Cheap Eats:
Curry Caramel Bacon

I’m getting ready to head out of town, and I’m running out of time (lots of work to finish before I go). So instead of the long column and complex recipe I had planned, I’m going to give you something short and, literally, sweet. This recipe was inspired by an article I read on a foodie website about crumbling sugared bacon into a bowl of spiced nuts. Someone had commented that, when they made the recipe, about half of the bacon got eaten before it got mixed with the nuts. So I took the idea and came up with a treat that skips the whole crumbling and spiced- nuts stages, adding some spice to the bacon, instead. My first thought was cayenne pepper, to match the spiced nuts in the original. The cayenne version actually turned out to be kind of uninteresting—a bit of heat, but no excitement. Then I thought, “What about curry powder?” After all, fenugreek, one of the major spice components of curry powder, is also the source of artificial maple flavor— maybe the dual personality of the fenugreek would make curry powder work with the sweetened bacon. It was, in fact, sensational.

This is not on any diet in the world, and would make a nutritionist cringe. But man, are these things tasty. And to be honest, if you don’t like curry powder at all, the plain sugar-and-bacon version is mighty tasty. But if you’re even on the fence, try the curry powder. It really does work in this recipe. Enjoy.

Curry Caramel Bacon

¾ lb. sliced bacons

½ cup light brown sugar

curry powder

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Use a jellyroll pan (or other sheet pan with sides—not a cookie sheet) lined with a nonstick liner, parchment sprayed with nonstick spray, or foil sprayed with nonstick spray. Arrange the bacon strips in a single layer. Sprinkle both sides of the bacon with brown sugar, pressing the sugar down onto the bacon a bit, to get it to stick, so it won’t all fall off when you turn the bacon over.

Sprinkle the bacon with a light dusting of curry powder—or more, if you like curry (I do). If you’re uncertain, you can experiment the first time—a few curry, a few plain.

Bake until bacon is crisp, about 20-25 minutes.

If you let these cool completely, they’ll become fairly rigid, and you can make a nice display of them for a party. But that only works if you aren’t hungry or are working alone. When I’ve made them for family and friends, they rarely got the chance to cool beyond the point where they could be comfortably handled.

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