Ok, last post before International Bacon Day (which happens to be tomorrow) about...BACON. My Mom actually said to me, "Lesley, can you start writing about something other than bacon again?" Ok, Party Party, I promise this is the last entry...for a while.
I feel that in the last two years we have been inundated with ideas for crazy bacon creations/ideas. Bacon ice cream, bacon-infused vodka, bacon explosion, bacon jerky, bacon doughnuts, bacon cupcakes, bacon-infused mayonnaise, bacon salt, bacon-flavored coffee, chocolate covered bacon, bacon brownies, bacon whiskey, and ultimately, the "bacone"(http://thisiswhyyourefat.com/post/100480546/the-bacone-a-bacon-cone-filled-with-scrambled).
You name it, someone created it. And I have tried plenty of them.
And I am NOT complaining.
But, I am kind of overwhelmed. I want to try, create, make all of the above items, and then more. But, at the same time, my arteries would not be happy, nor would my doctor.
But, sitting in my apartment yesterday, dreaming of the ultimate Bloody Mary made with bacon-infused vodka garnished with some bacon salt around the rim (I mean, really, people, WHO being a bacon fan would not enjoy THAT!), I remembered that I did have some bacon in my fridge (shocker), and decided to try to make...candied bacon.
Yes, odd, I know. I figured if I set myself out to conquer the crazy bacon fad food and drink items out there I might start out simply. I have read many recipes and reviews over the years about candied bacon using different techniques, sugars, bacon, spices, etc. But, I had never tried to actually make it.
So, after researching recipes and ingredients, I came upon the following recipe and ingredients:
(Can you tell I am a fan of Trader Joes products?)
5-6 slices of bacon (preferably thick-cut, I used Applewood smoked uncured bacon from TJ's)
1/2 C brown sugar
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional; but it adds a nice, subtle kick)
* Preheat oven to 350F
* Mix together brown sugar and cayenne
* Press one side of the bacon into the brown sugar-cayenne mixture, and then place sugar-side up on a cookie sheet
* And then pop the cookie sheet in the oven for 10 minutes, rotate the pan, and cook
for another 8-10 minutes.
* Using tongs, immediately remove bacon strips and place them on parchment paper (or foil) to cool, or a cooling rack (paper towels will stick to the bacon, DO NOT USE!)
Yes, the baking sheet got a little messy with the brown sugar cooking, but all you have to do it immediately put it under hot water in your sink and let it soak. Or, you could try cooking the bacon on a parchment or foil lined cooking sheet for easier clean up.
For me, the bacon was delicious, and I would tell EVERYONE to try this recipe as a change from the norm.Pair it with a savory omelet or quiche on a Sunday morning, or pair it simply with some whipped scrambled eggs, toast, and fresh fruit.
Honestly, I cannot even tell you how amazing my kitchen smelled during this whole process. And, when my sister, Meag, asked what the bacon tasted like, all I could relate to her was it tasted like a slice of bacon dragged though maple syrup with a slight kick from the cayenne. She started to drool.
But, I must say, I could only handle one slice because of the sweetness (I don't have a sweet tooth). My "bacon candy" creation was sublimely full of texture, salt, sugar, and that hint of cayenne that really cut the sweet as needed. I immediately was transported back to a memory of my sister and I at Gretchen's Restaurant in the Sun Valley Lodge before going skiing at the age of around six and eight: Meaghan had discovered that bacon with maple syrup was incredible; I, on the other hand, didn't care for the combination.
But, I have a new appreciation for a bacon creation.
Last entry on bacon for a while, yet I hope all of you cook some bacon tomorrow. Enjoy. Eat. Love. Live.