Well it seems the ways in which my house is a tiny little freakshow is becoming known to the outside world. Two articles have been written in the Minneapolis Star Tribune on or referencing Marv’s bacon making ways. The first one is a Q&A dealie about his bacon journey. In the print version there’s even a picture of him in action. The second is about the love of bacon. In it I am referred to as a, “convert to the ways of cured-pork products.” While I’m not sure if that’s true, I sure do like the bacon he makes.
The recipe he was using in the pictures is found here. The big question – what do you do with all that bacon – is pretty simple. First off, people (you know who you are), steal your bacon. We should really tag and alarm the baggies of bacon. By the time I get around to making anything with it, I’m lucky if there’s any left in the freezer. Then there is the begging (from the non-Minnesotans.) And the big-eyed hinting (from the Minnesotans.) For the rest, it generally gets added to pasta dishes, like a pasta carbonara or macaroni & cheese. Recently, my mom reminded me about my brother’s favorite (as far as I know) bacon sandwich, it’s a good one, so I called him up for the recipe. Here it is (only slightly modified.)
8oz bacon (homemade, if you’re lucky)
2 mini ciabatta breads (or other flat rustic bread)
2oz brick or Monterey Jack cheese, grated
1/2 yellow onion, coarsely chopped
1 green pepper, sliced
salt & pepper
1 small tomato, sliced
Slice bacon to desired thickness. I like it at about 1/8 inch thickness. Place the bacon in a cold pan. Turn stove up to medium heat. (You won’t need to worry about the bacon curling this way because starting with a cold pan will make it stick to the pan until it’s cooked on one side.) Turn bacon slices over and cook second side until it’s to your desired doneness, for me I like it a bit chewy, Marv likes it crispy, and he has informed me that arguing about this is like arguing about abortion, so I’m just going to back away slowly now.
While the bacon is cooking, cut the bread in half and brush insides with olive oil or butter. Place cut side down on a heated griddle until they’re browned. You may have to press them down with something to brown them. While the bread is browning the bacon should be finishing, take strips off and blot them with paper towels then cover to keep warm. When they’re all done, strain bacon grease through paper towel into a non-melting container. Clean off sauté pan then return it to the stove over medium high heat with about a T of bacon grease. Once grease is hot add in onions, green peppers and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
When the bread pieces are browned, take the tops off the griddle, and cover the bottoms with shredded cheese. If there’s too much cheese, give the extra to the cat. Run back to the kitchen and pour about a T of water on the griddle and cover with a lid to steam cheese (add more water as necessary for more steam.) Check vegetables, they’re done when tender.
Spread bread tops with mayo. When cheese is melted, remove from griddle and top with bacon slices, sautéed vegetables and tomato slices. Splash with hot sauce and cover with top bread piece. As Kevin says, the hot sauce really does make this sandwich. It doesn’t add much heat, but it does add a tremendous contrast in flavors.
And cuz it sure is one pretty sandwich – another pic: