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Make the pastry crust dough: Combine the flour, butter, tarragon, and 1/4 tsp salt in a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Drizzle 3 Tbsp of the cold water evenly over the mixture and pulse until the dough holds together. If necessary, add more water, 1 tsp at a time, and pulse a few more times, just until the dough holds together. Remove the dough from the food processor and gently press it into a 5-inch disk. Wrap the disk of dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 1 hour or as long as overnight.
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
While the dough chills, make the filling for the galette: Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until browned but not too crisp and most of the fat is rendered, 5 to 7 minutes, stirring often and adjusting the heat as necessary. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain, reserving the bacon fat in the skillet. You should have about 2.5 Tbsp of fat. If necessary, pour off enough fat or add enough olive oil to the skillet to measure 2.5 Tbsp.
Place the squash on a large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle 1 Tbsp of the bacon fat from the skillet over the squash. Sprinkle the 1/4 tsp of salt over the squash and season it with pepper to taste, tossing the squash to coat it with the bacon fat. Spread the squash out in a single layer on the baking sheet and bake it until golden brown around the edges, 16 to 18 minutes, turning the pieces after about 8 minutes. Remove the squash from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees F.
Heat the remaining bacon fat in the skillet over medium heat. Add the leeks and cook, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until the leeks have softened and are lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and garlic and cook, partially covered, until the tomatoes and garlic have softened slightly, about 1 minute.
To assemble the galettte, lightly flour a work surface. Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the pasty crust dough out into a very thin 12-to-13-inch round. Transfer the dough to a large ungreased nonstick baking sheet. Arrange the squash in an even layer in the center of the round dough, leaving about a 1 to 1.5 inch border of dough. Distribute the leek and tomato mixture evenly over the squash. Sprinkle the drained bacon evenly over the vegetables. Fold the border of dough toward the center of the galette so that the dough covers the outer rim of the filling. If the filling looks a little dry, drizzle the top with a little olive oil. Pleat and pinch the border of dough as necessary where the edges overlap. Brush the dough with the beaten egg (you don’t need to use it all) and bake the galette until the crust is cooked through and golden at the edges, 30 to 35 minutes.
Place the baking sheet with the galette on a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

 

My Bacon and Tarragon Pappardelle




 

For the pasta dough:

 

4 pounds all-purpose flour

2 eggs

4 egg yolks

1 tsp salt

 

For the sauce:

 

4 slices bacon, diced

1 shallot, sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup fruity (not sweet) white wine

2 tsp salt

freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 stick butter, unsalted, cold and cubed

1 Tbsp tarragon, chopped

 

In a mixing bowl combine the flour, eggs, egg yolks and salt.  Mix until the dough is combined and turn out onto a floured surface.  Kneed for 4 minutes until smooth and cover with plastic wrap.  Let rest for 10 minutes on the counter.  Once rested, roll the dough out to 1/8th of an inch thick.  Cut the sheet of dough into 1/2 inch wide strips.  Dust with flour and set aside.

 

Heat a large pot of water to a boil and well salt.  Whilst the water is heating, heat a saute pan to medium heat and cook the bacon for 5 minutes.  Drain the excess fat and add in the shallot and garlic, cooking for 2 minutes.  Deglaze with the white wine and reduce until there is 3 Tbsp of liquid in the pan.  Turn off the heat and add in the butter.  Whisk continuously until the sauce has thickened and is homogeneous.

 

Add the pasta dough to the boiling water and cook for 4 minutes.  Drain and add the pasta to the sauce and re-heat on low flame.  Serve immediately and garnish with the tarragon.

Chocolate-Peanut-Bacon Toffee from Bacon Nation

 

Makes about 1 1/2 pounds.
If you make this toffee, be prepared to give some away or you will surely eat it all. If you like to make sweets as a holiday gift, add this brittle toffee to your repertoire. While it’s delicious at room temperature, the toffee is wonderful to freeze and then break off a piece after dinner when you want something sweet but you don’t want to commit to a full-on dessert.
5 slices applewood- or hickory-smoked bacon, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 1/2 cups lightly salted cocktail peanuts, plus 2 tbsp chopped lightly salted cocktail peanuts
15 tbsp (1 3/4 sticks, plus 1 tablespoon) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch-thick pieces, plus butter for greasing the baking pan
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
4 oz 70% cacao dark chocolate, finely chopped

 

1. Butter a 15 X 10 X 1-inch nonstick baking pan and place it on a heatproof surface.
2. Cook the bacon in a medium-size skillet over medium heat until lightly browned and crisp and most of the fat is rendered, 5 to 8 minutes, stirring often and adjusting the heat as necessary. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain, reserving the bacon fat in the skillet.
3. Blot the drained pieces of bacon with paper towels to remove any excess grease. Set aside 3 tbsp of the bacon pieces. Combine the remaining bacon pieces with the 1 1/2 cups of peanuts in a medium-size bowl.
4. Pour the bacon fat from the skillet through a wire-mesh strainer set over a small bowl and then place 1 tbsp of the strained bacon fat in a heavy, deep 3- or 4-quart saucepan.
5. Add the butter and sugar to the saucepan and cook over medium-high heat until the butter is almost melted, less than 1 minute. Then whisk constantly until the sugar is incorporated into the butter and the mixture is smooth, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the vanilla. Attach a candy thermometer securely to the side of the saucepan and let the butter and sugar mixture boil, whisking occasionally, until it is a deep golden and registers 300˚F on the thermometer.
6. Remove the saucepan from the heat and immediately stir in the bacon and peanut mixture. Pour the hot toffee mixture carefully into the center of the prepared baking pan. Using a butter knife or metal spatula, spread the toffee mixture so that it covers about two thirds of the surface of the pan and is slightly less than 1/2-inch thick. Let the toffee set for about 30 seconds, then sprinkle the chocolate on top, spreading it out with the butter knife or spatula. Sprinkle the remaining 2 tbsp of chopped peanuts and the reserved bacon evenly over the top of the toffee and then freeze it until firm, about 30 minutes.
7. Slip the spatula under the toffee to loosen it from the pan and then break the toffee into pieces. The toffee can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to five days or in the freezer for up to two weeks.
Chef Matt Grunwald

About Chef Matt Grunwald

Professional Chef, Alumni of The Culinary Institute of America-NY, Food Writer for North Valley Magazine, Celebrity Chef on Arizona Midday and Sonoran Living Live, Karate Black Belt, 11th Annual San Pellegrino Almost Famous Chef People's Choice Winner

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