Warning bacon lovers: The word ‘bacon’ was used 22 times in this post. Actually it’s 24 times now. Some people have been known to enter a trance at the repeated sound of bacon (25 times). Read at your own risk.
After indulging on everything pork this week-end i wanted to redeem myself and prepare something quick and healthy for dinner. No, no, nooo i have not turned vegetarian on you yet, my romance with bacon is very much alive and kicking but tonight i wanted wild salmon for dinner. The twist was to make it taste a bit like eh… bacon, but without using bacon. Not only i wanted a bacon-tasting salmon but it had to taste like spring too. It’s the poet in me, i think. Some of you might be wondering who is this guy and why does he want his salmon to taste like bacon!?.. Well, isn’t it everyone’s aspiration in life to taste like bacon? Duh!? I mean come on!!
Sometimes you have to put diet first and while i still believe bacon fat preserve you from the effects of aging you should also never trust a zenchef to tell you what’s good or bad for you, medically speaking. For some reason i wasn’t accepted in medical school, they even told my application would be rejected as long as i’m alive. Maybe it was sarcasm, i don’t know. I can carve a chicken as fast as Martin Yan though! Can you imagine me turning around surgeries as fast as hush puppies at a street fair? Hmm… I think i got sidetracked again.
So much about bacon for a recipe that doesn’t even use bacon, you gotta feel the love! Some dude once said “The discovery of a new dish does more for human happiness than the discovery of a new star.” I think it was my fellow countryman Brillat-Savarin. With that in mind, i roasted some shiitake mushrooms with olive oil and salt until crispy (mushroom chips) before cutting them into small ‘lardons’. A touch of smoked paprika turned them into, guess what… bacon! Yes, it taste just like bacon. Intense, rich, smoky and crispy. Bacon!!!
I made a quick vinaigrette with sherry vinegar, spanish olive oil, shiitake ‘bacon’ bits and smoked paprika and served a nice drizzle over the roasted wild salmon and it was supergood – which means beyond good. Some fava beans, fresh peas, asparagus tips, roasted cherry tomatoes on the vine with a sprinkle of fleur de sel took care of the spring part. Here you have it friends, seasonal, quick, healthy but still bacony.
No recipe today, this is instinctive cooking. Have fun. Oh,and one more thing… bacon, bacon, bacon, bacon, bacon. bacon… Ok, i’ll shut up about bacon now. Enjoy!