If you, like me, were born between 1975 and 1990, your first exposure to the idea that "champagne" has technical regulations and restrictions likely came from Rob Lowe's odious Benjamin character in the original Wayne's World. ("Actually, all champagne is French. It's named after the region.") And you, like me, probably play into/totally own his snooty accusation that Americans don't recognize the convention, and call all their sparkling whites "champagne," and don't care. Because only a true b-hole shames somebody while handing them a drink.
I'm a life-long fan of Alton Brown. Recently, I've loved his post-cable TV Youtube videos in which he revisits topics and techniques that he was not allowed to demonstrate on network television. These have included things like "dirty steaks" where you cook a hanger steak directly on natural wood coals, the most efficient way to light a grill (spoiler: it's by using what is basically a flame thrower), and, my favorite,
He's back, ladies and gentlemen. Last year he treated us to a comforting glass of Lagavulin Single-Malt Scotch next to a roaring yule log for 45 minutes. This year it's an hour of scotch-sipping outside a distillery in Scotland all leading up to an epic(ally subdued) New Year's Eve countdown...
One of my favorite Christmas gifts this year was Rick Bayless's new book, Fiesta at Rick's. And the very first recipe inside? Bacon and Tomato Guacamole.
Though you made not have thought of it, it certainly makes sense. The BLT is a classic, and salty bacon and creamy avocado are some of the staples of California cuisine.
So, last night, I tried it. And it's definitely better than I thought it would be. It doesn't just taste like regular guac with some crumbled bacon. The addition of the bacon makes the tomatoes, even crummy December tomatoes, stand out, and the use of canned chipotles is a welcome switch from fresh green chiles.