Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A Bacon Shortage – Is It Really From A Lack Of Soy Beans And Corn OR Is It Of Our Own Making?

A bacon shortage is coming. So says The National Pig Association of Britain in predicting an inadequate supply of bacon for the coming year.

I can’t help but think that part of this is our own fault. The many wacky new ways that folks use bacon has got to be at least a small factor in the impending bacon shortage.

Did we really need a Bacon Martini, otherwise known as a Bacontini? And what’s it made with? Bacon Vodka, of course. Was it really necessary to push Bacon Lollipops or Bacon Pickles?

And when Burger King adds bacon to a sundae, isn’t that a sign that the whole idea of adding bacon to just about anything has jumped the shark?

I never thought of myself as a bacon purist before. And maybe that's part of the problem. When all of us - as a collective nation - saw this bacon craze getting crazier and crazier, we just said, "Oh those wacky chefs and foodies. What will they think of next?" Well, THIS is what THAT has wrought! 

So much bacon has been dispensed in unlikely, and frankly unholy, places that those of us who have a piece (or two or five) with eggs every once in a while or a VERY infrequent club sandwich will now have to suffer!

What good did it do for the pet population to bulk up on bacon, or for kids to crave it in their popcorn if what’s left is not enough bacon for even the simplest uses? I’m very dis – GRUNT - led (get it?) with what may happen in the near future to these universally loved and now habitually overused strips of fatty and salty deliciousness.

Will I stockpile it? Absolutely not. The only thing I believe in stockpiling is ketchup and chocolate chips, because a shortage of those would be life-changing. However, if we had just said no when the first piece of bacon was dipped in chocolate, we wouldn’t be in this predicament. I urge everyone to stop putting bacon where it doesn’t belong! Maybe then we will have enough to go around when we really need it.

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Does this recipe qualify as one that requires bacon? I think so, because I would really hate to have to rethink it. It’s so super-easy and delicious. Maybe I could substitute kale for the bacon.

I’ll leave it to you to decide how much bacon to use. Using 4 pieces is grand, but you can certainly get away with 2 pieces if you’re conserving your bacon stash.

Scallops with Bacon (serves 3 or 2 nicely with leftovers)
Printable recipe here.


2 to 4 pieces of thick cut bacon
10 sage leaves
9 to 10 large sea scallops, scored with a small knife in a checkerboard pattern
¼ cup white wine

Fry bacon on medium low heat to render the fat. Pour out fat and reserve. Turn up heat to medium high and cook bacon until crisp, turning once. Remove from pan and set aside.

Pour bacon fat back into pan. Turn up heat to medium high, add sage leaves and fry until crisp. 

Remove and set aside. (You don’t really need all 10 sage leaves. You can test a few in advance of plating the scallops.)

Add large sea scallops to the pan and sear on one side for 2 minutes. Turn over and cook another 2 to 3 minutes. 


Meanwhile chop up the cooked bacon and reserve. Remove scallops from pan. Stir in white wine over medium high heat to deglaze the pan quickly.

Place hot Smashed Potatoes (recipe follows) on plate. Top with scallops and spoon over the deglazing juices. Top with the chopped bacon and fried sage leaves. (Peas and carrots make a nice accompaniment.)

Easy Garlic Smashed Potatoes

Cut 4 Yukon gold potatoes into large chunks. (Sometimes I peel them and sometimes I don’t.) Place in cold, well-salted, water with 3 or 4 unpeeled garlic cloves. Bring to a boil and simmer gently for 10 to 12 minutes until just done.

Spoon out the garlic cloves and set them aside. Drain the potatoes in a colander, reserving about a cup of the cooking water. Put the pan upside down on top of the potatoes and leave another 10 minutes. 

This will finish the cooking and they’ll be perfectly done.

Return the potatoes to the pan, press the boiled garlic on top using a garlic press, add about a quarter cup of the reserved cooking water, a bit of butter and some salt. Stir with a wooden spoon or mash with a potato masher. Taste for seasoning. Add more water if you need to, or butter or salt. Stir over heat until hot. 


Anonymous said...

It really does seem like there was a point where bacon was suddenly everywhere, a condiment to be used on anything (maple bacon doughnuts, anyone?) I can see how we'd have a "shortage" if there wasn't enough for all those "specialty" uses. Your point asking if we need all that is a good one.

Sue said...

Hi Tom,
I think creativity is a great thing. And, of course, it's fun to have usual ingredients being used in unusual ways. But when we have to worry if we'll have enough bacon for Angels on Horseback, we have a problem.

Sheila said...

You are so funny! Love the recipe! One day, when I have my kitchen back….

Until then, I'll fry up my bacon on my electric griddle.

Sue said...

Hi Sheila,
You'll be happy to just boil water when you finally have your kitchen!

Enjoy your bacon...while it lasts.

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

I cringe to think of a bacon shortage. I do love it so. I do agree though that it shouldn't be added to everything. I don't want it in my booze or my ice cream. I once had a bacon chocolate bar and was horribly disappointed. I think if I want that sweet-salty combo, I will either eat bacon dipped in syrup or else cook it coated in brown sugar.

Sue said...

Bacon with syrup REALLY is sooo good. That IS a great example of sweet with salty. Coated in brown sugar??? OMG, I want that.

I said I wasn't going to stockpile bacon, but maybe I should pick up a package or two, just in case.