Pig Candy Bacon

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? All the Buzz: Pig Candy Bacon! If you ever needed a reason to eat candy for breakfast, permission granted. This marriage of brown sugar, spices, and hickory smoked bacon is the best idea since sliced bread! You’ll want to choose thick bacon to hold all the seasonings. Line a pan with foil despite the fact a rack is used; it just makes clean up that much faster. If you don’t….well, let’s just say the other people in your house won’t be waiting around for you. Once the glazed sweetmeat is taken out of the oven, all bets are off. The line forms here.

PIG CANDY BACON

Ingredients:

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon wasabi powder

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 teaspoons chili powder

8-10 slices bacon, thick cut

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350°. Mix brown sugar, black pepper, wasabi powder, cayenne pepper, and chili powder in a deep baking dish. Add bacon, one strip at a time; toss to coat well. Line a baking sheet with foil for easy clean up. Place a wire rack on pan. Lay bacon strips on rack in a single layer without overlapping. Place baking sheet one setting below top rack in oven. Bake 30-45 minutes, or until crisp. There is no need to turn the bacon. Carefully remove pan from oven. Let caramelized bacon cool slightly before transferring with a tongs to parchment paper.* Serve as a breakfast companion, appetizer, or snack.

* The second time I made Pig Candy, I pierced them with bamboo skewers after they were baked and they were spot on!

No Pig-Latin Required 

A Kalua pig roast is as common in the Hawaiian Islands as an American hot dog is at a baseball game. A big difference on the islands is the time-consuming preparation required using an underground oven, or imu, for the pig roast. Patience is key. Slow cooking is the secret to rich, moist, tender pork with just the right amount of smoky taste that cannot be duplicated. To be fortunate enough to watch the ceremonial process is a privilege few tourists afford. After two hours the lava rocks are hot enough for the entire pig, which is wrapped in chicken wire, to be placed in the imu by two sturdy men. Taro, sweet potatoes, and ulu breadfruit are tucked around the pig before banana leaves and wet burlap completely encase it. A canvas tarp becomes the next covering. Last, but not least, dirt is used like the lid on a pot. Set the timer. The pig will roast underground for eight hours, saturating all the flavors. Once the multiple layers are removed, the tender pork is shredded and the luau begins. Aloha!