Thursday, May 23, 2013

Perfectly Baked Bacon

Living in a small town with a small grocery store can be a challenge for a lover of food and food blogger. The produce at the grocery store is ah-mazing and fresh, but good luck finding specialty items! I've quickly learned how to become creative with ingredient substitutions and how to create my own ingredients on the fly.

For example, I made an awesome recipe from my Picky-Palate cookbook requiring a Hidden Valley Ranch Seasoning packet. Apparently in Chester those little packets of seasoning don't exist, so I had to do some googling and searching to make it myself. Another example is marsala wine. I'm going to need to stock up on TONS of my favorite marsala cooking wine next time I go to the "big city" because that doesn't exist either. Sherry? yes. White wine? yes. Red wine? yes. Marsala? nope!

That's okay...I've got a list a mile long of my favorite things I need to get in Great Falls. It's a small price to pay for living in such a wonderful community and plus it challenges me and makes me get really creative in the kitchen.

Although pancetta and proscuitto may not be available, one thing that you can always count on is LOTS of bacon. There will never be a shortage of bacon in Chester because they have tons of it and in lots of different varieties. Personally, my favorite is the reduced-sodium smoky variety (just in case you were curious).

I always thought my Dad was the king of making bacon. He would always tell me "go low and slow" when pan-frying for the perfect bacon. Being very impatient and wanting bacon ASAP (who doesn't???), I always burned it and would somehow always get burned from the splattering grease. After years of burning bacon and myself, I discovered BAKING BACON!

Have you tried it before? 

It's ridiculously easy and no one gets burned! BONUS! The bacon turns out perfect EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. It's revolutionary. You will never want to pan-fry bacon ever again once you bake your bacon.

Perfectly Baked Bacon
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees (F). Place a wire (cooling) rack on top of a large baking sheet. Lay the slices of bacon on the wire rack. Once the oven is preheated, place the baking sheet with the bacon in the oven for 15-25 minutes (depending on bacon thickness and desired crispiness). After the bacon has reached its desired crispiness, remove the bacon with tongs to a plate with paper towels to remove excess grease.

Oh yeah, baby. Gimme some bacon. 

So now that you have some perfectly baked bacon, why not make the perfect BLT sandwich while you are at it?  All you gotta add is some toasted bread, lettuce, tomato and mayo to the mix for a simple and delicious sandwich that always hits the spot. 

I know this is a simple post with nothing too complex or fancy. But I wish someone had told me years ago about baking bacon. It could have saved me from a lot of grease burns! So I'm telling you now....bake your bacon!

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