Monday, April 30, 2018

Greenwood: American Kitchen and Bar in Highwood, Illinois

MY LIFE WITH BACON CONTINUES this week with a visit on my wedding anniversary to a new place in Highwood: Greenwood.

The site of an old bowling alley, Greenwood is naturally a complete makeover. And the interior wood paneling is actually greenish. It was very busy on Saturday night, but the noise was not overwhelming. Our server Sarah and her able assistant-in-training, Matt, were very attentive and even watched me do a bar trick (with which they will make lots of money).



The meal was excellent and very reasonably priced. Owner and head chef Mark Newman came out to visit when I asked where the bacon came from. Turns out that it's from the North Country Smoke House in New Hampshire! I was given some of this bacon as a gift in the past from my friend Bob at NEPS, and it was excellent. You can find my evaluation in the archives.

For my main course, I ordered the skirt steak, and in an attempt to go low carb, I did not want the potatoes; instead  I ordered a brussels sprouts side, which contained the aforementioned bacon. The sprouts were a little more cooked than I prefer, but the dish was excellent.

I highly recommend Greenwood. They certainly know how to source their ingredients!




Friday, November 17, 2017

Marrying Bacon, and A New Location for Bar Bacon in NYC

MY LIFE WITH BACON continues with an old tweet by a justice and a new twist, and a new location for Bar Bacon.

BACON IN THE NEWS

Aside from Kevin Bacon being selected for a new Tremors reboot pilot, it appears that bacon has made it to Congressional testimony this week. Interesting article in Business Insider:
"Patrick Leahy, a top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, on Wednesday questioned a federal judgeship nominee's ability to interpret Supreme Court precedent over a tweet about wanting a constitutional right to marry bacon."
Back in 2015, Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett tweeted a satirical comment, basically saying that same-sex marriage was a slippery slope and that he'd support marrying his bacon. 

Funny - if you look at the tweet, 76 people "loved" it at that point in time.

This is pretty funny, and reminiscent of the young man in the UK (about whom I've written previously) who changed his name to "Bacon Double Cheeseburger" and that his fiance was having a little trouble with that.

In other news, one of my favorite Hells Kitchen bars in New York, Bar Bacon, is opening a new location in the West Village in NYC

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Robber Shoots Himself in Wiener at Hot Dog Stand

MY LIFE WITH BACON CONTINUES this week with another crime story.

BACON IN THE NEWS

Ok, while this one isn't exactly bacon (but it could contain pork), a man was arrested after having robbed a hot dog stand in Chicago. After robbing the place, he reached for his pistol and apparently shot himself in the leg and in the pecker. Even though this isn't directly about bacon, it is about a smoked meat product, possibly pork, and the story is too good to pass up. The robbery happened at Maxwell's Classic Polish on the South side. Here's a picture and a quote from the Chicago Tribune:


"Police were called to 700 block of West 116th about 6 a.m. Tuesday  regarding a person shot and found Pouncy with two gunshot wounds, one to the right thigh and one to the penis, according to his arrest report."


Saturday, October 28, 2017

Home Smoked, Home Cured, Home Cooked, Cooking with Gas

MY LIFE WITH BACON continues by cooking up some great home cured, home smoked, home cooked bacon, about which I blogged recently.

This is on cast iron. Jack's high school football team won its state playoff game; COOKIN' WITH GAS: http://jwcdaily.com/2017/10/27/spotlight-charleston-scouts-had-a-good-time-in-playoff-win/



Thursday, October 19, 2017

Home-Cured Bacon, Inovasi, and More Bacon Crime

MY LIFE WITH BACON continues with some good, old-fashioned home-cured and smoked bacon, plus the standard Bacon In The News section.

I really like the flavor profile of the spice cardamon, so I searched for a bacon cure recipe using that ingredient. Check out the Wikipedia article on cardamom; pretty interesting. Had no idea it was commonly used in Scandanavia. Apparently lots of folks from the middle east and India visited the nordic countries as far back as Viking days. A quote from the article:
"It is a common ingredient in Indian cooking. It is also often used in baking in the Nordic countries, in particular in Sweden, Norway and Finland, where it is used in traditional treats such as the Scandinavian Jule bread Julekake, the Swedish kardemummabullar sweet bun, and Finnish sweet bread pulla. In the Middle East, green cardamom powder is used as a spice for sweet dishes, as well as traditional flavouring in coffee and tea. Cardamom is used to a wide extent in savoury dishes. In some Middle Eastern countries, coffee and cardamom are often ground in a wooden mortar, a mihbaj, and cooked together in a skillet, a mehmas, over wood or gas, to produce mixtures as much as 40% cardamom."
The recipe I used for the cure is as follows (and of course I added curing salt), from here. This is apparently an "Old School" "Old World" recipe.
Black Forest Spice Mixture
125gm White pepper
 25gm Ground nutmeg
 25gm Ground mace
 15gm Ground cardamom
200gm White sugar
And a picture of the cure in a small bowl:

I obtained my pork belly from Inovasi, a terrific restaurant located in Lake Bluff, IL. The proprieter, Jon des Rosiers, is continually changing his farm-to-table recipes, and uses only locally raised meat.

This belly is from a pig farm in Wisconsin, and here's the raw belly. Lookin' good:
Carefully coated with the cure:

Packaged up and ready to sit, flip daily, for a total of ten days:

After the ten days, I rinsed it off thoroughly, and set it in a separate refrigerator for another week, with a pan of kosher salt underneath, to dry cure a little longer. The belly really firmed up and smelled wonderful.

Then it was time for the smoker. 225 degrees until the internal temperature hit 150, with large applewood chunks. Here is what it looked like after coming out of the smoker. The aroma was 'to die for'...


Pan frying in cast iron. Incredible flavor, great color, used in a brussels sprouts recipe too.


BACON IN THE NEWS

This week, a woman was reported to the police for assaulting her boyfriend with a package of bacon. As usual, you 'can't make this stuff up'. This crime was, of course, pretty tame compared to attempting to KILL your boyfriend using bacon (see my presentation at last year's Camp Bacon in a recent post). Here's the link.


GO EAT SOME BACON. See you next time...


Friday, August 11, 2017

Summer 2017: My Full Presentation from Camp Bacon!

MY LIFE WITH BACON CONTINUES with the full presentation I gave at Zingerman's Camp Bacon. This is mostly self-explanatory, but I've added a little text to help you. If you want to invite me to a BaconFest to present this, I'm happy to do so!

First, a photo of Debbie and I with Ari Weinzweig, founder of Zingerman's deli in Ann Arbor, with Jordan, one of Ari's co-workers.

Scroll down for a really funny video of a crime involving bacon.





Yes, my presentation was indeed about bacon-related crimes and incidents.


Burned bacon is extremely unhealthy. Don't do it.

There are a lot of chemicals in bacon, most are good for you. In fact, bacon is extremely low on the insulin index. Nitrates and nitrites are not bad (many studies have proven), but Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons are truly bad news. So don't overcook your bacon.

Every hear of Di-Hydrogen Oxide? 
But PAHs are truly bad.

There is actually a parody site about Di-Hydrogen Oxide.






I need to follow up with this guy to see how his engagement worked out.






This girl actually threw raw bacon at the 'pigs' and was arrested.
Here's a news report with video!



 There really is a lot of crime involving bacon.



 Stranger than fiction. I have the police and court reports is you want them.










Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Speaking at Zingerman's Camp Bacon June 3rd, 2017!

MY LIFE WITH BACON continues this week with an announcement: I will be speaking at Zingerman's Camp Bacon at the Main Event on June 3rd.

My topic: Crimes and Incidents Involving Bacon.

If you're a regular reader, you know what I'm talking about.

Here's the first slide from my talk. I'll also be on NPR in Ann Arbor talking about Camp Bacon as well!


National Public Radio in Ann Arbor interviewed me. Here's the link: http://wemu.org/post/chicago-food-blogger-share-his-love-bacon-ann-arbor#stream/0