Monday, July 28, 2008

The Secret Ingredient

Cooks these days are experimenting with all kinds of wacky combinations and finding that really delicious tastes result - one standard example, chocolate caramels with smoked salt on top. Who woulda thunk it?

Last week, I was reading about Cookiecrumb's savory clafoutis and Molly's apricot tart in the same day.
I left a jesting comment on Cookiecrumb's blog about adding bacon and nectarines to a clafoutis, only half seriously, but then when I was reading about the fruit tart, I thought, "Man, nectarines would be great in a tart like that - and why not bacon, too?" So, I set to work to combine those two individually-delicious-but-odd-together ingredients in a tart similar to Molly's but with a Cookiecrumb flair.

I expected the bacon to add salt and texture to the tart but what it actually added was smoke. As it cooked with the fruit, the bacon softened (even though I crisped it first in a pan) and the salt was lost in the sweetness of the tart, but the smoky quality remained and it really was a fun undertaste (is that a word?) that sneaked in around the fruitiness and sweetness. I still wanted a little saltiness, so I tried adding fleur de sel to my next bite of tart but it was not a success, too aggressively salty and raw.

As with all experiments, some parts work- and the rest blow up the lab! Another time, I'd still add the bacon as my secret ingredient but with more realistic expectations.

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8 Comments:

Blogger Dagny said...

More proof that bacon makes everything better.

Monday, July 28, 2008  
Blogger namastenancy said...

Interesting experiment and something I would never have though of. But my grandmother made the best cookies with clarified bacon fat; nothing was thrown away in her household.

Monday, July 28, 2008  
Blogger Kitt said...

Dagny said it for me.

Did you say "Eureka!"?

Monday, July 28, 2008  
Blogger sara said...

woah...
concept.
i need to really think about this one... I'm vegatarian, but I'm thinking I need to try this....

Monday, July 28, 2008  
Blogger cookiecrumb said...

Good going, Zoomie, however far it took you. Mm.

Also: "Undertaste" IS a word. Remember in Rosemary's Baby? "It has a chalky undertaste," she said of old Mrs. what's her name's chocolate mousse... right before she got ritually raped.

Monday, July 28, 2008  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Dagny, as if we needed it!

Nancy, we should all adapt your grandmother's ways - no waste!

Kitt, no, but I should have!

Sara, I suppose you could find vegetarian bacon bits but the thought doesn't appeal to an old carnivore like me...! :-)

Cookiecrumb, only you would remember that quote from Rosemary! What a creepy movie - I haven't thought about it in _years_!

Monday, July 28, 2008  
Blogger katiez said...

Ah, bacon.... My old favorite was a grilled bacon and peanut butter sandwich... Yet, improves most things!

Friday, August 01, 2008  
Blogger Zoomie said...

KatieZ, actually, that sounds really good! :-)

Friday, August 01, 2008  

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