I don’t like nuts. Actually, I really do like people who are a bit different, and it’s almonds, cashews, and pecans I can do without. I like nut butters plenty, so long as they’re creamy style, which makes me think my real problem with nuts relates to my teeth and, more precisely, the space between aka diastema and, really, those particles which fill the “space between.” Alas, I digress, mightily. (I do like cookies. More later on that subject.)
I’ve been looking for a way to turn my passion for food into a hobby with some structure. I mentioned fruitcake in the February 25 Curator. It’s not a “no go” yet, but several people have mentioned the fact that people don’t like fruitcake. Idea killers!
More positively, I ran across a recipe for Barbecue Trail Mix in the May 2015 issue of Saveur. The mix creator is Edward Lee, chef/owner at 610 Magnolia in Louisville. Chef Lee is a Bravo vet, and his restaurant has a big reputation. His mix is also very excellent!
The published recipe includes nuts, dried fruit, seeds, sesame sticks, cacao nibs, apricots, figs, lots of spices, bacon, and … barbecue sauce. It’s easy and worth your trouble, definitely.
I’ve made the recipe several times, and have done a bit of work with it. First, I changed the fruit and nut mixes a bit, mostly to meet personal preferences for some of those who have tried the recipe, and to keep cost down. Chef Lee approves, I’m sure, as he noted that “the trail mix changes a little every time I make it—you can substitute any nuts or dried fruit.”
The rest of my changes definitely go beyond leaving out the pumpkin seeds. Per sister Pam’s suggestion I decided to add chocolate chunks. Chocolate and bacon are like Bogie and Bacall: great alone, and much better together. Alas, chocolate and barbecue sauce meshed about as well as Bogie and Bacall with their before and after spouses, respectively.
Barbecue sauce aside, the mix needs moisture for the baking process. To meet that need I added maple syrup, called for as a topping for the bacon in the printed recipe. With respect for Chef Lee, it’s tres delicioso this way. Here’s a picture, sans chocolate chunks, as it just came out of the oven:
I haven’t yet figured out what to do with my new mix, or even what I should call it. Bar Mix … It’s for Adults is my working name. (Cacao nibs are lost on youngsters, I think.) I welcome suggestions, along with information about how to sell a food product. Right now I’m thinking farmer’s markets and maybe mail order.
Since bacon was on my agenda, and I was in the kitchen, I decided to dabble with a chocolate chip-bacon cookie. I had some dried cherries left over, and I like a touch of oatmeal in my cookies, for character, and that addition caused me to add some raisins.
The cookies are delish, and here’s a picture of the mish-mash:
So I’m food-centric at this moment. Ideas welcomed.