Friday, January 30, 2009

Bacon Explosion: The BBQ Sausage Recipe of all Recipes

Ok everyone Now I know this recipe is far from gourmet. I can't help but sharing my love for bacon. I found this recipe a couple weeks back and knew it did not fit here. I just thought I would share it with you anyways. Below are several photos and the recipe thanks to the guys at BBQ Addicts

I found this at BBQ Adicts. These guys are sponsors (and members) of a competitive BBQ team, Burnt Finger BBQ as well as members of the Kansas City Barbecue Society. So they know a thing or two about great BBQ. Their blog has been featured in The New York Times, on Good Morning America and CNN.com. The consider their site the Bible for all things Barbeque! Please check them out.

The other day the guys from BaconToday.com contacted me in search for some barbecue bacon recipes. Of course I have plenty of great uses for bacon in a barbecue pit, but the longer I thought about it, the more I wanted to step it up a notch and clog a few arteries for those guys. Behold, BACON EXPLOSION!!! Here’s what you’ll need…

2 pounds thick cut bacon
2 pounds Italian sausage
1 jar of your favorite barbeque sauce
1 jar of your favorite barbeque rub

To kick off the construction of this pork medley you’ll need to create a 5×5 bacon weave. If the strips you’re using aren’t as wide as the ones pictured, then you may need to use a few extra slices to fill out the pattern. Just make sure your weave is tight and that you end up with a nice square shape to work with.
The next step is to add some barbeque seasoning on top of your bacon weave. Being the barbeque addict that I am, I whipped up a batch of Burnt Finger BBQ’s competition pork rub for this special occasion. Seeing as not everyone has the time, or the expertise, to create a tasty rub of their own, I would recommend trying Bad Byron�s Butt Rub, Rendezvous Famous Seasoning, or Steven Raichlen�s All-Purpose Rub.

Now that you’re pork is well seasoned, it’s time to add more pork. Take two pounds of Italian sausage and layer it directly on top of your bacon weave. Be sure to press the sausage to the outer edges of the bacon creating a patty that is the same thickness all the way across. Most grocery stores carry loose sausage, so just pick out one you like. I chose to go with a mild sausage, but spicy would work just the same. If you really want to get crazy, take a stab at making your own homemade sausage.
Next up is bacon layer number two. Take the remaining bacon slices and fry them up the same way you would for breakfast (or lunch, or dinner, or a midnight snack). If you like soft bacon, make it soft. If you like crunchy bacon, make it crunchy. If you like your bacon burnt to hell so the smoke detectors go off, then burn it to hell so the smoke detectors go off. These pieces are going to be a major part of the inner flavor of our sausage fatty, so cook them your favorite way. Personally, I like my bacon right at the point when it starts to get crispy, but hasn’t quite lost all of the softness yet.
Regardless of how well done you like yours, you’ll need to crumble or chop the cooked strips into bite size pieces and place on top of the sausage layer. (Note-It’s okay, and encouraged, to snack on these pieces while your chopping/crumbling. But keep in mind that once those bacon morsels touch the raw sausage, you’ll need to resist all temptations to nibble. This can and will be difficult, but hospital trips are no fun, so stay strong.)
Since this is a barbeque recipe, we need to add another layer of barbeque flavor. Take your favorite sauce and drizzle it all over the top of the bacon pieces. Personally, I prefer to use Burnt Finger BBQ’s homemade competition sauce, but if you’re torn on what brand to use I recommend Cowtown, Blues Hog, and Fiorella’s Jack Stack. Once you’ve sauced the bacon, sprinkle on some more of the barbeque seasoning you used on the bacon weave.
Now comes the fun part. Very carefully separate the front edge of the sausage layer from the bacon weave and begin rolling backwards. You want to include all layers EXCEPT the bacon weave in your roll. Try and keep the sausage as tight as possible and be sure to release any air pockets that may have formed. Once the sausage is fully rolled up, pinch together the seams and ends to seal all of the bacon goodness inside.
At this point we can start to see the final shape of our Bacon Explosion, but we’re missing one key item. To complte the constuction process, roll the sausage forward completely wrapping it in the bacon weave. Make sure it sits with the seam facing downward to help keep it all sealed up.
Sprinkle some barbeque seasoning on the outside of the bacon weave, and now this bad boy is ready for the smoker. Cook your Bacon Explosion at 225 degrees in a constant cloud of hickory smoke until your Thermapen gives an internal temperature reading of 165 degrees. Normally this will take about 1 hour for each inch of thickness, but that could vary depending on how well you maintain your fire and also how many times you open the smoker to take a peek. Mine took about 2.5 hours, which was right on target with its 2.5 inch diameter.









Now that our Bacon Explosion is fully cooked, we need to add some finishing flavors. Remember that barbecue sauce we used for inner flavor? We’ll be using that same sauce to glaze the cooked bacon weave. Using a basting brush, coat the entire surface with a thin layer of sauce. Sweet sauces are loaded with sugars, so they’ll give your fatty a nice glossy finish. Spicy and vinegar based sauces don’t contain as much, so they won’t set up as well. If you’re dead set on using those sauces, just cut them with a bit of honey and you’ll get the same effect.
Slice the Bacon Explosion into quarter to half inch rounds to serve. If your roll was good and tight, you should now see a nice bacon pinwheel pattern throughout the sausage. Obviously pork is best served by itself, but if you feel the need to make this meat monster into a sandwich, try placing a couple Bacon Explosion slices on a warm Pillsbury’s Grands Biscuit. You’ll reach pork Nirvana is no time flat!



















Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Inauguration Luncheon - Herb Roasted Pheasant with Wild Rice Stuffing

No matter what political party you are affiliated with you have to admit yesterday was an amazing day in the history of the nation. The fact that we now have an African American President is a testiment that there has been great social change.
Below is one of the recipes that was served at the Inauguration Luncheon yesterday afternoon.

The tradition of the Inauguration Luncheon dates back at least a century. Approximately 200 guests including President Obama, Vice President Biden, their families, the Supreme Court, Cabinet designees, and members of Congressional leadership will attend the event in Statuary Hall (U.S. Capitol building).

The menu by Design Cuisine (Arlington, VA) reflects the theme of the inauguration "A New Birth of Freedom," which celebrates the bicentennial of the birth of President Abraham Lincoln.

Growing up in Kentucky and Indiana, President Lincoln favored simple foods including root vegetables and wild game. Later, the president became fond of stewed and scalloped oysters. Apples were a favorite of his for dessert or a snack

10 Pheasant breast, boneless, remove tenders and reserve for stuffing, cut small pocket in side of breast for stuffing
½ cup Olive oil with chopped rosemary, thyme and sage
1 lb. Wild rice, long grain
2 quarts Chicken stock or canned chicken broth
2 Carrots, diced
½ Onion, diced
½ cup Dried apricot, small diced
1 Tablespoon Salt and pepper mix
2 Tablespoons Garlic, roasted

Makes 10 servings.
Boil the rice with the chicken stock, cook until soft and most of the liquid is gone.

Add the onion, carrot, garlic and apricot. Cook until the vegetables are soft and all liquid has been absorbed. Refrigerate rice mixture until cold.

In a food processor, puree pheasant tenders to a paste consistency to use as a binder for rice mix.

When rice is cool, add the pheasant puree to the rice until well mixed. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper and return to refrigerator until ready to stuff.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Make 10 small football shaped patties of the rice mix, stuff inside the pheasant, being careful not to overstuff the pheasant. Rub herb/oil mixture on top and bottom of the pheasant, season with salt and pepper. Place the pheasant on a heavy gauge roasting pan and then in a preheated oven for approximately 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven and cover with lid or foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Serve over sauté of spinach.

*Pheasant can be substituted with chicken.







Saturday, January 17, 2009

Duck Confit

1 large head garlic, left unpeeled, plus 4 large cloves, divided
1/4 cup kosher salt
1 tablespoon finely chopped thyme
1 teaspoon Quatre épices (French four-spice blend)
2 large shallots, finely chopped (1/4 cup)
2 Turkish bay leaves or 1 California, crumbled
6 fresh Moulard, Muscovy, or Long Island (Pekin) duck legs (5 pounds total)
2 whole cloves
5 (7-ounce) containers rendered duck fat

Quatre épices
1 tablespoon white pepper Rounded
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon grated nutmeg

Mince and mash 4 garlic cloves to a paste with a pinch of kosher salt. Stir together paste, kosher salt (1/4 cup), thyme, quatre épices, shallots, and bay leaves in a large bowl. Add duck legs and toss to coat, then marinate, covered and chilled, at least 1 day and up to 2 days.
Wipe off marinade with paper towels.

Trim off 1/4 inch from top of garlic head, then stick 2 whole cloves into head. Melt duck fat in a wide large heavy pot over low heat, then cook garlic head and duck legs, uncovered, over low heat until fat registers approximately 190°F, about 1 hour. Continue to cook duck, maintaining a temperature of 190 to 210°F, until a wooden pick slides easily into thighs, 2 to 3 hours more.
Transfer duck with a slotted spoon to a large bowl (reserve garlic for another use if desired). Slowly pour duck fat through a fine-mesh sieve into a large crock or deep bowl, leaving any cloudy liquid or meat juices in bottom of pot, then pour strained fat over duck legs to cover by 1 inch. (If necessary, shorten drumstick bones 1 to 2 inches using a large heavy knife to fit legs more tightly in bowl.) Cool to room temperature, about 2 hours, then chill, covered, at least 8 hours.

Just before serving, remove duck from fat (reserve fat for another use, such as frying), scraping off most of fat, then cook, skin side down, in a large heavy nonstick skillet over low heat, covered, until skin is crisp and duck is heated through, 15 to 20 minutes




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Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Sage Corn Bread Crust

1 (1-lb) pork tenderloin
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 corn toaster cakes, crumbled, or 1 cup crumbled corn muffin
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh sage
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

Preheat oven to 425°F.
Pat pork dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Heat oil in a 10-inch nonstick skillet over high heat until hot but not smoking, then brown pork, turning, about 4 minutes. Transfer to an oiled shallow baking pan.

Add butter to skillet and cook garlic over moderate heat, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Remove pan from heat and stir in crumbs, sage, and salt and pepper to taste.
Spread mustard over pork and pat half of seasoned crumbs onto mustard, then sprinkle with remaining seasoned crumbs. Roast in middle of oven until an instant-read thermometer inserted diagonally 2 inches into meat registers 155°F, 20 to 25 minutes. (Check after 15 minutes to see if crumbs are getting too dark; if they are, tent loosely with foil.) Transfer to a cutting board, then tent loosely with foil and let stand 10 minutes before slicing (temperature will rise to 160°F).





Pan-Seared Pork Tenderloin with Rhubarb Compote

6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 1/2 tablespoons ground black pepper
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons dried rubbed sage
2 teaspoons fennel seeds, ground in spice mill or in mortar with pestle
2 1/2 pounds pork tenderloins (about 2 large or 3 medium), trimmed of fat and sinew
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Fresh sage sprigs

Rhubarb Compote
6 cups 1-inch pieces fresh rhubarb (from about 2 pounds)
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/3 cup water
Mix 3 tablespoons olive oil, ground black pepper, salt, dried sage, and ground fennel in small bowl. Rub oil mixture all over pork tenderloins; place in large baking dish and let stand 20 minutes.

Heat remaining 3 tablespoons oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork and cook until browned on all sides, about 6 minutes. Reduce heat to medium; cover and cook until instant-read thermometer inserted into center of pork registers 150°F, turning pork occasionally, about 8 minutes longer for medium tenderloins and 10 minutes for large.
Transfer pork to cutting board; let rest 5 minutes. Cut pork crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices; arrange on platter. Sprinkle with parsley; garnish with sage sprigs. Serve with Rhubarb Compote.

Rhubarb Compote
Combine all ingredients in heavy large saucepan. Bring to boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer until rhubarb is very soft and begins to fall apart, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Transfer compote to medium bowl. Refrigerate uncovered until cold, about 3 hours. (Can be prepared 2 days ahead. Cover and keep chilled.) Serve cold.





Friday, January 16, 2009

Beef Tenderloin with Smoked Paprika Mayonnaise

For beef:
2 large garlic cloves
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 (3 1/2- to 4-pound) trimmed beef tenderloin roast, tied
For mayonnaise:
1 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons meat juices from beef, or to taste

Roast tenderloin:
Preheat oven to 500°F with rack in middle.

Mince and mash garlic to a paste with 1 1/4 teaspoon salt. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in paprika, cumin, oil, and 1 teaspoon pepper.

Pat tenderloin dry, then rub garlic mixture all over it. Roast in a roasting pan until an instant-read thermometer inserted diagonally 2 inches into center of meat registers 120°F, 25 to 35 minutes for medium-rare.

Transfer to a platter along with any pan juices and cool, loosely covered with foil, 30 minutes to 1 hour. (Internal temperature will rise to about 130°F as it rests.)

Make mayonnaise:
Stir together mayonnaise, paprika, cumin, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Stir in meat juices and salt to taste