08 May 2010

BaconCamp SF 2010

We went to BaconCamp SF2010 today in the Mission District of San Francisco.

My wife talked about the food that we had prepared, then she introduced me to talk about the special sauce.

I started like this. "Not long ago, I called mayonnaise "white death." Like so many others in this country, I was brainwashed to believe that fat, especially "artery clogging saturated fat was unhealthy." It could only lead to an early grave."

You see we had made some homemade mayonnaise, but instead of using normal cooking oil, we used rendered bacon fat to make it. It is delectable. Baconnaise is the new black.

Here is the handout we prepared for the group at BaconCamp.

BET (Bacon Endive Tomato): - Organic red endive, organic cherry tomatoes, baconnaise, crumbled bacon

Baby artichokes:  Steamed organic baby artichokes, baconnaise crumbled bacon

“There are five foundation sauces or basic sauces, called in French grandes sauces or sayces meres. Two of them have a record of two hundred years behind them; they are the "bechamelle" and the "mayonnaise." They have lasted so long, not only because they are very good, but also because they are so adaptable and provide a fine basis for a considerable number of other sauces.”

Baconnaise Recipe
Adapted from Serious Eats and the book Fat by Jennifer McLagan

3/4 cup rendered bacon fat, melted
, slightly warm, but not hot (don’t cook the eggs!)
3/4 cup canola oil
 or other lightly flavored, less-saturated oil (e.g. avocado)
2 egg yolks

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon water, plus more to correct consistency
about 1 tbsp 
lemon juice (more or less to taste)

salt and pepper to taste

4 strips crisp bacon, crumbled

1. Combine bacon fat and canola oil in 2-cup liquid measuring cup. Whisk to combine.
2. Add egg yolks, Dijon mustard, mayonnaise, and water to bowl of food processor. Run processor for 5 seconds to combine. Scrape down sides of processor bowl with rubber spatula. With processor running, slowly drizzle fat into bowl in a thin, steady stream (added over about 2 minutes), stopping and scraping down sides as necessary. Add lemon juice, salt, and pepper to taste, and adjust consistency with water until thick, smooth, and creamy, but not mouth-coatingly waxy. Stir in crumbled bacon bits, if using. Store in refrigerator in airtight container for up to two weeks.

For our contributions at BaconCamp SF 2010, we used Farmers Hickory Brand Natural Applewood Smoked Center Cut Bacon (CostCo), cage-free eggs, juice from a Meyer Lemon, and canola oil.

Look at the ingredients: a simple emulsion of egg yolk, bacon fat, canola oil, lemon juice, and water. By far, the worst ingredient in there is canola oil, and a lot of folks believe that it is actually good for you. I have moved to the belief that if the food is something that we, as a species, could have eaten 15,000 years ago, it's probably ok. Food that has been around for less time than that carries more risk. So pork, lemon, and eggs are good, whereas canola in my mind is a question mark.

So, we aren't going to eat the stuff by the tablespoon, but it is delicious as a condiment. Try it on a baconburger or BLT.

The judges at BaconCamp overall liked the BET, but I think one of them got a piece of endive from which the baconnaise had fallen out. The baby artichoke was blander. We would have been much better off if we had really heaped on the baconnaise. One judge dinged it because he could "taste the artichoke."

All in all fun. We will be back next year.

By the way, we met a guy, Tom,  from the Wooly Pigs Company. He sold us a package of jowl bacon from their Mangalitsa herd. It was like a drug deal--cash for a package. They have been in business a few years. I can't wait to try it. I won't blog a review, but watch my tweets.

White Death

By the way, I got the name white death from a comic strip from the 80s called Arnold. It was a favorite of mine. Arnold was a sick little dude.

Perhaps he was talking about Hellman's mayonnaise
Soybean oil, whole eggs, vinegar, water, egg yolks, salt, sugar, lemon juice, natural flavors, calcium disodium EDTA (used to protect quality)