Friday, September 11, 2009

Waiter there's a Slug on my dish...

What a wild pendulum ride we seem to be on, swinging between The All American Thunderbirds of episode three and the total joie de vivre of episode four. At least there were no mimes.You'd think with the high protein content of a good meaty escargot, the high protein diet folks would be cornering the slimy escargot market. But no, the lowly land snail was presented under glass like some weird botanical freak. Considering all the other members of the mollusk family Americans do eat, why all the snail hatin'. Remember that the next time you have a heaping plate of Key West Conch fritters you're eating ocean snail instead of land snail.
The Quickfire takes place in Daniel Boulud's beautiful Las Vegas kitchen.Let's hope it inspires some beautiful cooking. Because for the first time, they will eliminate someone for the worst Quickfire dish.Looks like someone thinks they have an advantage.French fashion trends aside there were some excellent dishes that came out of the Quickfire. Namely Kevin's winning dish of Escargot Fricasse with mushrooms, brussel sprouts and Candied Bacon Jam.

The recipe for the whole dish can be found at Bravo but since folks have asked I'm posting the Bacon Jam recipe here. Because you know we're all about Baconization.

1 cup bacon, cut into 2” X 1” X 1/2” pieces
¼ cup yellow onions, julienned
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon honey
3 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon butter, unsalted


For Bacon Jam:
1. Render bacon in a heavy sauté pan in hot 500-degree F oven until bacon is crispy.
2. Pull from oven and remove bacon. Cook julienned onions in the remaining bacon fat, scraping the bits from the bottom of the pan until onions are dark golden.
3. Add brown sugar and stir to coat.
4. Add a third of the chicken stock and place pan back in the oven to simmer. Reduce mixture until thick, almost au sec (approx 5-15 minutes). Watch carefully that it doesn’t burn.
5. Add half of the remaining stock and reduce again until thick.
6. Add all of the remaining stock and remove pan from the oven. Season with salt, pepper, and espelette (an espelette chili pepper powder) to taste.
7. Pour contents into a blender and puree until fairly smooth.
8. Pour contents back into sauté pan and stir in honey to combine.
9. Put pan back into oven and cook stirring frequently until deep brick red color is reached.
10. Re-season and mount with butter. Allow to cool to warm temperature. Reserve.

Kevin's reward for giving us lucky viewers Candied Bacon Jam? Immunity and a seat at the big kid's table while everyone else sweats it out back in the kitchen.Just don't wear the meggings. Now for the least favorite dishes. I don't think anyone is surprised at the bottom three.What was a surprise was giving them one more chance by having a Cook Off. 20 minutes to make an amuse bouche out of anything in the kitchen. I know my heart was pounding so I can't imagine theirs. The dishes they made didn't look too bad but in the end it's the one who has camped out in the bottom of both the previous Quickfires and Elimination rounds.
Coming Next? Getting Saucy.


MakingSpace said...

Oh please. I'll just cook bacon and d[ it in the maple syrup with my pancakes. Unless some alert reader wants to invite me and my bacon-addicted children over for lunch one day.

Tat Woman is gone! Bwaaah! Or something.

MakingSpace said...

That was supposed to be "dip" up there. I'm all addled from the bacon.

moi said...

Bacon Jam! Would also make a nifty name for a rock band.

LaDivaCucina said...

I loves me some snails but never made them. How about you Shamu?

Tintin's outfit is ridiculous, esp. the black shoes and socks! YIKES! I was figuring him to be a kitchen clog chef!

Big Shamu said...

MS I think you forgot to mention that inviting a Hawaiian resident to lunch is a leetle more complicated than just issuing the invite.

Moi, at the next bloggy summit maybe Bacon Jam will play.

La Diva, I have had conch but no escargot. But it's on my list to try. And that's tintin's outfit in Shamu's Photochoppy World.

LaDivaCucina said...

OMG, I'm glad you told me (about Tintin) because it was giving me nightmares on many levels!!!

I've had escargot in the trad way many times. I love 'em but always with a lot of bread (it's that texture thing again) It's certainly not anything I would crave though. YOu should try them once, Shamu, being the foodie you are.

LaDivaCucina said...

Making Space are you in Hawaii?

Big Shamu said...

La Diva, it's not the photochops that get posted that give me nightmares, it's the ones I don't post that haunt me. There are some things that should just stay in Shamu's computer.

LaDivaCucina said...

Ok, that IS scaring me. But I scare myself too. I'll send you something silly I was doing yesterday waiting for hubby to pull it together. If I knew photoshop better, I'd be dangerous. It's best I leave it in your capable (and responsible) hands.