It is no secret – bacon is super tasty by itself. Served with some scrambled eggs (Read my previous post: Breakfast Post! ) and some breakfast potatoes and you’ve got a great meal.
However, when added to other recipes, bacon can enhance and intensify flavors. Today, I’m going to discuss a few examples of some of my favorite bacon-inspired recipes!
But first, let’s discuss different methods of cooking bacon – and the ‘wrong’ method! No, seriously, there IS a wrong method!
My preference for cooking bacon is in a skillet on the stove top. It’s a great way to cook the bacon to the desired ‘doneness’ – whether you prefer soft or crispy strips. It also allows me to collect the rendered bacon fat. I save the bacon grease for use in other recipes (which I’ll discuss later in the post).
The second preferred method for cooking bacon – which is pretty easy for anyone – is to bake them on a flat sheet pan. This is super easy – just layout the bacon strips on parchment paper and bake! Viola! This method, along with the skillet method, creates such aromatic aromas that fill the kitchen! Using the parchment paper also aids in clean up and helps collect the rendered bacon grease!
Now – there is a third method of cooking bacon that I’m going to discuss. Using your microwave! It is pretty darn simple: layout strips of bacon on a paper towel (on a plate). Select about two minutes on high power and your bacon is done. But I do not condone this method. As an ‘expert’ in bacon, I can attest that cooking bacon in this method – albeit convenient and mess-free – does alter the taste. I do have friends who prefer this method – and more power to them.
But you won’t catch me doing it!
Now – onto the recipes!
(as a snack; cause why not?!)
There are like a gazillion recipes online to make numerous variations of candied bacon. Because of this versatility, you can customize your own flavors of candied bacon. Below, I am going to share with you my favorite basic version. I’ve made this a few times for a wine pairing dinner and it was a huge hit!
You’ll need the following ingredients:
Bacon (thick cut works best; cut in half): 1 lb
Brown Sugar: 2 Cups, packed
Cayenne Pepper: 1 Tablespoon
Red Pepper Flakes: 1 Tablespoon
The first step is to preheat your convection over at 400*F. Next, cut the strips of bacon in half, equal pieces. This is important because these are snack-sized pieces. Makes it easier to handle. Lay out the strips of bacon on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Set this aside.
Next, in a medium bowl, mix together the brown sugar, cayenne pepper, and red pepper flakes. You can use a gloved hand or a spoon or any other utensil you have at your ready. Ensure the ingredients are thoroughly mixed.
Take your brown sugar/pepper mixture and sprinkle it over the slices of bacon. I tend to use the mixture more liberally. Before placing the bacon in the oven, I pat down the sugar mixture on the bacon to pack it more ‘tightly’.
When you’re ready to go, pop the pan of sugar-coated bacon strips in the hot abyss of your oven. Set the timer for about ten minutes. After ten minutes, check the bacon. In my experience with using different ovens, sometimes the bacon needs additional time. At most, another five minutes will do the trick.
Once your candied bacon is done, remove the pan from the oven and set aside to cool down for few minutes. I’d recommend removing the bacon strips and setting them on a clean serving plate. If you allow the candied bacon to cool completely on the original sheet pan, you may experience difficulty removing them because of the solidification of the melted sugar mixture on the parchment paper (that’s why I suggest removing them before they completely cool).
Eat them by themselves or serve with some creamy goat cheese.
I freaking LOVE…LOVE! deviled eggs!
Deviled eggs are completely versatile. You can find basic recipes anywhere on the internet. But adding various ingredients, you can make them much more tasty. As discussed earlier in this post, I save my rendered bacon fat. I LOVE to use bacon fat in my deviled egg mixture. The bacon fat gives the deviled egg an extra “punch” in flavor. I also like to top off each deviled egg with a piece of crispy fried bacon. The perfect blend of creamy egg yolk mixture with the crispy fried bacon is a wonderful experience. Trust me.
There are various types of bacon: pork or turkey. Nitrate or nitrate-free. Low sodium. Depending on your dietary restrictions and goals, you’re sure to find the “right” bacon for you. I started eating turkey bacon because it was the ‘healthiest’ choice for me. It was a low calorie and nitrate-free.
You’ll even find smoked bacon flavors. The most popular are applewood and hickory. Take a look at this this link to read more about bacon! Try not to droll too much!