I was the victim of a drive-by larding.
Yes, such a thing exists – both in dreams and in the wee hours of the morn last Saturday.
But be not afraid, for those who are fortunate enough to be on the receiving end of such a larding – in this case of the bacon variety – know their friends to be true.
A friend texted me to let me know she had jarred her bacon fat and it was prime for baking. When she gave the signal, I left my house and part one of the exchange went down in the driveway. The pork was passed.
Trapped in a tall jar so as to have a comfortable amount of space to reside before donating its existence to the science of baking, I observed it. I listened for it to guide me with a whisper the names of the items I it was to create.
And it whispered to me: shrimp fried rice, chewy lard molasses cookies and flour tortillas.
The lard was very specific, no?
Ok, so maybe I already had mapped out the recipes, but please don’t ruin the ambiance of my tale with your completely justified skepticism.
First up were the cookies. Being a strong critic of ginger and molasses cookies, I only borrowed a portion of the brown syrup in a recipe for a moist base and then paired it with some light brown sugar and honey. Sweet, salty and the picture perfect specimen of chewy goodness, these cookies rocked. The first day they tasted a smidge porky but the smokiness added an amazing background note.
The following day, the piggy background had vanished and only smoky, salty and sweet goodness remained. In a taste testing panel, about 2/3 of people loved them and vowed a life of allegiance to them. The remaining third was not a fan of the flavor profile.
Second came the fried rice. Brown rice fried with garlic, soy sauce, bacon fat and scrambled egg was topped with a sprinkling of fresh green onions and seared shrimp. The mouth feel given by the lard really made for something special. This was an easy winner.
Finally, I dove into my first homemade tortilla. Holy moly, were these things great. Authentically, flour tortillas are made with lard. Adding the smokiness of bacon brought anything stuffed inside of it a fabulous, but complimentary, bacon taste. I tried making them without a tortilla press or dowel, and by doing so learned a mighty lesson. It’s incredibly difficult to roll them as thin as needed by hand. Although they had dynamite flavor, mine needed to be thinner to really be ready to report for fish taco duty.
I wrapped up some samples of each, including the tortilla rollups I made as a thank you to my lard donor. And as quickly as the fat entered my life, it was gone and paid off in full with the return of my friend’s lard to her – in cookie, rice and wrap form.
Now, if only some of my other fat were so easy to pawn off on others…