Ahhhh, the wonderful, bacon-loving people of Portland are awesome! At a post-rapture Bacon Takedown (can you think of a better way to celebrate the non-Apocalypse?) my Bacon Hash won 2nd place for the People’s Choice Awards!!! You may recognize last week’s prototype photo below of my winning entry 🙂
|Bacon Hash with Caramelized Onion & Kale in Bacon Bowl with Fig Jam & Dijon|
As the Talking Heads song, “Once in a Lifetime,” asks, “Well, how did I get here?” I can assure you that “shotgun shacks” have nothing to do with it. Rather, the origin of this hashacapade is a combo of elements from my signature Smoked Salmon Hash, the Alleycat Breakfast Sandwich and a recent hashcapade at The Country Cat.
The Salmon Hash gets its yummy sweetness from the sweet potatoes and its creaminess from the crème fraîche. Fig jam and country Dijon come straight from the Alleycat sandwich. Finally, kale owes its spot in the lineup to the Pulled Pork Hash from The Country Cat and its robust, flavorful character. (I actually told one person sampling our hash that kale is like anti-matter: it has negative calories, thus, our potato hash was 0 calories, even with the bacon!)
As far as the actual competition preparation, I had no idea what I had gotten myself into when I agreed to compete in Matt Timms’ Bacon Takedown Tour! Normally, I cook for 2 to 4 people. But for this hashcapade, I needed samples for 250+ bacon-loving strangers – roughly 10x the size of a Chez Clark creation – holy frijoles!
|Bacon Takedown Supplies – Fifteen Pounds of Bacon|
The sheer bulk of this hashcapade’s provisions demanded an accounting of its excess – 16 BIG potatoes, 15 pounds of bacon, 3 bunches of kale, 6 Vadalia onions, 4 jars of fig jam, 4 tubs of crème fraîche, 4 jars of country Dijon, 2 bunches of green onion, and 2 pkgs of fresh sage. Seriously, a feeling of anxiety slowly developed. Could I make this all in time? How long would it take for the bacon mats? Waaaaahhhhh!!!!! I felt like the little pig crying, all the way home!
|Bacon Mat – a.k.a. Woven Porcine Culinary Miracles|
Having developed the weaving method last week, I thought the bacon mats would be simple, but my calculations said 15 mats at 30 minutes each would mean 7.5 hours? Plus almost 2.5 hours for potatoes? My anxiety ratcheted up yet again…there goes Saturday night!
Mercifully, the Rapture didn’t happen, so Saturday night would work and thankfully, my buddy Cory was coming over Sunday to help. All I needed to do was focus, focus, focus…and have a beer or two…
Sunday dawned bright and early as I prepared the kitchen for the onslaught of a massive hashcapade. Cory was nice enough to bring over a 6-pack of Widmer Brothers Drop Top and we were off and drinking, er, hashing. Dicing potatoes, cooking bacon for the hash itself, fabricating 2 more bacon mats (decided 10 was OK), caramelizing onions, and mixing the bacon hash. Showtime!
|Yours truly and Cory, a.k.a. not Michael Pollan|
We quickly snagged a table near the entrance and set about creating the Bacon Hash. The real trick to this was mixing the crème fraîche into the bacon hash at the last minute, spreading the fig jam and Dijon on the bacon mat and using a pizza cutter to create bite-size samples. We ran out of mats, but the little sample cups worked fine! The best part of the Takedown was having Lisa, Andrea, Brent and Maynard, our running posse, show up and put us over the top!
|Bacon Hash – Second Place – People’s Choice Awards – Thanks, PDX peeps!|
Once all the folks left, we had a raucous awards ceremony in the basement of The Good Foot. My tweep, Allison Jones (left of Cory above) won the award for the best display with her custom “PORKLAND” sign – awesome! Matt Timms handed me the serious hardware – Le Creuset Iron Handle Skillet, Microplane grater, Edgeware Zester and Knife Sharpener, and Wüsthof utility knife! THANKS MATT & PDX PEEPS!
What did you like best about my Bacon Hash? Leave a comment!