Everything is better with you know what

December 2, 2009



Oh my god, just writing that probably put 5 lbs. on my hips, right?

It all goes back to being afraid of fats – all fats. Well I have to tell you, if you haven’t already heard: You. Need. Fat.

But, bacon? Omigosh I can’t even imagine… Trust me, I hear you. When my mom cooked bacon I would literally pick away the fatty parts and just eat the meat. As if that were saving me from untimely cellulite.

Here’s the thing. What’s more natural than eating fat from an animal? Our prehistoric ancestors hunted down their meals and I’m pretty sure they’d have eaten it more or less whole. Not a lot of Crate and Barrels selling knives to create choice cuts of meat.

That, to me, is preferable to canola oil which is highly refined from the rapeseed and bathed in hexane. No thanks.

So I encourage you to think about the quality of your fats, where they come from, and how long human beings have been consuming them. Heart disease has only become a major issue in the past few decades – pork fat has been around forever. I tend to place the blame for sickness on stress and a processed food diet full of refined sugar.

Let’s be clear. I don’t eat bacon every day. Some people do, but I like to do things in moderation. I know that’s not sexy – it sounds better if I say “Lose 10 lbs. today on the bacon diet!!!” But an all-or-nothing culture is one of our biggest problems. I agree with Michael Pollan about eating mostly plants.

But sometimes, eat bacon. Buy the best quality nitrate-free bacon you can find. It’s real food. And it’s freaking delicious.

French Fish Stew (aka Cotriade)
adapted from Mark Bittmans’ How to Cook Everything
1/2 cup minced bacon (uncooked)
2 large onions, chopped
1 lb. potatoes, unpeeled and chopped
1 lb. sweet potatoes, unpeeled and chopped
1 tsp. dried thyme
6 cups chicken stock
1 lb. white fish steaks or fillets, cut into chunks
1/2 head curly or dinosaur kale, chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
Fresh parsley, chopped for garnish
Salt + pepper to taste

1. In large pot, cook bacon at med-high heat. Stir and cook until it’s crisp, then use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon and set aside for later. Leave the fat in the pot.

2. In same pot, on medium heat, cook onions until soft. Add potatoes and sweet potatoes and stir well. Add salt, pepper, thyme, and stock.

3. Cook until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.

4. Add fish and kale, cook another 5-10 minutes until fish is tender but not falling apart. Add lemon juice. Ladle into bowls and garnish with parsley and bacon bits.

This post is part of Real Food Wednesdays hosted by Cheeseslave.