Adventures in Coffee and Bacon
My adventures in cooking with coffee continued this week. It's been a fun week with lots of experimentation with coffee drink recipes: Irish coffee truffles, chocolate covered coffee fondants, fabulous Frappuccino fakes -- even a chai tea latte-ccino, but this morning topped the whole experience: Behold:
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Coffee Glazed Bacon
So -- I like coffee. I like bacon. I like maple syrup. Separately. Heck, I don't even like my bacon touching my maple syrup when I have French toast or pancakes. So I was really a skeptic about this recipe... but I am adventurous and I have a child who'll eat bacon on anything so I knew it wouldn't go to waste.
Can I just tell you guys -- OMG bacon candy!! I am no longer a skeptic. I wouldn't want to eat this stuff every day -- it's a heart attack waiting to happen, for one thing -- but as an occasional treat, it's incredibly, unbelievably good. The process is pretty simple. In a nutshell:
Dissolve 1/2 cup brown sugar in a double shot of strong espresso. Add a tablespoon or so of maple syrup. Heat it on the stove until it comes to a boil and let it boil for about 3 minutes. Pull it off the heat.
VERY carefully -- because that syrup is hot and WILL burn you -- submerge strips of bacon in the coffee syrup and lay them out side by side in a frying pan. I like my electric frying pan because it lets me moderate the temperature. 400 F was just perfect for this.
Cook the bacon to your desired crispiness. Remove each strip from the frying pan and lay them out on a wire rack to let the grease and excess syrup drain. You can try paper towels but seriously? Don't let them cool too long unless you want to pick paper fuzz off your bacon before serving it. The syrup WILL stick like glue.
If you usually have two strips of bacon with your eggs, you'll be satisfied with one -- this bacon is intense! The smokiness of the coffee and the sweetness of the syrup and sugar combine to make the salty bacon flavor even richer. After trying this, I will never again scoff at Alton Brown or Ted Allen's contention that everything is better with bacon. Just add coffee and sugar and you're good to go!
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