Saturday, October 16, 2010

How to Cook Massive Tons of Bacon...and then bacony-cornbread

A few weeks ago we had some friends over for dinner and a game night and decided that we would have a baked potato bar.  Of course to make a baked potato bar complete, you must have bacon bits.  So, one Saturday I spent the morning cooking bacon bits. Okay, I exaggerated, I didn't cook TONS of bacon, just two packages of bacon. 
If you are ever placed in the situation in which you have to cook a lot of bacon, the best way to cook it is in the oven.   That's one of the many tips that I learned while attending culinary school at KCC.  Cooking bacon in the oven is quick and easy and also decreases the chances of being splattered by bacon grease. 
Make sure that you do not lay the bacon flat on the pan. If you do, your finished product will be flat sticks of bacon.
Bake the bacon in the oven for ~15 min at 400F.  The amount of bake time varies, depending on how crisp you like your bacon. 
I was moderately grossed out at the amount (it was over 1 cup) of bacon grease that resulted from all my bacon cooking.  At the same time I was intrigued at this source of saturated fat. I started thinking, "hmmm....butter is a saturated fat....what if I replaced butter with bacon grease in a recipe?"
I decided to use all of my bacon grease to make a "butterless" cornbread.  Mike was eying out my concoction with curious and concerned glances (man, he has no faith in my kitchen experiments).  I started to doubt myself and thought, well if this is going to be a fail, it might as well be an epic fail. I proceeded to then add my newly made bacon bits to a part of the cornbread. 
Here's the resulting product.  My "Butterless Cornbread."  I paired this bread with a sweet maple whipped butter.  It actually tasted pretty good and my friends who ate it said they enjoyed it. 


K and S said...

that is the same way we cook portuguese sausage, in the oven :) your cornbread looks delicious!

Paul said...

I save all my bacon grease in a container in my freezer to use for any cooking that requires butter. It is awesome!

Tien said...

I did not know the trick about not laying the bacon flat on the cookie sheet. I have been making bacon in an iron skillet to make evenly crispy bacon. -Tien

Anonymous said...

Which is healthier, bacon fat or butter?

When we visited friends in Tennessee they made grits with pork sausage and bacon drippings. It was delicious.

I can feel my arteries starting to clog again. :)