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Seduced by Bacon

Recipes and Lore About America’s Favorite Indulgence
by Joanna Pruess with Bob Lape

Seduced by Bacon: Recipes and Lore About America’s Favorite Indulgence

t’s undeniable that certain foods scream out for bacon—scrambled eggs, fresh lettuce and tomato sandwiches, cheeseburgers and even Brussels sprouts. Yet it’s astonishing how indispensable bacon is as a crunchy, smoky counterpart to meals throughout the day. What other food could be equally complementary to baked goods, fruit, cheese, pasta, beans, vegetables, fish, poultry and hearty meats? As we flipped through the chapters of Seduced by Bacon, we kept finding ourselves repeating, "Bacon, of course." Savored but underappreciated, the time has come for bacon to be singled out in its very own book.

The recipes in Seduced by Bacon alternate between American classics in which bacon is the standout and bacon-kissed specialties with European and Asian emphasis. Breakfast beckons with unique dishes like pecan waffles with caramel-bacon sauce and brioche French toast soufflé. Small bites like almond-stuffed prunes and potato pancakes with foie gras and apples all benefit from an infusion of crisp bacon. Lunch options are overwhelming, with bacon and cheese sandwiches five ways; open-faced eggplant and mozzarella stacks; warm baby spinach salad with oranges and red onions; and clam, potato and kale soup. Bacon-wrapped trout, oven-roasted chicken with sage and bacon and spicy turkey meatloaf topped with Gypsy bacon offer succulent variations on dinner standards. Vegetables like sautéed green beans with shallots, creamed spinach and glazed pearl onions are unquestionably better with bacon. Some readers may reach saturation point with recipes for bacon-popped popcorn and pecan-brown sugar and bacon ice cream, but die-hard baconites will be delighted. With tips for storing and cooking bacon as well as a guide to artisanal producers, Seduced by Bacon has captured a sizzling zeitgeist.

Reviewed by Rachel Levin

(Updated: 12/23/08 SB)

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