Well Bacon-nation,

in the many months leading up to the big day, we’ve had to make some tough decisions here at Baconfest Headquarters.

I think it is safe to say that this was by far the TOUGHEST.  More than 30 entries – only Five Finalist slots available.  And WOW did we get some of the most AMAZING recipes.

Before I introduce the Final Five, let us say THANK YOU to all of you who submitted.  Your e-mails were all charming and your enthusiasm for your recipes brought us much joy.  Choosing only five was NOT EASY.

And once again, a HUGE shout out to Megan Dorsch and Nueske’s Bacon for hosting this contest and for their major sponsorship of Baconfest Chicago!

Nueske's 4 Color Logo

Here are the Final Five Bacon Cylons:

1.  Murphy Rynell – Bacon and Scallop Gyoza served with a Agave Ponzu dipping sauce

From Murphy’s e-mail:  “This recipe is really easy and really good!!! The bacon is a dominant presence without being too overpowering and the scallop adds a sweetness and luxurious texture. As a finish, the sweetness of the dipping sauce is a perfect compliment. Guaranteed to win!”

Ingredients:
Neuske’s Bacon, Sea Scallop, Leek (sautéed in chicken liver renderings), Parsley, Chive, Savoy Cabbage, Salt/Pepper, Cayenne Pepper, Wonton Wrappers, Ponzu Sauce, Toasted Sesame Oil, Soy Sauce, Rice Wine Vinegar, Black Pepper, Cayenne Pepper, Agave Syrup

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2.  Tina Bennett – Bacon Strip Cookies

From Tina:  “A salty, sweet and flaky shortbread stick cookie made with bacon drippings and topped with a maple-bacon glaze and crumbled crispy bacon – and they look like little bacon strips. Pretty much the best thing ever!”

Ingredient:
Bacon grease, Butter, Flour, Salt, Maple syrup, Sugar, Powdered sugar, Brown sugar, Vanilla extract, Water, Nueske’s bacon – crumbled and crispy!
These cookies are seriously good! Light and crispy, but rich and great. Mmm…

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3.  Andrea R. Abel – Buzzin’ Bacon Butternut Bee Soup

From Andrea:  “The sweetness from the honey bee’s contribution to this soup and the
delicious savory bacon flavor make this butternut squash soup a wonderful warm and filling addition to any meal, summer or winter!”

Ingredient list:
peeled butternut squash, carrots, potatoes, olive oil, thin-sliced Nueske’s smoked bacon, chopped onion, chopped red pepper, Chicken broth (low sodium), honey, garlic, kosher salt, black pepper, parsley.

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4.  Brad (David) Bradley – Creole Bacon Poached Wings & Cool Blue Cheese Dip, When Pigs Can fly

From Brad:  “Thank you for the opportunity to enter my bacon recipe into your incredible edible contest.

If pigs had wings, would they taste like a combination of chicken wings and bacon?
Imagine sitting down to a plate of smoked crispy spicy pork wings…succulent and  full of bacony flavor!  Until pigs can fly, try bacon poaching chicken wings rubbed with Creole seasoning and brown sugar.
The perfect combination of sweet and spicy flavors to compliment the deep smokey flavor the chicken absorbs while slow poaching in bacon drippings.
Browning them just before serving makes the wings crispy crunchy, just perfect for dunking into cool creamy blue cheese dip.”

http://www.eatnlisten.com/2010/03/13/creole-bacon-poached-wings/

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5.  Mark Smrecek – The BLT Dog.

From Mark:  Description – Home cured and smoked bacon combined with fresh pork belly and ground with maple syrup and tellicherry peppercorns and stuffed into hog casing. The sausage is first poached and then finished in a hot skillet with bacon fat to crisp. Sausage is served in a pretzel bun with garlic aioli and topped with roasted tomatoes with herbs and baby arugula.  For more info see post regarding dish:  http://homemadebacon.wordpress.com/2010/03/15/baconfest-2010-amateur-cook-off-entry-the-blt-dog/

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CONGRATULATIONS FINALISTS!!!!!   We’ll be in touch with more details very soon.

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UPDATE POST EVENT:  The Winner for 2010 was  Tina Bennett – Bacon Strip Cookies.