Saturday, December 24, 2005

Bacon Tempura. And Gumbo Pages.

Taken from some newspaper article somewhere. This guy is a little over-the top for us, but whatever. He batters his bacon in tempura and fries it, so he gets some respect for that.

Healthy eating is all about moderation. That is why, when I'm enjoying deep-fried bacon, I limit myself strictly to two slices. Per meal. No exceptions.

That's right, bacon tempura: the impossible goodness of pork belly made even more impossibly good with a delicate breading and a bath in sizzling-hot canola. This dish, the handiwork of chef Bill McDaniel, is just one reason the Red Cat is my new favorite restaurant in Manhattan.

But back to the bacon: "It actually started almost as a lark," says the chef. "I was talking with one of our hostesses one day, and she said, 'What's better than bacon?' And I said, joking, 'I don't know that there's anything better than bacon — except, maybe, fried bacon.' The next morning I walked in and I knew what I wanted to make." It's ridiculous to say, but McDaniel's decadent approach can be described only as light. It's fluffy-crispy, probably because he makes the batter with club soda; imagine a perfect french fry with bacon stuffed inside. The two strips rest atop a nutrient-rich salad of grilled corn, sugar snap peas, and chipotle aioli. Says McDaniel: "It was off the menu for a while and people started coming in almost angry that we didn't have it." And rightly so.

Bacon Tempura

  • 4 egg whites
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/3 cups cold club soda
  • 1/2 gallon canola oil
  • 12 pieces thick-sliced applewood bacon
  • salt to taste

    In a large bowl, whisk egg whites until they form soft peaks. Fold into egg whites the flour and club soda. In a 4-quart pot, heat oil to 425 degrees. Batter bacon slices and carefully drop into oil a few slices at a time. Do not overcrowd oil as it will overflow, and bacon will cook unevenly. Once the bacon is golden brown, remove from oil using a slotted spoon. Lightly salt.

    Serve 2 fried slices on top of about 2 oz of a grilled-corn or other seasonal salad garnished with the aioli and 2 lime wedges.

  • By the way, the picture I had here kept getting removed by its rightful owner. He claimed I was "stealing his bandwidth." The joke's on him. No one reads this page. Still, if he comes back here, I hope he leaves his address so I can pay him for all the bandwidth I stole of his little photo. That's b/c I am a mature grown-up.

    Also, to make it up to him, I have copied the photo to my server so that Blogger can now pay for the bandwidth, and I can have the photo be nice and big.

    3 Comments:

    Blogger Unsane said...

    It's a sin to eat our brothers.

    6:10 PM  
    Anonymous Chuck said...

    It's also a sin to hotlink to images on other people's web servers, thereby stealing the bandwidth that they pay for.

    12:01 AM  
    Blogger lucky doubles roller said...

    boohoo.

    10:33 AM  

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