Category Archives: Underground Dining

Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies

bacon chocolate chip cookies

Bacon chocolate chip cookies

Bacon chocolate chip cookies

For the finale of his “Bacon Heart Attack Dinner,” the Dissident Chef added a post-dessert lagniappe of bacon chocolate chip cookies, hot from the oven. Talk about incredible: these bacon chocolate chip cookies were among the best cookies I’ve ever eaten. Many of my fellow diners made similar remarks about the cookies. 

Maybe, if we’re lucky, the Dissident Chef will consider packaging these for wider distribution. (Whole Foods, Delmonico’s, Dean & Deluca, are you listening?)

Bacon Heart Attack Dinner (8) – Bacon Dessert Plate

Bacon Dessert: Bacon Ice Cream, Bacon, Bacon Biscuit

 

Bacon Ice Cream, Bacon, Bacon Biscuit - Dissident Chef
Bacon Ice Cream, Bacon, Bacon Biscuit - Dissident Chef

And the non-bacon items: sous vide strawberry and rhubarb compote. Fantastic plate.

But wait…that’s not all…the last pairing is below, and it was an awesome touch.

Bacon-infused Four Roses Whisky!!

 

Bacon-Infused, Four Roses Single Barrel Kentucky Whisky
Bacon-Infused, Four Roses Single Barrel Kentucky Whisky

If the picture looks a bit grainy, I think it represents the mind-fuzz of everyone at the Bacon Heart Attack Dinner at that point. Wonderfully grainy-headed.

 

Bacon Heart Attack Dinner (7): Bacon Sampler Platter

Bacon Sampler Platter: Bacon Heart Attack

Dissident Chef Bacon Sampler Platter: Fantastic

Dissident Chef Bacon Sampler Platter: Fantastic

Laid out like tiny machines of loving grace, or like a Japanese sushi platter, Dissident Chef’s glorious bacon sampler was a fetishistic array of bacon delights. This displayed the spectrum and variety across the field of dreams otherwise called BACON.

  • Crispy Fatted Calf Bacon
  • Sous Vide Bacon with Apple Cider
  • Artisanal Bacon
  • Hobbs’ Applewood Smoked Bacon
  • Canadian Bacon with green garlic 

Bacon Heart Attack Dinner (6) – Bacon + Rabbit Presse, Turnip Puree, Dates, Bacon Cream

Bacon & Rabbit Presse, Bacon Cream

Bacon Rabbit Presse, Pureed Turnips, Date, Bacon Cream

Bacon Rabbit Presse, Pureed Turnips, Date, Bacon Cream

Bacon Heart Attack Dinner, Course 6:

Bacon & Rabbit Presse, with pureed turnips, date, and bacon cream.

This is where we can safely say “Over the top, dude.”

Sweet and earthy, fatty and chewy, this dish was ridiculous. By that, I mean so absurdly rich and good you fantasize about it later. Or perhaps weekly, and perhaps for years to come.

To ameliorate the panic: thankfully, there was no heart attack involved anywhere during the course of the dinner. And, we presume, none afterwards.

But if one dish made my blood-thumper expand to a hardening cannonball rubbing like an angry pirate ship against the inside of my ribs rushing towards enemy mast, this was the dish. Breathe deep, breathe deep.

The colors of the bacon here—bright pink flesh, Tide-y whitie fat stripes—were modestly terrifying. I suspected it was slow-cooked via sous vide but my mind saw “raw” bacon….by this time, I was too gone to care. Trust is surrendered at the click, when I signed up online for this blind bacon masquerade.

 

Bacon Rabbit Presse, Pureed Turnips, Date, Bacon Cream
Bacon Rabbit Presse, Pureed Turnips, Date, Bacon Cream

To a certain extent, underground or ‘subculture dining,’  as the Dissident Chef calls it, is akin to his love of Jean Lafitte and pirates. He literally has a captive audience; nobody knows how many course are coming out, what’s coming next, when it’s going to end. So at this point, I’m feeling very along for the ride and very far afloat in the richness of bacon cream, softness of pureed turnips and very rich and fatty rabbit and bacon. I’ve never been one to put the kibosh on pirate ships, anyway: I had a pirate birthday party when I was 7, decades before Johnny Depp made rogue vogue.

Turnips are fantastic root vegetables and aren’t given the glory of cousins like potatoes or carrots, so the puree alone was great. The rabbit and bacon presse—flesh & fat—was a stunning morsel when paired with the sweet, chewy date, the root-down turnip smoothness, and the crème de bacon. Really, bacon cream? OMG…bottle that stuff ASAP.

Overall, the ‘bacon heart attack’ evening was glorious; this was one of the evening’s singular triumphs.

Bacon Heart Attack Dinner (5) – Bacon Beef Heart Confit

Bacon Beef Heart Confit

Beef Heart Confit over Hobbs' Bacon, Lentils, Onion Flowers

Beef Heart Confit over Hobbs’ Bacon, Lentils, Onion Flowers

The fifth course of Dissident Chef’s Subculture Dining “Bacon Heart Attack Dinner” was a serious boost; another great dish with more complexity than the Spam (which was awesome). The beef heart confit flayed like a welcoming, flickering Maori tongue atop  green garlic, Hobbs’ bacon, and lentils.

Visually, there’s an erotic play happening as well, with the phallic onion flowers atop the open, flattened beef heart confit. 

The flavors have stepped up, especially bolstered by the big red swathe of house-made sriracha, the red chile pepper sauce popular throughout Southeast Asia.  The Dissident Chef painted a big sriracha swoop across the plate and that hot pepper infuses the lentils and beef heart confit to just the kind of heat that keeps you aware of mild fire in the mouth. Just enough to enjoy the burn.

Then reach for that cooling glass of wine.

(To get Hobb’s bacon or Hobbs’ smoked meats, try Golden Gate Meat Company)

Bacon Heart Attack Dinner, Course 5 Pairing: Chateau Guiot Rose´

The Chateau Guiot Rose´has three varietals: mostly grenache and syrah, with some cinsault. The pink is dark-hearted, and the fruit initially bold (strawberry, raspberry) but pretty dry through the finish. It was a great pairing to the rich spiciness of the bacon beef heart confit dish, and would be a great summer wine for anything you might barbecue.

Chateau Guiot Rose (grenache/syrah) from House of Wines SF
Chateau Guiot Rose (grenache/syrah) from House of Wines SF

Bacon Heart Attack Dinner (4) – Beef & Bacon Spam

House-made Beef + Bacon Spam, bacon broth 

House-made Beef & Bacon Spam, bacon broth
House-made Beef & Bacon Spam, bacon broth

Bacon Heart Attack Dinner Course 4:

Home-made Spam with cippolini onions, fingerling potatoes, bacon broth

In square bowls came a lovely little spam and broth, to be sopped up with great bread. I felt like a character in a Dickens novel, wanting some more, but probably slurped more graciously in my broth-swigging.

The spam was made by the Dissident Chef by combining various meat parts into a mixture that included bacon and odd parts like trotters. The texture was indeed Spam-like, or perhaps like a softer, more robustly flavored sausage. The fingerling potatoes were the country cousins who didn’t add much to the party and were probably embarrassed to even be there. Another nice surprise; another amazing little taste mob. Really a small but great dish.

Bacon Heart Attack Dinner (3) – Hobbs’ Bacon-wrapped Halibut Filet

Hobbs’ Smoked Bacon-Wrapped Halibut

Bacon Heart Attack Dinner, Course 3: Hobbs’ bacon-wrapped halibut filet, braised fennel, edible wildflower, marjoram butter sauce

Course three of the Bacon Heart Attack Dinner had a flurry of flavors, but the richness suggested by bacon and marjoram butter sauce were little mouthfuls of subtleties. (Especially compared to the later, richer, and more piquant dishes that followed.) The small halibut was wrapped in Hobbs’ Applewood Smoked Bacon. Braised fennel and a tiny edible flower bisect the plate; the marjoram-butter sauce convenes the flavor-clashes together in a truly sumptuous manner.

The pairing for this dish was house-made rice wine from the Dissident Chef and crew (no bottle shown).

Hobbs' Bacon-Wrapped Halibut Filet, Braised Fennel
Hobbs' Bacon-Wrapped Halibut Filet, Braised Fennel

Bacon Heart Attack Dinner (2) – Bacon & Sous Vide Egg

Bacon, Sous Vide Egg, Foie-Bacon Vinaigrette

Dissident Chef Plating a special Bacon & Egg Dish
Dissident Chef Plating a special Bacon & Egg Dish

Bacon Heart Attack Dinner, Course 2:

Fatted Calf Bacon Cup with Egg Sous Vide, Frisee, and Fois-Bacon Vinaigrette

The sous vide egg, cooked for 47 minutes at 47 C (116.6 F), has a marvelous soft and creamy texture, unlike any egg I’ve ever tasted. For texture and taste, the egg comes nearest to a custard, and the addition of a little fois gras-bacon vinaigrette over frisee transformed a simple breakfast staple into a little wonder. The egg sits inside a wrap of Fatted Calf bacon with a wicked crunch. The rough crunch vs. the silky custard, plus the greens and unique vinaigrette made this a crowd favorite.

Sous Vide Egg, Fatted Calf Bacon, Foie-Bacon Vinaigrette
Sous Vide Egg, Fatted Calf Bacon, Foie-Bacon Vinaigrette

Below is a shot of this dish prior to plating, which looks like a den of snakes. The bacon coils tightly, wound like an asp protecting its nest.

Bacon Heart Attack, course 2: Snakes of Bacon
Bacon Heart Attack, course 2: Snakes of Bacon

Course 2 Pairing: Kung Fu Girl, Reisling

Light, softly crisp, and easygoing, I didn’t feel much of the Kung Fu Girl’s punch. Punching came later. Nicely balanced wine paired with our breakfast-at-dinnertime special of bacon & sous vide egg. The Kung Fu Girl wine comes from Columbia Valley, Washington.

Kung Fu Girl Sauvignon Blanc
Kung Fu Girl Reisling, Columbia Valley, WA

Bacon Heart Attack Dinner (1) – Wild Boar Bacon

Chicken-Fried Wild Boar Bacon

For course 1 of Subculture Dining’s “Bacon Heart Attack Dinner,” the Dissident Chef served little chicken-fried wild boar bacon balls, paired with escarole,   The wild boar bacon’s chewiness and rough smokiness tastes not unlike a softer, more palatable form of jerky. The quick chicken fried style added a bit of texture to the fatty boar, which visually counterplayed the brilliant green salad of escarole and wild sugar snap peas. The slight bitterness of the escarole and the bright, mildly sweet peas were a great contrast against the fatty, smoky wild boar bacon ball. A great opening dish.

Chicken Fried Wild Boar - Bacon Heart Attack Dinner
Chicken Fried Wild Boar - Bacon Heart Attack Dinner

Bacon Heart Attack Dinner Pairing, Course 1: Chateau Calabre´ Bergerac Rose´

The Bergerac Rose is a combination of merlot, cabernet franc, and cabernet sauvignon. Soft fruit tones here, a nice opening taste that brightens up the dark smokiness of the wild boar. In the glass, it’s a bright, zippy pink. And against the bright plated greens, it’s a pairing made in Laura Ashley / Ralph Lauren / prep school heaven. A visual feast, and great sipping with the escarole, wild snap peas and boar bacon ball.

 

Course 1 Pairing: Chateau Calabre - Bergerac Rose
Course 1 Pairing: Chateau Calabre - Bergerac Rose

Bacon Heart Attack Dinner (Amuse-Bouche)

Bacon-infused Hangar One Vodka

For the opening act of Subculture Dining’s “Bacon Heart Attack Dinner,” the Dissident Chef and his crew offered bacon-infused martinis made with Hangar One Vodka. Amazing. The mini martinis were smoky, cold, crisp; a compelling ‘eye-opener’ for a bacon dinner. They were paired with sweet donut balls rolled in pulverized bacon & sugar, quite an aperitif and amuse-bouche combo.

Bacon-infused Martini - Hangar One Vodka
Bacon-infused Martini - Hangar One Vodka

Bacon & Brown Sugar Donuts

The bacon vodka aperitif was paired with bacon-brown-sugar donuts, served on a platter of woven bacon. The bacon was crushed with brown sugar and the hot little donuts were rolled in it. This was a great opening act for the Bacon Heart Attack Dinner. Whatever was to happen after this, I was aboard. A great start.

Bacon-Brown-Sugar Donuts
Bacon-Brown-Sugar Donuts

The photo above are the donuts in progress, tossed in the bowl. The photo below is the final presentation of donut balls, which sat atop a woven bacon napkin atop a small platter.

Bacon-Brown Sugar Donuts - Bacon Heart Attack
Bacon-Brown Sugar Donuts - Bacon Heart Attack