18 May 2019

Weekend Cooking: The Bacon Bible by Peter Sherman and Stephanie Banyas

Review of The Bacon Bible by Peter Sherman and Stephanie BanyasIf you eat meat, then you likely agree with me: Pretty much everything tastes better with bacon in it. I can't tell you how excited I was to receive a copy of Peter Sherman and Stephanie Banyas's The Bacon Bible (Abrams, April) as part of the Abrams Dinner Party.

There are a couple of things that make this bacon cookbook stand out above the others. First and foremost is the beginning of the book, which is all about how to make your own bacon. Note that Sherman and Banyas don't stop with just one kind of bacon. Nooooooo.

They provide methods for dry cure bacon, lamb bacon, tuna bacon (yes you read that right), jerk bacon, and many more. Plus Sherman and Banya go beyond bacon proper to tell us how to make all kinds of bacon-flavored sausages as well.

Okay, so you think you're too lazy to make your own bacon. No worries. The Bacon Bible includes tons of recipes that you can make with commercial bacon, and the authors even recommend some brand names. Just a little heads-up: this cookbook contains way more bacon ideas than just crumbling it over your spinach salad or mixing it into an omelet (not that there's anything wrong with that).

The Bacon Bible will tell you how to make sauces, condiments, and rubs. You'll find bacon-infused cocktails (the BarBacon Old-Fashioned has my name on it), bacon-flavored snacks and sides (try the bacon bao buns), plus fresh ideas for salads, sandwiches, and mains. For those of you who need a bacon break (really??), there's a no-bacon recipe chapter. Enjoy! The rest of us will be moving along to the bacon breakfasts or--even better--the bacon desserts.

What's a bacon dessert? How about bacon peanut brittle, bacon caramel popcorn, bacon milkshakes, or bacon chocolate chip cookies, for a start?

Here are some the recipes I've made or have marked to try:

  • review of The Bacon Bible by Peter Sherman and Stephanie BanyasPort wine-bacon marinara (this sounds so good)
  • Bacon meatballs (yum!!)
  • Bacon hummus (with summer drinks on the deck)
  • Bacon chili (double yum)
  • Grilled pork tenderloin Cuban sliders (also good for summer)
  • Grilled cheese with bacon (a no-brainer)
  • Bacon and bourbon cornbread (really delicious: see photo)
  • Bacon-hazelnut hot chocolate (saving for winter)
I'm also attracted to many of the basics and sub-recipes, which can be used not only with recipes in The Bacon Bible but also to amp up my own recipes. Things like taco sauces, BBQ glazes, pork stock, bacon-infused bourbon, vinaigrettes, and salsas.

The recipes from The Bacon Bible that I tried were easy to follow and tasted delicious. I haven't studied the homemade bacon chapters very closely, but the step-by-step directions and explanations of the curing ingredients were easy to understand. I think it'd be fun to try to make my own.

Recommendation: Peter Sherman and Stephanie Banyas's The Bacon Bible is for all the bacon lovers out there. It's also a great guide for experimental home cooks who want learn how to cure homemade bacon. What's more, the cookbook will also serve you well for bacon-free meals. Many of the basics I described earlier will find their way into my everyday cooking--including vegetarian meals.

The following bacon relish recipe was suggested as a topping for soup, but the Abrams Dinner Party members have been using it on everything, especially hamburgers and other grilled meats. It's also great just with tortilla chips. The only problem is that it's so good, many of us have found our families eating it by the spoonful instead of waiting for the rest of dinner to be served. You've been warned.

Review of The Bacon Bible by Peter Sherman and Stephanie BanyasApple-Bacon Relish
about 1 1/2 cups
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 4 ounces (115g) thin-sliced bacon, diced
  • 1/2 small red onion, finely diced
  • 1 large Gala or Granny Smith apple, diced
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) apple cider vinegar
  • pinch of freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
In a large saute pan, heat the oil over medium heat until it begins to shimmer. Add the bacon and cook until golden brown and crisp, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels.

Add the onion and apple to the pan and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the sugar and vinegar and cook until thickened, about 4 minutes. Return the bacon to the pan and cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat, transfer to a medium bowl, and stir in the pepper and parsley. Let cool to room temperature before serving. The relish will keep, tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.
Weekend Cooking hosted by www.BethFishReads.comWeekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page.

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rhapsodyinbooks 5/18/19, 6:02 AM  

I always enjoy cookbooks dedicated to one food, even if it's a food I don't eat or like - they are so creative!

bobbilace 5/18/19, 8:09 AM  

Oh sure.... make me hungry _right_ after breakfast! This sounds absolutely delightful! Thanks for the heads up!

Deb in Hawaii 5/18/19, 11:51 AM  

I don't eat meat but I'll still agree that bacon makes everything taste better. ;-) I am interested in that tuna bacon too. Thanks for sharing!

Jackie McGuinness 5/18/19, 12:31 PM  

Sorry, not a bacon fan!!

(Diane) bookchickdi 5/19/19, 3:46 PM  

The Apple-Bacon Relish and Bacon-Hazelnut Hot Chocolate sound very tempting. There is a restaurant in NYC, Quality Meats, that has a fantastic Grilled Bacon with Peanut Butter and Jalapeno appetizer.

Sharlene @ RealLifeReading 5/20/19, 9:30 AM  
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