"When Dave told me we had to include a recipe in this book, I was stumped. The theme is cheap eats and the idea is that these are the go-to places for Dave and other beat cops who don’t have the time to sit down and eat and don’t want to blow a wad of cash only to be interrupted in the middle of lunch to go fight crime. So what do you cook for these guys? It has to be portable, delicious, and cheap. Preparation time is important but not critical. Gumbo is out because you don’t pack soup. Deviled eggs are out because how the hell do you carry them? There is only one solution, a food so delicious, so ridiculously divine, snacktacular, and above all totally weird. I’m talking about candied bacon.
I know, it sounds like something you’d get in Chinatown (actually, you’re more likely to get candied squid in
Mr. Garlington’s Famous Bacon Candy
First, get a whole lot of bacon. Cheap, skinny bacon you can read through. This recipe does not require the hand-crafted, independently farmed, organic free-range massaged and cuddled pork you might buy at Whole Foods. Get the generic stuff.
Put the bacon on a rack over a pan in the oven and bake it till it’s just almost crispy. 350 degrees for about ten minutes. Take it out to cool and leave the oven on. Drain the fat off the pan.
While it’s baking, mix up the following:
· 1 tablespoon
· ½ cup brown sugar lightly packed
· 2 tablespoons red wine
· a dash—A FREAKING DASH; NOT A SPOONFUL, JUST A DASH! A DASH! A PINCH! A SMIDGEN! of cayenne pepper.
Now coat the bacon with the sauce and put it in the pan on a wire rack. Use all the sauce! Bake the bacon until the sauce begins to bubble and then remove it, laying it on wax paper until it cools. IT SHOULD BE DRY TO THE TOUCH—NOT STICKY. If it’s sticky, bake it a few more minutes. It took me a while to get this last part right but you have to have confidence here and leave the bacon in the oven slightly longer than your instinct tells you to. When you see it bubbling, you’re going to want to yank it out. DON’T. Count to ten. Wait. Have courage. Then yank it.
Once the bacon is cool, cut the strips into pieces and put them all into a Tupperware. Beware, these things are even more addicting than deviled eggs."