I seem to have had a very food-filled week. Actually, that can be said about a lot of my weeks, so let’s rephrase. I have had a deliciously food-filled week, in which I have probably gained five pounds – but have also restrained myself from succumbing to an emotional maelstrom of general down–in-the-dumps-ness, due to the several stress points in my life at the moment. You know those people who use food as a crutch? I happen to be guilty of having one underneath each arm. Hey, it keeps me upright.
I would like to focus on one of the highlights of my week, and my oddest and most delicious concoction to date: maple bacon ice cream.
I got the idea from a maple bacon doughnut I had in Portland, Oregon. I was fully expecting it to be disgusting, but it turned out to be amazing – and so when my friend came over today with her ice cream maker, we decided to take a leap of faith in the magic of my doughnut and attempt to replicate it in ice cream form. We got a lot of disgusted looks from my family … until they tried it.
It was a pretty easy recipe, actually. All you had to do was caramelize the bacon with a glaze of maple syrup and brown sugar and stick it into the oven for about half an hour, turning every ten minutes and reglazing. The ice cream we made was pretty simple as well. I was using good ol’ Aunt Jemima’s, which isn’t really that strong in terms of maple flavour, so we upped the amount it called for in the recipe to make it more maple-y. We probably ended up using a bit over half a cup.
Once the ice cream was made, and the bacon bits were chopped, we mixed it all together for something absolutely AMAZING.
We made a whole bowl of it, thinking that it’d be dessert for the next few days. We are funny people. The entire bowl vanished in about fifteen minutes once I introduced my father and sister to our ice cream’s glory and magnificence. If you have a ice cream maker and even the slightest inclination towards salty-sweet combinations, you have to make this.
Maple Bacon Ice Cream (adapted from food.com)
- 8 slices bacon
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
Maple Ice Cream
- 2 cups half-and-half cream
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup vanilla sugar
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1 pinch kosher salt
- Bacon: Preheat oven to 400°F. Mix the 1 tablespoon of syrup and the 1/4 cup brown sugar to form a paste. Lay the bacon out on a cooling rack on a lined sheet pan (lining the sheet pan will save you some nasty clean up.) Spread the paste on one side of the bacon and then bake for 10 minutes. Pull out bacon and turn each slice over. Spread the paste on the other side of the bacon and put back in the oven for another 10 minutes. Pull bacon out and turn it over again, then bake for another 5-10 minutes, or until bacon is evenly glazed. Cool completely and chop into little pieces.
- Maple ice cream: Combine all of the ingredients except for the bacon in a medium sauce pan and heat to 170°F. Let cool completely and add to ice cream maker. Follow the ice cream maker directions for your particular model. When the ice cream has the consistency of a soft serve, stir in the bacon and freeze for a few hours. Devour.
To follow up my ice cream extravaganza, I went to my aunt’s for a belated Chinese New Year dinner with my family. We had one of my favourite new year dishes, crispy pork – can you tell I’ll never be a vegetarian? We also had stuffed duck, chicken with ginger, jai (which I have no idea how to spell, but it’s basically glass noodles and veggies), salmon…and finished it up with tiramisu, banana bread, and this really delicious Chinese dessert that I have no idea how to spell or describe. It sounds something like lai go, but I’m probably bastardizing it in writing. Like many Chinese words I know, I can say them but writing them is a stretch. Essentially, it’s almost like mochi – it’s very starchy and sweet and sticky. For some reason, the packaging looked like a fish.
As a result of today, I am currently lying in bed in a food coma.
My other honourable mention of the week: I fulfilled one of my Dine Out wishes and went to Beachside Forno in West Van on Friday night. I had onion and chicken soup, parmesan gnocchi and a strawberry cheesecake parfait for dessert. The portions were a bit small, but the flavours were delicious. I was a little disappointed by the “flan” in my soup – it turned out to be this small square in the middle of the bowl, no bigger than my thumb (though yummy despite its size deficiency). But the strawberry parfait completely made up for it – it was heaven in a glass.
Somehow I have managed to fill up this entire blog post with food: I’m sorry for making you hungry. But somehow, I think a post on food is preferable to my trailing thoughts about what I should write about in my essay on a medieval poem called the Confessio Amantis, written in middle English. Just my opinion.