Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Make Room For Bacon at Central Market! - Bacon and Beer Pairing Class

Yum

Full Disclosure: I received free entry to the Bacon and Beer Tasting Class in exchange for letting my readers know about Central Market's Baconfest. Opinions are my own.

Bacon.

I don't know if I need to say more than that, but I will.


Central Market, the organic/health food sister to my beloved HEB, is having the most wonderful of events: Make Room for Bacon Fest. From now until March 15th, Central Market is offering classes--like this Bacon and Beer pairing class I attended--special products, demonstrations, samples, and more!

I was invited to check out the Bacon and Beer Pairing class. Right at the beginning of me swearing off alcohol for the month--oops! So I'm adding an extra day to my challenge, and I took only the tiniest of sips to get the flavor of the beer paired with the recipe.


This was actually my first cooking class ever! And I was seriously impressed with the class. We got full plates of everything, and while we chowed down we were shown how to make the meal ourselves. I would have liked to actually attempt cooking along rather than just watching, but the space wasn't really set up for that. But with the mirror over the stove, and the tv screen, it was easy to see the step by step methods used.


We began with an overview of the beers with Central Market's resident beer expert. I would have preferred he explained the beers as we got them, so we could taste as we learned and really explore the flavors, since by the time we got the beer I'd forgotten what we were supposed to be noticing. But, dude had to go run his department, so I understand!


Cindy was an amazing instructor. She has over 20 years of experience in the kitchen and was extremely knowledgeable about bacon, and pretty much everything having to do with cooking. I'll definitely be looking for her in future classes! She was charismatic and funny, and was easy to listen to.

Each course came paired with a glass of beer. Here's what we ate...


Charcuterie plate of bacon, including a habanero bacon I absolutely LOVED.


Bacon chicken quesadillas, using tortillas with bacon bits baked in.


Bacon chowder with cajun spice. This was my FAVORITE course. It was perfectly spicy, not too creamy, full of great bits of bacon and potato. I am going to be recreating this tonight.


Beer-braised pork belly. There was some confusion as to whether or not to eat the fat--I definitely ate the fat. The beer worked perfectly with the pork belly, and I loved the accompanying root veggies.


Avocado bacon ice cream. This was interesting. Not something I'd personally order again, but a refreshing end to the meal!

I'd highly suggest one of these dine-and-learn type classes. I actually texted Cory halfway through saying "next date night, we're doing this."


Overall, if you have a Central Market in your area, definitely take a class! And until March 15th, take advantage of all the bacony goodness you'll find throughout the store.

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