Posts filed under ‘Snacks’

New Vehicle for Flavor; Salty Pistachio Praline

Happy Mardi Gras friends. Our town, San Luis Obispo, used to be known for the biggest Mardi Gras celebration west of the Mississippi, but like all big parties in this town it gets shut down. I’m going to have a moment of silence for the fun I don’t get to have tonight.

Boil to 238 F, then cool to 220.

Boil to 238 F, then cool to 220.

Then I’m going to enjoy a praline I made for the occasion. Not the most colorful choice of treat (we are having King Cake for breakfast), but yummy. Remember, when you go to New Orleans, praline is pronounced with a soft a, like lamb. Not the hard a like rain. Praline is a treat you can purchase in all the tourist shops, which I hope you only go to once so you can go to Elizabeth’s and enjoy praline bacon. And now we reach our point; pralines have the potential for fun variations. If Elizabeth’s is substituting bacon for the pecans, surely I can sub any nut I like. I could sub the vanilla for any flavor also.

Add butter and flavoring, then beat until creamy.

Add butter and flavoring, then beat until creamy.

I immediately looked in my cupboard for bourbon. Le sigh. None to be found (I’m not the first person to think of this combination). BUT rose water and pistachios. Pralines with a Moroccan flavor? Why not?! My pistachios were salted and roasted, so I omitted salt in the recipe, but leave it in if you love salt. I couldn’t find organic shelled pistachios, but it only took 15 minutes of shelling to get enough for a half recipe.

Pralines recipes do not vary, except for those described above. While I am not a candy maker (this is only my second project with a candy thermometer), it leads me to believe candy making is a more precise process than baking. Epicurious has at least five praline recipes exactly like this. Paula Dean uses corn syrup in hers (skip). I did not research the chocolate praline for this post.

Stir in nuts and drop on parchment. Ready in half hour.

Stir in nuts and drop on parchment. Ready in half hour.

The only other change you could make is using parchment paper instead of oiling baking sheets.

What will your praline flavor combination be?

February 17, 2015 at 4:14 pm 1 comment

An Unfortunate Incident that leads to Chocolate Covered Bacon

IMG_3049

I would not buy chocolate with garlic flavor.


Can we agree that gift baskets are good? How about Organic produce produced by well guided alumni? My cousin got us this wonderful gift basket from her college filled with wonderful things that alumni have produced after their matriculation. Raisins, potato chips, garlic, honey, popcorn, chocolate, and more.  While I think we can agree that all those things are delicious, I’m not sure if we can agree on the unholy union of garlic and chocolate.

But bacon chocolate, yes, I would buy that.

That’s right folks. The garlic cuddled too long in the awesome box of edible goodies and it’s essence infused into other items in the box. The wonderful garlicky flavor and aroma has taken hold of the fat in the almonds and in the milk chocolate disks, forever joining those flavors. I’m not so sad about the almonds; I can stick those in a salad with some oil and vinegar and they are a perfect addition. But the chocolate. I can’t get over the garlic flavor now married to the chocolate. (Miss Partner’s reaction to tasting it was classic, but I’m not allowed to post those pictures.) The fresh garlic funk and the lovely roasty, fruity flavors of the chocolate are not a good complement. Not. Good. No matter how many people post recipes for chocolate-covered roasted garlic, chocolate garlic truffles, and black garlic chocolate cake (I admit, this last one intrigues me), I can’t enjoy this chocolate with the garlic flavoring.

Bacon saves garlic-chocolate from ridicule by the chocolate world.

Bacon saves garlic-chocolate from ridicule by the chocolate world.

What to do when no amount of mixing with peanut butter will help? It’s me, so I can’t just throw it away. I have to find a way to save this situation, to give this wonderful product a purpose again. We must turn to savory. Enter Bacon. Bacon again saves the day. Bacon, a flavor as powerful as garlic. It’s like making lemonade with lemons, but better. Perhaps, instead of that tired old phrase, I’ll start saying, “I can make garlic-chocolate into garlic-chocolate covered bacon.” Maybe that is too much of a mouthful.

Recipe. Uh, yeah. It’s eye balls estimate on the amounts. Sorry. I don’t really expect many people will have an occasion to use garlic-flavored chocolate, but I guess regular chocolate is cool, too. This should be an easy scale up or down recipe.

Too bad there won't be any left by the end of the day.

Too bad there won’t be any left by the end of the day.

APPROXIMATE RECIPE

3 pcs bacon cut into thirds

quarter cup chocolate chips or discs or pieces

  1. cook your bacon how you like it (I baked it, 12 mins at 400 F, flipping once). The approximately 2.5 inch pieces will shrink to about 1.5 inches; perfect bite size. Save the grease; makes great quiche or pie crust.
  2. melt your chocolate how you like (I stuck it in the oven last 4 min of cooking and then mixed it until smooth… with a fork or whatever you like)
  3. Use tongs or fingers if bacon is cool enough. Grab bacon and scoop chocolate on one side. Then other side. This will coat half the bacon piece. It looks pretty this way, and no one will be expecting a potato chip or sweet wafer inside. Lay dipped bacon on parchment.
  4. Finish all pieces of bacon. If there is chocolate left, get a little spoon and spoon the rest on bacon pieces evenly, or eat it if you feel you can. (I did lick the spoon. Couldn’t help myself, though I shuddered after.) Refrigerate until you are ready to enjoy or use as garnish on a cake or brownies.

February 2, 2015 at 4:18 pm Leave a comment


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