Brian Boitano is just so entertaining to watch. We can just sit back and go along for the ride.
I love how he looks at us through the bottom of a glass bowl. I still laugh when I think about how he waved to us as he was stirring something on the stove. He’s so juvenile and fun and funny. The goofy voice-over guy only adds to the mood.
Today Brian is cooking for “roller girls”. Will he be cooking for large groups of women every week, I wonder? It looks like he put bacon in the bottom of a martini glass! Could that be?
I love that Brian got rid of his soul patch. He looks so much better clean shaven. He listens to a message (while wearing a GORGEOUS textured robe) from a gal about how she and her buddies had a great time with him the night before. Now we see a flashback to what happened BEFORE that message and it involved BACON, lots of bacon.
Brian and Gordy (I thought it was Gordo) went to a roller derby match. They were invited to the after party and after too many BACON martinis (I am sooo out of touch), Brian invited the entire team of 22 roller girls over for dinner the next night.
He decides to feature bacon in every dish.
Brian starts with bacon corn muffins. He sprays a mini muffin pan with Pam and then melts 3 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan. In a large bowl (the one he looked through) he mixes 3 /4 cup flour, ½ cup cornmeal, 3/4 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons of baking powder and 2 tablespoons of brown sugar. Brian mixes one egg with 3/4 cup milk and 1 tablespoon of bacon fat and adds that to the dry ingredients. He chops up 6 crispy strips of bacon and folds that into the batter, saving some for garnish. He fills his prepared muffin cups three quarters full and bakes the muffins at 375°F 10 to 12 minutes.
Next Brian moves on to a savory cream cheese frosting. He mixes one eight ounce package of softened cream cheese with 1 tablespoon hot sauce (or more) and 2 tablespoons of honey. (He uses a honey bear. Oh well, you can’t have everything and I can always use my good honey.) He beats it until soft and adds some chopped chives, saving some for garnish.
Brian fills a pastry bag with the frosting. He’s using a plastic bag type. (Doesn’t he cook enough to warrant a real pastry bag?) And I wonder if the hole he made is big enough for the chives to go through easily. He pipes on a curl of icing and garnishes it with bacon and chives. THAT’S a nice recipe.
Next up is sweet potato hash in bacon cups.
The only trouble with this show is that I have no bacon handy and it’s making me MAD! Brian takes rounds of pancetta and pushes them into mini muffin cups. He’s getting a lot of use from muffin pans today. He presses another mini-muffin pan on top, so they hold their shape. Then he flips the tins and places them on a baking sheet and cooks them for 12 minutes at 400°F.
Brian goes on to dice sweet potatoes and cooks it in bacon grease, adding celery, onion, paprika, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. He cooks it all for 12 minutes.
Bri takes out the bacon cups. He adds 4 slices of crumbled bacon into the sweet potato hash. He says the cute little bacon cup reminds him of a roller derby helmet. He fills one with hash and garnishs it with parsley.
We see Brian dreaming of skating with the gals. (Shouldn’t that be the other way around?) He’s in red sequins while they’re in their usual uniform. Then he transforms hinself into their uniform. Gosh, he has HUGE thighs.
Next is the (yum) bourbon bacon apple tarts. Brian IS using commercial puff pastry, but it’s the good Dufour stuff. He thaws it in the fridge. He dusts his board and rolling pin with flour. He rolls the pastry sheet out a bit. He cuts out 24 little rounds and puts them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. He says “a day without puff pastry is like a day without sunshine”. Well, maybe.
Brian presses a baking rack on top of the pastry cut-outs (after he presses it onto his chest and says “nice rack” to stop them from puffing too much). He is so jejune…and I like it. He cooks the pastry at 400°F for 12 minutes.
Meanwhile, he's made candied bacon by spreading out bacon on a baking sheet and sprinkling each side with raw sugar. I’m guessing brown sugar would work just as well. He cooks it at 8 to 12 minutes a side. That will be a garnish for his apple tarts.
For the filling of his little tarts, he peels, cores and dices 3 granny smith apples. Brian tells us that his father used to peel apples in one single piece. We learned that that is NOT the way to do it in cooking school. You sacrifice precision and cut away more of the flesh than you need to.
He adds cinnamon and maple syrup and the juice of one lemon to the apples with ¼ cup bourbon, 3 tablespoons butter and ½ cup brown sugar. He adds the mixture to a sauté pan and puts it on a cold burner and cooks it for 10 to 12 minutes on medium heat. He starts it cold, so “the bourbon doesn’t flair up”.
For a flavored whipped cream, Brian whips together 1/2 cup heavy cream with 1 tablespoon powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon bourbon. He chops up 2 slices of bacon and mixes it into the apples.
He shows us the puff pastries, which look like mini hamburger buns. He takes out a small piece of the center and fills it with the cooked apple filling. Brian tops that with a spoonful of whipped cream and a bit of candied bacon.
The last dish is spicy fried chicken bites with derby bites. He cuts 1½ pounds of boneless chicken into bite size pieces and marinates it in buttermilk and hot sauce.
To dredge the chicken, Brian mixes flour with cayenne, paprika, garlic powder and salt and pepper. He marinates the chicken overnight (or a minimum of 2 hours, Brian says). He dredges the chicken in the flour and then BACK into the buttermilk. Wait! What? That looks a little gross. I have to look at that again. The chicken goes from the buttermilk into the flour and then back into the buttermilk and THEN back into the flour. Hmmm. That’s different. Interesting. They look really gungy.
For a dipping sauce, Brian mixes ¾ cup sour cream (for 22 people?) 1 tablespoonmayo and ¼ cup bleu cheese. (I can’t help but think if this were a Contessa recipe, she would quadruple the ingredients…for 4 people.) Brian crumbles up MORE bacon and adds it to the dip.
That chicken does look good. He drains it on paper towels. Remember my trick of layering newspapers under paper towels to save on paper towels.
He waits for the gals to arrive. He sets out outdoor cushions with the help of Anna (his help?) Chesty arrives first. She goes up to the roof deck and he keeps running up and down. Maybe Anna could have helped. He runs down to finish the food. He brings it all out. IT really does look good, but is there enough?
They are chowing down and drinking bacon martinis. And what about the recipe for the bacon martini? Don’t tell me I have to track it down off another Blackberry?