RECIPE: Handcrafted Bacon

Chef Robert Ciborowski, Executive Chef Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel, shares his recipe for handcrafted bacon.

(3 parts)

Part 1 - Black Eyed Pea Puree

Ingredients Quantity
White onion minced 1 each
Thyme, fresh 4 sprigs
Butter 1 tbsp
Black eyed peas (soaked overnight) 2 cups
Smoked Bacon diced ½ cup
Chicken stock 1 gallon
Salt pinch
Black Pepper cracked pinch
Sherry vinegar To taste
On low heat, in a large rondeau, render the smoked bacon with one tbsp of butter until crispy and golden brown.

Add minced onions and thyme sprigs, sweat on low heat until onions are translucent and soft with no color.

Add the soaked black eyed peas and enough chicken stock so that the black eyed peas "swim". Slowly bring to simmer and simmer the peas until they are slightly overcooked.

Strain the black eyed peas and reserve cooking liquid. Take strained peas, place in VitaMix blender with just enough cooking liquid to begin the blending process. Season with salt and pepper and dash sherry vinegar. Continue to puree for no less than five minutes. Strain through a fine mesh strainer. The pea puree should appear smooth with no lumps or skin.

Part 2 – Maple Fluid Gel

Ingredients Quantity
100% Maple Syrup 448 grams
Water 112 grams
Salt Pinch
Agar agar Powder 8.96 grams
Mix the maple syrup and water together. Place approximately 80% of the mixture in a sauce pot. Reserve 20% of the mixture at room temperature for later.

Place Maple and water mixture on medium heat on the stove and bring to a simmer.
Remove the mixture from the heat and carefully pour into a blender. Blend at medium high speed while adding agar agar powder. Blend for 45 seconds to making sure that the agar is fully incorporated.

Strain mixture from blender into a clean pot through a fine mesh strainer. Return to the stove and bring to a boil for 30 seconds; once the mixture has boiled a second time, pour into a shallow dish, place dish into the refrigerator to cool.

After cooling completely (it will feel like Jell-O). Put the hardened mixture back into the blender. On medium speed, puree cool mixture while slowly adding the room temperature liquid until you achieve a desired viscosity.

Part 3 - Master Bacon Recipe
Ingredients Quantity
Sous Vide Bacon Sliced Against the grain ¼" thick As much as you want
Maple Fluid Gel Room temperature 4 oz
Black Eyed Pea Puree Hot 12 oz
Cultured Butter Cold Cut into ¼" Pieces 1 oz
Sea Salt To Taste
Finely cracked Black Pepper To Taste
Petite Green or parsley Picked down to single leaves

FINAL PREPARATION: Place the sliced Bacon directly onto a non-stick sauté pan, on medium high heat for approximately 4-5 minutes on each side or until the bacon reaches your desired color. Remove the bacon to a cooling rack or onto a paper towel to remove any excess fat.

In a small sauce pot, gently heat the 12oz of black eyed pea puree. Once the puree is hot (an occasional bubble rising to the top), remove the puree from the heat and whisk in the 1oz of cold cultured butter and check the seasoning. Add salt and pepper if desired.

Plate up: In the center of a small plate spoon approximately 3oz of the hot, "Buttered out" puree. Place the hot and drained Bacon onto the Pea puree in a manner that allows for most of the puree to be seen. Place maple fluid gel decoratively onto the plate with the use of a squeeze bottle or disposable pastry bag. The gel should be able to "Stand up" like a Hershey's kiss. Garnish with petite greens or the smallest parsley leaves.

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