Yes, the Rabbi's daughter spent Valentine's Eve at the Viking Cooking School in the Delta with a four-course menu of all-things bacon. The workshop-style dinner class, entitled "For the Love of Bacon," celebrated the ingredient through surf and turf, veggies and sweets.
Tucked into the Delta's Downtown square of Greenwood, Viking's state-of-the-art space sits across from the luxurious Alluvian hotel, which poises the town for the finest of hospitality and vacation vibes throughout its details. The Southern charm shines in the guest room flourishes and downstairs Giardina's cordials and cuisine.
Our mouth-watering cooking class menu was as follows:
- Glazed Pancetta-Wrapped Shrimp
- Baby Greens with Lobster, Avocado, Pink Grapefruit and Brown Sugar Bacon
- Bacon-Wrapped Beef Tenderloin
- Lobster Béarnaise
- Guanciale Mashed Potatoes
- Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Sherry Vinaigrette
- Chocolate Sponge Cupcake with Peanut Butter Mascarpone Mousse and Chocolate Covered Bacon
Jealous? Well, the class was fantastic -- And I know, we rocked the aprons. The technique was far from simple, especially for a hand-beaten béarnaise, though we laughed our way through the evening with flowing wine and new friends.
I quickly understood why bacon is not just for breakfast as an egg's complement. It's the perfect outer layer of a salted and peppered tenderloin, or a crunch to salad, or a sweet and smoky addition to dessert. I coveted the brown sugar coated bacon, which we baked on 350 degrees for 25 minutes until crisp. Heaven, y'all.
My favorite course of the evening was our salad, celebrating winter citrus with smooth avocado and the savory sweet undertones of bacon. Enjoy one of our Viking exclusive recipes, and get on down to Greenwood!
Makes 4 Servings
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1 teaspoon thinly sliced fresh chives
1/2 medium ruby red grapefruit 1 ripe avocado, pitted and diced Salt and black pepper, to taste 2 cups mixed baby greens 1 cup cooked lobster meat, cut into 1/2 inch pieces 4 slices brown sugar bacon, broken into 1/2 inch pieces
1. For the dressing, whisk together vinegar, salt and sugar in a small mixing bowl. Add the oil in a thin stream, whisking constantly and vigorously, until vinaigrette is emulsified. Add chives and adjust with seasoning salt and/or sugar as needed.
2. Working over the dressing bowl to catch juices, peel and segment the grapefruit. Place the segments into the bowl with the juices. Add the avocado to the bowl and toss gently to coat with dressing to prevent browning.
3. Add the baby greens, lobster and bacon to the bowl with grapefruit and avocado dressing. Toss until combined. Serve immediately.