today i’m happy to share two great recipes. the first is a special one from our wedding caterer- chef nick mueller. i had so much fun going back and forth with nick about menu ideas and one that was a BIG hit with both my family and our wedding guests were his
petite sugarcane cured bacon BLT’s with roasted tomato confit & ginger aioli. they were probably the best bacon-related sandwich i’d ever eaten and i’m so thrilled that nick was game to share a home-kitchen version of his recipe here today! i hope you’ll give these a shot- they’re perfect for dinner parties, backyard get togethers and just a special snack for your family and loved ones. thank you so much to chef nick for sharing this recipe today- if you’re in the georgia area be sure to check him out. (and ask if he’ll make a sweet potato corn cake for you- they’re HEAVEN).
CLICK HERE for the full recipe after the jump!
Petite Sugarcane Cured Bacon “BLT” with Roasted Tomato Confit & Ginger Aioli
Recipe from Chef Nick Mueller
Mini Toasts – or Crostini Bases
-1 Loaf of Bread (Your Preference– We used a Traditional White Bread for Grace and Aaron’s Wedding)
-An electric knife with a bread blade – is key for producing these in volume – if not a very sharp serrated knife will do.
1. Stack four bread slices at a time – cutting down each side to remove the crusts. Then cut in half – both ways – to create four evenly sized pieces from each slice. Lightly brush each mini slice with a mixture of butter and bacon fat – Toast lightly just before assembling.
Ginger Wasabi Aioli or Mayonnaise*
-2 TBS Fresh Ginger – Grated through a micro plane
-1 TBS Wasabi Paste – More if you like it Spicy
-2 Egg Yolks
-Juice of one Medium Lemon
-1 Small Head of Roasted Garlic –Squeeze out the roasted Cloves **
-1 3/4 C Canola Oil
-1 TBS Red Pepper Flavored Rice Wine Vinegar (Nakano Brand)
-Sea Salt and Freshly Ground 5 Pepper Corn Blend (Roland Brand)
1. Combine all ingredients, except Salt and Pepper and Canola Oil, in mixer bowl – whisk for three minutes vigorously by hand or on high speed.
2. Continue mixing and add in oil very slowly to emulsify thoroughly, until oil is fully emulsified.
3. Refrigerate immediately, and chill thoroughly.
* A quick version of this can be made using Hellmann’s Mayonnaise – Mix the flavoring ingredients (everything except the oil and egg yolks) into 1 ¾ Cups of Hellmann’s and let chill for 15 minutes, then serve.
** To roast a whole head of garlic – Cut off top portion of a head to expose the ends of the cloves – rub the head with extra-virgin Olive oil – sprinkle with Kosher salt – Wrap in foil to make an envelope – roast in the oven on a cookie sheet at 375 F for 20 -40 minutes until top of garlic is golden brown.
Olive Oil Poached Sweet Grape Tomatoes
-1 Pint Sweet Grape Tomatoes (Small in size if possible)
1. Blanch the tomatoes and Shock in ice water, then peel
2. Pat them dry and place them into a sauce pan.
3. Pour in enough extra Virgin Olive Oil to Cover
4. Add four slices of Ginger and Eight cloves of Garlic
5. Add 1sp of kosher salt
6. Place over very low heat – and poach for 1 Hour +
Tomatoes should be very tender – But still have their shape.
Chill and reserve in the poaching oil– this can be done several days in advance – the Poaching oil makes a great salad dressing ingredient – or you can also make the aioli for the BLTs with it.
(This is what we used for Grace and Aaron’s Wedding – but the roasted Roma Tomato recipe that follows – is also fantastic – just mash them a little to get appropriate sized pieces)
Oven Roasted Tomatoes
1 pound of ripe Roma Tomatoes (cut off tips, and cut in half through the equator)
1. Toss Liberally with Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2. Sprinkle Moderately with Kosher Salt or Sea Salt
3. Space the tomatoes evenly, above ¼ inch apart – Roast in the oven at 250 F for @ 2 Hours – Rotating Pan and Turning tomatoes over at least once.
Roasting over night with only the pilot light or the warm setting on an electric stove is best. Roasting at a higher temperature @ 325 F for 30 – 45 minutes is acceptable if you are in a hurry.
4. Puree Roasted tomatoes (for this recipe) or use whole on bread or as an accompaniment to meat dishes.
(We cured our own using Pork Belly and Cane Syrup in our Brine – This allowed us to get the extra thick slices that really set this dish off) ***
-Use the best and thickest bacon that you can find – You want at least 1/8” Thick Slices.
1. Cut it into rectangular pieces that are ¾” longer than the Toast Squares – Bacon Shrinks a lot when cooked. – Place the cut bacon on a cookie sheet lined with parchment. This can be set up the day before and kept covered in the fridge.
2. When ready – cook the bacon on the sheet pan in a 375F oven until browned and crispy – really thick bacon will not get as crispy as thinner slices. – Drain off excess fat and remove the bacon to paper towels – keep warm until ready to assemble.
*** You can flavor your bacon – before cooking brush it lightly with one of the following: sesame oil, teriyaki, Chile oil, Ginger or Garlic there are a lot of possibilities.
(We used an assortment of micro greens – tossed in a very light white truffle vinaigrette)
Any fresh lettuce – baby spinach, baby arugula, micro greens, fresh basil or even sprouts will work nicely. – Toss with a light vinaigrette with Canola oil and Rice wine vinegar 3:1 ratio with sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1. Spread or pipe a moderate amount of Ginger aioli onto each toast base.
2. Top with warm Bacon.
3. Place Greens on top of Bacon
4. Top with tomato or tomato pieces – serve while bacon is still warm