Salt Lake City’s Chef War “Battle Bacon”

If you’re lucky enough to live in the Salt Lake City area you are in for a real treat. Two local chefs will enter into the kitchen stadium to prove who is the true master of the swine in “Battle Bacon!”

Robert Deni from Cucina Toscanna and Tom Call from Fresco Italian Café will have to show their skill be creating three different dishes using glorious pork belly. At first that doesn’t seem too hard, I can think of twenty different dishes right off the top of my head but since the popularity of bacon has skyrocketed thanks to the internet it gets harder and harder to make a truly original dish.

To win this they are going to have to make something new that will blow away the bacon fanatics because unlike other kitchen battles their food isn’t just going to be judged by some up tight food critics the audience also gets a voice. Audience members will taste the dishes and vote for their favorite.

It all takes place on Tuesday, Jan 31st from 6:30pm to 9:00pm at the Ferguson Showrooms in Salt Lake City. Tickets are $39 a person and can be purchased at chefwar.com

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8r9h7G-G1x4&hl=en_US&feature=player_embedded&version=3]

If anyone out there gets a chance to go please snaps some photos and videos for us and if your able to sneak out some of the samples and send them our way.

The Pig Fat Conspiracy, Why We Stopped Using Lard

The Jan 6th episode of NPR’s Podcast Planet Money had a very interesting topic, Lard. They talked about how everyone used pig fat for cooking a hundred years ago but now it’s almost no where to be found.

Most people think the whole reason lard cooking went away is because it’s unhealthy for you but that’s really only half of the reason. It turns out it was a combination of the back lash from the 1906 novel “The Jungle” that exposed the horror stories of the meat processing world and Capitalism.

Although “The Jungle” is fiction it was very well researched and showed some of the very unsanitary and dangerous conditions in the world of animal products. After it was released people demanded better care be taken in the preparation of their food and people even started to shy away from mass produced meats. Slaughter houses today might not be perfect but there a heck of a lot better than 100 years ago.

Then you have the company that produced the lard alternative Crisco, Procter & Gamble. They weren’t always in the business of producing healthier ways of making fried chicken. They were in the candle business, and business was good. Everyone from the richest tycoon to the poorest steel worker needed candles. It was the only way a person could do anything after the sun went down besides sleep.

But then something happened that changed the world, the light bulb. The light bulb was on the fast track of replacing the need for candles in America and that meant Procter & Gamble had to reassess their business. The candles they produced were make out of cotton oil and with not as many candles needed that gave them a cotton oil surplus.

What did they do with that extra oil; they got a German scientist to figure out a way for people to eat it. By using the process of Hydrogenation they turned the now useless cotton oil into tubs of white paste that resembled lard and called it Crisco. Then it was as simple as starting a mass advertising campaign to convince the American people Crisco was better than lard and the rest is history.

Is Crisco really better for you than lard? It’s a hard question to answer because most of us aren’t doctors or food scientists so we just have to listen to what people tell us and make up our own minds. There are people on both sides of this issue and both make some interesting points but I think it’s safe to assume no matter what side of the fence you fall on we can all agree that eating foods fired in any type of oil is something we should do in moderation.

Bacon-Wrapped Shrimps with Tangy Mustard Sauce

The Detroit Free Press is wrapping some shrimps with bacon and dipping those mofos in some tangy mustard. At first I was I little scared because I’m the type of man that likes my sauces to come premade in a squeeze bottle but after looking it over it seems like a pretty easy recipe and only takes about 45 minutes including prep time.

Check out the recipe here.

Fatty’s Burgers & More, Makes One Sweet Burger

Have you ever sat down at your local dinner starring at your bacon cheese burger and milkshake dreading the physically draining task of picking up the burger, taking a bite, setting it down, then picking up the milk shake, slurping the straw, and then setting it down only to have to do it all over again. If only there was a better way?

Well thanks to San Antonio based restaurant “Fatty’s Burgers & More” no longer do you have to be a slave to normal eating procedures. They have introduced what they call the “Ice Cream Cheeseburger” and it is exactly what it sounds like. A big old meat patty covered in cheese and bacon then topped with a scoop of fried ice cream. They say it tastes like taking a swig of a milk shake right after a bite of a cheeseburger.

But Fatty’s doesn’t stop there they also have a Pancake Burger, Fried Egg Burger, BBQ Burger, and the Chocolate Chip Cookie Burger. I think this is a sign that the Baconpants crew needs to take a much needed road trip.

If you live in the San Antonio area get your butt to Fatty’s and let us know how it is.

Read more about it here.

IHOP’s New Hash Brown Stacks

For a very limited time IHOP is allowing you to enjoy one of my favorite past times, combining food. Ever since I was a child I’ve been mesmerized by the concept of mixing foods. And yes I was the kid in high school that would put anything from mashed potatoes to peanut butter crackers on a bologna hoagie then scarf it down. Some thought I did it for the attention but I really did it for the taste. I enjoy peanut butter and jelly in the same jar, the KFC Bacon Bowl, and any sandwich that comes decked out with French fries, onion rings, coleslaw, and an egg. So anytime I hear a restaurant is experimenting in the ancient art of food combo I’m there.

From now until February 19th IHOP is taking things you would normally place apart from each other on a plate and stacking them together. They call this tower of breakfast yum yums the Hash Brown Stacks and they include hash brown, and eggs with a variety of toppings. There are four different Stack options but the only one I really care about is the one with bacon so lets focus on that one. It starts with the egg/hash brown base then cheddar cheese and bacon is added(and if I was the chef it would also include some BBQ sauce and a dollop of sour cream. Just throwing that out there IHOP.)

And if the power of breakfast stacked is too powerful for your heart, don’t worry it comes with a side of fruit. But if you’re a real man the fruit can easily be replaced with two amazing pancakes swimming in a sea of butter and syrup. All for only $5.99. The other flavors are, Spinach and Mushroom, Ham and Swiss, and for all those trying to stick to a New Year’s resolution the Simple and Fit Spinach and Mushroom.

The only real bad thing I can find about it, it’s it god awful commercial with dancing baggage handlers.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F70LIAi0_Uw&rel=0&hl=en_US&feature=player_embedded&version=3]

The Clean Smell of Bacon Scented Hand Sanitizer

When you think about all the companies out there trying to give us the best bacon experience possible Thinkgeek.com is one of the top runners. They have bacon toys, bacon frosting, bacon t-shirts and now bacon scented hand sanitizer.

I’m a strong believer that hand sanitizer will be the downfall of mankind. Every time some kid picks up a goose turd in the park his mom comes running over with a gallon jug of Purell and pours it over his whole body. Sure she thinks she is doing the “good mother” thing by protecting her child from the evil germs of the world but really she is weakening his immune system. Sometimes a kid just has to get a little poop in their mouth so their white blood cells can learn how to fight off bacteria leaving them stronger and more capable of survival in this disgusting filth covered world.

But if the thought of having dirty hands for more than a millisecond is too much for you to bear then at least you can clean them with the smell of the Gods. PorkKleen Bacon Scented Hand Sanitizer will not only clean your tiny pick pocket hands but will let the world know that you’re a Bacon lover. So if you must sanitize, do it with bacon.

PorkKleen Bacon Scented Hand Sanitizer is available at ThinkGeek for $3.99.

You can also buy other bacon goodies at the Mr. Baconpants Bacon Store.

Bacon Wins Huston’s 10th annual Tailgater of the Year Contest

The Huston Texans held their 10th annual Tailgater of the Year Contest on New Year’s Day. At a time when most people were snoring away in a pile of smashed party hats, confetti, and human filth, nine dedicated teams of tailgaters, fueled only by Lobster tails and jell-o shots stepped up for the 5am start time.

The competition was ruff. What food would bring home the $1,000 grand prize? Would it be the Biscuits ‘n’ Gravy, the Chili-Cheese Fries, or the Chicken and Beef Fajitas? One team, the Battle Red Wagon Tailgaters knew that only one food is powerful enough send any food judge into a lustful craze. That’s right, they used that amazing not so secrete weapon of bacon.

By using the masterful technique of bacon wrapping they were able to take home the gold with their Cream Cheese and Bacon Wrapped Chicken and Bacon-Wrapped Duck Breast. On top of their $1,000 prize they also receive the coveted “Tailgater of the Year” flag and the privilege of helping judge next year’s contest.

Read more about the contest here.