Sunday, September 16, 2007

Maple Dijon Glazed Bacon

Maple Dijon Glazed Bacon

Every Wednesday I read the food section of the Seattle Times. I clip out and save the recipes that interest me in a big binder. It's sad to say that most of these snippets from the paper will be forgotten about in a few days. But the instant I saw the words "maple Dijon glazed bacon" I thought, "Wow! I have to make this ASAP!". Maple syrup, Dijon mustard, and bacon, it just totally clicked! Though it's hard to improve upon something like bacon so I don't blame Steven for being skeptical. He just wanted "normal" bacon. I set aside a few slices of untouched, unglazed, unadulterated bacon just for him. As I happily savored my experimental bacon, I offered a piece to Steven. I watched as he contemplated this new flavor combination. Some silence passed and he said, "Your bacon is better." Yup, I knew this recipe was a winner!

You can cook bacon in the microwave, skillet, and the oven. Cook's Illustrated tested all three ways and found that the oven delivers the best results. The benefit of using the microwave is that it's the easiest and quickest method of the three. However, the bacon goes from flabby to burnt in just a few seconds. It cooks unevenly and the microwave does something funky to the color of the bacon yielding not so appetizing results. On the stove top, the bacon spatters and the uneven heat causes it to curl and cook unevenly, requiring constant babysitting. But in the oven, the heat renders and cooks the bacon evenly with minimal curling. However, the oven takes the longest so if you're in a hurry, you can cook the bacon first on the stove top then glaze it and finish it in the oven for a few minutes.

- The recipe is easily scaled up or down, just keep the maple syrup to Dijon ratio 3:1.
- This bacon is delicious for breakfast or brunch but I bet it'd make a fantastic BLT too.

Maple Syrup and Dijon Mustard Glazed Bacon
Adapted from the Seattle Times

6 slices of bacon
2 Tbsp maple syrup, preferably Grade A dark or Grade B (Light and Medium are too flavorless in my opinion)
2 tsp of Dijon mustard

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lay the bacon on a baking rack on top of a tray. Bake in the oven for 5 - 6 minutes. Then rotate the pan 180 degrees and continue to roast for another 3 - 4 minutes for thin slices, 6 - 8 minutes for thicker slices. You'll want to keep an eye on it when it starts to crisp and brown.

Depending on how crisp you like your bacon, you'll want to take it 2 minutes before your preferred crispness to glaze it then return it to the oven.

In a small bowl, mix together the maple syrup and Dijon. Use a brush or spoon to generously glaze the bacon.

Return the bacon to the oven and bacon another 1 - 2 minutes, to desired crispness.

Stove top Method:
You can also cook the bacon on the stove top, which is what I did for the bacon you see in the photo (that's why there's that little curly thingie on the bacon) since we were really craving the bacon.

Cook the bacon in a skillet over medium heat. Low heat will evenly render the fat but will take too long, whereas high heat will unevenly cook the bacon and burn it in spots. Medium heat is a happy middle ground. If you use a cast iron skillet, you can season the pan while you cook your bacon.

While you're cooking the bacon, preheat the oven. You can use a toaster oven if you're making just a few strips. Stop cooking it a minute or two before it's cooked to your preferred crispness.

In a small bowl mix together the maple syrup and Dijon. Use a brush or spoon to glaze the bacon. Then bake in the oven until it is cooked to your preference.

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