Bacon LIVE: Back from Boston and Bacon Soda

Last night’s show started off with me telling my stories of bacon in Boston. I had one bad experience and a few great ones. I have photos of the dishes I talked about and plan to do a post about them soon. The one we talked about the most was the Crab-cake BLT. Sean approved of the bacon and crab combo, calling it sea-pig.

We then tried the new Jones Bacon flavored soda. You have to watch this part of the show for yourself. Our reaction is worth it. I plan to post a full written review early next week.

Next week we will be taking a break from Bacon LIVE. This will give you a chance to dig back in our archives watch your favorite shows again. We plan to be back December 1st with a new show!

Go to BaconLIVE.com to learn how to subscribe, call the show, and watch us live Wednesdays at 7pm ET!

Watch the live video recording on uStream.tv!

Bacon and Blueberry Salad with Smoked Chipotle Vinaigrette Dressing

This is the winning recipe from Sugardale Bac-on. It was created Olga Watkins, who is a bacon lover and Pittsburgh local. I thought this salad had great flavors and you can tell that it was build around the bacon. Everything in it complemented it well.

Bacon and Blueberry Salad

Servings: 4

Salad Ingredients:

  • 1 package of Sugardale Peppered Bacon
  • 2 packages (approx. 12-16 ounces) baby spinach
  • 1/3 pound piece of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup pecan pieces
  • 1 red bell pepper, julienned
  • 1/2 medium red onion, very thinly sliced

Smoked Chipotle Vinaigrette Dressing Ingredients:

  • 3/4 Cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 Cup White Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons smoked chipotle jam/jelly
  • 1 Tablespoon light brown sugar
  • The juice of 1/2 a fresh lime
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375º on convection setting if possible
  2. Layout package of Sugardale Peppered Bacon on one or two cookie sheets; do not overlap pieces of bacon
  3. Cook for approximately 10-12 minutes (cooking times will vary depending on your oven
  4. When bacon is cooked to crisp but not burnt, remove from oven and place on plates lined with paper towels to drain excess grease
  5. Use a vegetable peeler to shave pieces of parmesan cheese into a small bowl and transfer to refrigerator until ready to assemble salads
  6. Rinse blueberries in a colander, picking out any smashed or uneatable blueberries and any stems, set aside to drain
  7. Rinse red bell pepper, remove stem and core, slice into short, thin julienne slices, approximately 1/4 inch each
  8. Rinse red onion, remove skin and outermost layer, slice in half then thinly slice one half of red onion, as thin as possible
  9. Divide baby spinach into equal potions onto four dinner plates
  10. Lay out several pieces (8 to 10) of sliced onion onto each salad, spread around evenly on bed of spinach
  11. Lay out bell pepper slices (8 to 10) onto each salad, spread around evenly on bed of spinach
  12. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of pecan pieces evenly onto salad base
  13. Add approximately 1/4 cup of blueberries, spread evenly around salad base
  14. Dived shaved parmesan evenly onto the four salad bases, spreading shaved parmesan pieces evenly out onto each salad
  15. Lay cooked bacon pieces on top of salad bases, crisscrossed or in another decorative manner
  16. Drizzle with 2-3 ounces of Smoked Chipotle Vinaigrette Dressing onto each salad and serve immediately

Note: Complete vegetable and cheese preparation and make dressing in advance, up to one hour before serving. Allow dressing to sit out at room temp and assemble salads while bacon is cooking so as to be able to serve salad topped with warm bacon.

Dressing Preparation:

Combine salad dressing ingredients, except for salt and pepper, in a mixing bowl and thoroughly whisk until sugar and jam is completely dissolved and dressing isn’t separating. Add salt and pepper, a little at a time, to suit your personal taste.

Dressing Note: If dressing is made in advance, whisk thoroughly again before drizzling over salad. Excess dressing can be stored in refrigerator for future salads. Dressing will be best if allowed to sit at room temperature for approximately 30-60 minutes before serving.

Recipe and photo by Olga Watkins

Bacon LIVE: Sean is Back!

I know you all missed him so you will be happy to know that Sean is now back in the co-host chair. We talked about his adventures in Disney Land and the bacon shortage at his wedding. Yes that’s right Sean is a married man, sorry ladies.

We also talked about the Great Sugardale Bac-on and how it should be a yearly event! I hope to have video of the event sometime next week. I also talked about someone hating on me for picking a salad to win my round. It’s hard being a judge.

It was a great show and we stayed on topic for about 45% of it. Tune in next week when I talk about bacon in Boston. We may also have bacon soda to review live!

Go to BaconLIVE.com to learn how to subscribe, call the show, and watch us live Wednesdays at 7pm ET!

Watch the live video recording on uStream.tv!

The Great Sugardale Bac-on Recap

Last weekend you all should know I was a celebrity (in the bacon nation) guest judge for Sugardale’s Bac-on event. Well it’s about time I fill you in on how it went.

First of all it was one of the most organized bacon events I been to in a long time. Sugardale really out did themselves. If I didn’t know any better I would have thought the cooking contest was a Food Network TV show. They had cameras and monitors everywhere.

My fellow judges, Spike Mendelsohn (Top Chef: Season Four) and Ron Antill (WSHH Radio), where just as laid back as I was, which made from some interesting conversation while we waited for our food. We got comfortable quickly, but bacon has that effect so I was not surprised. Spike is a great guy and I was happy to learn that he is a big fan of bacon and the community. Both of his restaurants in DC feature bacon on the menu.

The three recipes that we had to judge were all amazing and you could really tell that a lot of time and care went in to each one. It was a hard choice but in the end Olga Watkins’ Bacon and Blueberry Salad won us over. The bacon was cooked to perfection, the dressing was out of this world, and all the flavors meld together nicely. Any restaurant should put this on their menu ASAP. I will post the full recipe in a bit.

Here where the winners of each round:

  • Kimberly Campbell (WV) – Bac-On Stuffed Yam Shells (Appetizers/Sides/Entertaining)
  • Christine Wendland (NJ) – Bacon, Apricot and Brie Croissants (Ready Bacon®)
  • Olga Watkins (PA) – Bacon and Blueberry Salad (Main Dish & Grand Prize Winner)

One thing that was really cool was, Olga Watkins, the winner of my round, won the grand prize. It kind of reassured me that I know what winning bacon recipe is.

Olga is a Pittsburgh native and happens to be professional chef and singer. You can learn more about her at OlgaWatkins.com. Lets hope the $3,000 goes towards the restaurant she wants to open. I bet it will be bacon friendly.

I would like the thank Sugardale for letting me be apart of this event and I can’t wait for the next time I get to be a judge. I would also like that thank the contestants that cooked us some amazing food that day. You guys rocked!

Bacon LIVE: Joey Guest Hosts and Talks Bacon

Sean is still out of town so Joey took over as co-host. Just like Matt he did a really good job and added his own flair to the show. Since Joey is a big gamer we talked about Call of Duty: Black Ops for the last 20 minutes of the show. We can’t wait for that game to come out!

We also talked about the relationship between bacon and MSG. It seems MSG is based of the chemical that gives bacon its extra meaty flavor. Which is why bacon makes everything better, just like MSG can.

We also talked about the Bac-on event that is happening this weekend in Pittsburgh. If you have nothing to do this Saturday, I hope you see you there!

Sean should be back next week so be sure to tune in to find out what he has been up to. I hope he has a few new bacon stories to tell.

Go to BaconLIVE.com to learn how to subscribe, call the show, and watch us live Wednesdays at 7pm ET!

Watch the live video recording on uStream.tv!

I’m a Celebrity Judge for the Great Sugardale Bac-on November 6, 2010

The Great Sugardale Bac-on at GoodTaste Pittsburgh is this weekend and I am going to be a celebrity judge for the main dish competition. Also on the panel is Spike Mendelsohn (Top Chef: Season Four) and Ron Antill (WSHH Radio).

If you’er not sure what GoodTaste Pittsburgh is, its basically a food event featuring celebrity chefs and foodies. From 9am to 5pm you can watch live cooking, eat, and get your knives sharpened for only $20. On top of that you get to see the Bac-on live!

Schedule of Events for the Bac-on

  • 9:00 a.m. GoodTaste! Pittsburgh opens
  • Round One: Appetizers/Sides/Entertaining
    10:15 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
    Judges include Lauren Chattman author of “Cookie Swap”
    Contestants include Amie V., Brandi B. and Kimberly C.
  • Round Two: Ready Bacon
    11:15 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
    Judges include Jerry Saad of the Cooking Channel
    Contestants include Dee G., Christine W. and Cindy S.
  • Round Three: Main Dish
    12:15 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
    Judges include Spike Mendelsohn of Top Chef and Jason Mosley of MrBaconpants.com
    Contestants include Jill H., Olga W. and Lisa S.
  • Final Round
    2:45 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
    Judges include Claire Robinson of the Food Network

Prize:
Second and third place runner-ups in the final round will receive $500 and a year’s supply of Sugaradale bacon. The Grand BAC-ON Champion will receive $3,000!

Details:
GoodTaste! Pittsburgh & Great Sugardale Bac-on
November 6, 2010
9am – 5pm
Monroeville Convention Center
209 Mall Boulevard,
Monroeville, PA 15146

For a complete list of the contestants and their recipes please visit www.greatsugardalebacon.com. For more information on GoodTaste Pittsburgh visit www.goodtastepittsburgh.com.

Bacon LIVE: Matt Gondek Defends Canadian Bacon

Since Sean is on a two week Bacon LIVE hiatus my friend Matt Gondek filled in. If you don’t know Matt has been one of my close friends since college and we even work together on his clothing line Wonderful Life. The show was not the same without Sean but Matt still did a great job.

We talked about all the normal Bacon LIVE stuff but since Matt doesn’t have the same love of bacon as Sean and I do we had a few debates. The one that sticks out in my head was when Matt admitted that he enjoys Canadian bacon.

I made a big announcement at the end of the show, so make sure you watch it. I will be posting the details of that announcement tomorrow.

Next week we may have Joey Solak making a return to the show. He was the guy that came over and ate the Heart Attack Snack a year ago. He also guest hosted a few times.

Go to BaconLIVE.com to learn how to subscribe, call the show, and watch us live Wednesdays at 7pm ET!

Watch the live video recording on uStream.tv!