Sometimes Things Don’t Go As Planned…

MollyFIG Blog, Recipes Leave a Comment

We planned to get to the Green City Market early for our 11am Chef Demo. We planned to purchase great local eggs, butter, bread, bacon and honey to create fabulous dishes. We planned to set-up, smile, and patiently answer questions.

Well, after an early morning breakfast drop-off (lawyers sometimes have to work on Saturdays too!), battling a fierce cold, Chicago traffic, an unfortunate moving violation, and a serious lack of parking, we were able to successfully entertain and serve the 30+ people gathered, but not without a little craziness (We get by with a little help from our friends. Thanks REB & RAB). Today the theme was Bacon and Eggs and we prepared French Toast with Candied Bacon Butter & FIG Jam and an Elvis Smoothie with peanut butter, bananas, and bacon. I want to say “Thank You” to our great audience for hanging tight and asking some great questions. I think we covered all of the questions, but below are some more details on our discussion and the recipes we promised.

For those curious about sous vide cooking, here is information and here is the hardware.

Agave syrup, or nectar, was used in the smoothie instead of honey. Agave is slightly sweeter than clover honey, but can be substituted for equal parts in the recipe (taste to see what you think). Agave syrup is mostly produced in Mexico from the same plant as tequila. It is a good substitute for vegans who cannot eat honey.

What is clafouti? For one of my favorite summer desserts, try this recipe. I love it with vanilla ice cream, or creme fraiche. Below are today’s recipes, hope to see everyone again for FIG’s demo in the summer (date TBD).

French Toast with Candied Bacon Butter & FIG Syrup

1 loaf of bread cut into ¼ inch slices (challah, French bread or brioche)

Slice bread into ½” slices and lay it out on a cooling rack or staggered on a baking sheet for 4 hours or overnight. As I explained, this will dry the bread out a little and allow it to soak up even more of the custard.

Custard Mixture
4 eggs
1 cup 2% milk
¼ cup heavy cream
1 tsp. freshly ground cinnamon
½ tsp. salt

Place a large skillet on medium heat. In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and whisk together until incorporated. Dip the bread into the custard, letting each side sit for 30 second to soak up the liquid. Wipe off any extra mixture and place the slices face down into a buttered skillet. Let each side cook for 4 minutes or until golden brown. For thicker slices of toast (1″), brown each side and place French Toast on a baking sheet into a preheated 325 degree oven for 10 minutes.

Candied Bacon Butter
4 strips bacon
1/2 cup unsalted butter
4 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. freshly ground black pepper
½ tsp. salt

Preheat your oven to 350˚. Then coat the bacon with the sugar, cinnamon and pepper and lay evenly on a parchment lined sheet pan. Place the bacon in the oven and let it bake for 15 minutes or until the sugar begins to caramelize. Then remove the bacon and let it cool. Once cool, chop the bacon into fine pieces and place it into a mixing bowl. Then add the butter and salt to the bowl and with a hand blender whip the butter for 1 minute or until fluffy.

2 cups dried FIGs
2 cups water
1 tsp. salt
1 cinnamon stick
star anise pods
Zest and Juice of 1 Lemon
1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. fruit pectin

In a medium sauce pot combine FIGs, water, salt, cinnamon stick, star anise, and lemon juice & zest. Set on stove and let simmer on medium heat for 20 minutes or until the FIGs have absorbed half of the liquid. In a cup, combine the pectin and sugar. Slowly add 1 spoonful at a time to the simmering FIGs, stirring after each addition. Continue until the entire mixture is incorporated. Remove from the pan and place into a bowl. Let cool slightly and serve over French Toast.

Elvis Smoothies

2 frozen bananas
½ cup ice
½ cup soy milk
½ cup orange juice
2 Tbsp. peanut butter
¼ cup plain yogurt
1 tsp. honey (or agave syrup)
½ strip bacon, cooked until crispy

Combine all ingredients in a blender. Pulse to crush ice, then blend on medium speed until smooth.

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