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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » The Squid Martigan Experience (Page 2)

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Author Topic: The Squid Martigan Experience
rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Noemon:
You eat your mutton and bacon raw? [Eek!]

Indeed. Every speck of bacon and mutton I eat is raw.
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Primal Curve
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Which is none at all.

Pre-cooked bacon is overpriced tripe. You can cook raw bacon in the microwave so buying it pre-cooked is pointless.

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KarlEd
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quote:
Originally posted by Mr.Funny:
Heh. My mom usually gets the pre-cooked microwaveable stuff that Tstorm mentioned. It's very convenient, though not as tasty.

I think that must depend on brand, or maybe prep time. I use the "pre-cooked" microwave stuff almost exclusively. It's perfect for two of us since we don't eat bacon enough to justify cooking a whole package of the raw stuff. It's quick and easy. No spatter, and to me it tastes just like the spattery stuff. Also it's ready in 5 seconds. It keeps well in the fridge, so I can grab a couple of slices for a sandwich and it's done in the time it takes to unwrap a slice of cheese. ( [Grumble] dang cheese wrappers clinging like a drowning man to a life vest.)
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Sopwith
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I'm a big fan of the oven method for cooking bacon. To help it get more of the fat out, start it in a cold oven, don't preheat.

Also, half a strip of bacon wrapped around a water chestnut (secured by a toothpick) and deep fried is a great ors d'ouerve. (If you add a bit of chicken liver, it become rumaki).

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Squid Martigan
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I just can't understand this "keep the fat out of the pan" business. Being a long-time bacon lover, I was mystified by the phenomenon of the first skillet of bacon never turning out as well as subsequent pans (in one cooking, of course). I'd follow all the suggestions mentioned in here, and on the bacon packaging, about starting with a cold pan, etc. The bacon still didn't turn out like the occasional perfect bacon slice I'd encounter when others cook it. See, perfect bacon, to me, isn't exactly crispy-- that would diminish the fatty goodness of somewhat softer-cooked bacon, though when cooked too soft one gets the melted marshmallow effect from the white bits. Not only that, but if the bacon is cooked too slowly the meat gets chewy (very bad) and the fat gets chunky. This also happens if there's too much moisture in the pan, which is why one should never, ever cover a pan while cooking bacon (unless it ignites in flame). No, perfect bacon requires fast cooking, to the point where the fat itself becomes slightly crisped on its surface, such that the bacon and especially the fat parts go **squick** between the teeth. That **squick** is the crunch-like sound of oxidized fatty bit. I realized one day, while far from a stove, the solution-- the reason batches after the first come out so much better is because the heat isn't being transferred directly to the bacon by the surface of the skillet-- it's being transferred to the strips through the melted bacon grease! This means that the very best bacon gets that way by being deep fried in bacon grease! I searched for a cache of bacon fat in an old pickle jar and fished couch-coins enough for a pack of American bacon so that I could test my hypothesis. I heated up enough bacon fat in the otherwise empty pan until it was uber-hot, and then quickly places several strips into the grease. In a far shorter time than I was used to bacon taking to cook (think seconds, really) the bacon had become my mind's ideal, the pinnacle, the apex of imagined bacon-goodness. Here was bacon in its truest platonic form, made solid by this simple act of fatty fat deep-fry cooking. I pulled the bacon from the grease to drain on paper towels for a few seconds before trying a piece. The flavor, the texture, the **squick** was absolutely perfect. I'd discovered the secret, and now I've passed it on to all of you. Don't believe the lies about bacon presses and dry skillets. Comparing properly-made bacon to dry skillet or oven-cooked bacon is like comparing freshly homemade ice cream to reconstituted dry milk. Seriously, people! Try it my way. You'll see.
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Squid Martigan
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**squick** defined as "bacon-deliciousness crunch characteristic of properly oxidixed fatty portions from careful cooking of bacon" could also be rendered as **squi-crunch**.

Anyway, when it's there, the bacon is delicious.

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Squid Martigan
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That bacon that's flavored with just a tiny bit of sweetness is just wonderful. Definitely worth trying, especially if one can find it in a bacon that's also a little less super-salty than most of the cheap brands in stores.

And someone please use my cooking method and let me know what you think. I expect it'll be the most delicious bacon you've cooked. Don't forget-- the secret is that the bacon must be deep-fried in its own grease so that all the cooking heat comes directly from the grease, not the griddle.

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Squid Martigan
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Ah, yes, it's maple-cured sweet bacon that's so darn good. Mmmmmm.
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Artemisia Tridentata
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Bacon cooked by Boy Scouts over a small propane stove, is how I usually have it. However, every third time, on average, it results in a large secondary conflagration. I prefer sausage as it is not so flammable.

[ March 22, 2006, 04:54 PM: Message edited by: Artemisia Tridentata ]

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Squid Martigan
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I myself find sausage splatter to be far more unwieldy...
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El JT de Spang
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Depends on what kind of sausage. Patties are splatterific, links a lot less so.
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Squid Martigan
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Though I've never cooked bacon outdoors...
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Squid Martigan
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Links are okay if they've been skewered decently at the start of the cooking process so that explosive pressures aren't introduced while heating, eventually leading to critical link mass, or CLM. A typical sausage can produce a grease-splosion on the order of fiteen Nagasakis.
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Rico
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This thread is making me hungry!

I usually just cook it in a pan at medium-high heat and let it cook with it's own juices. I don't like cooking bacon too much because of the splatter though, which is probably a good thing because the hassle of cooking it is one of the things that keep me from eating it very often.

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Squid Martigan
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There's very little hassle with my method because the bacon slices are submerged, and then only for a very short cooking time. Try it! You'll see.
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Squid Martigan
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I guess I should clarify that the bacon slices aren't floating around in a deep pot of grease, just a centimeter in a flat pan, like a frying pan. It doesn't really matter if one uses cast iron, though it'd probably produce better bacon if one is using an electric stove, which may heat the pan very unevenly.
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Squid Martigan
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Mmmm. I love bacon.
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Primal Curve
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Oxidation? You don't understand cooking science, do you?
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Squid Martigan
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No. I must mean burnination. Oxidation is a slow (or fast) chemical reaction, right? Like iron oxidizes to form rust, and paper burns/oxidizes to form ashes... yes? What's the word for heating something until it just begins to show some effect that's not necessarily visible, like the forward edge of crispization on a fatty bit of bacon?
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Squid Martigan
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I like "crispization."
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Squid Martigan
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Though "crispitation" sort of evokes the beginnings of it a bit better...
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El JT de Spang
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Oxidation is refers to an actual chemical reaction, whereby something reacts with oxygen and loses an electron. I'm not positive, but pretty sure this doesn't happen with bacon. I call what you're talking about 'crisping'.

ps - If you notice something you want to add to your post, or change about it, rather than posting again most people find it simpler to click the icon of pencil and paper above the post you wish to modify. This allows you to edit it and include whatever it is you may've forgotten.

Welcome, btw.

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Squid Martigan
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Does editing a post still make the thread jump to the top?
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El JT de Spang
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Nope. It used to, but not since the great forum software updating of '05.
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Squid Martigan
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Well, I want people to try my bacon method. Maybe if I keep this thread from going off the first page, someone will read it and try it.
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El JT de Spang
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I personally decided not to ever try it based just on how insistent you are about it.
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Squid Martigan
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Why would you be so mean about it? It's good! I promise!
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ludosti
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I deliberately do not cook bacon the way Squid does. I prefer my bacon to be very crisp but not burned - there's a small window between sorta crispy and burnt, so it has to be pulled at just the right time to account for the temperature carry-over. I've found that my bacon actually cooks faster when I drain off the molten fat reserves that collect as the bacon cooks - given the warpage of the pan, the grease collects in certain areas and the bacon in those areas cooks slower than the bacon not sitting in its own grease.

I really like bacon but I only buy it every once in a while, since it's not terribly good for you...mmm delicious piggy goodness....

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Primal Curve
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The browning of meat is referred to as the "Maillard Reaction" and is, in fact, a chemical reaction. The sugars and amino acids in on the surface of the meat bond in the presense of heat (though it works best with dry heat) and cause that browning we know so well and makes meat taste so damn good.

Oh, and Squid, this isn't a chat room. Confine your points into one post. Shamelessly bumping threads makes you look like a moron.

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Squid Martigan
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Thank you for the proper name for that. I will try not to act like such a moron.
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Lyrhawn
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Almost anyone who has had bacon in a somewhere near decent restaurant has had their bacon cooked in an oven.

I used to like my bacon somewhat chewy, but not I just like it done, but I hate burnt bacon. Cooked is fine, but if I can't bite into it in a sandwich without having to chew it for a minute, it's not good bacon.

Oh how I love the honey bacon we put on BLTs at work, and the bacon in the Pepper Jack Stack.

*mouth watering*

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by El JT de Spang:
Oxidation is refers to an actual chemical reaction, whereby something reacts with oxygen and loses an electron.

Not all oxidation reactions have oxygen as the oxidizing agent. In fact, I don't believe it's even true to say that most do.

By definition, all combustion reactions are redox (reduction-oxidation) reactions. And Maillard reactions are a specific type of oxidation reaction.

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Squid Martigan
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So, did anyone try my method yet?
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pfresh85
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I bought some bacon at the store this morning because of this thread. I blame Hatrack for my bacon consumption.
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quidscribis
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I still can't cook bacon in my house. [Frown] I'll likely never cook bacon ever again unless Fahim dies first, and he's been given explicit instructions that he's not allowed to. So, no.
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Primal Curve
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Gah. I hate not being a chemist.
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Squid Martigan
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Yeah, thinking about this made me hungry, too, so since today was a day off work, I thought it'd be a perfect time to make some BLTs! They were delicious. My special "happy bacon make" method is the profounding super-power goodness!
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Squid Martigan
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Does anyone know if Orson Scott Card likes bacon?
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Squid Martigan
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I also wonder, if someone ate a Piggie (Speaker For the Dead) would its meat taste like earth pork?
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aiua
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Guys, it can't just be crispy. It has to melt in your mouth, just crumble away into bacon bliss. And the really good stuff should not leave the roof of your mouth feeling raw.

Personally, I eat more bacon in salad than with breakfast.

Seven or eight slices of bacon, chopped into small pieces and fried until crispy (and melty!). Keep them bits in the pan and add 1/4 C vinegar, 1/4 C brown sugar and a bit of pepper. Boil that, stirring constantly, until it forms a thick syrup. Take it off the heat and add some chopped lettuce, then pour that lettuce and the bacony syrup over the rest of the lettuce (about a head) and eat immediately!

It's fabulous and I can't eat it without getting it all over my chin. [Big Grin] Enjoy!

I'm actually in the process of making some right now.

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Squid Martigan
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That sounds delicious, aiua, and really, that dissolving-in-the-mouth thing is a great way to describe proper bacon, and really represents my ideal.
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Squid Martigan
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Today I ate bacon in a salad. I suppose doing so defeats the point of both bacon and salad, but it was very yummy.
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El JT de Spang
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Have you taken the time to peruse the non-bacon related parts of hatrack, Squid? I think you might find something else you enjoy discussing, if you're interested.
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Noemon
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There are non-bacon related parts of the forum? I always thought that that was a myth.
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Squid Martigan
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A haiku about cooking bacon:

first opened quiver
Crackle, Anticipate death
as crisps, delicious

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Squid Martigan
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Mmm, just finished off my last four slices. Have to go to the store soon to get some more! Are there any dishes that one wouldn't normally think of including bacon in that have been good with it?
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Squid Martigan
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Oh, before I forget-- has anyone tried fluffy scrambled eggs with cooked crispy bacon mixed into the eggs? It's heavy but really darn good.
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opiejudy
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i cook my bacon int he cast iron skillet and it is not too crispy it is sort of crispy around the edges and chewy inside. I have never tried the oven. I also sometimes put many pieces (we buy it from teh butcher, so its not like a package thing) But what might be equivalent to a whole package of bacon in the pan at once and cook it by moving it around every few seconds...Lots of fats comes out at once and sort of "marinates" the bacon while its cooking and it has a great flavor.
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Squid Martigan
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opiejudy-- everyone thinks you're supposed to cook the fat out of the bacon, but what relly makes the flavor great is to cook the fat on the bacon-- in the melted bacon grease, the fat on the meat will fry like any other part, to be crisp and delicious. It'll shrink a bit, but that's okay. It's great!
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Squid Martigan
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From salt pig curing
its origin underwhelms
Fried results are grand

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