Monday, September 12, 2011

Candied bacon - need I say more?

I saw this recipe last week on Jamie Oliver's Facebook page and socked it away for when clementines are back in season (around Christmas). But after watching a food show that featured maple glazed donuts with bacon on top, I dug it out and made the substitution of marmalade for the sugar and clementine juice sauce. I still plan to try the original, but the tartness of the rind in the marmalade (homemade; many thanks to Bettina Blackford for a splendid gift) was a perfect foil to the richness of the bacon.

Lori's candied bacon salad
Adapted from a Jamie Oliver recipe
Serves 2

For the creamy dressing:
• 2 tablespoons good-quality extra virgin olive oil
• 1 tablespoons white wine vinegar
• 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
• 1 tablespoon nonfat yogurt
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the salad:
• 4 slices of thick bacon or a meaty sliced smoked pork jowl
• 1 clove garlic, peeled
• 2 heaping tablespoons orange marmalade
• 1 jigger of Meyer's rum
• 2 large handfuls of mixed salad leaves, washed and spun dry
• 1 red bell pepper, diced
• 1 seedless clementine or mandarin orange, peeled and sliced horizontally
• a small bunch of fresh mint leaves, optional
• freshly ground black pepper

To make your dressing, put all the ingredients into a large serving bowl, whisk together, and season to taste. You want it to be slightly too acidic, so add a splash more vinegar if you think it needs it. Put to one side.

Get a large frying pan on a medium heat, add the bacon and cook until lightly golden (but not really crispy), turning them every so often. Remove the bacon to a plate and drain all but a tablespoon of the fat. Squash your garlic clove and add it to the pan, then turn the heat up a little. Cook until the clove is golden, remove it, then add the marmalade and rum and whisk until blended. Put the bacon back in, being careful not to touch the syrup. Stir the bacon around until it is coated on all sides and gets sticky. Use tongs to carefully remove the bacon to an oiled plate and let them cool.

Grab your bowl of dressing and add your salad leaves. Add the bell pepper and the orange slices. Add your mint leaves, if using, then use your hands to toss and dress everything thoroughly. Lay your candied bacon on top then pass the bowl around the table and let everyone serve themselves.

Wine suggestion:
Californian Fumé Blanc

Cleanup suggestion:
Pour hot water into the pan with the marmalade drippings and soak the utensils until after dinner. Cleanup will be easier.