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Smoked Paprika, New Mexico Chile Powder, Maple Syrup, and Turbinado Sugar-Cured Bacon plus Truffled Egg and Bacon Sandwiches


Our source of stability these last two weeks has been a slab of home-cured bacon.

We’ve been silent on the blog lately as we plow through life. Normal stuff. Some unusual things here and there. And some giant boulders that we ran into full force. It’s a lot, sometimes. Just everything. It is a lot.

But then there was the giant slab of bacon that we made. All thanks to Charcutepalooza.

We didn’t know there was such comfort in cured meat. A constancy. A heft. An immovable force of fat and muscle, but mostly fat, that reminded us life continues, if changed in ways we can’t quite tell yet, and children laugh and dance and march around the house on your birthday while waving balloons and screaming, “Balloon Parade!” A whirling mix of giddiness and sugar and kisses and slow-leaking helium.

The bacon

Wake up. Sharpen the knife. Cut the fat. Into the oven (stove top cooking tends to burn the bacon unpleasantly, but a 400 degreee oven was perfect). Crispy happiness.
Our bacon cure was a frenzy of haphazard luck. A giant pork belly. Kosher salt, warmth from the New Mexico Chile Powder left over from one of our pies. Raw sugar for depth of flavor. And because we weren’t smoking our bacon, some smoked paprika. Into a plastic garbage bag (I know, not the best choice, but we didn’t die). Two days into the cure, I saw some Grade B maple syrup leftover from a Melissa Clark pie. Into the bag and on to the belly. Fearless and potentially a disaster. 12 days in the fridge, rather long, but the pork was rather thick.

But this bacon, this Frankenstein monster of spice+sweet+salt. It was wonderful. Crave-worthy. Demanding an extra piece (or three) at every serving.

So what to do with all this bacon? We thought of using it to make Bacon Baklava from the Fat cookbook. Or candied bacon on top of a brown sugar pie. But all we wanted was straight-up crispy, fatty pleasure. In a world of constant change of late, we need our bacon pure and simple, if overly spiced.

The sandwich
Then truffled eggs entered our minds, and we couldn’t let it go. We looked into actual truffles, but the affordable ones looked sickly. So we went to an old standby of ours - truffle oil. Then a trip to Wine Library revealed truffled salt (thanks to the guys behind the cheese counter for helping us discover it). Earth and salt. A perfect finish with a drizzle of the oil. Heady indulgence. Exactly what we needed.

Here is the recipe, if it can even be called that: Two eggs per person. Whisked. A tablespoon of creme fraiche because it was there. Kosher salt. Pepper. Into a pan on medium-low. Oven-fried bacon. A quick dip of a Balthazar baguette into the bacon fat and on to the griddle to toast. Rub with garlic. Cook up the eggs, throw in some thyme. Place the eggs on the baguette. A sprinkle of truffle salt. Drizzle the oil. Two slices of bacon on top. Maybe four.

Do this for yourself. You deserve it.


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Reader Comments (19)

I would like to wake up to that breakfast. Tomorrow. Please?

March 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMrsWheelbarrow

Wow! I wish I was eating that right now! Love the touch of truffle oil.

Yes, Cathy, stop by and we'll make you some for breakfast.

March 8, 2011 | Registered Commenterthepeche


Just a tad.

Geez Louise...

Clearly, this is one of those 'good for what ails you' kinda dishes.

Truffle salt is nirvana. Sprinkle on buttered popcorn.
You'll thank me.

March 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGail

Oh I could put a world of hurt on a meal like that.

March 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

There needs to be a food truck and this needs to to be their specialty. I can see it now. Please franchise in Denver.

Consider it done, Barb.

March 9, 2011 | Registered Commenterthepeche

Oh wow. Heart attack on a plate. A delicious, delicious heart attack. Yummm.

March 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCelia

Yum. I love bacon (who doesn't?) but I think I love truffle more. I usually use truffle butter when making scrambled eggs, and now I want to double up and use truffle salt too! That sandwich looks awesome.

So weird, I know I left a comment here! Sorry about the boulders that got in the way--I hope they're getting out of the way for you if they haven't already! It's a good thing you had this bacon to see you through and keep you well fed.

Oh, I think the Author URL thing screwed me up before? Trying again...

March 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterElle

Nope-I must have clicked away from the page before the captcha code showed up. Oh well, fixed!

March 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterElle

What a gorgeous idea for a sandwich!!!

March 15, 2011 | Unregistered Commenters.

this looks so good! omg! i wish i had some right now:) thank you for sharing this.

March 15, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterblackbookkitchendiaries

Word. This is just astronomically good. Brilliant, brilliant stuff.

March 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTori (@ eat-tori)

I'm still dying to go to the Wine Library. My father raves about it, but we haven't made the trip. One day... one day.

This is awesome. You guys rock. You never cease to inspire me - give me hope - that you and Karen manage (in some superhuman way) to produce, cook and eat your own food with three very active young children. Perhaps, one day I shall endeavor to do the same.


April 11, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterstephanie

I'm a little behind in my blog reading and now I'm sorry that I didn't see this post right away. I hope that life is settling down to a more manageable pace for you and Karen and the kids. Hopefully those giant boulders have somehow rolled out of the way and if not, hard as they may be to bust into smaller rocks you can throw of your path through life, you will be able to do it.

May 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPaula

How did I miss this earlier? This is the kind of blog post that makes me wish I were a true cook. I want to come to your house for breakfast (and lunch and dinner). It is also the kind of post that makes me happy to be a reader of your blog: yes, life continues, with its "whirling mix of giddiness and sugar and kisses and slow-leaking helium." Beautiful.

June 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCooks_Books

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