Makin' Bacon!

This is an old trick from my restaurant days - precooking bacon so you could whip up BLTs, breakfast egg plates, really quick. SO easy and it really makes a difference on flavor. (Not that bacon needs much help there - ha!) We would leave the plates under the heat lamps as we had the breakfast hours - then move it to the fridge.
Start by putting your bacon in a cookie sheet- one that has an edge or lip to it. Fatty sides can overlap the next slice of bacon. Usually I get a whole package (1#) on one sheet.
Dust it lightly with brown sugar.
Do NOT skip this step -- it will caramelize a tad on the bacon as everything cooks and makes even the least expensive bacon seem slightly gourmet.
Bake at 350 for at least 30 minutes, maybe up to 45. You want it ALMOST fully cooked.
When you are quickly heating it to use, it will finish the job. You can see how the outer two slices on both ends are ready to eat - that is because we wanted them for breakfast, LOL!
Now you need to "Plate them". This is the ONLY reason I buy paper towels...because we are microfiber people.
Put some paper towels on the plate, then alternate the slices of bacon over it. I do 3 slices vertically, then 3 slices horizontally and repeat until it's all on there. We have always considered 3 slices a serving - for sandwiches, breakfast, etc and double it when cutting up for egg bakes/quiche, etc.
The paper towels collect the grease.
The paper towels collect the extra grease off the bacon. You are now ready to cover it and pop in the fridge. When you want bacon, you simply pull off 3 slices, lay on a paper towel and zap 20 seconds in the microwave OR heat in in your pan for a minute or so. Fast, easy and yummylicious!

Now-- what do you do with all the grease still in the pan?
It's just as yummy as your bacon and a great addition to some recipes - like a little smoky flavor for your soups or scalloped potatoes, even a bit to pop in a pan before you make some eggs!

I use a small strainer over a mason jar and carefully pour it in off the pan. I do NOT want the crunchies but DO want the clear, bacon-sugary liquid. Once it has cooled, just move it to the fridge and you are ready to rock!
This may seem strange to you - but think of things like chicken stock! Any time you can make your OWN stuff - it has less preservatives, more flavor and is a better price.

FYI- the liquid from one pound of bacon can last about 3 months in your fridge, but might not be around that long. Our favorite is to use a little of it in the egg pan, toss in a small handful of finely chopped chives... then add scrambled eggs and some grated cheese. Yum!


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