Football optional

February 3, 2013

Yes, Lord. Super Munchies worth keeping to yourself.

Yes, Lord. Super Munchies worth keeping to yourself.

Dear Sweet Baby Jesus, y’all.

It’s better than an hour and a half until kickoff, and I have already devoured the first session of my Super Munchies.

It’s one of the advantages of watching the Super Bowl by yourself. You can cook, and eat, whenever you wish. And you don’t have to share. So when my morning bowl of Cheerios started to run thin, I said, heck, why not go ahead and make what you’ve been looking forward to all week, and start early?

Another advantage of watching the Super Bowl by myself? I don’t have to share my beer-candied bacon and my tiny new potatos with creme fraiche and caviar with ANYONE. Nyah.

Plus, naps.

Oh, honey. Come to Mama. (As my eyes roll back in my head.)

Oh, honey. Come to Mama. (As my eyes roll back in my head.)

This beer-candied bacon, y’all. Can I just tell you this is about the finest thing I have ever done to a pig part? Well, excepting maybe my pulled pork barbecue. And it’s simple, and easy, and people will think you are a goddess. Lucy, however, thinks I’m an evil demon, because I Would Not Share. Fergit it, Lucy. No candied bacon for YOU.

There is, however, more candied bacon for ME, because, while I only made six slices, that stuff is RICH, I tell you. There are also more tiny potatos, already topped, and more edamame dip (material for a future post), for dinner. So I can have some of my Super Munchies during the Super Bowl.

OK. So here’s how you ‘n y’mama ‘n ’em candy bacon. For 12 slices of bacon (I made six), you’ll need a half-cup of beer — I used Henry Weinhard’s Private Reserve northwest style lager — and a cup of brown sugar. I halved that, obviously. Whisk it together until you have a syrup of sorts. Set it aside (but keep the whisk in it, because you’ll have to re-whisk several times, because the sugar doesn’t dissolve fully) and set up your bacon-candier. Take a decent sized baking pan (glass or metal, doesn’t matter) that you have a rack which will fit either in or on top of. Line the pan with aluminum foil. Do NOT skip this step, Because? The drippings from that bacon will set up like something approximating concrete, and you may not ever get them out. Not that I know about this from experience or anything.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Plop your rack on top of your pan, and line up the bacon on it. You may, depending on your final plans for it, want to cut the strips in half. Lay them out on the rack side by side; touching is OK, because they’ll shrink. And slap them into the oven, nekkid.

Set your timer for 10 minutes, and take the starting-to-cook bacon out. Using a pastry brush, coat the top of the bacon slices. Flip them over and coat the bottom side. Slide them back in the oven, reset the timer for another 10 minutes, and repeat the process.

It’ll take a total of 30 minutes and two bastings to finish your bacon. Watch it carefully the last 3 or 4 minutes; depending on your oven, you may want to pull it a little early, or go a little longer. Mine could have stood to have gone maybe a minute longer.

The Serious Eats blog this came from tells you to pull the strips off the rack and coil them up. My guess is this is to allow more of the grease to drain off. I can tell you it is NOT a good idea to leave them on the rack to cool. They stick. The one strip that was the most crisp (obviously I have a hot spot in my oven) broke in several pieces when I tried to move it. That, however, did NOT damage the taste.

The new potatos are about as simple as it gets. I roasted them with olive oil and sea salt; split ’em in half; dabbed with creme fraiche and topped with about a quarter-teaspoon each of caviar. I first had these at an open house ages ago, loved them, and have tried to replicate them since. These are close. Next time, I’ll just boil the potatos, because they’re a bit over-salty. Plus, they’re greasy to  pick up.

The caviar is some I got for New Year’s, and then didn’t use because I was in Nashvegas taking care of Child B and new Amazing Grandchild. It’s wasabi flavored, and I picked it up at the Culinary District for about $16 for a two-ounce jar. I did not make much of a dent in the two-ounce jar, topping eight tiny halved potatos, but I’m seeing deviled eggs in my future.

And as for creme fraiche — that continues to rank as the finest thing I’ve learned since I began expanding my culinary horizons. Pour you out about a cup of heavy cream of whipping cream. Put about a third of a cup of plain yogurt in it. Whisk it all up together, and let it sit out on the counter overnight. It’ll thicken up, and you can either sweeten it and use it as a topping on fresh fruit or desserts, or you can leave it alone and use it in any application where you want a dab of luscious creaminess with the tiniest bit of a tang.

And, we’re about to kick off. I think I may head back for Round Two. And there’s more bacon and more caviar and more potatos and more creme fraiche. You and y’mama ‘n ’em enjoy your game day snacks.

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