with just the two of us in the house, it can sometimes be difficult to finish a loaf of bread before it becomes a deadly weapon or turns green and fuzzy. but this is tomato season and the challenge now is to have enough bread and bacon to eat all of the tomatoes we picked from the garden. i know, it’s a tough job but somebody’s got to do it…
for the last 8 years, i have worked in a restaurant that is famous for its breakfast fare. needless to say, i am well aware of the best methods for cooking (and burning) bacon. so how does a busy restaurant cook tons (literally tons each year) of bacon? they do it in an oven, on a sheet pan and not on a grill or a stove top-that’s too labor intensive.
first of all, start off with a decent bacon. i use one that is uncured and dry rubbed. next, line a heavy duty pan (i use restaurant style half-sheet pans) with a piece of baking paper (not waxed paper!) and then i lay out the bacon so that it slightly overlaps. by shingling the bacon, you slow down the process and allow it to cook without crisping to quickly.
heat the oven to 350. if you used a convection mode, you will need to watch it closely, or you can turn down the temp by 25 degrees. to keep it soft and pliable, you will need to take the bacon out of the oven after about 10-15 minutes and turn it over. then bake it for about another 10 minutes so that all of the white parts are slightly translucent and just beginning to show signs of caramelizing. remove it from the oven at that point. remember that the bacon will continue to cook after it comes out of the oven so stopping here allows for the carryover of heat to finish the job out of the oven.
place a few sheets of paper towel on a clean tray and gently lift some of the warm bacon off the baking tray and place it on the paper to blot the grease. top it off with more paper and repeat until all of the bacon is blotted dry. now you have cooked bacon that isn’t greasy and isn’t likely to break into little shards when you bite into your sandwich-nothing worse than hard, crunchy bacon shards falling out all over your lap!
vine ripened tomatoes…what a concept! everyone should have a tomato plant or two just so that they can make tomato sandwiches (a true southern obsession) as well as blt’s!
the spread-we had kohlrabi slaw using freshly picked kohlrabi from our garden. right now is not the season for lettuces and other salad greens due to the heat but that didn’t stop a few rogue arugula plants from popping up. needless to say, we ate our sammiches with arugula.