Here is something that will haunt you until you make it. A week ago I saw a restaurant review in a local magazine, and the food writer was all agog at the neighborhood bistro’s version of pig candy. Now, pig candy has been around awhile, but I was intrigued that such a foo-foo place had it on the menu, let alone was becoming the talk of the town.
Pig candy, for the uninitiated, is simply cooked bacon topped with caramelized dark brown sugar, and a little chili powder or paprika, if desired. The restaurant review’s photo of pig candy showed an artfully rolled up rasher of bacon (suggesting a pig’s tail, no doubt). So I set about duplicating this fine bit of home cooking gone chic, mainly because I couldn’t get it out of my mind.
Fry bacon in skillet until it is almost crisp. You can do this in the microwave, but then you won’t have any bacon grease to put in that cup in the refrigerator you never use. Roll each piece up while hot (use tongs, dear, it’s easier on the fingers). Plop a huge quantity of dark brown sugar on top of each pigtail. Surely the restaurant used a kitchen blowtorch to burn the sugar just so, but mine is packed up somewhere (after my one and only attempt at crisping the sugar topping on a creme brulee), so I used the broiler instead. You can also use a barbecue grill. Broil the bacon carefully until the sugar is melted. Cool and eat.
Buy already cooked bacon. Place several slices flat on a microwave plate. Sprinkle a generous amount of brown sugar on top of each slice, and microwave about one minute, or until the sugar melts. Watch carefully so it doesn’t burn!! When the sugar has melted, remove from the microwave to let cool. Very tasty. Very easy.
Hint: Be sure the bacon you use is salty. There is a new rave about using salt with sweet these days (such as salt on chocolate, like my previous post on chocolate chip cookies). It seems that bacon is coming into a new era with inventive uses: bacon martinis, bacon ice cream, and bacon cupcakes. But, that’s another story.