Monday, July 21, 2008

Another bacon thing that's actually TWO things.

Do you see these crispy edges?
That is a great suggestion about brown sugar, right there.

So I alluded last week to another forthcoming Bacon Thing and I'm now making good on that threat.

The beauty of this particular Bacon Thing is that it is actually TWO things rather than one, which is awesome because while bacon is obviously delicious, that doesn't necessarily make it super versatile. A characteristic I hadn't previously recognized in bacon until I set down to try to make up a tasting menu of sorts (more on this in The Future) and realized that bacon doesn't just naturally fit into every recipe as I'd previously thought.

We're big believers in Everything Is Better With Bacon in our house, but some things just don't make sense. Ever tried to think up a main course with bacon as the featured flavor? Try it, but you're not allowed to include any shellfish because Bubba's allergic. Anyway, it's hard but let's move on...

And on that note, I created a salad the other night which has roots in many common dishes, but adheres to no one particular theme. That is because I was just starting to feel better from my week of disgusting nose blowing illness and suddenly wanted to eat the whole house, pets, hairballs and all so, my wish list for what was going to go in my master salad became a little, well, eccentric.

What began as a greek salad w/ bacon turned into a cobb salad minus the egg and avocado (although if I'd had the presence of mind to remember avocado DAMN STRAIGHT I would have put that in there, too) and then I added warm roasted chicken which is one of my all-time favorite salad things and so, there you have it...

Bacon Thing #1

All the Things I Like in a Salad, Salad.
This is my own recipe, can't you tell?

Makes 2 servings


6 strips Applewood smoked, thick cut bacon
Brown sugar
2 cups Baby spinach, washed and de-stemmed
2 Tbsp Herbed feta
10 Black olives
1 Roasted chicken breast, shredded into chunks (I cheat and get a roasted bird from Safeway because I'm that WT. Don't you judge me.)
2 Homegrown tomatoes, chopped
Extra virgins
Salt + Pepper as you like it

To make

Pre-heat your oven to 415 degrees.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and line strips of bacon on the sheet. Sprinkle your bacon with as much brown sugar as you can like. I will say now, that I should have used more.

I only sugared 2/3 of this bacon and that was a mistake.

Bake your bacon for 10 minutes and then flip.

Here's where I should have sugared the other side, but instead took this photo and had another cocktail.
Add more sugar on this underside if you like. Bake for another 5 or until it's reached your Nirvana of Bacon Crispness. We're somewhere between burnt and wobbly - which we like to call PERFECT.

Remove bacon from the oven and let it sit for a few minutes or, if you're fancy and don't care about making a huge mess, pull out a cooling rack, set the rack on top of a paper towel, and let that bacon drain for a minute. Feel free to blot with a paper towel but DO NOT lay your freshly sugared and crisped bacon on a paper towel laden plate because I've heard that it may stick to the paper towel (because of the sugar) and leave you scraping paper towel bits off your precious bacon in a state of fevered insanity.

I've heard.

Crumble ALL BUT TWO SLICES of your bacon into a beautiful pile. In a nice sized salad bowl, combine your spinach, tomatoes, olives, chicken and bacon. Dress with your favorite combo of extra virgins, balsamic, salt and pepper and then sprinkle (guh. hate this word) with the feta.

Prepare to have your mind boggled with the fabulousness of every bacon-y bite. Plus the chicken is so good. Even though the Evil Safeway makes it and I feel so guilty about buying a pre-cooked chicken that I force myself to use every last little nugget to offset my inner nag.

And don't forget to set aside those last two slices of bacon and the other breast of that roasted chicken. That's for the other thing.

Bacon Thing #2: All the Things I Like in a Salad, Salad Sandwich

Update: I DID take a picture.
That is so like me. I must have had hunger forgetfulness.
Is that a thing?

Basically, that same salad - just put it on toasted 9 grain bread with some mayo.

Ok, so the #2 thing isn't all that miraculous, but I will promise you that it's really fucking good. Especially when you haven't had much to eat for the better part of a week and you get to sidestep the messy process of roasting a chicken and cooking bacon and you just ALL OF A SUDDEN get to put together the most satisfying and perfect sandwich a person could want (although avocado would have been excellent, too) without bacon fat burns on your forearms.

I'm sorry I don't have a picture of this dream sandwich, but I was very hungry and in between two enormous projects, so I decided to sit down and eat it while thinking about photographing it rather than go get my camera. A decision with which I am still totally fine.

And while both of these things were really good, and did make efficient use of the bacon share (heh, that's still funny to me), they weren't really new exciting things to do with bacon. So, hopefully I'll get creative with the next round of bacon and do something more innovative than serve it up with its usual accompaniments.

All ideas are welcome here.


  1. Oh, bacon. Yummy, yummy bacon. I would have eaten your photos, had that been possible, because they look so damn good. Except the raw bacon one, because that might give me worms.

    Ideas for bacon? There's always carbonara, which is supposed to be made with pancetta, and YEAH RIGHT, like I stock pancetta in my kitchen at all times. It's really good with bacon. But it is the epitome of THE FATNESS, so be cautious.

  2. Glad you are feeling better. On the food network yesterday they had a Dinner Impossible show with gourmet carnival food. Chocolate covered bacon with nuts on top. Sounds gross to me, but if you have *so* much bacon you run out of ideas, it might be worth considering.

  3. Ooooh, yum! Thanks for sharing the recipes. We love a simple appetizer made by wrapping bacon around water chestnuts and then basting with um..ketchupy brown sugar or something -- I think (sorry, I'm on travel and can't look it up) and then bake in oven. Maybe someday I should blog it.

    Glad you're feeling better -- we can't have Finny typing "wid a cowd."

  4. I read on someone's blog about how they make bacon chocolate chip cookies... I'm not sure how I'd feel about that combination myself, but it's always something to try.

    Then there's bacon wrapped around a filet mingnon... mmmmm!

    Or how about bacon wrapped around asparagus spears? (I think there may have been something else to that dish, but I can't remember.)

    Pioneer Woman Cooks has some pretty yummy looking bacon appetizers:

  5. Looks great. And avocado makes anything better!

    You can also try maple syrup (the real stuff) and coarse ground black pepper - in addition to or instead of.

  6. Maybe my "Seduced by Bacon" cookbook could come to summer camp at your house. I promise it'll give you all kinds of evil ideas. I'll have it messengered over.

  7. D' you know that Vosges Haute Chocolate makes a bacon bar? Yup, it's true.

    I've also heard that bacon is one of the things that brings vegetarians back to the "dark side" (which is absolutely the side I'm on). Can't verify the truth in this one but, mmm, mmm, it's easy to believe that it could be true!

  8. There is nothing better then bacon... It has such a wonderful smell... and with home grown tomatoes.........YUM....

  9. I just wanted to let you know that I think your blog is hilarious and informative. I love getting the notice that you've updated because I really enjoy reading it.

  10. As I've mentioned
    before, I have a long-time love affair with bacon. (By the way one of those links above is to my carbonara recipe.) But for an unusual idea, you need to check out this one, which isn't mine.

  11. Check out notmartha -
    Not sure if that link will work, but you can do a search for bacon cups and find it easily. I am SO doing this! And bacon baked with brown sugar? Only the best food in the world.
    And yes, it is true, bacon brought me back from the land of vegetarianism. You just can't eat a gingerbread waffle without bacon.

  12. oooh!! my SIL makes potato salad with chopped up bacon added to it- it's awesome!

    and, hubby and I make homemade pizza with chopped bacon, feta cheese and hot banana peppers-mmmm!

  13. Oh my. That looks SOOOO delicious, I may have to have that for dinner...

  14. On Sunday, I couldn't fall asleep and ended up watching Dinner Impossible on the Food Network. (side note: totally happy Top Chef Michael Symon is now the host... I find him oddly attractive :)

    ... Anyway he had to create upscale boardwalk food for a huge crowd - and what was his dessert? Fudge shop chocolate covered bacon with almonds!

    Not really sure about that, but everyone seemed to love it - they might go together :)

  15. Why must I always read your posts about food in the morning when I am starving? Reading a post about bacon when I have none just about did me in. That salad, minus the olives, sounds awesome.mmmmmmbacon!


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