Recipe: Jennifer McLagan's Perfect Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato Sandwich

Fat For our first Beard on Books of the year, we're tossing those healthy resolutions out the window and sitting at the feet of Jennifer McLagan, chef, food stylist, and fat advocate. She's discussing her latest book, Fat: An Appreciation of a Misunderstood Ingredient, with Recipes, which was named Cookbook of the Year at the 2009 James Beard Awards. Supported by common sense and science, McLagan comes to the defense of this unfairly maligned nutrient, persuasively arguing that fat is indispensable to a complete diet and full flavor. (Not that we ever needed to be convinced of the latter.) The book features recipes that get a boost from clever uses of oil, butter, or animal products. One of our favorites is her Perfect Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato Sandwich: the

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Recipe: Icewine and Lobster Linguine

linguine You know and love maple syrup and have probably heard of poutine, but what about icewine, another import from our neighbors to the north? Made from grapes that have frozen while still clinging to their vines, icewine is a highly concentrated dessert wine that takes a lot of fruit and labor to make (and hence can cost a lot of money to drink). This luxurious seafood pasta dish begs for the splurge, though: the icewine complements the delicate sweetness of lobster meat, while bacon adds a welcome counterpoint. The overall flavor is otherworldly, and we're thanking Jason Parsons of the Peller Estates Winery Restaurant for it.

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Eye Candy: Peanut Butter–Bacon Pie

gourmet pie

Gourmet's frozen peanut butter mousse and candied bacon pie, made by Cia Glover. Although our office birthdays usually call for Amy’s pink cake, in light of recent events, we searched recent issues of Gourmet for a more fitting treat in honor of VP Mitchell Davis’s birthday. The result was this deliciously (not too) sweet, salty, and crunchy frozen peanut butter and candied bacon pie. Recreate our simple homage to Gourmet at home.

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Recipe: Bacon and Egg

Pork bellyEvan Percoco served this delicious take on the classic bacon and eggs at his dinner at the Beard House. With braised pork belly and a deep-fried poached egg, this dish is a protein-heavy comfort food for the breakfast lover in all of us. Bao Ong, one of our kitchen volunteers, attended the dinner, and cited this dish as the most memorable component of chef Percoco's menu. You can read Bao's account of the dinner here.

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Food Matters: Breakfast for Dessert

Honey, Bacon, and Apricot Cornbread with Maple Ice Cream

Salty, crispy, and unrelentingly popular, bacon seems to have its greasy grip on nearly every dish, cocktail, or bizarre internet meme we encounter these days. Needless to say, we weren't surprised last year when the pork product started showing up in desserts at the Beard House and around the country. But then it became clear that an even larger, sunnier trend was emerging: breakfast-inspired desserts. Some stem from a pastry chef's personal morning ritual, while others are pure like-you're-a-kid-again fun. Whatever the inspiration, we're just happy that we don't have to set our alarms to enjoy these morning-style treats.

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