Monday, November 26, 2012

Caramelized Bacon

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving holiday.  Ours was filled with family, great food and some seriously beautiful weather.  So nice, in fact, that we ate Thanksgiving day dinner outside in the pool house.  Fabulous!  

The 'rents arrived on Tuesday afternoon from Florida so we could have dinner at my dad's favorite Birmingham restaurant, Hot and Hot Fish Club.  His favorite thing is to sit at the chef's counter and watch the genius happen!  

So in order to not go into a food coma then entire week, we opted for only appetizers on Wednesday.  OK, they weren't exactly light appetizers......bacon was involved.  Oh boy was bacon involved.

Not only bacon, but brown sugar and pecans and maple syrup and a little cayenne pepper.  These are pure strips of heaven.  They're crispy, salty, and sweet with just a touch of heat at the end.  These definitely deserve a spot on the hors d'oeuvre table at your holiday party.  Make sure to not under bake them.  They need to be nice and crispy.

Here's the recipe:

Caramelized Bacon
Barefoot Contessa Foolproof

1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 cup chopped or whole pecans
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1/2 pound thick-sliced applewood-smoked bacon

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil (for easy cleaning) and place a wire baking rack on top.

Combine the brown sugar and pecans in a food processor and process until the pecans are finely ground.  Add the salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper and pulse to combine.  Add the maple syrup and pulse again to moisten the crumbs.

Cut each bacon slice in half crosswise and line up the pieces on the baking rack without touching  With a small spoon, evenly spread the pecan mixture on top of each piece of bacon, using all of the mixture.  Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the topping is very browned but not burnt.  If it's underbaked, the bacon won't crisp as it cools.  While it hot, transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels and set aside to cool.  Serve at room temperature.

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