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08/30/2011

~ Crispy Cinnamon & Clove-Kissed Candied Bacon ~

PICT3414 Everyone in my family, especially my son Jess, loves bacon, and, in his opinion, "everything really does taste better with bacon".  A few years ago, when I developed my mess- and spatter-free method for making ~ Crispy Oven-Roasted Bacon ~ (found in Categories 9 & 15), I felt I had climbed to the top of the bacon world's mountain.  How naive of me.  For obvious reasons, my kitchen television set is almost always tuned to a cooking show of some sort.  As I conduct my business, it keeps me company and occasionally a segment will air that interests me enough to stop my work and pay serious attention.  

My candied-bacon Epiphany:  About two years ago, I was busily prepping for a cooking class about tailgating that I was teaching the next day.  The Cooking Loft was on The Food Network and in the background Alex Guarnaschelli was preparing breakfast.  I was interested in what she was going to make, because Penn State football season and tailgate were fast approaching and here in Happy Valley, PA, for me that means overnight guests on a regular basis.  One or two new ideas for breakfast could/would come in handy.   When I heard her say "candied bacon", my heart and mind followed!

PICT3420 I learned a lot about candied bacon that morning, and after that, I've even seen a couple of other TV chefs make it.  Alex spiced hers with black pepper while Emeril spices his with cayenne...BAM!

I went off in my own direction, starting with disposable aluminum broiler pans, the kind with corrugated bottoms.  No offense Alex or Emeril, but I wanted a zero cleanup option for early mornings!

PICT5582 Next, after making the candied-bacon using black pepper, which was delicious, I decided I wanted to try a version using fragrant spices.  I chose ground cinnamon and cloves, the same ones I use when I make my recipe for ~ Super-Crunchy Sugar-Crusted Spiced Pecans ~, which can be found in Categories 2, 6, 11 & 18.  My family adored my bacon!

Note:  On occasion I do make Alex's black pepper version, stirring 1-2 teaspoons of finely ground black pepper into the sugar mixture instead of the cinnamon and cloves, and that choice is yours.  Here's my recipe:

PICT3356 1 1/2  pounds thick-sliced bacon, at room temperature*

1 1/2  cups lightly-packed light brown sugar

3/4  cup granulated white sugar

1  tablespoon ground cinnamon

1  tablespoon ground cloves

* I recommend using the best quality bacon you can find and I also recommend  you only use thick-sliced bacon to make candied bacon.  While I prefer bacon that I get freshly sliced by my butcher, this pre-packaged brand that I buy at Sam's Club is not a compromise!

PICT3362 ~ Step 1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

~ Step 2.  In a 13" x 9" x 2" baking dish stir together the brown sugar, white sugar, cinnamon and cloves. I like to use my fingertips to do this (instead of a fork or a spoon) because you can easily rub out any lumps or clumps in the brown sugar.

PICT3368

 

~ Step 3.  Place three or four strips of bacon in the baking dish. Using your fingertips, dredge the first side in the sugar/spice mixture, then:

PICT3372 Flip the slices over and dredge them on their second sides.

PICT3374 ~ Step 4.  Transfer the sugar-coated bacon to the disposable aluminum pans.  Continue this process until all of the slices have been coated and transferred.  Eight slices of bacon will fit, nicely, side-by-side on each pan.

~ Step 5.  Evenly sprinkle about 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) of additional sugar mixture over the tops of bacon in each pan, meaning:  1/4 cup per pan.

PICT3383 ~ Step 6.  Bake on center rack of preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, or until desired degree of doneness is reached.

Note:  For extra crispness, after 20 minutes of roasting remove the pans from the oven, tilt them gently and allow the hot liquids to drain out into a bowl.  Discard liquids after they cool.  Return bacon to oven and finish roasting.

~ Step 7.  Remove pans of bacon from oven and set aside for about 5-6 minutes.  Serve hot, warm or cool it completely in the pans.  Whatever temperature you are serving it at:  if you are layering it on a plate, separate the layers with paper towels.

If you thought everything tastes better with bacon...

just wait until you try candied bacon!!!

PICT3221 Crispy Cinnamon & Clove-Kissed Candied Bacon:  Recipe yields 16 strips of bacon or 6-8 servings.

Special Equipment List:  13" x 9" x 2" baking dish; 2, 11 3/4" x 8 1/2" x 1 1/4" disposable aluminum broiler pans w/corrugated bottoms; paper towels

PICT3260 Cook's Note:  Candied bacon can be made several hours or even the night before serving it.  Just stack it on the plate as directed above and do not cover or refrigerate it!

Eat it with your French toast for breakfast, slice it into a salad for lunch or atop a juicy hamburger for dinner.  It's pictured here in ~ My Roasted Beet, Candied Bacon, Shaved Onion & Creamy-Dreamy Horseradish-Dressed Steak Salad ~, which you can find in Category 2!

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2011) 

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Wonderful post! i like this post very much and thanks for sharing.

After going through an on-line translator, I want to thank you for your most kind words. I look forward to hearing more from you in the future and will be most happy to "talk food" with you!

Thanks Netti! It is a family favorite here in Melanie's Kitchen!

Voglio mostrare la mia ammirazione per il tuo talento di scrittura e anche la capacità di spettatore, leggerlo tutto alla fine. Ho molta voglia di saperne di più dei tuoi blog e parlare delle mie opinioni con voi. Io sarò il vostro assiduo frequentatore, di sicuro.

Looks really yummy! Thanks for sharing your recipe, gonna try this one very very soon!

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