Bacon Mashed Potato Pie

This is a simple recipe that is great on multiple levels: It, of course, is delicious and indulgent. It’s also easy to altar to individual sized dishes by using small custard ramekins or baking dishes (see #3 on ”My Favorites”). To do this, simply divide up the bacon and line the custard or baking dishes individually the same way you would the large pie dish. This also lends itself well to experimentation with different mashed potato recipes.

Bacon Mashed Potato Pie

Ingredients:

5 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped into small squares
5 medium garlic cloves, peeled & roasted (see below)
1 lb bacon
1/4C. water
1 C. heavy cream
5-6T rendered duck fat (optional)
Salt & Pepper


Process:

Boil potatoes in salted water until tender enough to fall apart when stuck with a fork.

While boiling:
– Pan roast and chop garlic: Heat 2T olive oil in deep sauté pan. When hot, add peeled cloves. Sautee on high until soft and browned on both sides. Chop finely and set aside.

– Fry bacon til medium-crispy

Rinse boiled potatoes in colander and return to pot.

Mash part of the way, then add ½ of the cream, ½ of the water and chopped roasted garlic. Stir and mash, slowly adding the remainder of the water, cream and all duck fat (make sure that the fat is melted, not solid). While stirring and mashing, liberally salt and pepper with fine sea salt and fresh ground black pepper.

When finished, line a greased 9” baking dish or 3 4” ramekins with bacon, like a piecrust.

Heap in mashed potatoes
cimg1909

Cover with remaining bacon.
baconpotato3c

Bake at 375 for 10 minutes, and finish at 425 until brown and crisp on top (app 7 minutes, depending on the bacon.)

A Few of My Favorite Things

In effort to introduce myself, my kitchen and my blog, I offer to you a short list of my favorite tools, equipment, indulgences and pantry staples:

1. Salt: The best, standard rule of thumb is never, ever EVER cook anything without salt. Since you should always abide by this, you should also have a strong supply of various gourmet and finishing salts on hand in addition to cooking salts (they’re fun to discover and collect, too!). Some of my favorites include Fume de Sel (a grey salt smoked over Chardonnay Oak), Kala Namak ( aka “Black Salt”; a strongly sulfuric salt from India and my absolute favorite), Bolivian Rose (a slightly sulfuric pink salt, quarried from a dried lake bed in the Andes), and of course the standard Fleur de Sel.

2. Individually sized foods: Individually sized entrees, sides, or desserts are like
tapas in your own home. They encourage people to participate in the greatest
aspect of food: a time to share, talk and interact with each other They’re also a
convenient way to test out multiple recipe variations all at once – just remember to label which is which.
(see #3 and Bacon Mashed Potatoes Pie)

3. My Round 4” Non-stick Baking Dishes and/or 4″ Round Custard Ramekins: Perfect for individually sized anything. (see #2)

4. Truffles: Yes, I know that this is everyone’s favorite, but it can’t be overlooked. Truffle oil, truffle salt, truffle cheese (see below).

5. Al Tartufo StagionatoTruffle Cheese: Since I restrained myself from listing 25 different salts as my favorite things, I deserve two for truffles. This one in particular is a dream come true. A sheep’s milk version of the original Al Tartufo, its harder and dryer. I’ve heard complaints that it doesn’t melt as well as the original cow and sheep blend, but I ignore this because I don’t care to know or understand any kind of lunatic that would manipulate the make up of such a perfect creation by melting it. (I even once saw a recipe for a truffle cheese grilled cheese. Idiots.)

6. Stuffed Foods: Stuffed foods are a really fun way to experiment with the
creativity that goes along with good cooking. It’s also a good way to practice and test your ability to pair tastes and textures with one another. They also are usually easy to make pretty, and make you look like you know what you’re doing, even if you barely do. Some of my favorites: Duck breast stuffed with baked goat cheese (I actually turned a vegetarian with this dish); Pork chops stuffed with brie and pancetta, Roasted bell peppers stuffed with chipotle roasted lime couscous.

7. Liver: The only thing I could imagine being more delicious than truffles, or having a better richness in both flavor and texture than liver could possibly be liver confit in duck fat with truffle oil. Oh, mama.

8. Cameron’s 11″x15″ Stovetop Smoker: I first discovered this while cooking in a restaurant in San Francisco, where we used it for the house smoked bacon. It’s small, but perfect. Tomatillos, heirloom tomatoes (reserve the juice to make a mind-blowing tomato sauce), eggplant, and tofu are only a few in the long list of items that, when smoked, are a tasty way to move vegetarian or vegan dishes from the sides menu to the entrée menu. I also suggest experimenting with pizza toppings.

9. Duck fat: While that truth remains that I was vegan for 12-or-so years, things have changed and I am now a very strong advocate of always having duck fat on hand. A
pound or two goes a long way – makes you look impressively creative in the
kitchen, and isn’t excessively expensive. It’s a simple way to add
richness to anything when you’re happy to indulge in a dish that is well worth
turning a blind eye to saturated fat and calories. And let-me-tell-you …. Some stuffed pork chops browned in duck fat ….. well, I think you get my point. Duck fat is easy to obtain from your local butcher. Even a grocery
store butcher would probably be able to order it (ask ahead), though I strongly (very strongly) suggest going to a butcher, not your grocery store. The quality is incomparable.


This list will surely grow, but for now, for your peace of mind. don’t worry, the dishes mentioned here will all have recipes posted shortly. Take the time between then and now to pick up a few of these items. Especially the duck fat.