Ah, love is in the air. Or at least that’s what I’ve been told. I’m not exactly an authority on romance lately. What with my girlfriend having more and more trouble staying grounded in reality, the confusion and selfishness of finding someone to fill the void and the realization that now I’m not being fair to two people instead of just one. Or with trying to understand what you’re supposed to do when everyone has an opinion that they insist is the Correct one, but everyone’s opinion is equally Correct and vastly different.
But Love is in the air, and it’s everywhere, from the pink and red heart-shaped pastries and cookies that the bakers lay out with the dawn, to the heart decorations and pink candles that seem to be mandatory for every building to be dolled up with, or the couples holding hands and sneaking kisses and the questions it raises and the prickling fear in your chest what if you’re doing it wrong what if everything is wrong and you’re hurting everyone and maybe you shouldn’t ever have come to Stormwind in the first place.
But we’re not going to think about that.
Tonight we’re going to think about Love!
Okay. Here we go. Refocusing on food, the best thing in the world. There are two weddings coming up for two amazing couples. I’m not really sure whose will be ‘first’, but my brother Vyn and his fiancé, Daenarae are getting married, and Max (owner of the Max Axe) asked Evie to marry him last month. They’re due to have a beautiful baby girl in just a few weeks. So I dedicate this recipe to them.
As usual, the cast of characters. This one is actually pretty simple for a good payoff. It’s all in the technique. First you need two lengths of sausage. Don’t go with links, you want the kind that form a U-shape. The type I got for this were pork and venison with roasted garlic. Pretty tasty. You also want about 1 lb (500g) of bacon. I used thick cut and it was barely enough, but if you use thin I think it’ll stretch further. You also want about 6 chicken fruit.
You can make do with JUST these ingredients, but if you’re making it for someone you love and/or are trying to impress, take it these next few steps. Get cheese for the eggs (I used pepperjack and shredded it), fresh chives, cherry tomatoes for garnish, and some sort of frilly greenery for the plating. I used green leaf lettuce, but red leaf or kale work just as well. And trust me on this. The thing that makes a dish go from “Aww how cute” to “WOW” is the green shit. It will make ANYTHING look extra impressive and costs less than a silver.
Alright, so like I said, it’s all in the technique. So we need to make this…
…into something vaguely romantic.
So how do you think we could best do that? Go ahead, I’ll wait.
Well. I mean. This is a written recipe so…. Anyhow, moving on, did you think about something like this?
If so: Good job! You’re easily as awesome as I am, if not more so.
If not: You’re a creative genius and I want to know your ideas.
Ok so this won’t really work as is. It overlaps, and it’s only vaguely heart shaped. So this is where technique comes in. First we need to cut the sausages so that they line up into a hollow heart. Start by cutting the top portion.
OK so take note on the angle these are cut at. One of them is cut to be flush with the other, but then the bottom one needs to be cut in such a way that it finishes the point. Super complicated right? Right. Agree with me.
Now for the bottom:
You can actually get away with only cutting one of them if it lays flush enough. Now secure them with a tiny skewer or a toothpick or something. Just remember to remove them before you serve.
Now for the fun part. Start wrapping it in bacon. I recommend starting at the bottom joint, then working up the sides. The middle point takes an entire piece on its own to get it covered. Again, thinner bacon might be easier, but thick is just so damn tasty.
There you go! Now it’s all bacon-y! Preheat your oven to 400 and move this to a pan. I use a wire rack because it helps keep it out of its own grease.
Be careful when moving it so that it won’t fall apart. Then put it in and let it bake until the bacon is crispy. It will take around 20 minutes, but check it at 15 and then every 5 minutes from there.
Spend this time cleaning up and trying hard not to think about questions that don’t have answers, or how easy hearts can break even when you’re not paying attention to them, or that crushing feeling of your lungs not being able to draw air and the way the world seems to suddenly get so big and so close and so looming when all you did was look away for a second. Don’t think about that. Don’t think about any of it. Don’t think about it.
Now let’s work on the green shit.
Try this at home. Take your most boring, run of the mill food. Like a sandwich maybe. Now instead of just a normal plate, put it on some green shit. Doesn’t that suddenly look gourmet? I’m tellin’ ya.
For mine, I used green leaf lettuce. If you cut or tear part of the white spine out, it’ll lay down flatter. This looks like it’s kinda fluffy, but don’t worry, the weight of the rest of the food will make it lay down nicely. this is also my trick for making poultry look way fancier than it is. Presentation is like, some percentage of taste. I don’t know the number. Something high. Pick a percentage that strikes you as fancy.
At this point I started working on the eggs. It was about 20 minutes into the cooking of the bacon, and mine went overall to about 30 minutes.
First melt some butter, bacon grease, oil, concentrated love – whatever your food lubrication of choice is – into a pan. Pick a pan that seems small for the amount of eggs you’re going to use, because that’s one of the tricks of making really creamy scrambled eggs. You want a small surface area and a slow cook. Low heat for this.
Beat the eggs really well in a separate bowl and then pour them into the pan once the food-lube has melted. Another trick to creamy eggs is to keep breaking apart the curd. The curd is the part that cooks on the bottom and forms lumps if you’re the type of person who needs that explained like I was the first time I heard it.
So, keep the heat pretty low. Mine was under medium the whole time. And using either a wooden or other soft material (DO NOT USE METAL. IT WILL SCRATCH THE PAN AND COLIN WON’T EVEN BE MAD. HE’LL BE ‘DISAPPOINTED’ WHICH IS SO MUCH WORSE) keep breaking it up as it cooks. Believe it or not, a Pandaren chopstick is great for this.
Feel free to do a better job than I did. Keep breaking it up, keep it slow.
When it’s mostly formed, but still just a tiny bit runny, that’s when you take it off the heat. It will keep cooking on the plate.
Normally at this point, you would have the heart ready to go. But mine was not. Soooo….
Finally the heart was ready enough and I pulled it from the oven. Honestly, I’d normally let it go a little longer but I was getting impatient.
Just don’t tell Dae her food was ‘good enough’. She’d take my eyes out or something.
Let it cool enough to handle, them that that onto the green shit. Remember that the joints are kinda delicate, so do your best. Top it with shredded cheese, finely chopped chives and the cherry tomatoes. Get ready to beat off seduced people with a damn pole.
Or a shovel, if you’re me.
Remember to take the toothpicks out…
- 2 U-shaped links of sausage
- 6 eggs
- 1 lb (500g) bacon
- Cherry tomatoes
- Shredded cheese
- Green shit
- Preheat the oven to 400F/200C
- Trim the sausage as shown to form a heart
- Pin with toothpicks
- Wrap with bacon
- Bake for 20 minutes until bacon is crisp
- Lay out the green shit as shown
- Make the scrambled eggs SLOWLY. The secret is slow.
- Once the bacon is crisp, move the heart onto the green
- Fill the inside of the heart with eggs
- Top with cheese, then chives
- Garnish with cherry tomatoes
- Remove the toothpicks
- Fend off the mob you have now seduced.