Friday, December 04, 2009
I have to leave early and managed not to set my alarm for a correspondingly earlier time. Amusingly, this situation makes the title of this week's post on things I like take on a funny additional meaning.
Yes. This post is figuratively and literally about saving my bacon!
Ever since I was a toddler, I have loved bacon. My mother told me some time ago that I once became curious enough about the can of bacon drippings she kept in the refrigerator that I asked her for a taste. She obliged, and my immediate response was, "Good grease!"
And so it was with intense interest that I read a post at Jill McKeever's site, Simple Daily Recipes, that I happened by one day about the advantages of baking bacon. I had always fried it in a pan, with inconsistent results, and avoided the microwave because all those grease-soaked paper towels always make a huge mess -- not that frying it in a pan was all that much better.
And so it was that, after reading the article at Simple Daily Recipes, I decided I'd try the new technique to see if it was really as good as advertised. I was not disappointed.
I have no idea how I found it, but bacon has been a rarer treat than it ought to have been for a long time because I never eat it fast enough to use an entire package before it goes bad. To save money, I usually bought bacon only if we also had guests or if some recipe, like gumbo, called for it. And then some of it still would go to waste. I like bacon, but not necessarily day in and day out -- especially if I have to fool around frying it.
In a nutshell:
- Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Line a baking pan with aluminum foil.
- Line the aluminum foil with thick-sliced bacon. (Well, okay. Let's not get carried away. Just the bottom, with some space between rashers.)
- Place in oven and bake for about 15 minutes. (Depending on whether your oven cooks evenly, you may have to rotate the pan 180 degrees half-way through the cooking time. I don't. Also, the first time you do this, you may want to start watching earlier, in case your oven cooks faster than mine for any reason.)
- Near the end of cooking time, flip on the oven light and watch like a hawk to avoid over-cooking, which can happen quickly by that point.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool on paper towels.
- Save the grease in the fridge.
- Toss whatever you don't use into a plastic freezer bag and freeze it. Individual pieces are good to go after about 20 seconds in a microwave.
- Air out your house.
Yes, the only disadvantage of this method (which I'm not sure isn't also true for frying) is the need to get rid of the cooking odors. Otherwise, my cleanup consisted of: throwing the paper towels into the center of the foil on the pan, balling it up, and tossing it into the trash. Oh, and I cover the bacon with a paper towel when I nuke it.
Bacon on demand. Nice.
With that, I leave with this video of Trey Parker and Matt Stone "Bakin' Bacon with Macon" and prepare to rush through my morning routine, and the door.
And yes, I'll be having bacon!