1. Hernán Hot Chocolate // Del Rio, Texas
Stone ground by local artisans in the Mayan Region of Chiapas (an area known historically for nailing cocoa but not calendar predictions) HERNÁN offers the opportunity to experience this regional specialty without having to do all that smuggling stuff. Take a pass on those powder packets and melt one square in a cup of hot milk. Authentically, a Molinillo (wooden whisk) is used, but the American variety or blender will get that frothy finish you want. Try with a nip of your favorite liquor, like completely un-authentic Frangelico.
2. Scarpetta Tuscan Vodka Sauce // Lynn, MA
Douse some penne in this stuff and take satisfaction in completely pulling the wool over the eyes of your guests. It helps to fire in some shrimp and finish with fresh herbs. Massachusetts makers “Sauces ‘n Love” take care of the sauce and the love, so you can get sauced and spend more time at the table rather than the stovetop
3. Dry Cured Chorizo // Aurelia’s Chorizo // Boerne, TX
Chorizo Queso Fundido Recipe Here
Chips and dip is the commercial of the Superbowl spread: the extra that outshines the star, the side dish that trumps the entree. When done right, at least. How? Instead of studding your cheese dip with dried out bacon bits, try this: Full-cut pork shoulder (no fillers), aged a full month with freshly mashed garlic and fine, smoked paprika. Fry some slices with a few cloves of garlic, then stir into a couple cups of shredded cheese — a mix is best, like spicy Jack with a creamy mozz or Oaxacan. For some bonus special effects, pour the dip in a cast iron skillet and pop under the broiler for a smoky char.
4. Vosges Haut Chocolate // Mo’s Uncured Bacon Caramel Toffee // Chicago, IL
Ask any top pastry chef in the country what the secret to elevating good chocolate is and they’ll most likely say salt. Which explains why Katrina Markoff isn’t just another hack pandering to the bacon craze sweeping the country after all. The graduate of Le Cordon Bleu Paris offers refuge from gutless chocolate to craft what can described as a baconized Skor bar, melty, crunchy, salty, meaty. The only thing that rivals devouring this bar straight up is crumbling it over ice cream with red head peanut brittle and crispy Broadbent’s to complete a Sundae fit for bacon folklore.
5. Empire Mayonnaise Co. // Bacon Mayo // Brooklyn, NY
Chefs, In-N-Out Burger, annoyingly good home cooks. Their burgers are great for two reasons: 1) Quality fresh ground beef (2) A secret sauce. Empire Bacon Mayo, could be the Morgan Freeman of burger condiments, subtly and artfully upgrading a collection of ingredients from good to great by being deceptively good in the supporting role. Chef Sam Mason and designer Elizabeth Valleau emulsified to give mayo the royal treatment using non-GMO oils and local, pasture-raised eggs. Visit mantry.com/recipes to see how we took a run at a Bacon Burger sure to be a crowd pleaser.