1 2-pound slab smoked bacon
10 shallots, julienne
2 quarts apple juice
1 gallon chicken stock
Approximately 45 strips thinly sliced smoked bacon
1 cup crème fraîche
salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 heirloom or Early Girl tomatoes
fleur de sel
2 cups baby Sylvetta arugula
Extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
For the Bacon:
Trim the bacon slab of its tough top skin and excess fat and slice into 2-inch by 2-inch squares. Sear all sides of the bacon pieces over medium-high heat; remove from the pan and set aside. Sweat the shallots in the same pan until fragrant; add the apple juice, stock, and the seared bacon. Transfer the bacon and liquid to a CVap oven and cook for 8 hours at 180°F. (Alternately, braise in traditional method until soft.)
Remove the bacon from the braising liquid and let cool. After the bacon is cooled, wrap each piece with enough strips of the thinly sliced bacon to cover. Fry the wrapped bacon over medium-high until crispy on the outside and warm on the inside and slice into 4 even pieces.
For the Avocado Cream:
Blend the avocado and crème fraiche and season with salt and pepper.
To Assemble and Serve:
Cut the tomatoes into thick slices; put them on a plate and season with fleur de sel. Toss the arugula with extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Top each piece of tomato with the arugula and add the wrapped bacon. Spoon the avocado cream along the side of the tomatoes and finish with the freshly cracked black pepper.