The distinctive red stripes, the mouth-watering aroma, the snapping sizzle from the pan, the crisp texture and, of course, the intense, porky flavor. With a food that pleasures all five of our senses, how can we resist the temptation of sinfully delicious bacon?
While all were good and certainly unique, nothing trumps the bacon I had at Café Pasqual's in Santa Fe. Sticky, spicy and sugary, this was a step into bacon heaven. And it's easy to create at home.
Start with applewood-smoked bacon. Dip it into a mixture of chile powder and brown sugar, then slowly cook this in the oven. (Keep a watchful eye for burning.) Personally, I like to bump up the chile powder a notch. This recipe highlights bacon at its sweet, spicy best. And with the oven doing most of the work, this is an easy addition to any brunch during the holiday season.
- 2 tablespoons mild red chile powder
- 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 12 thickly-sliced pieces applewood-smoked bacon
Preheat the oven too 300°F.
Mix the chile powder and sugar in a shallow bowl. Fit a sheet of parchment paper onto a jelly-roll pan. Bury each slice of bacon in the chile and sugar mixture, and rub both sides to assure the mixture adheres. Lay the bacon strips on the prepared pan. The bacon strips may be left flat or twisted two or three times by holding each end to make a candied "stick."
Bake for 30 minutes without turning. Always transfer candied bacon using tongs; the hot sugar can easily burn your fingers.