I was an early adopter of Bacon Salt and have sung it's praises ever since the first time I sprinkled it on my eggs one morning. A few years later along came Baconnaise, a tasty mixture of bacon and mayonnaise. I've been a devoted user ever since. So when Justin Esch emailed me recently to ask if I wanted to try Bacon Croutons I said yes. Even before they arrived I started to think about how I was going to use them. Croutons are normally found on salads. But it wasn't likely that I was going to waste the goodness of bacon on a salad. I had to come up with something more exciting than lettuce.
Over on Pork, Knife and Spoon I have been working on a series of blog posts on pork ribs. I had some rib trimmings left over and it occurred to me that a Pulled Pork Cake, much along the lines of a crab cake could be a beautiful and tasty creation. Usually I start my recipe development with a bit of internet and cookbook research. My search for “pork cakes” lead to very little information but it did lead me to an actual pork cake. I figured the best way to do a pulled pork cake was to make them as similar to a crab cake as possible.
I made up the pulled pork cakes, following the recipe below, and as I was getting ready to pan fry them the bag of J&D Bacon Croutons were staring across the kitchen counter at me. It’s almost as if they were speaking to me. It was in that brief moment that inspiration struck. I decided to crush the Bacon Croutons and use them to bread the pulled pork cakes. It’s not the first time I’ve had inspiration in the kitchen, but rarely does that inspiration come out as good as this one did. The combination of the pulled pork, seasoning and bacon created a fantastic flavor profile. I’m going to be making these pulled pork cakes when I have left over pulled pork.
- Pulled Pork Cakes
- 3 cups pulled pork, course chopped
- 2 cups panko bread crumbs
- 1 teaspoon jalapeno, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon shallot, finely chopped
- 1 egg, well beaten
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- bacon drippings
- salt, pepper and BBQ rub, to taste
- In a small skillet melt the bacon drippings. When hot saute the jalapeno, bell pepper and shallots until tender. Let them cool to room temperature.
- In a medium mixing bowl combine all remaining ingredients and mix well. I used about a tablespoon of BBQ rub, but you can use however much you want. Form the mixture into three compacted patties. I used a hamburger patty press to make sure they were consistent in size and firmly packed. Lay the patties out on parchment paper and chill in the refrigerator until cold.
- Dust the patties in a little flour and then put in an egg wash. From the egg wash put the patties into the crushed Bacon Croutons. Make sure you cover both the side and all the way around the edges. (NOTE: When you open the package of Bacon Croutons you need to resist tasting them. You have been warned, if you eat one you could find yourself eating the whole package. They are that good.
- Fry the patties until golden brown in oil. Place them on a paper towel or rack to drain and then put them in a 200 degree oven until warmed through. Serve garnished with BBQ Mayo (Mayo mixed with a little BBQ sauce) or some other BBQ condiment.