Food + Wine

Pig Candy

Bacon.  It’s a pretty powerful thing, isn’t it?  It’s salty, sometimes crispy, sometimes chewy, and always delicious.  I’m a purist when it comes to my bacon though.  I don’t want it in anything.  Just on the side with my eggs, grits and biscuit.  Don’t wrap it around my steak, don’t put it on my burger, and please, for the love of pig, do NOT put it in my beer.  I can appreciate a good cobb salad sometimes, and these BACON WRAPPED-ASIAGO STUFFED DATES will make you spank your mama, but that’s about the end of my bacon mixin’.I find that the flavor of bacon simply overpowers everything it’s mixed with, so I’m not tasting that steak…I’m tasting bacon steak.  I’m not tasting that burger…I’m tasting bacon burger.  Many people like that.  I don’t. I want my steak to taste like steak, my burger to taste like burger and my bacon to taste like bacon.Buuuuuut.  This right here is a different story.  This right here takes bacon- that salty, delicious, sexy bacon, and makes it sing a new tune.  This right here is Candied Bacon.  It is unbelievable.  It’s great for parties (just stack the cooled slices in a short vase), or for a twist on the traditional cobb salad and BLT, and it’s great as part of a comfort food dinner party like I served it here.

It takes that incredible concept of sweet and savory and just sets it over the edge.  The super saltiness of that bacon, with the syrupy sweetness of the maple syrup and brown sugar are unbelievable together, and with the added dijon mustard, giving it a slight tang, you’ve got a completely palate satisfying dish.  It’s sheer perfection.

And it’s as easy to make as bacon is to cook.

MAPLE – DIJON – BROWN SUGAR CANDIED BACON 

Take 1 lb. of your favorite brand of thick cut or slab bacon (it is my duty to tell you to buy local and artisan bacon, but you can buy whichever you can get your hands on for whatever price you’re willing to spend) and lay the slices out on a (cooling) rack situated over a foil-lined baking sheet (you will most likely need two baking sheets).

In a small bowl combine equal parts dijon mustard, light brown sugar and (real) maple syrup.  For 1 lb. of bacon, this is 1 TB of each. (*optional ingredient- a pinch of cayenne pepper… I didn’t do it this time because one of my guests was a baby, but it’s killer!)

Mix well.

Using a pastry brush, brush the mixture evenly over all of your bacon slices.

 

You can do this ahead of time, cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to bake if needed.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and once it’s up to temp, cook your bacon for 15-20 minutes, or until desired doneness.  I, for one, do not like extra crispy bacon, but you cook yours however you like it.  If you’re using two baking sheets, it’s a good idea to switch them and rotate them halfway through the cooking time and maybe add a few more minutes onto the time to compensate for the oven losing heat as you opened it.

Allow the bacon to cool and harden before serving.

Eat.

Repeat.

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