Saturday, March 12, 2011

Nueske's cookoff finalist #2: Beer+bacon=success!

Nueske's Bacon Cookoff finalist Joe
Ruenwald. He's on the left, we think.
Greatness arises from many things--a hunger for fame, drive for success, a desire to help all mankind. In the case of Nueske's Amateur Bacon Cookoff Finalist Joe Ruenwald's bacon schnitzel, the creator drew upon the power of beer. Since many of BDJ's own mad bacon experiments are fueled by booze, we heartily approve of the source of his inspiration, and look forward to sampling it at Baconfest Chicago. Read on to find out about Joe's appreciation for good beer and great bacon.

Joe's Bacon Schnitzel draws upon a family recipe.
BDJ: How did you come up with this delicious idea?

Joe: First off, I set down some criteria for what I think a winning recipe would be.
1) Bacon is the main ingredient - not just sprinkled on top type of thing
2) It is a unique dish - never seen on a restaurant menu or a recipe website
3) It honors the rich heartiness (not heart healthy-ness) of bacon

My brainstorming from there went down the thought process of, what have I made for dinner that blows everyone away?  Some of the other ideas I tested out were bacon eggrolls, bacon rangoon, buffalo bacon sandwich, and bacon brownies.  None of these turned out bad, but none seemed like winners either.  So I do what I always do when I need inspiration.  I went to the fridge and I grabbed a bottle of my home brewed dunkelweizen.  Before I could finish pouring it into a glass I realized bacon schnitzel is the answer. All that remained was to take my grandmother's schnitzel recipe, and rebuild it from the gravy down.

BDJ:  Why do you love bacon?

Joe: Because it tastes great.

BDJ:  What's your favorite way to eat bacon (besides in this recipe, of course)?

Joe: On toast with crunchy peanut butter.

BDJ:  Why should you win?

Joe: I should win because I have crafted a dish that showcases all the wonderful properties of bacon while keeping bacon as the star of the show, and it is incredibly tasty as well.

BDJ:  Anything to add?

Joe: Best of luck to the other bacon cylons out there.

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