Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Candied Bacon & Bailey's Ice Cream

Finally!  Success! Eureka!  I have figured out how to make Bailey's ice cream that will actually freeze into ice cream!  In my prior attempts, I have only managed to make Bailey's milkshake.  I was successful with my Malt & Nutella ice cream, which was non-alcoholic.  But since alcohol does not freeze well, I previous attempts at an alcoholic ice cream was thwarted by the laws of science.  Well, I don't give up that easily.  No matter how many batches of alcoholic milkshake I'd have to endure (which really isn't so bad).
See, my mistake was adding the alcohol component too early in the process. And now that I've figured out the secret, VICTORY IS MINE!
While I was at it, why not add some candied bacon as well?  The little piggy on my shot glass certainly approved.

Candied Bacon

thick cut bacon
raw cane sugar
Preheat oven to broil.  Line a baking sheet with foil.  Trust me, this will make the clean up so much easier.  
Place a rack over a foil lined baking sheet.  Coat each slice of bacon with raw cane sugar on both sides.  Shake off excess.  
Place each slice of sugared bacon flat on the rack, not touching each other.  

Broil in oven for about 5 minutes or until bacon is crispy.  Watch carefully because the sugar could burn very easily.
While the bacon is broiling, line another baking sheet with foil that is slightly crumpled.  

Once the bacon is ready to be removed from the oven, transfer the slices of bacon over to the other foil lined baking sheet to cool.  If you leave them on the rack, they will get stuck and be hard to remove.  The crumpling in the foil will help drain away excess grease as well.

Bailey's Ice Cream Recipe
1 cup whole milk
1 pint heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
3 oz Bailey's Irish Cream
candied bacon for garnish
Combine milk, cream, sugar and vanilla in a large saucepan.  Slowly bring to a boil over low-med heat, stirring occasionally.  

Beat the 2 eggs in a metal bowl.  One ladle at a time, very slowly add the hot milk mixture to the beaten eggs while whisking furiously.  Yes, furiously.  You want the hot milk mixture to gently temper the eggs without cooking them.
Once all the hot milk mixture is incorporated into the egg custard mixture, pour the custard mixture back into the pot and slowly bring to a gently simmer.  Do not let this boil.  Stir frequently with a wooden spoon until custard is at 170ºF or coats the back of the spoon.  Take mixture off heat.  Stir occasionally, letting custard cool to room temperature.  Cover and refrigerate for 1 to 3 hours.  The colder the mixture, the better.
Follow instructions of ice cream maker to turn the custard into ice cream!  Once the custard starts looking more like ice cream, slowly drizzle in the Bailey's.  Scoop the ice cream into a freezer safe container and freeze for at least 1 hour.
Either tear up the candied bacon to sprinkle on top of the ice cream or garnish each serving with a half slice (maybe even a whole slice) of candied bacon.  If you have enough candied bacon leftover from the "taste tests", do both.
Makes 4 cups of ice cream.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Rosemary Pork Loin with Crispy Sort-Of-Cracklings

Rosemary Pork Loin
I say "sort-of-cracklings" because my pork loin didn't come with the skin on.  It only had the standard layer of fat that I would usually trim away, leaving only a thin layer to keep the meat moist.  This time, I decided to keep the fat and do a slow roast to render away most of the fat, leaving a crisp, crackling-like (or crack-like) layer on top.  I had to restrain myself from eating all of the sort-of-crackling by itself.
The long and slow roast at a lower temperature combined with what started out as a thick layer of fat resulted in the most tender pork loin that I have ever roasted.

Rosemary Pork Loin with Sort-of-Cracklings
1 1/2 lb pork loin w/ fat layer intact
4 tbsp fresh rosemary
1 tsp salt
*Optional: potatoes, carrots or other root vegetables

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Rub pork loin with rosemary, salt and pepper.  Place in baking dish or roasting pan, fat side up.  Roast for 80-90 min.  *Optional: After 40 minutes, arrange root vegetables in the baking dish/roasting pan around the pork loin.  Toss the root vegetables around after 15 minutes.  The fat layer should have mostly rendered away, leaving only a thin, crispy layer.
Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.  Do not skip this step, resting allows the juices to redistribute and keeps the meat moist.  Slicing without resting your meat will dry it out, as all the meat juices will leak out.  Center should be the slightest blush of pink or meat thermometer should read 145 degrees F.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Roasted Bone Marrow Tacos

Roasted Bone Marrow Tacos
I scored some nice marrow bones at NorthGate Market for $1.79.  According to the label, they were sold for soup making, but were the perfect size for roasting.  They were nice and wide, perfect for scooping out every delectable morsel.
I was pretty excited about lunch and then I realized that I forgot to pick up a baguette to make the crostini that would be the vehicle for my meat butter.
I found some tortillas that I had frozen (because Pancho Villa packaged waaaay too many fresh made tortillas in one bundle).  That's when inspiration hit.  Roasted Bone Marrow Tacos!
Meat butter tastes  just as fantastic on a tortilla as it does on toast or crostini.  In fact, it does a much better job of holding everything together.

Roasted Bone Marrow Tacos
flour or corn tortillas
marrow bones cut into 2 1/2 to 3" sections or split lengthwise
cold salted water
sea salt
grapeseed oil or olive oil (not the good stuff)
shallot, thinly sliced
Soak marrow bones in cold salted water for about 20 minutes.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Pat marrow bones dry. Rub with oil and lightly sprinkle with sea salt.  Arrange on baking dish so that the widest end of the marrow bones are facing down.  If the bones are split lengthwise, the marrow part should face up.  Roast for about 20 minutes, depending on the thickness of the bone.  When done, the marrow should form a golden brown crust on top and be cooked through but not melt.  If the marrow is melting, then it is overcooked.
While the bones are roasting, use kitchen shears to cut the parsley leaves into a bowl. Toss with the shallots and juice from the lemon.  Warm up the tortillas.
Scoop the marrow onto the tortillas and top with a bit of parsley salad.