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Posts tagged ‘bacon’

Favorite Side Dishes for Thanksgiving

This week we are offering 15% off holiday essentials – we think of them as the “little helpers” to ease you through this year’s holiday meal and make it extra-special. Things like black truffle butter, duck fat, demi-glace and bacon. Imported French chestnuts and porcini powder bring earthy flavor and umami to recipes like classic stuffing. Speaking of which, maybe your stuffing needs a little foie gras this year. These cubes of flash-frozen foie gras are quite handy at the holidays.

For further inspiration, here are a few of our favorite things to make for the Thanksgiving meal. Just click on the photo for the recipe.

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D'Artagnan Food products

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What is Barding?

Most people agree that everything tastes better with bacon. Wrapping foods in bacon is a fad with serious staying power…and deep historical roots. The technical term for wrapping food in a layer of fat to add flavor and moisture is “barding.” Bacon is commonly used because aside from its signature fat content, the flavor is sweet, salty and smoky at the same time. Perfect for imparting flavor to a lean piece of meat.

Pigeon with bacon and myrtle and wild berries

Classic bacon-wrapped items, such as rumaki (chicken liver or water chestnuts wrapped in bacon and brushed with a sweet soy glaze), angels on horseback (oysters wrapped in bacon), devils on horseback (prunes wrapped in bacon), and bacon-wrapped filet mignon, have been around for years. Veal paupiettes are another classic version of barding.

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Think beyond these old school stand-bys and try baconizing the following:

  • Fruit: dried dates, pineapple wedges, fresh figs
  • Vegetables: bundles of asparagus, green beans or green onions, mushrooms, potato wedges, spicy peppers, cherry tomatoes, avocado wedges, slices of acorn squash
  • Seafood: shrimp, scallops, thick pieces of fish, like seabass or salmon
  • Meat: pork loin, venison tenderloin, meatloaf or meatballs, hamburger sliders
  • Poultry: whole pheasants or guinea hen, bite-sized chicken pieces, bone-in turkey breast, quail
  • Other: hard-cooked eggs, rolls or bread sticks

Once your items are wrapped in bacon, you can choose to bake, broil, grill, or sauté them. If the item you are wrapping in bacon has a short cook time (e.g., a fresh fig), you will need to par-cook the bacon before using to ensure it is fully cooked when the dish is ready to eat. Cook the bacon first in a skillet or the oven until it is half-way cooked, but still pliable. Then proceed to twist, drape or wrap it around the item of your choice, and finish it in the oven, on the grill or in the pan.

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Mix things up by using a wide variety of bacon. Hickory smoked and applewood smoked both have the traditional flavors we all recognize. For something completely different, try duck bacon wrapped around dried apricots or baby bok choy. Ventrèche, or French pancetta, isn’t technically bacon because it is not smoked, but can be used in all the same ways. It is especially good wrapped around figs and blue cheese.

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This squab recipe involves plums wrapped in bacon, which is a variation we highly  recommend. And you can watch Chef Marcus Samuelsson prepare it in our video.

A Salad Post (Scandalous!)

You don’t have to double check – this is the D’Artagnan blog, and you did just read the word “salad.” We are known as hardcore carnivores, but we are hungry omnivores with an appreciation for a well-composed salad. As long as there is some meat on it.

And it’s summer  – the perfect time to try one of our favorite salads, like this smoked duck and cherry salad that serves beautifully as a cold supper on a hot night.

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While this salad is perfect for brunch, it could easily satisfy as a dinner. The winning combination of bacon and eggs works well on a bed of asparagus.

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A somewhat less traditional salad, with the frisée and romaine lettuces lightly browned in butter, makes a delicious surprise.  Then the salad dressing is stirred in the hot pan. Now that is a salad! Watch Marcus Samuelsson demonstrate the technique in this video with Ariane. The rich red meat of squab deserves a bed of salad like this. Did we mention the plums wrapped in bacon? Oh, yeah.

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A yearlong favorite, the simplest salad of all: duck confit shredded and served atop your favorite greens.  Our recipe has an Asian flair, but you can dress the salad with a basic vinaigrette as well, with equally satisfying results. Get the confit crispy under the broiler for maximum effect. Recipe_Crispy_Duck_Salad_HomeMedium

While it seems minimal, this salad of thinly-sliced cucumbers offers a refreshing crunch when paired with lamb.  Is is salad? We will allow it.

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The classic Cobb salad gets a D’Artagnan spin with smoked chicken breast, tiny quail eggs and hickory smoked bacon. We must admit, it’s a a great salad.

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Bacon & Cheese Pull-Apart Bread

Great for brunch, this golden bread is packed with flavorful bacon, cheese, and fresh herbs between each heavenly layer. Adapted from a sweet bread recipe by legendary baker, Flo Braker, this bread is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. Serve warm with unsalted butter for an extra decadent treat.

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Ingredients

2 cups bread flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup warm water
2¼ teaspoon active dry yeast
3 tablespoon sugar
¾ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

for the dough

For the Filling

6 slices hickory smoked bacon, cooked and diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
¾ cup finely chopped soft herbs, such as flat leaf parsley, tarragon, chives, dill, and thyme
½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Coarse salt
Freshly ground black pepper

for the topping

Preparation

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine water, sugar and yeast. Allow to sit for 1 minute. Add salt and softened butter. Add 2 cups of flour and mix on medium speed until combined and a shaggy dough is formed.

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Switch to the dough hook, and with the mixer on low speed, the rest of the flour a few tablespoons at a time until the dough is formed.

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Knead until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and becomes springy and pliable, about 8 minutes.

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Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and form into a round ball. Transfer to a lightly greased bowl and cover with a clean tea towel. Allow to rise into warm location until doubled in size, about 90 minutes.

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Punch down the dough and turn out onto a lightly floured work surface. Allow to rest for a few minutes before rolling out into a 12 inch x 20 inch rectangle.

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Brush the dough with 2 tablespoons of the melted butter, then season with salt and black pepper. Sprinkle the diced bacon and parmesan cheese.

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Then add garlic, herbs and cheddar cheese evenly over the dough.

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Cut the dough into 6 equally sized strips.  A pizza wheel works well for this. Using a large offset spatula to lift the dough, stack the strips on top of each other.

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Cut the stacked dough width wise into 6 rectangles. A large chef’s knife works well. Stack the squares on top of each other, cut side up in a lightly greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pan. Once filled, drizzle the remaining butter over the top.

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Cover the loaf with a clean tea towel and allow to rise for about 45 more minutes.

Bake in a 350 degree F preheated oven for 35 – 40 minutes, or until the dough is golden brown on top and the center of the loaf registers 190 degrees F on an instant read thermometer. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 30 minutes before serving.

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Sweet Bacon! Ideas for Eating Candied Bacon

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It’s a simple enough idea. Take something good (Berkshire pork bacon) and make it even better (add sugar and spice). If you can resist gobbling it up right out of the oven, you’ll have a smoky, sweet treat to play with.

Here is what you will need:

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Coat your bacon in the sugar and spice mixture, lay the strips on the rack and bake in the oven at 350 degrees until the bacon becomes golden and crispy. Now it’s candy.

Let it cool and then try adding it to things. For instance…candy breakfast.

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Try to stop eating these. We dare you.  This completely addictive snack will vanish at your next party. So make a big batch.

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And if there is room for dessert, we recommend a candied bacon sundae.

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Anatomy of a bacon sundae

How about you? What do you like to do with candied bacon?

St. Patrick’s Day SALE

They say everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day… even the French! We’re just happy to eat like the Irish (and maybe quaff a few beers) on this saint’s day.

We’d like you to do the same. This week, enjoy 10% off a selection of beefy, lamby and porky items that will help you to celebrate all things Irish this March 17. Erin go bragh!

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If you are looking for recipes, you can always check our site for inspiration. We like this Irish Stout Lamb Loin with Colcannon for a traditional meal. Of course, there’s always Corned Beef. And then, a meat pie is so satisfying  – this Wagyu Beef  Shepherd’s Pie is especially so.

If a hand pie is what you crave, try these Dingle Pies from The Country Cooking of Ireland by Colman Andrews. They are a savory, rustic staple at Ireland’s oldest festival, Puck Fair.

‘wichcraft presents: bacon

Happy 1oth Anniversary, ‘wichcraft! Check out this video series to learn about their carefully-sourced ingredients. We’re  proud to supply them with our heritage breed bacon, which they put to good use in many delicious sandwiches. In this short video, watch for Tom Colicchio and for Ariane’s bacon socks! And learn how we raise pigs to make the best bacon around.

Mmmm. Might be time for a BLT.

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Our Gift Picks for Food Lovers

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1. Grande Charcuterie Basket  For that cured meat fanatic who makes their own cornichons.

2. Cassoulet Recipe Kit with Authentic Cassole  For the Francophile who loves to throw dinner parties.

3. Medallion of Foie Gras with Black Truffles  For your foodie sister – who likes to spread it on thick.

4. French Ossetra Caviar with Mother of Pearl Spoons  For that elegant couple that seems to have everything, including good taste! 

5. Mangalica Ham with Carving Stand  For your Spain-obsessed cousin who likes to show off their knife skills.

6. Petite Charcuterie Basket  For your brother, the budding gourmand.

7. Torchon of Foie Gras  For the friend who knows that good things do come in small packages.

8. For the Love of Bacon Kit  For that co-worker who’s always posting pictures of bacon on facebook.

9 . The Supreme Gift Basket  For the friend who likes to share……. (hand-deliver this one!)

Check out dartagnan.com for more gift ideas! If you can’t decide, a D’Artagnan gift certificate is suitable for every taste.