Well, holy pig on a pogo stick, someone actually took a challenge of mine to heart. Several months ago, I wrote about the bacon craze and all the wacky recipes that have arisen: chocolate chip and bacon cookies, bacon ice cream, chicken fried bacon (a personal gag), bacon vodka, and the list continues.
I threw a challenge out to local restaurant chefs to conjure up a creative use for bacon. Enter Chef Howie Bursinger of Pour at Four in Proctor. He took two foods I love and created one dish to die for: bacon + blue cheese = CHEESECAKE. Yes, you heard it right, blue cheese and bacon cheesecake. What’s a girl with a savory tooth to do but jump in the car and chance a speeding ticket in order to claim what is hers?
Upon arrival, I had to pick the perfect wine to enjoy with my cheesecake, so Pour at Four owner Mark Merrill helped me choose a lovely Grenache heavy CDR blend. My cake arrived with water crackers and toasted hazelnuts. It looked just like a cheesecake should look but with crumbled bacon dusting the top.
Now you don’t just sit down and dig into this decadent slice of heaven. You spread it on a cracker or bread as you would any soft cheese. Bursinger made it like one would make any other cheesecake with cream cheese (although I do recall him saying something about neufatel by mistake) and a crust. He did not use graham crackers (thankfully), but water and whole-wheat crackers.
Bursinger graciously sent the remaining cheesecake with me — just in time for pre-Thanksgiving snacking. I made the mistake of not telling the husband how this cheesecake is supposed to work. Later that evening he helped himself to a big old slice and proceeded to scarf. He was mortified.
Mind you, during this revelation I am not home. Soon my phone rings, and he is panicked, telling me this is no ordinary cheesecake and asking what is he supposed to do with it. Oh, deary dear. Love him. It was then I explained this was not a cheesecake to dessert on but a cheesecake to savor and snack on. Oh well.
Back to the cheesecake: It was the perfect balance of blue cheese to bacon. Not too salty, could be a bit creamier, but I think as Bursinger commented the Neufatel had something to do with that. Either way, it was fun and really tasty. Thanks again, Howie!
Now if you are a sharp reader, you noticed that the cartoon mug is no longer on this column. The truth is Sandee Glib is really me, Kris Blondin, former owner of Vin Grotto Café and Wine Bar, and I have officially come out.
The reason for my “coming out” is I will now write for the Weekly Volcano courtesy of my new project SouthSoundEats.com. I hope you will continue to read and enjoy my work as SSE’s wine columnist. You still will get all the sass of Sandee, but now I will lead you through the world of wine and sometimes cheese. I hope you will follow me on this adventure.
Eat and drink, Tacoma. We need your love.