Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Cooking with Ryan: bacon cups and sweet potato hash

This might be the most popular dish I have ever created, just because of the word "bacon". The bacon cups were just that. Cups made of bacon. I made them out of pancetta, actually, which is sort of a circle cut bacon, though with different overall spices. Still, it cooked the same. The cups were made by baking the slices in between two muffin trays, so they would hold that cup shape. Unfortunately, my muffin pans weren't bought at the same time, and as luck would have it, only a few of the cups actually turned into fully formed cups. Oops.
As for the hash, bacon played a huge role here as well. I first fried up a few strips of bacon, and cooked the hash, a simple blend of sweet potato, celery and onions, as well as a few bits of seasoning, like paprika, red pepper and garlic salt, in the bacon fat. It was so unhealthy, but so delicious. The most important thing I learned is how hard it is to cut through a sweet potato. That is some thick starch, brother. Also, it is nearly impossible to find pancetta. I ended up finding an Italian deli near my house and was mostly surprised that they have Italians in Minnesota. I thought Nick Punto was the last one, and now it was back to all Norwegians and Germans. Silly me.

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