Tag Archives: bacon

Cooking is Hard Work!

3706646709_563253359d_o

I recently undertook my biggest single cooking endeavor to date: a co-worker’s wedding shower. This was difficult not only because it was dinner for 30 people, but also because I was cooking for some of my favorite people and I wanted them to know how much I cared for them via the food that I cooked.

3712277666_34e9335eb3_o

In order to display my love for these people (especially Lisa and Cameron, the brides-to-be) I cooked as much of the food from scratch as possible. And cook from scratch I did! There are too many recipes to put them all here, so look below for photos and links!

The hors d’oeuvres

3707495338_657bc236a5_o
Zucchini Fritters

3706648203_bbb2a9e258_o
Jalepeno Poppers

and Cheese Straws

Main Course and Side Dishes

3712273322_f1d848f08f_o
Brisket

3706639361_4f3a06429e_o
Hamburger Buns

3712275420_6ea16fb320_o
Roasted Veggie Pasta Salad

Also there but not pictured:
Barbecue Sauce
Summer Corn Soup (I served it chilled)
Basil and Mint Melon Salad
Ranch Dressing for a lovely green salad

For dessert we had…
3711457465_af963ccd42_o
Red Velvet Cupcakes and Lime Bars

All in all the feast was a huge success and I wouldn’t hesitate to do it again!

Advertisements

Caramelized Bacon

DSC_0293

Let me preface this entry by saying that I had nothing to do with this recipe, in fact, I hate bacon. However, my mom loves my dad, so she made this for him (and a cocktail party they were having) and he was as happy as a clam.

DSC_0289

It’s an incredibly simple recipe that you can use to please any bacon lover in your life, even people who are ambivalent to bacon will love it. Those who hate bacon, however, will run in the opposite direction. When my brother tried it he was so overwhelmed that all he could say was “Oh my God!” over and over again.

DSC_0282

A few notes about this recipe:
1) It calls for 1 lb of brown sugar, we probably only used about 2/3 of it. Feel free to dump the sugar into a bowl as you go in order to reduce waste.
2) We couldn’t find any butchers that had offered custom-sliced bacon, so we bought the thickest stuff we could find (Hormel Premium, if I remember correctly), but it still wasn’t thick enough. To remedy this my mom sandwiched 2 pieces of bacon together using the brown sugar as glue, which worked wonderfully.
3) We found that the bacon requires quite a bit more baking time than the recipe recommends, stick to the 8-13 minutes per side and just flip it as many times as needed until it looks done. It will need time to dry after you take it out of the oven, so don’t fear if it’s not crispy.

Caramelized Bacon
Found in the New York Times by my dad

You can make this up to 3 days in advance. Keep in a tightly sealed container at room temperature.

1 pound bacon
1 1-pound box light brown sugar (about 2 1/4 cups).

1. Go to a butcher and spend as much money as you have on very good bacon. Cut it into medium-thick slices, say, 3/16 of an inch.

2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a large, rimmed cookie sheet with parchment paper. Dump a box of brown sugar into a big bowl. Light brown sugar is best, but if you want to use dark brown, I won’t stop you. Add 1/4 cup of water, so that the sugar becomes more than damp but less than soupy. Some bacon caramelizers add a dash of cayenne pepper, but it all depends on personal preference. Another way to add some kick would be to use pepper-crusted bacon.

3. Dredge the bacon in the sugar, one slice at a time. If the sugar isn’t sticking to the bacon, add some more water a teaspoon at a time until it sticks. (By the way, you won’t use all of the sugar, but it’s good to have extra.) Place the bacon strips on the paper. I then smear some sugar on top of the bacon, on the theory that if a little sweet is good, more is better.

4. Place the bacon in the oven. It’s impossible for me to tell you how long to cook the bacon because it depends on whether you like it chewy or crispy, but trust me, if I ate bacon I would want it to be crispy. Some recipes tell you to keep it in the oven for 8 to 13 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the bacon. I keep it in on the longer side. You should take yours out when it resembles the kind of bacon you would like to eat. Cut it into roughly 1 1/2-inch triangles. Serve at room temperature. Serves 8 to 10.