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Charcuterie

Cinnamon Dessert Bacon

Finished dessert bacon ready for the oven

Finished dessert bacon ready for the oven

Last weekend I entered a charity bake off and my Bacon Blondies did quite well.  This wouldn’t have been a proper Food With Legs project if I hadn’t cured and smoked the pork belly to make my own homemade bacon.  I will post the full recipe for the blondies in a separate post but today I’m going to focus on the bacon.

Making homemade bacon is a process more than a recipe.  I have posted before about how this process starts by searching for ingredients.  Fresh pork belly is not in every grocery store but I have found a reliable source at my local No Frills (Carlo’s at Yonge and Steeles) and curing salts are even more difficult to find.  This was my first time using Canada Compound’s ReadyCure product and because it contains only  one percent sodium nitrite (versus the six and a quarter in pink salt, Prague Powder, etc.) I needed to do some math to adapt the recipe.

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Brawn But No Brains

Brawn on toast with mustard and cornichons

Brawn on toast with mustard and cornichons

I try to be polite so when I was invited to an open house recently I asked what I could bring.  The hostess responded to my email by writing: “Sure we would love if you brought something yummy… anything surprise us!”  Anything?  Really?  Sounded like a challenge to me.

To pacify the less adventurous eaters at the party I made a batch of the Julia chicken liver mousse.  Just as it was at Hallowe’en this pate was very popular. An aside: Party guests seemed oddly polite about not moving (or eating) the sage leaf garnish in one corner of the bowl.  They went as far as to excavate mousse from underneath the sage.  Chicken liver mousse is great but I’ve done that before and it’s not much of a challenge beater.  I knew of only one dish that would perfectly fit the bill, a terrine made from the parts of an entire pig’s head: brawn.

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