The Apricot Bacon Challenge

by John Eddy on August 7, 2011

Apricots with Bacon and Cotija

Well, I said I’d be blogging the good and the bad, didn’t I?

This one… this one was bad. No denying it. But I still hold the idea was sound.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let us start at the beginning.

I follow the blog Slick Deals and we keep seeing cast iron pans coming up and our pans only go up to 10″ models. We knew we needed either a 12″ or 14″ model. Size does matter, to some extent, after all. And we needed something we could shallow fry in, since the 10″ isn’t really all that deep.

I was kind of hoping the 16″ would show up first, because if we’re going to go bigger, I think we should go bigger. But, alas, that was not to be. First up was the 12″ and it arrived on our doorstep with an audible thunk last week, just in time for us to christen it with a Sunday morning serving of bacon.

At the same time, we had a pile of apricots and apriums that we needed to deal with.

So, the Mrs. said ‘We need to combine apricots and bacon somehow.’

She didn’t mean it as a challenge.

I took it as one.

I pulled out The Flavor Bible and pondered the fact that apricots and maple syrup go together, as does bacon and maple syrup. So, I had a stroke of brilliance.

Grilled Maple Sugared Apricots with Crumbled Bacon and Cotija Cheese.

It seemed like it would be perfect. And I’m relatively sure I know where I screwed up.

But first, let’s look at the recipe…

Grilled Maple Sugared Apricots with Crumbled Bacon and Cotija Cheese

  • Apricots, cut in half, pit discarded
  • Safflower Oil
  • Maple Sugar
  • Bacon, Cooked Crisp and Diced
  • Cotija Cheese
  1. Dip the cut half of the apricots into a shallow pool of oil and place skin side down on a plate.
  2. Sprinkle each apricot with a good helping of the maple sugar.
  3. Fire up the grill and oil up the grate so as to get some good grill marks on the apricots.
  4. Place apricots cut side down and grill until you think they have some good grill marks and are slightly caramelized.
  5. Flip the apricots and let them grill for a few more minutes.
  6. Remove from grill and, to plate, top with crumbled cheese and bacon.
Notes: So, I thought these were going to be great. They weren’t. But, I think the problem was that the maple flavor from the sugar that you get if you try it straight just didn’t come through the grilling process. I even tried brulee-ing it just a little with a kitchen torch and it still didn’t work right.
I think, instead of putting it face down in oil and adding sugar, next time, I’ll try just using maple syrup and depend upon the grill grates to get me the oil that I need. And I will try making these again. I think the flavor combination, so long as you use actual apricots and not apriums, or some other hybrid, works. The apriums were too bitter, but the apricots were pure sweetness.
If only the rest had stood up.

 

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{ 3 comments }

Bethesda Locavore August 8, 2011 at 2:37 am

These looked really good! You’ve got me intrigued now and wanting to try something similar. Do share if you figure it out!

Michael Carr August 8, 2011 at 8:44 pm

Here’s my two cents worth: I think grilling stone fruit is great — particularly if it they are not quite yet ripe enough to eat out of hand — grilling them helps bring out the sugar in the fruit. I would advise using a towel to mop the grill with oil before putting the fruit on. Once you’re done grilling the cut side, flip the fruit putting the skin side down on the grill then add the cooked bacon, top with cheese and then cover the grill letting the cheese melt. Pull from the grill and drizzle with the maple syrup. I think that a nice pepper bacon would work well here. and the selection of cheeses could be endless!

John Eddy August 9, 2011 at 4:33 am

I normally either use a food only paint brush or an olive oil pump to oil the grill grate. My goal with dipping in the maple syrup first is not only to encourage grill marks but also to make a sort of brulee crust out of it.

I hadn’t considered melting the cheese. I always like my blue/gorgonzola crumbles to be more firm and… well.. crumbly, but that sounds like an interesting route too.

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