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Chicago’s Bacon Takdown Winners and Recipes!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010 Review by Brian

Chicago Bacon Takedown

1st Place Prize: (Coming Soon)

Rafael Lopez – Bacon English Muffins

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2nd Place Prize:

Cinnamon Cooper and Andrew Huff  of Gapers Block– Bacon Jam

I figured the spicy chorizo would compliment the flavor of the bacon and allow me to skip the Tabasco sauce called for in the recipe I found. I think it’s an excellent addition to the dish. So, here’s my version of bacon jam.

Ingredients:
3/4 pound of smoked bacon (I used an extra smoky Hungarian bacon)
1/4 pound Mexican-style pork chorizo (I used Supremo, a Chicago brand)
4 cloves garlic, chopped or run through a garlic press
1 medium onion, diced
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 cup coffee
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup maple syrup
Black pepper to taste
extra water

Equipment:
cast iron skillet or non-stick pan
heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven (preferably cast iron, such as Le Creuset)
chef’s knife
wooden spoon
garlic press
measuring cups
1-tablespoon measuring spoon
pint jar

In a cast iron skillet or non-stick pan, fry the bacon in batches until lightly browned and just beginning to crisp. Remove the bacon from the skillet, drain and cut into 1 inch pieces. Reserve the bacon fat and set aside. Crumble the chorizo into the pan and fry it to similar doneness, then remove it from the pan and drain most the grease (preferably not into the same container the bacon fat*). Add a little of the reserved bacon fat to the skillet and fry the onion and garlic on medium heat until translucent but not quite caramelized. Transfer the bacon, onion and garlic into a preheated heavy-bottomed pot, then add all the other ingredients except for the water. Set the heat to low or simmer, stir well and let it all simmer for about two hours, stirring occasionally to keep it from sticking and adding a quarter cup of water every 30 minutes or so if the mixture begins to look dry.

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3rd Place Prize:

Grok’s Science Show (Elise and Caitlyn) – Bacon, Asiagoand Onion Quiche

& asiago cheese quiche with onions caramelized in bacon fat in a pate brisee crust.

& asiago cheese quiche with onions caramelized in bacon fat in a pate brisee crust.

The team was made up of members of the GROKS Science Show.  Check out http://grokscience.wordpress.com/ for more information.  The recipe that won was done by me (Elise Covic) and my friend Caitlyn Yeykal.  We did about 250 mini quiche but the recipe was based on my normal sized quiche recipe.  Sorry, but these are the only pics I can find…

The official recipe title is: Bacon & asiago cheese quiche with onions caramelized in bacon fat in a pate brisee crust.

For the crust:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling

8 Tbsp (1 stick) salted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes & then frozen

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon sugar

2 to 4 Tbsp ice water, very cold

In a food processor, combine flour, salt, and sugar, pulse to mix. Add butter and pulse 6 to 8 times.  You’ll see tiny clumps of butter that’s good…  Then add about 2 handfuls of ice water to the mix (yes, handfuls) & pulse a few more times until it starts to clump together.  Smash the mix together form it into something disk-shaped & put it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.  After you take it out of the fridge, let it sit out for about 5 minutes.  Put some flour under the dough-disk & on top of it.   Roll out (with a rolling pin) a 12 inch circle that’s about 1/8 of an inch thick.  Press down to line the pie dish with the dough.  Make it look pretty & stab a couple of holes in the bottom of it.  Freeze it for at least 1 hour then bake it for about 20 minutes at 350deg.

For the quiche filling…

Fry up at least 1/2 lb of bacon, crumble it & keep the grease.

Chop up one big onion & add a few pinches of salt.  Slowly cook the onions until brown & carmelized.

Add about 1.5 – 2 cups of shredded asiago cheese to the crust (enough to generously fill the crust).

After that, add a generous amount of the caramelized onions on top of the cheese & then put the bacon on top of that.

For the egg mixture, mix 3 eggs, 1 1/2 cup of heavy/whipping cream, salt, pepper, a pinch of nutmeg & some freshly chopped up parsley together.  Then pour it into the pie crust.

Bake at 350deg for 35-45 minutes until nicely browned & the center is set.

Let it sit for 15 minutes & voila!