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The Charm of the BLT

The Charm of the BLT
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  • Post #31 - July 12th, 2006, 11:25 pm
    Post #31 - July 12th, 2006, 11:25 pm Post #31 - July 12th, 2006, 11:25 pm
    Louisa Chu wrote:Try using bacon fat to make your mayo.


    Hmmm, that sounds really interesting. I was going to snag prosciutto fat discards from a local source. Rendering that for mayo seems like a hearty plan.
    A technical query: the fat will be slightly warm (to keep it liquid) - will that affect mayo making much?
  • Post #32 - July 12th, 2006, 11:38 pm
    Post #32 - July 12th, 2006, 11:38 pm Post #32 - July 12th, 2006, 11:38 pm
    sazerac--

    That's a good question, I've been thinking about it. In the end, I don't think it will make much difference. If you let the fat cool down from a fully melted state, it'll be still liquid at a high room temp (c. 85°F or so). All recipes I know recommend that the egg yolk be at room temp, too, so that shouldn't be a constraint.

    So far as I can see, theory does not dissuade us from the experiment! :^)
    Will you be the Brave One to give it a try?

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #33 - July 12th, 2006, 11:54 pm
    Post #33 - July 12th, 2006, 11:54 pm Post #33 - July 12th, 2006, 11:54 pm
    Okay, my arteries have been begging me to ignore this thread, but my love of pig lipid runs far too deep.

    I will take the porkfat challenge. If nobody beats me to it, expect a full report on bacon fat mayo tomorrow night.

    Consider it my legacy. If the bacon doesn't kill me, my wife will.

    I blame Louisa.
    Dominic Armato
    Dining Critic
    The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com
  • Post #34 - July 13th, 2006, 4:23 am
    Post #34 - July 13th, 2006, 4:23 am Post #34 - July 13th, 2006, 4:23 am
    Oh come on now. :wink: I've made bacon fat mayo before - it works just fine. Just use your regular mayo recipe and add the liquid bacon fat as you would oil. It's just like working with clarified butter or goose or duck fat.

    Bill, that pork belly confit fat should work fine.

    Try a garlic confit in the same fat, add it to the mayo, for a pork or bacon fat garlic confit aioli.
  • Post #35 - July 13th, 2006, 10:12 am
    Post #35 - July 13th, 2006, 10:12 am Post #35 - July 13th, 2006, 10:12 am
    Louisa Chu wrote:Try using bacon fat to make your mayo.

    Louisa,

    And here I thought I was Mr. Nothing says Excess like Excess. Ha, beaten, or should I say emulsified, at my own game. :)

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #36 - July 13th, 2006, 5:29 pm
    Post #36 - July 13th, 2006, 5:29 pm Post #36 - July 13th, 2006, 5:29 pm
    Louisa Chu wrote:Bill, that pork belly confit fat should work fine.

    Try a garlic confit in the same fat, add it to the mayo, for a pork or bacon fat garlic confit aioli.


    Louisa,

    I took your suggestion and made a pork fat/garlic confit aioli. It was truly delicious except for one problem. I used a t-n-t Pepin recipe for the mayo simply substituting melted (but cooled) pork confit fat for the vegetable oil. I got what looked a nice fluffy emulsion after slowly drizzling in the melted fat, but when I put some on some toasted bread, the heat of the bread melted the "mayo". Seems like I got more of a blend than an emulsion. It was still very good, but did I do something wrong?

    The garlic confit was a great idea. I cooked some cloves in a little of the pork fat/juices. The left over cooking juice was excellent. I think I'll make some pork belly BLT's on Saturday and use that liquid with a little vinegar to dress the greens. Thanks for the great idea.

    Bill/SFNM
    Last edited by Bill/SFNM on July 13th, 2006, 10:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #37 - July 13th, 2006, 6:10 pm
    Post #37 - July 13th, 2006, 6:10 pm Post #37 - July 13th, 2006, 6:10 pm
    Bill,

    Sounds like you made a bacon fat "hollandaise".

    :twisted:
  • Post #38 - July 13th, 2006, 8:58 pm
    Post #38 - July 13th, 2006, 8:58 pm Post #38 - July 13th, 2006, 8:58 pm
    I concur... taaaaaaasty stuff.

    Mine came out slightly suboptimal as well, but because I didn't have enough bacon fat. I made a bacon fat and olive oil mix and used a bit of sherry vinegar. At this point it was pretty damn tasty, so I decided to use it a little thin rather than mess with the balance any further. Then I did a matching aioli for comparison's sake. As you may have guessed from the color, aioli's on the left:

    Image

    Where the aioli was light and creamy, the bacon mayo was rich rich rich. I could use it on a whole ton of things. This is very, very dangerous. Oh, and for anybody who's been lurking for the past few days trying to resist the BLT:

    Image

    C'mooooooooooon... you know you want one.
    Dominic Armato
    Dining Critic
    The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com
  • Post #39 - July 13th, 2006, 10:42 pm
    Post #39 - July 13th, 2006, 10:42 pm Post #39 - July 13th, 2006, 10:42 pm
    Ohhhhhhhhhhhh, yesssssss!

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #40 - July 14th, 2006, 8:18 am
    Post #40 - July 14th, 2006, 8:18 am Post #40 - July 14th, 2006, 8:18 am
    Dmnkly wrote:Image

    C'mooooooooooon... you know you want one.


    What nonsense! Why would I only want one? :!: :D

    How much bacon fat to olive oil - 50/50? Or more bacon fat? I'm assuming both had garlic. Aaaah! I'll just have to do it, won't I?

    Thanks Dmnkly and all for this utterly inspiring thread!
  • Post #41 - July 14th, 2006, 10:00 am
    Post #41 - July 14th, 2006, 10:00 am Post #41 - July 14th, 2006, 10:00 am
    I think Louisa gets all the credit on this one... or blame, as the case may be :-)
    Dominic Armato
    Dining Critic
    The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com
  • Post #42 - July 17th, 2006, 10:15 am
    Post #42 - July 17th, 2006, 10:15 am Post #42 - July 17th, 2006, 10:15 am
    OK, we did it here in KC, let the record show.

    But with certain minor changes.

    The bacon: Kirkland from Costco, baked not fried. (Makes for an interesting change.)

    The tomato: wonderfully ripe Brandywines

    The bread: Farm-to-Market Italian

    The greens: arugula from the garden.

    Oh man, was that a blt or what?!

    Tnx to just everyone (esp. Louisa) for getting this thread into high-power.

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #43 - July 18th, 2006, 9:18 am
    Post #43 - July 18th, 2006, 9:18 am Post #43 - July 18th, 2006, 9:18 am
    Dmnkly, it was your stunning pics that sent me over the edge (you have nooo idea). Yet truly, as you said, it is Louisa's simple statement that has surely warmed the cockles of many a heart. Thanks for the insight Louisa!

    On Saturday I attempted The BLT Mayo Experiment

    -----------feel free to skip details section, 'results' are below next red line
    On Saturday I attempted the BLT mayo expt. – I used rendered fat from proscuitto (Parma sausage company), olive oil (herein referred to as OO for brevity's sake only; I eschew any connection to RR) and some bacon fat (BF). Prompted by Dmnkly's post I figured the Louisa suggested "Rich, rich, rich" mayo would be something worth repeating again and again. So to keep it somewhat healthy I wanted to see if the taste could be obtained with only a portion of the fat – in this case, proscuitto fat (PF). Therefore I made mayos with different proportions of PF and OO (4/0, 3/1, 2/2, 1/3, 0/4), also one with BF (which was not enough so it was diluted with an equal amt. of OO). All were made with portions from the same 'base' of two (large) farm fresh egg yolks, (red) wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, white pepper and teeniest bit of salt.
    Geo, PF and BF are liquid at a warm ambient temperature. The properties of the resultant mayo are interesting – I needed less of the PF than the OO to make the mayo come together (in fact OO version required greater volume of oil). Further, once cooled (a bit), the mayo with greater proportion of PF stayed thick, while the oil based one was runnier. This is hearty news – as it means that one can make a thicker mayo with less fat than oil!

    Mayo notes: mayos tasted plain and with bread
    Do not make mayo with proscuitto fat. Bacon fat good, proscuitto fat no good. The PF smelt good, tasted good even (probably because it was a teeny lick), but in the mayo was bad in a grab the back of your throat peppery saltiness (I didn't add any additional salt to the PF mayos, but only to the pure OO mayo). Even the PF/OO-2/2 mayo was strong. The OO overpowered the PF in the PF/OO-1/3 mayo. The OO only mayo was too olive-oily (note that I did have to use more) – I only realized later that normally I make mayo with canola oil.
    Why did the PF fail me? I did not like the Parma sausage co. proscuitto because it was a bit too salty. So silly me – of course the fat, which is where the 'cure' is applied, would be saturated with salt. Rendering that and using in preparation which has a large proportion of it cannot be good*.

    BLT notes:
    Good bacon from Parma sausage company, red leaf lettuce, Campari tomatoes (the 'Uglyripe' in pic wasn't as tasty), Breadworks rustic Italian leaf (via PennMac co.) – toasted in residual BF in skillet, 4mayos.
    Best was the BF/OO (BF/OO-2/2). The OO one was good but too OO-ey as noted above. Hellman's (canola) mayo I would rate third just about over the PF/OO because I feel silly not to have thought about the salt issue. The Hellman's mayo itself was decent, sweetish though very bland compared to all the others.
    Nevertheless, all were very good - I had a great time and swell dinner!

    Pics – yes I did take some pics. I am reluctant to post them in this otherwise fine thread. By viewing them here (slideshow; click on pics for some description), you agree never to cast aspersions on my sanity.

    -----------
    Bottomline: A mayo with 25% bacon fat in vegetable oil would be fantastic. Note that this is untested.

    *I have used proscuitto fat before – in place of some pancetta etc. – but these have but a small proportion of the fat in the total dish volume. Plus this was from a proscuitto (from Caputo's in Chicagoland) that I actually liked to eat. Goes to show, if you wouldn't eat/drink it, don't use it in your cooking…
  • Post #44 - July 18th, 2006, 9:48 am
    Post #44 - July 18th, 2006, 9:48 am Post #44 - July 18th, 2006, 9:48 am
    Bravo!
    Dominic Armato
    Dining Critic
    The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com
  • Post #45 - July 18th, 2006, 9:56 am
    Post #45 - July 18th, 2006, 9:56 am Post #45 - July 18th, 2006, 9:56 am
    Ooooo, I have a leftover piece of smoked duck fat in the fridge. I think it just discoverd its purpose in life.
  • Post #46 - July 18th, 2006, 10:00 am
    Post #46 - July 18th, 2006, 10:00 am Post #46 - July 18th, 2006, 10:00 am
    Sazerac,

    You should get into research at a professional level! :wink:

    Another great post in this thread... And I really liked the slideshow as well...

    sazerac wrote: The OO only mayo was too olive-oily... ...
    The OO one was good but too OO-ey as noted above.


    I know many people can find olive oil in certain applications too strong and distracting from other flavours; I can understand that reaction, though I myself just about never have that feeling. Anyway, I just wanted to ask: What was the specific olive oil you were using?

    Antonius
    Alle Nerven exzitiert von dem gewürzten Wein -- Anwandlung von Todesahndungen -- Doppeltgänger --
    - aus dem Tagebuch E.T.A. Hoffmanns, 6. Januar 1804.
    ________
    Na sir is na seachain an cath.
  • Post #47 - July 18th, 2006, 11:05 am
    Post #47 - July 18th, 2006, 11:05 am Post #47 - July 18th, 2006, 11:05 am
    Especially with my secret identity as Captain Anti-Mayo, I usually find myself without any on the rare occasions when a recipe requires it.

    So when a recipe for one of my parties required mayo (or maybe aoli), I decided to try to scratch-make it using extra-virgin OO, thinking it would have better flavor.

    Don't.

    the EV stuff is much too strongly flavored, and for me at least, had a much harder time getting the emulsion to incorporate the oil.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #48 - July 18th, 2006, 11:39 am
    Post #48 - July 18th, 2006, 11:39 am Post #48 - July 18th, 2006, 11:39 am
    Antonius wrote:I know many people can find olive oil in certain applications too strong and distracting from other flavours; I can understand that reaction, though I myself just about never have that feeling. Anyway, I just wanted to ask: What was the specific olive oil you were using?


    Bertolli extra virgin olive oil. (not a preference of mine but not bad - a warehouse clubber gave us a large bottle)

    JoelF wrote:the EV stuff is much too strongly flavored, and for me at least, had a much harder time getting the emulsion to incorporate the oil.


    Yes. The olive oil flavour clashes with the taste of the mayo, in that initially you get a mayo taste and then a strong aftertaste that is distinctly olive oily. Something that doesn't happen with a neutral vegetable oil.
  • Post #49 - July 18th, 2006, 12:20 pm
    Post #49 - July 18th, 2006, 12:20 pm Post #49 - July 18th, 2006, 12:20 pm
    Try maybe a mid-priced Spanish olive oil next time. Light, nutty, little or no grass or pepper.
  • Post #50 - July 18th, 2006, 12:44 pm
    Post #50 - July 18th, 2006, 12:44 pm Post #50 - July 18th, 2006, 12:44 pm
    sazerac wrote:
    JoelF wrote:the EV stuff is much too strongly flavored, and for me at least, had a much harder time getting the emulsion to incorporate the oil.


    Yes. The olive oil flavour clashes with the taste of the mayo, in that initially you get a mayo taste and then a strong aftertaste that is distinctly olive oily. Something that doesn't happen with a neutral vegetable oil.


    Interesting... Again, de gustibus non... ...but I must confess to having long thought that commercial mayonnaise would be improved were decent olive oil used in its manufacture... As JeffB says, one can opt for a less assertive oil and that is what I think is appropriate... certainly, the 'Tuscan' style would be over the top (and probably has better uses anyway)... But then, blends made in Italy, such as Bertolli, are pretty mild, at least to my mind (or palate)...

    Anyway, to my mind, olive oil is what should be used to make these kinds of sauces, from aioli to aioli with eggs to mayonnaise... but then I think olive oil makes just about everything better...

    Antonius
    Alle Nerven exzitiert von dem gewürzten Wein -- Anwandlung von Todesahndungen -- Doppeltgänger --
    - aus dem Tagebuch E.T.A. Hoffmanns, 6. Januar 1804.
    ________
    Na sir is na seachain an cath.
  • Post #51 - July 18th, 2006, 1:23 pm
    Post #51 - July 18th, 2006, 1:23 pm Post #51 - July 18th, 2006, 1:23 pm
    Antonius wrote:Anyway, to my mind, olive oil is what should be used to make these kinds of sauces, from aioli to aioli with eggs to mayonnaise... but then I think olive oil makes just about everything better...


    Aioli would be with garlic, yes? (Earlier I thought Dmnkly made his mayo with garlic). In that case I think olive oil (though not too strong) would be fine. Probably without garlic, the mayo would be okay with a not strong olive oil*.
    At any rate, I plan to use 25% bacon fat in future mayos.

    *I am tempted to compare French vs. Italian preferences/styles but what do I know?
  • Post #52 - July 18th, 2006, 1:43 pm
    Post #52 - July 18th, 2006, 1:43 pm Post #52 - July 18th, 2006, 1:43 pm
    JeffB wrote:Try maybe a mid-priced Spanish olive oil next time.


    Oh, that is for another thread entirely:

    "Le charme discret de la BLT"

    ;)

    E.M.
  • Post #53 - July 18th, 2006, 4:34 pm
    Post #53 - July 18th, 2006, 4:34 pm Post #53 - July 18th, 2006, 4:34 pm
    Antonius wrote:Anyway, to my mind, olive oil is what should be used to make these kinds of sauces, from aioli to aioli with eggs to mayonnaise... but then I think olive oil makes just about everything better...

    Antonius


    Agreed! But maybe we have a heritage prejudice going here....

    Giovanna
    =o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=

    "Enjoy every sandwich."

    -Warren Zevon
  • Post #54 - July 18th, 2006, 5:44 pm
    Post #54 - July 18th, 2006, 5:44 pm Post #54 - July 18th, 2006, 5:44 pm
    I did, indeed, use olive oil, but I used a very light French olive oil... Bouche du Rhone? I wouldn't have wanted to go much heavier for this purpose. And incidentally, I think I ended up with nearly the same ratio as sazerac... close to half and half, though I believe mine favored the bacon fat slightly.
    Dominic Armato
    Dining Critic
    The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com
  • Post #55 - July 18th, 2006, 6:27 pm
    Post #55 - July 18th, 2006, 6:27 pm Post #55 - July 18th, 2006, 6:27 pm
    I had to do it. I couldn't resist. An actual recipe for, yes, Bacon Fat Mayo. Call your cardiologist. Alert Alderman Burke. Compliments of the blog Bourrez Votre out of the city of Brotherly Love, I give you...Baconnaise:

    3 egg yolks
    1 whole egg
    2 cups bacon fat, liquified
    1 TBSP Lemon juice
    2 TBSP Black Pepper
    Salt

    Using a cuisinart, Emulsify the fat into the egg yolks, season, serve, consume, then try and keep it down.
  • Post #56 - July 18th, 2006, 7:59 pm
    Post #56 - July 18th, 2006, 7:59 pm Post #56 - July 18th, 2006, 7:59 pm
    Ah sazerac! Marvelously well done! When next I talk about "scientific method" in my logic classes, I'll give them the url and specific location of your report, and its classic pictorial documetation.

    And thank you!

    On some side issues: TODG and I agree that Parma's prosciutto is indeed a bit salty; but the lady who slices it is sooooo nice. [If you haven't tried their Sicilian fresh sausage, you owe it to yourself to try it...*yesterday*!!]

    Pls tell me about the bacon. It looks very nice. [The best bacon in the universe is available every Saturday morning from Mr. Kennedy, at the East Liberty ("S'liberty") Farmer's Market, beside the Home Depot. If you haven't been there yet, pls PM me and I will delight and delectate your futural sensibilities.]

    Anyway, the whole LTH world thanks you.

    Geo
    PS. My everyday oo is DaVinci EV--it makes a nice mayonaise, with enough flavor to perhaps just satisfy Antonius, but not so much as to avert JoelF.
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #57 - July 18th, 2006, 11:44 pm
    Post #57 - July 18th, 2006, 11:44 pm Post #57 - July 18th, 2006, 11:44 pm
    sazerac,

    Your experiments in bacon-OO mayo remind me of what I like about Cook's Illustrated. I like learning where the potential failures are as well as what choices there are to finding the ideal outcome.

    Thanks!

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #58 - July 20th, 2006, 2:58 am
    Post #58 - July 20th, 2006, 2:58 am Post #58 - July 20th, 2006, 2:58 am
    David Hammond wrote:Donna, theoretically, I love everything about BLTs, but for some reason, the flavor of the bacon always seems submerged beneath the taste of other ingredients. This could be due to the quality of the bacon The Wife brings home, but I dunno...I've yet to make a BLT that "works."

    If you're not getting enough bacon flavor, the solution is obvious. More bacon.

    Not that bacon fat mayo doesn't sound delicious, too.
    Antonius wrote:Iceberg lettuce became at some point an object of scorn but I think that's silly. As someone who grew up eating dandelions and escarole and endive, yes, it is relatively bland. But I've always liked it's slight sweet flavour and it is from a textural standpoint really great.

    I am also a fan of iceberg in sandwiches. Nothing else has quite that crunch. I'm particularly fond of it in tuna-salad sandwiches, where it provides a strong counterpoint to the mushy tuna-mayo mixture (especially when, as often happens, we're out of celery*).

    Iceberg works very well in BLTs, but romaine adds another dimension. It still has crunch, especially if you include some of the rib section, but its bitter edge contributes complexity, particularly if the bacon has a sweet cure.

    *Another advantage of iceberg -- it keeps!
  • Post #59 - July 20th, 2006, 11:06 am
    Post #59 - July 20th, 2006, 11:06 am Post #59 - July 20th, 2006, 11:06 am
    LAZ wrote:
    Antonius wrote:Iceberg lettuce became at some point an object of scorn but I think that's silly. As someone who grew up eating dandelions and escarole and endive, yes, it is relatively bland. But I've always liked it's slight sweet flavour and it is from a textural standpoint really great.

    I am also a fan of iceberg in sandwiches. Nothing else has quite that crunch. I'm particularly fond of it in tuna-salad sandwiches, where it provides a strong counterpoint to the mushy tuna-mayo mixture (especially when, as often happens, we're out of celery*).

    Iceberg works very well in BLTs, but romaine adds another dimension. It still has crunch, especially if you include some of the rib section, but its bitter edge contributes complexity, particularly if the bacon has a sweet cure.
    *Another advantage of iceberg -- it keeps!


    Yes, indeed, agreed about romaine... And also about the iceberg's virtue of keeping well. And iceberg also works especially well for use shredded as a garnish for Mexican antojitos, from tacos on.

    Antonius
    Alle Nerven exzitiert von dem gewürzten Wein -- Anwandlung von Todesahndungen -- Doppeltgänger --
    - aus dem Tagebuch E.T.A. Hoffmanns, 6. Januar 1804.
    ________
    Na sir is na seachain an cath.
  • Post #60 - July 21st, 2006, 9:55 pm
    Post #60 - July 21st, 2006, 9:55 pm Post #60 - July 21st, 2006, 9:55 pm
    Geo wrote: On some side issues: TODG and I agree that Parma's prosciutto is indeed a bit salty; but the lady who slices it is sooooo nice. [If you haven't tried their Sicilian fresh sausage, you owe it to yourself to try it...*yesterday*!!]

    Pls tell me about the bacon. It looks very nice. [The best bacon in the universe is available every Saturday morning from Mr. Kennedy, at the East Liberty ("S'liberty") Farmer's Market, beside the Home Depot. If you haven't been there yet, pls PM me and I will delight and delectate your futural sensibilities.]


    Geo, Thanks to your earlier guide (including getting your and Machamer's book) I am settling down in Pgh rapidly. I have already tried and liked very much the spicy Sicilian sausage. It is also great smoked
    Image. In fact I just used it a couple of days before you said, "Yesterday," in Dragon Turds.

    The Parma Sausage Co. bacon is good with just a hint of smoke – I picked it up last Friday so I didn't get any on our weekly Sat. morning visit to the S'libertyFmrMkt :). I get my chicken
    Image from there, as well as farm fresh eggs (which I used in the mayo). Mr. Kennedy has good hot links but I'll be sure to pick up some bacon soon (tomorrow morning) – Thanks!

    ------
    Cathy2 wrote:Your experiments in bacon-OO mayo remind me of what I like about Cook's Illustrated. I like learning where the potential failures are as well as what choices there are to finding the ideal outcome.


    Thanks for all the comments. Cathy, it's what I like about LTHForum – "I tried it so you don't have to…" :)

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