Looking for ways to serve up or use bacon? While bacon is loaded with fat, cholesterol and sodium, it is can also be a special treat if eaten in moderation. Here are some ideas for cooking with bacon, along with what to do with all the drippings once the bacon is fried.
Where Bacon Comes From
Bacon is a pork product, and comes from the belly part of the pig. Bacon may be prepared in a variety of ways, such as brine-injected, or cured with salt, sodium nitrate, sugar, or mixture of all three. Bacon may also be aged. The flavor of the bacon will depend on the way it was cured, and it can even be smoked. Since bacon has a considerable amount of fat, it is often used for flavoring or a natural oil for sauteing.
Different Ways of Cooking Bacon Slices
Bacon can be cooked in a variety of ways. The most common way is to panfry the strips on a griddle or frying pan. Bacon is successfully cooked in the microwave as well, on a microwave safe plate covered in paper towels, or on a special bacon microwave dish to keep each slice separate. Bacon slices can also be baked in the oven. The benefit of cooking bacon in the oven is that the slices are baked evenly. Bacon can be broiled as well on a broiler pan. Watch as it broils so the bacon doesn’t burn when under the element.
Bacon and Vegetables
Bacon makes a great seasoning for all kinds of vegetables. Bacon and corn are nice together. Two ways to serve corn and bacon together are when bacon is simply fried with fresh cut cob corn stirred into the frying pan until cooked, or when added to a baked corn bread batter. Cabbage can be flavored with bacon, either baked or pan-cooked. Green beans are often flavored with bacon when simmered on the stove top, and both Lima and baked beans can be enriched with diced bacon.
Bacon as Appetizers
Bacon makes creating appetizers easy. Quick ideas include wrapping chicken livers, shrimp, hot dogs or oysters in a strip of bacon and held in place with a toothpick, then baked until browned and crisp. Bacon can also be wrapped around different vegetables and baked, such as asparagus, water chestnuts or large pitted olives.
Using Bacon Fat or Drippings
Once filtered from the bacon bits, properly chill the drippings. The fat can then be used in different ways. It can be used as a frying oil for pan cooking vegetables and meats. It can also be used in baking. Use the bacon fat in place of the shortening that is called for in biscuits for dinner or breakfast, and in yeast breads.