Emeril’s Cayenne-Candied Bacon
I’ll never forget my dad “discovering” Emeril Lagasse almost 10 years ago (long after Emeril was already famous…). He wrote a letter to me while I was in Ukraine asking if I had “ever heard of a chef named Emeril” and I about fell out of my chair laughing hysterically before I wrote back telling my Dad that I was very aware of Emeril and had even eaten at a couple of his restaurants in New Orleans. (side note – it was at the restaurant “Emeril’s” where I sat at a round table with 9 other people and 10 waiters came out with our dishes and simultaneously set our plates before us and removed the silver domed covers in unison. It was a breathtakingly beautiful orchestrated dance!)
A few years ago my dad watched Emeril make this cayenne-candied bacon on The Food Network and then, luckily for us, proceeded straight into the kitchen to make some. And it was just as delicious as if Emeril made it himself. And the smell! Yu-um – bacon fat and brown sugar co-mingling in the air, it hardly gets better… until you taste it!
A favorite at work potlucks. Try this one yourself:
1 cup light brown sugar
3/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 pound sliced bacon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a jelly roll pan with aluminum foil, place a cookie rack on top and spray with non-stick spray.
Combine brown sugar and cayenne in shallow dish, stirring to mix well. Press 1 side of each slice of bacon firmly into the spiced sugar to coat well. Arrange the slices of bacon on top of the rack in a single layer, sugared side up. If there is any sugar remaining, sprinkle it on top of the bacon slices evenly. Bake until the bacon is crisp and the sugar is bubbly, 15-20 minutes. Transfer to another rack over paper towels to drain briefly.
Can be made several hours ahead. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Thanks Emeril – for the laughs and the recipe!