It’s not hard to see why so many have fallen in love with bacon; it’s the perfect balance of crunchy, salty, smoky, chewy, and of course deliciousness. Bacon can play a supporting role in a wide variety of dishes from casseroles to soups. But bacon can—and should—be allowed to stand alone. It makes a great high-protein snack, a crowd-pleasing appetizer, or satisfying cocktail party bite. Spice up your bacon with creative variations like sweet and savory candied tequila bacon! You need:
1 lb. thick-cut bacon, hickory or maple-smoked
1/4 – 1/3 cup brown sugar
1 c. tequila
cayenne pepper to taste
zest from 2-3 small limes
Remove the bacon from the package and separate into strips. Lay each strip in a shallow baking dish or bowl. Add enough tequila so that all the bacon is in the liquid. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 6-8 hours. Preheat oven to 400F. Remove bacon from fridge and discard alcohol. Pat each piece of bacon dry using a dishrag or paper towels. Rub brown sugar lightly onto both sides of each piece of bacon, and lay pieces in a large casserole dish or rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle cayenne and lime zest over each piece. Bake for 10-15 minutes, checking frequently so the bacon doesn’t burn, and cook until done. Allow to cool until the bacon can be picked up with your fingers. While the bacon is still pliable, thread onto skewers. Set each skewer on a plate until it is fully cooled. Serve and enjoy!
What does candied tequila bacon pair with? More alcohol! Red or white, bubbly or still, there’s a wine pairing for every taste. Try making your next cocktail party a wine-tasting party, with sophisticated snacks enhance the drinks! A sparkling rosé, like Simonsig Pinotage Brut Rose Sparkling NV ($19), would be a great place to start. Sparkling wines pair beautifully with bacon, because their bubbles and fresh, crisp flavors help to cut its richness. The full-flavored fruitiness of sparkling rosé makes it absolutely ideal! The succulent sweetness and rich stone-fruit aromas of Riesling make it a perfect partner for spicy-sweet tequila bacon. Try Joseph Leitz “Leitz Out” Riesling 2009 ($13) for an inexpensive, but very impressive, pairing. For a surprising, unusual red wine pairing, an Italian Dolcetto is just right. Try Gagliardo Dolcetto d’Alba 2009 ($17)—with its low acidity, medium body, and luscious dark berry notes, it’s absolutely delicious alongside crisp candied bacon. Finally, if you’re looking for a powerful, full-bodied red, a Spanish Monastrell—like Bodegas Juan Gil Monastrell 2009 ($16)—really delivers. Chock-full of fruit flavors, with multi-layered, spicy aromas, it’s the ideal wine to enjoy alongside your bacon.