“From the beginning of human history until the middle of last century the word fat had positive connotations. People lived off ‘the fat of the land’ and everybody was happy to receive a ‘fat paycheck.’ Fat was valuable and useful. The best meat was well marbled and had a good coating of fat, and only the plumpest chicken was selected for the pot.”
This small portion has been taken from the newest cookbook added to my collection. Fat: An Appreciation Of A Misunderstood Ingredient, With Recipes by Jennifer McLagan. I was so excited to find this. I’m a huge believer in the concept that fat, in moderation, is great in cooking. I even horde my fat, thank you. Nestled on the bottom shelf, in the back of the fridge sits the liquid gold from every pound of bacon fried in this house. For those of you in Denver this next part may be appreciated. The bacon fat is in a Pete’s Kitchen coffee cup. Oh, how appropriate.
The first recipe I turned to in the book was for “A Perfect Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato Sandwich”. How could I say no? I grew up on these things being made by Grandma. They’re my favorite. So simple and so full of flavor with the thick bacon and crisp, ripe veggies. But don’t forget the mayo! And that’s what made me buy the book. Preparation of the sandwich is simple. Bread (from my new machine), bacon, lettuce, tomato and mayo. But what really got me is the recipe for the Bacon Mayonnaise at the bottom of the page. I’m not going to reprint it for fear of copy write infringement. What I will say is the combination of egg yolk, Dijon mustard, fresh lemon juice, salt, pepper and bacon fat really does sound like the perfect condiment for this sandwich. Page 101 to make it easy once you get it for yourself. She even has a great suggestion for replacing the lettuce “with several large fresh basil leaves.” So off to Queen Soopers to buy the items I’m going to need. My tip on bacon, spend the extra buck for the thick-sliced variety. Don’t be cheap. It holds up better, cooks more evenly and will have a substantial crunch when you sink your teeth in. Lunch tomorrow is going to be awesome.
P.S. The author looks quite fit and not overweight from the production of her book. Check the back inside cover. Take that, Kate Moss.