These are a quick and easy snack and they are very popular in our house – especially with the teenager – who loves all things BACON. I often do these on the weekend for breakfast and give everyone a couple of slices with their eggs but they’re also great to crumble into salads, over pastas or pizza, in BLT’s , hamburgers or just on their own….as a midnight snack. You can get experimental with the spices you use – a lot of recipes for crispy maple bacon use dijon mustard and cayenne pepper which is also delicious – but I love fennel! And for vegetarians, I also do this same recipe with very thinly slice pumpkin – leave the skin on as it goes crispy! YUM!
CRISPY MAPLE AND FENNEL BACON OR PUMPKIN
10-12 slices of streaky bacon (about 200g)
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 cup pure maple syrup (no maple syrup flavouring please…the real thing!)
2 tbsp ground fennel seeds
Small pinch of salt
You want the oven HOT HOT HOT so preheat to 350 degrees. Line a baking tray with foil and then put a cooling rack on top of that to cook the bacon on. (You really do need the baking tray underneath to catch the drippings). Lay each piece of bacon flat on the rack. Using a mortar and pestle grind the fennel seeds and set aside. You’re prepped and ready to go!
In a small bowl mix together the brown sugar, maple syrup and salt. Using a pastry brush baste one side of the bacon with the maple mixture and sprinkle with fennel. Pop into the oven for about 12-15 minutes then take them out, turn the bacon over and do the same to the other side. Put them back into the oven for another 12-15 minutes or until you can see the edges turning dark and crispy. Take them out and transfer them off the cooling rack and onto a sheet of baking paper almost immediately. That is, DO NOT LET THEM COOL DOWN ON THE COOLING RACK – THEY WILL STICK AND YOU WON’T BE ABLE TO GET THEM OFF!! (And then you’ll have to eat them bit by bit off the cooling rack just like we did the first time I made them). The cooler they get the crisper they get. When they are cold they should be nice and crunchy.
DON’T EVEN TRY TO RESIST…..JUST EAT THEM!
NOTE: Vegetarians and pumpkin lovers – just substitute the bacon for thinly sliced pumpkin! Yummy for non vegetarians too. And keep the skin on as it goes nice and crispy (kinda like the rind of bacon).
Let me know how you go!