Here we are and it is fast approaching July 4th. Fire up the grills and stock up on hot dogs and hamburgers. What is more American than a hot dog? I met the owner of a hot dog stand at my local farmers market and said I would develop a bacon relish recipe that set his stand apart and help bring people back. I wanted to make something salty, sweet, spicy, and just the right amount of sourness, so everything is balanced. This recipe is the end result and is an amazing topping for your next hot dog but save some for breakfast; it goes great just on toast!
1 pound thick cut lean bacon
1 large red pepper
1 large poblano pepper
1 large sweet onion
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup sweet pickle juice or white balsamic vinegar
¼ cup water to deglaze pan
2 to 4 tbsp. ketchup
red pepper flakes to desired spiciness (start with a pinch and taste)
Salt and pepper for seasoning
Roast the red and poblano peppers over the flame on your stove or under the broiler in your oven. Turn often to char the skin and put in a paper bag to steam 5 minutes. Remove the skin, dice and reserve.
Cook half of the bacon on a parchment covered sheet pan in a 400° F oven until brown and crispy. Crumble into small pieces and reserve.
Finely dice the onion and rest of the bacon, season with salt and sauté on medium heat in butter until brown. Deglaze the pan with the water and turn the heat down to low. Add the rest of the bacon, roasted peppers, brown sugar, ketchup, red pepper flakes and mix. Taste and correct the seasoning with salt and pepper. Continue tasting, adding just enough pickle juice or white balsamic vinegar until it tastes balanced. Refrigerate until needed. Makes about a cup and a half. If you like it a little looser, add a little of your favorite liquid (I like a little dark beer) and stir.
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How does a good chef think? What is the creative process a
chef uses to come up with new and exciting dishes? What do I need to know to enable that creative process? These are the questions I want to explore in this series of articles. As a chef and an avid cookbook collector I am drawn towards
ideas and techniques of cooking rather than just a collection of recipes. I believe to grow as a chef, I need to continually learn and hone new techniques along with perfecting each technique I use every day. Whenever I go to a restaurant, whether fine dining, neighborhood pub, avant garde, or even fast food, I continually ask myself how can I do this better, what works and more important, what doesn’t? Feel free to send me comments, ask questions. Together, we can explore and make creative cuisine.
Spending almost thirty years in the computing field, I was able to travel experiencing a wide variety of tremendous cuisine. First I became a foodie, and when the opportunity arose, I was able to attend culinary school following my passion. I work as a part-time private chef and volunteer time at the community café in North Bend Oregon providing affordable meals in a restaurant setting to my community.