Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Line a baking sheet with foil. This will make cleanup easier later.
Arrange bacon slices on the foil and place the baking sheet on the center rack of a cold oven.
Close oven door. Turn oven on to 400°F. Walk away.
Come back 17 to 20 minutes later. As soon as the bacon is golden brown, but not excessively crisp, it's done. The exact time will depend on the thickness of the bacon slices, and also on how quickly your oven reaches the target temperature.
Remove the pan from the oven. Transfer the bacon to another sheet pan lined with paper towels to absorb the fat. You can pour the liquid fat into a heat-resistant container to save for other uses.
Don't pre-heat the oven! Make sure the oven is cold when you put the bacon in.
Keep your eye on the bacon during the final few minutes of cooking to make sure that it doesn't burn. Also, remove the cooked bacon from the hot pan right away. The heat from the pan and the hot bacon fat will continue cooking the bacon.
You can slightly undercook the bacon, then cool it and freeze it in a zipper bag. Then, to reheat, cook two slices in the microwave on medium power for 30 seconds or so.
Variation: Sprinkle bacon with brown sugar or freshly ground black pepper before baking.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
• 2 1/2 cups whole milk
• 2 cups half-and-half
• 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
• 4 ounces milk chocolate, chopped
• 1 tablespoon sugar
• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• 4 to 5 vanilla beans or cinnamon sticks, for garnish
Heat the milk and half-and-half in a saucepan on medium heat to just below the simmering point. Remove the pan from the heat and add both chocolates. When the chocolates are melted, add the sugar and vanilla extract and whisk vigorously. Reheat gently and serve immediately. Use a vanilla bean or cinnamon stick to garnish each serving.