WARNING - THIS POST IS COMPLETELY OFF TOPIC
I have been seeing a lot of food pics posted on twitter lately and, frankly, they get me hungry. These days when I am hungry, I feel guilty since so many foods have been maligned for this or that reason lately - too much fat, too much sugar, will clog your arteries, and on and on. From time to time I allow my denial to kick in and eat whatever I want. Maybe you are like that too sometimes.
If so here's a really simple, really sinful procedure, it's not really a recipe, for making an old standard. I hope you enjoy these kinds of foods as much as I do.
Bacon & Eggs
Healthy food is all the rage and that’s the way things should be. Eating healthy equals living longer and that should be everyone’s goal. Unfortunately many people are just as dysfunctional at eating well as they are at eating poorly. The extremes that healthy “foodies” go to can sometimes be, well, extreme.
If we take healthy eating out of the equation, we are left with those who spend meal times at fast food joints. We know what direction they are moving in, girth-wise at least. It tastes good and who’s to say that stopping by for a Big Mac or a Big Gulp once in a great while is a secret pleasure that we should all eliminate from our lives.
Everything, including food, in moderation is my motto with a tilt of my cap to Aristotle.
So, a guilty pleasure once in a while is not a bad thing in my book. And that brings me to what to eat for dinner when wifey is away!
Like so many couples who have just about, emphasis on “just about,” seen their children off and on their own, we try to eat together at home as regularly as our busy schedules allow. On average we sit down around our kitchen table three or four nights a week. We are learning to cook “two-person” quantities so that there aren’t many leftovers. As annoying as this may be to some people we throw whatever is left into the trash, having seen the futility of saving leftovers in the frig for a given period of time and then throwing them out. On weekends we often eat only twice a day and our main meal is frequently in one of our three or four favorite restaurants. When we do eat at home together we gravitate toward chicken or fish but sometimes splurge on a steak. Lately we have cut down on pasta, to the chagrin of both of us, since we realize that at our ages putting weight on is about ten times easier than taking it off. We treat it as a delicacy and relish the times we prepare pasta.
So what to do on those weekday evenings when my wife is coming home late and catches a bite out. Cooking for one generally stinks unless the goal is something special and maybe even sinful!
Keep in mind that what is coming next is in the spirit of moderation. I do not recommend preparing this outlandishly delectable meal more than once in a great while. If you abide by that simple dictum, your arteries will thank you and you can still consider yourself an overall healthy eater.
Bacon is a spiritual food. Its aroma permeates whatever space it’s being prepared in rousing the attention of both man and beast (by that I mean my dogs who hover very close to the stove whenever bacon is sizzling in the pan). I once read a story about the origin of “cooking food” which I am not sure is true. The way it went was that somewhere in very ancient China at a time when everyone ate everything raw, a villager’s hut caught fire and for some unknown reason one of his pigs ran inside only to be toasted to a crisp. You can imagine the aromas emanating from that blazing hut and the villager was no dope so he discovered roast pork - probably bacon too! True or not the aroma of cooking bacon is almost as good as eating it.
Eggs are so natural it’s not even funny. As long as you don’t patronize chickens that are fed food chock full of antibiotics or amply treated with pesticides, eggs are close to a perfect food. Lately there is a movement back to older, simpler times, and, if the local ordinances permit, many people keep a few chickens of their own, not so much for the meat but for the fresh, delivered daily eggs. Full of protein and vitamins and low in carbs, there isn’t anything bad about eggs. Contrary to the movement against eggs a few years ago, the cholesterol in eggs is not what causes high cholesterol in humans. That, sadly, must be blamed on processed foods, sugars and fats, all found in abundance on the shelves of your local supermarket, not in a barnyard.
I am not personally aware of who put these two foods together for the first time but it’s a marriage made in heaven - although the knot was probably tied on a farm!
When my wife isn’t coming home and I feel like I can risk eating something devilishly divine, I make bacon & eggs.
Here’s my recipe (not so much a “recipe” but preparation guidelines for optimal gustatory ecstasy).
10 slices of bacon (not the thick cut variety)
3 eggs (I prefer jumbos)
Seasonings (salt, black pepper)
This is just about as minimalist as you can get. You will need a large, 11 inch diameter minimum sturdy skillet. Cast iron skillets are perfect. Heavy chef type frying pans are good. Teflon light weights just won’t cut it.
* Place the skillet on the stove over a moderately high flame and once it is heated lay in 10 (no more even though you may be greedy) strips of bacon. Get them sizzling and turn down the flame so they cook slowly and evenly. You’ll have to turn them a few times but try not to crinkle them up. They will crinkle on their own as they brown.
* Cook the bacon to your desired crispiness. I do not recommend charring it although some people like it that way. Once the bacon is done pour off most, but not all of the bacon grease. Leave about 1/4 of the grease in the pan and return it to the stove.
* Once the skillet is heated again push the bacon to the edges and crack the three eggs, one at a time, into the middle of the pan. The pan should be hot enough for the egg whites to begin cooking immediately. I prefer them “sunny-side” up but you can flip them at the end if you like. The eggs will merge with the bacon and at some point you will have one shiny mass of meat and egg whites and yolks.
* Salt and pepper to taste.
* Remove from the skillet and place on a dish. Eat with pieces of crusty bread (avoid the temptation to make a sandwich out of this delicacy although you can do that some other time!) dunked in yolk if you like.
You’ll need plenty of napkins. Being alone for this meal you may opt to grab a magazine or a newspaper to read while eating. I definitely advise against this. Before you know it you will have gorged yourself on this treat without having savored its taste.
A variation on this, and not one that often presents itself, is doing the exact same things as above but over an open camp fire in the fresh air on a cool morning. That is an experience you will not soon forget.
So, there it is. Promise you will not prepare this meal too often but savor it when you do.