Bacon seems to have experienced a tipping point in recent years. As many would agree ‘everything tastes better with bacon’. Does credit go to its fat content welding all the other flavors together and generously coating the mouth? Or should we credit this cured meat with its intensely smoky flavor? The answer is both. A flavor that is allowed to linger just a little bit longer thanks to its smoky echoing-like qualities and buttery contribution makes this ingredient a necessary must for many dishes.
Whilst I have nothing against the pre-packaged, thinly sliced variety, it does not come close to the bacon slabs available at most deli counters. The wood smoked flavor is unmistakable and when cooked, this crispy and bold chunky meat would take any dish up a notch compared to its cooked and shriveled alternative.
I decided to use this bacon as an accent to my warm potato salad. A reincarnation of the previously lifeless and congealed mayo stiff dish now received more than just a second glance at my dinner party. Dressing the warm potatoes in a creamy, warm, salty and of course smoky vinaigrette, it would be hard to go wrong.
1 ½ lb New potatoes
½ lb slab of bacon, cut in to 1/2 cm wide pieces2 Shallots, finely diced
1 tsp smoked paprika
4 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 lemon zest and juice
¼ cup olive oil
½ tsp mustard
Salt and pepper
1 tbsp crème fraiche or sour cream
1 tablespoon chopped chives
1) Bring the potatoes to boil, starting them off in cold water
2) Saute the bacon, remove with slotted spoon
3) Sweat shallots in the bacon fat
4) Dressing: Shake the vinegar, lemon zest and juice, olive oil, mustard, salt and pepper and paprika in a bottle
5) Once potatoes are boiled, cut them in half and toss whilst warm in to the vinaigrette
6) Combine the crème fraiche, shallots, bacon and 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat with the warm and dressed potatoes
7) Sprinkle chives before serving
Pearls of wisdom
The bacon can be quite salty so go lighter on the salt in the dressing
I intended for this dish to be served as a side dish, but one of my curious guests found it in the kitchen and insisted I serve it as an appetize