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Braised Bacon & Crispy Orange with Fresh California Avocado

Braised Bacon & Crispy Orange with Fresh California Avocado

From: Chef Andy Arndt, formerly of Ojai Valley Resort (currently with Elaine Bell Catering, Napa, CA). Yield: 12 servings.

1 side fresh bacon, approximately 5 lb.

1 gallon citrus brine (recipe follows)

as needed, orange chips (recipe follows)

as needed, grilled spring onions

as needed, green garlic

as needed, black Hawaiian sea salt

1 qt. pork braising liquid (recipe follows), reduced to sauce consistency

Citrus Brine:

2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice

1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

½ gallon cold water

1 cup ice

1 cup kosher salt

1 cup granulated sugar

¼ cup black peppercorns

3 oranges, sliced thin

1 Tbsp. chili flakes

4 cloves garlic, smashed

Braising Liquid:

1 gallon veal stock

1 lb. mirepoix (carrots, celery, onion)

1 bunch thyme

1 bunch parsley

5 tbsp. black peppercorns

1 cup orange juice

3 large tomatoes, cut in half

Orange Chips:

1 orange

Fresh Avocado Sauce:

3 California Hass Avocados

3 cloves garlic, roasted and pureed until smooth

1 Tbsp. white balsamic vinegar

to taste, salt and pepper

1 Tbsp. xanthium gum

1 tsp. powdered vitamin C

For brine: Combine all ingredients and whisk until salt and sugar are dissolved; place in large plastic container. Place fresh bacon into the brine and refrigerate for 24-48 hours. Remove from brine and set in refrigeration to air-dry for 12 hours. Discard brine.

For braising liquid: Pour ½ cup olive oil in large rondo, and bring to high heat. Add vegetables and saute until browned. Add orange juice and reduce until dry. Add veal stock and bring to a simmer; add herbs, peppercorns and tomatoes.

For bacon: Separately sear bacon in a second rondo. Pour ½ cup oil and bring to high heat. Pat bacon dry and season with salt and pepper. Brown bacon on both sides until dark and golden. Remove browned bacon and add to braising liquid. Cover bacon and cook in convection oven at 300°F until tender (3-5 hours). Leave bacon in braising liquid to cool; refrigerate. When cool, remove bacon and cut in 2” square blocks. Bring braising liquid to a boil and reduce to sauce consistency.

For orange chips: On slicer or by hand, slice 1 orange paper-thin. Lay flat on silpat tray or nonstick surface. Bake in 100°F oven until crispy on one side. Flip and repeat process until all chips are crisp. Remove from heat and let cool on paper-towel covered plate.

For avocado sauce: Blend avocado and garlic until smooth. Add vinegar, salt and pepper and mix again. Remove from blender to a bowl. Whisk in xanthium gum and vitamin C. Let set and add cold water for consistency. Refrigerate until needed.

To plate: Per order, heat one square fresh bacon in braising liquid. Brush 2 pieces of green garlic with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and grill. When bacon is hot, remove and reduce the remaining liquid to sauce consistency.

On a plate or in shallow bowl, fashion grilled spring onions into an off-center wreath. Place bacon on top of spring onions, and spoon avocado sauce around the plate. Make a deep well on one side with 2 Tbsp. of avocado sauce. Finish the dish with 3 Tbsp. of braising liquid. Garnish with 3-4 orange chips and black Hawaiian sea salt.

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