Friday, May 23, 2008

Assuring Myself a Spot

If there is a cooking hell, I just wrote myself a ticket...

Bacon aioli:

What can I say. It's almost like an oxymoron, isn't it?

I had cooked off a few strips of bacon that I found tucked away in my fridge intending to use it to top a nice chef salad. And then there were all those yummy drippings and crispy bits hanging around in the pan that, as usual, I was having a hard time coming to terms with having to throw away. And then I cooked off some potato slices for planned salad and afterward dressed them with a bit of vinegar, some seasonings and a little dill and a drizzle of the bacon drippings and they were yummy with a capital Y. And as I was forcing myself to cover the dish and put it in the fridge to chill for later the inspiration struck....instead of aioli made with olive oil, why not try using all that bacony, yummy goodness in place of the oil?
So, same deal as a traditional aioli, egg yolk and lemon juice and a small clove of garlic plus approximately equal measures of bacon drippings and olive oil. And once it was aioli-ified, I sort of I went a little crazy and threw a strip of the cooked bacon into the food processor, too.
The result was crazy aioli on crack.
Bacon crack.
And on the fresh, still warm dill vinagrette dressed potatoes that still hadn't made it into the fridge? It was hard to rein myself in and leave enough of them for our salads.
It was completely, utterly amazing with a nice mellow smoky bacon undertone that really accentuated the already addictive bright and fresh and creamy of the regular version.
So as far as aioli goes, this incarnation is as least as versatile and delicious as the plain ol' stuff which is to say that it would be good on or in everything from sandwiches to steamed vegetables. It's the kind of thing anyone with an egg, some olive oil and a whisk should make friends with.

I used a generous dollop of the finished product to make a slightly creamy bacon-infused bleu cheese vinagrette by whisking in some additional vinegar and oil and then adding the crumbled cheese. It went on top of this salad:

and yes...that's more bacon you see there on the salad :)

I'm shameless, I know.

That salad looks so yummy! Definitely will be copying you this week! Thanks for the inspiration!

-serious drool-
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