Monday, January 25, 2010

Bacon, Whoopee!

We go through a lot of bacon in our kitchen, especially in these chilly winter months when we crave hearty breakfasts and substantial oven-braised meals. Eggs and bacon is a quickly-put-together life-saving meal on evenings where we just want to get the family fed and watered before bed. When I make a pot roast or beef stew or a chicken braise, I will start with bacon before I sear the meat and prepare the sauce. The bacon adds a greasy cooking element, to be sure, just pour off all but tablespoons of the fat before searing the meat, but it adds smoky and salty flavor, as well. The smell of bacon cooking also signals to all within the house, including pets, that something good is definitely happening in the kitchen.

I store raw bacon in the freezer. It thaws in the fridge in just a couple of hours, so it's usually not a problem, and if I really need bacon now, it defrosts in the microwave easily. After the package is opened, I curl the bacon pieces around my fingers and put them in a freezer container; much easier than separating strips of frozen bacon.

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