Bourbon Industry

Sharon Thompson: Two favorites, bourbon and bacon, come together in a new cookbook

Morgan Murphy, who took us on a tour of the best eateries in the South with his best-selling Southern Living: Off the Eaten Path, is tempting us again with a new book, Bourbon & Bacon: The Ultimate Guide to the South's Favorite Food Group.

When Murphy came to town earlier this month, he stopped by Minton's @ 760, 760 North Limestone, to taste Ashley Minton's apple cinnamon French toast and spare ribs with Sriracha mac and cheese.

Murphy looks for out-of-the way places recommended by his readers that meet three criteria: the food, the service and the ambience. "The ambience and the service can be broken if the food is good enough," he said.

The first half of Murphy's book is all about bourbon, from how it's made to recipes for bourbon drinks by the pitcher. At the beginning of Part 2: Bacon, Murphy writes: "Bacon has a magical quality that can't be denied." This section goes from hog history to a recipe for bacon-apple pie.

The recipes are creative, that's for sure. Would you like a serving of bacon baklava with bourbon honey syrup? Or roasted banana-bacon beignets? The fat Elvis ice cream sandwich features banana ice cream sandwiched between crunchy peanut butter cookies and rolled in crumble bacon. The book is $22.95.