The trick to making bacon-wrapped everything

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The trick to making bacon-wrapped everything
Bacon-wrapped dates? Bacon-wrapped figs? Bacon-wrapped anything? We’ve been doing it all wrong, says culinary scientist Jessica Gavin, author of the new “Easy Culinary Science for Better Cooking” (Page Street Publishing, $23).

“There are two common issues when wrapping vegetables in bacon,” the Alameda native says. “First, the bacon never gets crispy enough on both sides. Second, the asparagus shrinks to tiny sticks.”

It’s not that we’re inept, Gavin says, reassuringly. It’s that it takes more than 30 minutes of roasting time for that bacon to crisp up — and by then the asparagus has been overcooked to an unappetizing degree. The solution is simple. Roast the bacon on a rack at 400 degrees first, she says, “just until both sides begin to brown but are not crisp. The goal is to have a parcooked piece of flexible bacon that’s easy to wrap around the spears, but isn’t raw… Pre-cooking the bacon cuts down that oven time so the asparagus gets a little crisp on the edges but remains tender and green.”