Saturday, June 07, 2014

pasta redux

Since I've been using up my recently purchased Costco supplies, I thought I'd slap up a pic of a second quasi-Alfredo, which came out better than the first:

My method for producing the crispy bacon that you see in the above photo is a bit unorthodox. The secret is to avoid letting liquid build up while the bacon is cooking. I use my meat shears to scissor the bacon into small chunks, then drop the bacon pieces into a non-stick pot (yes: pot, not pan—the high walls of the pot do wonders to minimize grease spatter). I start with the gas range's temperature on maximum, letting the bacon cook down for about five minutes, stirring occasionally and separating any slices that are sticking to each other. Fat and water are cooking out of the bacon during this period, so at around the five-minute mark, I reduce the heat to medium and start scooping out the liquid with a ladle. I can't grab everything, but what I grab is enough to expose the frying bacon directly to the pot's interior surface. As time goes on, the liquid becomes almost all fat, and I again scoop it out every few minutes. Stir, scoop, separate; repeat as needed. This continues until the bacon is thoroughly crisped, at which point I use tongs to remove the meat, then pour the rest of the grease into the collection bowl (civilized people never pour bacon fat, or any fat, directly down the kitchen sink's drain). Voilà—crispy bacon, ready for just about any use, from breakfast to salad garnish. In this case, I tossed half the bacon into the quasi-Alfredo and stirred it in; the rest of the bacon was sprinkled on top to preserve some crispiness.

Just about every Alfredo recipe I've ever encountered lists a particular Holy Trinity for the sauce: butter, heavy cream, and cheese. A standard Alfredo uses Parmigiano Reggiano, but this time around, I used Gorgonzola (which, to be honest, I find indistinguishable from bleu and Roquefort). Because these ingredients, once melded together, are fairly bland, the aforementioned recipes normally suggest adding herbs and seasoning. For me, that means powdered garlic and dried parsley—just a soupçon of each. The result smells and tastes magnificent, as was true when I made the above dish yesterday.

Wegmans sells a beautiful triple-crème Brie that my buddy Mike got me hooked on. It's not cheap, so I wouldn't be able to buy it routinely, but I do wonder what it would be like to use that cheese in my quasi-Alfredo. I suspect the result would be positively sexual. I didn't see that sort of Brie being sold at Costco, however, so the Brie issue is moot. For now.


1 comment:

Charles said...

Interesting method for crisping bacon. I've always just cooked it for a long time and then drained it well on paper towels.