russb wrote:cottage butt? Is this some type of bacon or ham?
I was curious also, so I googled and found all this info on how to make a BLT glorious
I highlighted the "Cottage Butt" in red.
Ridgerunener, I have not tried the beaner yet but I'm going to make Skidsteers 15 beaner with lots of bacon thanks to you
Be sure to read all the way to the bottom and feast your taste buds on the biscuit recipe
Meal Fits Summer to a (BL)T
By Marlene Parrish
A perfect bacon-lettuce-and-tomato sandwich is simple, and if you go for the best ingredients, the results can be glorious.
The tomato has to be garden-raised, vine-ripened and recently picked, preferably within a couple of hours. Try to use garden-fresh lettuce. I prefer leaf, Boston or Bibb.
I usually have homemade garlic mayonnaise in the fridge, but I can't argue against either Hellmann's or Miracle Whip. I grew up with the latter in my school lunches, and, unlike some of my pals, I don't snub it.
The bread has to be artisan style. Since I've discovered MediTerra's Sesame Semolina and BreadWorks Rustic Sourdough, my freezer is never without them. If you like less chewiness, Pepperidge Farm farmhouse white bread is fine.
Idiosyncrasies are tolerated. My husband likes his bread toasted but not too dark. Sometimes I tuck in few big leaves of basil and a couple of rings of thinly sliced red onion.
Truth be told, a good BLT is all about the bacon. If you are worried about calories, eat bacon less often and eat only two slices, but make it the best you can find. Life is short, and you deserve good bacon.
This year, I checked out many kinds of bacon to determine the ideal B for a BLT. I compared nine kinds, all similar in price, listed here in order of preference.
Dry-rub slab bacon, cut from a whole piece into 1/8-inch-thick slices — this is often called "country style." I bought this uncured bacon from the butcher at Whole Foods Market. There was little shrinkage, the flavor was excellent and the bacon stayed crisp the longest. This is my favorite.
Yorkshire Farms vacuum-packed, uncured and dry-rubbed bacon slices — these were also purchased from Whole Foods. The slices weren't as thick, but the bacon had good flavor and little shrinkage. They stayed crisp in the sandwich. Niman Ranch smoked thick slices made from heirloom porkers tied for second place.Cottage Butt Bacon — as an experiment, I tried smoked and cured pork shoulder butt made by Wil-Den Family Farms. It tastes like a ham slice, and because it is so thin, it needs only a few minutes in the skillet to frazzle. This tender-meaty bacon is delicious in a BLT and great with breakfast eggs.
Sugardale thick-sliced, hickory smoked bacon — this vacuum-packed supermarket product is a good default bacon to have on hand. It cooks up crisp and flavorful, and I always have it in the freezer.
Thin-sliced, vacuum-packed bacon — most of these bacons are not worth their cheaper prices. The slices shrink, crumble and don't deliver the flavor. Forget it.
Ready-to-eat, microwaveable strips — don't even speak of them. Eating these is an act of desperation.
Bacon, whatever the style, is cured pork. But just as Italian basil pesto has become pesto-ized into parsley-pesto, tomato-pesto and other "pestos," so has bacon become bacon-ized. We now have "bacons" from other animals.
Swiss Class Veal bacon — this is a new product sold primarily to food-service accounts, but I managed to wheedle some from the manufacturer. The first time I tasted it, at a conference, it was fabulous, crisp with lots of lean meat. Cooked on my range top, it shrank to half its original raw size, was floppy rather than crisp and was excessively chewy. Thumbs down.
Wellshire Farms Beef bacon — this brand-new product at Whole Foods is made from beef brisket. The VERY red meat with VERY beefy fat twists and curls in the pan, shrinks by half and tastes on the tart side. Very bad idea. I threw it out.
Yorkshire Farms Turkey bacon — pink, very pink, strips of salty, homogenized mono-meat. The floppy strips didn't shrink and left no fat in the pan. Awful idea. Thrown out, too.
I cook bacon on the stovetop. It's easy to watch, fills the house with delicious aroma and makes the crispest bacon. In a cold, heavy skillet large enough to hold the slices in a single layer, arrange the slices and, please note, cook over LOW to medium-low heat. Cooking bacon at a low temperature minimizes shrinking, curling and uneven cooking. It also cuts down on spattering. Turn slices often until they are browned and crisp. Drain on paper towels.
Others might prefer to use the microwave, although I find that it usually yields slices that are dry and hard.
If you're cooking for a crowd, use the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and place wire racks in a baking tray. Arrange the slices in a single layer on the racks and bake until desired crispness, about 15 to 20 minutes. Or, just place the slices directly on the baking sheet. Cooking in their own fat, they will be crisper than when baked on the rack.
I prefer to turn the slices with chopsticks rather than a fork or tongs, and I use kitchen scissors to snip into the occasional fat ruffle so that the strips lay flat.
Cooked leftovers are not a problem. Crumbled bacon is wonderful in salads (especially Cobb), as a topping for thick soup, added to biscuits or pancakes, mixed into scrambled eggs or a frittata, tossed with German-style potato salad, partnered with sautéed liver and onions, added to chowder, topping an extravagant burger or used as a garnish for cooked vegetables as well as pasta.
Then there are the bacon drippings. In the old days, before Lipitor, I'd fry bacon and set it aside, then fry chicken pieces in the bacon fat (plus butter) until crisp, thicken the drippings with flour and make cream gravy, scraping up the browned bits in the skillet. Crumbled bacon topped the dish with buttery whipped potatoes on the side.
Now older and a bit wiser, I'll keep a few tablespoons of clear bacon drippings for spinach salad dressing.
Two-Bite Bacon Biscuits
The short version would be crumbled bacon bits added to Bisquick biscuits, using drippings for the fat in the recipe on the box.
3 thick smoked bacon slices (3 ounces uncooked), cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
2 cups flour, plus more as needed
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
4 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3/4 cup buttermilk
apple butter, optional
In a medium-heavy skillet, cook the bacon pieces over low to medium-low heat, turning as needed to achieve uniform crispness. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper towel to drain.
Pour 2 tablespoons drippings into a shallow glass or metal container and freeze until hard, 20 to 30 minutes. Chop the bacon into fine bits. When the bacon drippings have hardened, remove and cut or break into pieces.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Add the butter and frozen drippings. Using a pastry blender, 2 knives or your fingertips, work the mixture together until it is crumbly and resembles coarse meal. Stir in the bacon bits. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Pour the buttermilk into the well and stir until the mixture just forms a soft dough. Don't overbeat.
Dust your hands with flour and knead the dough gently on a lightly floured surface 2 or 3 times. Roll out the dough to 1/2 inch thick. Dip a 2-inch-round cookie or biscuit cutter into the flour, shake off the excess and push the cutter straight down to cut the dough. (If you twist the cutter, chances are the biscuits will not rise properly.)
Place the biscuits about 1 inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake until lightly golden, about 10 minutes. Best served warm with butter and apple butter. Freeze leftovers and reheat in a warm toaster oven.
Makes about 15 to 20 biscuits.