The following “Chew This!” column originally appeared in “The Courier-Times” and / or “The Shelbyville News”. Check their websites for further information and dates.
The Secret to Perfect Bacon
Did you know that most of my life I hated bacon? I literally could not stand the smell of it, the taste of it or even the looks of it. My brother, Damon, loves bacon, as does most all of my family, so when I would cook bacon, I would literally have to leave the house afterwards! I am not really sure what changed but about 2 years ago, my taste buds had some sort of awakening. Bacon, pickles and coconut were on my “no thank you list” of foods all my life, until one day they were not. Like I said, not really sure what happened but I started loving bacon, pickles and coconut, although not all together of course and I continue to love them to this very day. My recipes on my website reflect that change too because now you will find recipes for bacon wrapped sausages, pickled eggs, homemade pickles, coconut cake and even coconut pecan frosting. Now I am adding a new recipe for the simplest way to cook bacon! In the oven.
There is nothing like trying to fry bacon in a skillet, with the bacon popping and splattering all over the kitchen, not to mention yourself, all while trying to calm down the smoke alarm. The bacon tries to curl up, you try to straighten it out, all the while, like I mentioned, you are trying not to get splattered with the hot bacon grease. It is a mess! I thought to myself one day, there had to be an easier way! I jumped online to do some research and discovered that Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa and Queen of all things culinary, cooked her bacon in the oven! Genius! Immediately I tried her trick and it worked beautifully! I then decided to take the recipe up a notch by first brushing the bacon with pure maple syrup and sprinkling it with black pepper! Oh, my goodness, it was absolutely delicious! Everyone gobbled it up even faster than the regular oven bacon. I knew I was on to something. I have never made bacon the same way since! Feel free to experiment with different types of syrup and seasonings! I think a dark rich maple syrup would pair well with cayenne pepper sprinkled over the top for a hotter kick, or for something totally different, brush the bacon with orange juice and sprinkle with white pepper for a citrusy-spicy kick that would be wonderful on a BLT with avocado or an over easy egg!
Maple and Pepper Oven Bacon
Leftover bacon can be kept in a covered container in the refrigerator.
2 pounds bacon
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
2 teaspoons black pepper
Start by preheating your oven to 400 degrees F.
Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
Place one pound of bacon onto each baking sheet, being careful not to overlap.
Brush all of the bacon with the pure maple syrup.
Sprinkle on the black pepper.
Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, depending on your preferred crispness.
Remove, drain on paper towels.
Ask and Answer: Several people have wondered about my social media accounts. Currently, I only have a personal Facebook page. Blaise the Baker and TRAILBLAISE do not have their own accounts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest or TikTok. The only place to find my recipes is on my official website at http://trailblaise.com and http://blaisethebaker.com